Returning to the theme of Paul Ryan’s infatuation with Ayn Rand and his supposed adherence to her ideology there are in actuality considerable gaps between them. Even as Ryan calls for drastic cuts to balance the budget and the privatization of Medicare he supports increased military spending. Rand opposed the Vietnam War vociferously and like Ron Paul considered aggressive war incompatible with capitalism. She never would have supported increased military spending and would no doubt have denounced Ryan for his position.
Rand supported Civil Rights and Women’s Rights and said her favorite president was Gerald Ford because of his policy of deregulation. And whilst she said that her basic philosophy could be found in “Atlas Shrugged,” she insisted that she never expected it to be adopted as a practical matter. The most important philosophers she argued were Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. Is it possible that Ryan has read them? Not likely.
It was Aristotle who maintained that what he called distributive justice was essential to
the stability of the state. He defined it as the ”equitable distribution of the benefits and burdens of society.” Without this he insisted there would be social unrest that would threaten the well-being of the well-off. Don’t expect to find anything like this in Paul Ryan’s thinking.
Rand was foremost a notorious atheist who ridiculed religion unlike the Ryanites who use religion as a cover for their ideology as though they had never read the Gospels or the Acts of the Apostles which call for the sharing of the wealth. When Rand met William Buckley she told him that he “was too intelligent to believe in God.” Instead of parrying by saying that she was too intelligent not to he cut her off, became permanently hostile to her and drove her from the conservative ranks.
Ryan will never balance the budget by increasing military spending and keeping the tax cuts for the wealthy. His and the Republican position is essentially a hoax. It is worth remembering that Ronald Reagan campaigned on “cutting the Gordian Knot” by balancing the budget. He drastically increased military spending and produced a gigantic deficit whilst increasing the size of the government substantially. Under Bush Clinton’s surplus quickly vanished and here was a new gigantic deficit owing in good part to the war in Iraq and his tax cuts. Under Clinton and Gore the government was at its smallest since Eisenhower. Under Bush the government grew substantially with the Republicans going along with it. Where was Paul Ryan then? Ryan is peddling snake oil and is not to be trusted. Ayn Rand would have been flattered that he makes his staff read “Atlas Shrugged” but would otherwise have considered him a bad joke.