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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

• • Paul Ryan’s Trojan Horse: How to Gut Social Security 
Paul Ryan  | Paul Ryan's mentor, Ayn Rand, hated Social Security and he himself, in a speech to Rand's "Atlas Society" in 2006, called Social Security a "collectivist and socialist" system. Yet he knows that proposing direct elimination of the system is a political non-starter. So he created a Trojan Horse proposal called 'private accounts" that would achieve exactly what he and his mentor hope for, all in the name of saving the system.

Friday, November 16, 2012

• • • John Galt Speaking 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | This year's election, when boiled down to the basics, was no more complicated than the election between Mr. Mulligan and Mr. Mouch, two crucial characters in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, a book whose movie adaptation has hit theatres across the country during this election season. The parallel between the moral choice presented by Rand and the political choice we are faced with today is at the very least eerie, and at most, unprecedented in American history.

• • Ayn Rand, Barack Obama and Critical Thinking 
Individuals write breathless exposes of Rand saying the most dreadful things. They usually rely on a misreading of something she said, removing the quote or "incident" from context, or simply inventing information. Frequently, an article does all of this. I suspect some commenters below will be more than happy to share examples, which they swear to be true. The reason for such attacks is simple. People with strong political opinions intensely dislike other people holding contrary views.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

• • • Why Do Philosophers Ignore Ayn Rand? 
Because Ayn Rand was not a philosopher. When people talk about Rand’s “philosophy,” they’re using that word only as a euphemism. What Rand developed through her books and presented to the world was an ideology, a complex set of beliefs, opinions, metaphysics, and ethics. Philosophy is basically about the appreciation of wise thoughts, not the development of new ones.

• • • Election 2012: Ayn Rand vs Viola Spolin 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Egoism  |Individual Rights  |Paul Ryan  | Ayn Rand, you say? Is that what you say? When it comes to productive avenues for innovation and growth, especially in the current economic climate, the Rand approach is a recipe for personal and organizational chaos and aimlessness. Here’s why: What Ayn Rand created was, and still is, fiction. It never existed and it never will. Objectivism is nothing but a chimera.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

• • • A Liberal Ayn Rand? 
Atlas Shrugged  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Objectivist author  | It's no secret that the right is awash in Ayn Rand. Tea Partiers carry signs like "Who is John Galt?" and, astonishing for a novel published 55 years ago, sales of Atlas Shrugged topped 445,000 last year. All of this has prompted researchers like Yale historian Beverly Gage to wonder, “Why is there no liberal Ayn Rand?” Good question. Liberals today, Gage observes, have no long-term goals or vision, no big ideas, no canon. Here’s a radical thought. Instead of liberals dismissing Rand’s appeal to the American spirit of individualism and independence, as President Obama recently did in his Rolling Stone interview, why don’t liberals make Rand part of a new canon? Why let conservatives monopolize her?

Sunday, November 04, 2012

• • • Hurricane of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Glenn Beck, and Disaster Response 
Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  | [T]his piece is not about politics, Paul Ryan's budget plan which advocates slashing funding for federal emergency services, or even about President Obama's deft handling of this crisis. It is about a highly dysfunctional philosophy that millions in America live by - the objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand - and which we need to reject once and for all. The best way to illustrate just how myopic, and indeed dangerous, this philosophy is, let us imagine how Rand and one of her current torch-bearers, Glenn Beck, would likely have responded to Hurricane Sandy had they been in charge [...].

• • • Ayn Rand Institute Questions Whether Obama Has Read Ayn Rand 
Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Don Watkins  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  | After President Barack Obama said in an interview with Rolling Stone that Ayn Rand's books are largely for teenagers who are "feeling misunderstood," the Ayn Rand Institute is questioning whether the president has done his reading. “President Obama claims he has read Ayn Rand, but you wouldn’t know it from his recent comments,” said Don Watkins, a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and co-author of “Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government.” “To be an individualist, Obama suggests, is to be concerned with yourself with no regard for other people -- indeed, at the expense of other people. That is a total distortion of Rand’s individualism.”

Saturday, November 03, 2012

• • • President Obama Says Ayn Rand Is For Teens Who Are ‘Feeling Misunderstood’ 

Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  | It’s probably safe to say that Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead aren’t on President Barack Obama’s nightstand. In an interview in the current issue of Rolling Stone, Obama told historian Douglas Brinkley that author Ayn Rand, whom GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan once credited as inspiring him to get involved in public service, is for teens who are “feeling misunderstood.”

Thursday, November 01, 2012

• • Ayn Rand Private Access Show With Michaela Watkins, Rob Delaney (VIDEO) 

Video  | Who among us hasn't wondered what Ayn Rand interviewing Rob Delaney would look like? Everything about this is perfect, especially Michaela Watkins as Lady Objectivism herself. We hope they make at least 35 more of these.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

• • Matt Taibbi: Wall Street Executives Believe ‘Everybody Else Is A Parasite’ 
Paul Ryan  |Video  | Wall Street executives are under the impression that it’s their world and everyone else is just living off them, according to Matt Taibbi. [....] Taibbi said that “they’ve adopted this sort of Randian point of view” -- that is, the viewpoint of the late libertarian author Ayn Rand. Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said in 2005 that Rand’s writings, popular among many conservatives, were “required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

• • Atlas Exploited Part 2: Who Cares If Atlas Shrugs? 
Atlas Shrugged  | Last week I wrote about the hidden subjectivity of Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy, driven by her personal flaws. But then I realized something pretty scary -- we seem to be living in Rand's world right now, not because of the evil government she imagines but because some of our business leaders seem to be convinced that they are the heroes of Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged, and like those fictional characters, are prepared to go on strike if they do not get what they want in the November elections.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

• • • Atlas Shrugged and the Political Triumph of Myth 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | Atlas Shrugged Part 2 just came out in theatres. The book is better, my liking for it being one of the few things I have in common these days with Congressman Ryan (other than a healthy respect for his abs). Dagny Taggart and the rest of the heroes in Atlas Shrugged never get it wrong. They are the intellectual and industrial engines of the earth on whom everyone else indolently relies -- noble creatures with few personal failings. They don’t care who their employees marry nor do they notice the color of anyone’s skin.

Friday, October 26, 2012

• • Ayn Bran Is The Cereal You Didn’t Know You Needed (VIDEO) 

Altruism  |Video  | Ayn Rand fan? Constantly on the lookout for ways to integrate her philosophies into your life? Great news! Now that stark, Russian Objectivism can keep you company at the breakfast table with Ayn Bran -- the only cereal with a free gun inside.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

• • • Atlas Exploited: The Clever Hoax of Ayn Rand 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  | [Ayn Rand’s] definition of morality, which she stated clearly in a seminal interview with Mike Wallace in 1959, is simply to do whatever it takes to achieve your own personal happiness, regardless of the consequences of your actions upon your family, friends, colleagues, nation or the world. By this skewed logic, even Bernie Madoff is a moral man since robbing people blind to build his own fortune made him happy (as long as it lasted), not to mention almost every narcissistic and exploitative figure in history from Henry VIII to Adolf Hitler. On the issue of charity, Rand maintained that it only made sense if it made you happy. In other words, in her bleak world, even charity is nothing more than a way to make yourself feel good, much like eating a good meal or going shopping.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

• • • L. Ron Romney? What a Candidate’s Reading List Says 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Virtue of Selfishness  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  | [L. Ron] Hubbard's writing generally steers clear of messy human concerns like love and compassion. When he does enter these realms he becomes mechanistic and technocratic, referring to his own work as a "science of knowing how to know answers." He is, in this way, very much like Rand, who offered a philosophy based on her version of "reason." She intended to cure humanity's ills by rewarding self-interested supermen and punishing lazy "moochers" who participate in government social programs. In her novels, as well as non-fiction books like "The Virtue of Selfishness," Rand presents a grotesque view of human nature with no room for the commonweal or the sacrifices that make societies work.

Monday, October 22, 2012

 Paul Ryan Sought Tariff Breaks For Wisconsin Corporate Donors 
Paul Ryan  | Before he became known for his devotion to Ayn Rand novels and his expertise on the ballooning U.S. deficit, Rep. Paul Ryan concerned himself with air freshener components -- specifically, electric air fresheners, including those with "warmer units."

Sunday, October 21, 2012

• • • Jennifer Burns: On Ayn Rand and the Election 

Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Video  | Stanford Professor Jennifer Burns recently spoke with us about her new book Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. Pointing out the correlation between Rand and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Burns explains how Rand's philosophy of the "virtue of selfishness" and "favor of the individual" has become a tenant of American politics today.

• • • Why Ayn Rand Won’t Go Away: ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ Part 2 and the Motor of Moral Psychology 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |Paul Ryan  | After seeing the Los Angles premiere of Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, the film that opens today based on the 1957 novel by Ayn Rand (and with an entirely new cast and higher production value, a vast improvement over Part 1), a question struck me as I was exiting the theater surrounded by Hollywood types most commonly stereotyped as liberal: Why don't liberals admire Ayn Rand and her philosophy of objectivism, so forcefully presented in this book and film?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

• • • Nick and Jake and Everyone We Know 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  |Image  | THE PRODUCERS MEET THE PRODUCERS: Max Bialystock, while searching for the worst idea ever for a musical, is introduced to a young man named John Galt, who has a plan for calling all the world’s most greedy capitalists, the real producers of our society, out on strike. Convinced that no one could ever swallow such an unrealistic premise, Max puts the play, <em>Springtime for Objectivism</em>, into rehearsal, and brings it to the Kennedy Center in Washington.