Today Rand Paul sent out a Facebook link prefacing an article in The Cable: Foreign Policy online about tackling our debt and what steps both the Democrats and Republicans must take for this to be meaningful and lasting. He said, “To tackle our debt, Democrats are going to have to accept that we must cut welfare and domestic spending and Republicans are going to have to cut Pentagon spending. As Grover points out, we must reassess the role of government across the board to strengthen America’s national security, financial stability and our children’s future.”
I posted this article to my facebook page and one commentator wrote, “Never going to happen.” And he may be right. We, as Objectivists [and or Ayn Rand admirers], will have to see how far we can influence government now that we finally have at least an admirer of Rand and an intellectual thinker in the race. This is my reply back:
“We have to push for it. You can’t sit back and say ‘never’. Like I posted previously, if we don’t get a handle on it soon–the markets will decide for us; and they will crash. Bank holidays will be declared and a run on the banks will ensue. Savings will be obliterated. Property will be confiscated. Rioting will occur in a big way.
Then, the ‘great excuse’ for removing what’s left of our liberties will ensue. Some of the infrastructure is already in place to house and jail political dissenters. Slashing the budget will be a mute point by this time. When interest rates rise, and they will, there will be no money left and none to borrow. Social security and medicare will crash–checks will stop and services will cease. Businesses will close.
Panic will ensue …And by this time, those who want to leave the country–as in Europe during the Nazi invasion–will have already made the preparations and they will get out or already be out. The rest of us will face our own American version of the Nazi death camps. That’s the bleak picture. So if our politicians continue to kick the proverbial can–this is the future. Some know it and actually want to do something about it–some know it and don’t. The rest are stupid or in denial. Tomorrow is already here and there’s little time to turn it around before that window closes.”
So the question is “What are we going to do about it?” This is where knowledge and understanding Ayn Rand’s basic principles comes in. Do we really understand the meaning of freedom and individual rights? Is it OK to violate some freedoms while protecting others? What is the moral foundation of capitalism? Ron Paul has it right on this issue when I heard him say at a rally in Austin, “the fight is about ideology.” Meaning, it is a battle of ideas. It is the battle to challenge the bad ideas that have wrecked this country and replace them with better ideas.
As Yaron Brook, President and Executive Director of The Ayn Rand Institute and The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights stated in his talk, “Capitalism Who Needs It,” Ayn Rand’s philosophy is about individual rights, freedom, and the pursuit of our own rational self-interest.
“Given our biological nature, how do we pursue our own happiness and that which leads to human success? That is what her morality is about. And it is the only morality that can sustain capitalism. And therefore the only morality that can sustain this country. It’s not about politics, it’s not about economics, it’s about what we believe is good and what we believe is bad, and that’s what Rand provides these fundamental answers for. If you care about capitalism, if you care about freedom, I think the most important battle to win is this ethical battle…that capitalism is the only moral system. Socialism is the immoral system. Capitalism is good because it is good for you as human beings, because it is good for the individual. That is the debate we need to have.”
Therefore, the debate is about reassessing the entire role of government in the lives of individuals. This is what the founders of this country intended–strictly limiting the power of government as subordinate to the individual. And for now, the focus should be on diminishing the bad ideas held by both Republicans and Democrats while supporting the good ideas. This is the place we start.
We have an opening for sharing Rand’s philosophy on a broader level in the selection of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate. He is at least an intellectual who thinks about ideas and can apply them to some of the fundamental changes necessary in Washington today. Is it enough? No. But it gives us a place to begin the discussion of the morality of capitalism and its foundation: individual rights.