Ryan’s Godless Philosopher of Wealth, Power and Class Narcissism: If you want to understand Ryan know from whom he draws his inspiration.
Ryan says Ayn Rand is the reason he entered politics and he requires all staff and interns to read her books. Says Ryan: “Ayn Rand more than anyone else did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism.”
Here’s Ryan in his own words in an address to the Atlas Society: “I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are. It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged [laughter]. There’s a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead, but then we move on, and we require Mises and Hayek as well…..But 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. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism….And when you look at the twentieth-century experiment with collectivism—that Ayn Rand, more than anybody else, did such a good job of articulating the pitfalls of statism and collectivism—you can’t find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism than Ayn Rand…”
Rand’s novel/polemic “Atlas Shrugged” and other less well know works idealize unchecked capitalism as the source of wealth for all. Her writings espouse a moral philosophy that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes..
Her books provided wide-ranging parables of “parasites,” “looters” and “moochers” using the levers of government to steal the fruits of the labor of the “job and wealth producers.”. In the real world, however, Rand herself received Social Security payments and Medicare benefits under the name of Ann O’Connor (her husband was Frank O’Connor).
But even reality did not stop Rand. Years after applying for benefits she wrote: “Morally and economically the welfare state creates an ever accelerating downward pull.”
Ryan is a faithful disciple but he is not alone.
Clarence Thomas requires his law clerks to watch The Fountainhead, and has said “I tend really to be partial to Ayn Rand.”
Sen. Ron Johnson, Ryan’s GOP colleague from Wisconsin, calls Atlas Shrugged his “foundational book.”
Rush Limbaugh calls Ayn Rand “the brilliant writer and novelist.”
Fox News repeatedly promoted the terribly reviewed and hardly ever seen contemporary movie version of Atlas Shrugged, airing the trailer on several shows and interviewing cast members.
What does not fit the GOP public image is that Rand was also vehemently anti-religion, and referred to Christian teachings as “evil” and “monstrous.”
The conservative evangelical leader Chuck Colson has become so concerned about Rand’s booming popularity in the GOP that he recently recorded a video warning that Rand “peddles a starkly anti-Christian philosophy.”
Richard Cizik, a former top official at the National Association of Evangelicals, says it is necessary to remind politicians that “being consistently pro-life requires more than caring for the unborn, it requires following the Biblical call to care for the poor and the downtrodden.” I wonder if Ryan will take Cizik’s call?