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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the past year or so I've majored in political science part time at UMass Boston. I've got on the dean's list and so far have done well in the work but always felt uncomfortable in the class setting. Although I've always had some levels of sa, i have my own lame "political" anxieties as well.

So today, I am coming out of the closet as a right-libertarian, who is an apologist for the free market and civil liberty. Yeah, I'm aware this post is pretty ridiculous, and I personally don't judge people by whatever their personal politics, but its an area where I was ridiculously insecure. And I wasnt even afraid getting bad grades, I was afraid of being myself. I probably missed good opportunities to win arguments during class discussions.


But anyway, I see this now as sort of an indication of poor major choice. I got into it because I was verbal minded and I enjoyed studying how the world works.
Wouldn't someone like myself, being of generally dissenting political views, majoring in political science at a "PC", left oriented campus the same as a vegan butcher or a pacifist in the military? Maybe, maybe not. But its difficult to tolerate the arguments the professors make are almost excusiley to the real left, essentially by the people who are to the left of Paul Krugman in how they teach economics. Its not that I want or need a soapbox, but its just boring and predictable to hear inherenently left wing politics in almost every class.
 

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I honestly think you are making a mistake. You won't get anything from this and the professors WILL discriminate against you. My advice is just keep your mouth shut and wait until you are in the real world. I know that sounds harsh and maybe even cowardly but whats the point of being an old fart if I can't give good advice to college kids?
 

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How many courses/professor have you had? I've always been under the impression that libertarians were a common thing in college economic departments. When I took my one and only economics course in college the professor, not surprisingly(at least to me) held libertarian economic views.
 

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I don't know about poli sci programs, but most econ and business programs lean far more toward the right. When I was in school, people like Krugman were barely mentioned compared to those like the much more right leaning Friedman. And until the last year or so, Krugman's school of thought (based on Keynes), have pretty much been dismissed for the last 30 years. It's only been after the banking crisis that Keynesian ideas have gotten a resurgence and that Krugman has become a household name.

But Umass is about as liberal as they get so I'd imagine even the econ programs there are more left leaning... especially now. But this stuff goes back and forth. And in the wider world outside of Amherst, I think you'll find yourself less of an outcast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
well, in this rant that I laid here, I was basically had one particular class that I took last semester in mind that, as I see it, seemed to epitomize the often lazy economic arguments made by academics on the left. While many school include classes such as these for "diversity requirements" and such, many of these ideas ideas in Umass go unchallenged by faculty and students alike. In this class, which was titled "Gobalization and Social Movements", we basically watched Naomi Klein documentaries and held up socialist labor movements as noble challenges to, what my professor referred to as the "neo-liberal paradigm".I don't really mind if I sound like a cranky curmudgeon here railing against the "leftist academia", but in my opinion, using words like "neo-liberal" or "neo-conservative" as a pejorative misses the point what these groups have say entirely. An example I can give would be the 1999 Seattle WTO protests, which my professor gave a very favorable remarks toward. In all respect to Naomi Klein, she is not even close to being considered a real economist and blatently takes market orientated economist out of context in her work (I referring mostly to the "Shock Doctrine", which is a complete waste of paper in my opinion, but thats just me).

While I won't say the entire faculty follows this view, it is very difficult to guage what is appropriate opinions to raise in class and in papers and such. The feeling of being "exposed" as being simpathetic to classical liberal economists makes me very anxious in regards to doing course work, which often requires submitting my opinions on these subjects. I wish these professors gave more respect to Adam Smith, Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek, but many of my heroes are posed as the "bad guys" who spent their lives merely advocating for the ruling class, which in my view misses the entire point. So did I choose I wrong major? Or should I have simply gone to George Mason University or something?
 

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I would just continue studying it, but not say anything. Yes, conservatives of any kind are lambasted in universities. It has always been that way :(.
 

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I graduated from UMass Boston!
Woot me too!!

To the OP, do you take economics classes? When I was there I did take an economics class with a prof who was decidedly pro-free trade. Not sure but I think that is somewhat libertarian. His name was Siddiq Abdullah, not sure if he still teaches there. He was a really good lecturer and pretty funny too. I'm not sure if he was liberal or conservative or libertarian or whatever but he always seemed fair and open-minded.

UMass Reprasent!!
 

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Whoa, strange! That makes five SAS members from UMB. My boyfriend graduated from there last year, and one former member that I met up with a few times. When did you graduate?
I graduated in '04. What year did u graduate? What was the former member's name on here? One thing I loved about that school was the catwalks! Didn't have to walk outside from building to building in the snow or rain.
 
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