Triple Major in Philosophy, Communication Studies, and Political Science; Minors in Ancient Greek and in Rhetoric: Theory & Practice


Van Horn, Robert

Advisor Department





Alexander Meiklejohn; Milton Friedman; Chicago School of Economics; economic freedom; political freedom; politics


Economics went wrong in the midst of the Cold War, specifically the time of the terror of communism in the 1950s. It went wrong in Chicago economics in particular—exacerbated by a reorientation in how to understand and conceptualize freedom. Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom trumpets the virtues of economic freedom, or the freedom of choice within the competitive market. It represents the Chicago neoliberal position. In contrast, the luminary Alexander Meiklejohn advocates a radically different conception of freedom, and his ideas echo the voices pre-1950 Chicago economics. Meiklejohn promotes political freedom over economic freedom: championing absolute protection for free speech, not the absolute protection of the free market. The Cold War is an era in which the very concept of freedom was being reframed, and economic freedom was pertinent here because of the pernicious and pervasive Communist menace.