Thursday, April 26, 2012

Under Catholic pressure Paul Ryan backs away from Rand, Objectivism

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), when faced with a letter of condemnation by 90 Catholic faculty members at Georgetown University, has abruptly decided to back away from his famous endorsement of the works of controversial author Ayn Rand and her philosophy of “Objectivism.”  The congressman, who is scheduled to speak at the Catholic university today, is now emphasizing Christian philosophers and the writings of Pope Benedict XVI as the true exemplars of his world view over Russian émigré and atheist Rand.
A National Review profile from early Thursday said, “‘I reject her philosophy,’ Ryan says firmly. ‘It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,’ who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. ‘Don’t give me Ayn Rand,’ he says.”Ryan, said the Review, is actually “a practicing Roman Catholic” and that “his faith and moral values shape his politics as much as his belief in freedom and capitalism does.”

Ryan went so far as to decry his affinity for the book Atlas Shrugged and its author as an “urban legend,” and cites it as proof that he’s “arrived in politics” that a false story is out there circulating about him.  He says the association of his name to Rand and her brand of capitalism-as-religion is “inaccurate” and “part of an effort on the left to paint him as a cold-hearted Objectivist.”
Pardon me while I laugh. (ROFL)

Read it at Raw Story
Under Catholic pressure Paul Ryan backs away from Rand, Objectivism
by David Ferguson | editor at Raw Story

The crack in the dike?

7 comments:

Dan Kervick said...

Very, very interesting.

Is it possible that all of the Christian churches in this country might be developing the courage to strike back against against the army of poseurs who have substituted bizarre, egotistical doctrines of competition and domination for the message of the gospels?

Dan Kervick said...

By the way, this is one of my favorite pieces from Aquinas.

Matt Franko said...

He's lying Tom.

You know, if he came out and said something like "I was young and stupid back when I said those things, etc..." then maybe it would go ok for him here on out.

But he is flat out lying as there are video's of him out there that belie his statements here...

Resp

Tom Hickey said...

@ Dan K

Upon entering grad school in philosophy, I was a Thomist in the spirit of Jacques Maritain, whose interpretation of Aquinas I preferred, along with Etienne Gilson. No doubt that Aquinas was one of the intellectual giants of all time. But I broadened and deepened my perspective in grad school and afterward and have moved away from Thomism.

Bob Roddis said...

As a fan of Rothbard, I've never been a big fan of Rand who was a very strange creature indeed. However, I started reading her stuff in 1973 and she was an unwavering Austrian in economics. Ryan hasn't the slightest familiarity with even basic Austrian concepts. Just like Bachmann is clueless about Mises and thus economics.

Just like all of you MMTers are clueless about Rand, Rothbard, Mises and economics in general.

In other exciting news, Robert Wenzel explained Austrian economics to the NY Fed.

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/04/my-fed-speech-details.html

Dan Kervick said...

I alwasy liked the story/legends of Aquinas's last days.

Tom Hickey said...

Right. He was seen levitating according to reports, and he is reported to have said after a mystical experience, "All I have written is as chaff [to the kernel].

But the other intellectual giants of that era, Shankara, Al Arabi, and Al Ghazali, were all God-realized (although the Eastern tradition dates Shankara much earlier). Obviously, aquinas did not realize this when he was arguing against Al Ghazali and Al Arabi. He was not aware of Shankara.