Jesus Christ or Ayn Rand: Pick One, Conservatives

Congressman John Campbell is a fan of fiction author Ayn Rand, but he views on limited government and Libertarianism are completely opposite of Jesus Chris.  Too often , conservatives wear their faith on their sleeve while coveting values that run completely opposite of Christ’s teachings.

There’s a terrific article on this topic here. From the story:

This is the ultimate irony in American political life right now, the conservatives who swear on a stack of Bibles that they worship Jesus Christ when they really bow down to the philosophy of Ayn Rand and the golden idol of the free market to be placed at the center of all other things. They preach of an American exceptionalism blessed by a Christian God, and call for America to be a shining city on a hill which can be an example to the entire world. Yet their exceptionalism isn’t based on our country being moral the way Jesus would have understood it, but moral the way Rand and the Social Darwinists of the 1880s and ’90s would have understood it: whoever gets rich deserves to be, and whoever is poor is a leech on society. Their vision of America is shining because of the gold the wealthy among us possess, not because our society as a whole is built on morality.

John Winthrop, the Puritan leader whose “city on a hill” quote inspired generations of Americans ever since to see our country as a model for other nations, did not understand America as a place built on greed and individualism, but a place built on community and looking out for each other. His other most famous quote went like this:

 ”For this end, we must be knit together in this work as one man, we must entertain each other in brotherly affection, we must be willing to abridge our selves of our superfluities for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other, make others’ conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor, and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, our community as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, the Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us, as His own people and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness, and truth then formerly we have been acquainted with.

If that doesn’t sound much like Rand’s philosophy, it is because it is pretty much the exact opposite of it. 

American exceptionalism: the reality-based version

I do share one thing with conservatives: I too believe in an American exceptionalism, that we should be a shining city on a hill. I don’t think we are specially blessed or looked after by God — if there is a God, we would have lost any special blessing privileges because of the genocide of Native Americans and allowing slavery and Jim Crow to last almost 350 years.”

With Ron Paul being the flavor of the year for so many OC conservatives, I have to wonder how their views mesh with those of the Savior’s.  Meanwhile, enjoy the YouTube video below. Meanwhile, I breathlessly await the sequel to last year’s hugheBomb, “Atlas Sucked,” er, “Atlas Shrugged.”

 

 

  40 comments for “Jesus Christ or Ayn Rand: Pick One, Conservatives

  1. Phil
    May 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Rand ended up on Medicare.

    • junior
      May 18, 2012 at 6:24 am

      There was no hypocrisy in Rand’s recouping the contributions she had been forced to make to those programs. She never maintained that one should surrender expropriated property to the State. She publicly announced that opponents of such programs should recoup their forced contributions – and she did so. That is consistent with her philosophy.

  2. May 17, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Democrat Congress-woman Marcy Kaptur (OH 9th) the author of HR 1489, (to reinstate Glass-Steagall) is the opposite of Ayn Rand, John Campbell, and Obama.

    There is no mention of reinstating Glass-Steagall on Campbell’s opponent’s web site, Democrat, Suykee Kang, http://kangforcongress.com/ The other Republican in the race John Webb http://johnwebb2012.net/ is the protest vote.

    “Kaptur Floor Speech Hits Greenspan, Ayn Rand, and Repeal of Glass Steagall”
    http://larouchepac.com/node/18515

  3. junior
    May 18, 2012 at 6:39 am

    It is irrelevant to me if Ayn Rand believed in God or not. That is the ultimate red herring argument.

    • Steve
      May 18, 2012 at 8:36 am

      Do you believe, as Ayn Rand did, that a person’s endeavors should be based purely on self-interest?

      • junior
        May 18, 2012 at 11:32 am

        Put me down as 85 – 90% in agreement with Ayn Rand’s social economic views Steve.

      • junior
        May 18, 2012 at 11:49 am

        Ayn Rand believed in reasoned self interest – not “pure” self interest. And charity was okay with her – but not government redistribution of wealth.

        • Steve
          May 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm

          Let’s ask the same question another way, according to Rand’s own Objectivist philosophy…

          Do you believe that the moral purpose of a person’s life should be the pursuit of one’s own happiness (self-interest)?

          • junior
            May 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

            I will tell you this much Steve – the moral purpose of my life does NOT involve letting government hijack moral authoity.

            • Steve
              May 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

              Well THAT’S a very convenient dodge of the question. Well done!

            • Steve
              May 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm

              I might add that Rand’s laissez-faire economic philosophy stems directly from her personal philosophy…the one about self-interest. In other words, a corporation’s self-interest matters above all else, including the interests of its workers and the community that surrounds the company. Her economic and personal philosophies are one and the same. Every time I’ve pressed a conservative about her personal philosophy, they bail out.

  4. junior
    May 18, 2012 at 11:42 am

    “Too often , conservatives wear their faith on their sleeve while coveting values that run completely opposite of Christ’s teachings.”

    Show me where in Christ’s teachings that he says that it is the job of government to redistribute wealth.

    • Steve
      May 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Junior,

      Check out the income trends in the link below. Tell us if you think these trends, if they continue unabated, are a good thing for the country.

      If you think that these trends could have a negative effect on the country, then tell us which, if any, entity is positioned to change these trends. Who, or what, can do anything about it?

      http://cbo.gov/publication/42729

      • junior
        May 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm

        Confiscatory taxes instituted by perverted goverment policy are not the way to achieve economic prosperity for the many.

        • Steve
          May 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm

          I know, I know…we should try something like trickle down.

          Tried it…doesn’t work. The Oligarchs simply can’t police themselves.

      • May 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm

        Why do you use data ending in 2007?

        Here is something from 2009, from the Huffington Post
        “Why is Obama Championing Bush’s Financial Wrecking Crew?” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-k-black/why-is-obama-championing_b_367540.html

        From yesterday, May 17, 2012 • 8:12AM
        “JP Morgan/Chase Fiasco Brings Roars for Glass-Steagall”
        http://larouchepac.com/node/22717

        I’m Robert Lauten the ‘Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act’ candidate for US Senate.
        http://www.robertlautenforussenate2012.com

        • Steve
          May 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm

          I’d LOVE to see Glass-Steagall reinstated…but try convincing all the corporatists in DC and their supporters like Junior of that!

        • Steve
          May 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm

          And as for the data cited ending in 2007, do you really think the income trends indicated have reversed since 2007?

    • Dr. Surf
      June 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      It’s the church’s job!! And I think that was made pretty clear in the Gospels. Until church going conservatives do their job, I guarantee there will be a long line of liberal do-gooders (read co-addicts) lining up to “save” people who don’t really need help. The people who do need help will stand behind Jesus on the Judgement Day when He tells these right-wing so called Christians, “I was hungry and you did not feed me…” Ayn Rand won’t be there to bail them out.

  5. junior
    May 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Pilgrims’ Governor, William Bradford, described the folly of embracing the theory of collectivism:

    “The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.

    “For this community was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labor and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors everything else, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery ..”

    Having learned a valuable lesson about human nature, the Pilgrims established a new economic system that encouraged and rewarded personal initiative. Instead of a collectivist labor force, each family was given a plot of land on which to grow their own crops. Soon, each family was pulling its own weight. In fact, the harvest was so bountiful that the Pilgrims were able to trade with local Indians, and the colony prospered. Bradford reflected on the success of this capitalist approach to private labor:

    “They had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression”. By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the faces of things were changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. Indeed, their bounty was so great, that they had enough to not only trade among themselves but also with the neighboring Indians in the forest.”

    • Steve
      May 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      Who said anything about embracing collectivism. NOW who’s introducing red-herrings?

      It’s about balance. And at this point, the balance is trending in a particular direction, as highlighted by the CBO chart my previous comment. Again I ask, is that trend sustainable? Is it a good thing for this country?

      Balance. Fairness. A just society. Is that so difficult to understand? You conservatives always have to paint things in black & white…if a person doesn’t embrace Objectivism, that MUST mean that they embrace Collectivism.

      • junior
        May 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm

        Dan C. quoted from an article which purported that Pilgrim John Winthrop espoused socialist/collectivist sentiments. I was countering that statement with quotes from a Pilgrim which espoused more individualistic (and objectivist) sentiments.

    • Steve
      May 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Oh and by the way, who, or what, gave each of those families in your story “a plot of land”?? Was that a “government” that did that?

      • junior
        May 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm

        That reminds me – where the hell is my forty acers and a mule?

  6. junior
    May 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Steve said: “Do you believe that the moral purpose of a person’s life should be the pursuit of one’s own happiness ..”

    That is what the signers of The Declaration of Indepence believed.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    I will stand with them – thank you.

    • Steve
      May 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      And what did the Founders believe brings a person happiness?

      Was it to be dominated by the pursuit of self-interest?

      • junior
        May 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm

        You are the one who equated happiness with self interest.

        • Steve
          May 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm

          No, Rand is the one who does that.

          I prefer this statement from John Adams;

          “If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind whom should we serve?”

          Rand would have thought Adams a fool.

  7. junior
    May 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Steve,

    A corporations, or anyone’s, self interest does NOT matter above all else. I challenge you to find those words in AR’s writings.

    • Steve
      May 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      And I quote…

      “Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.”

      Here’s another dandy, which contradicts your earlier comment about “charity”…

      “If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.”

      Again, if you look at Rand’s economic philosophy, it is based on EXACTLY the same premises that lie behind her personal philosophy. There is to be no force weighing on the desires and wishes of either the individual, or the corporation.

      Did she use those exact words? No. But I’d like to hear your case refuting my argument. Saying that Rand didn’t use those words doesn’t cut it.

      • Steve
        May 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm

        *allow me to qualify one statement…

        “…there is to be VERY LITTLE force weighing on…”

        • junior
          May 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm

          there is to be reasonable and not stultifying force

          • Steve
            May 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm

            Oh, you mean that there are shades of grey in this debate and that it’s not all so simplistic as some of the rhetoric on an issue like, say, government regulations would suggest?

      • junior
        May 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm

        Substitute the word “only” with “should be the primary”

        Insert the words “government mandated” between the words of and altruism and I agree with Rand.

        I told you that I was in support of only 85-90 percent of Rand.

        • Steve
          May 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm

          Unfortunately, Rand did not insert those words into her statement.

          Do you normally go around changing what someone has said so that you can say that you agree with them?

          • junior
            May 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm

            I told you that I agree with 85-90 percent of Rand. Do you agree 100 percent with Karl?

            • Steve
              May 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm

              I’m not a Marxist, so the answer to that would be no.

  8. junior
    May 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Steve – What do you mean that her economic and personal philosophies are one and the same – of course they are. What is the problem?

    Are you saying that because I accept her social/economic philosophy that I MUST accept her non-religious philosophy? That is bogus dude.

  9. TeaBags
    May 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    So, is there a reason Junior never addresses the point of the article? I see that you are picking which parts of her philosophy you agree with, and at times putting your own words in just to make your point. But why not address the point the article makes, that conservatives say they share the beliefs of two individuals whose views are completely inconsistent. Perhaps it’s because you don’t want to admit yet another conservative position makes no sense.
    And why all the harping on redistribution of wealth? Platitudes are great and all but since when did asking someone to pay its share of taxes redistribution of wealth? Or even to stop avoiding paying taxes via tax shelters overseas? It’s pretty anti American in my view to avoid paying your share buddy but perhaps you would like to explain how what Mittens and other capitalists do is patriotic.

  10. junior
    June 4, 2012 at 9:30 am

    “.. why not address the point the article makes, that conservatives say they share the beliefs of two individuals whose views are completely inconsistent.”

    JC did not have an governmental social economonic philosophy. An inconsistency cannot exist where there is no position taken.

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