Thursday, July 05, 2012

Allison Takes Over the Cato Institute for the Koches

John Allison
John Allison, the CEO of BB&T in Winston-Salem, served as a member of Appalachian State University's Board of Trustees for two four-year terms, from 1997 to 2005. He was -- and still is, believe us! -- a strict devotee of Ayn Rand's "objectivist" philosophy that greed is good, the weak are expendable, and everything has a price.

During his tenure on the ASU Board of Trustees, he dangled several hundred thousand dollars in front of the chancellor in an attempt to buy a chunk of the curriculum, which is to say, Allison would see that ASU got the money if ASU guaranteed that its students would be forced to read and study Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." That plan came to grief when the faculty got wind that their intellectual freedoms were up for sale.

Allison subsequently subverted scholarly freedom at a number of colleges, including Guildford College and Western Carolina University in North Carolina, proving indeed that everything does have a price, at least some of the time.

To find him now allied with the Koch bros. and taking over the Cato Institute is not altogether surprising.


Michael R. Brown said...

You're incorrect about what Rand believed. For one thing, she didn't believe any class was "expendable" - she did not believe in classes. So you're completely distorted right there.

Anonymous said...

No one of educational substance gives a shit about what Ann Rand believed; even her writing was third rate.

Anonymous said...

"No one of educational substance gives a shit about what Ann Rand believed; even her writing was third rate."

I guess this is why her book is considered a classic.

brotherdoc said...

Mein Kampf is a classic too, Anon. Classic cr*p. Plenty of others out there too but Rand is in a class by herself.

amjp said...

Not every critic agrees that Rand's books are "classic."
Ann Rand = Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum. She waw born in Russia in 1905 to middle-class Jewish parents. It's possible that her strong advocation of capitalism derived from the way her family was treated by the new Communist government. However, a local and well respected author, with a similar background, does not maintain similar ideas.

Anonymous said...

Ann Rand? Any relation to Ayn? Or is it just someone without "educational substance" trying to discuss a topic without having any knowledge of it?

Anonymous said...

So what if everyone does not consider Rand's work to be classic? There are a lot of damned souls on this blog that hate the Bible. People do not agree o anything.

amjp said...

Just a spelling mistake. I'd be glad to compare "educational substance" with you at any time. I bet you didn't even know she was born in Russia.

Anonymous said...

amjp.....are you the Anon at 9:44 PM I was responding to?

If so, please share with us your definition of "educational substance" as in..."No one of educational substance gives a shit..."

Too many trolls on this board confuse "intelligence"...with ability to Google.

Russia, huh?

Not Really said...

I don't think Rand's books are widely considered to be "classics". And since I don't tend to like books that are constantly hitting you over the head with the author's agenda and worldview, I didn't personally enjoy Atlas Shrugged or Anthem very much, and I couldn't even make it through The Fountainhead. However, Rand's books are emblematic of a certain mindset (objectivism) and a certain time period (the cold war) and as such are perhaps worthy of study.

That said, no one should be trying to buy a college curriculum for purposes of indoctrination. If a professor of philosophy or literature feels that it's appropriate to assign one of Rand's works, fine. But they are the experts in their fields and a banker should not be dictating what they teach. Sadly, thanks to Citizens United the richest of the rich in this country are well on their way to buying elections. Let's not let them buy our educational system too.

Anonymous said...

And most people who find much of great beauty, thoughtfulness, and joy in the Bible find absolutely nothing to commend itself in Ayn Rand's "philosophy".

Anonymous said...

And most people who find much of great beauty, thoughtfulness, and joy in the Bible find absolutely nothing to commend itself in Ayn Rand's "philosophy".

And your proof for this statement is What?

amjp said...

anon. @ 9:44a.m.
Answer: "No."
I'm not sure I know what you or others mean by "educational substance," but, if you wish, I could provide some credentials (e.g., IQ, individually administered = +140; Ph.D.; and would you like a reading list?)

Anonymous said...

People who profess to be Christians loving Ayn Rand - she would probably be horrified! Rand was an atheist. Here's what she had to say about religion in an interview with Playboy:

Playboy: Has no religion, in your estimation, ever offered anything of constructive value to human life?

Ayn Rand: Qua religion, no - in the sense of blind belief, belief unsupported by, or contrary to, the facts of reality and the conclusions of reason. Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. But you must remember that religion is an early form of philosophy, that the first attempts to explain the universe, to give a coherent frame of reference to man's life and a code of moral values, were made by religion, before men graduated or developed enough to have philosophy. And, as philosophies, some religions have very valuable moral points. They may have a good influence or proper principles to inculcate, but in a very contradictory context and, on a very - how should I say it? - dangerous or malevolent base: on the ground of faith.


Oh, and here are her views on abortion:

"An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?”

I swear, half the people (maybe more) who claim to follow Rand's philosophy don't even understand it.

Anonymous said...

Nobody said Rand was Christian. The point was people do not even agree on the Bible.

Get some reading comprehension classes.

Anonymous said...

Forget Rand--I didn't know about the Koch connection and BB&T has my mortgage. I must refinance immediately! None of my money must end up in this man's hands.