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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

• • Rupert Murdoch, Ayn Rand and A Sociopathic Economy 
Capitalism  | "What's fair about taking money from people who've earned it and giving it to people who didn't," Murdoch asks. But Murdoch's whole notion, which closely mirrors that of Ayn Rand, ignores the whole complex social economy in which commerce and every other human activity actually takes place.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

• • • Who are the real ‘takers’? 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | In Rand’s school-girl vision of capitalism, a tycoon isn’t just someone who is good at making money. He is Daddy Warbucks for little orphan Aynie--a super-human brimming with wisdom and creativity. The best antidote for readers exposed to this silliness is Donald Trump. He is a living demonstration that business success has no necessary connection with any other desirable human quality. Or we can think of the Wall St. CEOs whose greed and incompetence plunged the world into a lingering economic crisis in 2007-8.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

 Don’t tamper with social security Mr. President 

[N]ow the privatize-social-security cohorts will be emboldened to push harder to fulfill their ideological--Paul Ryan's Randian--dream--i.e., social security a la Chilean model.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

• • Is the present Plutonomy the endpoint of the Rand/Ryan/Friedman economic model? 
Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | [T]oday's corporate world has become a new form of "predator capitalism," one in which the objective is always a short-term quick boost of stock prices; a quick turn of profits for the CEOs, followed by a bust out of the company by "turning out" the work force without even a minimal social safety net. It turns out that this is the logical and inevitable endpoint of the Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, and Milton Friedman Darwinian paradigm of economic success. It is this model that lies at the very heart of the rationale for downsizing, outsourcing and massive job layoffs. The logic that has been "force fed" to us is that only by laying off and outsourcing our jobs can American companies remain "mean and lean" and thus globally competitive. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

• • • Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand and the Budget 
Capitalism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Personal life  | Let’s see how Rand’s philosophy would apply to me. I’ve been a “producer” all my life and now I’m comfortable. Why should I care about the “moochers?” I’m going to stop donating to charities like the Child Fund that supports children all over the world. [....] On to taxes. Yes, I’m one of those “50 percent” who pays income tax. And if I wasn’t worried about being jailed, I’d quit paying my taxes. Speaking of taxes, to heck with your kids who need to be educated. Mine are educated and so why should I keep paying for yours?

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

• • • Rethinking Rand: “Going Galt” on The 1% 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Going Galt  |Harry Binswanger  |Leonard Peikoff  |Paul Ryan  | The coercive power of the money that Ms. Rand worshipped in her distorted understanding of a tyranny that was, and continues to be entirely real, in fact derives from belief in an imaginary substance. However, when one digs a little deeper into Rand’s works, particularly the her “Opjectivist Epistemology” one sees another picture than the one presented in her novels. There is a certain quality to her work that still brings me back to specific passages repeatedly, even now.

Monday, December 17, 2012

• • Save the billionaires (fiscal cliff edition) 
Capitalism  |Image  | Frantically, we storm the halls of power, indignant and terrified. These socialistic cretins, most of whom we installed in power in the first place, seem to be flirting with the idea of raising taxes upon our hard-won entrepreneurial accomplishments, the good works that Jesus smiles upon on his throne beside Ayn Rand.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

• • Debate Advice For Joe Biden 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | It is my dream that during the VEEP debate that Uncle Joe call out Ryan in a manner something like this. “Unlike many Republicans like yourself, we Democrats are practical, commonsense folks who do not get their economics out of armchair philosophy books like Atlas Shrugged, the way you said you did. And don’t deny it like you have been lately, we all have the recordings of you going on about how you got your ideology from that social Darwinist Ayn Rand. It’s not a secret you can hide. We’re trying to run a nation here, it’s not a college bull session to try out your right wing theories on.”

Friday, October 19, 2012

• • The Big Three Myths Fabricated By Right-Wing Fabulists to Frame America’s Elections 
Altruism  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individualism  | During the past several years, a mess of plutocratic myths has been growing like kudzu across our political landscape. This aggressive ideological vine has crept from place to place, incrementally covering over the vital spirit of egalitarianism that defines us as Americans and unites us as a society. Deliberately planted and nurtured by various Koch-funded front groups, these invasive myths (let's dare call them lies) have been spread by assorted Ayn-Randian acolytes, advancing the anti-democratic notion that corporations and the wealthy are America's most able, virtuous, and deserving citizens.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand’s Despised “Altruism” Is Essential to Building a NATION of “Producers.” 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  | It isn't surprising that the libertarian dogmas of Ayn Rand, once considered beyond the pale of intellectually polite company, are today receiving a second look.   Given the continuing plague of joblessness in America under a president once presumed to be an activist liberal in the Roosevelt tradition, large elements of the populous are looking for solutions at the opposite end of the political spectrum.   One possibility there is a Republican vice-presidential candidate who has promised economic growth based on a federal budget that would radically shrink the size of government.   He has also in the past cited Ayn Rand as a major intellectual influence.   He is, of course, Rep. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin.  

• • • Philosophy of Public Lying 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Personal life  | "I don't believe the American people should ever be told any lies, publicly or privately," Ayn Rand testified under oath before Congress in October 1947, adding that "I don't believe that lies are practical".  I don't believe that the morale of anybody can be built up by a lie."  That’s the same Ayn Rand who continues to have significant influence on American political life, with devoted followers on the libertarian right, including Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, now the Republican nominee for Vice President.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

 Bill Clinton Rides Again but This Time He Keeps His Pants On 
These Republicans or white male supremacists have become the American Fascist Party.  All hate.  All fear mongering.  All the time.  No ideas, no ideals--just right wing/Ayn Rand ideology.  I got mine so screw you and if you don't like it--screw you.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand and Ron Paul: Will the Real Libertarian Please Stand Up? 
Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  | Watching and listening to the admittedly intelligent, supposedly Libertarian Ron Paul and to the rantings of his less educated son gave me pause. Only yesterday, after reading about Paul Ryan I actually began re-studying the philosophy of Ayn Rand. After reading descriptions of her ideas by various august philosophical authorities, some of whom could not seem to write an intelligible sentence, I decided to review the lady’s actual essays and novels again. To my amazement I found Ms. Rand to be a rather clear thinking libertarian, while I have my doubts concerning Mr. Paul and his offspring.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

• • • This Election is a Moral Referendum 
Altruism  |Atheism  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  | Much has been written about vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's adoration, then refutation, of author and philosopher Ayn Rand, whose worship of capitalism was one thing, but whose views on abortion, war, women's rights and religion have caused Mr. Ryan to step back and declare himself more enamored of Thomas Aquinas.   So let's be clear: Ayn Rand’s theory of “objectivism” really espoused self-interest over altruism, which she viewed as “evil” and a kind of passive suicide. She thought laissez-faire capitalism, defined and led by “producers,” was the only way the world would survive in spite of its copious and cumbersome “moochers.” This kind of pejorative, binary thinking made it all too easy for Rand to see the world in stark, black-and-white terms, so that it all came down to individualism vs. collectivism (read communism, or in today’s terms, socialism). Nuances be damned.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

• • • The Radical Agenda of Rand and Ryan 
Altruism  |Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  | I will admit it, when I read Atlas Shrugged several years ago, I got caught up in the scrawling epic with bigger than life characters.     Apparently, Paul Ryan enjoyed it too; so much so that in 2005, at a banquet honoring the author, he said, "The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand."   While he has since tried to walk back from those remarks, it's clear that the Vice Presidential candidate's political ideology has been heavily influenced by Alisa Rosenbaum, the Russian immigrant otherwise known as Ayn Rand.    What I initially missed in Atlas Shrugged was the underlying themes of superiority of the successful and a disdain for the less fortunate. In Ms. Rand’s novels, the poor are basically lazy dullards who deserve their lot in life.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

• • • Paul Ryan Does A 360 Degree About-Face On Ayn Rand 
Atheism  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Personal life  | Whatever statements elected officials make, none of them can fully implement Rand’s philosophies. That is because government is too big to be totally ruled in a wide scale all or nothing fashion. But general directions can be determined. And what is clear is that Ryan’s following of Ayn Rand principles have seen no change. Ryan has always selectively followed her.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

• • Really Paul Ryan? You Chose Ayn Rand Over Dorothy Day? 
Atheism  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  | Ryan, a Roman Catholic, insists his “mentor” was Ayn Rand, the atheist and prophet of individualism. Does anyone but me have the tune, “one of these things is not like the other” ringing in their heads? Of all the people to whom Ryan could have gravitated as a baptized Catholic, I wonder how it is he missed the teachings of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement and considered by many to be the most significant, interesting and influential person in the history of American Catholicism. Both Day and Rand are contemporaries and yet Ryan chose to embrace the teachings of an atheist vs. a woman who serves as a courageous witness for peace and who led an extraordinary example of the Gospel in action

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

• • Atlas Drugged: A Review 
Capitalism  |Egoism  |Image  | Stephen L. Goldstein has just published a book [...] called Atlas Drugged (Ayn Rand Be Damned!) It's fiction, often hilarious fiction, aimed at debunking the notion that Ayn Randian "free-market" trickle-down crapitalism can coexist with basic human decency.  "This is a work of fiction," says the back cover.  "But any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely intentional.  The names have been changed but, hopefully, not enough to protect the guilty."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

 American Scum: Republicans Bask in the Scent of Fresh Blood 
Egoism  | The hated New Deal is about to be rolled back and social Darwinist Ayn Rand freaks like Paul Ryan won't have to put granny before a death panel, she won't live that long once shorn of Medicare.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand Revises the Sermon on the Mount 
Atheism  |Capitalism  |Image  | And seeing the rabble of the great unwashed useless eaters, the goddess Ayn Rand appeared in her temple that is FOXNEWS, and when she was well-miked, she informed her disciples she had materialized to present a new New Gospel that revised Christ's outdated Sermon on the Mount.