Thursday, May 09, 2013
Monday, April 08, 2013
• • Moneybag False Equivalency
Best I can tell, like many other wealthy men, [the Koch brothers] read Ayn Rand under the covers after bedtime as adolescents, and never grew up.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
• SOTU Day-After Thoughts
Paul Ryan |
Anyone imagining there is some sort of “moderate Republicanism” in the wings that Democratic charity can vault into control of the GOP should watch Marco Rubio’s official response last night and pay attention to something other than his water-guzzling. This is the guy who was supposed to offer a “reformed” Republicanism with greater appeal than Paul Ryan’s Randian budget-cutting or Rand Paul’s unvarnished Tea Party extremism. Yet his speech was almost nothing other than a repetitive rejection of the power of the public sector to play any positive role in national life other than at the Pentagon.
Monday, February 04, 2013
• • The Randian Case for Restricting Immigration
Rand Paul |
You might figure a guy like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) would have to be a bit conflicted on the immigration issue. Give his father’s identity, he’s probably been exposed to every pro-immigration argument ever made. Libertarians are, by and large, pro-liberalized immigration for all the obvious reasons. But he represents Kentucky, and occupies the seat once held by Jim Bunning, whose big winning ad in his own first successful race featured a Hispanic voice thanking his opponent for a pro-NAFTA vote with: “Muchas gracias, Senor Baesler!”
Thursday, January 24, 2013
• • Women and Libertarianism
The Fountainhead |
I gotta say, of all the self-appointed tasks in American political discourse, making libertarianism a gender-balanced movement strikes me as one of the most Sisyphean. It would require someone with the grit and charisma of a Howard Roark.
Friday, January 04, 2013
• • Procreate Or Die!
One of the more lurid aspects of the American conservative lurch-to-the-right in recent years has been the quashing of the inhibitions of the Self-Righteous Rich. Like characters in the Ayn Rand novels many of them avidly consume, these folk are furious at those of us who have not made our own selves wealthy and enraged at the idea that they might owe something to the society that has blessed them so richly.
Monday, December 17, 2012
• Love You, Man!
Paul Ryan |
So Paul Ryan and Mark Rubio regaled the audience at last night’s Jack Kemp Foundation’s award dinner with what might be called a two-pronged attack on the GOP’s present political problems. Ryan spent most of his time expressing great empathy for people—especially poor people—outside the current GOP voter coalition, clearly aiming to distance himself and his party from all the Randian talk about “the 47%” and “the takers” that used to be part of his own rhetoric brand.
Saturday, December 01, 2012
• The Bloc Vote Strikes Again
Paul Ryan |
Think Progress’ Igor Volsky reports [...] lines from Paul Ryan about how and why he and Mitt lost. [....] Volsky goes on to contrast this “turnout” talk with Ryan’s pre-election assertions that the election was a big, bold choice between big, bold policy agendas. But to an old cracker like me, the Dairy State Randian’s words had a very different connotation.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
• • • Paul Ryan, “Second-Hander”
Altruism |Atheism |Atlas Shrugged |Capitalism |Egoism |Paul Ryan |
The thing about Ayn Rand, as anyone who has actually read her works can attest, is that she offered readers an all-or-nothing proposition. She didn’t entertain, she instructed. This was most evident in Atlas Shrugged, whose centerpiece was an endless didactic “radio broadcast” by her hero John Galt, identifying all human misery with the “mysticism of the mind” (supernatural religion) and the “mysticism of the muscle” (socialism, or more accurately, the rejection of strict laissez-faire capitalism), and with the ethics of altruism both reflected. After penning Atlas Shrugged, Rand spent most of the rest of her life making sure everyone understood that her philosophy was a comprehensive system that rose or fell as a whole.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
• • What to expect at tonight’s GOP debate
It’s also not entirely clear how, mechanically, a “dump Obama” movement is supposed to materialize and then be executed. For a precedent, [Matt] Stoller goes all the way back to 1896, when Democratic Party leaders denied Grover Cleveland renomination. Even if you buy the idea that Obama is as out of touch with party sentiment and progressive values as laissez-faire beau ideal Cleveland was (there’s a reason he was Ayn Rand’s favorite U.S. president), the nominating process is obviously not as susceptible to elite “leadership” as it was 116 years ago.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
• • Dixie Madison: Republicans want Wisconsin‘s economy to become just like the South’s
Scott Walker is hardly alone among Midwestern Republican governors in pursuing an agenda that combines business-tax cuts and other incentives with attacks on public investments and Southern-style hostility to unions. [....] Why is this model of economic growth so appealing to the Tea Party? For one, it tends to jibe very well with the Ayn Randian belief in producerism: the idea that “job creators”—business owners—are the only source of economic growth in society, and that everyone else—the workers, government employees, and the poor—are just “useless eaters” shackling those who exercise individual initiative. While many Democrats are baffled by Scott Walker’s attack on the unions—shouldn’t he be focused on jobs rather than eliminating workers’ protections? they ask—the fact is that today’s conservatives believe this is the right and only way to create jobs.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
• Mean regression: The Tea Party is turning states into little Ayn Rand laboratories
It’s hard to imagine a more enthusiastic endorsement of the old moonlight-and-magnolias approach of making lower business costs—including taxes, wages, and all those inconvenient regulations aimed at protecting the workforce or the environment—the sole strategy for economic development, at the expense of other public and private goods.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
• Unstable platform
I strongly suggest a reading of the Iowa Republican Party Platform by anyone who accuses "liberals" or "the media" of exaggerating the extremism of today's conservatives. [....] It’s hard to miss principle number seven, which would have satisfied Ayn Rand even on one of her crankier days: “The individual works hard for what is his/hers. Therefore, the individual will determine with whom he/she will share it, not the government. No more legal plunder. Legal plunder is defined as using the law to take from one person what belongs to them, and giving it to others to whom it does not belong. It is plunder if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what that citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” Given that principle, it’s not surprising that elsewhere the platform flatly calls for the abolition of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (along with minimum wage laws), and of the federal departments of Agriculture (!), Education and Energy. It also appears to oppose any anti-discrimination laws of any sort.
Friday, December 11, 2009
• • • In Galt they trust
Atheism |Ayn Rand Archives |Ayn Rand Institute |Atlas Shrugged |Night of January 16th |The Fountainhead |We The Living |Capitalism |Egoism |Personal life |
Reviews of Ayn Rand and the World She Made, by Anne C. Heller and Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right, by Jennifer Burns.
To Rand, those who accepted "enslavement" to God–or for that matter, such conservative totems as family or tradition–had no moral standing to pose as fighters against socialism. This premise, more than any personal weaknesses, probably best explains her violent opposition to partial appropriation of her philosophy to suit the needs of the appropriator. As she said in 1966, "There can be no compromise on basic principles. There can be no compromise on moral issues. There can be no compromise on matters of knowledge, of truth, of rational conviction." Unfortunately for Rand’s posthumous wishes, the appropriation of her philosophy among today’s populist conservatives is full of compromises and incongruous combinations.
Monday, August 31, 2009