Taking writer to task over complaints about speaker

Re: Rudy Bauer’s recent letter, let me see if I’ve got it straight. At a program entitled “Rethinking Capitalism,” part of a larger “30 Days of Peace” (red flags are flying already), a Stanford-Harvard-Yale trained “American Marxian” economist, “well known for his work on Marxian economies,” etc. (more red flags), makes a presentation (apparently) discussing “Marxian” economics as an alternative to the status quo.

But, as troubling as the presentation was (it’s a sea of red flags), what bothers Mr. Bauer is that this “Marxian” economist is a professor of economics at UMass-Amherst and formerly taught at Yale and elsewhere.

Here’s where Bauer’s argument becomes fuzzy: (i) the “Marxian” professor “preaching pure revolution” (we never find out how); he and his ilk are influencing (indoctrinating?) college students with an “extremely distorted description of capitalism”; (iii) “only left wing socialist and communist speakers are allowed” at “many of our prestigious universities” (sadly, Bauer declines to provide a list). It’s an “unconstitutional bent of our nation,” and we’d better “live by the commandments of our God for Real Peace and unity.”

Where to start? Most obviously, unless my copy of the Constitution is missing a page, there’s nothing about capitalism, or any economic theory. That college students are hearing dissonant voices, learning different perspectives, is the point of college. They’re not whelps. There is no evidence that universities allow only “left wing socialist and communist speakers.” Finally, again, unless my copy of the Constitution is missing a page, Bauer’s desire that we “live by the commandments of our God” is the unconstitutional part. Never mind that I’m not aware of God promoting capitalism. Perhaps my copy of the Bible is missing a page.

Clyde A Shuman