“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”
— Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
James Rainey at the LA Times reminds us that Paul Ryan’s political philosophy / religious beliefs have only conveniently (supposedly) changed just this year. In the past, as now, he has operated from his government office on a personal belief system that split Americans into the “makers” and the “takers”, or the “producers” and the “parasites.” That’s pure Ayn Rand and that’s also class warfare.
Back in 2005, an up-and-coming lawmaker named Paul Ryancredited the polemical novelist and libertarian Ayn Rand as a central inspiration for his entry into public life. Ryan toiled in those days in relative obscurity, a well-respected but low-profile member of the House of Representatives.
By the spring of 2012, the boyish congressman had become a Republican star, widely named as a possible vice presidential pick. He also had become considerably less comfortable being linked to the controversial Rand, an atheist with a tartly Darwinian world view.
[...] In an April interview with the National Review, Ryan said that the reports linking him to Rand were essentially “an urban legend.”
“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan told Robert Costa of the National Review. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview.” He added that he had merely “enjoyed a couple of her novels,” which also included another bestseller, “The Fountainhead.”
[...] Even three years ago, Tim Mak of Politico noted, Ryan channeled Rand. “What’s unique about what’s happening today in government, in the world, in America, is that it’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now,” Ryan said. “I think Ayn Rand did the best job of anybody to build a moral case of capitalism, and that morality of capitalism is under assault.”
[...] Jonathan Chait… cited Ryan’s 2009 remarks about the immorality of government attacking productive members of society.
“It is not enough to say that President Obama’s taxes are too big or the healthcare plan doesn’t work for this or that policy reason,” the lawmaker said. “It is the morality of what is occurring right now, and how it offends the morality of individuals working toward their own free will to produce, to achieve, to succeed, that is under attack, and it is that what I think Ayn Rand would be commenting on.”
Chait said that Ryan has frequently invoked Rand’s idea of “makers” subsidizing society’s “takers.” In the New York story, he summed up the writer’s libertarian philosophy as “a defense of capitalism in general and, in particular, a conception of politics as a class war pitting virtuous producers against parasites who illegitimately use the power of the state to seize their wealth.”
In April when Ryan said he rejected Ayn Rand’s atheist philosophy, he added: “If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas.” He was getting criticism from Catholics because he says he’s a Catholic.
It’s one thing to say words which you believe should be said to appease people for votes, but it’s another thing entirely when your actions say exactly the opposite. Paul Ryan simply relies on people not paying attention to his actions — such as his budget plans for the “takers” and the “parasites” (the non-wealthy).