Dave Brat Runs A $500,000 Program To Push Ayn Rand's Ideas At College
Dave Brat, who stunned Washington, D.C. by upsetting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) in a primary Tuesday, is a college professor. At Randolph-Macon College, a small Virginia liberal arts school, Brat chairs the economics and business department.
But he does more than that.
Brat is also the director of the school's BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism Program, a bank-branded program intended to give "free-market principles" -- and Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism in particular -- a leg up in the classroom.
Objectivism is based partly on Rational Egoism:
In ethical philosophy, rational egoism (also called rational selfishness) is the principle that an action is rational if and only if it maximizes one's self-interest. The view is a normative form of egoism. However, it is different from other forms of egoism, such as ethical egoism and psychological egoism. While psychological egoism is about motivation and ethical egoism is about morality, rational egoism is a view about rationality (where rationality may or may not be tied to morality). Ethical egoism is also different from amoralism.
While I see very clearly how Conservatives and Libertarians would subscribe to such a philosophy, as they are all about self-interest first, and spend most of their time rationalizing it, I cannot for the life of me see how a Christian (Brat even holds a divinity degree from Princeton Seminary) could ever do the same.
The person their religion is based upon, once said:
◄ Matthew 19:21 ►
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
While one may argue that this statement DOES in fact preach the furthering of one's self-interest, in the sense that it offers rewards TO THE INDIVIDUAL for ascribing to its tenets.
These rewards are NOT MATERIAL, and do not provide earthly pleasure.
But Rational Egoism:
Rational egoism is discussed by the nineteenth-century English philosopher Henry Sidgwick in The Methods of Ethics. A method of ethics is "any rational procedure by which we determine what individual human beings 'ought' – or what it is 'right' for them – to do, or seek to realize by voluntary action". Sidgwick considers three such procedures, namely, rational egoism, dogmatic intuitionism, and utilitarianism. Rational egoism is the view that, if rational, "an agent regards quantity of consequent pleasure and pain to himself alone important in choosing between alternatives of action; and seeks always the greatest attainable surplus of pleasure over pain"
I would say that Brat's victory provides us a great opportunity to drive a wedge between Christians and selfish capitalists, if it weren't for the fact that these two philosophies reside together in the person of one David Brat, Congressman-elect.
Can someone tell me how a Christian believes in the morality of the pursuit of self-interest as pertains to personal pleasure? While following the teachings of Jesus?
Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) is a Christian religious doctrine that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always increase one's material wealth. Based on non-traditional interpretations of the Bible, often with emphasis on the Book of Malachi, the doctrine views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver his promises of security and prosperity. Confessing these promises to be true is perceived as an act of faith, which God will honor.
Remember, Brat is a man who endorses slashing Medicare and Social Security payouts to seniors by two-thirds, while at the same time pushing Ayn Rand's "philosophy"
Remember, today's Conservatives make it a point of demonizing poverty, and the poor.
Remember, if the Conservative Christians were actually taking care of the poor, then the poor wouldn't need the government's help at all.
I'm not a Christian, but goddammit why aren't Christians using scripture to shame these hypocrites? Why are they always allowing the New Pharisees to claim all the press? Where ARE you people? Why are you letting people like David Brat skate free with his horrible theology?
SPEAK the FUCK UP!!!!!!!!!