The Spirit Of Ayn Rand Versus Obama

Please tolerate the length of this essay. Hopefully you will be rewarded by staying with it:

othing causes conservatives more consternation than hearing the truth about what actually makes human societies flourish.

Such a truth was spoken  by President Obama last week during a campaign stop in Roanoke, Va., and what he said has driven already hateful right-wingers even further into the abyss of Obama-hate.  Here is the part of his speech you usually hear critics play:

That one phrase is played or quoted again and again, including on Tuesday by Mitt Romney:

If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.

So, what was Mr. Obama’s point? Oh, I’ll let him tell you, in context and as as part of the rest of what he said:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together.  That’s how we funded the GI Bill.  That’s how we created the middle class.  That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam.  That’s how we invented the Internet.  That’s how we sent a man to the moon.  We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President — because I still believe in that idea.  You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.

Wow. What a controversial idea! We’re in this together? Nobody can do it alone? Are you kidding me? No wonder Rush Limbaugh said this about Obama’s words:

Somebody who loves America, who loves the founding, who understands it and knows everything about it, this is a declaration of war against the country.  This is a declaration of war from the White House.  This is a declaration of war against what this country’s always been.

And Limbaugh said this:

I think it can now be said, without equivocation — without equivocation — that this man hates this country. He is trying — Barack Obama is trying — to dismantle, brick by brick, the American dream.

Now, it is easy to dismiss an ideological prostitute like Limbaugh. But rising Randian star Paul Ryan—who Romney is considering as a VP pick—had something to say about Obama’s remarks too:

This is not a Bill Clinton Democrat. He’s got this very government-centric, old 20th century collectivist philosophy which negates the American experiment, which is people living in communities, supporting one another, having government stick to its limits so it can do its job really well … Those of us who are conservative believe in government, we just believe government has limits. We want government to do what it does well and respect its limits so civil society and families can flourish on their own and do well and achieve their potential.

Gawd. As an aside, you gotta love the right’s recent embrace of Bill Clinton (see here  for Romney’s version), a man some of them accused of drug trafficking and murder just 15 short years ago. But beyond that,  look at what Paul Ryan said more closely. He contrasted “collectivist philosophy” with “the American experiment, which is people living in communities, supporting one another…” Isn’t “living in communities, supporting one another” what collectivist philosophy ultimately entails? Huh?

Ryan said,

We want government to do what it does well and respect its limits so civil society and families can flourish on their own and do well and achieve their potential.

How, you have to ask yourself, can civil society and families flourish “on their own,” if it is conceded that government is necessary for them to do that? I have discussed before the incoherence of the anti-collectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand (and Ryan is a Rand devotee, despite what he claims now), but the incoherence here is stunning.

But perhaps the most stunning thing I saw related to Obama’s common-sense comments about success was on MSNBC on Tuesday.  S. E. Cupp, who used to spout Obama-hate on Fox and other places, is now a regular panelist and rotating host on a show called The Cycle. Today she offered an incoherent commentary that included an on-screen quote from none other than Ayn Rand:

Cupp began,

According to President Obama, you don’t get anywhere through your own hard work or ingenuity. Every success you have is thanks to the collaborative work of thousands from the people who collect your taxes to the people who pave your roads. Well, of course that’s true in that most folks have a kind friend, a nurturing relative, a wise mentor or, well, a paved road to drive. We’re all products of an American community that helps each other out from time to time. But that generosity of spirit is the very reason the president thinks we should abandon the notion of the American dream and individual success in favor of collectivism, that incredibly inspiring belief that success is shared and the state alone can make all your dreams come true.

Besides the shocking incoherence of this paragraph—she is criticizing Obama’s remarks even though she admits, “We’re all products of an American community that helps each other out from time to time”—Cupp lies about what Obama said. He did not say, “you don’t get anywhere through your own hard work or ingenuity,” nor did he say, “we should abandon the notion of the American dream and individual success in favor of collectivism.” What he actually said was a variation of what Cupp herself admitted:

…when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

You see, the problem with the right-wing punditry and the right-wing political class in the Age of The Scary Negro is that even a simple declaration that we’re not in this world alone, that we can and do depend on others for help—something that conservatives gladly admit—becomes on the lips of the right-wing’s black devil, a thing of disgust, of hate-inducing hysteria.

When these hysterical reactionaries, most of them Christians, invoke the name or reference the ideas of Ayn Rand, they are endorsing a strange and silly philosophy, one which completely misunderstands how mankind has engineered success against the vicissitudes of nature.

Ms. Rand’s heroes were “the men who produce,”  those,

who think and work, who discover how to deal with existence, how to produce the intellectual and the material values it requires.

These “forgotten men of history,” she said,

are first to discover any scrap of new knowledge, are the men who deal with reality, with the task of conquering nature, and who, to that extent, assume the responsibility of cognition: of exercising their rational faculty.

The task of conquering nature” is given to those producers and everyone else is a parasite, living on their efforts. The “rational faculty” is man’s “unique reward,” his instrument of survival, his means of conquering nature:

…animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself. If a drought strikes them, animals perish—man builds irrigation canals; if a flood strikes them, animals perish—man builds dams; if a carnivorous pack attacks them animals perish—man writes the Constitution of the United States.*

Ah, there’s the obvious silliness, the unmistakable flaw in Rand’s elaborate, self-created philosophy she called “Objectivism.” In that Constitution she praises, in that document she regards as the product of man’s reason designed to combat the “carnivorous pack,” are the words,

We the people…a more perfect unioncommon defence, general Welfare…

In the preamble to our Constitution those collectivist words represent the secret of man’s tentative success, the only hope he has of conquering nature, of overcoming the carnivorous pack. Our Constitution, with its appeal to collectivism, is perhaps the last best hope of mankind for conquering the worst angels of our nature, of making a civilization out of competing individuals, of ensuring that “success” includes all of us, not just a fortunate few.

And in their obvious and embarrassing hatred for Barack Obama, conservatives are willing to attack the premise of our American civilization, so eloquently expressed by the President:

We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President — because I still believe in that idea.  You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.

___________________________________

All of the Rand quotes are from my copy of For The New Intellectual.

18 Comments

  1. King Beauregard

     /  July 18, 2012

    Ayn Rand went on Medicare when she came down with a touch of the lung cancer.

    Also, Rand had a thing for a child killer:

    http://michaelprescott.freeservers.com/romancing-the-stone-cold.html

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  2. Treeske

     /  July 18, 2012

    Ayn Rand, very appropriate Republican Patron Saint ( sorry, she was an Atheist ) A malcontent, selfish and in older years, a very cantankerous old lady! Cupp like so many of the lame press, repeats talking points without knowing anything at all about the subject.

    Like

  3. ansonburlingame

     /  July 18, 2012

    To all,

    Any Rand wrote several fictional accounts and later created a political philosophy that was intended to counter the threat of communism in the 1950s. She was espousing a similiar view to the views expressed in Animal Farm. So to critique Ayn Rand, one should go back to the basis of her views and not attempt to take them in whole in today’s much more interconnected world, just for starters.

    I have read just about everything that Rand ever wrote. The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged were my first real introduction to political “science” as a teenager growing up in the mid to late 1950s. For sure I “liked her stuff” just as I liked and agreed with Animal Farm and 1984.

    But I do NOT try to take her views as gospel in the year 2012 in any way.

    Now for the “speech”. Yes there are a “lot of smart people out there”. And my guess a lot of them need no entitlements of the magnitude of a commonly understood “socialist state”. And yes there are a “lot of hard working people out there” as well and they only need some basic help such as SS and Medicare, at least to some degree.

    I will go so far to say that there are a lot of “hard working and smart people” out there as well and THEY need very little “federal help” at least of the entitlelment nature.

    Sure we need a “safety net” in a modern society. We need “roads and bridges” , national defense, etc. It is how large a safety net or expanse of other government provided goods and services is the argument. To suggest that conservatism disregards such needs is pure political crap and one does not need to seek Ayn Rand’s views to make such a statement.

    What conservatives are arguing today, and get demagoguery from progressives of the EC sort is what are the LIMITS that government should use to make such decisions.

    Well hear is a conservative “limit” for you. The federal government today should provide goods and services up to only that which the federal government collects in revenues to pay for such goods and services. If that is not enough, fine, then raise revenues to meet the goals to which folks aspire in terms of federal provisions of goods and services.

    That is called living with ones means, individually, but much more important collectively today in America.

    Is it OK for a federal government to spend more than it collects in a real emergency over a relatively short period of time? Sure it is as long as we democratically decide collectively what an “emergency” might be.

    but we have been using deficit spending to fund the federal government for over 50 years now and we must STOP doing so ASAP.

    As an early “student” of Ayn Rand, I never read her words in an attempt to diminish the plight of a “poor man”. Rather she tried to look beneath his “state of living” at WHY he was in such a state, a dismal state of existence.

    Ayn Rand’s main fictional characters were “smart AND hard working” people. But those “leaders” also assembled very “hard working” people in their enterprises and such “workers” succeeded as well, fictionally.

    But Ayn Rand was intolerant of “lazy” people sponging off of the lagress of “society”, a society politically created by politicians adhereing to the teachings of Karl Marx.

    I also suspect she would be intolerant of “European socialism” today but we will never know for sure as she is long dead, now.

    But I am pretty sure as well that she would never vote for Obama and thus she is demonized by the left today, for what she wrote opposing communisn in the 1950s!!!!

    Anson

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  4. A good and well-written post, Duane. I submit that right-wing demagoguery based on the interpretation that Obama has demeaned individual creativity and entrepreneurs might gain some traction despite such common-sense analysis as you provide. Why? Simply because the historically-deep economic recession the President inherited from the eight Bush years has far too much momentum to be cured by such Keynesian spending as has been permitted by a divided Congress. Thus, his policies do appear to have failed. In fact, I will add the charge that the Tea Party has intentionally blocked spending on infrastructure simply to deny Democrat success, and that hurts the nation long-term.

    Adding to the problem of course are a broken, too-expensive and too inefficient healthcare system and the loss of jobs to the global economy. The voters are fixated on the short term, as always, and as I see it, November could go either way. But if it goes right, Mr. Romney and the country will confirm over the next four years that our economic problems have no easy or quick fixes. If Mr. Romney wins, I believe that infrastructure, all those roads, bridges, dams, transmission lines and environmental quality, all that will suffer comparatively and will have the entrepreneurs yelling for government help.

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  5. ansonburlingame

     /  July 18, 2012

    Jim,

    I do not complelly disagree with what you wrote above. Whoever wins in Nov 2012 has a seemingly impossible task ahead. I say seemingly because whoever wins the White House, we for sure will still have a divided Congress, at least to the point where a filibuster can still prevail in the Senate.

    And you know as well as I do that even if the GOP wins the WH, keeps majority control in the House and wins majority control in the Senate, there is no way the GOP can gain a 60 vote majority in the Senate.

    So if the “dreams” of the GOP come true in Nov 2012, but not with a 60 vote majority in the Senate, we will be in exactly the same shape poltically as were were after the 2008 election. And look what that got us?!

    But this kind of discussion has nothing to do with the views of Ayn Rand!! Duane is just on his “horse” again taking shots at all things conservative and trying to make it sound like Romney would govern as if Ayn Rand was his closests advisor. I don’t think even Mormons have that kind of contact with the great beyond!

    I have said it before and say it again. UNTIL we find some national leadership that can truly UNITE this country then we are in big trouble. This country is in sad and getting to be terrible shape, economically, politically, militarily and perhaps even morally.

    When small fry bloggers like you, me and Duane can find some form of agreement, politically or programatically then maybe such a program or policy has a chance of surviving in the even more politcally divided Washington DC.

    But such agreement has not happened in any way for at least 10 years now, politically. Hell we haven’t even had a federal budget approved by Congress in what 3 now going on 4 years!!

    And look where we are, today!!

    I’m not even sure Congress has the “guts” to prevent the “cliff” that everyone is talking about come Jan 1, 2013. That looming “cliff” was in fact voted upon by Congress and signed into law by the President, about one year ago. And you want to blame all of that on just the GOP????

    Anson

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    • I absolutely do blame the GOP, as led by the Tea Party, for the impasse in Congress. They are so avid to “win” that they have subordinated the nation’s interests to that goal. Leader Mitch McConnell famously stated publicly and clearly that his number one goal is the defeat of Barack Obama.

      The President’s bill to carry on with infrastructure work would have put millions back to work doing essential repairs, but that would be a clear political “win” for Obama, and that is exactly why the House Republicans blocked it. No matter how good a leader a President is, he can’t lead people who hate his guts.

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      • ansonburlingame

         /  July 19, 2012

        Jim,

        Obviously your blame only the GOP. If the GOP just voted in all cases like Democrates were would all be in great shape, right?

        Of course we have no idea what our deficits might have been had the GOP followed Obama’s lead, like lambs to slaughter. But who cares about deficits right now, right? Deficits make not difference for the time being and we just need to borrow enough money to begin to grow our way back to prosperity, sometime in the future.

        And who cares what our debt might be after we turn the corner. We will never pay off such a debt. Heck we won’t even pay down the debt.

        Good leaders rally the people being lead to do things they normally would not choose to do on their own. Well if Obama was such a great leader, why did the vote in 2010 take the course that it did?

        Now are you going to tell me the GOP simply BOUGHT that election?

        Good leaders UNITE people. Obama assumed power and is trying to sustain it by dividing the American people, rich against poor primarily. That is cold, hard political calculation in my view. Sometimes that wins elections but it sure plays hell with trying to govern America!!

        Anson

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        • No, the GOP didn’t buy the 2010 election, they simply capitalized on the downward momentum imparted by the 8 disastrous Bush II years and the collapse of the housing market abetted by Wall Street. The voters needed to blame someone for the GR, so they blamed Obama. People fail to understand both the scope of what a President can do economically and the span of time necessary for his policies to actually have some effect.

          Look, I agree that government is too big and that it has inefficient excesses. Tonight’s news carried a report of yet another stupid excess-spending party by the GSA that happened in 2010. Should Obama have prevented it? I suppose so, in a perfect world. But it was simply one more in a series of the same stupid events that prevailed during Bush’s tenure. The tail wags the dog and there’s only so much one man can do in 4 years.

          We have a choice of two parties in this country and no matter which one wins, it will be forced to govern with an imperfect system. Choose your poison, but try to get over the notion that the President is personally responsible for every bad thing that happens. A country is not a ship, for god’s sake.

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          • ansonburlingame

             /  July 20, 2012

            Jim,

            Drop down to the end of the comments to see my reply to you on these points.

            AB

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  6. Oh, I’ll let him tell you, in context and as as part of the rest of what he said:

    Ahh, I think that you too are taking his comments out of context. Include the 2 paragraphs preceding your quote:

    We’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts. We can make some more cuts in programs that don’t work, and make government work more efficiently…We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more …

    There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me, because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

    Now it’s even more clear. Obama is not making some Norman Rockwell speech regarding America’s spirit of commitment. Rather he’s making a case to raise taxes on one group of Americans but not on another:

    what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more …

    And he continues the meme, the drumbeat of an obligation to give back:

    There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me, because they want to give something back.

    He’s saying this as if this is an example of charity taught to us when we were children. Which is a proper role of enlightened individuals. But it’s not the proper role of government.

    No one denies that we stand on the shoulders of giants. But in his examples of who’s provided for us in the quote you offered, they are ALL government agencies.

    And, by the way, ARPNet didn’t invent the Internet. That was done by private companies of some sort.

    Like

    • Pino,

      Sorry for the delay in responding.

      Some of what you quoted here was included in the video clip, but I don’t see how what you included changes what Obama was arguing. Sure, part of the context had to do with what he says all the time: I have cut spending and there is more to do, but the responsible way to address our budget problems includes raising taxes on those who can afford it.

      To justify that argument, he cites the obvious, which you also admitted:

      No one denies that we stand on the shoulders of giants.

      Even successful athletes, as Romney reminded us, don’t achieve their success alone. What’s so hard to understand about successful business people also benefiting from the help of others? Nothing, of course. It’s just that it was uttered by Mr. Obama.

      And the reason Obama gave specific examples of government help was for the reason you cited: it was in the immediate context of raising revenues for the government!

      Now, you raised the issue of charity versus coercion. Any tax by definition is coercive, so I ask you this: Should individuals who benefit from a free America also be free to not pay taxes to support the military that keeps us free? Once you admit that we are all obliged to help support our national defense–because we all benefit from it–then you have no logical grounds to oppose taxing–again, coercively–those who benefit the most economically from a free America with good roads and safe bridges and policemen and firemen and teachers.

      As far as the Internet, I would have to do some research in order to confirm or refute what you say, but everyone I have heard discuss it gives at least the initial credit to the government.

      Duane

       

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  7. ansonburlingame

     /  July 20, 2012

    Jim, again,

    Well for sure we agree that the federal government is too big which means I suppose you agree it should become smaller. I further suppose that to make it smaller some things should be cut out of federal responsibility. I have made such suggestions many times of “places to cut” and I cannot recall where you agreed on such suggestions.

    The GSA events for sure could, and probably have happened on “anyone’s” watch. For sure I do not blame Obama for the GSA “stuff”. It is just another example of a large government organization running amoke with taxpayer $.

    I assume you saw from last nights “revelation” about the $270,000 awards ceremony that GSA has now rented something in NYC to the tune of $multiple millions while at the same time huge government facilities are vacant and “rent free”.

    You and I both worked inside that kind of government bureaucracy. I became so incensed with it, just in the Pentagon, that I left government service out of such disgust. It is the “mindset” of large bureaucracies, DOD, GSA, you name it. Recall my “rants” over what I saw as a consultant to the CDC over a year ago. A bureaucracy that supposedly is the pinnacle of health issues that could not figure out what to tell a breast feeding mother to do over a reactor accident 5000 miles away!! Ridiculous is too “light” a term in those kinds of things.

    And it is exactly such a bureaucracy that you and other want to turn over the nations HC to.

    Generally speaking big government has a very hard time making rational decisions within its bureaucracy. Too many “cooks in the kitchen” is the cause of that inability. And every time Congress turns to more federal control the first thing the bureaucracy does is HIRE MORE COOKS!!!

    I also recall that “standards” to operate ships increased, became harder and harder to meet over the course of my careet. But the number of crewmembers remained the same over that same career.

    Oh that a federal bureaucracy was operated like a ship!!! At least on a ship you ALWAYS knew who was responsible. Now read the FBI report on how that agency dropped the ball investigating the “crazy major” before the shooting in Ft. Hood.

    But the conclusion was that the failure was “no one’s fault, individually”. Bureaucrats are MASTERS at never accepting the blame for anything that goes wrong and thus government bureaucracies are generally inept.

    Anson

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    • I agree with your frustration over bureaucratic avoidance of accountability, Anson, but it also isn’t practical to militarize the whole federal government to make it accountable. It would be too expensive, for one thing – the same reason the Navy changed the Auxiliary fleet to civilian manning. The only solution to it I know of is to insist on totally open and publicly transparent operation. That’s something that a few politicians, like Clair McCaskell for example, have been somewhat successful in promoting.

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  8. ansonburlingame

     /  July 20, 2012

    Jim,

    At least you seem to understand my frustration with federal bureaucracy. I gave up a career over such frustration when I saw ii for what it was and felt that I personnally had no control over “fixing’ it. Hell CNOs could not “fix it” they were just smart enough to maneuver through it, which I was not in my own view of my strengths and weaknesses.

    Real transparency would help a lot. But then look at Fast and Furious. That is political infighting, not transparency by any means. So was Watergate, Iran-Contra, and the list goes on. The ulitmate focus in Iran-Contra from a public perspective was a Marine LtCol, may a GS 14 in the civil service, being the brunt of the blame. Are you kidding me!!

    But that is how bureaucracies operate and you know it from your own experience. The ultimate solution is NOT more transparency, it is limiting the scope and harm that can be caused from bureaucaries, despite their best intentions.

    Figure out a way for a bureaucracy to reallly hold bureaucrats responsibile when things go wrong and I might call for more government bureaucracies.

    Now in the sense tell me the MAN (or woman) in the federal bureaucracy that was RESPONSILBE for the the lack of government oversight in the Gulf that caused the oil spill.

    No way can you or anyone else do that or levy the appropriate punishment on that single bureaucrat. But if a reactor accident ever occured on a nucllearl powered warship causing harm to the population, you know as well as I do who would be held, ultimately accounable. And ulitmately it would not be the CO of the ship, it would be the Director of Naval Reactors, the “old” Admiral Rickover. He knew it then and the men that have followed in his footsteps live with that responsibliy every day!!!

    Now tell me the Director of any other federal agency that feels and acts in accordance with that concern, ulitmate responsiblity and accountablity in the public eye! For sure it is not our Attorney General or even President!!! It is “not my fault, it is that of President Bush”!!!!!

    Anson

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  9. Roger Zimmerman

     /  July 22, 2012

    Ayn Rand was not an anarchist. Nor did she advocate cutting oneself off from society (a syndrome she termed “lone wolfism” href=http://freedomkeys.com/withoutaself.htm>See this excerpt). She clearly and repeatedly recognized the value that an individual could gain from cooperating with others. She did, however, distinguish between voluntary and coerced cooperation among free individuals, which the above essay does not.

    And, by the way, her novels are filled with characters that, while not heroic producers, such as her main protagonists, are perfectly admirable and morally upstanding individuals. She in no way denigrates them as “parasites”, but she does not pretend that humanity depends on them as much as it depends on the relatively few creators that, undeniably, have enabled mankind to rise from the cave.

    Like

    • Roger,

      Whether Rand was a “self-hating Anarchist,” as some would have it, is not a claim I can defend or refute, since my understanding of her is limited to what she wrote, not what her psychological state may have been.

      What I will say is what I have said many times about her philosophy: it is logically incoherent and embarrassingly childish in my view (can’t argue that now, though).

      I will also say, as relates to this essay, that she abhored collectivism in apparently any form. And she had a particularly weird distaste for a pronoun:

      At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of the freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled.

      But then he gave up all he had won, and fell lower than his savage beginning.

      What brought it to pass? What disaster took their reason away from men? What whip lashed them to their knees in shame and submission? The worship of the word “We.”

      That’s a strange thing for an admirer of our Constitution to say, isn’t it? I mean the document begins with the very word she trashes: We the People…

      Duane

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  10. Let me provide you all an example of Ayn Rand “philosophy” alive & active today. My ex (how the eff did I spend 6 years of my life with this GD MORON?) was so INTO Randian philosophy and “selfishness above all else” had a near cognitive seizure when he realized I was DONATING our old clothes to charity. I had contacted the Disabled American Veterans for a pickup and they called the day before to confirm. Moron Ex answers the call, cusses them out, tells them not to come EVER and then proceeds to tell me that “We don’t believe in charity! We will burn our GD clothes in the backyard before WE just GIVE THEM AWAY TO PEOPLE who did not work for them!” Mighty COLLECTIVE pontificating for someone who ultimately did NOT believe in the pronoun WE, don’t you think. A little piece of me died that day, as the very foundation of WE crumbled as I stared aghast at my then-fiance, made an utter STRANGER to me in THAT moment. This is WHY Ayn Rand is so DANGEROUS today – because an intellectual giant as my ex was in every other capacity, can & WILL DISTORT what Ayn Rand thought to serve their own wholly SELFISH agendas!

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