So apparently some genius decided to take a Checker Cab to a BB&T branch in Knoxville yesterday, rob the bank, and then make his cunning getaway in a bright yellow taxi. Naturally, this plan didn’t go so well:

At 1:23 p.m. [the robbery occurred at 1:16 p.m.], police had the cab driver stopped along Clinton Highway near the intersection with Treemont Drive. The suspect was arrested without incident, DeBusk said and the money from the bank was recovered.

So the guy got away with the money for a grand total of 7 minutes before being arrested. Talk about a truckload of fail.

Objectivists are familiar with BB&T. The Chairman and CEO, John A. Allison, is known to be a fan of Ayn Rand’s work and the Objectivist philosophy. These values are reflected in the bank’s philosophy and methods of doing business. BB&T has many branches in the southeast United States, and it’s well-known in Tennessee. Knoxville has been dealing with a series of bank robberies lately, mostly of BB&T branches, but the police don’t think this particular suspect is connected to that string of robberies.

Moral of the story is: There’s bad karma in robbing an Objectivist bank. The irony is that Objectivists don’t believe in karma, or mysticism in any form. I, however, do (I disagree with Rand’s definition of the term “mysticism”), so I’m amused.

6 Responses to “Objectivist Karma”
  1. Kyle Haight says:

    I think the moral of the story is much more prosaic: “Crooks are stupid.” It’s easy to find idiotic criminals robbing people and businesses of all worldviews. (I think the canonical one is the bank robber who wrote the stick-up note on the back of one of his own checks, complete with his address, and then left it behind when fleeing the crime scene.)

    Your position looks like classic confirmation bias to me. Guy does something bad to a business you like and suffers epic fail? Karma in action. Guy does something bad to a business you like and doesn’t get caught? Where’s the karma then? You even refer to that alternative in your post: “Knoxville has been dealing with a series of bank robberies lately, mostly of BB&T branches, but the police don’t think this particular suspect is connected to that string of robberies.” So someone out there is robbing an Objectivist bank and karma doesn’t seem to be doing squat.

    I’m reminded of the scene from Family Guy in which the pope calls on God to smite Stewie and Brian for making him look foolish. There’s a long pause in which nothing happens, and then the pope says “He’s-a cooking something up.” Karma is kind of like that. When you see a consequence you find appropriate, it’s karma in action. When the consequence doesn’t materialize, you just haven’t waited long enough, or you haven’t looked in the right place. It’s an act of faith, not reason.

    That said, the crook does sound like an idiot who deserved to get caught. Enjoy the rich, creamy taste of justice.

  2. Anne Haight says:

    Damn, dude. Take a pill. It was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek post. Anyway, thanks for a response that was pretty much what I expected. ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. Ryan says:

    Tongue-in-cheek is fine, but denouncing Ayn Rand’s views of mysticism out-of-hand with no explanation or justification is irresponsible and arrogant. What you essentially communicated is that justice is a mysterious cosmic force rather than a political concept reasoned and effected by man and that Objectivists are ignorant, short-sighted and misled by their inability/refusal to acknowledge this force so ‘obvious’ to you and your superior means of knowledge and perception.
    Ayn Rand’s definition of mysticism is readily available at

  4. Anne Haight says:

    SIGH. Mountain. Molehill. Something something. Come on, Ryan, do you really think that’s what I was doing? No, justice is not a mysterious cosmic force (actually, the concept of karma is simply a “cause and effect” mechanism that operates in accordance with natural laws, and not an “entity” that exercises “justice” in the human sense).

    I made no implications regarding Objectivism, per se. In fact, I really don’t even see how my post can even be construed as critical of Objectivism. Sure, my definition of mysticism and Rand’s are not the same, but that should not be taken to mean that I consider Objectivism as a whole to be invalid.

    On the contrary, I think Objectivism is the most coherent, sensible, and probably the most accurate system of thought on reality and man’s role in it. My mystical background is Rosicrucian, a philosophy which actually considers reason and logic to be man’s primary means to knowledge. I don’t find any inherent contradiction between Rosicrucianism and Objectivism, although Objectivists would probably disagree. I would submit simply that as a student of Rosicrucian teachings from birth (my parents are both Rosicrucian), my personal analysis of Objectivism has not revealed any disagreeing principles.

    Anyway. Mountain, molehill, you know the rest.

  5. Kyle Haight says:

    Ryan, she’s married to me. Trust me, she knows all about Rand’s views on mysticism, and justice, and the reasons for them. I realize you mean well, but your style of proselytization puts off more people than it convinces.

  6. Anne Haight says:

    Now THAT was hilarious. Kyle and I posted an answer at exactly the same time. This is funny because he is currently in California and I am in Tennessee, and we didn’t communicate about it beforehand. LOL

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