Tag Archives: Ayn Rand

Jesus and Ayn Rand

What sort of conservatism blends Jesus with Ayn Rand? Oh, that would be contemporary Tea Party conservatism. But why isn’t it more widely noticed that “Christian libertarian” is an oxymoron? I would argue that this has to do with the … Continue reading

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Mean Rich

Are mean and rich synonyms? Maybe: __________ One thing I find interesting in this TED talk is that the research results (the wealthier you perceive yourself to be, the meaner you get) can be reversed with simple reminders that there … Continue reading

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Ayn Rand’s “Sense of Life” as a Tool for Aesthetic Reflection

Ayn Rand, concepts, and art. Two novels-of-ideas by Ayn Rand (1905-1982)–The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957)–and the individualist and pro-capitalist political positions that Rand laid out over the course of her lifetime, have had an outsized impact on the contemporary conservative movement … Continue reading

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The Romney-Ryan-Rand Ticket: Why Obama’s “You didn’t build that!” helps him far more than it hurts him

How can that be? Simple. No one who is outraged by President Obama’s statement will vote for him anyway. The statement clangs in the ear of a disaffected Republican base, but they won’t decide the election. Swing voters will. “You … Continue reading

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The Atlas Shrugged Ticket: Conservative David Frum Says Paul Ryan, on Balance, is a Minus for Romney’s Campaign

Why does he say that? Because in picking the Ayn Rand enthusiast and millionaire Paul Ryan, Romney has transformed a campaign about jobs and growth into a campaign about entitlements and Medicare. Romney will now have to spend the next … Continue reading

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Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand Problem: Not Atheism, but Selfishness

Paul Ryan, as is well known, has recently attempted to distance himself from Ayn Rand’s influence on his thought, most specifically her atheism, but if he becomes Mitt Romney’s running mate, it’s not Rand’s atheism, but her advocacy of selfishness–one … Continue reading

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Adam Smith and Capitalism for Beginners

One of the books the Scottish philosopher Adam Smith (1723-1790) wrote, The Wealth of Nations (1776), theorizes about the nature of capitalism. The word “capitalism” derives from the word capital, itself deriving from the Latin word caput, meaning head (as … Continue reading

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One of Ayn Rand’s Questions: What’s the Relationship of Art to Concepts?

Two novels-of-ideas by Ayn Rand (1905-1982)–The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957)–and the individualist and pro-capitalist positions that she laid out over the course of her lifetime under a philosophical system she created and designated “objectivism,” have had an outsized … Continue reading

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An Explanation For Why People Are Attracted To Conspiracy Theories

Back in March, Rachel Maddow was on the Daily Show and said something about conspiracy theories that I think is quite profound: CONSPIRACY IS EASIER TO UNDERSTAND THAN COMPLEXITY. Thought of this way, a conspiracy theory is simply another way … Continue reading

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Deficit Hawks For Obama: A Vote for Mitt Romney is a Vote for Deficit Spending

Business Insider’s Chief Editor, Joe Wiesenthal, recently made a compelling case for voting for Mitt Romney (if you’re a Keynesian): Back in April we made the argument that a Mitt Romney win would be better for the economy, based on fairly … Continue reading

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Paul Ryan Betrays His Mother: Ayn Rand Is an Atheist and “I reject her philosophy”

And Paul Ryan claims that his lifelong love of Ayn Rand is an “urban legend.” Except it isn’t. A tape of his talk to the Atlas Society, from 2005, has surfaced, and here’s some of what he said: “I just … Continue reading

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Ayn Rand Would Have Hated This

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I Connectome, Therefore I Am?

Sebastian Seung is Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in his new book, Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are (Houghton Mifflin 2012), he defines a connectome in the following manner: … Continue reading

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Jerry Coyne: Free Will Is Also A Delusion

It’s not just God that’s a delusion. Free will is also. And our language should change to reflect it. That, at any rate, is University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne’s opinion. Here’s his recommendation, from his blog today, of what … Continue reading

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Can You Have Your Lent and Capitalism Too?

This past week, have you been indulging or denying yourself? The warring sides of human existence—the selfishly sensual and the altruistic—are brutally depicted in the below painting by Pieter Bruegal titled, “The Fight Between Carnival and Lent” (1559). At left … Continue reading

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Mitt Romney, Playing the Demagogue, Tells an Occupy Protester to Love America or Leave It

In the below video is some shameless demagogic grandstanding on the part of Mitt Romney. In it, he tells an Occupy protester that his concerns are not American. The exchange says a lot about Romney. The Occupy protester asks him … Continue reading

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When the Western Atlas Shrugs: The Economic Consequences of the Islamic Brotherhood Ruling Egypt

The majority of Egyptians are on the verge of getting their wish—a theocratic state—but they may rue the day that they did. The following quote comes from Middle East analyst Theodore May, and appeared as part of an opinion piece … Continue reading

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Is This Mitt Romney’s Way of Flipping the Bird at the Losers He Conned and Fired?

There’s something deeply tribal about the below image of Mitt Romney with his buddies at Bain Capital in 1984. It’s more than just an expression of joy at making money: it’s the glee of spiking a football before the losers … Continue reading

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When Mitt Romney Came to Town: Watch the Full 28 Minute Documentary Here

I just watched the full 28 minute documentary on Mitt Romney’s shenanigans at Bain Capital—the one put out by Newt Gingrich’s wealthy friends. It’s emotionally manipulative, but, I must admit, it’s extremely damning—really devastating. Vulture capitalism indeed seems to be a … Continue reading

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Jennifer Burns on Ayn Rand

Jennifer Burns teaches at the University of Virginia.

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