The first thing one might wonder upon reading Rhode Island College professor Alex Nunes’s recent article in the Providence Journal is how many readers are actually interested in this sort of stuff:
In the last decade, the conservative icon and CEO of Koch Industries has poured $3.2 million into Brown University and the Political Theory Project, a think tank on campus. “The Koch network is essentially buying the legitimacy of Brown University for their own private gain and recruiting the next generation of free-market activists,” says Ralph Wilson, co-founder of the advocacy group UnKoch My Campus.
The second thing one might wonder is what lesson those readers will take from it. Despite a whopping 1,500 words spent on the topic, Nunes provides no evidence that anything untoward has actually happened. Did Brown pressure professors to change their courses to appease big-money donors? Not as far as we know. Did the Koch Brothers buy enhanced access to students in some way? Not really.
The only complaint of the activists who give Nunes an excuse for his article is that Brown donors whom they don’t like are contributing some small portion of the school’s revenue, and a single professor is presenting material with which they disagree, as a small portion of the information and opinion available at Brown.
As I mentioned in my podcast last week, it is as if these censorious tyrants think any exposure to different viewpoints is like a virus that will infect the university’s dainty little left-wing communities. So the third thing one might wonder is why progressives fear that their ideas will stand up so poorly against opposing views.
However few people are actually sufficiently interested to read about this (quote/unquote) controversy, we probably can’t afford to ignore it. After all, environments such as that at Brown will produce the people who go on to work at Google and do things like seek to invade every space that people might create to discuss differing ideas. In that regard, everybody should read articles like Nunes’s in order to realize just how irrational and totalitarian progressives have become.