Blogger’s Note: This evening I received this following letter from a faculty member at Brown, who desires to remain anonymous to hide the fact that they are fictitious. In accordance with their wishes, I reproduce it in full here:
I recently wrote a letter to the wonderful organization UnKoch My Campus in which I criticized the funding of higher education by the billionaire industrialists and international men of mystery Charles and David Koch. As many are now waking to realize these peddlers of free trade and voluntary transactions are secretly infiltrating American higher education through shadowy front organizations named after themselves. As a faculty member at Brown I am particularly outraged by their funding of the Political Theory Project at MY university, the place where I drink my Fair Trade coffee and Think Deep Thoughts.
In response to my outrage several Koch operatives/minions/lackeys have dared to criticize my view, thereby demonstrating that they do not understand it. To help them see the light I have deigned to clarify some of my points:
- I BELIEVE THAT BROWN FRESHMAN ARE REALLY F*CKING STUPID. I noted that John Tomasi–the “libertarian” professor associated with this “project”–said of his freshman students that “after a whole semester of Hayek, it’s hard to shake them off that perspective over the next four years”. This statement proves just how insidious the Koch approach is. Brown’s Freshmen are just like impressionable new-hatched ducklings, latching on to whichever idea they encounter in college first, unable ever to critically assess it and discard it. That’s why it’s crucial that they be exposed ONLY to the Right (i.e., Left) Ideas, so it will be these that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. If we’re not careful here we’re setting ourselves up for a repeat of the unfortunate events of 2012, when Swift’s *Modest Proposal* was required reading for the entering class.
- NANCY MACLEAN IS ALWAYS RIGHT. Some people have objected to my repeating Nancy Maclean’s claim that libertarian ideas owe much to the “bitter resistance of wealthy white southerners to Federal government ‘interference’ in slavery and segregation”. They have noted (in true neoliberal fashion!) that many of her foundational claims are “dubious,” “made up,” and “wrong“. In response to the Koch operatives and shills that draw on such outdated and neoliberal methods as “checking the sources” and “reading the original texts” to press these charges I will point out that these claims do not fit with my preferred narrative, and are therefore false.
- I AM NOT AN INTELLECTUAL COWARD! Some people might criticize me for publishing my attack anonymously. But there is a long and distinguished tradition in American political life of publishing arguments anonymously so that their readers can focus on their content, and not be distracted by their source. I thus feel fully justified in anonymously publishing my argument that we should only look at the source of the funding of the Political Theory Project, and refuse to engage with the content of the arguments it presents.
An Anonymous Faculty Member at Brown