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Values & Capitalism on Campus: Westmont College

On March 31, 2014, our program manager accompanied AEI resident scholar Michael Rubin for a lecture at Westmont College and meetings with several faculty members.

In the afternoon, Josh Good met with Jesse Covington, chair of Westmont’s political science department, about new ways to build that campus’s involvement with AEI’s partnerships with Christian colleges—and an upcoming fellowship Dr. Covington is undertaking next year at Princeton University.

Dr. Rubin then gave a riveting 45-minute lecture entitled “Understanding Iran,” followed by 20 minutes of lively Q&A with a large senior seminar focusing on international relations and US foreign policy.

“This was a really big deal for us,” said Thomas Knecht, the seminar’s professor, just after the lecture. “My students loved Michael’s talk!” He reiterated that with a course-load of four unique preps, it’s impossible to be remotely as prepared as Michael was in describing Iran’s 2,000-year history, its unique mindset, and changing cultural trends and political views.

“Iran today is undergoing massive changes,” Rubin said.  While about 10 percent of Iranians intensely follow Ayatollah Khomeini, and another 15 percent are favorably inclined toward his theocratic worldview, 75 percent have completely given up this Iranian mentality and political system.