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Silver has a background in Hinduism (Vedanta) and Buddhism, culminating in her adoption of Catholicism. She has spent most of her adult life as a monastic, in one form or another. When health and finances permit, she advocates for the poor, disabled and elderly, through her blogs and through her personal service projects. The foundation of her artistic expressions are found in her spiritual life. Since childhood, she has been producing sketches and paintings in oils, watercolors and acrylics. In her 20's she was a clothes designer and had her own shop in Hollywood, where she designed and made her own creations. She also worked in the motion picture industry as a freelance writer, selling 9 stories to the episodic television show, Charlie's Angels. For some years she worked in ceramics, making primitive boxes from slab worked clay, as well as more finished pieces in the raku firing technique. For fun, she makes and sells jewelry and crochets items for sale and for donation to local charities. She is also an expert genealogist, worked with Ancestry.com as one of their online Experts, and has traced her family lines back through kings, colonials, saints and pioneers to several Holy Roman Emperors.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan




“What’s unique about what’s happening today in government and
in the world and America is that it’s as if we are living in
an Ayn Rand novel right now. … I think Ayn Rand did
more than anybody to build a moral case for capitalism, the
morality of individualism, and this to me is what matters most.”
~ Paul Ryan~


Ever since Paul Ryan was announced as Romney's running mate, he has been trying to deny or minimize his previous reliance upon the philosophies of Ayn Rand in the formation of his economic ideas, all to no avail.   Immediately, the videos and factoids appeared in the media and blogosphere, all of which disprove his comments.  He has not said that he regrets his previous support of Randian ideas.  He has not repented and realized he was wrong.  He just lied about the fact that for years he had been quite vocal of his admiration for her.


What became evident from the comments in reply to these blogs is that most people know little or nothing about Ayn Rand and that they discount the importance of Ayn Rand being Paul Ryan's inspiration.

Now is the perfect time to revamp and reissue my informational blog about Rand that I wrote a while back.

Rand was an atheist writer/philosopher whose muse was a serial killer/dismemberer named William Edward Hickman, from whom she crafted the completely selfish and clearly sociopathic character of the “ideal man” that she presented in her fictional writing.

William Hickman kidnapped, murdered and dismembered a 12-year old girl. The Los Angeles Times called it “the most horrible crime of the 1920’s.” He accepted the ransom payment for the safe return of the girl, but instead he delivered the girl’s body in pieces. He had severed her arms and legs and removed her internal organs. He was hanged in 1928 at the age of 20.


“In 1928, the writer Ayn Rand began planning a novel called The Little Street, whose hero, Danny Renahan, was to be based on "what Hickman suggested to [her]." The novel was never finished, but Rand wrote notes for it which were published after her death in the book Journals of Ayn Rand. Rand wanted the hero of her novel to be "A Hickman with a purpose. And without the degeneracy. It is more exact to say that the model is not Hickman, but what Hickman suggested to me." Renahan, which she intended to be based on Hickman, "is born with a wonderful, free, light consciousness -- [resulting from] the absolute lack of social instinct or herd feeling. He does not understand, because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people ... Other people do not exist for him and he does not understand why they should." (Wikipedia)


Clearly, in her description that “other people do not exist for him and he does not understand why they should,” Rand is revealing her underlying sociopathy that has been remarked upon by many.


Rand’s philosophy is profoundly incompatible with Catholic values. 


In an online biography of Rand written by Catherine Daligga, “Rand glorified the self-made man who aggressively demonstrated his superiority over the masses through his business acumen.”


Rand was born Alissa Rosenbaum in 1905 in Russia. She knew she was an atheist in her early teens. When she arrived in America at the age of 21, she gave her name as Ayn (to rhyme with “pine”.) Later, she adopted “Rand” as her surname, in honor of her typewriter. I find it fitting that her last name was derived from a cold, mechanical object.

She moved to California, she worked for the Wardrobe Department of a studio, she wrote, she developed her “Objectivist” philosophy. The details can be found at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Rand.html


According to Daligga (and others), “Few professional philosophers take her work at all seriously, yet many groups of readers and fans still debate and write about her theories. Her work continues to appeal to those who search for non-religious answers”


Ayn Rand did not believe in God or religion. Her philosophy elevated selfishness to a positive virtue, while negating selflessness, charity, love, and compassion. She was positively in favor of abortion as a right. She did not believe in original sin, which is not a surprise, since she did not believe in religion.

Rand did not believe in monogamy and carried on a long-standing, very public affair with the husband of a friend, Nathan Blumenthal, who later renamed himself Nathaniel Branden. He helped her build a public following for her “Objectivist” philosophy, but when he admitted to her that he would not be taking up their affair again after a long hiatus, she threw him out of the group that was originally named after him and which he built! Rand’s mindless followers didn’t think to question it. In Rand’s typically sociopathic fashion, she eliminated the man that no longer gave her what she demanded of him and then she took everything for which he had toiled.

She believed, most of all, in capitalism, in money. When she died, she was laid out next to a six-foot tall floral arrangement in the shape of a dollar bill. This was her God.

What does our God say about those who congratulate themselves on their wealth?


“This is the destiny of those who trust in folly, the end of those
so pleased with their wealth. Like sheep they are herded into Sheol,
where death will be their shepherd. Straight to the grave they
descend where their form will waste away. Sheol will be their palace.
But God will redeem my life, will take me from the power of Sheol.
Do not fear when others become rich, when the wealth of
their houses grows great. When they die they will take nothing
with them, their wealth will not follow them down.
When living, they congratulate themselves and
say:
"All praise you, you do so well."
But they will join the company of their forebears,
never again to see the light.
For all their riches, if mortals do not have wisdom,
they perish like the beasts.

Psalm 49:14-21

See her biography at:
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Rand.html


Austin Cline, writing for about.com, makes the observation that, “If you've ever had the feeling that there was something fundamentally sociopathic about Ayn Rand's philosophy, you may have been on to something. Apparently one of Ayn Rand's early "heroes" was a serial killer named William Edward Hickman.” Austin Cline
http://atheism.about.com/b/2011/05/11/ayn-rand-sociopath-who-admired-a-serial-killer.htm

Mark Ames, of alternet.org, points out that devotion to Ayn Rand is limited to America, for the most part: “One reason most countries don't find the time to embrace Ayn Rand's thinking is that she is a textbook sociopath. In her notebooks Ayn Rand worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of "ideal man" she promoted in her more famous books.” Mark Ames
http://www.alternet.org/story/145819/

The “philosophy” of Ayn Rand is repugnant. It is something the anti-christ would admire. I have collected some particular quotes that highlight the contrast between Rand’s views and those of the Catholic Church, as follows:


RELIGION AND GOD

RAND SAYS:
“Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. But you must remember that religion is an early form of philosophy, that the first attempts to explain the universe, to give a coherent frame of reference to man’s life and a code of moral values, were made by religion, before men graduated or developed enough to have philosophy. And, as philosophies, some religions have very valuable moral points. They may have a good influence or proper principles to inculcate, but in a very contradictory context and, on a very—how should I say it?—dangerous or malevolent base: on the ground of faith.”

This link will take you to the Phil Donahue interview in which Ayn Rand discusses her atheism:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTmac2fs5HQ

CHRISTIANITY SAYS:

"Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemes that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin."

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths."
~ Prov. 3,5, 6.


"The universe is not the result of chance. We are invited to read something profound into it: the inexhaustible creativity of God ."
~ Pope Benedict XV1


“Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.” ~ Matthew 22:37


ORIGINAL SIN

RAND SAYS:

“Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accept his own depravity without proof. It demands that he start, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not.


It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic God with some incomprehensible design or any passer-by whose rotting sores are held as some inexplicable claim upon him—it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.


The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin.”



ABORTION

RAND SAYS:


“An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).


Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?”

CHRISTIANITY TEACHES:

I assume I do not need to provide quotes for this one. We all know it.  Abortion is a mortal sin. It is the taking of an innocent human life. Life begins at conception.


CHARITY


RAND SAYS:

 
“My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty.”

CHRISTIANITY TEACHES

 2446 “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs. The demands of justice must be satisfied first of all; that which is already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity.”“When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.” ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church
“If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday.” Isaiah 58, 9-10


Those who shut their ears to the cry of the poor, will themselves call and not be heard." Proverbs 21:13

"It would be considered a theft on our part if we didn't give to someone in greater need than we are." - St. Francis of Assisi


"If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, "The seventh year, the year of remission, is near," and therefore view your needy neighbor with hostility and give nothing; your neighbor might cry to the LORD against you, and you would incur guilt. Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land. -Deuteronomy 15:7-11 (NRSV)

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison and visit you' And the King will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me."

Mathew 25:35-43 (NAB)



COMPASSION

RAND SAYS:

”I regard compassion as proper only toward those who are innocent victims, but not toward those who are morally guilty.” ~ Ayn Rand

CHRISTIANITY SAYS:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5: 38-48)


ALTRUISM

RAND SAYS:

“Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any man of self-esteem will answer: “No.” Altruism says: “Yes.””

CHRISTIANITY TEACHES:


"Let yourself be persecuted, but do not persecute others. Be crucified, but do not crucify others. Be slandered, but do not slander others. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep: such is the sign of purity. Suffer with the sick. Be afflicted with sinners. Exult with those who repent. Be the friend of all, but in your spirit remain alone. Be a partaker of the sufferings of all, but keep your body distant from all. Rebuke no one, revile no one, not even those who live very wickedly. Spread your cloak over those who fall into sin, each and every one, and shield them. And if you cannot take the fault on yourself and accept punishment in their place, do not destroy their character. ~ St. Isaac the Syrian


SELFISHNESS

RAND SAYS:


“The Objectivist ethics holds that human good does not require human sacrifices and cannot be achieved by the sacrifice of anyone to anyone. It holds that the rational interests of men do not clash—that there is no conflict of interests among men who do not desire the unearned, who do not make sacrifices nor accept them, who deal with one another as traders, giving value for value.”
~ Ayn Rand, the Virtue of Selfishness

CHRISTIANITY TEACHES:


"All the pain in the world comes from sin and selfishness."
~Anthony De Mello, Jesuit priest and psychotherapist


"The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish."
~Blessed Pope John Paul II


BIRTH CONTROL

RAND SAYS:


“The capacity to procreate is merely a potential which man is not obligated to actualize. The choice to have children or not is morally optional. Nature endows man with a variety of potentials—and it is his mind that must decide which capacities he chooses to exercise, according to his own hierarchy of rational goals and values.”

CHRISTIANITY TEACHES:

The Catholic church teaches against contraception, which is well known. Among other thing said about it, this is a good point made by our Pope:


"But despite their differences of nature and moral gravity, contraception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree. It is true that in many cases contraception and even abortion are practised under the pressure of real- life difficulties, which nonetheless can never exonerate from striving to observe God's law fully. Still, in very many other instances such practices are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfilment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter thus becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs, and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception."
~Blessed Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 13, March 25, 1995



COMMON GOOD

RAND SAYS:


“The tribal notion of “the common good” has served as the moral justification of most social systems—and of all tyrannies—in history. The degree of a society’s enslavement or freedom corresponded to the degree to which that tribal slogan was invoked or ignored.” ~ Ayn Rand

CHRISTIANITY SAYS:


"Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
- Proverbs 31:8-9


LOVE

RAND SAYS:

For her, love is nothing more than a type of commerce.

“Love, friendship, respect, admiration are the emotional response of one man to the virtues of another, the spiritual payment given in exchange for the personal, selfish pleasure which one man derives from the virtues of another man’s character. Only a brute or an altruist would claim that the appreciation of another person’s virtues is an act of selflessness, that as far as one’s own selfish interest and pleasure are concerned, it makes no difference whether one deals with a genius or a fool, whether one meets a hero or a thug, whether one marries an ideal woman or a slut.” ~ Ayn Rand

CHRISTIANITY SAYS:


“As I loved you, so you also should love one another.” (John 13:34).


“For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, unlike Cain who belonged to the evil one and slaughtered his brother. Why did he slaughter him? Because his own works were evil, and those of his brother righteous.”

“We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Whosoever does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.”

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”


IN SUMMARY:

Clearly, many Biblical and other references could be added to this blog, but it shouldn’t be necessary. The Christian precepts that Rand’s philosophy violates are the very basis of our faith, the crucial aspects around which every other tenet revolves.  Ayn Rand's theories about economics grow directly from her foundation of a socipathic, selfish, anti-christian worldview and cannot be disconnected from it.  Neither can Paul Ryan's economic agenda be disconnected from his muse, Ayn Rand.


Copyright © 2012
Silver S. Parnell
All rights reserved.

Some source links:

Read Ayn Rand's words for yourself:  http://aynrandlexicon.com/

Paul Ryan's longtime parish priest does not support his budget ideas:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/10977-vp-role-for-paul-ryan-has-his-former-parish-priest-worried

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7zwO88nRH8&feature=related

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/04/audio-surfaces-paul-ryans-effusive-love-ayn-rand/51711/

http://www.catholics-united.org/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/what-ayn-rand-says-about-paul-ryan/2012/08/13/fd40d574-e56d-11e1-8741-940e3f6dbf48_blog.html

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/8/13/an_extreme_choice_embracing_ayn_rand

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/13/paul-ryan-s-catholic-problem.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sally-steenland/religious-leaders-condemn-ryan-romney-budget_b_1773356.html

http://datinggod.org/2012/08/11/us-bishops-nuns-agree-romney-ryan-budget-fails-moral-test/

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/04/audio-surfaces-paul-ryans-effusive-love-ayn-rand/51711/

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