Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Right Randy Little Devils

Paul Krugman highlights a remarkable ideological intervention in US higher education by the disciples of hard right 'philosopher' and 'novelist' Ayn Rand. In her works Rand provided a pseudo-philosophical rationalisation and justification for the greedy selfishness of the very rich and as such she has always attracted a substantial following among the very rich and those who desire to be very rich. Now the adherents of her cult are paying for the inclusion of her work in the syllabuses of US higher education.
This is of course nothing new; ever since noted C.19th monopolist Joseph Wharton threw a gigantic sum of money at the University of Pennsylvania in 1881 to teach his ideology of monopoly and protectionism the 'western world' has been filling up with capitalist ideological apparatus called Business Schools (in the US idiom of higher education of course) each named for the relevant Patrick Bateman analogue that granted them financial life. The point is that 'the right' have to pay to get their ideological tracts into education because no one interested in education would use them willingly because such screeds are pedagogical rubbish. Consider the point that one short article by Althusser - on Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses - perfectly explains the need of the right to construct such ideological institutions and how they function in and on society whilst nothing on the right explains anything at all.
It has long been the case that 'the left' has held dominion over large parts of education and the reasons for this are many and varied but the bankruptcy, either moral or intellectual or both, of the so-called intellectuals of 'the right' must be something to do with it.

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