Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Libertarians attempt to dominate a college

The New Yorker has a story (Ayn Rand comes to UNC) on the chilling effects right-wing politics are having on the University of North Carolina. And as always, Libertarians are looking for a chance to shove the incoherent, poorly-sourced "philosophy" of a crackpot hack novelist down the throats of young Americans:
The other reformist front is a call to revive the Great Books model of humanities education: literature and philosophy as a source of eternal truths, dating back to Plato, passing through John Locke, and perfected by Ayn Rand and the libertarian economist Friedrich Hayek. A Pope Center research paper published this year describes a “renewal in the university” through privately funded programs dedicated to teaching the great books untainted by relativism. The report devotes a great deal of attention to programs dedicated to “the morality of capitalism,” which have been founded at sixty-two public and private colleges and universities. Many of these programs, which are often housed within business schools or economics or political science departments, were funded over the past fifteen years by North Carolina-based BB&T Bank, under its former president John Allison, who is now the C.E.O. of the Cato Institute. In a 2012 statement, Allison explained that he funded the programs to “retake the universities” from “statist/collectivist ideas.” He also noted that training students in the morality of capitalism is “clearly in our shareholders’ long-term best interest.”
The Cato Institute founded by the Charles Koch foundation, is where the most extreme aspects of Ayn Rand's economic beliefs are retained (best summed up as "the poor are moochers") but her atheism and progressive social views on abortion (this May they published a piece by Nat Hentoff, staunch abortion opponent, entitled bizarrely Certain U.S. Abortions Tear The Fetus Apart, ISIS-Style - I confess I didn't realize Hentoff was still alive)  and personal habits are thrown away, so you get the worst of the worst.

I've mentioned the John Allison indoctrination program before.