Going Galt -- Conservatives love Ayn Rand?

"Going Galt " - Conservatives Love Ayn Rand? by Al Bratton April 3, 2009 "What with all this economic turmoil of late, not to mention a suspected socialist in the White House, right-wing pundits like femmebot Michelle Malkin and fellow Fox-friendly cretin Glenn Beck are looking to `author, philosopher and female comb-over pioneer' Ayn Rand for guidance. Stephen Colbert thinks they should move to an island all their own, where less work gets done on purpose." http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/200 90312_colbert_report_conservatives_heart s_ayn_rand/ In almost every nook and cranny of the internet these days it seems there can be found some citation to Rand and her book Atlas Shrugged and "Going Galt"an allusion to John Galt the main character in the 1957 novel. In one instance, a web page was captioned "Conservatives Love Ayn Rand." The website The Democratic Strategists, posted an article by Ed Kilgore titled, "Rand & Conservatives: A Reminder to Galt Fans" March 15, 2009. read the complete article: http://www.thedemocraticstrategists.org/ ac/2009/03/rand_and_conservatives_a_remi n.php These are excerpts from Kilgore's article: One of the odder phenomena of contemporary public life is the enthusiasm of conservative gabbers and even elected officials for the idea of "Going Galt:" the suggestion that the oppressed wealthy of America withdraw their vast contributions to the commonwealth in protest against the supposedly confiscatory taxes and redistribution of income to the morally depraved underway at the behest of the Obama administration. The allusion is to John Galt, the hero of Ayn Rand's 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged, that massive tome that represented the Summa of her rigorously capitalist, atheist, and anti-altruist philosophy of "Objectivism," which has captured a vast number of adolescents and an impressive number of adults over the last several decades. I've written about this in the context of U.S. Rep. John Campbell's (R-CA) claim that "we're living through the scenario" laid out in Atlas Shrugged, wherein the industrial leaders of the West, ..." drop out, take to the Rockies, and finally, through Galt's voice--...chastise an economically helpless nation. ...talk about "going Galt" has spread like kudzu. It's merged, ... with the Rick-Santelli-spawned Tea Party "movement" of "productive" people fed up with the poor-and-minority scum .... ... I also don't need to analyze the absurdity of well-heeled, not-going-anywhere conservative bloggers and pundits like Michelle Malkin ... to encourage others to "go Galt,"... ... I'd like to ... remind folks tempted to "go Gault" or to gush ignorantly about the subject in blogs or on Fox that they are flirting with a philosophy... expressly hostile to anything that could remotely be described as "conservative." ... Galt's speech, ...the inspiration for all this excited Tea Party chatter, was a distillation of Rand's ... philosophy of Objectivism, ... And Rand, ... would ... object to use of her words and character, ... by political "conservatives," whom she ... despised as life-hating slaves to an imaginary God, ... The following are a sprinkling of quotes from Rand's work:. --Conservatism: An Obituary" from Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal I consider National Review the worst and most dangerous magazine in America...[b]ecause it ties capitalism to religion. The ideological position of National Review amounts, in effect, to the following: In order to accept freedom and capitalism, one has to believe in God or in some form of religion, some form of supernatural mysticism." [...] Rand On Religion: Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. Rand on Abortion: Abortion is a moral right--which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. [...] Rand on Ronald Reagan: I am profoundly opposed to Ronald Reagan. Since he denies the right to abortion, he cannot be a defender of any rights. Since he has no program or ideology to offer, his likeliest motive for entering a Presidential race is power-lust. [...] "Going Galt"- Conservatives Love Ayn Rand? Do they really?

Our Long National Nightmare is Over...and now...

Tuesday night we were all fixated to the polls. We all cried (or at least I know I did - it was John Lewis that broke my dam on that front). I even cried yesterday, and I wasn't the only one. Here in Blue Connecticut there were many tear stained faces, many relieved looks, even a pervasive, genuine happiness.

I bought the paper with Obama's picture on it and the caption, "Mr. President" at the grocery store. The young woman ringing me up said, "I'm really glad he won yesterday."

Obama's remade the electoral map. Now it is time for us to remake our ideological maps - or specifically, I would advocate, completely rip those maps into shreds and start over.

There's more...

Video Asks GOP: "Ayn Rand or Jesus?"

Ayn Rand has been actively cited in recent months as an inspiration for many leading conservatives with politicians such as Sen. Ron Johnson proudly endorsing Atlas Shrugged as his “foundational book.” Most famously, perhaps, Rep. Paul Ryan, author of the GOP Budget, extolled Rand, proclaiming that she “more than anyone else did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism.” It is surprising, however, that Rand’s vehement opposition to conservative values (e.g. she was ardently pro-choice) and Judeo-Christian morality has not even been addressed by the media or religious leaders across America.

The American Values Network (AVN) recently released a video debunking the innocuousness of Rand’s philosophy (Objectivism). It drives home the point that one cannot be a Christian and be partial to Rand. For one, Rand was not merely advocating specific political actions, but rewiring the human conscience so that pure and unrepentant selfishness that leaves no room for altruism is foundational to human existence. In an interview with Mike Wallace, she went so far as to assert that altruism is “evil.” No helping the poor, the sick, the voiceless. It is all about the holy trinity of me, myself, and moi.

 

Rand’s philosophy goes well beyond simply rejecting faith (which many do) to directly challenging the morality taught by Scripture of loving ones neighbor and promoting the common good. Rand made the choice clear, you can follow her or Jesus, not both. For years Republicans have been cloaking their policies in the mantle of faith and values. But the priorities laid out in the GOP budget – ending Medicare as we know it, attacks on the middle and working class, gutting programs for the most vulnerable – reflect Rand’s philosophy, not Jesus’. This inherent contradiction needs to be forced to a head because it could drive a massive wedge within the ranks of the right. The GOP must be forced to explain to its Christian base whose values it really stands for. They must be forced to choose Ayn Rand or Jesus. Because at its heart this debate is about our values.

AVN’s video begs us to ask ourselves what we envision America to be. Do we want a self-obsessed America who leaves the disadvantaged by the wayside, who passes by the downtrodden on the other side of the road? Or do we want an America who, as John F. Kennedy has declared “… shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty?” Indeed, AVN’s video makes clear that these two visions of America are entirely incompatible with each other.

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