Many on the extreme right, the Republican Party, look to Ayn Rand as the guru of the plutocratic corporatism that they call capitalism. But like virtually all Republican leaders, the deprivations she would impose on others did not apply to her. Republican belief in free enterprise applies to the poor and middle classes only, and is translated, “You’re on your own!” For Republicans, only the rich get the benefits of socialism.
Ayn Rand was not only a schlock novelist, she was also the progenitor of a sweeping “moral philosophy” that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes as well.
Her books provided wide-ranging parables of “parasites,” “looters” and “moochers” using the levers of government to steal the fruits of her heroes’ labor. In the real world, however, Rand herself received Social Security payments and Medicare benefits under the name of Ann O’Connor (her husband was Frank O’Connor).
As Michael Ford of Xavier University’s Center for the Study of the American Dream wrote, “In the end, Miss Rand was a hypocrite but she could never be faulted for failing to act in her own self-interest.”
Her ideas about government intervention in some idealized pristine marketplace serve as the basis for so much of the conservative rhetoric we see today. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” said Paul Ryan, the GOP’s young budget star at a D.C. event honoring the author… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Alternet>
Does this remind you of Teabaggers screaming, “Get your government hands off my Medicare” during the health care debate? Somehow it does not occur to these people that for a well-to-do author, or a Republican legislator for that matter, to demonize the safety net, but to avail themselves of its benefits makes it clear what arrogant hypocrites they are.