Rand and the academy

This story generates a question. Or really, several questions: first, how many colleges or universities have programs that focus on the work of Ayn Rand? Second, what do such programs say or suggest about the institutions that house them?

The argument from the libertarian side seems to be that most departments in the humanities and social sciences marginalize Rand because her ideas are unusually provocative and dangerous to our liberal campus Potemkin villages. We don't teach Rand because we're "afraid" of the truth of her vision. The reality is probably more painful. Rand's work doesn't belong on the syllabus next to Marx, Nietzsche and Freud because it isn’t in the same league. The fact that it is appearing on syllabi outside of the field of economics indicates outside pressure.

If an art history program suddenly announced the creation of a program of Thomas Kinkade studies, or special hire of a Kinkade scholar, we would think something was amiss. Wouldn't we?

Robert Geroux is a political theorist.

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