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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

• • • Ryan Outrage Syndrome 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  | A recent issue of the New Republic features an extended tirade of sorts in which Leon Wieseltier sets out to show that the Paul Ryan “likes his capitalism cruel.” Wieseltier’s main rhetorical strategy involves turning Ryan into Ayn Rand with a congressional committee appointment. He reminds us that Ryan’s father’s death was a life-defining moment, one that forced him to try to figure out the meaning of life. In this period of searching he read Ayn Rand and developed his lifelong enthusiasm for her work. Out of this fact Wieseltier makes his case.

Monday, April 30, 2012

 Paul Ryan and the Angry Catholic Left 
,
Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | Ryan was scheduled to talk at Georgetown, and the ever-reliable Fr. Thomas J. Reese, S.J., and others have organized a letter of protest. “Our problem with Representative Ryan,” Reese told reporters, “is that he claims his budget is based on Catholic social teaching. This is nonsense.” I’m afraid that “nonsense” applies more to the letter Reese helped write than the budget Ryan proposed. It accuses Ryan of “continuing misuse of Catholic teaching,” and snidely dismisses his budget proposal as reflecting “the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” [....] This is not a letter of protest but instead one of reprimand.

Friday, November 25, 2011

 The End of Social Democracy 
,
Capitalism  | After the traumas of the Great Depression and World War II, the great imperative in the West was stability. This was perhaps clearest in Italy and Germany, the former Axis countries where, with strong encouragement from the victorious Americans, leaders emerged who were committed to brokering a new social contract that combined the openness of free market capitalism with the encompassing and egalitarian concern for social welfare that made socialism attractive to many. Fans of Ayn Rand and Friedrich Hayek will certainly decry this system, but I find myself marveling at its achievements.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

 Priests and politics 
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One cannot affirm social Darwinism or Ayn Rand’s view of the natural right of the rich to dominate the poor and imagine oneself in accord with Catholic teaching.