Opinion
Professor addresses response to Eudaimonia
Old Gold & Black
By
Letter to the editor
Thursday, April 13, 2017

To the Editor:

One might have thought that the 181 signatures of faculty members on a petition requesting that Wake Forest separate itself from the Koch Foundation would have been enough. 

One might have thought that the careful, thorough analysis of the Wake Forest Senate subcommittee studying our relationship to the Koch Foundation — urging us to sever all ties to it, giving  them back their funds — would have been enough. 

One might have assumed that the subcommittee’s report — even if it was driven by “neo-Marxists” whose main goal is to undermine the quality of education at Wake Forest — demonstrated the ways in which Koch money compromises our ideals and does little more than allow the Koch Foundation to add Wake Forest to the list of institutions that will sell their souls for a mess of pottage.

One might have thought that the onslaught of heavily biased attacks on the attempt to separate Wake Forest from the Koch Foundation (in an editorial by John Hood in the Winston-Salem Journal, in the Chronicle of Higher Education, in the Wall Street Journal and in various other journals and papers whose comments were invariably written by individuals whose funding came from extreme-right sources) would have demonstrated the pitfalls of being in hock to an organization whose main goal is to seed the world with its “open markets” viewpoint. 

One might have thought that the various false narratives that have been provided in an attempt to demonstrate the ways in which the Eudaimonia Institute existed well before any connections to the Koch Foundation would have alerted the administration to the ruses to which it was exposing the university. 

One might have thought that the year-long inclination on the part of the administration to provide irrelevant assurances about the integrity of the Eudaimonia Institute — when the question concerns the funding of the Institute rather than its stated purpose — might have led it to realize that its evasion of the main problem — that the Koch money pollutes the university and degrades our mission — would have led it to realize the mistake that has been made.  But no.

-Jim Hans, English Department

  • Ted_Levy

    One might have thought intellectual freedom still meant something to the English Department of Wake Forest…

    • Zac Gochenour

      They’ve long since given up even the pretense of caring about academic freedom. One might have thought they’d have some shame. But no.

      • tdaly

        Zax is a George Mason Graduate (Koch U). and was an assistant at the Koch funded Mercatus Center

    • Phil Magness

      One might have thought that succinct, coherent, and minimally intelligible writing still meant something to the English Department at Wake Forest…

      “One might have thought that the year-long inclination on the part of the administration to provide irrelevant assurances about the integrity of the Eudaimonia Institute — when the question concerns the funding of the Institute rather than its stated purpose — might have led it to realize that its evasion of the main problem — that the Koch money pollutes the university and degrades our mission — would have led it to realize the mistake that has been made.”

      But no.

      • tdaly

        a historian based at George Mason University

        • seanwmalone

          And?

          • tdaly

            Have you noticed a pattern of those commenting. It is the Koch network – even someone from the Mises institute should be able to figure it out – follow the money

          • seanwmalone

            The pattern is simple… Steve & Phil are friends (and friends of mine), and shared this link on Facebook.

            Mystery solved.

          • seanwmalone

            I can promise you, no one was paid to come here and comment on this garbage. Nor would we have needed to be.

          • tdaly

            Really – you know all these people that well?

          • Troy Camplin

            An inability to understand networks is why he’s still a 19th century psuedoscholar. He can’t imagine any process outside of reductionism, central planning, and conspiracies.

  • Fernando Teson

    One might have thought that Stalinism woukd never rear its ugly head i America. But no.

    • tdaly

      Blogs at “Bleeding Heart Libertarians.” with Steve Horwitz above –

      • Phil Magness

        Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Sherlock Holmes has arrived!

        • tdaly

          a historian based at George Mason University – Why is GMU so interested in WFU? Koch pays the bills

          • Steve Horwitz

            Because we oppose academic stalinism and we support academic freedom, including for people we disagree with, btw.

  • Steve Horwitz

    One might have thought that critics could produce one shred evidence of the supposed damage the Koch money has done.

    One might have thought that adding more voices to campus dialogue would be one core goal of liberal educators.

    One might have thought that tolerance of one’s colleagues’ research interests and grant seeking would be fundamental to academic freedom.

    One might have thought a lot of things. The anti-Koch crowd seems to generally fail at critical thinking.

    • ralph wilson

      One might expect Koch funded academics like yourself to disclose that fact. Guess not.
      Your intellectual integrity aside, here are a hundred shreds of evidence, bit.ly/fsubook.
      If you were willing to engage the ideas presented by the critics, you’d have noticed that the faculty report is pretty substantial as well.
      The Koch-crowd is pretty awful at addressing the topic at hand or acknowledging evidence presented, as it makes it hard to snark their way through an empty criticism.

      • Steve Horwitz

        Clearly I’m not hiding anything, as you quickly found out all about me – just as we know all about your Stalinism.

        The faculty report is, mostly, a crock of crap.

        And, for the record, my salary has been paid for the last 28 years by St. Lawrence University. They pay me not one dime of Koch money. I have a Koch funded grant there, all of which goes to pay for activities to benefit students. What exactly have you done to forward the learning and careers of young people?

        Smearing faculty and assaulting academic freedom don’t count.

      • Steve Horwitz

        Who’s paying for those flights to Maui Ralph? Transparency is a two way street.

    • tdaly

      Steve is a graduate of George Mason U and is also an Affiliated Senior Scholar of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The center is Koch funded and Charles Koch is on the Board of Directors.

  • One would at least like to think that nobody would believe that the mere collection of signatures (and from less than 1/3 of the faculty) would be sufficient to suppress academic freedom by shutting down a research institute.

    • tdaly

      Getting faculty to do anything together is like herding cats. Getting 1/3 is quite an achievement. I only wish it was a researcher institute, you should read Dark Money – look at the index for ” Otteson”. From Dark Money, The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right he (Otteson) has a close connection to the Koch organizations

      • Tdaly, I’m an academic myself. I understand how academic processes work. Getting 1/3 of faculty to sign a petition against anything non-liberal is not a challenge. And even if it were, a minority petition is no basis for policy making.

        Your purely ad hominem responses to other commenters reflect poorly on you. You should be able to argue a proper rebuttal if you are reasonably well educated, and recognize the logical fallacy you are employing.

        • tdaly

          Identifying commentators associated with the Koch network is not an ad hominem attack (unless they are ashamed or it)- however your response above is an ad hominem attack and reflects poorly on you..

          • Steve Horwitz

            Actually it is. You are claiming our arguments are wrong because of who we are or the (false) claim that we stand to benefit from our positions, not because of the substance.

            Phil has issued the challenge to show actual empirical evidence of Koch money restricting people’s academic freedom. Until you do so, you are the ones on the hot seata.

          • tdaly

            I am commenting on these links because i have found out that article written on this subject in Chronicle of Higher Ed, WSJ, The Weekly Standard, The James G Marting Center for Academic Renewal, National Review, The College Fix, Jefferson Post, and the Carolina Journal is a contrived national-media flurry. Just like these comments.

  • Troy Camplin

    One might have thought that English disagreements would not be bastions of illiberal thought and enemies of free speech. But then, one might have thought they would be familiar enough with history to know that Marxism is evil incarnate. Hating freedom, hating facts, hating argument, hating life, hating beauty, hating justice, hating everything good in the world is all It seems one finds in any of your “thought.”

    • tdaly

      Another commentator from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Another one from the Koch network.

      • Troy Camplin

        I am? Are you always this sloppy in your research?

        • tdaly

          Sorry James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal (formerly the Pope Center) No need to tell the people in NC about Art Pope

          • Troy Camplin

            Yes, I have had articles published there. What’s your point? I have published articles in a variety of places. If any of them are supported by Koch money, I never cared enough to find out.

            Do you ever address actual facts and arguments, or it is all attempted ad hominems?

      • Troy Camplin

        When one doesn’t have the facts on one’s side, one makes it a point to attempt to smear one’s opponents. Guilt by association, that sort of thing. Don’t address the arguments, but attempt to discredit the person making the argument.

        Wake Forest should be ashamed at having such people there. It is shameful to make such arguments, it is shameful to behave this way, it is shameful to have such hatred for free inquiry and freedom in general, to hate humanity to such a degree.

  • Troy Camplin

    This is an embarrassment to humanity as well as the humanities. Opposing free inquiry is illiberal and has no place in a liberal education.

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