Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oh Gaia! Not Logic and Reason on OUR Campuses!

Below: My idea for an "anti-Che" t-shirt. Does not go well with saggy pants.

"We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality." - Ayn Rand

"The only real moral crime that one man can commit against another is the attempt to create, by his words or actions, an impression of the contradictory, the impossible, the irrational, and thus shake the concept of rationality in his victim." - Ibid.

Consider the plight of a beggar. The beggar's existence is reliant upon the productivity and generousity of others. If others are not productive, they have nothing of value of which to show generousity. Now consider that certain conditions are expected of the beggar in return for the exchange. For example, that he get himself groomed, buy some decent clothes and (gasp!) try to find a job. The beggar accepts your donation, but then damns you for the conditions under which he recieves it.

Well, not suprisingly, it is our institutions of "higher learning" that are in such a snit over a scenario that parallels the above. John Allison, CEO of BB&T Financial Holdings, has offered millions in donations to university business schools with just one stipulation - that Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged be required reading in some curricula. This has liberal professors (i.e., people without the hope or skills to find gainful employment in the private sector) peeing in each others' pants. The title of this article says it all from a "progressive" point of view. They love the money but are screaming chastity raped about the conditions of its acceptance. Compare and contrast the same story from an objective point of view here.

Virtually all charitable contributions have stipulations, wether it be to build or rennovate buildings on the campus or create or fund a specific curriculum, or even give the funds to programs for students based on sex, race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. We never hear people howling about that, let alone after accepting the money for such tomfoolery. But require a certain book in a curriculum (which, by the way, is far less expensive than textbooks required for other courses - ten years ago, my chemistry, physics and biology texts put me out of more than $200, as opposed to less than 10 bucks for a paperback copy of Atlas Shrugged) and all hell breaks loose.

Atlas Shrugged is a work of fiction - maybe they could argue on that matter and refuse the donation. Alas, for the insatiable desire for OPM (Other People's Money) they could no more refuse it than a crackhead could turn down a $20 rock. Rand poses a threat to the elites in their ivory towers which are overwhelmingly leftist, collectivist and downright irrational - which are all attacked in Rand's works as not only dangerous to free markets, but destructive to the individual mind itself, or what remains of it. One of my roommates at Auburn was an economics major, and as part of the curriculum had to take a course in economics of the Eastern Bloc (the USSR had yet to go flat broke). The Communist Manifesto was required reading, and nobody threw a hissy fit. I don't think it really indoctrinated anyone, but certainly helped to identify the roots of failure in centrally planned economies (probably not the professor's intention).

Like the mental midget celebrities who lamented Bush's tax cuts "for the rich" and then boasted about what charities they were going to give the paltry sum to, they should have sent it back to that which gave them the funds to begin with - the federal government, since basically their point was that government knows far better to do with that money than the individual. So to recover any remaining modicum of credibility or consistency, the universites accepting the donations from BB&T should just shut the hell up. Those who have a problem with the conditions of acceptance should politely refuse and complain all they like.

Maybe this is what the disgruntled academics would rather assign to their students:


Anonymous said...

On the video: There is NO WAY that dude read every word/page of Atlas. If he hated it that much, he did NOT read every word of Galt's speech, for one thing.

John Donohue

Joseph Sixpack said...

Atlas Shrugged was one of the few pieces of fiction that was actually able to capture my interest, in spite of the poor editing. Captivating good story.

Regarding the disputes over how to spend OPM, Yale University actually gave back $20 million to Lee Bass because he wanted to be able to approve the faculty appointments for new Western Civilization courses - not choose the faculty member, but simply approve whomever the University proposed to teach the courses. This was after the university waffled for years on even setting up the Western Civilization program. To teach about such a bigoted, homophobic, imperialistic, evil civilization that has exacted such horrors upon the world, such as foreign aid, food, security, freedom - oh, the horror! Yale wanted the money but just couldn't bring themselves to teach about such obscenities.

This is actually back in the news today. See here in the NY Slimes.

Boo said...

Help me! I am trapped in a hippie coffee shop that reeks of patchouli. Gotta go.