As anyone capable of unbiased judgment can readily perceive, Dr. Garmong has not in fact answered the questions posed to him by ARCHN blog, nor is it likely he ever will. How can he? Founders College was originally conceived on Objectivist principles. How else can you explain a reading list that is almost exclusively made up of books cited by Rand? Or consider Professor Garmong's statement about Founder's College mission, which he says is "to provide liberal-arts education in an integrated, hierarchically organized curriculum." (Emphasis added.) The terms integrated and hierarchically are Objectivist buzzwords. Rand and her followers are always stressing the importance of integration and hierarchy in knowledge. So the Randian roots of Founders College are difficult to deny. Why not simply own up to it?
Why do orthodox Objectivists have so little credibility outside of ARI? It stems, at least in part, from their unwillingness to own up to their mistakes or respond to any of their critics, particularly the critics of their management (or rather their mismanagement) of the Objectivist movement. Now I, as a critic of Objectivism, see very plainly that the mismanagement of the Objectivist movement stems from problems with the Objectivist philosophy. The Objectivist conviction that human beings are the products of their philosophical premises, which influences how ARI goes about the business of spreading Objectivism, is just plain wrong and can only lead those who believe in it to frustration and grief. In a sense, there is a kind of justice in the scandals of Objectivism. Bad ideas, if earnestly followed, must lead to bad consequences. Yet there is a tragic element apparent here as well. After all, not everything about the Founders College is ill-conceived. Dr. Garmong insists that "students will be educated on ... all of the major ideas, not just Objectivism." The reading list, though it includes some howlers (like Calumut K, for instance) also includes Doestoevsky, Tolstoy, Balzac, Hawthorne, Mann, and Dreiser. Whatever the deficiencies in the Founders curricula and in its staff, it is likely that the handful of students going there will receive a better liberal education than they would if they pursued a humanities or social science degree at most American universities. But in the end, it will all come to nought, because Founders cannot possibly succeed if it is run by orthodox Objectivists who won't even come clean as to what they are about.
The biggest question about Founders has to do with how non-Objectivist ideas will be taught. Orthodox Objectivism has a very poor reputation when it comes to presenting ideas of philosophers Rand disagrees with. Just consider what Rand and her orthodox followers have said about Hume and Kant. Rand sympathizers like George Walsh and Fred Seddon have become pariahs among orthodox Objectivists for trying to correct Rand's misconceptions about other philosophers. Why should we expect Founders to present fairly and honestly non-Objectivist ideas when there is little if any evidence that orthodox Objectivists are even capable of understanding, let alone articulating, non-Objectivist ideas?