Students are restarting the Classical Liberal Organization, a club dedicated to an open forum of ideas and hosting thought-provoking discussions.
On Jan. 31st, the Classical Liberal Organization held their inaugural meeting. Under the leadership of juniors Tim Runstadler, Calvin Zabrocki, and Christian Betz, several students met to discuss a series of guest lectures, given by faculty members and students, concerning the political philosophy of Classical Liberalism.
“Our goal is to push forward ideas of Classical Liberalism on campus and engage in the battle of ideas, specifically by bringing people together not in a economic context but everything from foreign policy, healthcare policy, to the Federal reserve,” Betz said.
The lectures will be the club’s focus for now, said Betz.
Runstadler, the club’s president, said the club will seek to impart economic ideas to the campus and to “define issues in economic terms.”
The Classical Liberal Organization will hold meetings irregularly at varying times and locations. To stay informed about time meeting students can contact Zabrocki at firstname.lastname@example.org. Runstadler, Zabrocki, and Betz will serve as the executive board of the club and will make decisions concerning future discussions and topics for each meeting.
This week, Associate Professor of Economics Charles Steele will speak on the topic of what defines a Classical Liberal, said Runstadler.
Although a date has not been set for this semester, junior Josiah Leinbach, a history major, will speak to the club about Edmund Burke’s response to liberal philosophy and discuss Burke’s impact on liberal philosophy in general.
Leinbach plans on discussing why Burke’s questions are still relevant for Classical Liberals to consider, even if they disagree with his Traditionalist ideas.
“I will be talking about Classical Liberalism from the outside, Burke, and his disagreements especially with Thomas Paine, and how those inform the current classical liberalism model,” Leinbach said.
Leinbach said as a traditionalist conservative, he does not agree with the tenets of Classical Liberalism; however, he said he is keen on taking part in the discussion.
Junior Joseph Toates said that a speaker from outside the politics department might bring a different perspective.
“I think the most interesting would be somebody from outside of the politics department, somebody like Dr. Kalthoff who’s done a lot of history of the conservative movement,” Toates said.
Toates said he looks forward to the discussions and being surrounded by students from other departments.
“There’s always benefits to being surrounded by good, quality people discussing good ideas about important things,” he said.