South Africa: A Student Proves My Point About Universities and Socialism

opinion

Last week, Andile Zulu penned a lengthy rebuttal to my recent column on why socialism thrives nowhere except at universities. In it, he reluctantly concedes my point, but goes on to try to defend the status quo anyway.

Last week in the Mail & Guardian, Andile Zulu, an undergraduate student of political science and religious studies at KwaZulu-Natal, wrote an article in which he challenged as "unproductive engagement" my view that universities are a hotbed of Marxism, socialism and critical theory, and that this ill prepares students for a rational, unbiased assessment of the virtues and shortcomings of free-market capitalism and classical liberalism.

It is a well-written response, and appears to be largely reasonable and cogent, but has some glaring flaws. Zulu summarises my argument well and goes on to "somewhat agree" with my observation, before climbing into a lengthy critique of classical liberal values and the impact of free-market capitalism upon the world.

It would take too long to fisk the piece in line-by-line detail, but there are a few issues that deserve a response.

He argues that I am making a moral claim about which political ideology should have ascendance in universities. I don't propose that classical liberalism...

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