Rand vs. Ryan


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Rand saw the Left at work firsthand in St. Petersburg during the Russian Revolution, in Hollywood during the Red Decade, and in the Manhattan publishing world. She liked neither what she saw nor what she experienced. The Left confiscated her family’s business in Russia and blocked her books in America. She didn’t turn the other cheek.

She lampooned leftists as caricature characters in her books. As buffoonish as Atlas Shrugged’s John Galt is heroic, the liberals of Rand’s fiction are designed to infuriate more than convert the liberals to Rand’s reality. “When everybody agrees,” James Taggart shrieks in Atlas Shrugged, “when people are unanimous, how does one man dare to dissent? By what right?” Ellsworth Toohey professes in The Fountainhead, “A man braver than his brothers insults them by implication. Let us aspire to no virtue which cannot be shared.” “Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them,” Dr. Ferris tells Hank Rearden in Atlas Shrugged. “One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s in there in that for anyone?”

Whereas Ayn Rand puts down, Paul Ryan persuades. Bill Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles called Ryan “amazing” last year. “He is honest. He is straightforward. He is sincere. And the budget that he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, serious budget.” Whereas Rand scowls, Ryan smiles. The district Ryan represents hasn’t voted Republican in a presidential race since Ronald Reagan’s reelection. Yet, he has never in his seven congressional races won with less than 57 percent of the vote.

Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand’s substantive differences involve religion, ethics, economics, policy, and much else. But the greatest divide between the pair is stylistic rather than substantive. One who can’t distinguish the smiling and sunny politician from the dark and dour novelist lives in fiction as much as John Galt does.

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  • HighPressure

    The left hated Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn too. The right on the other hand while not embracing either 100% listened and took note. Both Rand and Solzhenitsyn both gave us warnings of the Obama to come. Solzhenitizen warn of our collapse when we lost our moral center by transferring it from the God of Abraham to the god we call big government ie Obama and Karl Marx. Rand looked at the base human nature and came to the same conclusion.

    So even biblical Protestants like myself appreciate Rand, she just didn’t go as far as Solzhenitsyn as the real source of the disease. The left’s irrational hate for them is the same they have with “truth”. Truth is the light that makes the bugs scatter. It hurts the lefts eyes.

    • amused

      WRONG ……"the left " NEVER hated Solzhenitsyn , that's your SPIN . Just the opposite , the right hated him because he strongly criticized the United States ….but the righ kept it's mouth shut , because after all , The Soviet Union was The Enemy and Solzhenitsyn was an "escapee " of sorts . Better releve some of that "high pressure " on the brain . I guess either you weren't around when he arrived in the US , or maybe too young and not yet literate .

      • fiddler

        Provoking again. Insulting again. Are you happy with your life? Nothing else to do?

    • guest

      Solzhenitsyn and Rand should not be mentioned in the same sentence.

      The difference is merely the difference between Christianity and atheism–

      "Untouched by the breath of God, unrestricted by human conscience, both capitalism and socialism are repulsive."-Solzhenitsyn 2003

  • Swemson

    The author's characterization of Ayn Rand as being dark and dour is totally inaccurate. I had the good fortune to have met her and talked to her on numerous occasions in the early 1960's, and found her to be warm and engaging. To be sure, she didn't suffer fools, but when dealing with bright people who wanted to learn more about Objectivism, she was quite charming and oftentimes quite amusing as well.

    In saying that he admires her economic principles but doesn't like her philosophy, Ryan is merely pandering to the religious right. Ryan is wrong when he characterizes Objectivism as an atheistic philosophy. Objectivism is a philosophy based on reason and individual rights. It's primary value is individual freedom, and the natural right that every man has to keep the fruits of his labors. The fact that Rand was an atheist herself, doesn't mean that her beginning premise was the idea that there's no such thing as God from which all of the rest flows. Her beginning premise was Aristotle's rules of logic & reason. Everything followed from "A is A"

    The left's hatred of her isn't irrational, as the previous commenter claims. Since her work first became popular, there have been many on the left who, while never really understanding her, were just smart enough to get the fact that Rand was their arch-enemy. Their visceral hatred of her led to criticism of her based on some pretty absurd claims. Most common when I was in school in the 60's was the claim that she was a fascist. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Ayn Rand's philosophy demonstrates that all of the "rights" of free men, that conservatives say are a gift from God, can also be derived from looking at the world through the lens of pure reason as well. Capitalism is Rand's moral ideal, not because God says so, but because it makes sense, and because it works. No other rational system exists.

    fs

    • adamjw2

      You make some really good points, so I hate to disagree with you, especially since I am a big fan of Rand. However, in We the Living, there is a conversation between two characters that disproves this statement of yours: "The fact that Rand was an atheist herself, doesn't mean that her beginning premise was the idea that there's no such thing as God from which all of the rest flows."

      From We the Living:
      "Do you believe in God, Andrei?"
      "No."
      "Neither do I. But that's a favorite question of mine. An upside-down question, you know."
      "What do you mean?"
      "Well, if I asked people whether they believed in life, they'd never understand what I meant. It's a bad question. It can mean so much that it really means nothing. So I ask them if they believe in God. And if they say they do–then, I know they don't believe in life."
      "Why?"
      "Because, you see, God–whatever anyone chooses to call God–is one's highest conception to the highest possible. And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his own life. It's a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. To imagine a heaven and then not to dream of it, but to demand it."

      This dialogue shows that her beginning premise is intertwined with her belief that God does not exist.

      • tagalog

        Well, maybe, except that it is entirely possible for one to believe in the highest possible conception, i.e. God, as higher than one's self without holding himself and his own life in low esteem. This is the kind of extreme statement that Ayn Rand had a habit of making, where such statements are far too overbroad and overreaching.

        • adamjw2

          I agree with you, but that wasn't what I was disputing. What I was disputing from Swemson's post was what Rand believed – that her beginning premise didn't involve that God doesn't exist. As you can see from those quotes in my first post, her initial premise DOES involve atheism.

          Doesn't mean I agree with it. It's just what she believed.

          • Reason_For_Life

            If belief in God demands that you renounce happiness in this world in favor of union with God in the next world then it's clear why you believe that Rand's philosophy is based on atheism. However, if your view of life is that success and happiness are proper to human beings in this world then Rand's atheism is far less important.

            Rand's enemies are often people that use religion to manipulate others. When you see people as "naturally prone" to violence, criminality and perversion you need something to control them. Fear of eternal damnation works pretty well in this respect. For these people, like William F Buckley, any suggestion that you pursue your own happiness is a call to set loose the demons within. Rick Santorum, a devout Catholic, denounced the pursuit of happiness and considered it to be the fundamental force destroying America.

    • tagalog

      The Left's dislike of Ayn Rand isn't irrational; they have good reason to dislike her philosophy. She hated rote thinking (if you can call it thinking), and those whose political philosophy included being "moochers" and "looters."

      It's their EXPRESSION of their hatred of Ayn Rand that is irrational. I continue to remember (vaguely, I admit) the short sub-plot in the movie Dirty Dancing, where one of the camp workers was a fan of Ayn Rand, and his conduct is of course portrayed as unperceptive, overstrict, thoughtless, unsympathetic, and harmful to another person. That moment in the movie was so dumb that I have never forgotten it.

      • amused

        Wow , that's a pretty good self-contradicting piece of bullsheeet tagalog . Keep up the good work FPM will give you a Gold Star .

        • fiddler

          Yep. Life is one big joke 'eh amused?

          • amused

            Life ? No , folks like I hear on this blog are one big joke ,the hypocrisy and lies of both parties are one big joke , and whatever it is you may expect in Nov. is one big joke . After listening to all the spleen-spilling vitriol ,and contentiousness , you're gonna need a suicide watch or a riot squad should Romney lose .
            No , LIFE is not a big joke , and I would not dare an analogy , for that would be an insult to Life .

          • fiddler

            Abused,

            Then why do you trouble yourself so? The only "position" you seem to take is political grand-standing from the cheap seats. Remember the commercial, "Hey, he missed the tag!!". Nope, even that would be taking a position. Monasticism might be a good alternative.

          • grayzel

            Indeed, I marvel at insights of Amused, which are only exceed by their ignorance.

      • tagalog

        What's the problem, you can't make the obvious distinction between disliking something and the manner of expressing that dislike? Is there some problem with comprehension that causes you to call that distinction "bullsheet" (I admire your scrupulousness)?

        • amused

          Please explain why you tag any dislike for Rand as "the Left" , please provide examples other than the criticism attached to Ryan . Rands been around along time R.I.P
          I suspect you utilized that tag soley because Ryan is being criticized over it . Or because you heard a one liner in a movie , which was most likely put in as a parlance of the time if nothing else . So how does that translate to or justify you're broadbrushing ?

          • tagalog

            I didn't; I said the Left dislikes Ayn Rand. They aren't the only ones. The religious don't like her either. The Kantian moral philosophers also don't like her.

        • amused

          Thank you , I took Evylin Woods Reading and Comprehension Courses , and have no trouble at all comprehending your meaning . Perhaps you have a problem transmitting it .

          • tagalog

            Wow, you're an EVELYN WOODS (I liked the "Evylin" thingie – sort of like in that movie Deliverance, eh? Do you happen to play the banjo?) graduate? Deep silence as I tug my forelock in deference. More sycophantism.

    • mlcblog

      where have you been? i am amazed to state that i missed that shiveringly posed eyeball. Eeeuww.

      …and, I totally agree. With or without God, no other system works so well for mankind.

  • oldtimer

    You don't have to like everything about an author to agree with or enjoy their works. I enjoyed L.Ron Hubert's sci-fi novels but I DO NOT agree or follow scientology.(nor did I ever read any of his works addressing it)

    • adamjw2

      So true.

    • tagalog

      You mean "L. Ron HUBBARD," don't you? There were a heck of a lot better sci-fi writers in the same time period than L. Ron Hubbard, and some of them, like Heinlein for example, wrote on cultural and political themes.

      • oldtimer

        Sorry for the miss spelling. Yes it is Hubbard, and I read them over 30yrs ago. Most sci-fi has underlying themes, like Asimov's robots and Herbert's Dune..but does not mean you agree with them. Just enjoy for the entertainment aspect.

        • amused

          agreed old timer , Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is not a sci-fi novel . Certain principles were expounded . Reading a book of that nature , then quoting and expounding those same principles , pontificating as it were , indicates some sort of adherence to and application of those principles , which is fine for a private citizen , but if one is running for such high office and literally being just one heartbeat away from the Presidency , THAT should give pause to anyone aware of it . And IF that person has spoken the opposite of such principles in public life , then there indeed is a conflict of ideology to be considered . And the Demagogues of both parties are BIG on ideology . So the fuss about it in such an atmohere as does exist , it becomes an issue . I find it again just another irony in this contentious campaign , that Republicans for 3 1/2 years have done EXACTLY the same thing with Obama regarding Aylinsky , and coincidental and unintentional association by being in the same building or event with a controversial Character . I'm amused . Welcome to the biig Leagues Ryan .

          • fiddler

            No, you're cynical, and boring.

  • tagalog

    At the outset, let me say I'm not a big fan of Ayn Rand, but as to "fairness and squareness," Ayn Rand believed that those things are a function of knowledge. Free markets accentuate the necessity for buyers and sellers to possess knowledge of the factors involved in business transactions, so Ayn Rand's take on fairness and squareness seems pretty fair-minded to me. To the extent that she celebrates her characters' "fairness and squareness," that's the extent to which her characters follow Rand's objectivist theory; that's why, when it comes to that sort of thing in her novels, her characters are a bit wooden and prolix.

    On the issue of "civic-mindedness," Ayn Rand held that any involvement of people in civic organizations and civic action should be a function of the individual's personal and free decision to become so involved. That seems pretty fair to me also.

    My objection to Ayn Rand is that her philosophy is, according to her view of the world, pretty strict and logical, arguably hard-hearted. I'm personally a bit more emotional and therefore somewhat more willing to allow some state involvement in peoples' welfare, so I don't find Rand sympathetic on that score. Ayn Rand had a weakness in that she believed that there is a vanguard of the right-minded who should lead (or at least be an example to) the masses. I suppose that's a function of her early years under the Soviets.

    I certainly support knowledge and liberty over coercion and state-sponsored ignorance.

    • Stephen_Brady

      Well-stated, tagalong.

      You said: "To the extent that she celebrates her characters' "fairness and squareness," that's the extent to which her characters follow Rand's objectivist theory; that's why, when it comes to that sort of thing in her novels, her characters are a bit wooden and prolix."

      The same can be said of The Grapes of Wrath. It's one of the finest stories ever written, until we discover that "the people" can't survive in the wilderness of capitalism without the government's help. Then, the story becomes merely another s o c i a l i s t tract.

      • amused

        WOW , tweo crocs of bullsheet in a row , it;s amzing how you seperate your particular animosities when a subject is held by one of your own …namely Ryan . The very same can be said about Aylinsky your arch enemy and nemesis , funny , never heard any redeeming characteristic extolled here . Tagalog , contradicts previously held views on welfare and that other dirty term "community organizing ", and you're no better Brady . The only trouble I have with you two , and most others posting on these threads is ….are you hypocrites , lackeys ,…or BOTH . LOL….both chrachteristic of sycophants .

        • Stephen_Brady

          You call us "sycophants", but yet you spout the DEM talking points on a regular basis, in spite of your assurances that you are an "independent". Proof? Look at your next two posts in this thead.

          • Chezwick

            Yes indeed Stephen…."Amused" consistently takes a liberal line on position after position (excepting Islam)….and then turns around and insists he's not a liberal. Yet, apparently it's everyone else who is a hypocrite.

        • fiddler

          It must be self-hatred projecting itself. If you are contemplating a zit on your nose, just have it lanced.

          • amused

            Childish responses , from children ….anything that disagrees or deviates from your lock-step narrow minded views are considered .."liberal "" or "democrat " . To you , the brainwashed , Centrist views are considered "Leftist " .I can call a Democrat a LIAR , and I'm one of the herd , yet call a Republican a LIAR and I'm a Leftist . If I do not express contempt and hatred of Obama …that makes me a leftist , If I express any compromise or centrist position , then I'm a Liberal pretending to be aa Centrist . Anyone who disagrees is the enemy .For you bi-partisan is a dirty word . You bear a closer resemblence to facists . You fail to recognize the FACT , that there exists in this country a plurality , you do not have an inside track on what is good for this country . For you hypocrites anything center of right is "liberal " .

          • fiddler

            Nope, just reaction to a cynic. Face it Abused, mankind is fallen, including yourself. You are not telling us anything we don't already know. It seems encumbent upon you, however, to remind all of us "children" that everybody lies, DUH. But you know, I do think there are some of us who are more morally compromised than others; their "cause" (e.g. redistribution of wealth) causes those who espouse such a mandate on society to espouse a god-like posture. Belief in the goodness of people is absent. Only such elite can make such decisions for us poor children. You can compare JFK for instance — a great statesman, but who did have personal foibles. His death was a tragedy. Please refrain from name-calling (calling us facists), and get off of your high-horse. The tell-tale sign of a far-leftist is their knee-jerk use of invective.

          • fiddler

            You can weed out people who are extreme; there are those on both sides. Understand, however, that this president has done things that have arouse particular concern, and that not being enough, he gets complete cover (or almost entirely) from the media. Whatever race, it doesn't matter. We don't see a dispassionate media where this man is concerned. Instead we see Chris Matthews expressing a "thrill running up his leg". HMMM. Every conservative on his show is attacked and bullied. Gee, does that sound objective to you? But maybe they "deserve it" you say. Better check your fairness meter. What ever happened to journalism? There are reasonable people everywhere, but they don't like being called names. Have a little humility. Perhaps then people will begin to take you seriously as a critical thinker. I rather think you would like that.

        • tagalog

          I feel OK using the same term repeatedly, since you're doing it too with the claim of contradiction and "bullsheet," so I know you'll understand when I once again say, obviously you are not Amused, eh?

          Do a little homework on the spelling and grammar, will you please? I liked the "it;s" one; that was cute, took some effort.

        • tagalog

          I know I'M a sycophant. Sometimes I get nauseated and then I'm a sick sycophant. The people to whom I'm a lackey give me wide berth then, I can tell you.

          I've been writing to Barnum & Bailey, trying to get them to train me so I can do sycophant tricks and march in their parades. Failing that, I hope one day to have a sycophant-leg umbrella holder in the anteroom of my house.

          I'm more inconsistent than I am a hypocrite. And what is it with hypocrisy (assuming it's really hypocrisy) that seems to get the folks like Amused so worked up? Could it be projection at work?

        • tagalog

          Two crocks (proper spelling) for the price of one. Take two, they're small. We'll exchange our crocks for yours.

  • clarespark

    Ayn Rand was a hugely entertaining novelist who depicted collectivists with precision and great humor. I defended her in passing here: http://clarespark.com/2012/08/16/marx-rivals-and-…. Many a conservative is hostile to atheism, as if all atheists are the devil. For shame, Daniel Flynn. You are an anti-modern. Title: "Marx, rivals and our enigmatic president." Or see my Ayn Rand blogs that put her in context: http://clarespark.com/2011/04/16/index-to-ayn-ran…. "Index to Ayn Rand blogs."

    • tagalog

      Ayn Rand had "great humor?" I bet you're the first to perceive that.

      • clarespark

        Did you read the blogs? As for humor, if you don't laugh at her devastating portrait of Ellsworth Toohey, more's the pity.

        • tagalog

          I've looked at your blogs. I find them difficult to wade through, so no, I didn't read your blogs on Ayn Rand. I also have trouble following your trains of thought in your various posts. Surely it's a defect in my reading ability.

          • amused

            If that was sarcasm tagalog -ok , but after reading clarespark , came to the same conclusion .The blog is no better than the posts .

          • tagalog

            So you too have defects in your reading ability?

            Actually, it was less sarcasm than it was irony.

      • mlcblog

        Not. See Swemson above.

      • ratonis

        I have often thought that Rand, had she continued to write fiction, could have written some uproariously funny stuff. I find myself laughing at her portrayals of some of her “bad” characters, and the names she gives them. I mean, “Balph” Eubanks? The name itself sets me laughing.

        My experience with Rand: I once wrote her a letter taking issue with something she had written in “The Objectivist,” and they cancelled my subscription. Now that was funny.

  • amused

    Blah , blah , blah , Rand's an atheist and her idea of "right " is communist , her idea of virtue is "selfishness " , her book was recommended by Ryan to be required reading [jokingly backed off that remark] by all of his staff . _ Ryan when pressed will not tow the party line on Gay MARRIAGE . _ Ryan has also just lost his campaign "virginity " by telling his first LIE …as a legislter for his State , claims he didn't sign up for BAILOUT MONEY . When asked directly …he LIED and denied it . Wellcome to the LIARS CLUB Paul . And that 700billion that " Obama wants to STEAL from Medicare ? Well those are projected savings after removal of fraud , streamilning payments etc. which actually translates to losses in revenue to the healthcare industry .__ Start the BACKPEDDLING Mr.Flynn , this issue will surely be at the top of the list .

  • amused

    Ryan , just another Liar now admits it ….AFTER having the proof shoved under his nose …and poves himself a HYPOCRITE .

    After repeated denials, Paul Ryan has admitted he requested stimulus cash even after sharply criticizing the program.

    As recently as Wednesday in Ohio, Mitt Romney's running mate told ABC's Cincinnati affiliate, WCPO, he did not.

    "I never asked for stimulus," Ryan said. "I don't recall… so I really can't comment on it. I opposed the stimulus because it doesn't work, it didn't work."

    Two years ago, during an interview on WBZ's NewsRadio he was asked by a caller if he "accepted any money" into his district. Ryan said he did not.

    "I'm not one [of those] people who votes for something then writes to the government to ask them to send us money. I did not request any stimulus money," the congressman answered.

    But as we've now learned, Ryan did write letters. He did request stimulus funds.

    • fiddler

      Abused is the consumate cynic. Perhaps something WILL happen December 21st (when the Mayan Calendar runs out) and all of your cynicism will be for naught.

      After your indication that you voted neither for Obama or McCain, and as you seem to have a superiority complex, one can only see by your rudeness to others here you don't know, that you vent your cynicism on others for supposed entertainment.

      • tagalog

        He's not a cynic. Cynicism requires a bit more than his writings suggest he's got. Some wit, for example. His writings suggest that he's something of a poseur and a reactionary at best.

  • tagalog

    If the government is handing out money, it's the height of stupidity not to take it, whether you agree with the government or not.

    • Stephen_Brady

      That's the curse of big government. The govenment creates the demand for the hand-outs.

      • amused

        But Ryan will take it anyway huh …..where I come from DENYING no less than two times is LIEING , and going against one's own principles no doubt for the sake of his constituency [vote pandering ] is hypocrisy .
        Pisss poor excuse Brady .
        What is remarkable is that the two of you dont realize how bloody transparent you are .

        • amused

          That's allright though , for all te vitriol and hatred expressed by Bachmann , her husban took plenty of Obama Admin money in his practice .

          As gfor waste ? Palins extending spending for the " Bridge to Nowhere " is so typical of the hypocrisy of the Republcan criticism .

          • amused

            LOL….I can just picture Ryan , head turned away , one hand covering his eyes …." I shant take this I tell you …it's wrong I voted against it " ……as his other hand is outstreched to refieve it .
            I'm really amused .

          • Stephen_Brady

            You're amused? No, you're not, and you've never been, since you first started posting here.

            You're angry, and your posts reek of hate. You're a perfect shill for Obama and the DEMs. But don't insult our intelligence and tell us that you're an independent …

            You'll be even less amused on Nov. 7.

          • amused

            That seem to be the ole' standard around here , you can refute what I just staed , and that's because you KNOW it's true , it reeks of Hypocrisy , just lkie you ….so call it " hatred " on my part huh ?
            And Oh yes , I WILL be amused in Nov. For one thing there'll be one party choking , whining , screaming FRAUD , while the other gloats in arrogance and false pride .
            But it will really get even more amusing when whoever gets in will find that the ONLY way out is RAISING TAXES …even St.Reagan knew and did it atleast 5 times . It's really very simple , but not for self-perpetuating politicians . TAX is the ONLY REVENUE for the country . Yes you can cut spending , but you cannot recover without raising taxes . Remember GH with "read my lips " ? Well guess what ? I don't fault him , he had no choice , but he had to lie , for the sake of his party and himself . So YES , I will be amused , because all will have to be taxed but depending on who gets in they will try or appear to try and protect either the rich or middle class .

          • fiddler

            Your "amusement" stinks of cynicism.

          • tagalog

            Actually, it's more like 1919-1933, when so many people supported Prohibition, then a decade of lawlessness, bootleg booze, and speakeasies revealed the price that would have to be paid for Prohibition, and many of the people who had originally supported it changed their minds and favored repeal of the constitutional amendment.

            I think many of us are coming to a similar epiphany over Social Security and Medicare.

        • tagalog

          That's me, transparent. Can you see my titanium hip joint?

      • stevefraser

        Say's Law, sort of?

        • Stephen_Brady

          Exactly.

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ JasonPappas

    Ryan spoke about how Rand influenced his thinking as a young man and then he moved on. Fair enough. When is Obama going to tell us he followed Marx and Alinsky before he moved on? If Rand-baiting is acceptable let's bring back red-baiting. I'll stack Rand (warts and all) against Marx & Alinsky any day. Let's discuss these influences side by side.

    Jamie Glazov tells us about Obama's Red past: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/jamie-glazov/young-o

    • stevefraser

      But don't expect the weak GOP to play offense on this matter.

      • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ JasonPappas

        Sad but true.

  • stevefraser

    Ayn Rand said many things, many of them extremely important in our fight against totalitarian collectivism. Some other things she said are now known to be absurd, especially her war against altruism…I assume she is a product of the Stalinist terror state she was born into,….a great philosopher overall with a few screwball ideas…..See the work of Ken Wilber for perhaps the most sophisticated philosophy we have.

    • mlcblog

      I think she had a solid point against altruism, though she take it to the extreme in my view. I am thinking of the do-gooder bleeding-heart liberals who want to hand out money and perks to those "less fortunate" than them, often hobbling the very people they purport to be helping….all in an effort at self-aggrandizement.

      • Swemson

        Rand wasn't against altruism so much as she was against anyone making it the primary purpose of their life. She had no problem with people giving away part of their wealth to causes they believed in, but she was most definitely against government do-gooders taking people's money & deciding where it should be distributed…

        Of course she understood that all they were really doing was buying votes…

        fs

        • mlcblog

          Thanks for the insight. I find it really cool that you actually knew her.

          • Swemson

            It was, & it was certainly one of the highlights of my early years.. I was a teenager, still in college at the time. Nathaniel Branden gave a 20 lecture series called "Basic Principles of Objectivism". Ms Rand took part in the Q&A at the end of each lecture, which was always fabulous. She also gave one or two of the lectures themselves. A recording of the series is still available at:
            http://thecultureofreasoncenter.com/products-page

            I remember the day when she passed away…

            It was the day that I first began to really loathe the NY Times. John Belushi died on the same day, and it was front page news, above the fold. Her passing was noted in a small piece on the bottom of page 26 or so…

            fs

      • tagalog

        My understanding of Ayn Rand says that she was OK with altruism, if it was the manner by which a person legitimizes or realizes his or her individuality. She has several characters in her novels who are intellectually respectable altruists.

        Her beef seems to be with those who demand that others provide them with material and spiritual sustenance, and to do so as a social duty. She broke them up into the relexive types, who are all feeling and no rationality, and those who understand the real objectivist underpinnings of true morality but choose to exploit altruism for personal gain. For the latter, she has some tatters of regard (not respect, but regard). Who's that newspaper publisher who deals with Howard Roark in The Fountainhead? Is that Ellsworth Touhey? He's an example.

        • mlcblog

          Thank you. Your comments remind me of the subtler message in her books which I knew was there but may have been too young or still too mixed up to grasp. Yes, she did have respect for integrity, and I think that is what we admire.

          I now decry the bleeding heart liberal do-gooders, of which I once was one, but thankfully have found my own spiritual sustenance and reason for being as well as have become able to take on my own life instead of try to run everybody else's, helping those "poor, less fortunates." This was so big in my surroundings when I was younger. Somebody once famously said, Before you go out and try to save the world, can you clean up your own bedroom? (He was talking to Junior Achievers in high school.)

  • mlcblog

    Whew! I can't skip over Amused fast enough.

    OK. Here's what I want to say. I really enjoyed this article. Thanks for the comparison. I am a fan of both and so it is nice to read about their similarities and differences from your perspective. Thanks!!

  • mlcblog

    I am ecstatic to be having and witnessing this discussion. I am so excited that Ryan is running with Romney. I savor the discussions and the excitement. May the American people be raised back up where they belong!

  • Mimi

    Thanks to this article, I like Paul Ryan even more!!!! I have been an Ayn Rand follower since the early seventies. Let the left keep this up (negative about Ayn Rand) and, you will have the Ayn Rand followers working even harder to get Mitt and Paul elected.

  • amused

    wishfull thinking on your part bunky .Since Ryan started to kick off his part with a few lies .And "raise up " …yea , they'll "raise up " off their couches and chairs to change channels or turn the tv off alltogether . They already know Obama's a liar , now they'll learn that Romney and Ryan are liars too . I doubt that would bother people like you mlcblog , your lot's used to digesting lies .

    • Stephen_Brady

      More DEM talking points, on the part of an "independent". Obama's merely thrown into the mix to keep up the illusion of independent thought.

      • amused

        Nope , more unambiguous , exposure to facts , not seen through the clouded lenses of unreasonable partisanship . All you're gonna hear ftrom either side for the next two months is lies , half-truths , countered by more lies and more half-truths . There's no mechanism to keep you honest . Both parties abandon any notion of compromise ,which is American has apple pie . Neither party has a signifigant majority , nor will they ever have the Presidency ,Senate and House all at once .This means another 4 years of pissing contests , nothing done right but plenty done [if anything ] half-asssed . Critical thinking on the decline , radical elements and extremists on both Left and Right , co-opting the platforms . Talk about illusions ? If Reagan were alive and a politician today , he'd be called a RINO . Remember 62% [ a majority ] of the American people think both are doing a lousy job ,and that aint all Dems or Rep. By 2017 there will be a consensus for a third Party , and since the Independent Party is already established ,and composed of mainly Centrists . The fact that you [and your lot ] see Centrist views as DEM talking points PROVES my point . UNCOMPROMISING ,NARROW political positions .

  • watsa46

    The far left has hijacked the democrats and use Pr. O race as a shield against white America.
    The far left will be deceptive as ever and ruthless.
    I am not a republican either.

  • amused

    Yea , and so too the far right with Republicans . Both need to be nullified by free thinking Independents , Centrists who have visions for The United States and not the narrow visions narratives of the extremists ,who dismiss and exclude each other . Proof of this is the type of talk appearing here , it is not atypical , as the same is displayed on the Left . Neither being able to see beyond their delusion and paranoia , led by demogogues who can literally speaks lies , fashioned for their expected consumption .

  • char1776

    "Miss Rand's greatest gift to us, along with her books, was the example she set for intellectual courage and integrity. Here was a woman who dared to stand virtually alone against ideas, political systems and cultures that were dominating the planet and had been hallowed by intellectuals for centuries. What heroism."

    (Al Ramrus interview, 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand by Scott McConnell)

  • amused

    yea ,yea ,and if a Democrat picked up her book and began quoting it , she would be a dirty Stalinist ,commie .

    • JakeTobias

      Then that would be a stupid mistake, wouldn't it comrade?

  • http://maven101.hubpages.com Paper Moon

    Over the years I have taken knowledge from many diverse sources of inspiration…This article points to Ryan’s interest in Ayn Rand as if that is a bad thing, as if that will be a guiding force in his political philosophy, a closet Randian…He also admires many of Camus’ ( a Socialist and atheist ) themes, particularly Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus, which is ultimately antithetical to Socialism and a defence of the Individual…Does that make Ryan a Socialist..?….This broad-brushing of someones character or philosophical beliefs points to an intellectual vapidness and dishonesty that speaks to the value some writers place on controversy vs factual detail…

  • Jim_C

    I thought Ayn Rand was cool when I was in high school. Her outlook about those who are leaders, innovators and producers stuck with me to this day. She is definitely a philosopher you'd want to cherrypick from, a la Nietszche, rather than follow wholesale.

    More important than Rand: If Mr. Ryan can explain how he reconciles the Church's teachings on economics with his own economic view, he'll be a formidable candidate, indeed. He appears to be a serious Catholic, and I always wonder how Catholic economic conservatives justify their stance.