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Friday, May 31, 2013

• • IRS suspicion justified 
,
Capitalism  | I wish somebody in the government had the guts to call tea party and “patriot” groups what they are — government-hating paranoids who favor the laissez-faire agenda of the late Ayn Rand. They are mostly working-class folks who’ve been manipulated by the billionaire Koch brothers and other “malefactors of great wealth” to believe that their future is better served by the greedy rich than by elected government.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

• • • Scrooge, Marley and Ayn Rand 
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Altruism  |Atheism  |The Virtue of Selfishness  |Egoism  | During the recent presidential campaign we were reintroduced to a 20th century American writer who could be regarded as the anti-Dickens of her generation. Russian-born Ayn Rand, founder of a philosophy known as Objectivism, was a champion of selfishness and greed. She put forth her philosophy in a revealing volume titled The Virtue of Selfishness, where she defined altruism as an "evil force." A self-proclaimed atheist, she once told Mike Wallace that she didn’t believe in self-sacrifice for others under any circumstances.

Monday, November 26, 2012

• • Behind the Lines: How many Romneys? 
,
Atlas Shrugged movie  | Lambson: It’s enough to make one a libertarian. I know. I know. You are going to write a book about how you lost your libertarian faith. Does that mean you won’t be going to see "Atlas Shrugged Part 2," opening today at a theater near you?

Bagley: I prefer my fantasy movies to have orcs.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

 Bad arithmetic 
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Alan Greenspan  | [E]ven former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, a very conservative disciple of the novelist Ayn Rand, said that tax cuts do not pay for themselves.✉

• • Frightened by GOP 
,
Listing the amoral special interests in the Republican Party ought to frighten any thinking person: the National Rifle Association (a seditious organization hyping gun addiction), the American Legislative Exchange Council (a huge formerly secret cabal of duplicitous interests), Grover Norquist (committed to shrink the federal government and eliminate Social Security and Medicare as we know it), Karl Rove (a specialist in sliming opponents), tea party Ayn Rand devotees seeking new heights of heartless egomania, neocon warmongers and Southern white bigots. All of these fit comfortably in the Republican Party.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

 Keys to success 
,
Atlas Shrugged  | Nobody does anything by himself. No matter how determined, industrious or John Galt you are — you did nothing by your own guts and determination alone.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

 Behind the Lines: Randian Ryan 
,
Paul Ryan  | Bagley: I have to admit I was surprised at Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick. Paul Ryan is a fine family man, but he isn’t a Rob Portman, who might have delivered Ohio, or a Marco Rubio, who could have made the difference in Florida, each state crucial in the electoral college tally. Instead he chose a Randian idealogue who delivers the GOP right wing, which had nowhere else to go anyway. As a libertarian ideologue — and I mean that in the nicest sense possible — what do you make of Ryan?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

• • Ryan and Rand 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  | Does Rep. Paul Ryan, Republican vice presidential candidate and radical advocate of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of "the virtue of selfishness" and her novel Atlas Shrugged, really think that the majority of us senior citizens only care about our own safety net (Medicare and Social Security)?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

 All hanging together 
,
Individualism  | In the silly debate over President Barack Obama’s "You didn’t build it" statement about how no one succeeds alone, two deep trends in American history are expressed: its rugged individualist myth, expressed in many rags-to-riches heroes (and Ayn Rand characters), and its "we’re all in this together" communalism, which has its roots in the Puritan’s "city on a hill" (and is manifest in novels like John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

 Wimmer blames Nevada GOP leaders for job debacle 
,
The Fountainhead  | Carl Wimmer headed to Las Vegas with ebullient optimism that he’d be the one to nail the long shot. Instead, like many before him, he left Sin City early Thursday morning empty-handed. [....] The former Utah lawmaker made the long drive north from Las Vegas to his Herriman home listening to Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and wondered how it went south so fast.

Monday, April 30, 2012

• • Behind the Lines: Looters and moochers 
,
Atheism  |Capitalism  | I am not a Randian Objectivist — for example, I am pro-God and anti-adultery — but Ayn Rand was correct in pointing out that there are only three ways we can see to our material needs: We can be traders, looters or moochers. Trade — giving value for value — is ennobling. Looting and mooching, not so much. I do not see wealthy traders as generous. I don’t judge them at all. Even Marx recognized that the selfish pursuit of wealth had created great amounts of it.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

 Salt Lake Tribune launches Pat Bagley’s ‘Behind the Lines’ column 

Today The Salt Lake Tribune launches a new online feature called Behind the Lines with Tribune cartoonist Pat Bagley and BYU economist Val Lambson. Behind the Lines is an unusual addition to news commentary. Once a week Bagley or Lambson will pick one of Bagley’s cartoons from the previous week and engage in some give and take on the issues it raises. [....] Bagley: The final burnish to my conservative convictions was applied at BYU in the political science department. A diet of Friedrich Hayek, Leo Strauss and Ayn Rand — heroes of today’s conservative movement — made me a dedicated neoconservative before neoconservatism was cool.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

• • Feet in both camps 
,
When I read Paul Rolly’s “Arizona senator: Church was duped” (Tribune, Sept. 14) about the former Arizona legislator who says “her beloved church was brainwashed by evil liberals” about immigration, I was completely unsurprised. For years I have wondered how an individual can simultaneously be both a true disciple of Ayn Rand and a staunch Mormon Republican.

Monday, July 25, 2011

• • • In defense of Rand 
,
Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  |Personal life  | If Bob Mayhew knew anything about Ayn Rand’s philosophy, he wouldn’t have to ask if she would abolish the police force, the health department, etc., (“Rand used Medicare,” Forum, July 16). Rand believed there are only three proper functions of government: a military to protect us from foreign aggression, a police force to protect individual rights, and a justice system to uphold our contracts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

• • Dumas and Wilde 
,
Capitalism  |Individualism  | At first, the headline over Cal Thomas’ column, “Billionaires shouldn’t be punished for success” (Opinion, July 12), made me suspect that Ayn Rand, the 20th century’s indefatigable champion of unfettered capitalism and radical individualism, had been revived and was busy writing again.

Friday, July 08, 2011

• • ‘Socialism’ bugaboo 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | It is pathetic that Ayn Rand’s silly potboiler of a novel, Atlas Shrugged, a reverse fairy tale of the downtrodden rich being thwarted in their divine right to pillage and plunder, is being embraced as a sort of Mein Kampf by the new economic Darwinists.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

• • It’s socialism 
,
Atlas Shrugged  | Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged chronicles the collapse of society as the government increasingly asserts smothering control over industry, and as a result society’s leading titans — innovators, industrialists and artists — refuse to be exploited and go off the grid. Hank Reardon, a self-made steel magnate, is asked how he would advise Atlas, who with each exertion to hold the world up, “the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders.” The answer: “To shrug.” With our new normal, I guess it happened, our Atlases shrugged, or they will soon.

Friday, June 17, 2011

• • Reading Rand wrong 
,
Individualism  | I sadly chuckled when I read Ron Molen’s rant on Ayn Rand’s “extremists” and how their “Neanderthal individualism poisons the community on which democracy survives” (“Rand extremists,” Forum, June 11). Rand’s philosophy has nothing to do with favoring special interests and shrinking the middle class. It’s about individual responsibility and the government having a well-defined role to protect our right to do what we think is right. It is the only truly fair way to govern. Having gifted people do what they do best and get the rewards of their abilities brings out the best in a society.

Monday, June 13, 2011

• • • Rand extremists 
,
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individualism  | Americans have much less to fear from socialism than from Randism, the atheistic, savage individualism espoused by Ayn Rand. In Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, an evil government struggles to crush capitalism. Current reality is the complete opposite, where special interests controlled the government that allowed the financial debacle engineered by greed-driven bankers and Wall Street brokers, great examples of Rand’s ideal.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

• • • ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ while young GOPs cheer 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | It’s a movie with no big-name stars, bargain-basement production values, a lot of long-winded speechmaking, and no resolution as the end credits roll. But “Atlas Shrugged” could be as attractive as catnip to a certain audience — an audience of conservatives who agree with the pro-capitalist, anti-government views of author Ayn Rand. “It’s good entertainment, if you believe in this kind of stuff,” said Daniel Burton, chairman of Utah Young Republicans, who organized a screening of the film for his fellow conservatives Saturday night at the Megaplex 17 at Jordan Commons.