Both I right here yesterday (I'm a Rand fan and historian, but not a full-fledged Objectivist) and Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic have been counseling the world of pundits and political professionals that it doesn't make a lot of sense to lay the burden (or the benefits) of Ayn Rand on Paul Ryan. But we are just outsiders looking in. Let's let the true believers at the Objectivist Standard lay out for you as well why Ryan does not equal Rand:
Politically, whereas Rand was a proud defender of pure, laissez-faire capitalism, Ryan supports a mixture of freedom and government controls—including a robust welfare state. Here are but a few of the political differences between Ryan and Rand:
- Ryan wants to "save and strengthen Medicare," protect Social Security, and provide a "minimum standard of living" (i.e., welfare). Rand advocated phasing out all such programs and ultimately abolishing the welfare state.
- Ryan wants to outlaw abortion on religious grounds. Rand recognized a woman's right to abortion and condemned those who deny this right.
- Ryan supported the bank and auto bailouts. Rand opposed forced redistribution of wealth in all circumstances.
- Ryan wants to slow the growth of government spending. Rand advocatedradical cuts in government spending with the ultimate goal of reducing government to only the courts, the military, and the police.
As a consequence of his basic philosophic beliefs, Ryan's political views are radically opposed to those of Rand.
Will this pre-empt the SuperPAC ads undoubtedly in development right now trying to scare people off the Republican ticket with quotes from, or gross misrepresentations of, Ayn Rand? Probably not. But now you know better.