Pietermaritzburg campus, 7 April 2011, 10:30-11:15
As a result of the Ideas for a Free Society CD the Free Market Foundation (FMF) has established ties with the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus. Professor Darma Mahadea, who comes from Mauritius and who describes Israel Kirzner (one of the many authors contained within the CD) as one of his favourite writers. Prof Mahadea showed great excitement and was keen to learn more about the contents of the CD. On the day of the presentation, he gave us a warm welcome to the Pietermaritzburg campus. He had organised an audience of 35 people consisting of senior economics lecturers and students from the faculty of commerce. The presentation by Leon Louw was well received by the students and the lecturers were also very positive. After the presentation Prof Mahadea enquired about future opportunities, suggesting that the Ideas for a Free Society lecture becomes an annual event on the Pietermaritzburg campus as part of the economics class curriculum. We now have a good friend of liberty at the Pietermaritzburg campus and a good future ally in the dissemination of classical liberal ideas at the campus.
Result: A great success, 38 CD’s distributed, a good friendship established, and a definite interest in future events. I will keep in contact with Prof Mahadea and return to give another presentation as soon as he is amenable. I will also pursue the matter of holding an annual lecture.
University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) – Westville campus, 7 April 2011, 12:30-13:15
The Ideas for a Free Society presentation was given by Leon Louw, on 7 April 2011 to a small group of professors, senior lectures and post-graduate economics students at the UKZN Westville campus. In contrast to the earlier presentation, given at the Pietermaritzburg campus, where the vast majority of the participants embraced the ideas presented during the lecture some of the participants at the Westville campus were overtly sceptical. This was not surprising given that these individuals are devout Keynesians.
The number of participants present at the lecture was undoubtedly adversely affected by the disruptions occurring at the time of the presentation; with both staff and students protesting over wages and fees respectively.
Three lecturers, Devon Windvogel, Harold Ngalawa and Professor Geoff Harris asked for additional CD’s after the presentation in order to distribute them to their students when classes resumed. Devon Windvogel received his degree from the University of Glasgow and showed a keen interest in the ideas contained within the CD.
On a previous meeting Mr. Windvogel took 9 CDs to distribute to his class (and took an additional 10 CDs at the presentation). Professor Geoff Harris is the director of conflict resolution and peace studies at the Westville campus and takes a small class of four students. Prof Harris has also produced a monograph for the FMF entitled: Why guns cost more than butter. Mr Ngalawa also showed a keen interest in the lecture and CD, taking an additional 10 copies to distribute to his students. Mr Ngalawa also asked if we could give a similar presentation based on the Ideas for a Free Society next year.
Result: This seminar demonstrated that there is a pressing need at this campus to reach the students directly, particularly those that are enrolled in the macroeconomic courses that seem to be dominated by lectures from the Keynesian school of economics. Three lecturers showed interest in the CD’s, taking additional copies to distribute to their respective students. 36 CD’s were distributed on the day of the presentation (10 were distributed prior to the presentation). I will attempt to reach the students through the student organizations for future presentations.
11 April 2011