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  • Stanford cancels 'Moral Foundations of Capitalism' class

    3/19/2013 11:11:30 AM Posted by Adam Tragone
    College courses are all about discussion. The sharing of differing viewpoints, in a civil and thoughtful manner, is what makes America so great. But, sadly, a popular and well-attended class that discussed our capitalist system and the morality behind it is no more on the campus of Stanford University.
    The Stanford Review   reports that the "Moral Foundations of Capitalism" class has been canceled for the upcoming academic year due to a restructuring of the school's general education requirements. 

    Although there seems to be nothing sinister at play here, why would a very popular class be canceled?  

    "The Center on Ethics in Society will play a role in supporting the creation of new courses and existing courses in ethical reasoning, and the Center decided to allocate its limited resources (human and financial) to this task in the coming years," Professor Rob Reich, Director of the EiS program told the Stanford Review.

     More from the Stanford Review story: 

              While there was steady interest for the course throughout the three years the class was offered, the type of students that it attracted varied. 

            According to [the course's Professor John] McCaskey, the class was largely made up of competing conservative students in the first year, 

               largely because two students-one Catholic and one Ayn Rand Objectivist-extensively promoted the course before registration. By the third year, 

              however, the class was much more balanced. 'The class attracted all sorts of students, right and left wing,' said the junior. 'Some objectivists,

               a couple of libertarians, a member of Stanford Democrats, and even two Marxists.'"


    McCaskey told the Stanford Review that the reason he started to teach the class in the first place was after America's financial collapse in the late 2000s.

    "I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to get students to explore how Americans have historically defended the morality of capitalism," McCaskey said.

    Do you have any stories similar to this one on your campus? Make sure to let us know in the comments or by e-mailing atragone (at) yaf (dot) org.

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