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Glenn Beck: the Conservative Lenin?

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Some Objectivists have a crush on Glenn Beck because he "educates millions of people." Actually, he only tells millions of television viewers what they already believe, what they expect to hear, what they know they will agree with. Yes, he had Yaron Brooke on his show:

April 30, 2009: View here

February 17, 2009

May 6, 2008

I see that this has been brought up here before in a Thread in This Topic.

I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows.

This—the supremacy of reason—was, is and will be the primary concern of my work, and the essence of Objectivism. (For a definition of reason, see Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.) Reason in epistemology leads to egoism in ethics, which leads to capitalism in politics. -- Ayn Rand

What has Glenn Beck ever said about reason? Does he understand that the law of identity invalidates his God? His recommended reading list touts Federalism. He glorifies the Founders as exemplars of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Who benefits from compromise?

Did the Ayn Rand Institute gain subscribers, or did Glenn Beck gain viewers -- and could it be any other way?

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Some Objectivists have a crush on Glenn Beck because he "educates millions of people." Actually, he only tells millions of television viewers what they already believe, what they expect to hear, what they know they will agree with. Yes, he had Yaron Brooke on his show:

April 30, 2009: View here

February 17, 2009

May 6, 2008

I see that this has been brought up here before in a Thread in This Topic.

What has Glenn Beck ever said about reason? Does he understand that the law of identity invalidates his God? His recommended reading list touts Federalism. He glorifies the Founders as exemplars of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Who benefits from compromise?

Did the Ayn Rand Institute gain subscribers, or did Glenn Beck gain viewers -- and could it be any other way?

I've made an about-turn regarding Glenn, from where I argued ( months back on OOnline) that ARI philosophers were compromising their O'ist principles by appearing on his programme.

I've learned more.

Thing is, liberty has been increasingly disappearing since that time, - in the US, and in South Africa (and here, our Statist government reveres Obama and will slavishly follow in his footsteps) - and say what you will about Beck's mystical premises, his secular convictions ARE liberty and individualism.

He is unrelenting about these, and don't we need all the help we can get?

Religionists can never pose the threat to personal freedom that Progressive-Liberalist-Fascism can, imo.

(There are too many 'competing' religions, for a start, thank god.

:D )

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Beck is very compartmentalized. When I agree with him, its usually strongly, but where I dont its also very strongly. He is an advocate of freedom in many repects, but his understanding of the concept of rights is way off. He believes whole heartedly that rights come from god, and given the opportunity I think he and his ilk would indoctrinate our youth with an altruistic, bible based education, mandated and funded by the government. Ive heard him advocate home schooling, but he is decidedly against the separation of church and state, and hes a pragmatist. So:

Religionists can never pose the threat to personal freedom that Progressive-Liberalist-Fascism can, imo.

Ill have to go ahead and sort of disagree with you here.

j..

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Did the Ayn Rand Institute gain subscribers, or did Glenn Beck gain viewers -- and could it be any other way?

I doubt that many Objectivists watch Glenn Back because, after all, he is not very intellectual. Even if they did, there's not more than a few thousand to watch him. On the other hand, Atlas Shrugged sales jumped from under 200,000 in 2008 to over 500,000 in 2009, in no small part to Glen Beck's recommendation. As long as people read it, the views of the person recommending it really don't matter.

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I was really hoping that ARI was done with this boob but he featured Atlas again on his show today. I haven't seen the program yet so I can't comment to it's quality, but Beck is pretty much the perfect example of someone who sees AS only as a political, not a philosophic work.

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He did a whole episode on Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, (which conservatives seem to take a particular liking to for all the wrong reasons) and actually had on Profs. Maltsev and Woods from the Mises Institute, strangely. He also put a picture of Ayn on his chalkboard and said the words "Atlas Shrugged" about 5-6 times and held the book up. That's about it. No discussion of philosophy. No discussion of reason, egoism, rights, or really even of ideas (except by the economists from LvMI, but they were only reviewing Hayek's book.)

Anyways, I would say that this would do far more harm by associating capitalism with bad movements, but then again The Road to Serfdom is now the number 1 bestseller on Amazon and Atlas Shrugged was at number 33 last time I looked. Also "The Road to Serfdom" was the number 1 most searched phrase on Google for a day.

Edited by 2046

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I doubt that many Objectivists watch Glenn Back because, after all, he is not very intellectual. Even if they did, there's not more than a few thousand to watch him. On the other hand, Atlas Shrugged sales jumped from under 200,000 in 2008 to over 500,000 in 2009, in no small part to Glen Beck's recommendation. As long as people read it, the views of the person recommending it really don't matter.

I think his value is in not being an intellectual. As you indicate he appeals to a huge audience, and I feel is helping along the cause of individual liberty.

I wonder, with all those fresh readers of AS, some must surely become Objectivists.

Ironic, isn't it, that Beck the religionist may be 'converting' a few viewers to atheism, ultimately. To give him due, he must be aware of the possibility.

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That is, IMO, the premise to check. Beck may be religious, but is it his fundamental characteristic?

Yes, having seen his show too many times, yes it pretty much is. He rarely makes any sense whatsoever, rattles off logical fallacies one after the other, and pretty much covers all the conservative arguments that Rand refuted in her conservatism essay. He's the epitome of the guy that responds to the communist by saying "Yes, but our system is based on faith in God!"

But as Amazon's bestseller list will attest and as WhyNot says, he probably actually does end up turning a few people on to Objectivism. I don't know whether to rejoice or be scared that the man has a hold on "middle Americans'" households.

Edited by 2046

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New announcement:

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=media_new

Atlas Shrugged to be featured on Glenn Beck

We are pleased to announce that ARI president Yaron Brook is scheduled to appear on the Glenn Beck program on Fox News Channel on Tuesday, June 15, for the entire hour to discuss “when fiction becomes fact.” It is a special program dedicated to Atlas Shrugged and Vince Flynn’s book Term Limits. The show starts at 5 p.m., Eastern time (2 p.m., Pacific time).

The last special on Hayek send TRTS to number one on Amazon and Google, will the same happen to AS? Hopefully!

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IMO, Beck is a very dangerous character as he ties almost everything back to religion and god. The tea party movement, free markets, individual rights, etc are all promoted on his show on such flawed premises that he has to be doing more harm than good. This guy is no advocate for reason, I mean come on he has a painting of Washington and other founding fathers with the words faith, hope and charity under them. Day after day he talks about how religious the founding fathers were, how this is a christian nation and how evil liberals are because they want to take god out of school and separate church from state. Beck is nothing more than a religious conservative and not one of those Republicans that just pays lip service to religion he believes it hook, line and sinker. He may expose people to Ayn Rand's work but he is such a mental midget do we really want him associated with trying to spread secular reason?

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I suggest the detractors simply see this as Beck unwittingly bringing about his own undoing. People will buy AS, read it, and come to their own conclusions, regardless of the person who originally recommended it.

I got into Rand on the recommendation of a Libertarian. I'm sure many of you got into Rand through a recommendation from someone who is not an Objectivist. Why is that relevant? You were able to come to your own conclusions. Why are you so convinced that nobody else can accomplish what you have done in that regard?

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IMO, Beck is a very dangerous character as he ties almost everything back to religion and god. The tea party movement, free markets, individual rights, etc are all promoted on his show on such flawed premises that he has to be doing more harm than good. This guy is no advocate for reason, I mean come on he has a painting of Washington and other founding fathers with the words faith, hope and charity under them. Day after day he talks about how religious the founding fathers were, how this is a christian nation and how evil liberals are because they want to take god out of school and separate church from state. Beck is nothing more than a religious conservative and not one of those Republicans that just pays lip service to religion he believes it hook, line and sinker. He may expose people to Ayn Rand's work but he is such a mental midget do we really want him associated with trying to spread secular reason?

You have articulated well my initial reaction to him; and nothing's changed, this is still true, false premises, and all.

However..., statism is running rampant throughout the world, our freedom to chose our own destiny and philosophy is being corrupted day by day.

Beck is not just paying lip-service to individualism and freedom of choice - he means it.

An arms-length alliance with such an effective person to defeat this scourge is the primary, I think.

Secondarily, once accomplished, we can go our separate ways, the men of faith, and the men of reason. (To put it over-simply.)

Remember too, that Beck is preaching to the choir in his delivery of faith, hope and charity; they already have accepted this, and he is not finding new converts.

But they are getting a further message, and that is the teaching of Ayn Rand.

Am I being a pragmatist, or a realist, in this? I haven't worked that out yet.

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I suggest the detractors simply see this as Beck unwittingly bringing about his own undoing. People will buy AS, read it, and come to their own conclusions, regardless of the person who originally recommended it.

I got into Rand on the recommendation of a Libertarian. I'm sure many of you got into Rand through a recommendation from someone who is not an Objectivist. Why is that relevant? You were able to come to your own conclusions. Why are you so convinced that nobody else can accomplish what you have done in that regard?

It's called intellectual arrogance. ;)

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I suggest the detractors simply see this as Beck unwittingly bringing about his own undoing. People will buy AS, read it, and come to their own conclusions, regardless of the person who originally recommended it.

Exactly how I see it. The best ideas will win out, so the more we spread the good ideas the better. And, to be sure, it's even in Glenn Beck's best interest for Objectivism to spread, because the ideas work for life on earth.

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That is, IMO, the premise to check. Beck may be religious, but is it his fundamental characteristic?

Yes, having seen his show too many times, yes it pretty much is.

Methinks if religion were his fundamental characteristic, he would do anything BUT recommend any book by Ayn Rand.

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If religion were his fundamental characteristic, you would have thought his 9/12 groups list of values would not make religion optional. He certainly does go off on preachy tangents, but that is simply compartmentalization, something all irrational people are guilty of. His fundamental characteristic is that which he talks most often about, and which fuels his movements, and that is political - reducing government to protecting individual rights.

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If religion were his fundamental characteristic, you would have thought his 9/12 groups list of values would not make religion optional. He certainly does go off on preachy tangents, but that is simply compartmentalization, something all irrational people are guilty of. His fundamental characteristic is that which he talks most often about, and which fuels his movements, and that is political - reducing government to protecting individual rights.

I see it as the other way around. His fundamental characteristic is reactionism to the "good old days" of America, which is just conserving "traditional values," including faith in God and other vices. If anything, his incoherent propensity for "limited government" (if he knew what that was) and rights (if he knew what they were) is compartmentalized in that somewhere. So the question is why then is he doing a section on AS? Probably because he likes to use it the way all conservatives do, the "socialism is evil" aspects of it, and the reason/athiesm is just a fun fact on the side about AR, to him not at all essential to taking it to those evil "progressives."

Of the "9 Principles"

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life. (Doesn't sound optional to me?)

God “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” from George Washington’s first Inaugural address.

Of the "12 Values"

* Reverence (for what?)

* Hope (for what?)

* Humility (a vice)

* Charity (not a value in itself)

* Moderation (in what?)

Edited by 2046

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There wasn't enough of Flynn or Brook or audience questions on that show to have really been entertaining, but I guess it'll boost sales for both featured books.

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Not directly related to Glenn Beck and his Leninism, but here is some Trotskyist hate for Ayn Rand and (?) Glenn Beck apparently, praising the hero Whittaker Chambers, and denoucning Beck for moving away from "authentic conservatism" and "moving toward Ayn Rand's brand of [conservatism]" as well as lamenting Rand's giving capitalism a bad name by associating it with selfishness and greed.

http://www.thenewsstar.com/article/20100627/OPINION02/6270318

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