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Peart most recently tried to distance himself from Randian libertarianism in a Rolling Stone profile of the band, as discussed here by Matt Welch , who quoted the core of Peart's apostasy:. Peart outgrew his Ayn Rand phase years ago, and now describes himself as a "bleeding-heart libertarian," citing his trips to Africa as transformative. He claims to stand by the message of "The Trees," but other than that, his bleeding-heart side seems dominant. Peart just became a U. Bush "an instrument of evil. This is Christian?
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Rand's is anti-woman and anti-brown people, or what about his "sensibility" matches the Democrats. Peart clearly vibed with a general anti-authoritarianism he saw in Rand, and with her objection to enforced equality. But a more nuanced attempt to distance himself from Randian libertarianism in an interview Peart did for a feature in the libertarian magazine Liberty in by the Institute for Justice's Scott Bullock made it clear that Peart's attraction to Rand was more about her underlying sense of individualism and the nobility of the artist and his intentions than it was about all the complicated policy implications that Rand, and her libertarian fans, drew from her philosophy.
For Atlas Shrugged at least I can't imagine being able to get through the novel as a progressive or progsymp without feeling like a dog having your face shoved in a pile of excrement you left on the carpet for hundreds of pages. Contrary to Rand's rejection of any form of government welfare, Peart supports a safety net for those in need.
Although he would prefer that welfare be funded voluntarily, he is not convinced that private charity alone could support the truly needy. Also, Peart was turned off by Rand's attacks on hippies and Woodstock…. Although Peart is now inclined to write off Rand's hostility toward the Woodstock kids as a "generational thing," it was her essay on Woodstock and rock music which forced him to realize that he did not agree with Rand on every issue.
I realized that there were certain elements of her thinking and work that were affirming for me, and others that weren't. That's an important thing for any young idealist to discover—that you are still your own person. Over the years, Peart has made fewer direct references to Rand, and he admits that one cause of the decline has been the intense hostility such sentiments have evoked among rock critics, especially in Britain:.
They were calling us "junior fascists" and "Hitler lovers. That seems like a smoking gun: Peart's aversion to crediting Rand much now seems largely based on exactly the phenomenon Barbara Branden fingered: public pressure.
Paul Ryan R-Wisc. Ryan was happy to discuss Rand's political wisdom early in his congressional career , including telling me in that, as per Rand, "we owe it to the American people to give them a clear choice: Do you want a collectivist welfare state or do you want to get back to being a free market? We need to make a moral, not just practical or statistical, case. But by the time he was Mitt Romney's vice presidential candidate in , Ryan was ferociously wiping the sweat of his reputation as a Rand-lover off his fevered brow.
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.
Alas, making a moral case for capitalism—which is the same as the moral case for human liberty—requires a voting record that shows an actual belief in the notion that government has, if any, only the powers that the individual can rightly grant them. That's the power to defend one's individual right to life and justly acquired property. By the time someone runs for high office, trying to suss out what they sincerely believe is impossible. But I suspect that a young Ryan did indeed think of himself as a Rand devotee while always rejecting the atheism but the "realism" of being a congressman and running for vice president beat it out of him.
In its way, then, another variation on Branden's "afraid of what the neighbors will think" motive for Rand apostasy. The very first time superstar former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's name ever appeared in the New York Times was a letter to the editor defending the author of Atlas Shrugged for her "celebration of life and happiness. Justice is unrelenting. Creative individuals and undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfillment" in her novel. While an active Rand disciple and before he became chieftain of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan wrote a sharp essay in for a Rand-edited journal about the gold standard , explaining it as the only proper money for a free people, and declaring "that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other.
Ron Paul, when a congressman grilling Greenspan at hearings, liked to ask Greenspan if he stood by it still. As Paul told me in :. When we started talking I flashed it out and said, "Remember this? I opened it up to his article and said, "Remember writing this article? Would you autograph it for me? Toward the end of his reign I brought that up again in a congressional hearing.
4 Prominent Ayn Rand Recanters
I was a little more confrontational with him about what he used to think and why it's different now, and he said, "That's a long time ago, and I no longer subscribe to those views. The first encounter was private, and the second was a public statement. She was a woman who could, alas, still be bamboozled by status and gewgaws of respectability connected to the U.
For years, as well detailed in this profile of Greenspan's relationship with Rand and her ideas by R. Bradford, Greenspan would make vaguely libertarian anti-regulation and pro-gold standard comments in public, while noting that even as chairman of the Federal Reserve he did not have the power to implement such ideas.
He'd point out that libertarian ideals such as abolishing antitrust were, while still endorsed by him, clearly beyond the politically possible, so, whatever. By , the retired Greenspan was betraying free market principles by foolishly claiming that it was lack of sufficient regulation and a flaw in his own free market ideology that led to the mortgage-driven economic downturn rather than recognizing and stressing the role of his own Fed's interest rate policies, federal mortgage lending policies, or the moral hazard of well understood "too big to fail" bailout ideology at least as much.
Oh, Greenspan will still rise from the crypt to bitch about entitlement spending , but he represents the sort of equivocating compromiser with values that anyone who used to understand Rand would have to hate, including himself. But his reputation is now irreducibly connected with the Federal Reserve and the aftereffects of its policies, and he seems to have sold any belief in the virtues of a genuinely free market to blaming other things for clearly Fed-connected downturns.