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View Diary: 'Pestered' about his racist newsletters, Ron Paul walks out of CNN interview. Still won't come clean (282 comments)

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  •  Many young men were drawn to "the collective" (6+ / 0-)

    Digby references an article on the seduction of youth to the Ayn Rand philosophy:
    Digby - 12/22/2011 11:00:00 PM

    The important point in all that is the one in which the 14 year old Nathan says that he was "hyponotized" and that Rand's novels made him feel like a hero. That's the key to Rand's influence: the people who organize their lives around Rand's overwrought philosophy are emotional adolescents and the pretense of "rationality" in her books is little more than a justification for youthful narcissism. Her own life bears this out as does the application of Randism to actual policy.
    How Ayn Rand Seduced Generations of Young Men and Helped Make the U.S. Into a Selfish, Greedy Nation - December 15, 2011
    Rand’s impact has been widespread and deep. At the iceberg’s visible tip is the influence she’s had over major political figures who have shaped American society. In the 1950s, Ayn Rand read aloud drafts of what was later to become Atlas Shrugged to her “Collective,” Rand’s ironic nickname for her inner circle of young individualists, which included Alan Greenspan, who would serve as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board from 1987 to 2006.

    In 1966, Ronald Reagan wrote in a personal letter, “Am an admirer of Ayn Rand.” Today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) credits Rand for inspiring him to go into politics, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) calls Atlas Shrugged his “foundation book.” Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) says Ayn Rand had a major influence on him, and his son Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is an even bigger fan. A short list of other Rand fans includes Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Christopher Cox, chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission in George W. Bush’s second administration; and former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford. - emphasis added

    Ayn Rands "view" was so baby crib simplistic with hard discernible lines/rules, it was attractive to many young men, who like myself knew very little and accepted this simplicity as more honest because it was uncomplicated by the reality outside of her carefully crafted world.

    Then we (progressives) grew up and climbed out of our crib to go exploring. Life was about alot more than legalizing pot & not getting drafted into Vietnam.

    •  Spot on comment (4+ / 0-)

      and really important. There is such an arc between that allure of Ayn Rand and Ron Paul. I remember even when I was young -- in my teens -- knowing so many people who were "into" Ayn Rand, and thinking that was very sophisticated myself. Except that ethically, her value system was way off for me: few things were more abhorrent to me than that notion of narcissism, and I guess maybe I was too much of a Romantic to be a rationalist. Still, I remember that there was a mystique surrounding her writing, one which was repugnant to me once I read further into it. And it's sad and just embarrassing all around that any grown up would still find her influential at all.

      In my mind, she's like Anton LaVey or someone in that sense!

    •  what Digby said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."

      by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 07:30:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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