Economics professor Evan Osborne of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, told Fox News on Thursday, Aug. 6 that the university has repeatedly denied his request to give a critical Marxist elective class open to all students.
The class called Marxism: A History of Theory and Practice, said the professor, “talks about Marxist economics, where it came from. … I go country by country to talk about the disasters in economics and crimes against humanity,” Osborne said. “Maybe it was a mistake to make the syllabus so honest. … Fundamentally, what I want is my academic freedom to be respected.”
The professor complained, “Clearly it’s all just censorship. I have proposed several electives. All have been approved, not going against the sacred beliefs of the radical wing of our department.”
Professor Osborne’s proposed elective class, he said, is to counteract the dumb criticism of capitalism to which students are exposed daily.
The university only allows this class to be given to students with honors, that is, with the best grades, and being an elective, that is, without obligation to attend. This limits the scope of the class to a small group, explained the professor.
“ The honors class … sharply limits who can take it,” Osborne said. “The biggest damage is being done to students in business, in the college of economics. Most of them are not honors students. … They deserve to hear.”
Nevertheless, as The College Fix reported, the university’s economics department is offering a course this spring called Socialist and Radical Economics “to learn the rich history of critical analyses of the dominant form of capitalism and to engage in a critical debate on the prospect of socioeconomic reform,” according to its syllabus.
“This class is consistently skeptical of free markets and ‘capitalism,'” Osborne told The Fix. “ Given the way Marx is favorably assessed in our curriculum, and Marxism’s actual historical record, I really thought our students deserved an alternate perspective.”
The refusal to have his class open to the entire student body was due to objections raised by faculty members, some of them anonymously. Osborne said that no other professor has had a similar experience since he’s been at the university–that you get censured in a class because of complaints from other teachers.