predicted yesterday, the attack on Paul Ryan's affection for Ayn Rand has begun in earnest. The New York Times fires a volley, using Jennifer Burns (who wrote a biography of Rand) as cannon fodder.
But first, I will give credit where it is due, as there is a single truth to be plucked from the mudslide
...modern conservatives ignore the fundamental principles that animated Rand: personal as well as economic freedom. Her philosophy sprang from her deep belief in the autonomy and independence of each individual. This meant that individuals could not depend on government for retirement savings or medical care. But it also meant that individuals must be free from government interference in their personal lives.
Or, as John Galt famously said, "Get out of my way".
But one can adapt ideas from within a philosophy without swallowing the entire liturgy. Jennifer doesn't see it that way, of course, and ties Ryan's failure to be a full-throated Objectivist to, well...you can guess:
Mr. Ryan’s youthful, feverish embrace of Rand and his clumsy attempts to distance himself from her is more than the flip-flopping of an ambitious politician: it is a window into the ideological fissures at the heart of modern conservatism.
Really? One cannot appreciate the value of the free market and be a good Christian at the same time? Not according to the Left - those experts at all things religious, of course - who are already labeling Ryan as "un-Christian" for daring to cut the budget down to a manageable level.
Here comes the unsubstanitated bullshit:
....driven by the fever of the Tea Party and drawing upon a wellspring of enthusiasm for Rand, politicians like Mr. Ryan have set the philosophy of “Atlas Shrugged” at the core of modern Republicanism.
Let's go to Jen's conclusion:
Mr. Ryan’s selection as Mr. Romney’s running mate is the kind of stinging rebuke of the welfare state that Rand hoped to see during her lifetime. But Mr. Ryan is also what she called “a conservative in the worst sense of the word.”...Rand knew it was not enough to promote individual freedom in the economic realm alone. If Mr. Ryan becomes the next vice president, it wouldn’t be her dream come true, but her nightmare.
No, Jen, Paul Ryan would not be Ayn Rand's worst nightmare. It would be Barack Hussein Obama - a man who rose to the top not based on talent but on oratorical seduction (think Ellsworth Toohey, the villain of The Foutainhead). A man who is a scion of the intellectual Left:
Socialism is not a movement of the people. It is a movement of the intellectuals, originated, led and controlled by the intellectuals, carried by them out of their stuffy ivory towers into those bloody fields of practice where they unite with their allies and executors: the thugs
...and whose mantra is "sacrifice":
"It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of service and sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.”
...and is targeting "the rich" - for openers:
"Businessmen are the symbol of a free society—the symbol of America. If and when they perish, civilization will perish. But if you wish to fight for freedom, you must begin by fighting for its unrewarded, unrecognized, unacknowledged, yet best representatives—the American businessmen."
Rand might not love Paul Ryan - you were either all-in or 100% out, as far as she was concerned - but she would have saved her loathing for the man now occupying the White House. A man whose own philosophical heroes included Reverend "God Damn America!" Wright, domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, and other similar shallow socialists/sociopaths.
The Times and Miss Burns miss the mark widely here. But it won't be the last shot fired in this direction.
That's OK. Bring it, bitches...