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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?

Here's how:

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!!!!!!!!!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    "Republicans: the party that brought us 'Just Say No.' First as a drug policy, then as their entire platform." ---Stephen Colbert

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:36:48 AM PDT

  •  These Goons Have Never Visited the Anthropology (6+ / 0-)

    department where they might learn that homo sapiens is a social species, for which altruistic behavior is long evolved and is more adaptive than individualism in many situations.

    After all, we don't punish prisoners by making them hang out in a group. We punish them with solitary confinement, making them live as a pure individual. The ultimate act shaming in society is --anyone?-- --Beuhler??-- shunning, condemning one to live alone away from the group, as a pure individual.

    There isn't a whole lot of observation to Randianism is there?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:46:03 AM PDT

    •  ahh but we can still use this: just say s-e-x. (0+ / 0-)

      If rational egoism calls for maximization of pleasure, then just quote the religious righties who claim, with much consternation, that gay sex is so overwhelmingly pleasurable compared to straight sex, that it's "addictive like dope!"

      Yes, more gay sex.  If Rand can overcome Paul re. "love of money is the root of all evil," surely she can overcome Leviticus' pesky prohibitionisms!

      Speaking of dope, rational egotism should be all in favor of marijuana, the more the merrier.  

      Best of all, pot combined with gay sex.

      OK, now let's see Spoiled Brat and his pals try to work their way out of that one, without having to work their way out of their mixed-fabric suits and shellfish dinners too.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:03:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Someone on Gawker suggested we use "Aynal" (12+ / 0-)

    instead of "Randian". I'm down with that.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:46:29 AM PDT

  •  The bizarre arranged marriage (5+ / 0-)

    of Christianity and "Objectivism" has it's roots in the Second Great Awakening, and is one of the things that makes this country stranger than fiction.

    Ultimately, it's all kind of a big misunderstanding about the nature of the individual.

  •  hmm... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, terabytes, G2geek, mcstowy
    Brat is also the director of the school's BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism Program
    Florida State University
    Student Affiliates

    --Two to five 4-year Charles G. Koch Graduate Fellowships are available to fund PhD students affiliated with SPEFE. These students will have limited work requirements, but will be assigned as TAs or RAs for SPEFE or EEE faculty.
    --A one-year BB&T Dissertation Fellowship are also available annually to support PhD students working with SPEFE faculty.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 12:15:19 PM PDT

    •  what to do about that: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Infiltrate the program, collect the $$, play along, make the expected noises, and then for your final project, your thesis or dissertation or whatever, produce something with truly flawless reasoning in favor of socialism.

      Yee.  Haww.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:06:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Charles Koch bought FSU Economics dept. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terabytes, G2geek, mcstowy
    Dec. 2013.....A foundation funded by Koch gave $1.5 million to the school’s economics department in 2008, in exchange for Koch having the power to select members of an “advisory committee” that screens prospective new hires. A year later, Koch reportedly rejected 60 percent of job candidates suggested by FSU faculty.
    April 2014.....FSU officials initially denied he (Koch) had that type of power (hire/fire professors) on campus, but a Faculty Senate review determined the agreement with Koch had several troublesome features. The school vowed to fix the agreement and the story soon disappeared from the headlines.
    Except Wilson and other students kept bugging the school about the revised agreement. When they finally saw it, they discovered Koch's influence was not entirely neutered, and they wrote an op-ed in the Tallahassee Democrat voicing their concerns.

    ....The economics department will continue to follow the university's normal hiring procedures and will be free to hire anyone it sees fit. Once the offer has been made, however, Koch will be allowed to pull the funding if he is not happy with FSU's choice. If that happens, the school will then be on the hook for that professor's salary

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 12:17:47 PM PDT

  •  Where you at?!!! (0+ / 0-)

    I recently heard said…

    LRod—UID 238035
    ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired
    My ATC site
    My Norm's Tools site

    by exatc on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 12:59:03 PM PDT

  •  How can a college course (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of study be based on stories from a children's book?

  •  He's also a howling, arm-waving (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    zealot who receives his instructions from The Invisible One orbiting overhead in the Mother Ship.

    The 7th... electoral cesspool.

  •  Somebody needs to teach this guy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terabytes, G2geek, mcstowy

    ...that 2008 absolutely blew up Rand's economics.  And I was a 20-year-long Rand fanatic.

    Rand acolyte Greenspan still doesn't know what the fuck went wrong.

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 04:37:12 PM PDT

    •  those who forget history or repudiate it... (0+ / 0-)

      .... are condemned to be reincarnated as earthworms to churn up the compost from it.

      Good that you were able to see what was going on when the economy crashed.  Putting observable facts before theories = for-real objectivity and rationalism.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:13:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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