Ayn Rand’s Acolytes
This list collects modern U.S. policitians and pundits who secretly believe or openly support the vision of objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand. Why should you care? Isn’t Ayn Rand just a sort of proto-conservative?
If you can stand to read twenty pages or so, go here and read the first half of my thesis. If not, I’ll summarize this as briefly as I can.
In the following, I am going to begin an ever-expanding list of devotees to the cult of Rand. A link on the person’s name and throughout the person’s blurb will take you to proof of their adherence to Objectivism.
The best place to go would be the chapter in Matt Taibbi’s book Griftopia titled “The Biggest Asshole in the World”. Since you do not own a copy of that book, you can read this summary from an interview with The Onion A.V. Club:
AVC: There’s an entire chapter in Griftopia devoted to systematically dismantling the character of former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan. It’s called “The Biggest Asshole In The World.” Maybe we should just start with that title.
MT: [Laughs.] There are three things going on with Greenspan, three reasons why I thought it was worthwhile doing that chapter, and doing it in that way. He had a specific role, as a politician, in the sense that he was one of the primary people pushing deregulation—and a specific kind of deregulation—that ended up being a major factor in the crisis. So there was that. Then there was the second thing, which was his role as the head of the Fed, which basically allowed Wall Street to bail itself out every time it got into a speculative disaster. And then the third thing was, he was really a symbol of the kind of mindset, the ideology, that sort of Ayn Randian belief in complete and total deregulation, and the cult of the producer, and all of that stuff. The superficial pushing of that ideology, on the one hand. On the other hand, the sort of backdoor use of the government as an insurance policy and welfare program for the financial-services industry. Those contradictions were so perfectly symbolized in Greenspan, I just thought he was the ideal way to start out the whole discussion of what Wall Street was all about. He had a specific role as a villain, and he also had a sort of general role as an ideological leader of everything that went wrong.
(Source) The next Q actually deals with the cult of Ayn Rand on Wall Street and is really worth reading.
Ron Paul has distanced himself from Rand’s titanic atheism. That’s a good thing. It makes for very uncomfortable policy to both 1) worship selfishness and 2) reject the moral compass of Judeo-Christian principles (without injecting any secular moral humanism).
Yet, without the cognitive bankruptcy of unalloyed Objectivism, I cannot explain this:[youtube http://youtu.be/DWtHJiYitew]
There we go, Paul’s answer is pure Rand. Except his dithering on religion in the past serves the purpose to separate him from the more hateful views of Rand – like those expressed in the video. Namely, that the government has no responsibility to protect human life via “socialism”, which is always defined as any act of government other than policemen/firemen/military services. So what’s the point, then, of finding Rand’s atheist/Objectivism as “so cold” if you still believe sick people with no wealth ought to die.
Congressman Ryan (R-Wisconsin) has also distanced himself from Rand’s views, and not just her atheism. Ryan, a die-hard Catholic*, regularly makes waves with his various budget proposals which unabashedly shift more of our nation’s financial burden onto the poor and working class, while favoring the wealthy so much that the plans actually do very little to take the country out of the red – and may, ultimately, make the deficit worse with tax cuts for the wealthy.
The following quote is a theme in this list. Here you go:
“I’m stunned by how oblivious he is to the pain his policies would cause people,” said David R. Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin who jousted often with his downstate colleague before retiring from the House at the end of 2010. “What amazes me is that someone that nice personally has such a cold, almost academic view of what the impact of his policies would be on people.”
For more proof of Ryan’s at-times tepid Randism go here.
*Ryan has an almost comic lack of introspection and the link in the header expounds upon this point.