|In the long course of my college and university education 1967-2010, I had very many professors who were socialists, however broadly defined. Some were explicitly so. Of them all two were the best instructors I have had. I got more from them than from the few "conservatives" who came along.|
To speak to the last first, my Econ 101 professor (2007) was a market kind of guy. Like Friedman, he advocated for "some" controls, but the very first lesson he gave was to demonstrate the subjectivity of values and explain why you might willingly trade away a dollar to get a quarter - to use a pay phone, for instance. So, he was OK, but I pretty much knew just about all that he taught and more besides.
On the other hand, the last Marxist (Econ 581 in 2010) put up a graph of the money supply since the Bush-Obama Bailouts. He knew who the conservatives were in his class. "So, what's going to happen to prices?" he asked. "How about production?" He knew. He just saw this as the death throes of imperialism (maybe this time, for sure). He never graded me down on a paper for my libertarian analysis until the final when my brilliant writing simply failed to answer the actual question.
Pamela Graves, who wrote two books on the history of women in the British labor movement, refused to grade my first paper. "See me in my office," it said at the top. Apparently there were a few things about writing history that I did not know. I fixed the problems and got my grade. She was like that all semester. At the end, I thanked her personally, and she just demurred, "It's my job." She was a good worker.
In Merchants Make History Ernst Samhaber wrote, "A good merchant does not argue religion with his customer." Ayn Rand warned us not to sanction our destroyers. I find good people and bad in any social arena. It is a fact of social statistics that differences within groups are often greater than differences across them. I try to judge people as individuals on the content of their character. Online, we are a bit constrained in that knowledge. Eventually, the facts are knowable.