April 29, 2012

Target practice

I admit it. There are few things in the world that I love whacking more than the bull****... I mean ideology of Ayn Rand. By chance last week, I stumbled upon this article from the Parthenon, campus paper at my alma mater Marshall University, about the controversy still surrounding its acceptance a few years ago of a million or so dollars from the big bank BB&T to teach an economics class in Randian garbage.

I couldn't help but respond in the following letter to the editor:

 I read with interest the Parthenon article discussing the controversy of Marshall’s acceptance of BB&T money to indoctrinate students in Ayn Rand’s “philosophy.”
There are any number of ironies here. First, Rand didn’t believe that places like Marshall should exist at all. In a 1964 Playboy interview, she stated that “My position is fully consistent. Not only the post office, but streets, roads, and above all, schools, should all be privately owned and privately run.” She also would have opposed the several kinds of publicly provided financial aid that Marshall students receive.
It also establishes a disturbing precedent. Suppose some other billionaire or corporation wants to plop down another million or two to establish a chair to advocate for, say, white supremacy or female circumcision or any other loopy ideology. Is money the only thing that matters? Should Marshall cave every time somebody waves some cash? If so, there’s a word for that and it isn’t education.

I wish I could have been a little nastier in the letter, but 20+ years of working for a Quaker organization kind of ruined me.

AUSTERITY is overrated.

UNEMPLOYMENT, its costs and possible remedies are discussed here.

SITTING  is bad for your health.

WAY TO GO, BOB. Dylan is a winner of the presidential medal of freedom.


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