My library will go to the Mises Institute. Let me explain why.
The Mises Institute has very bright summer interns: Ph.D. candidates working on their dissertations. It brings in scholars to assist them. But I hesitated. The Auburn University library is across the street, and it is a fine library. The Institute is not in the wilderness. Also, my library has a lot of history books in it. These are supplemental to the main task of the Mises Institute. Not many economists are gifted historians, the way Murray Rothbard was. He would have loved it.
I thought my books might be accessed by more students at a college, especially one in the boondocks, where students and faculty have no access to a research library. I had three in mind. But all three of them turned down my offer.
Most important, I thought my books would aid the work of faculty members. They have a major task: to conduct a war in the battle for ideas. This war is well understood by the humanists. It has been going on in the West for as long as there has been a West. The humanists have the state on their side: tax-funded education and state-enforced accreditation governing higher education: the right to call an institution a college or university.
The typical faculty member at a fundamentalist college faces a task rather like the task faced by the Israelites after the Pharaoh declared that they would be required to gather their own straw to make bricks. Faculty members must buy their own books. They get little help from librarians, because colleges spend most of the library budget on bricks and mortal, not books. When you hear the phrase “bricks without straw,” think “libraries without books.”
A tiny handful of families shell out $30,000 a year to send a child to a fundamentalist college. They deplete their retirement savings to do this. But they do not have a clear understanding of what their children are getting for the parents’ money. They do not understand the following.
WHAT KIND OF COLLEGE?
Because my collection is heavily oriented towards history and social science, with a fairly substantial collection of theological materials, I had thought that it would be a good addition to the library of any of a number of Christian colleges.
Fundamentalist colleges are more conservative theologically and politically than neo-evangelical schools. Neo-evangelical schools teach the worldview of secular humanism with respect to social and economic theory. The best book on this was written over 20 years ago: James Davidson Hunter’s Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation. That generation is now here.
This begins at the high school level. The outlook of most graduates of evangelical Protestant high schools ($5,000 to $10,000 a year) is the same as that of public school graduates. This has been documented every year for 25 years by the PEERs test. Read about it here.
(For the rest of my article, click the link.)