Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan and the issue of morality

aynrand_AF

In a more fact-based world, the centrality of Ayn Rand to Paul Ryan’s perspective on the world would be undeniable. She is, so to speak, the fountainhead from which much of his political thought flows. But rather than take my word for it, listen to Ryan himself, just three short years ago, laying it out explicitly in back-to-back videos prepared by his congressional campaign:

For those unable to watch the video, the earnest Ryan says, among other things:

“What’s unique about what’s happening today in government and in the world and America is that it’s as if we are living in an Ayn Rand novel right now. … I think Ayn Rand did more than anybody to build a moral case for capitalism, the morality of individualism, and this to me is what matters most.”

Again, Ryan’s voluntary, unprovoked and clearly heartfelt profession of Randian philosophy came in 2009, just three years ago, and it is just one in a long string of public expressions by Ryan of his loyalty to and faith in Rand’s philosophy.

More recently, of course, Ryan has attempted to pretend that none of that has occurred, proclaiming it “urban legend” that he had been influenced by Rand and claiming to “reject her philosophy.” However, if that’s true, this sudden change of heart has not been accompanied by any matching change in Ryan’s political outlook. It remains today what it was when he was still willing to publicly celebrate Rand’s claim to moral authority.

Why is this relevant? Well, Randian philosophy — “objectivism” they call it — is to my mind soft-headed, romantic claptrap that attempts vainly to masquerade as hard-headed, pragmatic economic theory. Its appeal is emotional, not intellectual. And while for individual persons, particularly young people, Rand’s work may be effective as a “self-help philosophy” and motivational tool, as the basis of a society or economic system it would be profoundly impractical and even cruel.

That shouldn’t be a surprise, of course, given that Rand rejected the existence of society in the first place. In fact, she treated the very notion of social responsibility as a conspiracy by which the weak parasites of the world attempt to seize the products of the strong and virile creators. In the video above, Ryan clearly buys into that world view, arguing that Randian individualism represents “the moral foundation of America.”

On that count, I personally find the witness of Thomas Jefferson more convincing, given that he helped to lay the foundation in question. Even back in Jefferson’s day, “self-interest, or rather self-love, or egoism” was being proposed by some as the basis of morality, but the drafter of the Declaration of Independence was having none of it.

Self-love, Jefferson warned, “is no part of morality. Indeed it is exactly its counterpart. It is the sole antagonist of virtue, leading us constantly by our propensities to self-gratification in violation of our moral duties to others…. Take from man his selfish propensities, and he can have nothing to seduce him from the practice of virtue.”

Ryan’s background also plays into the problem. Like his running mate, he is a child born into relative wealth and privilege. That does not make either Ryan or Mitt Romney evil, wrong, foolish or misguided. To the contrary, their shared background says nothing at all about their personal character or leadership abilities.

It must, however, affect their perspective, just as being born into poverty or struggle affects the perspective of those who experience the world from that end of things.

Knowing that you have been born into that rarified world, with all the advantage that it confers, ought to make you a little humble about lecturing others about lifting themselves up by their bootstraps. It ought to make you a little less arrogant about your own success, and a little more sympathetic toward those to whom raw luck has been a little less kind. It should make you acknowledge, to yourself if no one else, that you stand where you stand in part because of factors over which you have had no control, and to understand that others stand where they stand in part because of factors over which they too have had no control.

However, in Ryan’s political rhetoric and policy pronouncements there is little evidence of the leavening power of humility. The philosophy of Rand has served to inoculate him and others against such dark thoughts, whispering in their ears the reassurance that that their success is testament only to their own merit, and freeing them of any obligation to assist others.

I don’t accept that argument. It is antithetical to human nature and to thousands of years of human history in which the individual has had responsibilities to the group, and the group has had responsibilities to the individual. The genius of the American system in particular has been its ability to create a workable, ethical balance between those competing responsibilities.

The “morality” that Ryan proposes would toss that balance aside, creating a system the likes of which has never been seen, and which would meet no definition of the word “moral” that I, or Jefferson, would accept.

– Jay Bookman

1,118 comments Add your comment

PJ

August 15th, 2012
3:21 pm

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

August 15th, 2012
3:21 pm

A believer in a writer of fiction…you would think he’s a Catholic… Oh wait!

[...] Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan and the issue of morality – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Posted in Constitution, Ron Paul | Tags: atlanta-journal-, centrality, cocktail-party, constitution, fountainhead, his-political, issue, ryan-the-buzz, the-centrality /* [...]

PJ

August 15th, 2012
3:25 pm

Some people count their morals in dollars and cents.

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

August 15th, 2012
3:25 pm

Ryan believes in the sanctity of the rich, The privilege of the monied. The rich should be above the law, and the common man is just dirt under their feet…all thanks to Ayn Rand.

As my Brit friends would say…”He’s a nutter”.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

August 15th, 2012
3:26 pm

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable … The other, of course, involves orcs.

Don’t know who said it first, but it’s spot on.

Pass the Cheesy Grits Please

August 15th, 2012
3:27 pm

This will go right over the Cons heads.

getalife

August 15th, 2012
3:27 pm

Is that Helen Thomas on meth?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 15th, 2012
3:27 pm

Knowing that you have been born into that rarified world, with all the advantage that it confers, ought to make you a little humble about lecturing others about lifting themselves up by their bootstraps. It ought to make you a little less arrogant about your own success, and a little more sympathetic toward those to whom raw luck has been a little less kind. It should make you acknowledge, to yourself if no one else, that you stand where you stand in part because of factors over which you have had no control, and to understand that others stand where they stand in part because of factors over which they too have had no control.

But that would be contrary to the “self-made” pride that so many falsely claim.

Good post Jay. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

August 15th, 2012
3:27 pm

But….I loved the tension between Cary Cooper and Patricia Neal in the film version of the Fountainhead….

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 15th, 2012
3:28 pm

Nicely done.

And ever so much nicer and more diplomatic than what I would’ve posted on the subject.

Welcome to the Occupation

August 15th, 2012
3:30 pm

It ought to make you a little less arrogant about your own success, and a little more sympathetic toward those to whom raw luck has been a little less kind

What are you Jay some kind of commie?

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 15th, 2012
3:31 pm

Is that Helen Thomas on meth?

You know, I rather liked Ms. Thomas. Feisty lady that one…

[OW! stop it, josef! that hurts!]

PJ

August 15th, 2012
3:31 pm

He and Romney both are wolves in sheeps clothing. If they are elected look for war, more breaks for the rich and the end of the middle class as we know it. And believe me when I say those who are already poor will be better off than those in the middle because the drop to the bottom is less far.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

August 15th, 2012
3:31 pm

Well, way back there when I was doing meth I was kinda out of it like this Ayn Rand person. Heck, she can’t even spell Ann right. That ought to tell you something.

Anyhow, I sure wish I’d done a bunch of writting while I was zonked out. I could have people like Raghead and all those folks sorta drooling over me. Oh, well. Live and learn.

Have a good one everybody.

getalife

August 15th, 2012
3:32 pm

I thought she wrote fiction so how can that be reality?

Is ryan living in a fictitious make believe world and wants to be Vice President?

What in the world was robme thinking?

Ayn Rand's Medicare

August 15th, 2012
3:32 pm

well, you gonna believe the flippin videotape, or me?

Joe Hussein Mama

August 15th, 2012
3:32 pm

Oh, come on, folks. It’s IMMORAL to let suckers keep their money.

The cons are doing the conned a *favor* by promising to make those deep cuts in the social safety net. It’s what Rand would have wanted, after all. At least until she got old and sick.

TaxPayer

August 15th, 2012
3:33 pm

I want to see Ryan’s DNA compared to Rand’s. The similarities between them cannot be purely coincidental. Just look at the eyes and brownnose, for example.

getalife

August 15th, 2012
3:33 pm

Stands,

I thought Josef would laugh at that one :)

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

August 15th, 2012
3:33 pm

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable … The other, of course, involves orcs.

Granny Godzilla

That is one of two quotes attributed to John Rogers.

The other is: You don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.

saywhat?

August 15th, 2012
3:35 pm

But what does this say about Paul Ryan’s EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE? Will nobody answer me about this very very important requirement for somebody who might one day be President. It seemed to be sooooooo important 4 years ago, yet since Romney selected his running mate, I have heard not a peep about it.

Welcome to the Occupation

August 15th, 2012
3:36 pm

…whispering in their ears the reassurance that that their success is testament only to their own merit, and freeing them of any obligation to assist others

Much has been made of the fact that there are fewer top-ranking positions in our government held by Protestants than ever before. But I think it’s overblown. With vulgar Calvinism like Ryan’s ruling one of our two major parties virtually unchecked, and much else besides, we’re arguably Protestant as never before in ideological terms.

saywhat?

August 15th, 2012
3:36 pm

getalife

August 15th, 2012
3:27 pm
Is that Helen Thomas on meth?
___________________________________________
Looks more like Dave R on meth.

HDB

August 15th, 2012
3:36 pm

Nice points today, Jay…….

john

August 15th, 2012
3:37 pm

Ayn Rand . The Great Atheist.

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

August 15th, 2012
3:40 pm

Speaking of “noses”…check out the third one down…

http://cheezburger.com/6507808512

:D

Get Real

August 15th, 2012
3:42 pm

Geez Louise…

I just checked in to get my daily dose of:

Republicans: Bad and Evil

followed by:

Democrats Good and Pure

Aquagirl

August 15th, 2012
3:42 pm

Rand’s disciple Alan Greenspan admitted his faith in the free market helped run the economy into the $#!^^er. The obvious Republican solution? MORE scary Ayn cultists.

Maybe we can Randize ourselves back to the Stone Age soon. Repubs would like that.

Misty Fyed

August 15th, 2012
3:42 pm

Of course you don’t accept that argument….you’re liberal and care more than us conservatives…

Is there a Jay Bookman archive somewhere….I wonder if he did as much comparison of philosophies between Obama and Wright.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

August 15th, 2012
3:44 pm

Is there a Jay Bookman archive somewhere….

Teh stoopid, it burns!

Ayn Rand's Medicare

August 15th, 2012
3:44 pm

“a pahhty of psychological adolescents is the most dangerous thing
in the world, making that whole underdeveloped psyche ’socio-’”
–mrsstsimons

to which I replied “you’re right again, dear”

Goldie

August 15th, 2012
3:44 pm

Ryan also has benefited from survivor benefits through our Social Security system — where’s his humility regarding accepting such “socialism” into his life??? Big selfish egos like Ryan’s do not belong near our White House!

:)

godless heathen

August 15th, 2012
3:44 pm

He and Romney both are wolves in sheeps clothing. If they are elected look for war, more breaks for the rich and the end of the middle class as we know it.

You forgot chaining up the black people and killing all the wimminfolks.

Steve

August 15th, 2012
3:45 pm

Excellent essay today, Jay!

Verbal Kint

August 15th, 2012
3:45 pm

Wonder when the Obama campaign and it’s minions are going to start talking about HIS record the last four years? Thanks for the daily talking points Jay. Keep up the good work.

Joe Hussein Mama

August 15th, 2012
3:46 pm

M. Fyed — “Of course you don’t accept that argument….you’re liberal and care more than us conservatives…”

Well, I never understood how ‘get a job, hippie’ was so loving, but since you’re here, maybe you can explain it.

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
3:46 pm

Jay…

Have you been asleep for the past 4 years? Barack hangs out with Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, George Clooney, Sean Penn, Bill Maher, and every Hollyweirdo that will write him a check.

Do you think about these things before you pen you biased attacks?

Paul

August 15th, 2012
3:46 pm

” in violation of our moral duties to others…”

Ohmygoodness, Jefferson was a socialist…..

As I’ve said before: all the ‘where’s Obama’s plan?” and “Ryan’s proposal doesn’t matter because he’s the vice presidential candidate” and “so what if Ryan used fake numbers in his proposals” don’t really matter.

It’s the overarching philosophy that gives us knowledge of where they would take us.

And do far, Pres Obama seems much more closely aligned with Thomas Jefferson than does the Republican ticket.

Goldie

August 15th, 2012
3:46 pm

I believe with the Romney/Ryan ticket we now have 2 Etch-A-Sketches to deal with — just shake it up and re-do!

:)

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 15th, 2012
3:47 pm

Misty, if you have a video of Obama praising Wright like Ryan does Rand and claims by Obama that he handed out Wright books to everyone as gifts… please share the link. Otherwise just sounds like more distraction and false equivalents… but hey, good news, over at Kyle’s they are making up a whole lot of Obama influence claims. I am sure they’ll welcome yours without any real critical thought. :roll:

Tealiban Party

August 15th, 2012
3:47 pm

Catholic Bishops Say Ryan Budget Fails Moral Test
4/18/2012
By David Gibson

Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) A week after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan claimed his Catholic faith inspired the Republicans’ cost-cutting budget plan, the nation’s Catholic bishops reiterated their demand that the federal budget protect the poor, and said the GOP measure “fails to meet these moral criteria.”

That and other strongly-worded judgments on the GOP budget proposal flew in a flurry of letters from leading bishops to the chairmen of key congressional committee.

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
3:47 pm

Obama cut $700 Billion from Medicare…that’s a fact.

getalife

August 15th, 2012
3:48 pm

People that think fiction is reality are in mental institutions..

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 15th, 2012
3:48 pm

When talking retail politics, I’m inclined to get a little aggravated when I hear about “likeability.” Obviously you’d think people would vote more with their heads than with their hearts. Yet, when we get down to the still-reachable voter, in the last three months of the race, you’ve got to think about it at least.

And given that we’re talking about something as hard-to-pin-down as morality here, I think likeability does come into play. People may have a logical basis for their moral belief system, sure, but they also allow their emotion, their gut feelings if you will, to come into play.

I find it hard to believe that a Randian like Paul Ryan brings much to Romney on a retail politics level. While Ayn Rand may have several million slobbering fanboys (and whatdayafigure the male:female ratio is, 4:1 or so? but I digress), I think most voters find her philosophy repellant and even, as Jay posits, un-American.

Certainly, it’s unlikeable.

Wild Eyes

August 15th, 2012
3:48 pm

I wonder what Jesus would think of Ayn Rand? I wonder what Ryan thinks Jesus would think of Ayn Rand? I wonder how all these bootstrappers ideology concerning social justice and the poor match up with what Jesus and the bible says?

Aquagirl

August 15th, 2012
3:49 pm

Is there a Jay Bookman archive somewhere….

We had to wait until 3:42, but the Post Of The Day was worth it.

The laughter might let me forget those meth-y eyes for a moment. Almost.

Goldie

August 15th, 2012
3:49 pm

I also believe that “objectivism” is a moral cancer on American society — just to paraphrase Ryan himself! :)

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
3:49 pm

I loved the book The Fountainhead..”Howard Roark laughed…” One of my favs but not because I subscribed to the concept of Objectivism…to truly understand that crap try reading “Anthem”.

What I like about Howard Roark is that he didn’t compromise his morality simply to fit into the status quo…gee, sounds like our politicians…but in Howards case, he was a visionary in architecture and like Jimi Hendrix, was way before his time…one of the great endings of all time..

martin the calvinist

August 15th, 2012
3:49 pm

What I find funny about this is that liberals are now advocating what’s moral and what’s not moral after telling us before we don’t want morality shoved down our throat….

East Lake Ira

August 15th, 2012
3:50 pm

Why do the cons seem to think an opinion columnist/blogger would write/post items that don’t interest them or don’t believe.

Are they really that stupid or just willfully ignorant?

I know the answer but sheesh!

martin the calvinist

August 15th, 2012
3:51 pm

btw, I’m waiting on Jay’s piece on how horrible Joe Biden’s comment about Republicans wanting to place people back in chains, or is that shakles?

Ellsworth Monkton Toohey

August 15th, 2012
3:51 pm

Republicans flipping and flopping? And defending the indefensible? I’m shocked, I tell ‘ya, absolutely shocked.

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
3:51 pm

Libs support abortion but don’t support working hard and making some money.

God help us.

Joe Hussein Mama

August 15th, 2012
3:51 pm

V. Kint — “Wonder when the Obama campaign and it’s minions are going to start talking about HIS record the last four years?”

They already are, every day. Thanks for asking.

http://www.barackobama.com/record/economy

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

August 15th, 2012
3:52 pm

A prime example of liberal tolerance:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/15/us/dc-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

He was trying to shoot pro-life people so I am sure that’s ok with you guys….

Dreema

August 15th, 2012
3:52 pm

“Knowing that you have been born into that rarified world, with all the advantage that it confers, ought to make you a little humble about lecturing others about lifting themselves up by their bootstraps. ”

Except, like so many others, Romney and Ryan were born on third but thinks they hit a triple.

Paul

August 15th, 2012
3:52 pm

Steve Atl

“Obama cut $700 Billion from Medicare…that’s a fact.”

And where did the funding go – completely off the books, or somewhere else?

And based on the cut, who got paid less? Did they agree to it beforehand? Why?

And where did Ryan’s cut go? Reprogrammed somewhere else or completely off the books?

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
3:52 pm

JOHN,

I’m atheist as well but don’t judge others who aren’t….I do know that Christians do strongly feel they are superior and in a position to judge and otherwise try to evangelize others into their cult…

bman

August 15th, 2012
3:52 pm

Wasn’t Alan Greenspan a big fan of her?

Misty Fyed

August 15th, 2012
3:52 pm

Wait a minute…when Jefferson said those words, he was enriching his pockets with the free labor of a plantation full of slaves. He also abused his position as master and had several kids through at least one of his slaves…..granted he was good enough to free them…after his death when he could no longer profit from them, but he didn’t free their mother.

And Jay wants us to hold him as the moral standard over Paul Ryan or Ayn Ryan for that matter…It’s amazing what you liberals will overlook when it suits your purpose………

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 15th, 2012
3:53 pm

Is there a Jay Bookman archive somewhere…. because I wanted to see if Jay had posted on the subject of self-reliance and personal responsibility and not just being spoon fed everything? :roll:

Matti

August 15th, 2012
3:53 pm

Frankly, I don’t care whether someone chooses to be Christian or chooses to be a Rand Cultist. My problem is with those who insult us by pretending to be both, and then acting all superior about it. How STUPID do you think we are, that we’ll believe a person can be both? Anyone who does that needs to crawl back under their rock before I stomp their little lizard tail and pull it off. Seriously. My tolerance is wide, but has limits.

retired early

August 15th, 2012
3:53 pm

Jay

Man, Ryan managed to delude even himself. He would have made a first rate German prison guard during WWII.

getalife

August 15th, 2012
3:54 pm

The moral of this story is stay away from the meth and beware of those who think fiction is reality.

Paul

August 15th, 2012
3:54 pm

martin

“btw, I’m waiting on Jay’s piece on how horrible Joe Biden’s comment about Republicans wanting to place people back in chains, or is that shakles?”

Then go to the prior thread. It was addressed there. We’re on to a new topic.

saywhat?

August 15th, 2012
3:54 pm

I read an essay in partial defense of Rand once, applying her philosophy not to economics, but to the arts. Something along the lines that doing art to meet the needs of others instead of for your own personal fulfillment lead to bad art. I found myself somewhat in agreement. Thats about as close to randian thought i will ever get.

martin the calvinist

August 15th, 2012
3:54 pm

A fool saith to his heart, there is no God.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 15th, 2012
3:55 pm

how horrible Joe Biden’s comment

yeah, let’s by all means go there again. There’s a farm-fresh topic.

He was trying to shoot pro-life people

Let me know when someone actually succeeds. Your side already has a few wins tallied, over in Wichita and in Knoxville, so we’ve dug ourselves a bit of a hole…

Welcome to the Occupation

August 15th, 2012
3:56 pm

I wonder if he did as much comparison of philosophies between Obama and Wright

Ha! That’s a goooooood one. Obama and Wright, yeah, right…

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right, here I am...

August 15th, 2012
3:56 pm

RETIRED,

Big thinker..first today to bring in the Hilter comparisons…your boy Biden I think, is related to Dan Quail in some way, shape of form…not very bright and doesn’t thinkith before he speakith…..

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
3:57 pm

Michelle and Barack are estimated to have a net worth of $15 million…he will be worth $100 million within 5 years of leaving office…he is a RICH guy and hangs with the rest of the RICH guys and girls.

Sorry…he is a 1%’er.

Brosephus™

August 15th, 2012
3:57 pm

Couldn’t figure out how to shorten this quote without losing what it says, but

Ryan’s background also plays into the problem. Like his running mate, he is a child born into relative wealth and privilege. That does not make either Ryan or Mitt Romney evil, wrong, foolish or misguided. To the contrary, their shared background says nothing at all about their personal character or leadership abilities.

It must, however, affect their perspective, just as being born into poverty or struggle affects the perspective of those who experience the world from that end of things.

Knowing that you have been born into that rarified world, with all the advantage that it confers, ought to make you a little humble about lecturing others about lifting themselves up by their bootstraps. It ought to make you a little less arrogant about your own success, and a little more sympathetic toward those to whom raw luck has been a little less kind. It should make you acknowledge, to yourself if no one else, that you stand where you stand in part because of factors over which you have had no control, and to understand that others stand where they stand in part because of factors over which they too have had no control.

I think that’s the major disconnect with our entire society today. It’s been shown by statistical analysis that it is much harder to climb through the different economic classes nowadays. Add the increased economic segregation that we have, and you have the perfect recipe for people to be blind to the everyday lives of those who are not just like them.

It has nothing to do with race. It is simply a product of economic stratification. When the only thing you see and/or know is people living well, it’s easy to say that any economic struggling can be overcome by one pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. It’s also easy to convince yourself that one can only be poor and dependent on the government because they choose to be that way. After all, everybody you see, know, or interact with usually have money and are successful at something.

On the other hand, if all you know is poverty and struggling, you have little to no concept of “how” to pull yourself up by your bootstrap. If you never interact with people outside of poverty or low incomes, you have no idea of what it looks like to be successful beyond what you perceive as success in that economic range.

Only when you interact with people of all ranges or different economic stations in life can you begin to understand how different real life is when compared to the pipe dreams and rhetoric you hear all the time.

The Truth

August 15th, 2012
3:59 pm

Ayn Rand was a welfare (social security) queen that was pro-abortion. This is the type that teaboggers worship.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

August 15th, 2012
3:59 pm

Don’t worry you guys kill 1.2 million people a year…. You wouldn’t know morality if it slapped you in the face. You are unqualified in everyway to discuss it.

All liberalism is, is hate using pretty words. People with half a brain aren’t fooled.

Jay

August 15th, 2012
4:00 pm

Well put, Bro.

And don’t you just love that lapel pin on Ayn?

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 15th, 2012
4:00 pm

It’s been shown by statistical analysis that it is much harder to climb through the different economic classes nowadays.

Ironically, I’ve seen studies that indicate our European brethren actually have it easier, in trying to advance economically, than in the land-of-duh-free, these days.

Maybe some mean well, but they’re definitely doing it wrong.

Paul

August 15th, 2012
4:00 pm

Steve Atl

Are you in “I’m just gonna toss stuff out today and not show I have any knowledge of what I’m tossing out by backing it up” mode today?

If you’re not, you may have missed the 3:52.

Obambarrassment

August 15th, 2012
4:00 pm

It is antithetical to human nature and to thousands of years of human history in which the individual has had responsibilities to the group, and the group has had responsibilities to the individual. The genius of the American system in particular has been its ability to create a workable, ethical balance between those competing responsibilities.

The “morality” that Ryan proposes would toss that balance aside, creating a system the likes of which has never been seen, and which would meet no definition of the word “moral” that I, or Jefferson, would accept.

Everyone, reread this alone and let it stand for the utter nonsense that it is.

You’re babbling, Mr. Bookman.

Paul Ryan is defending capitalism in the video, clearly, and using Rand to do so. To offer the notion that Ryan and Romney were born into “relative privilege” is old, tired political soft-headed claptrap, to borrow a phrase, so cliche, that it isn’t even worthy of serious fictionalizing, such as Rand did. (The Pirates of Penzance is more appropriate expression of the overwhelming emotions liberals feel when they ejaculate about “orphans” or poor people.)

Your perception of Rand is entirely out of whack. Objectivism is not romantic at all, despite the absurd sex scenes Rand tries to conjure out of thin air. Objectivism is a bare-bones, proto- wanna-be- philosophy whose tenets are concrete only and not soft-headed nor romantic. It is lifeless and dull. Second, nowhere can you show that Rand rejected the existence of society, and it borders on libel to insinuate that Ryan does. Rand rejected socialism; that’s all.

Yours is an insane, delusional conclusion you make, it was pointless, gratuitous nonsense that adds nothing at all to your argument. What she rejected was religion (which she said was the first thing that made people slaves–a very liberal point of view today, I might add) and then came government which made people slaves (this view was carved into her by her experience in the Soviet Union), but in no way is this philosophy reflected in Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney or anything but White House talking points.

On the contrary, Ryan is a Roman Catholic, a religion and faith (Ryan’s faith as you lie, clearly isn’t objectivism; it is in Jesus Christ) that utterly rejects the cold nothing of objectivism. While I have no faith in your ability to take on any complex understanding of the Catholic Church, I expected better from you in addressing a dime-store fad philosophy like Ayn Rand’s.

So, this is the way the press “vets” conservatives. Obama sat in “Good Damn America” for 20 years, and the best you can do is lie about Mitt Romney’s running mate and make objectivism out to be some boogeyman of conservative thought. For the record, objectivism is not.

In the future, Mr. Bookman, those fair-minded among us would really appreciate less babbling on your part and the beginnings of any sense of objectivity about objectivism or any understanding about conservatives.

Wallis the dog

August 15th, 2012
4:01 pm

Couldn’t resist clicking on Jay’s column today, based on the headline. As I suspected, it’s soft-headed, romantic claptrap.

harvey

August 15th, 2012
4:02 pm

Wow, I guess I better quit reading murder mysteries. Liberals will accuse me of being a closet murderer.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

August 15th, 2012
4:02 pm

And don’t you just love that lapel pin on Ayn?

I believe it was jewcowboy that pointed out that the $ sign also marks her grave.

Common Sense

August 15th, 2012
4:02 pm

“Why is this relevant? Well, Randian philosophy — “objectivism” they call it — is to my mind soft-headed, romantic claptrap that attempts vainly to masquerade as hard-headed, pragmatic economic theory. Its appeal is emotional, not intellectual.”

Yes it is quite the romantic notion that you own what you produce. And because the collective despises that notion, the force of law is used to lay claim to varying percentages of what you produce for the benefit of others.

Individualism is something the collective finds threatening. And the collective cannot implement it’s objectives as long as individuals clamor to such romantic notions as private property, individual rights and freedoms that the majority cannot strip away for the “greater good”.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 15th, 2012
4:03 pm

Don’t worry you guys kill 1.2 million people a year…

you talkin’ abortion?

you must be pleased as punch that the guy who signed FIFTY DOLLAR ROMNEYCARE ABORTIONS into law is your Presidential nominee, then.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

August 15th, 2012
4:03 pm

Well Ayn Rand is a first class idiot and her philosphy is utter garbage. Being a capitolist doesn’t save her from the fate of being subpar mentally….
HOWEVER, we already know the Karl Marx’s philosophy is crap in actual practice, yet the liberals keep wanting to relive this failure in hopes that it might accidently work if you keep trying it.
failure begets failure. Marx is a failure, Keynes is a failure, liberalism is and always will be a failure. Liberals are by default, failures.

Goldie

August 15th, 2012
4:04 pm

Let’s see, where to start– some of Our President’s accomplishments so far:

– Oversaw the capturing or killing more Al-qaida terrorists than W ever dreamed of doing (including the big OBL himself);
– Signed into law the Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay Act;
– Saved the American automobile industry and MILLIONS OF JOBS along with it;
– Rescued the American economy from the GOP’s recklessness for 8 disastrous years;
– Withdrawal of American troops from Iraq as promised;
– Withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan as promised;
– Repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and therefore saved our military;
– Endorsed the efforts of marriage equality for both sexes;
– Endorsed the Dream Act for young undocumented school children;
– Signed into law the Affordable Care Act and therefore saved millions of Americans from having to file bankruptcy due to having no medical insurance.

You’re welcome! :)

harvey

August 15th, 2012
4:04 pm

You state, “The genius of the American system in particular has been its ability to create a workable, ethical balance between those competing responsibilities”. what is ethical about stealing money from those who have worked hard and sacrificed for it to pay for others’ welfare? Nothing ethical about that at all. That is simply theft.

Tealiban Party

August 15th, 2012
4:04 pm

Steve Atl
August 15th, 2012
3:57 pm
Michelle and Barack are estimated to have a net worth of $15 million…he will be worth $100 million within 5 years of leaving office…he is a RICH guy and hangs with the rest of the RICH guys and girls.
Sorry…he is a 1%’er.

Then why doesn’t Obama support the Ryan budget? Doesn’t Obama want to pay lower or NO taxes like Mitt Romney?

Tom

August 15th, 2012
4:04 pm

I feel sorry for anyone who has ever tried to trudge through one of Rand’s turgid potboilers to try to extract her ludicrous “philosophy”. The true analogy to Ayn Rand is L. Ron Hubbard.

godless heathen

August 15th, 2012
4:05 pm

Well I guess he evolved.

Next attack, please.

Steve Atl

August 15th, 2012
4:05 pm

Hey Paul…what’s your question? Barack and Michelle are worth $15 million.

Sorry…the truth hurts. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are not real either.

zem

August 15th, 2012
4:05 pm

Good post. Wish lots of people would read it and think about it.

martin the calvinist

August 15th, 2012
4:05 pm

sorry Paul, I saw where most people defended Biden’s statements. If a Republican said that, there would be unholy commotion raised over this…I’m sorry, I see this as hypocritical….
Okay I’ll get back to the current topic….

I’m not fan of Ms. Rand, can’t help but not to like her views on God.

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

August 15th, 2012
4:06 pm

Fairly lofty rhetoric from somebody that endorses the half-wit President Kardashian and his Chia pet Biden. In Emperor Nero’s books (written by who?), what are not outright lies are vain inanities. Come on, Jay, you Democrats want your checks from the government. That’s all. The Supreme Leader only needs to make one statement: “I will keep the checks coming, and they will continue to get larger.”

Your faux intellectualism is a joke.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

August 15th, 2012
4:06 pm

Rand was not a philosopher, she was a writer of fiction and a political hack, nothing more. Objectivism is as stupid as communism.

Jay

August 15th, 2012
4:06 pm

Saw this on Twitter, cracked me up:

“If Paul Ryan wins, you can bet some things will get named after Ayn Rand, probably the stadium where they hold the Hunger Games.”

Common Sense

August 15th, 2012
4:07 pm

“Wasn’t Alan Greenspan a big fan of her?”

Oh he was. Then he decided that while the free markets were working, he’d tweak them a little and it failed.

I am sure marrying Andrea Mitchell had nothing to do with his change of heart either. After all, the media love Ayn Rand.

Read Greenspan’s works in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

Had he stuck to those principles, we would have all been a lot better off.

Obambarrassment

August 15th, 2012
4:08 pm

I think that’s the major disconnect with our entire society today. It’s been shown by statistical analysis that it is much harder to climb through the different economic classes nowadays. Add the increased economic segregation that we have, and you have the perfect recipe for people to be blind to the everyday lives of those who are not just like them.

It has nothing to do with race. It is simply a product of economic stratification.

Right on, Bro.

It might surprise you, but I do agree with one iota of what you say. There is economic stratification that has accelerated under Obama.

Witness: more people are on food stamps, more receiving welfare checks, more receiving Social Security disability, more unemployed, many more underemployed, college graduates unemployed at a rate of 50%.

Sure we have economic stratification. That happens when there isn’t anymore activity, hence mobility. That is what we have under Obama. That is what you get for socialism.

How are people going to be upwardly mobile when college graduates aren’t working?

Isn’t the promise of education that we can all get ahead?

Paul

August 15th, 2012
4:08 pm

Nicely put, Brosephus

Steve Atl

I asked the question at 3:52.

As to the Obamas, what is your point? That because they have attained wealth they must have little empathy, adhere to Rand’s philosophy, think they got where they are all on their own and if other people worked hard like they did there would be no people in need in the country?

Is that your point?

You now have two answers pending.

Or are you just posting items with no meaning?

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

August 15th, 2012
4:08 pm

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

August 15th, 2012
3:52 pm
A prime example of liberal tolerance:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/15/us/dc-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

He was trying to shoot pro-life people so I am sure that’s ok with you guys….

silly, silly, silly

Is shooting anti-abortion activists ok with anybody?

Anybody?

C’mon not a single liberal will cheer for the attempted murder of a antichoice person?

Not one?

Is shooting an abortion doctor ok with anybody?

Yep….

The Army of GOD: With bloody pictures of dead fetuses on the front of its poorly designed website, the Army of GOD praised the killer: “The lives of innocent babies scheduled to be murdered by George Tiller are spared by the action of American hero Scott Roeder.”

hmmmmmm