30 January 2012

Ayn Rand be my God

I created this image for use elsewhere, but I thought it might be a good idea to have handy here.

Just to be clear: that's Ayn Rand's fans speaking in the caption, not me. I think Ms. Rand is a terrifying psychopath. The image is in the spirit of Infamous Brad's comment in Christians in the Hands of an Angry God:

There's always a catch. In this case, the catch must have been this. The traditional Republican party is the party of Satan himself, and thereby unpalatable to nearly all of the 90% or more of the US public that self-identified as Christian. I am not exaggerating here, not one tiny little bit. (Nor am I alone in this. Remember, I've met and done volunteer work alongside Dr. Michael Aquino, the founder of the largest Satanic church in the world, and you have never met a more staunch Republican in your life. Nor did he make any bones about why: he is a Republican Party loyalist because the Republican Party stands in total opposition to the Christian scriptures.) Throughout the gospels, take everything that Jesus said. Now reverse each and every statement. Each and every one of those reversals is a traditional plank of the Republican party platform.

Update: I just found this striking little video about Ms Rand by Johann Hari, linking her philosophy to her extraordinary biography.

And it turns out that my meme image found life elsewhere!


Anonymous said...

I was startled to discover that the objectivism that a great deal of atheist progressives I know is a product of Ayn Rand. So far, they have not been to excited to have this pointed out to them.

Speaking of the seemingly schitzo nature of Republican Christians, one of my "never on the shelf because I'm constantly giving it away to people" books is "Still following Christ in a Consumer society." Its worth a read in that one needs to address issues in "the native tongue".

I like to think of it like this; there is Christianity, the radical, socialist,(in the real sense of the word), Jesus kind; And then there's Roman imperial Christianity. Today (on the conservative side anyway) it seems like the former become libertarians, and the latter Republicans.

Jonathan Korman said...

I confess that I'm puzzled by the idea of "Objectivist Progressives". I would think that the two categories were mutually exclusive. Progressives favor government intervention to ensure the public good of equity for all peoples; Objectivists hold that all government interventions are counterproductive at best, and that the goal of equity itself is wrong.

Likewise, I'm puzzled that you see libertarianism as the politics of a Christianity grounded in Jesus' compassion for the poor. Surely those folks would lean toward socialism and social democracy?

Anonymous said...

To the former; I can't explain it, but the world appears to be teeming with them.
To the latter;
They don't, because they don't see the role of government to advance their social agenda. Nor do they see government as being capable of addressing those concerns.
Its worth mentioning that I'm "Reporting" not justifying, although I do understand the perspective.

I suppose that one might say that Jesus and libertarians were both anti-imperialists, and non-government socialists. (Love your brother as opposed to pay the government to love your brother for you). Which most libertarians are as well.

Jonathan Korman said...

I just don't recognize who you're talking about in these examples. It doesn't seem to me that I've met any “objectivist progressives”, so I'm puzzled that you think the world is teeming with them.

Anonymous said...

Hrm, perhaps its that you don't hang out with many atheists. Generally the profile is a 30ish atheist who practices "scientism", believes that the only truth in the world is objectively provable, and tends to be very anti-religious right.

Jonathan Korman said...

I recognize the style of atheistic scientism. But I don't see how you square progressive politics and Objectivist rah-rah capitalist “virtue of selfishness”.

Anonymous said...

In the Gospels Jesus constantly upholds traditional religion and denounces worldliness. He says "take care of the poor" AND ALSO allows a poor woman to spend extravagantly on oil to anoint Him.

Jesus was not an objectivist, obviously, nor was he a socialist. He was counter-political, asking men to act according to compassion, and not economic / political considerations.

He was ANTI-economic. Both objectivism and progressivism would are selfish, seeking to arrogantly solve spiritual problems with material means; seeking to create heaven on earth through the actions of men.

Do we think Christ would have agreed with radical individualism, a la Rand / Sartre / John Locke? Would He have agreed with the subordination of man's moral self to a machine, a la Marx / Calvin / Obama?

Probably not.

Jonathan Korman said...

Well said, Anon.

I am not a Christian because I cannot accept the claims of Jesus' unique divinity, but also because the path I see him calling for in the Gospels for us to walk — radical asceticism and radical compassion — is just too demanding for me. I honor those Christians I have known who sincerely endeavor to live the life Jesus advocates.

The Gospels make it clear that Jesus has no respect for social institutions. The great compassion he shows for the poor and the outcast in his deeds and instructions to his followers is wholly of a personal scale. I understand those Christians who say that Jesus teaches us to look not to institutions for justice but to our individual lives for righteousness.

That said, I think one can make a case for a politically progressive Christianity springing from that soil. In the Gospels, we see Christ reject institutions because of their failures of justice and compassion, their neglect of the poor and outcast. And thus the pursuit of Christlike government — which aids the poor and forgives our sins and nourishes our spirit — can be seen as a worthy goal.

Joe Cassara said...

Hope you fucking die of a heart attack, Miniver. :)

Anonymous said...

Just replace image of Ayn for your own so it will make sense. She was lived to make you realized that you are responsible for what you are doing. If you need "cover-up" by people who agree with you, you are just like single grass stem - NOT as human with own knowledge.