re: Non-Voting Power

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Writes Charles Burris: “Reading the heroic classroom confrontation of Maureen posted today at LRC brought back memories of a similar situation I experienced almost 20 years ago. I had received my undergraduate degree in political science in 1975, and spent many delightful and productive years involved in political campaign management and free lance Op-Ed writing. However after a stint as a substitute teacher I decided to pursue obtaining the additional 60 hours of university education courses required for state certification to become a public school social studies teacher. On my first day in class (it was a Human Growth and Development course) the instructor was making some obtuse point unrelated to the course objectives. I raised a query and was immediately labeled a ‘Marxist’ for my efforts. Like Maureen I could have let it slide and not risk jeopardizing my status in getting my certification. But no, I could not let this incident pass. As a dedicated Rothbardian since 1970 I was the farthest thing ideologically on the planet from a ‘Marxist.’ I was not going to sit in a class that I was paying for with that egregious impression conveyed to my fellow students. So I calmly went home and composed a two page cover letter to the instructor briefly outlining the concept of libertarian class analysis, how it predated Marxian class theory, and how Henri Saint-Simon and Karl Marx had stolen and distorted the central concepts from Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer, etc. I attached several articles from non-Marxist class theory analysts — Ludwig von Mises, Franz Oppenheimer, Murray N. Rothbard, James Burnham, etc. which illustrated my points I raised in class and in my cover letter. I placed these materials in a brown manila envelope and gave them to the instructor at the beginning of the next class session. Many weeks later I was having a conversation with the university’s dean. She brought up the incident with my instructor and how it had reached the president of the university. I asked her his response. She replied that on reading my letter and accompanying materials the president said that I should be the one teaching the course, and not this off-duty cop who was hired as the adjunct instructor. Incidentally that instructor disappeared from the faculty at semester’s end. Curious indeed!”

8:00 pm on June 29, 2008