[Homestead] The Ayn Rand Cu;t

Gene GeRue genegerue at ruralize.com
Tue Feb 8 09:23:13 EST 2005

>As long as it is understood that morality is a human construction 
>influenced by human cultures, one can become more tolerant of other human 
>belief systems, and thus other humans. But as soon as a group sets itself 
>up to be the final moral arbiter of other people's actions, especially 
>when its members believe they have discovered absolute standards of right 
>and wrong, it is the beginning of the end of tolerance and thus, reason 
>and rationality. It is this characteristic more than any other that makes 
>a cult, a religion, a nation, or any other group, dangerous to individual 

I had long thought that the Rand Corporation were formed by those following 
Ayn Rand's philosophy. Turns out not to be:

It was on May 14, 1948, that Project RAND — an outgrowth of World War II — 
separated from the Douglas Aircraft Company of Santa Monica, California, 
and became an independent, nonprofit organization. Adopting its name from a 
contraction of the term research and development, the newly formed entity 
was dedicated to furthering and promoting scientific, educational, and 
charitable purposes for the public welfare and security of the United States.
Almost at once, RAND developed a unique style, blending scrupulous 
nonpartisanship with rigorous, fact-based analysis to tackle society's most 
pressing problems. Over time, RAND assembled a unique corps of researchers, 
notable not only for individual skills but also for interdisciplinary 
cooperation. By the 1960s, RAND was bringing its trademark mode of 
empirical, nonpartisan, independent analysis to the study of many urgent 
domestic social and economic problems.

The Origins of RAND
World War II had revealed the importance of technology research and 
development for success on the battlefield and the wide range of scientists 
and academics outside the military who made such development possible. 
Furthermore, as the war drew to a close, it became apparent that complete 
and permanent peace might not be assured. There were discussions among 
people in the War Department, the Office of Scientific Research and 
Development, and industry who saw a need for a private organization to 
connect military planning with research and development decisions.
In a report to the Secretary of War, Commanding General of the Army Air 
Force H. H. "Hap" Arnold wrote:
"During this war the Army, Army Air Forces, and the Navy have made 
unprecedented use of scientific and industrial resources. The conclusion is 
inescapable that we have not yet established the balance necessary to 
insure the continuance of teamwork among the military, other government 
agencies, industry, and the universities. Scientific planning must be years 
in advance of the actual research and development work."
In addition to General Arnold, key players involved in the formation of 
Project RAND were:
·       Edward Bowles of M.I.T., a consultant to the Secretary of War;
·       General Lauris Norstad, then Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Plans;
·       Major General Curtis LeMay; Donald Douglas, President of Douglas 
Aircraft Company;
·       Arthur Raymond, Chief Engineer at Douglas;
·       Franklin Collbohm, Raymond's assistant.
(During the war, both Raymond and Collbohm had been brought to the Pentagon 
by Bowles to work on a special project that analyzed ways to improve the 
effectiveness of the B-29.)


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