How academic freedom has eluded the academy and how it can be attained.

Sankarshan Acharya
Founder, Pro-Prosperity.Com and Citizens for Development

September 12, 2014

Humans have created the academy to be the fountain of truth for discovery and dissemination of new knowledge without being constrained by existing beliefs.  This is why academic freedom is paramount for society. 

True academic freedom is, however, impossible without a unanimously agreeable philosophy of coexistence, i.e., rules of governance of humans. 

The only credible test a true academic is self freedom from his or her cocoon of parochial theological philosophy like Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. 

Most people including academics did not choose their religious beliefs, but were ordained to accept, when young, their parental beliefs.  Parents impose their beliefs on their children perhaps to receive care in old age by religiously bonded offspring.   This has stifled freedom of most people from the cocoons of their parochial, theological philosophies, thus hindering discovery and dissemination of new knowledge.    

If most people have not voluntarily chosen their theological religious philosophies, why do they denigrate each other’s religion directly or through sophisticated (“scholarly”) writing?  The academics should discover the answer to this question by first freeing themselves from the cocoons of their own theological philosophies imposed on them when they were young.  They have been unable to do so.  This is a spectacular failure despite the numerous religious, philosophical, political, economic and scientific publications.

Bertrand Russell tried, but did not succeed.  He defined science as a non-theological, rational philosophy to claim that science has triumphed over theology and associated Gods.  But he did not define God rationally.  It is obviously irrational to compare a rational concept (science) with some other concept (God) which is not defined rationally.[1]  This has perhaps emboldened the academics to remain cocooned in their parochial theological philosophies indoctrinated by their parents.  As a result, the academy has not been able to achieve true academic freedom.

The only way to achieve academic freedom is liberty from parochial theological philosophies.  This is possible only through a unanimously agreeable philosophy for coexistence/governance.  The only unanimously agreeable philosophy of governance available to mankind happens to be unique: no rule of ‘modern’ governance that facilitates usurpation of anyone’s private or shared wealth even surreptitiously.  “Wealth” means already accumulated physical and financial assets and the opportunity to earn such assets.

My research on resolution of moral hazard for liberty–based on a mathematical general equilibrium model of the economy–has established that unanimously agreeable philosophy is crucial for economic efficiency needed for economic progress (as opposed to decay) of society, for social stability and for fundamental fairness.[2] 

That the unanimously agreeable philosophy is crucial for fundamental fairness must have dawned on the founding fathers of America to adopt it in their constitution the right to individual property, life and liberty, which has now been copied all over the free world.

Contrary to the widely adopted unanimously agreeable constitutional philosophy of governance, modern schools of business and economics departments have been dedicated to research on creating surreptitious rules of law to facilitate usurpation of public and private wealth and to train managers to serve as gendarmes for the system of robbery so established.

I did not know in 1991–when I first mimeographed my research at the Federal Reserve Board- that efficient resolution of moral hazard, perpetrated by modern trained managers, is crucial for constitutional fairness.  Through the economic model, however, I saw vividly that the modern system of moral hazard in governance was economically inefficient and unstable and was bound to collapse.  The systemic collapse in 2008 illustrated how the modern managers trained by top business schools and economics departments, manning top government regulatory agencies, banking and financial institutions and investment funds, have failed simultaneously.  That they were running a fundamentally unfair system was also bared.  The public could no longer be fooled by the rules of governance designed for surreptitious usurpation of public and private wealth.   

The designers of the modern system of robbery somehow wanted to whitewash the systemic collapse of 2008 as moral/ethical lapse, as opposed to unconstitutional laws they had established to loot public and private wealth globally.  The attempt to whitewash such a disaster awoke me (during 2009-2012) to discover that immorality–that can be formally defined as transgression of some religious scripture–could also be unconstitutional if the thrust of Gita is juxtaposed with that of the modern constitution. I then wrote on the consistency between morality and constitutionality and how morality/constitutionality is necessary for economic efficiency, stability and fundamental fairness.[3]  This article was heavily downloaded.  It may have then prompted a professor at the Chicago University (which has been the epicenter of modern management and economics) to write a book to denigrate Krishna as some amoral sexual creature.  This led me to write to a rejoinder: “Origin and Triumph of the Philosophy of Modern Constitution,” that I submitted to the US Congress and President as well as Indian leaders.[4]

The US Congress has found through its Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in 2011 that the systemic crash of 2008 was due to a failure of experts and industry honchos trained by the top modern management schools and economics departments.  So we have Congressional sanction to adopt the unanimously agreeable philosophy of governance.  This is necessary to attain academic freedom and freer co-existence of humans.

[3]Acharya, S. (2012), “Legality, Morality, Constitutionality and Economic Efficiency,”,%20Morality,%20Constitutionality%20and%20Economic%20Efficiency.html