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Ayn Rand and Ron Paul: Will the Real Libertarian Please Stand Up?

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Watching and listening to the admittedly intelligent, supposedly Libertarian Ron Paul and to the rantings of his less educated son gave me pause.   Only yesterday, after reading about Paul Ryan I actually began re-studying the philosophy of Ayn Rand.   After reading descriptions of her ideas by various august philosophical authorities, some of whom could not seem to write an intelligible sentence, I decided to review the lady's actual essays and novels again.   To my amazement I found Ms. Rand to be a rather clear thinking libertarian, while I have my doubts concerning Mr. Paul and his offspring.

I found that her concept of "objectivism" and the celebration of the "individual" to coincide with libertarian principles.   Even more interesting were her views on capitalism, which she saw as a means to raise the "individual" to new heights of accomplishment.   On the other hand, she saw uncontrolled corporate power as an enemy equal to the dictatorship in her old country, the USSR.   Just like her countrymen, the early neoconservatives, she acknowledged the need   to try to elevate the poor.   What she was not willing to do, was to lie to herself and say that this was to be done through a God-given feeling of "altruism."    On the contrary, this was to be done for either the exceptionally good feeling that one may have been relentlessly taught to experience or more likely, the potential benefit that would eventually ensue for virtually all individuals, including oneself.

At any rate, watching Ayn Rand's movies and scanning her literature, some readers might not absorb much more than the confused idea that "selfishness" and "egocentrism" are the same thing.   "Selfishness" is usually taught as a psychological term signifying that it is necessary to come to terms with and appreciate oneself before one can appreciate other people or things.   This is not the same as "egocentrism," the childish notion that the whole world revolves around oneself or one's socio-political group.   Rand's notion of "ethical egoism" appears to relate much more closely to the psychological concept of "selfishness" than that of "egocentrism."

Meanwhile, Ayn Rand seems to maintain a consistency with libertarian ideals that Ron Paul does not.   Something of a religious extremist for a "libertarian," unlike Ms. Rand and that other libertarian rascal, Barry Goldwater, Paul would arbitrarily ban abortion and gay marriage.   He   would also relegate the Constitution to a "moral" rather than a "social" and "legal" document.   As some of us have pointed out before, for example, there are very few religions, perhaps only Christianity, that blindly disallow elective abortions in the first trimester.   Whatever one's moral views on abortion, it is a stretch to "legally," as opposed to"morally" forbid first trimester elective termination of pregnancy.   By the same token, I seriously doubt that the Constitution would "legalize" killing (notice I didn't say "aborting") a viable 8 month fetus because its "carrier" had a "bad hair day."   In fact, unlike thirty years ago, even if the six month fetus is aborted, it probably will survive in a top notch neonatal facility.   Would you want to be the "hit man" assigned to murder the surviving fetus instead of sending it to that neonatal ward???

Similarly, the issue of gun ownership is clearly a legal one.   The Constitution generously gives one the authority to carry a gun.   Thus it may be a legitimate libertarian view that one has some sort of right to carry one.   However, there is no moral right to carry much more dangerous weapons, especially those designed for only one purpose, to kill multiple human beings in a very short period of time.   Ironically, most hypocrites stupidly bragging about their "Second Amendment" rights, would be (figuratively) slapped silly by their "Savior," Jesus Christ, for even insinuating that it was He who had given them the "moral right" to carry a needless weapon, purposely endangering innocent people.   While the people on both sides of the abortion issue are clearly not advancing "stupid" arguments, "Second Amendment" "crusaders" are!

The real problem for these brainwashed "Jihadists" is the necessity to invoke the Constitution in defense of a "legally" indefensible position against more strict gun control laws.   The same Constitution that permits the carrying of a gun, entrusts the federal government with the   responsibility of protecting the individual, something which Mr. Paul has invoked many times along with the duty to "mediate disputes."   In this country, except for disease and automobile accidents, guns are responsible for more mortalities than any other cause.   They are responsible for more purposeful deaths than any other cause.   The lame argument that "guns don't kill people, that people kill people," may sound cute to the paid sociopaths representing the NRA, but most members of the association do not believe such drivel.

My advice to Mr. Paul is to reconsider whether he is truly a Libertarian, as I believe Ayn Rand and Barry Goldwater were, or if he is some sort of confused right wing Christian who claims to be a libertarian when it suits him?   I believe it would behoove both Mr. Paul, as well as certain of his colleagues," to re-read" some of Ms. Rand's work to learn something about both the libertarian perspective and the true principles of her "objectivism."

Al Finkelstein,   9/14/12

 

http://www.ofinky.squarespace.com

Dr. Allen Finkelstein, writing since 2006 under the penname “O’finky,” was born in New York, where he attended the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County as a boy. He continued his religious training in South Florida until his family, (more...)
 

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I believe Ayn Rand was dramatically affected by th... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 11:28:40 AM
Al,It seems like you are mistaken on a few key poi... by Chris Mewhinney on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 11:53:54 AM
Paul became a Life Member of the LP when he ran fo... by June Genis on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:37:42 PM
I had read some time ago the bit about Ron Paul be... by Chris Mewhinney on Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 12:19:24 AM
unless you take the first ten amendments, also kno... by John Sanchez Jr. on Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 7:07:00 AM
John,The point of my post was that the language of... by Chris Mewhinney on Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 8:07:34 AM
I agree.... by allen finkelstein on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 11:54:07 AM
Too often, invoking "states rights" translates int... by allen finkelstein on Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 3:36:26 PM
 .... by allen finkelstein on Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 3:37:17 PM
And that's when I stopped reading this article. Lu... by Jonathan Tucker on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 1:00:23 PM
Too often, invoking "states rights" translates int... by allen finkelstein on Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 3:29:28 PM
That's when I stopped reading this muckraking arti... by Jonathan Tucker on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 1:04:01 PM
Too often, invoking "states rights" translates int... by allen finkelstein on Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 3:30:54 PM
The Constitution does not generously give us any r... by Danny Bermudez on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 1:12:00 PM
Well said, but the issue is complex.  The arg... by allen finkelstein on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 11:57:28 AM
Stopped reading when you said Paul would ban gay m... by Travis Rem on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 3:40:10 PM
Too often, invoking "states rights" translates int... by allen finkelstein on Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 3:33:23 PM
Not sure which of the two is more putrid puke than... by Sister Begonia on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 4:11:39 PM
Both are as putrid as they can be... by Lester Shepherd on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 7:27:12 PM
"As for Ron Paul...well, one only need to analyze ... by Chris Mewhinney on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 8:03:26 PM
Not only will I steadfastly uphold your right to ... by allen finkelstein on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 12:09:49 PM
Ron Paul believes charity is a moral duty.  O... by spinnikerca on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 9:47:53 PM
Ok so i suppose you a child molester then??? Since... by Joshua Harder on Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 1:39:24 AM
Thanks for the article. Hon. Paul is viewed as usi... by Libertarian International on Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 3:39:17 AM
but was flexible enough to avail herself of Social... by John Sanchez Jr. on Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 7:09:55 AM
Mr. Finkelstein may have done a little homework an... by Diane V. McLoughlin on Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 1:50:14 PM
Too often, invoking "states rights" translates int... by allen finkelstein on Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 3:39:56 PM
Al, you need to retract your comment that "Paul wo... by Franklin Davis on Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 1:55:33 PM
Too often, invoking "states rights" translates int... by allen finkelstein on Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 3:41:57 PM
   I read her books eon's ago, at a time... by audrey fisher on Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 3:30:37 PM
Amen. Please tell this to pseudointellectual Paul... by allen finkelstein on Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 3:42:51 PM
I like capitalism, but capitalism does not solve a... by Carl Milsted Jr. on Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 8:53:13 PM
The altruism that you are describing sounds like t... by allen finkelstein on Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 3:43:56 PM