Romney-Ryan 2012—Ayn Rand Forever

Prior to Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, I was going to vote “for” Romney in the sense of voting against Obama. In light of this development, however, I not only plan to vote for Romney-Ryan; I also emphatically endorse their ticket, and I urge readers of TOS, Objectivists, and fans of Ayn Rand to do the same.

Clearly—and contrary to leftist hype that I wish were true—Ryan is not an Objectivist. (Nor, thankfully, does he pretend to be one.) He doesn’t understand what rights are or where they come from; he doesn’t advocate laissez-fare capitalism; he has voted for and supports various rights-violating policies; and his fundamental philosophy, Catholicism, guarantees that he will continue supporting such policies in the future. But it is crucial to bear in mind that no politician today advocates genuine freedom, none understands the principle of rights, all support rights-violating policies, all embrace fundamentally false philosophies. This is the political reality of the day. And, in this reality, Paul Ryan is as good as it gets.

Ryan is an intellectual, which means he is genuinely concerned with ideas. He is even, to his credit, concerned with Ayn Rand’s ideas. Although he has made clear that he prefers Thomas Aquinas’s epistemology to Rand’s, he has also made clear that he sees Rand’s ideas as important, worthy of consideration, and substantially capable of explaining the state of the world.

For a politician to appreciate Rand’s ideas (even if he doesn’t fully understand them) and to extol them publicly is a welcome development. For the same politician to see entitlement programs as the main political problem throttling the U.S. economy—and to be willing and able to articulate why—is also welcome. For this same man to be selected as the vice presidential candidate on a viable ticket for the White House—when the alternative is an incumbent dedicated to destroying America—is as good a development as anyone could reasonably have hoped for today.

Ryan’s reverence for Rand, shallow as it may be, is a major positive because it helps to bring Rand’s ideas to the fore in American politics. Just as the movie Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, which was far from great art, nevertheless helped to inject Rand’s ideas into the national discussion, so this Rand-inspired vice presidential candidate, who is far from an ideal politician, will help—and indeed is helping—to inject Rand’s ideas into the national discussion.

Romney’s choice of Ryan has and will continue to have people talking about Rand’s views, reading her works, considering her arguments, and weighing them against conventional ideas. Thus it will raise the level of intellectual discussion and provide great opportunities for people who understand Rand’s ideas to educate others about them. It will also naturally raise a beautiful question in the minds of Americans every time the Republican duo advocates a policy or takes an action: Is this consistent with Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism? This, in turn, will give Objectivists the further opportunity to answer this question in op-eds, in radio and television interviews, and across the media and social media at large.

This is not merely good. This is gold.

I urge you not only to vote for Romney and Ryan, but also to campaign for them. And don’t just campaign for them; do so explicitly on the grounds that—given the context of the day and the alternative at hand—Ryan’s reverence for Rand’s ideas (albeit mitigated by Catholicism), his willingness to discuss them publicly, and the possibility that he might occasionally turn to them for guidance make him (and Romney) worthy of support.

Further, let Romney and Ryan know that the more they embrace Rand’s ideas the greater their credibility as “America’s Comeback Team”—and the greater your incentive to support their campaign. In other words, let them know that Rand’s ideas are not a “third rail” in American politics, but rather the Rearden Metal of American politics: sound, strong, and successful when used.

Let’s seize this opportunity to explain to people how and why Ayn Rand’s ideas—her observation-based metaphysics and epistemology, her life-serving morality, and her rights-protecting politics—require phasing out Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, so citizens are not enslaved to each other; deregulating the economy, so producers can create wealth, jobs, and prosperity; eliminating barriers to immigration, so Americans can associate and contract with whomever they choose; ending regimes that seek to harm us, so we can live free from terrorism; in short, reestablishing the Land of Liberty, so Americans can exercise their moral right to the pursuit of happiness.

For the first time in history, America faces the possibility of an administration that is at least partially sympathetic to Ayn Rand’s ideas. Let’s help convert this potential to an actual—while redoubling our efforts to educate people about the principles, implications, and applications of Objectivism.

Romney-Ryan 2012—Ayn Rand forever.

Update: See also the follow-up articles, “Further Thoughts on Why Objectivists Should Actively Campaign for Romney-Ryan” and “Principle vs. Pragmatism in Supporting Romney-Ryan.”

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  • http://www.philosophyinaction.com/ Diana Hsieh

    Craig, I understand and appreciate your view that Romney’s pick of Ryan for VP is a big opportunity for the promotion of Objectivist ideas. I’m not sure that I agree with it fully: I think it’s fraught with dangers, particularly if Objectivists campaign for the ticket. Still, you raise some really good points.

    What I don’t understand — and what I hope that you’ll say more about — is why you think that should translate into actively supporting and campaigning for Romney/Ryan.

    Ryan’s interest in Ayn Rand doesn’t make him any less of a very dangerous theocrat and big-spending statist than he is. If Objectivists actively support him and Romney, I think they’ll have to overlook or whitewash their very, very serious defects to do that. As a result, Ayn Rand’s ideas will be watered down — and worse, even more strongly (and wrongly) associated with conservatism than they are already.

    Basically, how will Objectivists be credible in their criticisms of Romney/Ryan — in explaining just how far their views are from the right views of Ayn Rand — if they’re busy stumping for that GOP ticket?

    I can see voting for this GOP ticket reluctantly — and even advocating that others do so. But campaigning for them seems to be something quite different.

    So can you say more?

    • http://www.allthatgamingstuff.com/ JasonGW

      You see this much more clearly than Mr. Biddle does. However, I’ll add this: there’s ZERO reason to vote for Romney/Ryan even on a “vote against Obama” platform. Trading one Statist for another is to no one’s benefit at all.

      • Walter Hudson

        A similar attitude regarding the apparent similarity between Obama and John McCain, and Norm Coleman and Al Franken in the 2008 U.S. Senate race here in Minnesota, enabled the passage of Obamacare. Are we not obligated to consider the consequences of particular policy differences within the context of the fact that either Romney or Obama will be elected?

        • http://www.allthatgamingstuff.com/ JasonGW

          Given that Romney practically INVENTED Obamacare, I’d say any perceived “policy differences” implicated between Obama and Romney are, at best, *marginal*.

          • Walter Hudson

            That’s hardly a fair analysis. The fact is that the federal policy prescriptions of the Romney campaign are substantively different than those of the Obama administration. My question stands, but I’ll come at from a different angle. What is the rational objective served by either voting third party or not voting at all?

          • http://www.allthatgamingstuff.com/ JasonGW

            The rational objective of voting third party is clear: to cast a vote in favor of a candidate more in line with one’s political beliefs. Anything else is a pointless compromise and no good will come of it.

          • Walter Hudson

            Thank you for the reply. I don’t seek to change your mind, but wanted to understand where you were coming from. I have a different perspective. It occurs to me that voting in favor of a candidate more in line with one’s political beliefs who nonetheless has zero chance of victory is a waste of effort which carries the opportunity cost of not voting for the best of the available viable options. That has real world consequences in the form of particular policy. I just don’t think feeling better about your vote has objective value over affecting real change in the direction of policy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/orson2 Orson Olson

            Romney wanted a more market oriented policy in Mass adopted~but the 80% Dem dominated legislature could not be charmed. I hate what he did – “compromise” principles – but I welcome his reformation, nonetheless.

          • http://www.allthatgamingstuff.com/ JasonGW

            If Romney wanted a more “market oriented policy” then it was his responsibility to veto a bill he thought unsatisfactory. He didn’t. That tells me all I need to know about his character: he’s not *at all* serious about Free Markets, Individualism or Rational Self Interest. He’s just another Statist.

            People often speak of Romney as someone who will “slow down” the Statist Process, but frankly, I think that’s a silly view. What difference does it make if we go over the cliff at 100MPH or 75? We’re going over the cliff either way. I trusted Bush on this same argument, and what did I get? TARP, Bailouts, market manipulation that catastrophically harmed the economy, record deficit spending, the TSA, The Patriot Act, and 50,000 NEW REGULATIONS in an 8 year span, amounting to 17 new regulations each and every day he sat in office, 7 days a week.

            Not again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The Republican Party is a dead end.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016717466 Pablo Romero

            Indeed. How many times did Gary Johnson use his veto powers? That sort of shows you who is the actual principled free-market politician.

          • jayeldee

            I second that, JasonGW. And very well put.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Philip/591615305 Michael Philip

            sorry but thats BS. there is nothing free market about Romney’s healthcare plan

    • Anonymous

      Diana, thank you for your thoughtful comments and questions. I’ve received similar questions from several people, so rather than answering each separately I’ve written a follow-up post addressing the central question and some tangential issues. I think it addresses your concerns. Let me know what you think!

    • http://www.facebook.com/morry.markovitz Morry Markovitz

      If you are willing to vote for him, why would you be unwilling to support his campaign in some way? This makes no sense to me.
      Once you have made the decision to go off your diet by having dessert today, and you choose apple pie as less of a transgression than a hot fudge sundae, why would you then be unwilling to lift a forkful of your chosen pie to your mouth?

  • http://www.philosophyinaction.com/ Diana Hsieh

    Craig, I understand and appreciate your view that Romney’s pick of Ryan for VP is a big opportunity for the promotion of Objectivist ideas. I’m not sure that I agree with it fully: I think it’s fraught with dangers, particularly if Objectivists campaign for the ticket. Still, you raise some really good points.

    What I don’t understand — and what I hope that you’ll say more about — is why you think that should translate into actively supporting and campaigning for Romney/Ryan.

    Ryan’s interest in Ayn Rand doesn’t make him any less of a very dangerous theocrat and big-spending statist than he is. If Objectivists actively support him and Romney, I think they’ll have to overlook or whitewash their very, very serious defects to do that. As a result, Ayn Rand’s ideas will be watered down — and worse, even more strongly (and wrongly) associated with conservatism than they are already.

    Basically, how will Objectivists be credible in their criticisms of Romney/Ryan — in explaining just how far their views are from the right views of Ayn Rand — if they’re busy stumping for that GOP ticket?

    I can see voting for this GOP ticket reluctantly — and even advocating that others do so. But campaigning for them seems to be something quite different.

    So can you say more?

    • http://www.uglybabystudios.com/ JasonGW

      You see this much more clearly than Mr. Biddle does. However, I’ll add this: there’s ZERO reason to vote for Romney/Ryan even on a “vote against Obama” platform. Trading one Statist for another is to no one’s benefit at all.

      • Walter Hudson

        A similar attitude regarding the apparent similarity between Obama and John McCain, and Norm Coleman and Al Franken in the 2008 U.S. Senate race here in Minnesota, enabled the passage of Obamacare. Are we not obligated to consider the consequences of particular policy differences within the context of the fact that either Romney or Obama will be elected?

        • http://www.uglybabystudios.com/ JasonGW

          Given that Romney practically INVENTED Obamacare, I’d say any perceived “policy differences” implicated between Obama and Romney are, at best, *marginal*.

          • Walter Hudson

            That’s hardly a fair analysis. The fact is that the federal policy prescriptions of the Romney campaign are substantively different than those of the Obama administration. My question stands, but I’ll come at from a different angle. What is the rational objective served by either voting third party or not voting at all?

          • http://www.uglybabystudios.com/ JasonGW

            The rational objective of voting third party is clear: to cast a vote in favor of a candidate more in line with one’s political beliefs. Anything else is a pointless compromise and no good will come of it.

          • Walter Hudson

            Thank you for the reply. I don’t seek to change your mind, but wanted to understand where you were coming from. I have a different perspective. It occurs to me that voting in favor of a candidate more in line with one’s political beliefs who nonetheless has zero chance of victory is a waste of effort which carries the opportunity cost of not voting for the best of the available viable options. That has real world consequences in the form of particular policy. I just don’t think feeling better about your vote has objective value over affecting real change in the direction of policy.

          • Orson OLSON

            Romney wanted a more market oriented policy in Mass adopted~but the 80% Dem dominated legislature could not be charmed. I hate what he did – “compromise” principles – but I welcome his reformation, nonetheless.

          • http://www.uglybabystudios.com/ JasonGW

            If Romney wanted a more “market oriented policy” then it was his responsibility to veto a bill he thought unsatisfactory. He didn’t. That tells me all I need to know about his character: he’s not *at all* serious about Free Markets, Individualism or Rational Self Interest. He’s just another Statist.

            People often speak of Romney as someone who will “slow down” the Statist Process, but frankly, I think that’s a silly view. What difference does it make if we go over the cliff at 100MPH or 75? We’re going over the cliff either way. I trusted Bush on this same argument, and what did I get? TARP, Bailouts, market manipulation that catastrophically harmed the economy, record deficit spending, the TSA, The Patriot Act, and 50,000 NEW REGULATIONS in an 8 year span, amounting to 17 new regulations each and every day he sat in office, 7 days a week.

            Not again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The Republican Party is a dead end.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016717466 Pablo Romero

            Indeed. How many times did Gary Johnson use his veto powers? That sort of shows you who is the actual principled free-market politician.

          • jayeldee

            I second that, JasonGW. And very well put.

          • Michael Philip

            sorry but thats BS. there is nothing free market about Romney’s healthcare plan

    • craigbiddle

      Diana, thank you for your thoughtful comments and questions. I’ve received similar questions from several people, so rather than answering each separately I’ve written a follow-up post addressing the central question and some tangential issues. I think it addresses your concerns. Let me know what you think!

    • Morry Markovitz

      If you are willing to vote for him, why would you be unwilling to support his campaign in some way? This makes no sense to me.
      Once you have made the decision to go off your diet by having dessert today, and you choose apple pie as less of a transgression than a hot fudge sundae, why would you then be unwilling to lift a forkful of your chosen pie to your mouth?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1485061720 Vovka Ashkenazy

    Looks like things are finally looking up for America and, consequently, the rest of the world. May more Americans make the right choice.

  • Vovka Ashkenazy

    Looks like things are finally looking up for America and, consequently, the rest of the world. May more Americans make the right choice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherrykarr Sherry Karr

    Unfortunately, Romney nor Ryan embrace the whole stop messing with people’s rights idea. As pointed out in the comment below, they are led too much by the theocracy than actually understanding rights, such as abortion. Romney has made it clear he would even work to overturn Roe vs Wade. Both are closed minded to gays having the same rights as married heterosexuals.

    I wish I could jump on board with the Romney/Ryan ticket, because I too want Obama out of office. However, I see both Obama and Romney not doing very good things for this country, in different ways. It is a toss between – do we want fascism less or socialism less? In this election, neither one has enough good to out weigh the bad, so I will vote for Gary Johnson.

    I appreciate you taking the time to write this piece to talk about why you are going to vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket, but I also look forward to any of the clarifications that were requested in the comment below by Diana. Thanks!

    • http://www.allthatgamingstuff.com/ JasonGW

      Sherry, you understand this issue very well. I’m glad to see there are others who aren’t duped by Romney/Ryan.

      • Anonymous

        If you read what CB wrote and conclude he or anyone else who agrees with him is “duped” you obviously need to work on your reading comprehension.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherrykarr Sherry Karr

    Unfortunately, Romney nor Ryan embrace the whole stop messing with people’s rights idea. As pointed out in the comment below, they are led too much by the theocracy than actually understanding rights, such as abortion. Romney has made it clear he would even work to overturn Roe vs Wade. Both are closed minded to gays having the same rights as married heterosexuals.

    I wish I could jump on board with the Romney/Ryan ticket, because I too want Obama out of office. However, I see both Obama and Romney not doing very good things for this country, in different ways. It is a toss between – do we want fascism less or socialism less? In this election, neither one has enough good to out weigh the bad, so I will vote for Gary Johnson.

    I appreciate you taking the time to write this piece to talk about why you are going to vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket, but I also look forward to any of the clarifications that were requested in the comment below by Diana. Thanks!

    • http://www.uglybabystudios.com/ JasonGW

      Sherry, you understand this issue very well. I’m glad to see there are others who aren’t duped by Romney/Ryan.

      • MikeKloppel

        If you read what CB wrote and conclude he or anyone else who agrees with him is “duped” you obviously need to work on your reading comprehension.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jurgis-H-Brakas/570690745 Jurgis H. Brakas

    Well said. Listen also to Amy Peikoff’s interview of Yaron Brook on this matter: superb. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amypeikoff/2012/08/13/dont-let-it-go-unheard

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jurgis-H-Brakas/570690745 Jurgis H. Brakas

    Well said. Listen also to Amy Peikoff’s interview of Yaron Brook on this matter: superb. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amypeikoff/2012/08/13/dont-let-it-go-unheard

  • http://twitter.com/ViewOfTheMiddle Middle Earth

    Ron Paul understands actual freedom, its a shame everyone is too brain washed by the media.

    Romney hasn’t even won the nomination yet.

  • Lumba

    Ron Paul understands actual freedom, its a shame everyone is too brain washed by the media.

    Romney hasn’t even won the nomination yet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Peck/559282404 Tim Peck

    I guess this took Objectivists by surprise. They were too busy fault-finding.

  • Tim Peck

    I guess this took Objectivists by surprise. They were too busy fault-finding.

  • James Beley Jr.

    The only active campaigning that
    might be worthwhile is to focus on our Objectivist and libertarian friends. Given our two party political
    reality, the rational strategy is to vote against the more dangerous candidate…
    which absolutely couldn’t be more obvious this year. To do otherwise,
    particularly wasting your vote on a third party, is to misunderstand the
    secondary nature of politics. The forgotten power of politics is to give a
    culture more time, to slow down the structural decay of our republic while we
    rebuild the philosophical foundation of the culture. Philosophy is primary. Support
    our great Objectivist intellectuals and then find a little time to make your
    way to the voting booth, hold your nose if you must, and quietly vote for a flawed
    but rare politician, a fan of Atlas Shrugged.

    Or, you can take part in some
    libertarian suicide pact, confident in your politically principled stand, and
    forgetting that the perfect can sometimes be the enemy of the good. Do you
    think we’ll recover quickly from another four years of this anti-colonialist
    Marxist?… maybe 2 more Supreme Court justices like Ginsburg?… the full implementation
    of Obamacare? I’ll rest my case here.
    Thank you for a great article Craig.

    James Beley Jr.

  • James Beley Jr.

    The only active campaigning that
    might be worthwhile is to focus on our Objectivist and libertarian friends. Given our two party political
    reality, the rational strategy is to vote against the more dangerous candidate…
    which absolutely couldn’t be more obvious this year. To do otherwise,
    particularly wasting your vote on a third party, is to misunderstand the
    secondary nature of politics. The forgotten power of politics is to give a
    culture more time, to slow down the structural decay of our republic while we
    rebuild the philosophical foundation of the culture. Philosophy is primary. Support
    our great Objectivist intellectuals and then find a little time to make your
    way to the voting booth, hold your nose if you must, and quietly vote for a flawed
    but rare politician, a fan of Atlas Shrugged.

    Or, you can take part in some
    libertarian suicide pact, confident in your politically principled stand, and
    forgetting that the perfect can sometimes be the enemy of the good. Do you
    think we’ll recover quickly from another four years of this anti-colonialist
    Marxist?… maybe 2 more Supreme Court justices like Ginsburg?… the full implementation
    of Obamacare? I’ll rest my case here.
    Thank you for a great article Craig.

    James Beley Jr.

  • jayeldee

    Ryan/Romney are detrimental–to Objectivism, and to the country. This, precisely because of their supposed implied “support” of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. I might–MIGHT–vote their ticket, were they to disavow the philosophy, in its entirety. Otherwise, and as it is–NOT.

    • Walter Hudson

      In this link, provided in the article above, Ryan does precisely that. He states that he is not an objectivist, and more – that he rejects the philosophy.
      http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/297023/ryan-shrugged-robert-costa

      • jayeldee

        Valid point, Walter. HOWEVER: Ryan is being portrayed, by the mass
        media–and, very much worse, now, by self-styled “Objectivists”–as
        having been somehow “influenced” by Ayn Rand, and as having the
        potential to carry that supposed “influence” into political office.
        But he is the absolute ANTITHESIS of Objectivism, in every particular that
        matters–and is, thus, only an enemy thereof (and, as such, is certainly not
        entitled to bask in Ayn Rand’s prestige). Therefore, absenting an unequivocal,
        widely-distributed, public repudiation, at least of the Objectivist ethics, by
        him–he remains, for me, beyond the pale. (National Review, remember, is
        patronized by a tiny proportion of the electorate—thank god—and cannot be
        characterized as mainstream. And even there, he was too cowardly to challenge
        the Objectivist ethics—opting, instead, to issue some vague and pretentious
        objection to Objectivist epistemology, about which I am guessing he knows
        absolutely nothing.) (And, I should add, regardless of his unearned
        “philosophic prestige”, I also reject him on the grounds of his “pro-life”
        dementia. In the face of that alone, he is in my view fit for no office, political or
        otherwise.)

        • Anonymous

          You have two choices, no viable alternatives. Both choices lead to death or slavery but ones going 200mph while the other is going 175mph.

          Make your choice, I want to live and I’ll take ever second I can get to try and build a defence or turn the wheel and avoid it entirely.

          NO ONE is saying I like it, at all.

          • Anonymous

            Well said, Mike.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016717466 Pablo Romero

            You have more than two choices. To fall into the ‘lesser of two evils’ compulsory choice is to entertain a false choice. The now-tired reference to game theory follows: choose the lesser of two evils, all you accomplish is that things get more evil come the next time you have to choose.

            Sometimes you have to look on a further long-term evaluation than the immediate future. What do you get slightly slowing down the advance of evil, if it means not giving someone who can be a serious contender the support to make it in the next cycle?

            Going back to the tired break leg/break foot example. THIS election you are told you must vote between two men: one who wants to break your foot, another one wants to break your leg. But there is a third one who wants to stop others from breaking anything of yours.

            Believing in the false choice of the ‘lesser of two evils,’ you decide to vote for the man who wants to break only your foot– because the third guy ‘doesn’t stand a chance’.

            Comes the next election, your foot is broken. Now you have two vote between the lesser of two evils: A man who wants to break your leg, and a man who wants to break BOTH of your legs. And over there is still that third guy who wants to keep people from breaking your legs. But you accept the false choice and say to yourself: “He has no chance of winning— I must vote for the one who only wants to break one of my legs.” And so on, and so forth. Several election cycles down the line, you are strangled to death.

            Bottom line: in this scenario, *something* is going to break in the short term. You have the option of giving the third guy the ability to come in on the next cycle and put a stop to it… or you can continue to choose between the lesser of two evils and ‘buy yourself time’— which, since you’ll STILL be choosing between the lesser of two evils come the next round, is merely buying yourself time to die a slow, long and agonizing death by pieces.

          • jayeldee

            Interesting take. And eloquent. (And at first glance, I think you are not wrong.)

          • jayeldee

            If we’re going over a cliff, MikeKloppel, then yes–absolutely, no question: I would rather it BE at 200: one spends less time suffering, doesn’t one. (…. It was your analogy–not mine.)

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Philip/591615305 Michael Philip

            I prefer the faster one, so the nightmare ends quickly. no need to drag out the suffering and extend it even further

  • jayeldee

    Ryan/Romney are detrimental–to Objectivism, and to the country. This, precisely because of their supposed implied “support” of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. I might–MIGHT–vote their ticket, were they to disavow the philosophy, in its entirety. Otherwise, and as it is–NOT.

    • Walter Hudson

      In this link, provided in the article above, Ryan does precisely that. He states that he is not an objectivist, and more – that he rejects the philosophy.
      http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/297023/ryan-shrugged-robert-costa

      • jayeldee

        Valid point, Walter. HOWEVER: Ryan is being portrayed, by the mass
        media–and, very much worse, now, by self-styled “Objectivists”–as
        having been somehow “influenced” by Ayn Rand, and as having the
        potential to carry that supposed “influence” into political office.
        But he is the absolute ANTITHESIS of Objectivism, in every particular that
        matters–and is, thus, only an enemy thereof (and, as such, is certainly not
        entitled to bask in Ayn Rand’s prestige). Therefore, absenting an unequivocal,
        widely-distributed, public repudiation, at least of the Objectivist ethics, by
        him–he remains, for me, beyond the pale. (National Review, remember, is
        patronized by a tiny proportion of the electorate—thank god—and cannot be
        characterized as mainstream. And even there, he was too cowardly to challenge
        the Objectivist ethics—opting, instead, to issue some vague and pretentious
        objection to Objectivist epistemology, about which I am guessing he knows
        absolutely nothing.) (And, I should add, regardless of his unearned
        “philosophic prestige”, I also reject him on the grounds of his “pro-life”
        dementia. In the face of that alone, he is in my view fit for no office, political or
        otherwise.)

        • MikeKloppel

          You have two choices, no viable alternatives. Both choices lead to death or slavery but ones going 200mph while the other is going 175mph.

          Make your choice, I want to live and I’ll take ever second I can get to try and build a defence or turn the wheel and avoid it entirely.

          NO ONE is saying I like it, at all.

          • craigbiddle

            Well said, Mike.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016717466 Pablo Romero

            You have more than two choices. To fall into the ‘lesser of two evils’ compulsory choice is to entertain a false choice. The now-tired reference to game theory follows: choose the lesser of two evils, all you accomplish is that things get more evil come the next time you have to choose.

            Sometimes you have to look on a further long-term evaluation than the immediate future. What do you get slightly slowing down the advance of evil, if it means not giving someone who can be a serious contender the support to make it in the next cycle?

            Going back to the tired break leg/break foot example. THIS election you are told you must vote between two men: one who wants to break your foot, another one wants to break your leg. But there is a third one who wants to stop others from breaking anything of yours.

            Believing in the false choice of the ‘lesser of two evils,’ you decide to vote for the man who wants to break only your foot– because the third guy ‘doesn’t stand a chance’.

            Comes the next election, your foot is broken. Now you have two vote between the lesser of two evils: A man who wants to break your leg, and a man who wants to break BOTH of your legs. And over there is still that third guy who wants to keep people from breaking your legs. But you accept the false choice and say to yourself: “He has no chance of winning— I must vote for the one who only wants to break one of my legs.” And so on, and so forth. Several election cycles down the line, you are strangled to death, because the path of your choices has narrowed down to only one possible logical outcome. And just as the noose tightens around your neck, you think back upon that third guy and wonder about what could have happened if you had supported him instead.

            Bottom line: in this scenario, *something* is going to break in the short term. You have the option of giving the third guy the ability to come in on the next cycle and put a stop to it… or you can continue to choose between the lesser of two evils and ‘buy yourself time’— which, since you’ll STILL be choosing between the lesser of two evils come the next round, is merely buying yourself time to die a slow, long and agonizing death by pieces.

          • jayeldee

            Interesting take. And eloquent. (And at first glance, I think you are not wrong.)

          • jayeldee

            If we’re going over a cliff, MikeKloppel, then yes–absolutely, no question: I would rather it BE at 200: one spends less time suffering, doesn’t one. (…. It was your analogy–not mine.)

          • Michael Philip

            I prefer the faster one, so the nightmare ends quickly. no need to drag out the suffering and extend it even further

  • Walter Hudson

    As a non-objectivist who nonetheless advocates the vast majority of objectivism’s prescriptions for civil government, I’m glad to see a leading voice in the objectivist community separating support for a candidate from support of a philosophy. Unless your name is on the ballot, you’re never going to find a candidate that you agree with 100%. Voting or campaigning for a candidate is not an affirmation of their every prescription or entire philosophy. That’s a lesson which many activists need to learn, no matter which wing of the liberty movement they come from.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Walter.

  • Walter Hudson

    As a non-objectivist who nonetheless advocates the vast majority of objectivism’s prescriptions for civil government, I’m glad to see a leading voice in the objectivist community separating support for a candidate from support of a philosophy. Unless your name is on the ballot, you’re never going to find a candidate that you agree with 100%. Voting or campaigning for a candidate is not an affirmation of their every prescription or entire philosophy. That’s a lesson which many activists need to learn, no matter which wing of the liberty movement they come from.

    • craigbiddle

      Thank you, Walter.

  • Scott Webster Wood

    Why is this? Because subjective ‘pragmatism’ is the nuevo objectivism? Even Ryan’s so-called ‘radical’ budget doesn’t seek to balance said budget until 2045. And let’s not forget his voting record…

    Voted no on:
    … removing troops from Afghanistan
    … removing troops from Libya
    Voted Yes on:
    … extending the patriot act permanently
    … the National Defense Authorization Act
    … the TARP bailouts
    … the auto bailout
    … Medicare expansion
    … housing subsidies
    … extending unemployment compensation
    … instituting a national ID
    … No Child Left Behind
    … leaving troops in Iraq indefinitely
    … the 2008 stimulus
    … the 2009 stimulus

    Ahhhhh what the reasonable will settle for when they turn to desperation.

    Gary Johnson, 2012
    Stop voting for just a ‘change’, vote for a solution!

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/if-paul-ryan-were-an-atlas-shrugged-character-hed-be-a-villain/261036/

    If you continue to vote for whatever progressive schills either party puts up simply because you perceive the ‘other guy’ as worse, what is ever going to motivate either party to give you less than a progressive schill next time around?
    But more important… someone please explain to me what good it is to you or others for you to claim to possess ‘principals’ and ethical standards, if you willingly set them aside any time it becomes inconvenient?

  • Scott Webster Wood

    Why is this? Because subjective ‘pragmatism’ is the nuevo objectivism? Even Ryan’s so-called ‘radical’ budget doesn’t seek to balance said budget until 2045. And let’s not forget his voting record…

    Voted no on:
    … removing troops from Afghanistan
    … removing troops from Libya
    Voted Yes on:
    … extending the patriot act permanently
    … the National Defense Authorization Act
    … the TARP bailouts
    … the auto bailout
    … Medicare expansion
    … housing subsidies
    … extending unemployment compensation
    … instituting a national ID
    … No Child Left Behind
    … leaving troops in Iraq indefinitely
    … the 2008 stimulus
    … the 2009 stimulus

    Ahhhhh what the reasonable will settle for when they turn to desperation.

    Gary Johnson, 2012
    Stop voting for just a ‘change’, vote for a solution!

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/if-paul-ryan-were-an-atlas-shrugged-character-hed-be-a-villain/261036/

    If you continue to vote for whatever progressive schills either party puts up simply because you perceive the ‘other guy’ as worse, what is ever going to motivate either party to give you less than a progressive schill next time around?
    But more important… someone please explain to me what good it is to you or others for you to claim to possess ‘principals’ and ethical standards, if you willingly set them aside any time it becomes inconvenient?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1063280576 Robert Jones

    Regarding:”He doesn’t understand what rights are or where they come from.” I watched that clip and read the quote. Paul Ryan knows full well where rights come from, and stated so. Just because the author disagrees with Rep. Ryan as to the source of our rights does not give him the right, intellectually, to patronize Paul, because of his belief that God is the ultimate granter and guarantor of said rights.

    This is the primary reason Ryan distanced himself from Ayn Rand: It’s not Rand herself from whom Ryan needed to distance herself. No, it’s her objectivist followers, who take a very condescending view of religious people. There are many religious people I know who are way more rational and reasonable than most of the more doctrinaire objectivists I know and know of. But because of their religiosity, they are dismissed out of hand as “irrational.”

    Yet, from my own rational observation of people in the past three decades since I first read “Atlas Shrugged,” it is average religious Americans who live in the real world, whilst most objectivists (whether at ARI or TAS) live in a sci-fi, fairy tale “Rand World.”

    It is this reason why Paul Ryan needs to distance himself from objectivists, because to the average American (right or left), the accusation that objectivists are cultists rings true, even if only in a mild, D&D role-playing kind of way.

    • Anonymous

      Robert, the irony in your post is rich, but I’ll stick to the substance of the matter. (I should also mention that your comments violate our one posting rule: “Comments are welcome so long as they are civil.” I’ll let it slide this time, but please don’t employ arguments from intimidation here again.) The reason I said that Ryan doesn’t understand the source and nature of rights is that he doesn’t. He believes rights come from God (they demonstrably don’t; see http://bit.ly/qNyTf2), and he has voted for numerous laws that violate rights—thus demonstrating that he believes “rights” are not really rights but permissions.

  • Robert Jones

    Regarding:”He doesn’t understand what rights are or where they come from.” I watched that clip and read the quote. Paul Ryan knows full well where rights come from, and stated so. Just because the author disagrees with Rep. Ryan as to the source of our rights does not give him the right, intellectually, to patronize Paul, because of his belief that God is the ultimate granter and guarantor of said rights.

    This is the primary reason Ryan distanced himself from Ayn Rand: It’s not Rand herself from whom Ryan needed to distance herself. No, it’s her objectivist followers, who take a very condescending view of religious people. There are many religious people I know who are way more rational and reasonable than most of the more doctrinaire objectivists I know and know of. But because of their religiosity, they are dismissed out of hand as “irrational.”

    Yet, from my own rational observation of people in the past three decades since I first read “Atlas Shrugged,” it is average religious Americans who live in the real world, whilst most objectivists (whether at ARI or TAS) live in a sci-fi, fairy tale “Rand World.”

    It is this reason why Paul Ryan needs to distance himself from objectivists, because to the average American (right or left), the accusation that objectivists are cultists rings true, even if only in a mild, D&D role-playing kind of way.

    • craigbiddle

      Robert, the irony in your post is rich, but I’ll stick to the substance of the matter. (I should also mention that your comments violate our one posting rule: “Comments are welcome so long as they are civil.” I’ll let it slide this time, but please don’t employ arguments from intimidation here again.) The reason I said that Ryan doesn’t understand the source and nature of rights is that he doesn’t. He believes rights come from God (they demonstrably don’t; see http://bit.ly/qNyTf2), and he has voted for numerous laws that violate rights—thus demonstrating that he believes “rights” are not really rights but permissions.

  • Ilene Skeen

    Before Romney chose Ryan, I was not very high on voting at all. Romney’s choice of Ryan energized me for two reasons: I like Ryan and agree that he is just about as good as it is going to get, and 2) Romney made an admirable executive decision when he chose Ryan, a man more intellectual, more focused and more charismatic than he, to be his running mate. That made me respect Romney’s intelligence and fearlessness – only a second-hander is afraid to promote someone more talented than he. A good executive knows that genuine talent is rare and pushes for it even if the talent is a direct rival. So, hurray for Romney as well.

    I love your characterization of Objectivism as the “Readen Metal of American politics: sound, strong, and successful when used.”

    American intellectuals (both left and right have a real problem with Ayn Rand). They know that she stands at the end of their road and they will do anything to keep people from going down that path. We’re selling Readen Metal, they’re selling pig iron (which is probably an unfair characterization of pig iron).

    It brings to mind Readen’s conversation with Ferris who could not for the life of him state openly that Readen Metal was good.

    To continue the analogy, I would also say that Objectivism is far cheaper, more durable, and will out-perform any other system in the political and economic marketplace. Objectivism is good and our being able to bring this fact to the forefront of American thought is very energizing.

    This is an opportunity we have to grab while the country still has free speech and before the current enemies of freedom get such a strong-hold that they start burning books and censoring opposition.

    As Yaron Brook also said in his interview with Amy Peikoff, (Aug 12) that this campaign is an opportunity for Objectivists to bring their views to the public forum and explain carefully and respectfully why Objectivism is the better alternative. The Romney-Ryan 2012 is a good step in the right direction.

    I respect everyone who says they cannot campaign for Romney-Ryan, and the question of Ryan’s religiosity is very troubling, but the chance to mainstream Objectivists by taking Objectivism to the forefront of the campaign should not be missed.

    Objectivists want: 100% choice, 0% coercion for 100% of the people. No handouts, no favors. Only legitimate use of force is retaliation. This applies to individuals, groups, governments.

    We need to tell people that as Objectivists, we propose this: If you want to help someone, no one will stop you. If you can convince people to help someone, great. If you can’t, Objectivism rejects your assertion that “force for a good cause” is okay. The end never justifies the means. If someone is telling you that the end justifies the means, it means that the person intends to do an injustice and needs your approval to get away with it. If you figure that it won’t come back to bite you in the long run, you will be wrong.

    Regarding the issue of rights: both the left and the right believe that rights are in conflict, that some have more rights than others. This leads them to the (unstated) role of government as the arbiter of rights. Objectivists know that actual rights cannot be in conflict. If someone has defined rights in such a way that they appear to be in conflict, the definition is wrong and at least one of the positions is wrong.

    Abortion is the sticky issue here. The right believes that the rights of the fetus trump the rights of the pregnant woman (so she is a murderer if she has an abortion). The left believe that the rights of the woman trump the rights of anyone to disagree with her about her choice, so they are greedy, evil and selfish if they don’t want to pay for her abortion. Objectivists know that rights apply only to humans and begin a birth. They also know that taxpayers are human (surprise!) and forcing anyone to pay for things is wrong.

    Objectivism is the philosophy of individual rights, individual responsibility and individual and cooperative action.

  • http://barebrush.com/ Ilene Skeen

    Before Romney chose Ryan, I was not very high on voting at all. Romney’s choice of Ryan energized me for two reasons: I like Ryan and agree that he is just about as good as it is going to get, and 2) Romney made an admirable executive decision when he chose Ryan, a man more intellectual, more focused and more charismatic than he, to be his running mate. That made me respect Romney’s intelligence and fearlessness – only a second-hander is afraid to promote someone more talented than he. A good executive knows that genuine talent is rare and pushes for it even if the talent is a direct rival. So, hurray for Romney as well.

    I love your characterization of Objectivism as the “Readen Metal of American politics: sound, strong, and successful when used.”

    American intellectuals (both left and right have a real problem with Ayn Rand). They know that she stands at the end of their road and they will do anything to keep people from going down that path. We’re selling Readen Metal, they’re selling pig iron (which is probably an unfair characterization of pig iron).

    It brings to mind Readen’s conversation with Dr. Potter who could not for the life of him state openly that Readen Metal was good.

    To continue the analogy, I would also say that Objectivism is far cheaper, more durable, and will out-perform any other system in the political and economic marketplace. Objectivism is good and our being able to bring this fact to the forefront of American thought is very energizing.

    This is an opportunity we have to grab while the country still has free speech and before the current enemies of freedom get such a strong-hold that they start burning books and censoring opposition.

    As Yaron Brook also said in his interview with Amy Peikoff, (Aug 12) that this campaign is an opportunity for Objectivists to bring their views to the public forum and explain carefully and respectfully why Objectivism is the better alternative. The Romney-Ryan 2012 is a good step in the right direction.

    I respect everyone who says they cannot campaign for Romney-Ryan, and the question of Ryan’s religiosity is very troubling, but the chance to mainstream Objectivists by taking Objectivism to the forefront of the campaign should not be missed.

    Objectivists want: 100% choice, 0% coercion for 100% of the people. No handouts, no favors. Only legitimate use of force is retaliation. This applies to individuals, groups, governments.

    We need to tell people that as Objectivists, we propose this: If you want to help someone, no one will stop you. If you can convince people to help someone, great. If you can’t, Objectivism rejects your assertion that “force for a good cause” is okay. The end never justifies the means. If someone is telling you that the end justifies the means, it means that the person intends to do an injustice and needs your approval to get away with it. If you figure that it won’t come back to bite you in the long run, you will be wrong.

    Regarding the issue of rights: both the left and the right believe that rights are in conflict, that some have more rights than others. This leads them to the (unstated) role of government as the arbiter of rights. Objectivists know that actual rights cannot be in conflict. If someone has defined rights in such a way that they appear to be in conflict, the definition is wrong and at least one of the positions is wrong.

    Abortion is the sticky issue here. The right believes that the rights of the fetus trump the rights of the pregnant woman (so she is a murderer if she has an abortion). The left believe that the rights of the woman trump the rights of anyone to disagree with her about her choice, so they are greedy, evil and selfish if they don’t want to pay for her abortion. Objectivists know that rights apply only to humans and begin a birth. They also know that taxpayers are human (surprise!) and forcing anyone to pay for things is wrong.

    Objectivism is the philosophy of individual rights, individual responsibility and individual and cooperative action.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016717466 Pablo Romero

      I would like to understand how can Obamacare be a destruction of individual rights, but not DOMA? How can Objectivists campaign for these two men when they (Romney/Ryan) have supported as brutal a violation of rights as Obama has implemented? State-mandated recongition of only one kind of contractual agreement based on religious dogma, which in turn has repercussions upon individuals: the inability to sponsor their partners for immigration purposes, which more often than not ends in deportation. Tens of thousands of couples must face this reality. I don’t advocate in any way that one vote for Obama, but I think the rhapsodizing of Romney and Ryan has gone into the point of distorting reality. And to argue that Romney’s violation of rights affects a lesser number of people (same-sex binational couples) than Obama’s is arguing for pure pragmatism. A violation of rights is a violation of rights, there is no such thing as a non-essential right, when the discussion centers upon their violation.

      • http://barebrush.com/ Ilene Skeen

        More on Romney/Ryan support:
        The arguments against Pragmatism are well taken. It is surely dangerous to support pragmatists of any stripe, especially Republicans who have demonstrated that they have no respect for individual rights when they apply to social issues like marriage and abortion. However, I think what is important here is the opportunity to make Ayn Rand mainstream.

        Obamacare is going to kill people by shutting down the private health care industry and replacing it with rationing. Only the elites and occasional special stories will get access to real health care (for press effect). The rest of us will wait to see assistants who will know how to take blood pressure and tell us to pee in a cup. I’m not joking. There is going to be a huge doctor shortage and most real medicine will move offshore the US. It may become criminal to be a private physician.

        The excitement is that Ryan has said he supports small government. Previously he has cited Ayn Rand as an influence. Our job in this election is to show how Ayn Rand is more consistent and more moral than either party. Yaron Brook said in this interview on Amy Peikoff’s podcast (Aug 12) that Ryan is about as close to the Founding Fathers as we’re going to get. That plus his previous high praise for Ayn Rand is exactly what we need to get Ayn Rand into the mainstream of the political discussion.

        For Objectivists, we have to remember that this is only starting place and a way to buy time. If statism continues to grow unchecked, we will get censorship, book burning and worse.

        The Objectivist message re: Romney Ryan 2012 should be something like: we support the Republican call for smaller government, but we know that the truly moral government does not call for sacrifice of even a single individual’s life, liberty or happiness to any other individual or group, no matter how compelling the excuse.

        Both Democrats and Republicans operate under the false premise of the famous parable, “Animal Farm” in which “some animals are more equal than others.” Our leaders today tell us that some people require our sacrifices and the government’s job is to pick winners and losers (in business and in social issues).

        Objectivists want a society of 100% choice and 0% coercion on both social and economic issues. Government should not have the power to favor one person’s or group’s so-called rights over another. We know that neither party has this agenda, but we are confident that if most people knew the meaning of Objectivism, it would be Objectivism that they would recognize would leave them alone to pursue their own happiness and live their own lives according to the forces they subscribe to.

        All other systems seek to coerce people to their beliefs. Only Objectivism is 100% dedicated to choice and 100% against the initiation of the use of force (or fraud).

        Since the Republicans are closest to the Founding Fathers, I believe that Objectivists would be wise to support the Republicans in this election (with those caveats) to buy us time to get this message across.

  • http://barebrush.com/ Ilene Skeen

    Before Romney chose Ryan, I was not very high on voting at all. Romney’s choice of Ryan energized me for two reasons: I like Ryan and agree that he is just about as good as it is going to get, and 2) Romney made an admirable executive decision when he chose Ryan, a man more intellectual, more focused and more charismatic than he, to be his running mate. That made me respect Romney’s intelligence and fearlessness – only a second-hander is afraid to promote someone more talented than he. A good executive knows that genuine talent is rare and pushes for it even if the talent is a direct rival. So, hurray for Romney as well.

    I love your characterization of Objectivism as the “Readen Metal of American politics: sound, strong, and successful when used.”

    American intellectuals (both left and right have a real problem with Ayn Rand). They know that she stands at the end of their road and they will do anything to keep people from going down that path. We’re selling Readen Metal, they’re selling pig iron (which is probably an unfair characterization of pig iron).

    It brings to mind Readen’s conversation with Dr. Potter who could not for the life of him state openly that Readen Metal was good.

    To continue the analogy, I would also say that Objectivism is far cheaper, more durable, and will out-perform any other system in the political and economic marketplace. Objectivism is good and our being able to bring this fact to the forefront of American thought is very energizing.

    This is an opportunity we have to grab while the country still has free speech and before the current enemies of freedom get such a strong-hold that they start burning books and censoring opposition.

    As Yaron Brook also said in his interview with Amy Peikoff, (Aug 12) that this campaign is an opportunity for Objectivists to bring their views to the public forum and explain carefully and respectfully why Objectivism is the better alternative. The Romney-Ryan 2012 is a good step in the right direction.

    I respect everyone who says they cannot campaign for Romney-Ryan, and the question of Ryan’s religiosity is very troubling, but the chance to mainstream Objectivists by taking Objectivism to the forefront of the campaign should not be missed.

    Objectivists want: 100% choice, 0% coercion for 100% of the people. No handouts, no favors. Only legitimate use of force is retaliation. This applies to individuals, groups, governments.

    We need to tell people that as Objectivists, we propose this: If you want to help someone, no one will stop you. If you can convince people to help someone, great. If you can’t, Objectivism rejects your assertion that “force for a good cause” is okay. The end never justifies the means. If someone is telling you that the end justifies the means, it means that the person intends to do an injustice and needs your approval to get away with it. If you figure that it won’t come back to bite you in the long run, you will be wrong.

    Regarding the issue of rights: both the left and the right believe that rights are in conflict, that some have more rights than others. This leads them to the (unstated) role of government as the arbiter of rights. Objectivists know that actual rights cannot be in conflict. If someone has defined rights in such a way that they appear to be in conflict, the definition is wrong and at least one of the positions is wrong.

    Abortion is the sticky issue here. The right believes that the rights of the fetus trump the rights of the pregnant woman (so she is a murderer if she has an abortion). The left believe that the rights of the woman trump the rights of anyone to disagree with her about her choice, so they are greedy, evil and selfish if they don’t want to pay for her abortion. Objectivists know that rights apply only to humans and begin a birth. They also know that taxpayers are human (surprise!) and forcing anyone to pay for things is wrong.

    Objectivism is the philosophy of individual rights, individual responsibility and individual and cooperative action.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016717466 Pablo Romero

      I would like to understand how can Obamacare be a destruction of individual rights, but not DOMA? How can Objectivists campaign for these two men when they (Romney/Ryan) have supported as brutal a violation of rights as Obama has implemented? State-mandated recongition of only one kind of contractual agreement based on religious dogma, which in turn has repercussions upon individuals: the inability to sponsor their partners for immigration purposes, which more often than not ends in deportation. Tens of thousands of couples must face this reality. I don’t advocate in any way that one vote for Obama, but I think the rhapsodizing of Romney and Ryan has gone into the point of distorting reality. And to argue that Romney’s violation of rights affects a lesser number of people (same-sex binational couples) than Obama’s is arguing for pure pragmatism. A violation of rights is a violation of rights, there is no such thing as a non-essential right, when the discussion centers upon their violation.

      • http://barebrush.com/ Ilene Skeen

        More on Romney/Ryan support:
        The arguments against Pragmatism are well taken. It is surely dangerous to support pragmatists of any stripe, especially Republicans who have demonstrated that they have no respect for individual rights when they apply to social issues like marriage and abortion. However, I think what is important here is the opportunity to make Ayn Rand mainstream.

        Obamacare is going to kill people by shutting down the private health care industry and replacing it with rationing. Only the elites and occasional special stories will get access to real health care (for press effect). The rest of us will wait to see assistants who will know how to take blood pressure and tell us to pee in a cup. I’m not joking. There is going to be a huge doctor shortage and most real medicine will move offshore the US. It may become criminal to be a private physician.

        The excitement is that Ryan has said he supports small government. Previously he has cited Ayn Rand as an influence. Our job in this election is to show how Ayn Rand is more consistent and more moral than either party. Yaron Brook said in this interview on Amy Peikoff’s podcast (Aug 12) that Ryan is about as close to the Founding Fathers as we’re going to get. That plus his previous high praise for Ayn Rand is exactly what we need to get Ayn Rand into the mainstream of the political discussion.

        For Objectivists, we have to remember that this is only starting place and a way to buy time. If statism continues to grow unchecked, we will get censorship, book burning and worse.

        The Objectivist message re: Romney Ryan 2012 should be something like: we support the Republican call for smaller government, but we know that the truly moral government does not call for sacrifice of even a single individual’s life, liberty or happiness to any other individual or group, no matter how compelling the excuse.

        Both Democrats and Republicans operate under the false premise of the famous parable, “Animal Farm” in which “some animals are more equal than others.” Our leaders today tell us that some people require our sacrifices and the government’s job is to pick winners and losers (in business and in social issues).

        Objectivists want a society of 100% choice and 0% coercion on both social and economic issues. Government should not have the power to favor one person’s or group’s so-called rights over another. We know that neither party has this agenda, but we are confident that if most people knew the meaning of Objectivism, it would be Objectivism that they would recognize would leave them alone to pursue their own happiness and live their own lives according to the forces they subscribe to.

        All other systems seek to coerce people to their beliefs. Only Objectivism is 100% dedicated to choice and 100% against the initiation of the use of force (or fraud).

        Since the Republicans are closest to the Founding Fathers, I believe that Objectivists would be wise to support the Republicans in this election (with those caveats) to buy us time to get this message across.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.mcallister Joshua McAllister

    I’m sorry. I won’t vote for anyone who intends to continue the military policies of this country. Voting for ideals is selfish when humans are being murdered.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.mcallister Joshua McAllister

    I’m sorry. I won’t vote for anyone who intends to continue the military policies of this country. Voting for ideals is selfish when humans are being murdered.

  • Anonymous

    What Paul Ryan actually said in 2005 at the Atlas Society was this: “I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are . . . But the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.”

    Then, just this year, he said this in National Review
    regarding Ayn Rand’s philosophy: “I reject her philosophy, it’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas, don’t give me Ayn Rand.”

    Craig’s point seems to be that it is incredibly contrasting statements such as the above that are a wide open door, a golden opportunity, for Objectivists to walk right in and point out the incredible contradictions he thus maintains – both between those commentaries, and-clearly-within the latter. In the process provide a far more understandable and, hopefully, embraced view of Ms Rand’s philosophy. I agree.

    However, after we have undressed Mr. Ryan intellectually and removed all of his teeth what do we do in two years when House and Senate seats are up? I know that sounds perhaps a bit flippant, but I am serious here. Ryan has set himself up for some serious intellectual embarrassment attempting to maintain this profound contradiction. Moreover, in which case was he simply telling a bald faced lie? He cannot have it both ways; you cannot say, on the one hand, that Objectivism taught you a lot about “who I am and what my value systems are,” and then five years later in the midst of an impassioned political season reject the stated reason he “got into public service.” So, the way I see this narrow issue is that Ryan is being set up as a conservative intellectual who embraces, one assumes, the inane notion of compassionate capitalism; yet presently espouses a philosophical world-view that is utterly discordant with it. The risk I see is that he will be chopped down very quickly, and is simply red meat for Liberal intellectuals (oxymoronic as that appears).

    So, in returning to Craig’s admonition, the question then becomes one of pragmatic comparisons. And for some odd reason the comparison of McCain-Palin and Romney-Ryan is coming to the fore… With that juxtaposition in mind it becomes much easier to lean towards Romney-Ryan – my only option other than NOTA (assuming Gary Johnson will not be allowed into the debates). NOTA got my vote last time because I simply could not overtly cast my sacred vote for a ticket premised upon self-sacrifice as a national virtue (remember the whole “Country First” theme). That, coupled with the overt litmus tests of being militantly pro-life, and an evangelical Christian, simply set me on my bike frame for a 3 hour ride instead of voting.. This time, it seems, the premise of this campaign is not overtly self-sacrifice, but rather country preservation. This rising premise remains to be seen and heard with the party platform and convention speeches yet to come; we will hear in concretized terms the degree of rights violations the GOP will promote very soon. This election is important for incredibly serious fiscal reasons in my view, and therefore I do not desire to vote NOTA; Romney-Ryan (assuming Johnson is excluded from debates) is my only other option.

    As for actively participating in the support of Romney-Ryan, my humble advice is to be painfully honest in your arguments. Indicate where Ryan is wrong about Rand (and, perhaps, the epistomology he now espouses) during the campaign cycle and point out that one’s support for Romney-Ryan lies in the fiscal urgency of the moment. That, on balance, the Romney-Ryan duo would be far better than any other legitimate alternative at this juncture. In short, I am circling the Romney-Ryan bait right now and need to see and hear a bit more. What I can say is that it is a bit much for me, personally, to be an enthusiastic campaigner. I fully appreciate Craig’s well written and though out approach – it is compelling. As noted, I am circling the bait right now, and not willing to pull the bobber down.

  • bildanielson

    What Paul Ryan actually said in 2005 at the Atlas Society was this: “I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are . . . But the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.”

    Then, just this year, he said this in National Review
    regarding Ayn Rand’s philosophy: “I reject her philosophy, it’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas, don’t give me Ayn Rand.”

    Craig’s point seems to be that it is incredibly contrasting statements such as the above that are a wide open door, a golden opportunity, for Objectivists to walk right in and point out the incredible contradictions he thus maintains – both between those commentaries, and-clearly-within the latter. In the process provide a far more understandable and, hopefully, embraced view of Ms Rand’s philosophy. I agree.

    However, after we have undressed Mr. Ryan intellectually and removed all of his teeth what do we do in two years when House and Senate seats are up? I know that sounds perhaps a bit flippant, but I am serious here. Ryan has set himself up for some serious intellectual embarrassment attempting to maintain this profound contradiction. Moreover, in which case was he simply telling a bald faced lie? He cannot have it both ways; you cannot say, on the one hand, that Objectivism taught you a lot about “who I am and what my value systems are,” and then five years later in the midst of an impassioned political season reject the stated reason he “got into public service.” So, the way I see this narrow issue is that Ryan is being set up as a conservative intellectual who embraces, one assumes, the inane notion of compassionate capitalism; yet presently espouses a philosophical world-view that is utterly discordant with it. The risk I see is that he will be chopped down very quickly, and is simply red meat for Liberal intellectuals (oxymoronic as that appears).

    So, in returning to Craig’s admonition, the question then becomes one of pragmatic comparisons. And for some odd reason the comparison of McCain-Palin and Romney-Ryan is coming to the fore… With that juxtaposition in mind it becomes much easier to lean towards Romney-Ryan – my only option other than NOTA (assuming Gary Johnson will not be allowed into the debates). NOTA got my vote last time because I simply could not overtly cast my sacred vote for a ticket premised upon self-sacrifice as a national virtue (remember the whole “Country First” theme). That, coupled with the overt litmus tests of being militantly pro-life, and an evangelical Christian, simply set me on my bike frame for a 3 hour ride instead of voting.. This time, it seems, the premise of this campaign is not overtly self-sacrifice, but rather country preservation. This rising premise remains to be seen and heard with the party platform and convention speeches yet to come; we will hear in concretized terms the degree of rights violations the GOP will promote very soon. This election is important for incredibly serious fiscal reasons in my view, and therefore I do not desire to vote NOTA; Romney-Ryan (assuming Johnson is excluded from debates) is my only other option.

    As for actively participating in the support of Romney-Ryan, my humble advice is to be painfully honest in your arguments. Indicate where Ryan is wrong about Rand (and, perhaps, the epistomology he now espouses) during the campaign cycle and point out that one’s support for Romney-Ryan lies in the fiscal urgency of the moment. That, on balance, the Romney-Ryan duo would be far better than any other legitimate alternative at this juncture. In short, I am circling the Romney-Ryan bait right now and need to see and hear a bit more. What I can say is that it is a bit much for me, personally, to be an enthusiastic campaigner. I fully appreciate Craig’s well written and though out approach – it is compelling. As noted, I am circling the bait right now, and not willing to pull the bobber down.

  • David Elmore

    Ryan is severely flawed, an altruist, a christian, a crony-capitalist — and he is head and shoulders above the current political class in his love of ideas and principles. He is not an Objectivist and, moreover, doesn’t call himself one — or even an advocate of Objectivism. So he makes it clear he is not one of us and doesn’t want to be one of us — but that he likes many of our ideas. He has created an objective context for others to be interested in us and to use their independent minds to determine the veracity of Objectivism. What more, in our current abhorrent climate, could we ask for in a political candidate seeking an office in the White House near the Oval Office? Craig Biddle is exactly correct, given this context, to advocate the candidacy and to suggest helping this unique man (Ryan) to at least potentially slow the destruction of individual rights while simultaneously providing free marketing for Objectivism for honest minds to finish the work of evaluation.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, David.

  • David Elmore

    Ryan is severely flawed, an altruist, a christian, a crony-capitalist — and he is head and shoulders above the current political class in his love of ideas and principles. He is not an Objectivist and, moreover, doesn’t call himself one — or even an advocate of Objectivism. So he makes it clear he is not one of us and doesn’t want to be one of us — but that he likes many of our ideas. He has created an objective context for others to be interested in us and to use their independent minds to determine the veracity of Objectivism. What more, in our current abhorrent climate, could we ask for in a political candidate seeking an office in the White House near the Oval Office? Craig Biddle is exactly correct, given this context, to advocate the candidacy and to suggest helping this unique man (Ryan) to at least potentially slow the destruction of individual rights while simultaneously providing free marketing for Objectivism for honest minds to finish the work of evaluation.

    • craigbiddle

      Thank you, David.

  • Anonymous

    Yaron had a nice opportunity to appear in a 6 minute Yahoo Finance “Daily Ticker” video and story. The title was “Paul Ryan Is No Ayn Rand Disciple: He’s a Fiscal Moderate, Yaron Brook Says.” The guy let Yaron talk, so, I think this exposure to non-Objectivists went very well and is just what’s needed; if enemies of Objectivism do all the talking in this context, I don’t see how it would be good for progress.

    Link: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/paul-ryan-no-ayn-rand-disciple-fiscal-moderate-172822069.html

  • Mel_M

    Yaron had a nice opportunity to appear in a 6 minute Yahoo Finance “Daily Ticker” video and story. The title was “Paul Ryan Is No Ayn Rand Disciple: He’s a Fiscal Moderate, Yaron Brook Says.” The guy let Yaron talk, so, I think this exposure to non-Objectivists went very well and is just what’s needed; if enemies of Objectivism do all the talking in this context, I don’t see how it would be good for progress.

    Link: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/paul-ryan-no-ayn-rand-disciple-fiscal-moderate-172822069.html

  • Keith Sketchley
  • Keith Sketchley
  • http://www.facebook.com/rbarban Robert Barbantini

    I am a believer in many of Ms. Rand’s ideas and I clearly believe the best candidate to lead this country to a more perfect union as American’s is President Obama. Society and government are too complex to incorporate Ms. Rand’s philosophies in total, but President Obama comes the closest to merging those philosophies with reality.

  • Robert Barbantini

    I am a believer in many of Ms. Rand’s ideas and I clearly believe the best candidate to lead this country to a more perfect union as American’s is President Obama. Society and government are too complex to incorporate Ms. Rand’s philosophies in total, but President Obama comes the closest to merging those philosophies with reality.

  • Todd Walton

    Craig Biddle writes an article about Ron Paul: He doesn’t understand what rights are, but he is an intellectual, he is concerned with Ayn Rand’s ideas, and “For the first time in history, America faces the possibility of an administration that is at least partially sympathetic to Ayn Rand’s ideas” with Paul’s campaign.

    Oh, wait… wrong Paul. No Objectivist would ever say the same thing about someone who holds the same position, because Ron Paul has a label: “libertarian”.

  • Todd Walton

    Craig Biddle writes an article about Ron Paul: He doesn’t understand what rights are, but he is an intellectual, he is concerned with Ayn Rand’s ideas, and “For the first time in history, America faces the possibility of an administration that is at least partially sympathetic to Ayn Rand’s ideas” with Paul’s campaign.

    Oh, wait… wrong Paul. No Objectivist would ever say the same thing about someone who holds the same position, because Ron Paul has a label: “libertarian”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/treii28 Scott Webster Wood

    What Paul Ryan has to say about Ayn Rand:

    “I later in life learned about what her philosophy was, it’s called Objectivism. It’s something that I __completely disagree with.__”
    - Paul Ryan on Real Clear Politics
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/08/14/paul_ryan_rejects_ayn_rands_objectivism_philosophy.html

  • TheWild Webster

    What Paul Ryan has to say about Ayn Rand:

    “I later in life learned about what her philosophy was, it’s called Objectivism. It’s something that I __completely disagree with.__”
    - Paul Ryan on Real Clear Politics
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/08/14/paul_ryan_rejects_ayn_rands_objectivism_philosophy.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/treii28 Scott Webster Wood

    And the argument is that at least ‘Romney is better than Obama’ (voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil, btw) But I have as of yet to hear the compelling argument as to just ‘how’ he is alleged to be better.

    TheWildWebster: Romney is Better than Obama. Oh really?
    http://thewildwebster.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/romney-is-better-than-obama-oh-really/

  • TheWild Webster

    And the argument is that at least ‘Romney is better than Obama’ (voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil, btw) But I have as of yet to hear the compelling argument as to just ‘how’ he is alleged to be better.

    TheWildWebster: Romney is Better than Obama. Oh really?
    http://thewildwebster.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/romney-is-better-than-obama-oh-really/

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.schroder.372 Alex Schröder

    Unfortunately I must disagree with your assertion that Paul Ryan is as good as it gets in contemporary American politics. While he is certainly better than many, if not most, Republicans, there are other prominent figures who have a more admirable voting record than Mr. Ryan. Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Gary Johnson are some names that come to mind. I would say, however, that Paul Ryan was about the best VP pick we could have realistically expected from Romney.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.schroder.372 Alex Schröder

    Unfortunately I must disagree with your assertion that Paul Ryan is as good as it gets in contemporary American politics. While he is certainly better than many, if not most, Republicans, there are other prominent figures who have a more admirable voting record than Mr. Ryan. Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Gary Johnson are some names that come to mind. I would say, however, that Paul Ryan was about the best VP pick we could have realistically expected from Romney.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.kaplan Kenneth Kaplan

    Ryan is running for Veep. The best man running for President is Gary Johnson, the Libertarian.

  • Kenneth Kaplan

    Ryan is running for Veep. The best man running for President is Gary Johnson, the Libertarian.

  • Mark Wilson

    I disagree that Objectivists should actively campaign for the Romney-Ryan ticket.

    It was widely known that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was a former associate of Ayn Rand. He praised her in his autobiography. Yet this did not lead to any ‘public’ interest in her philosophy, because such pronouncements, like that of Congressman Ryan, have no psychological impact.

    Any projection that a wider interest in Objectivism has and will follow from Ryan’s earlier statements is flawed. That is not what moves people. It’s the ideas.

    Not only should Objectivists reject the Republican ticket, they should also reject the fundamental tenets of the GOP, which is solidly mystical and shows no signs of embracing any new ideas – let alone those from a radical pro-reason atheist such as Rand.

    Instead, Ryan should be asked to defend Catholicism and his basic ideas should be starkly contrasted to rational self-interest. Then people might take notice.

    • David Elmore

      Mark, you simply can’t know that Greenspan’s Fed position didn’t create public interest. In fact, the facts prove otherwise — if you google his name and Ayn Rand’s name, you’ll see scores of stories on him and his comments. I also have personally corresponded with people who first heard of Rand from Greenspan comments. And Ryan will potentially have more air play.

      • Mark Wilson

        Stories and comments are just that, stories and comments – with almost no substance. I know many people who equate Alan Greenspan’s ideas with those of Ayn Rand, precisely because of these kinds of superficial associations. They don’t take the time to dig deeper because Alan Greenspan’s ideas on philosophic issues do not interest them.

        Do you think that many people will start to read Ayn Rand because they heard that Paul Ryan once did? I’m arguing that rational people will more likely be drawn to read her because Objectivists are actively separating his ideas from hers, hence my post in direct opposition to the original article and its recommendation to actively campaign for the mystics in spite of their mysticism.

        • jayeldee

          On the mark again, Mark. It is refreshing to me, to hear a rational voice here (of all places). My thanks to you for your clear-sightedness.

        • David Elmore

          You’ve refuted your thesis, Mark, and buttressed mine. Hint: “… actively separating his ideas from hers.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Don-Duncan/100000087760836 Don Duncan

            Objectivists can contrast Obama’s ideas from Rand’s also. Does that mean we should support Obama also?

  • Mark Wilson

    I disagree that Objectivists should actively campaign for the Romney-Ryan ticket.

    It was widely known that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was a former associate of Ayn Rand. He praised her in his autobiography. Yet this did not lead to any ‘public’ interest in her philosophy, because such pronouncements, like that of Congressman Ryan, have no psychological impact.

    Any projection that a wider interest in Objectivism has and will follow from Ryan’s earlier statements is flawed. That is not what moves people. It’s the ideas.

    Not only should Objectivists reject the Republican ticket, they should also reject the fundamental tenets of the GOP, which is solidly mystical and shows no signs of embracing any new ideas – let alone those from a radical pro-reason atheist such as Rand.

    Instead, Ryan should be asked to defend Catholicism and his basic ideas should be starkly contrasted to rational self-interest. Then people might take notice.

    • David Elmore

      Mark, you simply can’t know that Greenspan’s Fed position didn’t create public interest. In fact, the facts prove otherwise — if you google his name and Ayn Rand’s name, you’ll see scores of stories on him and his comments. I also have personally corresponded with people who first heard of Rand from Greenspan comments. And Ryan will potentially have more air play.

      • Mark Wilson

        Stories and comments are just that, stories and comments – with almost no substance. I know many people who equate Alan Greenspan’s ideas with those of Ayn Rand, precisely because of these kinds of superficial associations. They don’t take the time to dig deeper because Alan Greenspan’s ideas on philosophic issues do not interest them.

        Do you think that many people will start to read Ayn Rand because they heard that Paul Ryan once did? I’m arguing that rational people will more likely be drawn to read her because Objectivists are actively separating his ideas from hers, hence my post in direct opposition to the original article and its recommendation to actively campaign for the mystics in spite of their mysticism.

        • jayeldee

          On the mark again, Mark. It is refreshing to me, to hear a rational voice here (of all places). My thanks to you for your clear-sightedness.

        • David Elmore

          You’ve refuted your thesis, Mark, and buttressed mine. Hint: “… actively separating his ideas from hers.”

          • Don Duncan

            Objectivists can contrast Obama’s ideas from Rand’s also. Does that mean we should support Obama also?

  • http://www.facebook.com/morry.markovitz Morry Markovitz

    I agree with Craig, and WITHOUT any of the reservations expressed by some others. I more fully explain this in a long comment under Craig’s initial endorsement of the Romney/Ryan ticket. But here’s another “rebuttal” to those with reservations based on Ryan’s far-from-perfect alignment with the Objectivist view:
    Imagine it’s the year 2050 and we’ve already elected 2 successive Pres/VP couplets who both understand and accept Ayn Rand’s philosophy. Imagine you are reading a book by a modern historian which chronicles the events leading up to this development. Would you expect history to reveal that one day there was an instantaneous reversal in the nation’s cultural beliefs, and that an Obama-like ticket was immediately followed by a pair of Objectivists? No way.
    Such things don’t happen overnight. ALL change takes place through TIME, as it must by the nature of the universe and the inextricable relationship between the fundamental natures of change and of time. And the kind of hypothetical event we’re imagining and hoping for is a pretty darned RADICAL one, which will obviously require quite some time. The hypothetical history book you will be reading in 2050 will mark the nomination (and election, hopefully) of Ryan as one of the many steps in that process of change. The publication of Atlas Shrugged will be the earliest event in the progression toward teh election of 2 Objectivists to the highest political offices in the land. And there will be other “benchmark” events along that progression. But the key point is that is UNREALISTIC to expect or especially to demand “all or nothing, NOW.”
    Such a demand is NOT by any means a valid “comittment to principle.” In fact, it is a mark of ignorance of a principle, namely the principle that ALL change MUST take place through time. The nomination of someone like Ryan is precisely the type of event we should expect — and WELCOME — as a “natural, to be hoped for” milestone in the larger philosophical effort in which advocates of Objectivism are engaged. It is another “ratchet forward” of our “agenda.”
    “Atlas Shrugged” was published in 1957 — 55 years ago. Leonard Piekoff is turning out to be correct in his prediction at the time that if the book sold 50,000 copies, “this culture is cooked.” In the interim, we’ve lived through a Carter presidency, a Clinton presidency, a major socialization of the medical industry, and MUCH more. These were consequences of the “momentum” (or the “inertia?”) of the previous state of the culture. But the important IDEAS of Ayn Rand have steadily advanced their spread throughout the culture since 1957.
    Our effort has been and continues to be this: to increase the spread of Objectivist ideas in our world from near zero to near 100%, while simultaneously reducing the influence of collectivist, moral relativist, mystical, and other wrong philosophical ideas from near 100% to near zero. This is and has been a seemingly long process, but from a historical perspective it has actually been quite rapid, considering the radical, fundamental nature of the change we seek. The nomination of a fellow EXPLICITLY sympathetic to our ideas, to the highest elective ticket in the land, is another “benchmark” event indicating that the advancing trend of acceptance of our ideas remains intact.
    For that reason, I think Ryan’s nomination should be welcomed without reservation. Yes, our approval of the man himself and his ideas is fraught with reservations, to put it mildly — we have some SERIOUS disagreements with numerous of his fundamental ideas.
    But when we remind ourselves that we are in a war, we should welcome any victorious battle, even the ones which are not perfectly overwhelming victories.
    By the nature of things, we will win the war by a long series of victories, large and small. It is NOT a compromise of strategic principles to put a lesser general in charge of fighting a skirmish if he is capable of removing a tactical hindrance to our advance, and/or providing such a hindrance to our adversaries’ advance. Think of it as an effective delaying tactic which buys us time to further our strategic plan. It is a recognition of the full context of the reality we face.
    To be euphemistic, I was less than enthusiastic about Romney. But — from my perspective as an advocate of Objectivism — I have to give him credit for choosing Ryan as his running-mate. To have placed on the national ticket a man who admires and respects the IDEAS of Ayn Rand — however imperfectly — is something I see as a milestone which, 20 years ago, would have given most of us great pleasure to comtemplate. Now we have witnessed that milestone, which marks a new beachhead in the advance of our ideas through the culture. We should remember the “full context” of our battle of ideas, and — while maintaining sight of our ultimate goal — nevertheless celebrate this event as a welcome interim victory.

  • Morry Markovitz

    I agree with Craig, and WITHOUT any of the reservations expressed by some others. I more fully explain this in a long comment under Craig’s initial endorsement of the Romney/Ryan ticket. But here’s another “rebuttal” to those with reservations based on Ryan’s far-from-perfect alignment with the Objectivist view:
    Imagine it’s the year 2050 and we’ve already elected 2 successive Pres/VP couplets who both understand and accept Ayn Rand’s philosophy. Imagine you are reading a book by a modern historian which chronicles the events leading up to this development. Would you expect history to reveal that one day there was an instantaneous reversal in the nation’s cultural beliefs, and that an Obama-like ticket was immediately followed by a pair of Objectivists? No way.
    Such things don’t happen overnight. ALL change takes place through TIME, as it must by the nature of the universe and the inextricable relationship between the fundamental natures of change and of time. And the kind of hypothetical event we’re imagining and hoping for is a pretty darned RADICAL one, which will obviously require quite some time. The hypothetical history book you will be reading in 2050 will mark the nomination (and election, hopefully) of Ryan as one of the many steps in that process of change. The publication of Atlas Shrugged will be the earliest event in the progression toward teh election of 2 Objectivists to the highest political offices in the land. And there will be other “benchmark” events along that progression. But the key point is that is UNREALISTIC to expect or especially to demand “all or nothing, NOW.”
    Such a demand is NOT by any means a valid “comittment to principle.” In fact, it is a mark of ignorance of a principle, namely the principle that ALL change MUST take place through time. The nomination of someone like Ryan is precisely the type of event we should expect — and WELCOME — as a “natural, to be hoped for” milestone in the larger philosophical effort in which advocates of Objectivism are engaged. It is another “ratchet forward” of our “agenda.”
    “Atlas Shrugged” was published in 1957 — 55 years ago. Leonard Piekoff is turning out to be correct in his prediction at the time that if the book sold 50,000 copies, “this culture is cooked.” In the interim, we’ve lived through a Carter presidency, a Clinton presidency, a major socialization of the medical industry, and MUCH more. These were consequences of the “momentum” (or the “inertia?”) of the previous state of the culture. But the important IDEAS of Ayn Rand have steadily advanced their spread throughout the culture since 1957.
    Our effort has been and continues to be this: to increase the spread of Objectivist ideas in our world from near zero to near 100%, while simultaneously reducing the influence of collectivist, moral relativist, mystical, and other wrong philosophical ideas from near 100% to near zero. This is and has been a seemingly long process, but from a historical perspective it has actually been quite rapid, considering the radical, fundamental nature of the change we seek. The nomination of a fellow EXPLICITLY sympathetic to our ideas, to the highest elective ticket in the land, is another “benchmark” event indicating that the advancing trend of acceptance of our ideas remains intact.
    For that reason, I think Ryan’s nomination should be welcomed without reservation. Yes, our approval of the man himself and his ideas is fraught with reservations, to put it mildly — we have some SERIOUS disagreements with numerous of his fundamental ideas.
    But when we remind ourselves that we are in a war, we should welcome any victorious battle, even the ones which are not perfectly overwhelming victories.
    By the nature of things, we will win the war by a long series of victories, large and small. It is NOT a compromise of strategic principles to put a lesser general in charge of fighting a skirmish if he is capable of removing a tactical hindrance to our advance, and/or providing such a hindrance to our adversaries’ advance. Think of it as an effective delaying tactic which buys us time to further our strategic plan. It is a recognition of the full context of the reality we face.
    To be euphemistic, I was less than enthusiastic about Romney. But — from my perspective as an advocate of Objectivism — I have to give him credit for choosing Ryan as his running-mate. To have placed on the national ticket a man who admires and respects the IDEAS of Ayn Rand — however imperfectly — is something I see as a milestone which, 20 years ago, would have given most of us great pleasure to comtemplate. Now we have witnessed that milestone, which marks a new beachhead in the advance of our ideas through the culture. We should remember the “full context” of our battle of ideas, and — while maintaining sight of our ultimate goal — nevertheless celebrate this event as a welcome interim victory.

  • Scott Webster Wood

    If the argument is that Ryan, despite his unequivocal statement regarding Rand and Objectivism, that he ‘completely disagrees with [the philosophy]‘, that we should not only support Ryan but do so enthusiastically, why limit this just to Ryan? Sure, Ryan’s original comments on Atlas Shrugged increased the buzz about Objectivism and Rand, but it by far did not start it. In fact, I would allege it was likely a well planned exploitation of an already growing buzz (this is just my personal hunch based on what I have seen of Ryan since) which began and continued to increase from a few years earlier. But what (or who) is most responsible for that increasing buzz? I’ll give you a hint, it started in mid to late 2007. (check the numbers on Amazon book sales for Rand’s books yourself, don’t take my word for it). That seems to suggest that one man is more directly responsible for it than anyone else – and it’s not Ryan, not Peikoff, not Yaron Brook or Ron Paul or Rand Paul – it’s none other than Barack Hussein Obama. And if that argument (increasing positive interest in Objectivism) is not a good reason to vote for Obama, why should it be a good excuse to vote for Ryan(Romney)?

  • Scott Webster Wood

    If the argument is that Ryan, despite his unequivocal statement regarding Rand and Objectivism, that he ‘completely disagrees with [the philosophy]‘, that we should not only support Ryan but do so enthusiastically, why limit this just to Ryan? Sure, Ryan’s original comments on Atlas Shrugged increased the buzz about Objectivism and Rand, but it by far did not start it. In fact, I would allege it was likely a well planned exploitation of an already growing buzz (this is just my personal hunch based on what I have seen of Ryan since) which began and continued to increase from a few years earlier. But what (or who) is most responsible for that increasing buzz? I’ll give you a hint, it started in mid to late 2007. (check the numbers on Amazon book sales for Rand’s books yourself, don’t take my word for it). That seems to suggest that one man is more directly responsible for it than anyone else – and it’s not Ryan, not Peikoff, not Yaron Brook or Ron Paul or Rand Paul – it’s none other than Barack Hussein Obama. And if that argument (increasing positive interest in Objectivism) is not a good reason to vote for Obama, why should it be a good excuse to vote for Ryan(Romney)?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tnbtaylor Tom Taylor

    For the sake of America, one MUST vote for Romney/Ryan. The alternative is Americs’s destruction!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tnbtaylor Tom Taylor

    For the sake of America, one MUST vote for Romney/Ryan. The alternative is Americs’s destruction!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gotmarc Marc Antonio Leon

    I understand why
    you are supporting Romney/Ryan, but I
    disagree with you on one point “But
    it is crucial to bear in mind that no politician
    today advocates genuine freedom, none understands
    the principle of rights, all support
    rights-violating policies, all embrace
    fundamentally false philosophies.”

    Gary Johnson comes pretty close. He should
    at least get an honorable mention. Yes he has
    no shot of winning, but he is clearly the best candidate from an individual
    rights perspective. There is finally a politician
    that I agree with about 95% of the issues.
    I think the only minor disagreement I have with him is that he only
    wants to make marijuana legal and he wants to keep heroin and crack illegal.

    This is not the
    worst violation of individual rights in the scheme of things.

    Now some of my
    friends are even saying I should vote for Romney because Ryan really liked Atlas
    Shrugged. . . Mr Biddle brings up a good
    point that we may be able to bring up Objectivist ideas if he is the VP,
    however I don’t think that is good enough of a reason to vote for someone. Look at Alan Greenspan. I’m pretty sure he read Atlas Shrugged too,
    but he compromised his principles.

    I like alot of what
    Paul Ryan is saying, but I think he is too quick to sacrifice his principles
    for political gain. That makes me
    uncomfortable. If he likes Atlas
    Shrugged so much—he should know better. I
    can almost be forgiving of the Catholic thing. I understand that an atheist has
    a better chance of winning the lotto than becoming POTUS; but there is no excuse
    for TARP, the auto bailout, Medicare and the like.

    People often tell
    me I am throwing away my vote because I am voting for a third party candidate. (that
    is apparently only known in Objectivist circles because most of the Libertarian
    wackos are still voting for Ron Paul).
    To them, I say this: I live in California. It doesn’t matter if I vote
    for Romney, Johnson, or write in the tooth fairy because all of the electoral
    votes in this state are going to Obama. If
    anyone disagrees I will gladly make a prop bet with that person for everything
    in my 401K. I’m tired of the status quo,
    I am tired of choosing the lesser of two evils and I’m tired of the false
    dichotomy that the two party system perpetuates. Penn Jillette said, “Because I believe that voting
    for the lesser two evils in game theory will always lead to more evil.” I agree with him. I think the TOS should at least mention Gary
    Johnson, maybe even interview him. I don’t know if he has read Atlas Shrugged.
    I just asked him on twitter, hopefully he’ll get back to me.

  • Marc Antonio Leon

    I understand why
    you are supporting Romney/Ryan, but I
    disagree with you on one point “But
    it is crucial to bear in mind that no politician
    today advocates genuine freedom, none understands
    the principle of rights, all support
    rights-violating policies, all embrace
    fundamentally false philosophies.”

    Gary Johnson comes pretty close. He should
    at least get an honorable mention. Yes he has
    no shot of winning, but he is clearly the best candidate from an individual
    rights perspective. There is finally a politician
    that I agree with about 95% of the issues.
    I think the only minor disagreement I have with him is that he only
    wants to make marijuana legal and he wants to keep heroin and crack illegal.

    This is not the
    worst violation of individual rights in the scheme of things.

    Now some of my
    friends are even saying I should vote for Romney because Ryan really liked Atlas
    Shrugged. . . Mr Biddle brings up a good
    point that we may be able to bring up Objectivist ideas if he is the VP,
    however I don’t think that is good enough of a reason to vote for someone. Look at Alan Greenspan. I’m pretty sure he read Atlas Shrugged too,
    but he compromised his principles.

    I like alot of what
    Paul Ryan is saying, but I think he is too quick to sacrifice his principles
    for political gain. That makes me
    uncomfortable. If he likes Atlas
    Shrugged so much—he should know better. I
    can almost be forgiving of the Catholic thing. I understand that an atheist has
    a better chance of winning the lotto than becoming POTUS; but there is no excuse
    for TARP, the auto bailout, Medicare and the like.

    People often tell
    me I am throwing away my vote because I am voting for a third party candidate. (that
    is apparently only known in Objectivist circles because most of the Libertarian
    wackos are still voting for Ron Paul).
    To them, I say this: I live in California. It doesn’t matter if I vote
    for Romney, Johnson, or write in the tooth fairy because all of the electoral
    votes in this state are going to Obama. If
    anyone disagrees I will gladly make a prop bet with that person for everything
    in my 401K. I’m tired of the status quo,
    I am tired of choosing the lesser of two evils and I’m tired of the false
    dichotomy that the two party system perpetuates. Penn Jillette said, “Because I believe that voting
    for the lesser two evils in game theory will always lead to more evil.” I agree with him. I think the TOS should at least mention Gary
    Johnson, maybe even interview him. I don’t know if he has read Atlas Shrugged.
    I just asked him on twitter, hopefully he’ll get back to me.

  • Monica Hughes

    To all those mentioning Gary Johnson in these comments. Given our current foreign policy/free speech crisis with Obama at the helm, I think GJ is a very unwise choice. GJ’s written statement on Benghazi did nothing to defend free speech, only to exhort a removal of our troops from the Middle East as the obvious “fix”. While his foreign policy isn’t as terrible as Ron Paul, I’ve come to believe that Johnson is quite delusional about Islam. (I can find a video to support this contention if anyone is interested.) He says he’s the only candidate who doesn’t want to bomb Iran, and he’s totally ignorant of Islamic culture. Unfortunately, it’s also become representative for GJ to pander to pothead peacenik End-The-Fed Occupiers and other tin-foil hat wearing libertarians as a routine political strategy, because he failed to find support elsewhere talking about economics in the beginning of his campaign. It would be funny if it wasn’t tragic — because I think in doing so he squanders a real opportunity to come back in a future election as a serious candidate. http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/c67.0.403.403/p403x403/282186_10150902143949364_1561804623_n.jpg

  • Monica Hughes

    To all those mentioning Gary Johnson in these comments. Given our current foreign policy/free speech crisis with Obama at the helm, I think GJ is a very unwise choice. GJ’s written statement on Benghazi did nothing to defend free speech, only to exhort a removal of our troops from the Middle East as the obvious “fix”. While his foreign policy isn’t as terrible as Ron Paul, I’ve come to believe that Johnson is quite delusional about Islam. (I can find a video to support this contention if anyone is interested.) He says he’s the only candidate who doesn’t want to bomb Iran, and he’s totally ignorant of Islamic culture. Unfortunately, it’s also become representative for GJ to pander to pothead peacenik End-The-Fed Occupiers and other tin-foil hat wearing libertarians as a routine political strategy, because he failed to find support elsewhere talking about economics in the beginning of his campaign. It would be funny if it wasn’t tragic — because I think in doing so he squanders a real opportunity to come back in a future election as a serious candidate. http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/c67.0.403.403/p403x403/282186_10150902143949364_1561804623_n.jpg