Warning: explaining free markets and freedom is too trite and too simple! Yep, that is right…or at least according to an “unbiased” teacher of mine.
Last week we had to write an essay fro class answering the question, “The 20th century showed us the problems of freedom, as seen in WWI, WWII, and Sept. 11. Please explain the future implications of this problem of freedom, specifically in the policy realm.” In explaining the question for us, the teacher clearly (and wrongly) explained how freedom caused WWI and WWII and Sept. 11. He also said that from this we can learn that freedom causes societal chaos…we need government or a level of control to prevent freedom from causing this chaos.
Any reader of Libertarian Samizdata knows how many lies this statement contains. Is this teacher actually going to tell me that Hitler or Stalin or Mao or Mussolini or FDR and the results of their administrations were a result of freedom when the logical answer clearly would dictate the exact opposite?
Anyway, I wrote a very lengthy essay debating his premise about freedom causing problems. And today, I got my essay back, and his one and only comment on my paper was: “While I do not mind the fact that your essay debates my premise, and indeed I am glad to see it does, your argument is too simple and results in simple rhetoric about free markets equaling freedom, C+”. My twenty-six page essay that raised twenty separate questions weighing the costs and benefits of free markets vs. collectivist states in a clearly detailed manner was too simple for his liking.
My friend, who, in one sentence accepted the premise and explained the question in one and a half pages, was told that his essay reached the appropriate level of depth and understanding. Now while I am the first to admit page numbers do not attest to a paper’s level of logic (Marx wrote a lot, but did that make him logical? Short answer: no!), my paper was well reasoned and well documented. In fact, I took it to three of my other professors and asked them to read it for logic only. The verdict reached by each was that I had great logical writing in this piece.
The remark about my paper being too simple is merely a cover for his real thought: you are wrong in your belief of free markets. Is it any wonder why we foster such lack of thought in today’s younger generation?