A party with a real issue problem finds extremism a useful ally especially when the real crunch of an election is in the offing. It must convert the political ideas already in the mainstream nto votes. Nothing else is tangible than the numbers. It was so with the US elections in 1964 when the US senator from Arizona chose to take on Lyndon Johnson. For this occasion what Barry Goldwater did was to galvanize southern and western Republican support while neglecting the industrial northern states. What good or reasonable was to play off the old bogey a century later? But the GOP quietly swallowed it since the North-South divide resonated still. Thus the Republican party by elevating extremism to the level of serious discussion made the old bad ideas morph into new areas. This is what happened when Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate in 2012. It was a sign that Ayn Rand extremism was now respectable in the Republican Party and a continuation of the radicalization process begun much earlier. What was the extremism in the philosophy of Ayn Rand that gave the party a new lease?
Remember we are dealing with the times in which the richest 1% of Americans had 40% of the nation’s wealth and by offshore tax loopholes the Fat cats were avoiding tax to the states and so on.
Now what Ayn Rand’s philosophy amounted to this: the greatest good a society can nurture is a sociopath whose go-getter, get rich at any means made the nations move with purpose. As political ideology it in a way laid the axe at the base of a political community as a meaningful entity. A more telling commentary of the distaste shown by the right-wing elites for the working poor cannot be drawn than in Romney’s 47 percent comment. It was disastrous error for Mitt and it’s impulse came from Randism that the right-wingers had embraced as their Bible.
As Rogers at Kung Fu Monkey wrote in Ephemera 2009 (7) 03/19/2009: There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and [Ayn Rand’s] Atlas Shrugged.
In order to trace Ayn Rand’s philosophical justification for this kind of attitude one need to go to her background. ‘ Ayn Rand, in her notebooks, worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of “ideal man” that Rand promoted in her more famous books — ideas which were later picked up on and put into play by major right-wing figures of the past half decade, including the key architects of America’s most recent economic catastrophe — former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and SEC Commissioner Chris Cox — along with other notable right-wing Republicans such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Rep. Paul Ryan, and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.
The loudest of all the Republicans, right-wing attack-dog pundits and the Teabagger mobs fighting to kill health care reform and eviscerate “entitlement programs” increasingly hold up Ayn Rand as their guru. Sales of her books have soared in the past couple of years; one poll ranked “Atlas Shrugged” as the second most influential book of the 20th century, after The Bible
Rand’s 1974 speech at the United States Military Academy at West Point was entitled, “Philosophy — Who Needs It.” Notice that this title is not posing a question. Rand is telling you who needs philosophy: you do, and the students at West Point need it — in a pitched battle against ignorance, relativism, ideology, and absurdity that is every bit as vital as the one that these soldiers may one day wage with arms.
In Paul Kidder’s words, “But I must confess that I am somewhat sheepishly ungrateful for what Rand hath wrought. Her watchwords are “reason,” “logic,” and “objectivity,” but when I scrutinize the ideas for which she has been most influential — her ideas on political economy — I find that they are logically fallacious to the point of unreason.”
The fallacy that is at the heart of Rand’s political-economic philosophy is the fallacy of mistaking a necessary condition for a sufficient condition. This is elementary logic. A necessary condition is something that is needed in order to make something else happen. A plant must have water, for example, in order to thrive. But a necessary condition is not the same as a sufficient condition — that is, something that provides everything needed for something else to happen. Water is not sufficient to make a plant thrive. Other ingredients are needed, like soil and sunlight.
Ayn Rand’s philosophy is above all a defense of the entrepreneur. The economic value of goods and services that we find on the market is created by entrepreneurs — people who had the idea, pursued the vision, marshaled the resources, managed production, and shepherded products to market. Which is more important in a three legged stool: capital, labor and technology?
How a species rephrase wisdom and power of nature is common shared experience. Man needs as much as birds or trees.
Plants convert necessary minerals from the soil and earthworms also are necessary players. Man may not ingest directly but via plants.
Interactions between species can lead to the evolution of interspecific non-verbal communication. Nature is for all species to thrive.
When Nature has created such a level playing field how can man claim any special claim?
Randian objectivism I find flawed. People who subscribe to it are those who take reality selectively: so has ostrich its objectivity.
Ack: The simplistic flaw in Ayn Rand’s philosophy- Paul Kidder Aug27,’12-http//:crosscut.com/politics)