Facultad de Ciencias Económicas | fce.ufm.edu | 4 Lecciones

Seminar – Liberalism 1.0 (Part IV)

Sophy Ramírez  | 10 de agosto de 2017  | Vistas: 7

Economy Government Liberalism Socialism

There are some libertarians that could wonder, if there are liberalist countries like the United States, why there are still large amounts of leftist believers in these societies. In this last session of the seminar, Daniel Klein presents why leftist beliefs have prevailed in most of the academic system of the US.

Klein states the relationship between American parties, where for every republican there are ten democrats, and points out that in his study he found that the democratic party is in its majority leftist, and mostly opposed to classical liberal ideas. 

He proposes that the problem in universities is groupthink, where new integrants of a faculty tend to adapt to the majority’s philosophy, leaving their autonomy and ideals behind to get into the group. 

Professor’s beliefs that we’re dealing with lifetime beliefs because people rarely change their political ideology and I think that is because of that that we can apply groupthink theory to academics.” - Daniel Klein

The economist describes that historian faculties in universities function with a pyramidal structure, every university tends to be at a higher level, so they don’t accept new or different ideas but copy the ideas of the university that is at the top of the pyramid.

Then, Klein shows some graphics about political aspects such as workplace safety regulation, pharmaceutical control, gun ownership, and redistribution policies. In relation to classical liberalism and political parties, demonstrating that the democratic party has a more leftist tendency than republicans. He also indicates that the majority of academics are democrats.  

Even if you’re out of academia and you’re an actual historian, you do want support, friendship, and approval from academics. You don’t want to make enemies for these very prestigious people in something you labor in. So if outsiders are critical, they are often ignored and so the situation doesn’t have a great correction mechanism.” - Daniel Klein 

To conclude, Daniel Klein explains that the lack of classical liberalism in the US academic institutions has been a consequence of groupthink that often opposes these ideas, affecting new policymakers and the social system.


Economist, professor and author