Tag Archives: Ayn Rand

Paul Ryan and ayn rand … a reminder of contradictions


I don’t know about you but if you grew up with a certain teaching or dogma and you are now in your mid-forties + … it must be hard to convince folks that you now reject a philosophy after only a couple of hours later –  just saying

Radical RAND: The Truth About GOP Hero Ayn Rand -a repost,a republican idol?


socialsecurityposter1I have to say, I do not usually read articles from Maureen Dowd, nor do subscribe to most of her comments but this one about ayn rand grabbed my attention …and is still relevant as 2018 begins

by Maureen Dowd

… Indeed, the most remarkable thing about Ayn Rand’s reach on the right is how unremarked-upon it most often is.

Ayn Rand — Russian empire, founder of the mid-century Objectivist movement, putative philosopher, writer of the novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and the inspiration for a small but intensely devoted band of acolytes — has been enjoying a resurgence of late on the American right. The cultural capstone to this resurgence arrived last week with the release of a filmed adaptation of the first third of Atlas Shrugged, independently financed by a wealthy devotee of Rand’s work and pitched explicitly at the Tea Party demographic. FreedomWorks, one of the central organizations in that movement, rolled out a massive campaign to encourage audience attendance and to push the film into as many theaters as possible. The 2011 CPAC conference held the world premiere of Atlas Shrugged’s trailer, and the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation hosted an advanced screening of the film. This marketing tactic is understandable. The opening line of Atlas Shrugged — “Who is John Galt?” — has appeared again and again on signs at Tea Party protests across the nation. The Tea Party builds the theme of “Going Galt” into its rhetoric — a reference to the strike of industry titans organized by the hero of the novel. Glenn Beck praises Atlas Shrugged regularly on his various shows, and even held a panel dedicated to asking if Rand’s fiction is finally becoming reality. The Economist reported several sharp spikes in sales of Atlas Shrugged since 2007. And according to the Ayn Rand Institute, sales of the novel hit an all-time annual record that year, then reached a new record in 2008, with possibly another peak in 2009. By all accounts, Ayn Rand is now one of the central intellectual and cultural inspirations for the base of the Republican Party.

RAND’S INFLUENCE ON GOP:

“For over half a century,” says Jennifer Burns, a recent biographer of the novelist, “Rand has been the ultimate gateway drug to life on the right.” And with good reason. Besides her prominence in the Tea Party’s intellectual and cultural lexicon, some of the Republican Party’s leading lights have cited Rand by name as an inspiration. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said she was the reason he entered public service. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) called Atlas Shrugged “his foundational book.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is an avowed fan and quotes extensively from Rand’s novels at Congressional hearings. His father Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) told listeners that readers ate up Rand’s Alas Shrugged because “it was telling the truth,” and even conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas references her work as influence in his autobiography — and apparently has his law clerks watch the film adaptation of The Fountainhead. The phenomenon holds amidst the right-wing media as well: Rush Limbaugh called her “brilliant,” Glenn Beck’s panel on Rand featured the president of the Ayn Rand Institute Yaroom Brook, and Andrew Napolitano enthusiastically recounted a story in which his college-age self introduces his mother to Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness. John Stossel and Sean Hannity have name-dropped her as well. Going further back, Alan Greenspan — former chairman of the Federal Reserve and a fierce advocate of free-market ideology — is an acolyte of Rand’s thinking and knew her personally, and Rand was also dubbed the unofficial “novelist laureate” of the Reagan Administration by Maureen Dowd. Indeed, the most remarkable thing about Ayn Rand’s reach on the right is how unremarked-upon it most often is.

RAND’S PHILOSOPHY:

The philosophy, such as it was, which Rand laid out in her novels and essays was a frightful concoction of hyper-egotism, power-worship and anarcho-capitalism. She opposed all forms of welfare, unemployment insurance, support for the poor and middle-class, regulation of industry and government provision for roads or other infrastructure. She also insisted that law enforcement, defense and the courts were the only appropriate arenas for government, and that all taxation should be purely voluntary. Her view of economics starkly divided the world into a contest between “moochers” and “producers,” with the small group making up the latter generally composed of the spectacularly wealthy, the successful, and the titans of industry. The “moochers” were more or less everyone else, leading TNR’s Jonathan Chait to describe Rand’s thinking as a kind of inverted Marxism. Marx considered wealth creation to result solely from the labor of the masses, and viewed the owners of capital and the economic elite to be parasites feeding off that labor. Rand simply reversed that value judgment, applying the role of “parasite” to everyday working people instead. On the level of personal behavior, the heroes in Rand’s novels commit borderline rape, blow up buildings, and dynamite oil fields — actions which Rand portrays as admirable and virtuous fulfillments of the characters’ personal will and desires. Her early diaries gush with admiration for William Hickman, a serial killer who raped and murdered a young girl. Hickman showed no understanding of “the necessity, meaning or importance of other people,” a trait Rand apparently found quite admirable. For good measure, Rand dismissed the feminist movement as “false” and “phony,” denigrated both Arabs and Native Americans as “savages” (going so far as to say the latter had no rights and that Europeans were right to take North American lands by force) and expressed horror that taxpayer money was being spent on government programs aimed at educating “subnormal children” and helping the handicapped. Needless to say, when Rand told Mike Wallace in 1953 that altruism was evil, that selfishness is a virtue, and that anyone who succumbs to weakness or frailty is unworthy of love, she meant it.

PAUL RYAN’S AYN RAND BUDGET:

Given that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is the lead architect of the GOP’s 2012 budget plan, his own devotion to the ideas of Atlas Shrugged and its author are worth noting. Conservative columnist Ross Douthat has dismissed the connection as Ryan merely saying some “kind words about Ayn Rand,” which simply isn’t a plausible characterization given what we know: Ryan was a speaker at the Ayn Rand Centenary Conference in 2005, where he described Social Security as a “collectivist system” and cited Rand as his primary inspiration for entering public service. He has at least two videos on his Facebook page in which he heaps praise on the author. “Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism,” he says. All of which reflects a rather more serious devotion than a few mere kind words. So it should come as no surprise that Ryan’s plan comports almost perfectly with Rand’s world view. He guts Medicare, Medicaid, and a whole host of housing, food, and educational support programs, leaving the country’s middle-class and most vulnerable citizens with far less support. Then he uses approximately half of the money freed by those cuts to reduce taxes on the most wealthy Americans. By transforming Medicare into a system of vouchers whose value increases at the rate of inflation, he undoes Medicare’s most humane feature — the shouldering of risk at the social level — and leaves individuals and seniors to shoulder ever greater amounts of risk on their own. But if your intellectual and moral lodestar is a woman who railed against altruism as “evil” and considered the small pockets of highly successful individuals to be morally superior, it’s a perfectly logical plan to put forward.

AlterNet 8/2011

The Hyde Amendment … a repost a reminder 40yrs


Unhappy Birthday to the Amendment That Started the War on Women

I received a like & a few comments from someone from the extreme right, well, a breitbart team member.  I have no respect for what breitbart represented.

I also have issues with FOX being considered a news program that is actually a Republican station, so any use of them as a resource is just not going to fly. When it comes to Election2012, I am definitely concerned about the folks that Ryan represents the fact that he not only follows, but also quotes Ayn Rand while quietly plotting out a plan to overturn roe V wade. The top of the ticket is an even scarier thought because Ryan like Romney along with other Republicans have planned NOT to give Americans the necessary information to make intelligent choices. Though folks are starting to tune in this – is the most important election Americans have had to participate in and Republicans are doing whatever they have to in order that left leaning folks right to vote is suppressed in election2012. I am, particularly concerned about a woman’s right to choose as Republican Governors  took it upon themselves to pass unacceptable legislation ,screamed about their religious freedoms have been violated. While women all over the World watched in horror as a panel of men who not only refused to listen to Sandra fluke, they denied Eleanor Holmes Norton a seat at the table as well. I don’t know about you but I was pissed, scared and determined not to let a group of men turn back the clock in a fight for by women who suffered from a lack of Equality in all its forms, I mean are these men serious? do they think women are too stupid to make their own health care decisions or is there another reason for the sudden need to ban birth control possibly trash roe V wade.  Maybe. I know Women’s suffrage was about a whole lot more than reproductive rights and we all must remember VAMA and the Equal pay Act are bills sitting waiting to become laws. While those in Congress, specifically republicans have decided, no business is good for their Elections there is a lot of Republican talk out there about birth control and abortion, which should scare Women. As VP Joe Biden stated in the debate, roe V wade is only as safe as the Supreme Court justices allowed to sit on the court are objective.    The Hyde amendment was a knee jerk reaction from a man or group of men who believed that had the right to invade a Woman’s personal space, life and their right to choose. Unfortunately, in the end it became a law. We all know 98% of women use birth control. I know plenty girls (women) who have had abortions at 18, some are now married , have kids doing quite well thank you… went to college have good jobs and some are in that 47% because they are single parents . As a person of colour and mom, I am more than scared to be governed by Romney/Ryan … imagine that finger wagging Gov. Brewer did ; only it will be Romney/Ryan after having eliminated all social programs warning all of us brown, black ,mixed and whites folks considered a part of that low life 47%.  So, as we gasp at most if not at all of what Conservatives are saying  we hear so-called Republican, Trump and the rest of the new Republicans the notion that the time has come for the Rich to Rule America is in full effect this very moment.

I grew up thinking America was a good place to live for everyone but given the push from the “have it all” but it’s not enough seem to be trying to buy Election2012 Votes, we must all stay the course, fight back with our votes to fight the mission to turn back the clock or change our democracy.  I have some serious doubts, especially with what I am reading on your blog – Republicans have taken a big risk and trashed 47% ,do not forget this includes Vets, teachers, firefighters police …City County and State workers have been cut, slashed and burned by the GOP.

I know the write up was negative … Though it might be a good opportunity to trade information, find out exactly why ideology rates higher than the greater good … well, at least ask.

FYI … from the Center for American Progress

Unhappy Birthday to the Amendment That Started the War on Women

… birth control become controversial?” In some ways, we can thank former Rep. Henry Hyde (R.-Ill.) for setting us on this path. The attacks on contraceptive coverage can be traced back to an amendment of his that turns 36 years old today. The Hyde Amendment…

By Jessica Arons | Monday, October 1, 2012

  • Introduction: 30 Years is Long Enough, by Jessica Arons
  • Part One: Hyde Amendment History, by Marlene Gerber Fried
  • Part Two: Dignity and Justice for Some?, by Sarah Horsley
  • Part Three: Does the Hyde Amendment Violate Human Rights?, by Patty Skuster and Jamie D. Brooks
  • Part Four: Expanding Reproductive Choice, by Susan Jenkins
  • Part Five: The Future of Hyde, by Toni M. Bond Leonard