One of the best signs of being a decent person, rather than an asshole, is the willingness to laugh at your own side in politics.
In that spirit, I hope that Objectivists and large-L libertarians won't mind if I laugh at this story, discovered courtesy of Alex Knapp of Outside the Beltway, about Founders College: an institution of higher learning designed for followers of Ayn Rand that went out of business because, in part, it could not pay its bills, could not attract enough students, and couldn't get federal funding in the form of taxpayer-backed student loans:
Founders College, in rural South Boston, Va., was pitched as a sort of Great Books college for devotees of Ayn Rand. And while the for-profit college was never accredited, it operated with authorization from Virginia to issue degrees.
. . .
Where most colleges saw degrees, [Gary L. Hull] saw a hodgepodge of classes and incoherent goals. He hoped to create an objectivist college where all students would have the same academic foundation and be taught to think rationally.
Apparently Founders' founders thought that thinking rationally means creating the appearance of success and indulging students in free education whilst sponging of of land-owning men of ability:
Around that time, the previous owners of the Berry Hill resort [where the college was built] were awarded a judgment of just over $3-million against the college for not paying a loan for the property, according to court documents.
None of the students at Founders, with the exception of Ms. Tong, were paying anywhere close to full tuition or room and board. Some were on full scholarships, they say, and others simply weren't paying, or paying very little, until they heard more about their eligibility for federal aid. Still, in the beginning, the students were living in resort-style rooms and eating gourmet meals.
"Friday nights were jazz nights, and we were able to sit with the public and order filet mignon and scallops," says Ms. Tong.
Based on this, it sounds as if any number of my clients are faithful Objectivists. Who knew?
Actually, I posted this not so much because it is funny but because I thought it would make Ezra happy.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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