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DiabloViejo
08-14-2012, 10:33 PM
<span style="color: #000099">BWAHAHAHAHA! LMMFAO!! Predictably on schedule...the man who gave copies of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" to each and every one of his staffer...with orders for them to read both books, now claims to have had an epiphany and has renounced his Randian ways! </span> /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smirk.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif


AUGUST 14, 2012 2:41 PM

<span style='font-size: 14pt'>Veep nominee Paul Ryan renounces former fascination with Ayn Rand</span>

BY KATE SULLIVAN
NY Daily News


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Paul Ryan, the budget plan-toting and P90Xing representative from Wisconsin, was recently chosen by Mitt Romney as his running mate on the Republican ticket, yet a hatred for big government and love of washboard abs aren’t the only things he feels strongly about. Ryan has had a life-long fascination and appreciation of Ayn Rand, author of philosophical novels like “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.”

Recently, as Ryan has risen in national prominence, he’s taken to distancing himself from the libertarian hero; despite that, his current position is in fierce contradiction with fairly recent statements of praise for the Russian-born author.

Several media outlets have brought up Ryan’s relationship with Rand’s work, which has perhaps best been exemplified by his 2005 speech to the Atlas Society, a Rand-loving group that “promotes open Objectivism: the philosophy or reason, achievement, individualism, and freedom,” according to its website.

Ryan’s speech outlined his fascination with Rand – whose novels preach personal accountability and a rejection of altruism— while growing up, recalling how it impacted him so much that he required his interns and staff to read both of her iconic novels. Ryan also cited in the 2005 speech character monologues from the novels that have informed his personal and political views:

“It’s so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand’s vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are. I always go back to, you know, Francisco d’Anconia’s speech (at Bill Taggart’s wedding) on money when I think about monetary policy. And then I go to the 64-page John Galt speech, you know, on the radio at the end, and go back to a lot of other things that she did, to try and make sure that I can check my premises so that I know that what I’m believing and doing and advancing are square with the key principles of individualism…”

Ryan certainly latched on to Rand’s primary strands of philosophical thought, continuing in his Atlas Society speech “there is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand’s writings and works.”

Regardless of what Ryan may say about Rand today, it is not clear how thoroughly he ever understood her work.

Speaking on WNYC's Brian Lehrer radio show on Tuesday, Jennifer Burns, a Stanford professor and author of “Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right” described common misinterpretations by American super-conservatives regarding what Rand actually stood for. Burns explained that Rand was, above all, a fierce proponent of individualism, capitalism and man’s own productivity as fuel for purpose. “She didn’t fit into the two-party system,” Burns said.

Burns explained that Rand, towards the end of her life, “grew impatient with people who claimed to be followers of her ideas,” for Rand felt that people did not understand “what she’s about.”

Yet now, perhaps in a bid to appeal to independent voters who don't want to hear about Objectivism in the wake of the Great Recession, Ryan has tempered his obsession with Rand, though given his outspoken nature on the topic, it will be a hard sell to convince the population he isn’t sleeping with “The Fountainhead” under his pillow.

Ryan’s change of heart is obvious when one considers Rand’s views on things besides her support of capitalism; Rand was pro-abortion, a hater of Ronald Reagan and her books support atheism, obviously placing the individual, not God, at the forefront of what is important.

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Ryan’s status as a increasingly high-profile star of the Republican party would probably suffer if he were found to still adore a writer who does not pass many of the right-wing litmus tests on social issues.

“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan says firmly. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,” who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. “Don’t give me Ayn Rand,” he says.

Burns, however, is not convinced.

“I think that is true that he’s obviously been influenced by Catholicism as well and kind of blends those two, but he’s not talking about his Catholic beliefs in the same way he’s talking about Ayn Rand,” Burns told Lehrer.

She continued by saying that there is an intense irony in Ryan’s previous assertion that it was Rand who motivated him to go into public service to promote an ideal world, as Rand “wouldn’t acknowledge an ideal world.”

“Rand did not believe in compromise, so in that sense she’s not a practical guide for a politician who wants to get things done,” Burns said.

In any case, Ryan has seemingly talked himself into a hole as he claims it was during his youth when he shared these beliefs, though it’s hard to claim one’s 30s are, in fact, still his formative years. Certainly, non-supporters of Ryan will hope he doesn’t manage to dig himself out of this one. If he does, though, then he will have his rugged Randian individualism to thank.

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Soflasnapper
08-15-2012, 09:14 AM
In any case, Ryan has seemingly talked himself into a hole as he claims it was during his youth when he shared these beliefs, though it’s hard to claim one’s 30s are, in fact, still his formative years.

Right. Singing her praises most fulsomely as of 2005 is hardly the distant past, or during his callow youth.

He appears only to have noticed her roots in atheism as of this year or last year, when the American Catholic bishops denounced his social welfare views as heartless and sinful and against the Gospel.

I agree with this piece, that implies he's had a most convenient 11th hour conversion that is quite phony. An earnest, honest fellow? Not so much. A convenient liar (to be fair, like most politicians).

Gayle in MD
08-15-2012, 09:14 AM
The spin twins. One is as bad as the other!

G.