Sunday, August 12, 2012
The Three Rs
About twenty five years ago I violated my one romantic rule. I fell for a woman who didn't share my values. While a certain compatibility of interests is nice, it's having the same moral compass that's important. Looking back after all these years, I find it strange to think that the only woman I ever wanted to marry was a conservative Republican. Trying to understand the way she thought, I read her favorite author, also the favorite author of Paul Ryan. Hard as it is to believe, I read The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, and Anthem by Ayn Rand. The third R on this years Repug ticket.
While Rand liked to think of her self as a philosopher and intellectual, I have to say, I didn't see it. Objectivism, the catch all name that she invented to label her creed, was far from an actual philosophy. Mostly it was a wet dream for sociopaths, with the occasional rape fantasy thrown in for lurid affect. Far from rejecting authoritarianism and embracing individual freedom, as the Randites suppose, she merely argued for an authoritarianism of the rich and powerful rather than the Soviet model of her native Russia.
I think one of the things that Rand understood, and that Paul Ryan may or may not understand, is that governments and economic systems do not exist in a state of nature; that they are things we create in order to get us to a desired end. The world that Rand, Ryan, and Romney wish to live in is a harsh and cruel world, where the vast majority of people are ruled by a sociopathic elite of rich and powerful laissez-faire capitalists, where the sick, the elderly, and the less fortunate are left to fend for themselves. That's not the world I want to live in.
Paul Ryan, whose father died when he was a teenager, who was supported by government entitlements, joins the long list of those who hate the very system that made their success possible. Ayn Rand, who signed up for Medicare in the last years of her life, would have been proud.
And worst of all, Ayn Rand wasn't even a very good writer.