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Obama comments on Ayn Rand in Rolling Stone

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Ninth Doctor
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http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/obama-and-the-road-ahead-the-rolling-stone-interview-20121025?page=3

Have you ever read Ayn Rand?

Sure.

What do you think Paul Ryan's obsession with her work would mean if he were vice president?

Well, you'd have to ask Paul Ryan what that means to him. Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we'd pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we're considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity - that that's a pretty narrow vision. It's not one that, I think, describes what's best in America. Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a "you're on your own" society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party.

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Thanks for posting that

http://www.rollingst...20121025?page=3

Have you ever read Ayn Rand?

Sure.

What do you think Paul Ryan's obsession with her work would mean if he were vice president?

Well, you'd have to ask Paul Ryan what that means to him. Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we'd pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we're considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity - that that's a pretty narrow vision. It's not one that, I think, describes what's best in America. Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a "you're on your own" society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party.

Thanks for posting that. It shows with such clarity that Obama is in disagreement with the people who are right.

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So now we have Ryan and Obama discussing Rand in politics. This is great, it brings her up for discussion. Notice how he said "we'd pick up' - after what he said in regards to her, I wonder if he even opened up any Rand, once he picked it up...

The Objective Standard blogs about how wrong Obama is here:

http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blog/index.php/2012/10/obama-unsurprisingly-gets-ayn-rand-wrong/

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Here's a good piece in Reason Magazine about this:

http://reason.com/bl...for-teens-for-p

Branden noted that Rand's detractors rarely deign "publicly to name the essential ideas of Atlas Shrugged and to attempt to refute them. No one has been willing to declare: 'Ayn Rand holds that man must choose his values and actions exclusively by reason, that man has the right to exist for his own sake, that no one has the right to seek values from others by physical force--and I consider such ideas wrong, evil and socially dangerous."
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I think the best words that have been said so far are from Ari Armstrong when he says: " Obama wishes to perpetrate the fraud that, in order to collaborate with and care for other people, we must buy into Obama’s collectivist vision of forced wealth transfers, government-run industries, massives doses of corporate welfare, and an ever-expanding entitlement state."

Of course, the same can be said of Romney and the Republicans, so it's strange that some can't see the same "fraud" when Republicans claim that in order to slow the advance of statism, we must support their collectivist vision and/or, at least, vote Republican.

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Most readers of Ayn Rand never get beyond Atlas Shrugged and/or The Fountainhead. Political conservatives consider these works inspiring and political liberals consider them bleak. In a society that defines itself as compassionate, and defends altruism as "feeling good to help others", promoting selfishness as a virtue is a political nonstarter. As someone who appreciates Objectivism and admires Ayn Rand for who she was, I can only offer that her philosophy would be better received politically as a promotion of personal responsibility for one's actions, i.e. accountability. Personal responsibility is selfishness packaged in political correctness.

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Most readers of Ayn Rand never get beyond Atlas Shrugged and/or The Fountainhead. Political conservatives consider these works inspiring and political liberals consider them bleak. In a society that defines itself as compassionate, and defends altruism as "feeling good to help others", promoting selfishness as a virtue is a political nonstarter. As someone who appreciates Objectivism and admires Ayn Rand for who she was, I can only offer that her philosophy would be better received politically as a promotion of personal responsibility for one's actions, i.e. accountability. Personal responsibility is selfishness packaged in political correctness.

I agree with one exception: there is or should be no need to be politically correct.

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