Principles

  • The Free University combines the academic rigour of a traditional university with the open discussions of a philosophical salon.
  • The Free University stands for radical equality: the a priori belief in universal equality and possibilities of emancipation.
  • The Free University is free and accessible. It remains politically and economically autonomous from political parties and organisations, government, private bodies, universities and NGOs.
  • The Free University is based on the belief that people have the responsibility to seek and engage with knowledge. Learning is an act of will and empowerment.
  • The Free University is an alternative to the exclusive and outcome orientated education sector, enabling the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, and thereby freedom.

2 Comments

  1. Hi guys – took me awhile to find this comments section, and not sure this is the blog, does MFU have one yet?

    Anyway, a bit of feedback on Wed night’s discussion (workers strikes, etc in China). Based on the 3 or 4 MFU discussions I have been to, and the fact that there does appear to be a moderator at each session, I would suggest you do more of that – i.e., actively moderate the contributions of the various people who attend.

    What I sat through on Wed night was not a discussion, it appeared to be the ideal platform for a very few people to vent about various things that were important to them. What was worse, they spoke in a language almost exclusive to themselves – for example, it was difficult to make head or tails of one treatise about communism I was forced to listen to – the langauge as well as the subject matter is highly specialised and, more importantly, was not what I came to do/hear.

    I came to listen to a lecture and have a discussion.

    The speaker made some interesting points; however, the evening overall was a frustrating experience. I would have liked to have a discussion with him – and no doubt other people in the room also interested in a discussion – about my different POV based on my own experience of China. Maybe next time…;-)

    PS I wonder if you could pass on an ‘alternative text’ suggestion to others that might be interested (I could do this on the blog, but there doesn’t appear to be one?) – Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man. This lecture inspired me to read it again.

  2. Hello again – I am now ‘replying’ to myself, sorry that I haven’t worked out how this works, I’m not very up on all the social media stuff…

    Anyway, my re-read of Fukuyama bore some fruit: I think the chapter particularly relevant to China is 20, when he begins to discuss culture in relation to the emergence of liberal democracy in postmodern states. Presumably this is the ‘grassroots organisation’ to which the lecturer on Wed referred (I wasn’t able to confirm this, as my communist and other fellow lecture-go’ers had more pressing topics to discuss): that is, the working class movement currently developing in China in the form of ‘strike waves,’ etc represents the emergence of a desire for liberal forms of political organisation (e.g., a democratic state) just as much as a demand for better working conditions, higher wages, etc.

    Is that what was meant?

    Fukuyama’s point in chapter 20 is that culture plays a role in how all of this plays out. That is, “culture – in the form of resistance to the transformation of certain traditional values to those of democracy – can constitute an obstacle to democratization.”

    This might lead to an interesting discussion…?