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Saturday, April 27, 2013

• • Feminism Going Galt 
Image  | [Sylvia Ann] Hewlett [...] advises women to stop worrying about all those barriers to their personal greatness — like kids and families — and just start embracing the entitled, Randian worldview of the men who run corporations today. [....] It’s hard to disagree with the notion of women not being mired in the expectations of the 1950′s. But it’s a big leap from that sensible position to one where women are advised to emulate a mindset that has allowed men in positions of authority to ignore women’s needs for decades.

Monday, April 01, 2013

• • • A Cinderella Story? How The Koch Brothers Use Florida Gulf Coast University To Promote Their Agenda 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |John Allison  | It’s a great story: the virtually unknown, 15th seeded Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), has made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. But there’s something you might not know about FGCU: its economics department is, as a consequence of grants from Randian businessman John Allison and the Charles G. Koch Foundation, a haven for Ayn-Rand Style thinking.

Monday, March 11, 2013

• • • The Good News About Human Nature: Most People Aren’t Jerks 
Alan Greenspan  |Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  |Image  | A broad breakdown in societal trust has undermined the idea of a common good that can be served by the collective disposition of resources. Voters trust neither government nor most individuals in society to fairly pursue the common good. Instead, they see both government and individuals as fundamentally selfish and out for themselves, not others.

This view of human nature has been a consensus until recently. That consensus can be traced back to the 1957 publication of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, a 1,200 novel that, in essence, advocated the unfettered pursuit of self-interest as the organizing principle for society. Despite the fact that the book became a best-seller, not many critics and intellectuals took it or its thesis seriously at the time. Who could possibly believe that a society based strictly on selfishness could work?

 Why Progressives Need A Strong GOP 
While Republicans may have an tougher lift going forward, electoral fundamentals — particularly the state of the economy — are still more important in determining electoral outcomes than party ideology. Even in 2012, when Mitt Romney’s ham-handed campaign and Randian message should have cost him votes, the election basically came out the way the economic fundamentals suggested it would [...].

Thursday, February 14, 2013

 Teju Cole On President Obama's Drone Program—And His Reading List 
Atlas Shrugged  | I [...] think it’s worth noting that empathy, while a worthwhile value, is actually a fairly neutral tool when it comes to literature. Convincing your reader (or viewer) to suspend disbelief and to enjoy spending time seeing the world through your characters’ eyes is a basic task of fiction. But it can be employed to any number of ends. Which is why so many people fall for Atlas Shrugged, or end up with bad ideas about what sex should look like from Norman Mailer and Philip Roth.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

• • Ryan Sought To ‘Change The Dynamics’ Of American Society In 2005 
Capitalism  |Individualism  | Throughout his career, Ryan advocated for privatization of Medicare and Social Security as a means of restructuring society to more closely resemble the extreme laissez-faire system envisioned by authors like Ayn Rand. [....] Indeed, it’s hard to overstate how much of a break Ryan’s budget proposals are with the American political tradition.

• • Why Paul Ryan’s Constitution Has A Lot More In Common With Ayn Rand Than Founding Fathers 
Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | Last September, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke at the Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center, a Washington, D.C. arm of the conservative institution that was ​founded under the leadership of Supreme Court spouse Virginia Thomas​​. The speech was delivered in commemoration of Constitution Day, and it provides a fairly substantial window into how he understands America’s most important document. Unfortunately, the speech also raises very real doubts about whether Mr. Ryan can distinguish the founders’ vision from his own. Ryan’s speech does not simply defend his laissez faire vision for the country​​, it suggests that this ​austere vision is mandated by the Constitution itself​​.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

• • • 12 Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Video  | 1. Embraces extreme individualism. Ryan heaped praise on Ayn Rand, a 20th-century libertarian novelist best known for her philosophy that centered on the idea that selfishness is “virtue.” Rand described altruism as “evil,” condemned Christianity for advocating compassion for the poor, viewed the feminist movement as “phony,” and called Arabs “almost totally primitive savages. Though he publicly rejected “her philosophy” in 2012, Ryan had professed himself a strong devotee. “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,” he said at a D.C. gathering honoring the author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.” “I give out ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it. Well… I try to make my interns read it.”

Sunday, July 22, 2012

• • • Paul Ryan Challenged By Town Hall Constituents Over Previous Praise Of Ayn Rand 
Altruism  |Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Paul Ryan  |Video  | Last month, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) disavowed his one-time political muse, Ayn Rand, because of her “atheist philosophy.” Some of his constituents, however, aren’t buying it.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

• • • Paul Ryan Flip Flops on Ayn Rand: ‘I Reject Her Philosophy’ 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  |Video  | It’s understandable why Ryan would back off his former political muse. She described altruism as “evil,” condemned Christianity for advocating compassion for the poor, viewed the feminist movement as “phony,” and called Arabs “almost totally primitive savages.” [....] Despite Ryan’s newly-professed distaste for Rand, were she alive today, she would likely applaud Ryan for his draconian GOP budget, which cuts food stamps and other programs for the poor, ends Medicare as we know it, gives $3 trillion in tax breaks for corporations and the rich, and raises taxes on the poorest Americans.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

 Treasury Secretary Who Led Deregulation Says Occupy Wall Street Has ... 
Paul Ryan  | Robert Rubin isn’t the only unlikely person to concede the importance of addressing income inequality in the wake of Occupy Wall Street. Even Ayn Rand fan Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is now seriously addressing income inequality.

Monday, November 21, 2011

• • Sign The 99 Percent Are Winning: Even Ayn Rand Fan Paul Ryan Is Complaining About The Top 1 Percent 
Altruism  |Paul Ryan  | Today, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) — a hard-right congressman whose political inspiration was ultra-right ideologue Ayn Rand — released a report offering an analysis of the nation’s growing income inequality.

Monday, August 22, 2011

 Koch Responds To Buffet: ‘My Business And Non-Profit Investments Are Much More Beneficial To Society 
Atlas Shrugged  | America has been good to Charles Koch, providing an environment where his family has made billions. But Koch doesn’t want to give back, especially through more taxation. His charitable foundation, which gives largely to right-wing organizations that support his politics and Koch Industries’ business interests, still only donates about $12 million a year — 0.05 percent of Koch’s net worth. If higher rates were imposed on the super-rich, would Koch retreat to the family’s fabulous mansions, like this one in the Hamptons, aboard its fleet of private jets in a John Galt-inspired temper tantrum? Or would they act like any respectable businessman, and continue to make a profit without complaining?

Friday, July 01, 2011

• • • President Of Ayn Rand Institute Says Ayn Rand’s Philosophy Is Unelectable 
Altruism  |Ayn Rand Institute  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  |Rand Paul  |Yaron Brook  |Video  | Many of the most visible members of both the Republican Party and the conservative media have heaped praise on libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand. For instance, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has said, “Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism.” Rush Limbaugh has called her “brilliant.” And both Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) are avowed fans. Nevertheless, Yaroom Brook, the current president of the Ayn Rand Institute, is seemingly unimpressed by their devotion. In an interview published today by the Daily Ticker, Brook told host Aaron Task that no one in the GOP field is a true follower of Rand’s philosophy and, in an unusual moment of clarity and honesty, said anyone who was “wouldn’t be electable” in American politics.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

• • Religious Leaders: GOP’s ‘Ayn Rand’ Budget Targets Poor, Goes Against Religious Values 
Atheism  | Four members affiliated with the religious group Faith In Public Life held a brief press conference during FFC’s afternoon intermission to denounce the GOP’s adherence to the philosophies of anti-government, anti-religion author Ayn Rand. The leaders — Rev. Jennifer Butler, Jim Wallis, Rev. Derrick Harkins, and Father Clete Kiley — asserted that the GOP efforts to cut funding from many anti-poverty programs while balancing the budget on the backs of the poorest Americans were not in line with Christian values. [....] Wallis and Butler repeatedly asserted that political leaders could not adhere to the teachings of both Rand and the church. “This budget has more to do with the teaching of Ayn Rand than the etchings of Jesus Christ,” Butler said. “I read [Rand] in high school, and she said, ‘You have to choose me or Jesus,’” Wallis added. “And so I did. She lost.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

 REPORT: Koch Fueling Far Right Academic Centers At Universities Across The Country 
John Allison  | John Allison, the former CEO of BB&T Bank, a bailout recipient, has used his corporation’s money to force college campuses to adopt Ayn Rand readings into their programs.

Monday, May 16, 2011

• • Florida City Paying $2,500 A Day To Radical Union-Busting Firm To Stop Workers From Organizing 
Ayn Rand Institute  | Kulture’s website is replete with right-wing ideology. It hosts op-eds claiming that sweatshops are an opportunity for the “third world poor” and bragging that the “labor movement is dead.” Its webpages direct users to far-right sources of information such as the Ayn Rand Institute and The Federalist Society. [....] “We’re basically hiring them to make sure that factual, accurate information is given to our employees before they make a vote on whether or not to join a union,” says Winter Park spokeswoman Clarissa Howard. But one has to wonder how hiring a radical, Ayn Rand-promoting anti-union organization will do anything but try to scare workers into submission.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

 FSU Accepts Funds From Charles Koch In Return For Control Over Its Academic Freedom 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | Because selling out its academic freedom to Koch apparently wasn’t enough, Florida State also entered into an agreement with BB&T, which provided funding for a course on ethics and economics and required that Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, be a part of the course curriculum.

Friday, April 22, 2011

• • • The truth about GOP hero Ayn Rand 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Egoism  |Image  |Video  | During her lifetime, Rand advocated “the virtue of selfishness,” declared altruism to be “evil,” opposed Medicare and all forms of government support for the middle-class and the poor, and condemned Christianity for advocating love and compassion for the less fortunate. Rand also dismissed the feminist movement as a “false” and “phony” issue, said a female commander in chief would be “unspeakable,” characterized Arabs as “almost totally primitive savages,” and called government efforts to aid the handicapped and educate “subnormal children” an attempt to “bring everybody to the level of the handicapped.”