Home > other, philosophy, vulgar libertarians > I Choose Business Ethics

I Choose Business Ethics

business ethics“Some people are so far behind in the race that they actually believe they’re leading.” –Corrado ‘Junior’ Soprano

Georgetown philosopher and BHL blogger Jason Brennan is entrenched in a seemingly neverending back and forth with adjunct justice activists, or “madjuncts”.

I don’t know the first thing about the adjunct justice issue. I’m just an artist. But I am all too familiar with Jason Brennan’s temperament when given the least bit of push back. In short, he behaves like an insecure child, accuses you of being angry even though he’s the one who rants and raves like an infant in the midst of a tantrum while demonstrating his lack of intellectual honesty and humility.

At least that’s my experience dealing with the guy in the context of his utterly nonsensical analogy of likening markets to guitar amps. He had every chance to admit, right away, that the analogy had no place in a scholarly analysis of markets when I posted my response.

Instead I had to out-Jason Brennan him in the ensuing comments until he finally admitted that the analogy wasn’t originally intended to be included in the book. Then he went on to say that he still thinks he’s right.

Tangential side note: That’s when he thought I was mad, but as an artist I was merely acting as a mirror to show him his own reflection… because that’s what artists do… they reflect what is unseen when somebody cannot see the forest for the trees… I was actually in pain from all the laughter… needless to say, Brennan was not amused.

Remember, this is the guy who puffs his chest out about how he’s a big bad PhD at big bad Georgetown and well published in big bad respected academic journals (that nobody reads) as well as his numerous books, of which I own three, so everybody should defer to him. When I pointed out that the shoe was on the other foot in this particular instance, since I’m the musician, he cried foul.

By any objective measurement Jason Brennan is pretty brilliant and extremely accomplished (even if his conclusions might not be on occasion), with a great American dream rags to riches story… which makes all of this even more confusing.

I feel it’s also relevant to point out that I’ve been an avid BHL reader since day one, though I must say my enthusiasm has been waning in perpetuity ever since Brennan turned it into his personal petty bully pulpit well over a year ago. He used to post thought provoking philosophical thought experiments and the like. What happened? Why the paradigm shift? Now he’s just a whiny punk. Excuse me, but that’s my job!

I also noticed an interesting correlation between the uptick in Brennan’s frequent vulgarity at BHL and the lack of regular posting from the cream of their blog roster’s crop. I don’t know if it implies any causation at all, but it’s curious… at least to me.

Of course, he and his cohorts think they’re doing excellent work, but that’s what I like to call “plaques for hacks.” Or if I can be blunt, this is the indictment I levied against him and anyone acting as his sycophants, by proxy or otherwise:

you try to land the equivalent of a passive aggressive sucker punch like an insecure child playing keyboard commando and seeking validation from the self congratulatory how-dare-anybody-piss-inside-the-tent echo chambered circle jerk of an epistemically closed off bubble that is the community of online libertarianism

Then I saw a response to Brennan regarding the adjunct debate (since he intends to write a book on the so-called “business ethics” of modern universities and cited first year composition classes as the lone bogeyman data point as “a jobs program for low quality intellectuals”) that managed to capture my sentiments in one beautiful sentence (adjunct debate notwithstanding, it’s way beyond my sphere of expertise):

I just don’t get this. Why would someone want to spend his time this way?

Exactly! Especially when it’s aimed at a person who’s philosophy is, if I may generalize, supposed to be that of a bleeding heart libertarian who values the individual above the coercive institution. But what do I know? I don’t have a PhD in philosophy.

Perhaps the classic Adam Sandler movie Billy Madison best portrays Jason Brennan’s disposition in the character of Eric Gordon, played by actor Bradley Whitford. So let’s finish this post with a refrain of its title: “I choose business ethics.”

  1. March 25, 2016 at 2:09 pm


    I still think you were the one being a jerk about the guitar amp thing, but let’s put that aside.

    If you want to inquire into my psychology, I tell you very frankly how it goes. I was not bullied much in middle school, and not at all in high school. The reason was because if someone attempted to bully me, I went Ender’s Game on them.

    Now, let’s review the actual history of this whole thing.

    I wrote two short posts on this topic in response to it being a big news event. Here’s the second one:

    For writing that, a bunch of activists personally attacked me, harassed me, insulted me, and posted threatening photos of them stalking around my campus.

    I wrote another brief blog post. Then I let it go.

    Two months later, they started a meme campaign to harass and attack me. So, I wrote a few more blog posts explaining why their explicit arguments (of which there were few) were mistaken. Then I let it go.

    Then later I realized that I’d already done enough work that I could, with a tiny bit of effort, turn this into business ethics article. So I did.

    And now the nastiness and harassment continues.

    Because you’re pissed at me over the amp metaphor thing, you’ve decided to just assume that the bullies are right to attack me. But if you’d paid attention you’d see that I was posting innocent stuff, and getting nothing but nastiness and personal attacks in return. If you’re siding with those people, your moral compass is way off.


    • March 25, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      jason… i’m a total fucking asshole! my best friends introduce me to people that way. that’s not a joke or me being snarky. so yeah, fair enough. but i’m not mad at you about anything or saying they’re right to attack you. i’m not taking any side in the adjunct debate cuz i dunno about all that adjunct stuff. i thought i made that clear. i just expect better from somebody of your intellect and accomplishment and that your time could be better spent on other research, having thicker skin while engaging, or just staying above the fray. but as an example, you wrote a bhl post re: adjuncts in which you removed the entire last paragraph because it was pointed out to you in the comments section that it made you sound guilty of the behavior you accuse the adjuncts of engaging in. we both know this. i thought that was a step in the right direction when you took it out of the post. sure, the commenter was far from the asshole that i am. i leave the responsibility of being charitable in a public forum to people like matt z. but i also don’t condone any personal attacks or harassment. i’m simply interpreting how your behavior is seen by those not already inclined to agree with you, and perhaps some that are… which you might not necessarily see. i’m actually way more inclined to agree with you philosophically. so in that context, i side with myself. make what you will out of that and my moral compass, but i harbor no ill will towards you or phil magness or anybody else. i’ve been reading bhl from day one, and some of your old posts are my absolute favorites. but there has been a noticeable deterioration over the past year to 18 months, and i am far from the only person to take notice. i speak up when i feel prompted to speak up. that’s all. if that’s a source of legitimate anger, i’m not really sure what kind of concessions i can offer, given that i’m just setting a scene drenched in layers upon layers of irony and inside jokes to amuse myself.


  2. March 25, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Reblogged this on PrecariLeaks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      What really happened is that Jason got bent out of shape because adjuncts at Georgetown had the NERVE to organize with SEIU and be led by WOMEN (aka “cat ladies”). So, he and sidekick Phil Magness, scholar of confederacy, who shares a disgust of adjuncts, took their frustrations to the BHL blog and other forums and offended adjuncts everywhere with expressions of overt narcissism and supremacy highlighted by a complete lack of humility and insight. Adjuncts, whose lives have been falling apart for years, responded and fired back. Jason and Phil escalated their uninformed libertrollianism and the whole thing spun out of control. To this day he has not admitted his role in the dispute nor has he taken a shred of blame. Apparently, he has never been wrong about anything, ever.


      • March 25, 2016 at 4:57 pm

        To clear one more thing up, which is absurd: Jason, if you think that picture of Tiffany in that one storify is her stalking you, dream on. That was taken in 2014 at an Adjunct Action town hall where she met with Rep. George Miller and others to have a serious discussion about higher-ed reform. You’re late to the table and you certainly aren’t the first to write about it in a scholarly fashion.


  3. March 25, 2016 at 5:21 pm


    Cool. Fair enough. I think we’re just misinterpreting each other. Sorry for any offense I’ve caused.

    Incidentally, a big part of the drop off at BHL was that the site had unresolved permissions issues making posting difficult. That’s fixed now, which is why there’s been more activity in the past month.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. March 25, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    no apologies necessary, no offense taken. agree or no, i’m one of your most loyal readers. which reminds me, one of your books is on loan to drummer friend of mine and it’s been almost a year. need that shit back. let’s hold a good thought.


  1. March 26, 2016 at 11:28 am

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