Sunday, August 12, 2012

Did Paul Ryan Misunderstand Ayn Rand?

Paul Ryan said during a 2005 dinner in Washington, D.C. honoring Ayn Rand's birthday and hosted by The Atlas Society:
The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.
Rand wrote a book titled: The Virtue of Selfishness , not "The Virtue of Public Service". Rand wrote books where the heroes were entrepreneurs, not government officials.

Where the hell did Ryan get inspired to go into politics because of Rand?

Here's Rand on government power:
Do not ever say that the desire to "do good" by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives.
Here's Rand's answer to Ryan's vote for TARP and the other bailouts:
Government "help" to business is just as disastrous as government persecution... the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.
Here's Rand on "public service":
I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
 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 sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.
Rand on government:
 The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
This inspired Ryan to become a politician?

The left is really having fun with Ryan's claim, sending this tweet viral:
Ryan says Ayn Rand was his inspiration to enter public service, which is a little like Ray Kroc inspiring a career in nutrition.


  1. of course he hasn't, it's to fool the Reagan right( if there are any left) that he's got their back when in reality he's about to stab it.

  2. Ryan: Der, I love capitalism. But der, we gotta save it from itself yet again. Boy we gotta save this capitalism from itself an awful lot. I wonder what's really wrong with capitalism, durpa durp. Thank the Good Lord, Stalin and Hitler showed us how to save capitalism. Otherwise it just wouldn't work well at all, der. I hope my wife and kids will be proud of the world I'm helping to build; nothing but poor people with a few rich dicatators. Yeahhh, that's how you save capitalism. Der durpa derpy derp.

    1. I'm no Romney/Ryan fan, but the above "comment" is about the lamest I've read anywhere. It's childish, stupid, and incomprehensible.

  3. What about Judge Narragansett? He was not a businessman but was considered virtuous.

  4. You can't be a Christian (or even believe in God) and be an Objectivist. If you continue to be so after reading her novels then you weren't inspired by her writing, you completely misunderstood the point and even the concept of logic.

  5. Maybe the idea was to get into government to get government out of our way? How can you do that from the outside? At some point, there has to be a "politician" who's going to be elected somewhere, that just starts to shut things down. Again Robert, your attacks on Paul Ryan do not show that you sincerely care about this country. I'm sure you think you are opening people's eyes, but you are only providing fodder to America's enemies when you do not contrast the man with Obama and his crony administration. I wish you would stick to economics where your brilliance can make a positive difference. If I had a mind like yours, I would be attacking these Keynesians every day who claim that the government needs to spend more to increase demand, with their phony charts and their subsidized multiples. They are the ones who are trying legitimize government excess.

    1. But Paul Ryan doesn't want to make government smaller.

  6. Elsewhere, Alan Keyes condemns Paul Ryan for his commitment to Ayn Rand:

  7. I've read all of Rand's books. Great reading, but it's FICTION for one big reason. People will not always do the right thing in the name of greed. Greed to make oneself better, to competitively outwit one another to create the better product or service can have wonderfully positive benefits to consumers and society. But greed can also mean big banks bundling mortgages and selling them off as AAA rated assets and nearly bringing the entire economy down. Bottom line is that laissez faire attitudes aimed at eliminating regulation to "clear the way" for entrepreneurs and lowering tax rates for the wealthy to "increase investment" are well-meaning, but ignore an ugly truth. People will screw each other over. Not everyone and not always...but enough to further bifurcate our county into even more well defined groups of fewer "haves" and increasingly more "have nots". Ayn Rand is great for furthering the positive aspects of Capitalism, which I firmly believe in. But her writings do not qualify as a philosophy for how to live ones life or lead a nation.

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