The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a sociology course informing students that capitalism creates “a world of great misery, inequality and oppression” that “is irrational in ways that hurt nearly everyone.” Erik Olin Wright, the well-heeled professor who teaches the graduate-level course, rakes a sweet annual salary of $170,000 per year.
The MacIver Institute, a free-market think tank, obtained the syllabus for Wright’s course by way of a public records request.
The course is entitled: “Class, State, and Ideology: An Introduction to Social Science in the Marxist Tradition.” The affluent professor’s course syllabus, which goes on — and on — for almost 80 pages, declares that capitalism “generates harms” and “generates injustices” which “can be broadly grouped under three rubrics: exploitation, domination and irrationality.” Marxism, on the other hand, is an “emancipatory social science” that seeks to “fulfill the goal of generating critical social scientific knowledge relevant to the task of challenging systems of oppression.” Wright does not define the exact meaning of “human emancipation.” However, he does assign some of his own writings about utopias.
Also, at the end of the course, students will enjoy a weekend retreat in Upham Woods — complete with “a gourmet potluck” as well as “music, dancing, singing” and “general carousing.” The MacIver Institute ranked Wright’s course as the most wasteful class in the entire 26-campus University of Wisconsin system.
The American Sociological Association touts Wright’s involvement in 2011 “among the thousands of Madison citizens in their 17-day occupation of the capitol building, protesting Governor Walker’s offensive against public sector unions and state spending, and lining up with hundreds of others to give testimony that would prolong the encampment.” (RELATED: Communists, Socialists Rallying Support Behind Madison Protests) In a New Left Project interview in 2012, Wright praised the Occupy movement as part of a “global wave of protests” that reflect “a crisis in the political model of liberal democracy.” “Capitalism is a central part of the problem, so of course ultimately it is necessary to be anti-capitalist,” the $170,000-a-year Marxist also proclaimed.