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Ryan’s Economic Plans Aren’t as Ayn Rand-Based as You Think

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Ryan is a Crony Capitalist.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Old news. Interesting article by H. Binswanger with his screw-you Ayn Rand quote. People wonder why Objectivism per se has no ostensible intellectual or expanding cultural traction as opposed to Atlas Shrugged--at least the political-economic parts. The philosopher playing in her sandbox with her philosophy--joined by the likes of H.B.--is one big reason. The teaching of a philosophy called "Objectivism"--so vital and maybe necessary--in the 1960s turned a complete cropper in subsequent decades. In fact no one is teaching it any more that I'm aware of. (What HB might be doing is a closed shop.) Makes you wonder about the educational value of it being taught in the first place. It wasn't the NBI teaching but NBI plus Ayn Rand with the powerful Nathaniel Branden presenting her ideas to the world up front and center backstopped by her great novel that was significant back then.

If you carefully read Rand's extemporaneous remarks throughout the 1960s, BTW, you will find her brain topping out in the early part of the decade. It was the deterioration of her health in the 1970s that made the big difference that way, however. That lung cancer followed by CHF really did her in. You want to smoke? It probably took 10 years off her life and 20 years off her productive life. Without the cancer and CHF she might have been able to turn out high quality material well into her 80s even living to her 90s.

--Brant

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And this is why we will lose...

It is astounding to me that we cannot be bright enough to implement the same reverse "incrementalism" that we rail against the left for using.

So we have the Rand Absolute Purity Test [RAPT] and we will accept no one who runs for office unless they take the pledge!

How incredibly childish.

Adam

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And this is why we will lose...

"Truth advances and error recedes step by step only; and to do our fellow-men the most good in our power, we must lead where we can, follow where we cannot, and still go with them, watching always the favorable moment for helping them to another step." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1814. ME 14:200

And here's the part that comes immediately prior, concerning the founding of the University of Virginia:

"I agree … that a professorship of Theology should have no place in our institution. But we cannot always do what is absolutely best. Those with whom we act, entertaining different views, have the power and the right of carrying them into practice. "

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Here's a good piece on abortion from Reason:

http://reason.com/blog/2012/08/27/did-todd-akin-make-the-gops-28-year-old

A constitutional amendment to ban abortion is, in any case, a highly improbable scenario, and any legislation construing the 14th Amendment to cover fetuses (such as the bill supported by Ryan and Akin) would be subject to Supreme Court review in the unlikely event that Congress approved it. The abortion plank, like the porn plank, is aimed at appeasing social conservatives without unduly alarming potential Republican voters who do not share their views. The assumption is that such voters, assuming they notice the pro-life lip service, will understand it has little practical significance.

This may fit better on another thread, but it's seems relevant enough here.

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Adam,

Dr. Binswanger did not say he was not going to vote for Ryan or urge anyone to not vote for Ryan.

He has used the opportunity that has arisen through the selection of Paul Ryan as VP candidate and Ryan's public affinity for some of Rand's thought to publicize (in a clear, compact, and intact form) Rand's political philosophy and her philosophy more generally. I have the impression that that is the reason some Objectivists participate(d) in Tea Party activities: to promulgate Rand's philosophy. I have a cousin who's top interest in the Tea Party is for drawing attention Jesus Christ, a necessity for value and justice in her view. I don't see anything wrong with making such uses of political occasions. I recall that when I was active in the Libertarian Party (1972-84) different participants found the institution useful for different purposes. That was fine, notwithstanding the protest that those of us using it for ideological purposes were not in step with those hoping for a third party competitive with the Republican and Democratic ones.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ninth,

Yes, the Amendment plan is a dead end. The plan to appoint Justices to the Supreme Court (e.g. a replacement for Ginsburg) who will overturn Roe v. Wade and free the States to decide for abolition of elective abortions in their criminal codes continues very well.

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Stephen:

I understand your point.

I was an original County Chairman of the Libertarian Party in Queens County, New York City. I was one of the few folks who held elective office. I laid out a serious plan for getting candidates elected to local school boards, community planning boards, councilmanic seats and build a serious Election Day Field force, Election District by Election District organization.

To walk with the liberals, Democrats, Republicans and Conservatives on common issues and building E.D. by E.D.

Eventually, getting an Assembly person or two (2) elected, possibly a State Senator or two (2), a Congressperson or (2) and advance the libertarian Randian agenda piece by piece.

Doing the hard political work in the bars of blue collar workers and basements of apartment complexes with community organizations always with the idea of turning out the vote on election day.

We gained a permanent ballot line for the Libertarian Party in New York State with this approach. It was a significant achievement. Then it disintegrated into, basically, a sad little cat fight about petty purity issues and we lost the permanent ballot line.

With the emergence of the Tea Party, what appears to be the beginnings of a rational Libertarian Party and the coming collapse of the Republican Party, I see a tremendous opportunity with the ascendancy of Paul Ryan as Vice President.

Then you have the naysayers. Ryan has a trust fund, Ryan is a crony capitalist, Ryan is Catholic, etc.

It appears that we have not learned the lesson of a golden opportunity.

The time is so right.

Atlas the movie, a massive spate of articles on Rand throughout all of the mediums. A clear vision of the current collapse of our society that was concisely and clearly predicted by Ayn some fifty-five (55) years ago.

Now is the time to just advance the agenda and not look a gift horse in the mouth.

Adam

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PS to #7

I mean the proposal to amend the US constitution. Once Romney is elected and an anti-abortion Justice replaces Ginsburg, my state will be able to amend our State constitution to reflect conservative religious views of conceptus and early fetus just as easily as it was able to amend our State constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage and same-sex civil unions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Adam,

During my time in the LP, in my State, we did not have such an antithetical situation as you describe (in #8) in our different purposes for which we used the LP. In the 1980 presidential campaign of Ed Clark, I spent many weekend hours collecting petition signatures for getting our party and candidate on the ballot. I spoke to around a couple thousand people about libertarianism. Whether they signed or not, I offered them a pamphlet I had purchased from headquarters titled Libertarianism, which was written by Roy Childs, and which had references to books at its end. I was using the Party for the purpose of spreading libertarianism, and that included getting them started on what it was. Very few people I spoke to knew what it was. In fact very few had ever heard of it. (The last few years, it is heard every day on national television. In some part, that is due to old efforts of people like me.)

I remember a fellow in our state who had some position in running the Clark campaign and who was very sour on what I was doing. He didn’t want me to hand out the document on libertarianism, rather, he wanted me to hand out the brochure that had been prepared for the Clark campaign. I certainly supported the campaign—I went to a lot of effort to post bumper stickers for him in our city (and take them down later)—but I was donating my own time and ordeal, and I continued to satisfy my own main purpose in Party activity.

I will reprint some of those two brochures below. (I no longer agree with everything in Child’s brochure.*) The different purposes of the Clark-campaign man and me were not really antithetical for the big social development that was needed. Similarly, it is no encumbrance of steps towards a fully free society to keep perfectly clear in public view the Randian formulation of what the frame of such a society really amounts to, such as Harry Binswanger did in his piece.

Clark Brochure

Clark

Your alternative in 1980!

America faces problems that grow larger every day. High taxes and inflation. The energy crisis. The growth of Big Government. The loss of individual freedom and responsibility. And now, we appear to be on the brink of a new era of international tension, military buildup, and possible war.

These problems call for a new approach, a whole new way of looking at the issues. We can’t depend on traditional politicians or the established political parties to come up with real solutions. For it is their “solutions” that have created the mess we’re in today.

It is no wonder that millions of Americans believe—no matter which Republican or Democrat they vote for—they have no real choice.

But in 1980, Americans will have that choice. Ed Clark and the Libertarian Party. For once, we don’t have to choose between the “lesser of two evils.” For once, we can vote for a candidate and a party we so desperately need.

Ed Clark’s program is based on common sense and the principle of individual rights. He is calling for the largest tax cut in American history. And it’s long overdue—just consider this: Since 1972 federal income taxes have increased by 82% and social security taxes have increased by142%! And the enormous growth in government spending has caused an inflation that has driven prices up 75% in the last eight years. As a result, for the first time since the Great Depression the average American’s standard of living is declining. How much more will we put up with?

Yet, in the face of all this, establishment politicians clamor for an expensive—and dangerous—increase in militarism. Ed Clark opposes the push for increased military spending, more weapons, and direct intervention in the affairs of other nations. This foreign adventurism can only lead to higher taxes, bigger budget deficits, inflation, and a federal government that is even more swollen and bureaucratic than it is today. And this behavior will lead to something even more ominous—the ever present threat of war.

Ed Clark believes that our present foreign policy could well lead us into another Vietnam, in which young people are drafted to fight and die in some far-off country, in which government cracks down on free speech, and in which taxes, spending and inflation will actually increase over the present massive levels.

For Ed Clark, the key to peace abroad and prosperity at home is strict adherence to principle—the principle of non-intervention. In other words, government should stay out of our businesses, out of our private lives, and out of the internal affairs of other nations. Ed Clark favors a free, productive economy, massive tax reductions, a strict respect for individual rights, and peaceful relations, based on free and open trade, with the rest of the world.

From this principled vision come hard-nosed, practical programs to make the vision a reality. We can slash taxes and spending. We can free our economy from government restrictions and regulation. We can guarantee complete civil liberties to individual Americans. We can reduce the threat of war.

In short, we can have a free and open society.

Besides the brochure, I have a very useful little footstool as a memento of that campaign. Clark was going to address a small gathering in an open part of a terminal at O’Hare upon his arrival in Chicago. We needed to give him a little elevation for speaking to this standing audience, so I bought this stool. Works good, lasts a long time.

Libertarianism

Libertarianism is nothing more nor less than the politics of Liberty. While other parties and groups seek to use the tools of politics to give some groups power over others, to enrich some at the expense of others, or to impose some set of values on those who disagree with those values, Libertarians seek nothing more than Liberty.

Holding foursquare to those ancient principles upon which this Republic was founded, we affirm that every individual has the inalienable right to life, liberty, and property, and that no one has the right to seek to impose his or her values on others by violence or the threat of it.

In short, Libertarians hold that every person should be treated as an end-in-himself or herself, never merely as a means to the ends of others, and that every individual is the sole legitimate owner of his or her own life—free to do with that life whatever he or she wishes.

Libertarians therefore believe that all social affairs and relationships between human beings should be voluntary, uninhibited by the use or threat of coercion, and that the only proper use of force in society is self-defense.

Thus, we look forward to a society of human beings ruled completely by voluntary consent, where all economic and social dealings are unencumbered by the dehumanizing and corrupting element of all forms of violence, including violence in its ultimate form, political power.

Libertarians, indeed, differ from other groups seeking a just, free, and peaceful social order precisely here: in holding those in government liable in terms of the same moral standards as everyone else. Thus we believe that government should not have the power to rule non-aggressive individuals against their will. The only tolerable activity undertaken by governments, as far as we are concerned, is the protection of individual rights against violence.

Power Seeking

. . .

In economics, Libertarians advocate the establishment of the purely free market, that is, a market unhampered by government intrusions. We advocate the free, voluntary exchange of goods and services, unhampered by the attempts of government power to redistribute income from poor to rich or rich to poor, by attempting to benefit this group at the expense of that, or by attempts to restrict the free exchange of goods and services between human beings. We seek the elimination of wage and price controls of all forms which cause shortages and unemployment, the elimination of import and export quotas, the ending of subsidies, whether to big business or any other interest group.

. . .

Libertarians seek the end of confiscatory taxes—and all taxes are confiscatory—and regulations on production and exchange of all types. . . .

Government Cartels

. . .

Civil Liberties

. . .

In the field of civil liberties, Libertarians hold that “group rights” are merely metaphors; all that exist are individual rights. Groups have no rights save those derived from the rights of their individual members. Thus no group, in the name of the nation, state, church, or any other institution, has the right to impose its doctrines or values on others.

In civil liberties, as elsewhere, Libertarians simply extend the principles of religious freedom and tolerance—which ended centuries of religious persecution and warfare—to cover the whole dizzying array of human social relationships, in all of their rich diversity.

. . .

Foreign Policy

. . .

The Right to Trade

Americans should have the right to trade with whomever they wish, and to invest wherever they choose, but at their own expense and risk, without involving the American military. We mean to erase those barriers set at national boundaries which deprive human beings of their liberty to trade and travel where they will.

But most of all, we propose to abolish the age-old scourge of militarism and war, of conquest and mass murder, ending both the motives of power elites to wage wars, and to abolish the powers of governments all over the world—including the American government—to conscript, loot, and kill. Nothing can excuse the mass murder of war, and nothing ever has.

We regard the politics of Liberty as the only relevant politics of our age, and do not intend to restrict the application of these principles and doctrines only to America: They apply all too clearly to the rest of the world. But it is America which we Libertarians know best, and America which, perhaps, holds out the greatest promise for the triumph of Liberty. For Libertarianism is nothing less than the completion of the ideals of the American Revolution, updated and applied to our own time.

. . .

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Stephen:

You did great work there.

The situation in New York was different in it's intensity, possibly because of Ayn living there and NBI being the "geographical center" of the movement.

I have no problem with the approach you took with the general pamphleteering. Our ideas need to be consistently spread on a daily basis.

Thanks for the brochures. You should be recognized as a movement archivist.

Adam

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Well well, look who crawled out from under Boehner's Republican Rock [bRR]...

Yes, it is Paul Ryan and he has an opinion!

Paul Ryan: Obama Executive Amnesty Plan ‘Blatantly Unconstitutional’

“We’d like to be able to exercise the power of the purse more effectively,” Rep. Paul Ryan told Fox News’s Sean Hannity Tuesday night. And if Republicans take control of the Senate, “we can do that,” he added. Ryan was responding to Hannity’s question about how Congress can stop the president from granting “executive amnesty” to millions more illegal aliens.

True, to make it "legal" they would need you to help sell out the citizenry.

So what was that amnesty plan that yourself and that Democratic Senator working on again?

A...

Post Script:

A really good thread, Brant's post #3 and Steven's posts on the Libertarian Party and the 1980 Clark campaign.

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And this is why we will lose...

It is astounding to me that we cannot be bright enough to implement the same reverse "incrementalism" that we rail against the left for using.

So we have the Rand Absolute Purity Test [RAPT] and we will accept no one who runs for office unless they take the pledge!

How incredibly childish.

Adam

In the case of Paul Ryan, the problem is not the quibbles over half measures but the fact that he courted Objectivists - i.e., their tangible support - when it was convenient to do so, then denied his affiliation when it was more convenient. He did not say, "I do not agree with everything..." He just denounced "Ayn Rand's atheistic philosophy" even though, as we know, Rand could be accommodating on the question of religion.

Paul Ryan is not a "crony capitalist." That grants him too much, giving him the status of Elon Musk. Ryan is just shallow. He is a nice-looking guy who repeats what other people want to hear.

BTW, Ayn Rand endorsed Barry Goldwater even though her own marginalia in Conscience of a Conservative contains the criticisms we know so well today. Of course, Goldwater wrote a book about his conscience. Paul Ryan has not come so far yet.

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I detect a bit of pessimism because of prior unsuccessful efforts to achieve political toeholds years ago.

I had a little something to do with the start of the LP, first as a delegate to the first national LP convention, then sent out letters to Reason subscribers in PA which led to the creation of that state's LP. The day doesn't go by over the years that I don't encourage someone to read AS or give out a list of many books. I like to think that the numbers of us in the pro individual freedom movement doing that has grown and will continue to do so.

I will not begin to list so many organizations which didn't even exist half a century ago.

Certainly the growth of Students For Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty will continue to enlighten the brightest and most dedicated young educated of the younger generation around the world and all across our Republic. They are both affiliated with the Atlas Society and other movement orgs which will assure their becoming aware of the basis of a free society and economy.

Just last evening I watched a cable program about a movement within black conservatives who are aware of the way blacks are misguided by the Democrat Party who instead have used policies which have rendered so many of them to a life of dependency. They pointed out the the Democrat party receives less support down from 75% to 68 % in elections. This org is composed of many black men who succeeded in overcoming the obstacles they faced growing up. Many are ministers who preach which suggests their insights will spread within the black community rapidly.

Admittedly I have also encountered people who have concluded that since more than half the population receives a check from the government that we are already doomed. It did happen to the Roman Empire after all. But we know things they didn't know in those days so there is still hope.

Readers of www.kingworldnews.com know that the Fed is likely to keep printing a fiat paper currency doomed to fail in the foreseeable future. So it is clear there is not that much time left for us to save the day.

gg

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And this is why we will lose...

It is astounding to me that we cannot be bright enough to implement the same reverse "incrementalism" that we rail against the left for using.

So we have the Rand Absolute Purity Test [RAPT] and we will accept no one who runs for office unless they take the pledge!

How incredibly childish.

Adam

In the case of Paul Ryan, the problem is not the quibbles over half measures but the fact that he courted Objectivists - i.e., their tangible support - when it was convenient to do so, then denied his affiliation when it was more convenient. He did not say, "I do not agree with everything..." He just denounced "Ayn Rand's atheistic philosophy" even though, as we know, Rand could be accommodating on the question of religion.

The problem is both the "...quibbles over half measures...," not sure what you mean by that, and the fact that he played a political Peter in his denials.

Secondly, Michael, this is the second time that you have replied to something that I have not said. Your placement of:

Paul Ryan is not a "crony capitalist." That grants him too much, giving him the status of Elon Musk. Ryan is just shallow. He is a nice-looking guy who repeats what other people want to hear.

in this reply, could easily attribute that statement to me which I did not make.

Bob made that statement in post #2 supra.

Ryan is a Crony Capitalist.

Ba'al Chatzaf

אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

I would appreciate it if you did not do that.

A...

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Perhaps I am just dreaming but it is conceivable that as the numbers of individual freedom advocates increases through the efforts of SFL and YAL and IHS and TAS and others that they will be able to influence schools at the local level to include pro freedom ideas into the curricula within the public schools at a level which will counter the indoctrination which has been going on for generations because of the progressive agenda.

gg

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Perhaps I am just dreaming but it is conceivable that as the numbers of individual freedom advocates increases through the efforts of SFL and YAL and IHS and TAS and others that they will be able to influence schools at the local level to include pro freedom ideas into the curricula within the public schools at a level which will counter the indoctrination which has been going on for generations because of the progressive agenda.

gg

Even if you include ARI you'll need a story (stories) and Rand's stories fall short. They can be partially incorporated, however, into a viable Americana, an Americana that previously fell short of the vision of most of the Founding Fathers (not Hamilton and his ilk).

--Brant

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BTW, Ayn Rand endorsed Barry Goldwater even though her own marginalia in Conscience of a Conservative contains the criticisms we know so well today. Of course, Goldwater wrote a book about his conscience. Paul Ryan has not come so far yet.

I believe Goldwater's pre-1964 election books were ghost written by L. Brent Bozell, including The Conscience of a Conservative. Kennedy used Sorenson for his books.

--Brant

Teddy Roosevelt was a legitimate author

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Brant, thanks for the information about L. Brent Bozell. I had no idea. His story is fascinating.

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Brant, thanks for the information about L. Brent Bozell. I had no idea. His story is fascinating.

That's L. Brent Bozell jr (to avoid confusion with his son the III).

--Brant

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Unfortunately, you were quite correct.

I had some real hope with him because he was intelligent.

However, he certainly has become a corporatist as Levin label that class.

I was just trying to think which character he reminds me of in Atlas.

Stadler I have reserved for folks like Greenspan.

A...

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I was going to post a new thread called To Hell With Sellout Paul Ryan, but thank goodness this one was already up.

Look at this crap (courtesy of Breitbart):

PAUL RYAN’S PELOSI-ESQUE OBAMATRADE MOMENT: ‘IT’S DECLASSIFIED AND MADE PUBLIC ONCE IT’S AGREED TO’

No time to quote from it, but the headline says it all.

Michael

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Paul "the Quisling" Ryan - I certainly got taken in by him...

mea culpa OL

A...

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I admit I have not read anything but headlines about Obamatrade, but I do know it is pissing off left and right.

The left sees it as the undoing of unions and oppressive growth for global corporations, the right sees it as a way to sneak in climate change and immigration.

Regardless of how oversimplified or omissive this may be, the fact is our system of checks and balances exists for a damn good reason.

If politicians think it slows them down, they're right. That's what it's supposed to do. On that principle alone I am not in favor of giving the president a "fast track" on anything. Especially when crony capitalists--right and left--are nearby and unable to control their salivating.

Michael

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I admit I have not read anything but headlines about Obamatrade, but I do know it is pissing off left and right.

The left sees it as the undoing of unions and oppressive growth for global corporations, the right sees it as a way to sneak in climate change and immigration.

Regardless of how oversimplified or omissive this may be, the fact is our system of checks and balances exists for a damn good reason.

If politicians think it slows them down, they're right. That's what it's supposed to do. On that principle alone I am not in favor of giving the president a "fast track" on anything. Especially when crony capitalists--right and left--are nearby and unable to control their salivating.

Michael

Precisely.

I encourage as much damn gridlock as we can effectively launch.

"Retreat, hell! We're not retreating, we're just advancing in a different direction."[1]****

I am seriously considering a specific type of Federal class action suit and I will have more on this when I get back from a week in Beach Haven, one block from the beach in pure luxury with my lady's family at their beach "house."

This "house" has a separate wing, I am a lucky man.

A...

****http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_P._Smith

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I admit I have not read anything but headlines about Obamatrade, but I do know it is pissing off left and right.

The left sees it as the undoing of unions and oppressive growth for global corporations, the right sees it as a way to sneak in climate change and immigration.

Regardless of how oversimplified or omissive this may be, the fact is our system of checks and balances exists for a damn good reason.

If politicians think it slows them down, they're right. That's what it's supposed to do. On that principle alone I am not in favor of giving the president a "fast track" on anything. Especially when crony capitalists--right and left--are nearby and unable to control their salivating.

Michael

This just astounds me...I was running a search on Ayn and love and this pops up. Did you know that us subterranean Randians own Paul Ryan?

This is from October 15, 2015, last month!

Oh, wait, you're not familiar with Ayn Rand?

Remember in Dirty Dancing when Baby pleads with that jerkface Robbie to take responsibility for his part in getting Penny pregnant?

Robbie shrugs and famously says,

"Some people count, some people don't."

Then he pulls out a paperback and says, "Read it." That book was Fountainhead by, you got it, Ayn Rand. The book, along with other Rand works, promotes Rand's unabashed philosophy that greed and selfishness are not only good, but that it is immoral to care about anyone other than yourself.

As you can imagine, these books are most popular among a certain segment of adolescent young men. Most get married, have kids, and grow of it as they appreciate all of the complexities in the world around them. (You know, like in Dirty Dancing).

But, there are some that never grow up. They cling to this unworkable, silly view that a society as we know it could function without a government as we know it. (You know, because government-free places like Somalia have such a great quality of life: WE COULD DO THAT HERE!)

Back in 1959, the numbers of these Ayn Rand disciples were still small, but they garnered the attention of Mike Wallace. At the time, Wallace said that if "the philosophy ever does take hold, it would revolutionize our lives." He then proceeds to interview Rand and she really is crazy. (see below.)

- See more at: http://progressive.org/comment/3668#sthash.A3oD4qC6.dpuf

http://progressive.org/comment/3668

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