Rand v. Wright—A Study in Opposites
Paul Ryan’s selection as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential nominee is perhaps the most significant philosophical move in modern American politics. This has very little to do with Ryan himself, who by all impartial accounts is a bright, energetic, and wholesome human being, but rather because of the focus his selection has generated in the philosophy of Ayn Rand, called Objectivism.
Ryan, like other conservatives such as Alan Greenspan, can be classified as closet Randians because they know that to embrace her philosophy entirely and notoriously would have them run out of office, if not out of town. The masses that would prefer to have others pay for their drinks and live off the forced charity/redistribution of wealth coming from, where else? producers, revile Ayn Rand with a ferocity that makes Mary Madelyn O’Hair seem like America’s sweetheart.
Nevertheless, Rand has survived with her books being sold in the millions more 50 years after they were written. I wonder how long Obama’s allegedly ghost-written memoirs will be with us.
Ryan, even with his carefully couched qualifications, was clearly influenced by Rand, which makes a comparison between her and Obama’s inspirations both relevant and legitimate.
Let’s start with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s buddies.
Rand loved America with all her heart and mind. As a refugee from Russia and its collectivist/communist/fascist state, she revered freedom, free enterprise, and capitalism, that reverence being based on a first-hand understanding of and experience with their opposites.
Ayers and Wright damned America because of its challenges that those two ciphers knew they were incapable of meeting.
There was not a racist bone in Rand’s body. Wright, in particular, is racist and virtually nothing else.
Rand abhorred violence and characterized retaliation against the initiation of force as its only legitimate use. We all know how Ayers felt about violence.
So, once again, Ayn Rand is back in the news. Let’s hope that the hoary excoriation of her philosophy will cause independent thinkers to question the sources of this denunciation and to wonder how a woman so vigorously reviled could have predicted so accurately, decades ago, exactly the form, shape, and taste of the pickle America finds itself in today.
© Gordon Osmond 2012