Collectivists of Convenience

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly
Folks who subsist on greed gotta lie
Ca-an’t stop
Lovin’ that Rand o’ mine!

Of course you know that Rep. Paul D. Ryan is currently the running mate of Gov. Willard “Mitt” Romney, who is contending to be President of the United States, technically considered the highest office in the land. You probably also know that he authored the Ryan Plan, which saves every bit as much federal money as President Obama’s budget proposals with the additional benefit of siphoning billions from senior citizens and other non-productive drones straight up to the good-lookin’ heroes at the top of the food chain, who surely will put it to use creating jobs for Americans.

You could call it “Trickle-Up Economics,” but really it’s more of a flood. You could call it social Darwinism, except that Darwin’s theories regarded adaptive evolution over time, not pumping up next quarter’s numbers by laying off a township. You could call it Objectivism if that word actually meant anything.

In 2005, Rep. Ryan addressed a gathering of Ayn Rand fetishists, collectively known as the Atlas Society. In his remarks, Rep. Ryan described Social Security and Medicare as “collectivist” and “socialist” plans (which is accurate; these are mutual risk pools enacted to care for seniors). He pledged to soft-sell the notion of privatization to Democrats until he could get all Americans — including, presumably, those well beyond their working and investing years — to individually bootstrap their own finances.

In Ryan’s vision of utopia, you sink or swim alone.

Just so we’re clear on the stakes here, that would include cancer patients, children born with disabilities, elderly retirees, and broken veterans, all of whom need to get off their asses and self-motivate. And orphans — let’s not forget the orphans.

Paul Ryan lost his 55 year-old father to a heart attack at age 16. That’s a tough deal for anyone, but the teen responded proficiently. He socked away his Social Security benefits to help pay for college. The young Mr. Ryan matriculated at Miami U., an 85 percent Caucasian school that has birthed more fraternities than any other college in America (Mr. Ryan was himself a Delta Tau Delta brother). Now he’s running for Vice President of the United States as a darling of the anti-tax Tea Party.

Even for prosperous families like the Ryans, sometimes collectivism works for the good. Of course, a lesser family might have squandered that federal payout on food and rent, but Ryan made the best of the horror of state money.

The heroine of Objectivists is Ayn Rand. A non-observant Jewish socialist as a youth, she moved toward individualism and atheism after suffering at the hands of Bolsheviks. Becoming a lifelong activist against every form of collectivism, she went so far as to idolize the self-interested drive of child murderer William Edward Hickman, whom she identified as a Nietzschean Superman.

And then Ayn Rand got older. After a lifetime of chain smoking, she developed lung cancer. As the very fountainhead of Objectivism, she relied on no one else to help her through this crisis, courageously grappling with her health issues utilizing only her own talents, willpower and personal savings.

image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Hah! Just kidding.

She scurried straight for the federal trough, of course. From her writing retirement in 1974 until her death in 1982, Ms. Rand collected a Social Security check every month and was insured for her health by Medicare. Which is to say that she drew from a pair of socialistic collectives that her protégé, Social Security beneficiary Paul Ryan, would eliminate in her name.

Speaking of her name, Ms. Rand dispensed with it and applied for payments under the name “Ann O’Connor.” Based on her oft-cuckolded husband’s surname, the new handle was intended to conceal her dole award.

Rand has been Rep. Ryan’s favorite archetype for years. You could judge that based on his personal avowals, on speeches where he’s lauded her brilliant influence on capitalism, on his having required interns to read her novel Atlas Shrugged…or you could do what reporters do: follow the money. Just like his leading lady, Rep. Ryan took the money when the money was there to take.

Based on actions that speak louder than even Ryan’s class warrior rhetoric, he believes that you advantage yourself by any means available, whether or not you’d allow that same advantage to others. When you consider yourself more evolved than your fellow man, that’s not just practical. It’s a moral imperative — if you don’t get yours, the low people may advance into polite society. Where would we be then?

Getting down — in an objective way — to brass tacks, here are your takeaways:

If you believe in dispossessing poorer citizens of the public money you are willing to take and spend on yourself, you may want to look into  Objectivism.

If you encourage public shaming of welfare recipients while concealing the gifts that you personally extract from the public weal, you might be an Objectivist already.

And if you can glibly reconcile the cognitive dissonance caused by juxtaposing “values voter” social conservatism with fawning idolatry of an atheist who sneered at traditional families, then congratulations!  America’s Tea Party has a reserved parking spot for you.

With apologies to George Orwell: all pigs are piggy, but some pigs are more piggy than others.

And with further apologies to E.B. White, Paul Ryan is some pig.


  1. superb writing! deserves to go national


  3. Worthy of, I think. Well done piece.

  4. Let us not forget that Ayn’s Objectivism was also the crucible for Levey Satanism.

    Satanism and Objectivism

    I am generally opposed to philosophy that allow people who already feel disconnected from society to justify becoming more disconnected from society. It doesn’t matter if they are Satanist or Capitalists.

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