Tag: Philosophical movements

The Meltdown Continues

The Left wing anger at Paul Ryan continues to swell. You can amuse yourself with this latest bundle of idiocy from Maureen Dowd.

He’s the cutest package that cruelty ever came in. He has a winning air of sad cheerfulness. He’s affable, clean cut and really cut, with the Irish altar-boy widow’s peak and droopy, winsome blue eyes and unashamed sentimentality.

Who better to rain misery upon the heads of millions of Americans?

Is it just me, or does anyone else think Dowd wrote that column one-handed? I thought so.

You can read her screed for yourself, where she describes Ryan as the cute face of cruelty. I think the best response is to remind ourselves what that people like Modo believe constitutes “kindness”:

  • Creating a welfare system that deprives people of their dignity, their hope and their ambition.
  • Creating a healthcare system where care is rationed and controlled by government; where treatments are approved by political pull.
  • Creating an economy where Washington pulls the strings and all companies have to pay homage to the great Congress in order to survive (see what’s happening to Apple right now.)
  • Standing silent while their enlightened President fires off drones, detains prisoners and starts wars without Congressional approval.
  • Giving less to private charity than conservatives do; donating less blood; volunteering less — even when you account for differences in income and opportunity.
  • Slathering businesses in jungles of read tape and oceans of taxation and then wondering why there are no jobs.
  • Standing by a federal legal code that is so out of control, people can be jailed for things like collecting feathers.
  • The damning thing about Ryan — indeed a huge factor in the RyanRage — is that he cites Ayn Rand as an influence. Actually, they call him a “disciple” of Rand because to the collectivists — besotted as they are with centralized power and unthinking obedience — there is no middle ground between rejecting Rand and being her unquestioning apostle.

    But it is possible to be heavily influenced by someone and disagree with them. You know who influenced my political thinking as much as anyone? Karl Fucking Marx. I had opposed Marxism because it was tyrannical, because it was abusive, because it fought against human nature. But it wasn’t until I read Das Kapital that I realized that Marxism was fundamentally flawed; that it was built on a series of false premises; that’s Marx’s understanding of economics was child-like in its simplicity.

    There’s a lot on which I disagree with Rand: her atheism, her virtue of selfishness, her slagging of altruism; her belief in self-centered uncaring uber-geniuses. Rand’s philosophy is too cold, too certain and too dogmatic for me; I don’t believe human culture or human beings can work that way (as Rand herself could not). In her way, she was as dogmatic as the Marxists she hated. But no one has laid out such a clear and beautiful rejection of collectivism. No one has laid out such a rousing defense of individualism. Everyone should read Ayn Rand not because she was a prophet but because she was a heretic.

    And when we dig down, that’s what is informing the RyanRage: his heresy. Ryan’s budget plan has its flaws: it doesn’t balance the budget for a long time; it cuts taxes; it’s not specific about what tax expenditures it would get rid of. But the selection of Ryan and his prominence in the debate signals that the party is over. The religion of Big Government (a religion that has many adherent in the GOP) has reached its apogee and simply can not grow further. When Obama was elected, they really believed it would be New Deal II: a golden age where we finally grew our government to European proportions. Of course, the idea of a vast liberal superstate controlling all of our healthcare, our retirement, our schooling and our housing was dead thirty years ago. But as long as Democrats were out of power, they could pray to the relics and hope for a miracle.

    But after just two years of Obama, it became obvious that this wasn’t going to happen. And it’s dead for sure now. As I said before, we are no longer debating whether to cut government; we’re debating how to cut it. We’re not debating whether to cut Medicare; but how to. Ryan is a symbol of this. And thus, like all those who knock over pagan idols, he must be condemned for daring to broach the truth.

    The bill for our government’s spending is coming due. It bears repeating — over and over again — that the Right bears as much or more blame for this than the Left (and Ryan voted for a lot of it). But the Right does not have its heart bound up with Big Government; the Left does. And so now they are reducing to screaming at the writing on the wall.