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After Previously Praising Her, Paul Ryan Now Disses Ayn Rand...

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My money is on the fact he suddenly felt it necessary to separate himself from her precisely because of that issue. Likely he is either receiving, or worried about receiving, blowback from the conservative right wing he needs as part of his constituents. I might even go so far to say, without current evidence that this blowback happening, that this is because of some future plan of his.

Edited by Spiral Architect

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Now the only thing he has going for him is his Eddie Munster resemblance.

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A while back, I remember hearing that there was a political ad going around in his state basically saying that he has to choose between Ayn Rand and Jesus. He can't have both.

Looks like he made his choice.

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My money is on the fact he suddenly felt it necessary to separate himself from her precisely because of that issue. Likely he is either receiving, or worried about receiving, blowback from the conservative right wing he needs as part of his constituents. I might even go so far to say, without current evidence that this blowback happening, that this is because of some future plan of his.

I don't think that it's just Ryan's current constituents that he's worried about. I think his distancing himself from Rand's atheism indicates that he's very seriously being considered -- and perhaps sort of being pre-groomed -- to be Romney's running mate. He's preemptively jettisoning baggage that could drag him down with religious conservatives on the national stage.

J

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It is not only the Rand's atheism that would be a liability to Ryan. Her political view would be so too. It is the left that has been criticizing Ryan. They paint his very luke-warm attempt to reduce the deficit as being some type of Ayn Rand plan to shrink government down to its bare essentials.

I think it is great that Ryan likes Rand's work, and also that he gets his staff to read her; but, I also think its a good idea for him to distance himself from her.

Plasmatic likes this

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This piece by Lawrence O'Donnell could put the makers of Syrup of Ipecac out of business.

Meanwhile, this all calls to mind the letter to Reverend Dudley, particularly this quote:

“I believe my statement of man’s proper morality does not contradict any religious belief, if that belief includes faith in man’s free will.” Ayn Rand, October 23, 1943

Since Ryan praised her moral and political philosophy, but not the rest, he can use this in his own defense. Though if it turns into a quote-mining war, there's no predicting how it'll turn out.

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Since Ryan praised her moral and political philosophy, but not the rest, he can use this in his own defense. Though if it turns into a quote-mining war, there's no predicting how it'll turn out.

It really was a dumb move for Ryan to say that he rejects Rand's philosophy rather than saying that he rejects only her atheism.

J

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I don't think that it's just Ryan's current constituents that he's worried about. I think his distancing himself from Rand's atheism indicates that he's very seriously being considered -- and perhaps sort of being pre-groomed -- to be Romney's running mate. He's preemptively jettisoning baggage that could drag him down with religious conservatives on the national stage.

J

Well that would make sense on the timing, notably since his seat isn't up yet. I would have to agree with softwareNerd that this is a good political move if it is to mainstream himself for the election. It wouldn't stop the critics but it would marginalize the them to the moderates who only pay attention several months before the election. Personally, I still don't like it but then again that is why I would make a bad politician in this age.

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Alan Greenspan was another person associated with Rand, with far more reason that Paul Ryan. In retrospect, it would have been better if nobody knew he had ever had any such association. I can imagine 10 years from now, someone saying "Well, Paul Ryan's Randian policies did not work; so, time to try something different!"

Maybe ARI should run some anti Paul Ryan op-eds right now ;)

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After years and years of praising Rand, this move simply places him in the arena of the rest of his competitors - the arena of men with no credibility.

Way to level the playing field, Ryan.

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"A while back, I remember hearing that there was a political ad going around in his state basically saying that he has to choose between Ayn Rand and Jesus. He can't have both."

That is certainly true, but it does not necessarily follow that such an either/or choice IS the only possible outcome. It's not a necessary choice. Perhaps Ryan (like myself) finds some aspects of Rand's philosophy appealing and reasonable, but not all of it. Certainly her novels point out some essential truths (it is wrong to forcibly take from productive Peter to give to mediocre Paul, for example), but I don't see why one is compelled to accept the concepts lock, stock, and barrel. To admire parts of her philosophy, parts that do not conflict with one's whole worldview, while rejecting those that do not -- I don't see that as impossible.

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That is certainly true, but it does not necessarily follow that such an either/or choice IS the only possible outcome. It's not a necessary choice. Perhaps Ryan (like myself) finds some aspects of Rand's philosophy appealing and reasonable, but not all of it. Certainly her novels point out some essential truths (it is wrong to forcibly take from productive Peter to give to mediocre Paul, for example), but I don't see why one is compelled to accept the concepts lock, stock, and barrel. To admire parts of her philosophy, parts that do not conflict with one's whole worldview, while rejecting those that do not -- I don't see that as impossible.

It is certainly not impossible - people assert contradictory views all the time. However it is compartmentalization, and will have negative consequences on your life in some form. After all, on what basis does one "reject" certain parts of her philosophy that conflict with one's pre-existing worldview? This indicates that reason is not the standard by which such determinations are being made, and that will potentially affect other decisions in one's life.

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"It is certainly not impossible - people assert contradictory views all the time. However it is compartmentalization, and will have negative consequences on your life in some form."

I disagree that some views are necessarily contradictory. Some clearly are, but not others. For example, I wholeheartedly agree with Rand's diagnosis of the evils of collectivism, in particular the government's compulsory taking from productive citizens and giving to people leeching off of government programs. That, for example, would not be in conflict with Ryan's Catholicism, as the bible does say that "those who will not work should not eat", referring to parasites, not the genuinely needy. So one can agree with that particular aspect of Rand's philosophy without that contradicting, say, one's belief that the privatization of roads is not likely workable. There is no contradiction within one's worldview if one holds those two views. Also, Rand herself admired Aquinas, as does Ryan -- she wasn't contradicting herself to think so.

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I'm an atheist, but, as I see it, the role that religion plays in people's lives is often identical to the role that art plays in Objectivist philosophy. Each is a source of inspiration to people, a means of concretizing a concept of how things "might and ought to be," and a means of gaining "fuel to move farther." Belief in God can have positive effects, and it can have negative effects, but the same is true of Objectivists' beliefs in their own potency after they experience, through art, the "concrete reality" of their "distant goals" and the pleasure of "feeling what it would be like to live in one's ideal world." In other words, the inspirational fictional worlds contained in art that Objectivists love can be beneficial in that they can give Objectivists confirmation of their own potential and power, but they can also be harmful in that they can give Objectivists a very unrealistic notion of their own potential and power. There can be very negative consequences when certain Objectivists' art-inspired visions of themselves clash with reality, just as there can be negative consequences when religion-inspired visions clash with reality.

J

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Maybe ARI should run some anti Paul Ryan op-eds right now ;)
The Democratic Underground quotes David Kelly of the Atlas Society as saying this of Ryan's budget: "His general approach to the budget — especially the budget — is very much in line with the direction that we stand for and would like to see the government go,...".

If the quote is accurate, that's the wrong way to do activism. I'd have said something like this:

"Paul Ryan takes a fundamentally flawed approach to the role of government. In principle, he agrees that government should have a role in things like health care and retirement insurance. In principle, he agrees with the Democrats, but merely wants government intervention to be less obvious and less direct. His plan to cut the deficit is unambitious and will not get us anywhere near where we need to be. The only redeeming grace is that the suicidal plans of other politicians makes Ryan's wishy-washy plans seem ambitious by contrast. In addition, his replacement for social security includes having the government guaranteeing a rate of return on private accounts. This type of sham privatization, unwritten by the government is what got us into our current great-recession. It is the last thing we need. Paul Ryan should dump his statist plan and craft a free-market solution instead."

Edited by softwareNerd

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Is this your source?

http://www.democrati....com/1002635009 Looks as trustworthy as a Pamela Geller article!

The original source was an interviewer on Raw Story, who quoted Kelley. If Kelley did not say that, good for him.

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Alan Greenspan was another person associated with Rand, with far more reason that Paul Ryan. In retrospect, it would have been better if nobody knew he had ever had any such association. I can imagine 10 years from now, someone saying "Well, Paul Ryan's Randian policies did not work; so, time to try something different!"

Maybe ARI should run some anti Paul Ryan op-eds right now ;)

Alan Greenspan is a fraud. He was extremely in favor of Ayn Rand and getting back on the gold standard... and then he became chairman of the fed.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Alan Greenspan is a fraud. He was extremely in favor of Ayn Rand and getting back on the gold standard... and then he became chairman of the fed.

I don't see where the fraud is. Alan Greenspan, to this day, is openly admitting that a free banking system based on gold is the moral and practical ideal.

However, a long time ago, he decided that that's not an achievable goal, so he gave up on trying to achieve it. As it turns out, he was right.

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I don't see where the fraud is. Alan Greenspan, to this day, is openly admitting that a free banking system based on gold is the moral and practical ideal.

However, a long time ago, he decided that that's not an achievable goal, so he gave up on trying to achieve it. As it turns out, he was right.

It isn't just that he gave up trying. Rather, he headed the agency that helped undermine the financial system. I do not even grudge him that. If all he did was head that agency thinking "someone has to do this, so i might as well do it as best it can be done", that would be less of an issue. However, he did much more. He championed so-called free-market changes, while not screaming that these changes ought not be made as long as government guarantees remain in place.

At best, Greenspan demonstrated an total ignorance of economic history.

I think he is simply a power-luster who loved playing "maestro" of the market, and even now cannot admit that he was an ignorant screw-up.

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Greenspan seems to be Exhibt A on why compromising is a loosing proposition. It took twenty years of doing it but he sold his values slowly to the beast to maintain the machine. The sad thing is that he knows better. Sort of a less dramtic real life example of Dr. Robert Stadler.

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Even in the position as head of the economy's central bank, Greenspan could have done his best to abide by market pricniples by pushing for deregulation and responding to the market in the way the free market would (at least by his best estimates). For instance, he should have tried to eliminate inflation and raise interest rates drastically during economic downtruns to attract new savings.

Edited by Dormin111

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