Over the past 24 hours, the left blogosphere is filled with analysis of Paul Ryan’s record and his love of Ayn Rand.
Ryan asserts it is Rand’s kind of thinking that we need now that Obama is President.
Let’s listen to the critique of the Rand philosophy from the sainted William Buckley.
Here is a copy of that review that Buckley amusingly references. [That this is on freerepublic adds to the problem facing Ryan’s love of Rand.]
Here is the paragraph that Buckley references. [The reference to the dollar sign refers to the last passage of the book when one of the heroes traces a dollar sign in the air and not (as Chambers noted) the Cross.]
The embarrassing similarities between Hitler’s National Socialism and Stalin’s brand of Communism are familiar. For the world, as seen in materialist view from the Left. The question becomes chiefly: who is to run that world in whose interests, or perhaps, at best, who can run it more efficiently?
Something of this implication is fixed in the book’s dictatorial tone, which is much its most striking feature. Out of a lifetime of reading, I can recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained. Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal. In addition, the mind, which finds this one natural to it, shares other characteristics of its type. 1) It consistently mistakes raw force for strength, and the rawer the force, the more reverent the posture of the mind before it. 2) It supposes itself to be the bringer of a final revelation. Therefore, resistance to the Message cannot be tolerated because disagreement can never be merely honest, prudent or just humanly fallible. Dissent from revelation so final (because, the author would say, so reasonable) can only be willfully wicked. There are ways of dealing with such wickedness, and, in fact, right reason itself enjoins them. From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: ” To the gas chambers – go!” The same inflexibly self-righteous stance results, too (in the total absence of any saving humor), in odd extravagances of inflection and gesture – that Dollar Sign, for example. At first, we try to tell ourselves that these are just lapses, that this mind has, somehow, mislaid the discriminating knack that most of us pray will warn us in time of the differences between what is effective and firm, and what is wildly grotesque and excessive. Soon we suspect something worse. We suspect that this mind finds, precisely in extravagance, some exalting merit; feels a surging release of power and passion precisely in smashing up the house. A tornado might feel this way, or Carrie Nation.
And, this is the kind of thinking Ryan asserts we need today: a rigid philosophy that leads to a final solution to those who resist.
Remember these are the words from saints of the Respectable Right and not from dirty, smelly hippies of the disreputable Left.