The Right’s Randian Psychosis Spells Doom for All But the Wealthiest Americans

As a country, the concept of community generally means that the intent, resources, and needs are common and define the identity of participants and their degree of cohesiveness.  An integral part of community is centralized governance that serves all the people equally and it requires  shared sacrifice that gives a population a cause to coalesce around to guarantee the needs of all the people are met. For the past 30 years,  Republicans have portrayed the concept of government that meets the needs of all the people as overreaching and an intrusion into people’s personal lives, and they methodically attempted to eliminate government to replace it with a plutocracy to serve the needs of the wealthy.

The Republican “big government” mantra is a ruse to eliminate programs and agencies that serve all Americans, and throughout the Republican presidential primary all of the candidates have alluded to the various departments they will eradicate if they are elected. Their goal is not fiscal conservatism or reining in the nation’s deficit, but transferring tax dollars from education, programs for the poor, Social Security, Medicare, and consumer protection agencies to the wealthy as a reward for being successful. Indeed, the Republican frontrunners intend to dismantle as much of the government as possible and increase the nation’s debt with entitlements for the wealthy and corporations while they remove protections every American pays for whether they are employed or not.

It is unfathomable that presidential candidates are running on eliminating government agencies every American depends on, and yet they are unapologetic in their drive to institute libertarian principles founded on Randian ideology that government exists to fund the military, law enforcement and courts. In an interview, Willard Romney revealed that there are government agencies and programs he will eliminate if elected, but he refused to elaborate because he is afraid voters will not support his bid for the presidency. However, his endorsement of Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget portends that any program that does not enrich the wealthy is going to be drastically cut, privatized, or eliminated. Ryan, like Romney and Santorum, may claim to be Republicans and fiscal conservatives, but in truth they are hardline Libertarians with one goal in mind; reward the wealthy.

It is no coincidence that Paul Ryan’s budget reflects the Ayn Rand ideology that the poor are losers and the wealthy are winners who must be protected at all costs. The beginnings of the tea party was a protestation that President Obama was taking money from the virtuous and successful and giving it to the poor who were unemployed, uninsured, and bankrupt. This is the impetus behind Ryan’s budget and Romney’s grand economic plan. Their goal is not diminishing the gap between government expenses and revenue, but the Ayn Rand ideology that when “government punishes the strong (wealthy) to reward the weak (not wealthy), government collapses.” However, there is a problem with that philosophy because besides hurting the poor to enrich the wealthy, Ryan’s budget will accomplish the same results as the Bush-Republican economic policy.

The Bush-era policy of tax cuts for the wealthy, war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Medicare prescription plan all increased the deficit. Ryan’s plan, and Romney’s as well, also includes repealing the financial reform bill and cutting taxes by 10% for the wealthiest 1%. It is class warfare of the highest order and it intends to punish the losers (poor) to reward the winners (wealthy) regardless if Republicans eliminate critical departments of education, EPA, and Commerce. There are immediate cuts to Medicaid, Pell Grants, food stamps, and low-income housing that reflects Ayn Rand’s ideology that capitalism and free enterprise unencumbered by regulatory agencies are crucial elements of rewarding the wealthy. It is an immoral ideology that informs the character of Republican philosophy and spells doom for all but the wealthiest Americans.  Romney has asked the rhetorical question, “what kind of America do we aspire to” on several occasions, and his answer is represented in his views that slashing social programs and eliminating entire government agencies to reward the wealthy is not an America based on community, but on oligarchy.

Republicans have demonstrated their vision for America is “every man for himself” and the concept of community does not figure in their plans for this country. They have followed Ayn Rand’s basic tenet that “government is inherently negative” and it should exist to fund the military and law enforcement to protect the wealthy’s assets from the poor. The notion of no regulations, public schools and hospitals, Social Security, maintained roads, consumer protections, or Medicare has been championed by Republicans and it will leave this country in ruins. It is interesting that Libertarian ideology trumpets unrestricted free enterprise and capitalism as the Founding Fathers’ intention, but those words are not in the Constitution and if the founders thought free market capitalism was so crucial to the nation’s success, they would have iterated it throughout the Constitution.

The entire Republican ideology can be summed up in one phrase; “the virtue of selfishness and greed” and they are hell-bent on pursuing that simple premise by eliminating any government program, department, or agency that instills a sense of community and shared sacrifice. It is “a question of fundamental moral values as defined by our national traditions” and sense of community, or the virtues of greed, free market capitalism, and Republican libertarianism. If Americans examine their own core values, the choice is simple; our national community or Ryan and Romney’s Ayn Rand ideology of rewarding the wealthy while punishing the poor. Republicans have chosen to reject our national community.

 

19 Replies to “The Right’s Randian Psychosis Spells Doom for All But the Wealthiest Americans”

  1. The Randian “philosophy” appeals to people who are so narcissistic and self-absorbed that they can’t look past their noses to see that any long-term success in this country has been a direct result of shared sacrifice and the fact that we all subsidize one another in a stable, cohesive society. People with that mindset whine about things like birth control for women, saying they don’t want to have to pay for the alleged “promiscuity” of some women. Apparently, it escapes them that if birth control didn’t exist, they would be paying infinitely more for unwanted and abused kids born as the result of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. In addition, they would be paying a lot more costs that would result from more of the female ailments that birth control pills also treat. This is the kind of attitude that is against the health care reform bill, which is significantly beneficial to women. The rest of the world has to be shaking its collective heads in disbelief at the hard right’s bizarre notion of “freedom,” which really means lack of concern for the well-being of millions of one’s fellow Americans.

  2. Of course, the funny thing is, RAND didn’t follow her own philosophy. As she got dumped, when she got older and ill, and her own personality drove away any but ‘devotees’, who care more about the image than the person… she ended up using both Social Security AND Medicare.

  3. Your post is a good example of how reality can set in for Randian devotees when they are down and out and in need of some of the very “socialist” programs they love to demonize.

  4. Factcheck.org says that under the Ryan plan people making 1 million plus will receive on average a tax cut of 265000 dollars. I’m not sure but is this on top of the Bush taxcuts that are already in place? We talk about how Communism doesn’t work. How greed eventually rots the system from the top down, and pushes the people into crushing poverty with no chance to improve their station. Well what the hell is this!? More and more wealth is being transferred upward. Trickle down economics might have worked (badly) before, but with companies shifting their money out of communities and in many cases offshore, there’s nothing left to trickle down! to my knowledge there was wealthy people during the Clinton years. What would be so bad about going back to those tax cuts?

  5. Well, no, they need not realize that. The women (and girls) can just be sick until they die; born babies can be abandoned to an ugly death (classicly in sewers and public privies, lately in garbage cans, dumpsters, and public restrooms) once they have ceased to be of use for punishing their mothers’ sins through pregnancy and childbirth and functioning as a stigma of the mother’s “impurity”. Ayn Rand, I’d point out, believed rape was quite fine so long as the man was using it to claim his “property”; in “The Fountainhead”, the “hero” does exactly that in the finest old tradition of a robber baron advancing himself by “stealing an heiress”. I suspect that has a lot to do with the push to decriminalize rape, too.

  6. I have again forced myself to read “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein. It’s hard reading, not because I disagree with her (I don’t) but because it is hard to take in so much promise blighted and so many lives destroyed through the relentless application of the Rand/Frieman doctrine of parvicidal cruelty. It makes me sick, how the bastards always seem to win…exactly because most people can’t believe anyone would resort to that kind of singlehearted malice, mendacity, and Machiavellianism. These people are as deadly as Hitler and far more subtle. They are the true subversives, boring from within; the true seditors and traitors, just skirting the narrow definitions of the law as limited by the Constitution. How they smirk and deflect accusations! I have been violent three times in my adult life, but one of those times was rubberhosing a liar. Even in old age, the urge is still with me.

    Ayn Rand herself had a lovely niece, who, when invited to speak by Randgroupies, always informed them Aunt Ayn was nuts. They didn’t want to hear it. No one has come out and said Uncle Miltie was nuts, and under McNaughton, he wasn’t. He was merely a malignant narcissist and a sadistic psychopath, but, dead as he is, he is still ruining lives.

  7. Tragically, Jay Gould seems to have been dead on the money:

    “I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half.”

  8. “The Randian “philosophy” appeals to people who are so narcissistic and self-absorbed that they can’t look past their noses to see that any long-term success in this country has been a direct result of shared sacrifice and the fact that we all subsidize one another in a stable, cohesive society.”

    Not in my experience, Anne. Your description applies to the predatory use of Rand’s socio-pathology for profit, but it fails to describe those who become enamored of it. When I first read “Atlas Shrugged” in 1966, as a psych student at UCLA, I wrote: “Penis-envisous Russian peasant bitch.” As politically incorrect as that reads today, I’d add only one word from my intervening almost half century of experience with Objectivism. That is “hypocrite.”

    “Atlas Shrugged” shrugged is a battered woman’s myth — it’s a weak woman’s illusion of what a strong man should be. As I observed, later in the 1960s: “I don’t see anyone who is enthusiastic about Ayn Rand’s mythology for more than a month, who isn’t a wimp.”

    Sadly, America, in great part, has become a nation of such wimps. It remains to be seen whether Randism becomes the dominant and defining paradigm for 21st century American politics. This election cycle, one of the two political parties has thrown up a field composed entirely of blustering, loose-lipped chicken-hawks whose neo-con pretensions make them demonstrably unfit to lead a free nation through it’s increasingly competitive place in a complex world; whose economic policies are, by design, an attempt to subjugate those who work to those who move capital and whose social policies are a blatant attempt to coordinate the most ignorant, racist and reactionary forces into a crusade against the general liberty of citizens.

    “Keep your dirty government hands away from my Medicare.”
    “The fetus is a person, with more rights than the vehicle that bares it.”
    “My tax-plan will restore fairness to the American tax-code and competitive strength to the economy.”
    “Labor Unions are the enemies of working Americans.”
    “Health care is an attack on Liberty — vaginal probes are not.”
    “I have the right to shoot a kid who attacks me for stalking him.
    “War is Peace.”

    We’ll see…jt

  9. Actually, I’m also describing the everyday people who fall for the Randian philosophy. The predatory folks have plenty of Americans who eagerly carry water for the very people who would drown them. That includes people who are fighting against the health care reform bill, not taking into account that it would benefit them. It also includes those who swallow the nonsense that we don’t need regulations in order to establish accountability, and those who lack knowledge of the history of how unions have benefited all of us while bashing unions in 2012. And let’s not even get started on the women who support the state-level assaults on women’s reproductive health and rights in states like Arizona, Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, to name a few. The predators succeed when they persuade everyday people to vote against their own best interests.

  10. Well, they do it by conveying, “If you join us in disenfranchising those dirty little others, you’ll be one wth Us [in your fantasies]”

  11. Communism did work. Unfortunately, it was undermined by $$$. Lots of it. Capitalism did away with it by making it look ugly and scary. The corporations can’t privatize and own the whole world and all its resources until capitalism existed everywhere.

  12. Objectivism is just another face of fascism. The United States did not deal with American Nazi sympathizers and corporations (like IBM) who funded Hitler and his pals. Now they are getting their revenge. The United States will become a fascist theocratic state, perpetrate the worse holocaust in human history and then get nuked out of existence.

  13. Just this morning on San Francisco RightWing KSFO-Talk-Radio…They were ‘bashing’ Social Security. How doing away with it would be so much more financially rewarding…if people could make their own personal investments.
    As the Right takes over and blankets our airwaves…these kinds of ‘Talking-Points’ are being fed constantly. Without the ‘Fairness Doctrine’…which Reagan removed…we are at a great loss to inform the people of the truth!

  14. Dude WTF?? almost everyone posting on this site agrees that Randian style unfettered capitalism, and big business merging with government, leads to fascism… but you’re trying to say Communism is a good thing? Man, as long as do my part and pay my fair share in taxes, I should be able to open up my own bookstore or art gallery and not have some entity say it can’t be mine, because I’ve GOT TO share it with the state.

    It is the hybrid that works…. meaning social and public programs within a Capitalistic framework. Northern Europe is a proof of this and a stunning success.

  15. If you wanted to be still more offensive, you could call her a “penis-envious Russian Jew bitch”- and I beg the pardon of some very dear, departed shades. Women in Russia, Jews in Russia, and particularly Jewish women in Russia, produced some of the most stellar intellects around- and I was privileged to know one. Nonetheless, the “Black Hundred” mentality in Russia despised both women and Jews, and though some excelled by defying the stereotypes, there were others, like Ayn Rand, who derived a vicarious (and wholly illusory) sense of power by siding with their oppressors against their own group, and being quite vicious about it, too. We can see it these days in the Schlaflys and the Bachmanns, but it is both more dangerous and more pathetic in someone genuinely intelligent. One can deny one’s Judaism, I suppose, but Ms. Rand must have had a rude reminder of the other every time she went to the toilet. And yes, if she believed that “anatomy is destiny”, she would have been penis-envious.

  16. When it comes to incite into anti-Semitism I have had the lifelong advantage of being a Jew with an Italian last name… so maybe I skipped that stereotypical dove-tail for personal reasons. But, it is true she was from a Jewish family. what Ayn Rand, actually, was is very complex, but my fixation is less on the writer and more on those who idolize her defects.

  17. The most world famous of Russian Jewish female intellectuals was, of course, Golda Meir, born in Kiev in what was then the Russian Empire. The most stellar intellect I was ever privileged to know personally was Professor Eva Andrusier Friedl, born in Odessa in 1902, who taught at the University of Miami from the 1940’s to the 1960’s and who had lived the greatest historical events of the 20’th Century and understood them all. In a just world, she would have been secretary general of the U.N. Both these women did far nobler things with their lives than write evil novels.

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