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  #31  
Old Apr 16, '12, 2:10 pm
Christopher68 Christopher68 is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

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Originally Posted by MillTownCath View Post
Despite her anti-Christian and liberal views on social issues, and her advocation of Laissez Faire style capitalism which goes against Catholic social teaching, it seems the late Ayn Rand is having a popularity resurgence among Christian conservatives, particularly among Tea Party Christians.


As a Catholic, who is both pro-life and pro-labor, I don't see the appeal.

Can someone explain this to me?
Instead of reading various posts that may or may not accurately reflect Rand's philosophy, here is a link to the Ayn Rand website:

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=index

I suspect that you would still disagree with her philosophy, but this website will give you an understanding of why many people agree with her philosophy of Objectivism.
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  #32  
Old Apr 16, '12, 2:57 pm
Ridgerunner Ridgerunner is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

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Originally Posted by Lujack View Post
The "what if the productive people threw their hands up" is probably the most obnoxious misrepresentation that Ayn Rand perpetrated, and it runs directly counter to much of Catholic social teaching. That is the claim that the business owner is more productive and worthwhile than his workers; that the factory owner is more productive and worthwhile than the men who labor there. It is the idea that the man who works 30 years at a factory but raises two moral children has done less productive work than the man who built the factory. That's a poisonous ethos, and it does nothing but breed division.
Sure, sure. But some of her characters throw their hands up while some are simply driven out of business by the collectivists. Either way, and not otherwise adopting Rand's other ways of thinking of things, one really ought to think of the consequences if administration policies become such that business people either can't or won't produce any longer.

As to the "Won't", there is a great deal of that going on at least to the degree that many will not presently invest in future productivity, and for very good reason, none of which violates any Catholic teaching; e.g.
-Expectation of very high interest rates in the near future due to overspending which, if they happen, might cause the producer to go broke. It has happened before, and everybody knows it.
-Unknown costs of providing health insurance, but with all the mandates, present and prospective, likely to raise costs to some unknown but higher level.
-Unknown energy costs, but against the background of Obama's promising they will go up substantially if he has his way.
-Uncertain regulatory environment. Additional coal fired anything has essentially been shut down and the EPA has tacitly admitted that, and intends to apply impossible standards of sequestration to the ones presently existing. If you are dependent on coal-fired electrical plants, what is your future? If fuel costs for transporting your product double, will people still be able to afford your product?
-Uncertain tax environment, but with Obama wanting to raise them on those who make more than $200,000.00, and with no real certitude that others will not be targeted.

Atlas hasn't "shrugged", but his shoulders have twitched a bit. As bad a writer as I think Rand is, and as much as I abhor her extremism, I suspect part of her recent popularity is that people are beginning to see that she wasn't wrong in positing that there is a point beyond which collectivist and redistributive notions do kill enterprise, productivity and jobs.
Some of that is voluntary, and some of it isn't.

And I agree with a previous poster who said that Rand has some "worker heroes" in her books. They're not all capitalists.
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  #33  
Old Apr 18, '12, 2:16 pm
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

I'm no Rand fan at all, but I will say that I admire real entrepenuers and 100% agree that these people DO deserve the greater wealth they bring in than salarymen like me. I report directly to the owner of the consulting firm I work for. Work is that guy's whole life. Yeah, yeah he has nice stuff, vacation homes, exotic vacations and the like. But he has no time to enjoy any of it. Even on those vacations, he's got the Blackberry with him 24/7 and he has to. Thank God there are still people willing to put up with all the BS of business ownership, because I sure am not willing to do it.

I'm no Atlas, but I've already shrugged. No way I could put up with all the BS a business owner has to endure. No way.
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  #34  
Old Apr 19, '12, 5:52 pm
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Tampa Dave Tampa Dave is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

We donate annually to Catholic Charities because I believe it is our Catholic duty to help the less fortunate. Do you trust Catholic Charities and like-minded organizations to help the needy best, or do you have greater faith in the government to perform this role? I'll take Catholic Charities every day!
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  #35  
Old Apr 19, '12, 9:38 pm
Et Cetera Et Cetera is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

From my experience most people usually grow out of their Ayn Rand phase by high school or early college.
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  #36  
Old Apr 20, '12, 3:42 am
Cat Cat is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

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Originally Posted by Et Cetera View Post
From my experience most people usually grow out of their Ayn Rand phase by high school or early college.
Yes, once they start working and discover just how much of their wage is taken from them for taxes.
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  #37  
Old Apr 20, '12, 10:00 am
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MillTownCath MillTownCath is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

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Originally Posted by Tampa Dave View Post
We donate annually to Catholic Charities because I believe it is our Catholic duty to help the less fortunate. Do you trust Catholic Charities and like-minded organizations to help the needy best, or do you have greater faith in the government to perform this role? I'll take Catholic Charities every day!
Sorry, it's not that simple. Catholic Charities (Which relise on some government funding) can do a lot, but there is a lot it cannot do. One example, the Church advocates for unemployment benefits to be continued to be paid by the government. Obviously the Church has neither the means nor ability to do that themselves.

http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-024.cfm

Also, the Church believes the government has a crucial role in improving and maintaining the common good.

The Bishops said of Paul Ryan's budget: "this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religio...ource=timeline



So as you can see, it's not just a choice between government or Catholic Charities, but rather they rely on each other for support improving the common good.
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  #38  
Old Apr 20, '12, 10:39 am
styrgwillidar styrgwillidar is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

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Originally Posted by MillTownCath View Post

....
Sorry, it's not that simple.

So as you can see, it's not just a choice between government or Catholic Charities, but rather they rely on each other for support improving the common good.
...
Completely agree. It isn't simple at all, and a lot comes down to how a government (or at least the people exercising power) define the common good. Remember that in the last century far more people have been killed by their own governments 'for the common good' than have died in wars. (China, Russia, Germany, Cambodia, etc. etc. etc.)

And fairness is often in the eye of the beholder. One of the kids in my CCD classes (I teach middle schoolers ~13 yrs old) said the rich need to pay more!!! I asked him what would be a fair taxation right- he said 10%. I pointed out to the class the various tax brackets, that only 50% pay income tax to begin with (in the US). They came back with... wow... taxes are immoral, eliminate taxes!! The other extreme. They just didn't see 36% to the feds and 9.2% to the state as being fair. Weird huh? They wouldn't want to give almost 50% of what they earned to the government to use for birth control, subsidizing abortions etc.

Taxes are neither moral or immoral, it's a matter of trying to treat everyone as justly as possible. We don't want folks to starve, go without shelter, or health care. But we also don't want to encourage that very state through secondary and tertiary affects of how benefits/taxes modify folks behavior. It very much is about what the legitimate role of government is-- Rand has a point of view in one extreme. But it's an extreme that is in line with human nature and what history has taught us when governments exercise complete control over economies. Cronyism, old-boy networks, insider advantages, corruption etc.

Yes, the church teaches the government should pay for unemployment, but we/that government also must look at how the government is going to fund it, how they're going to burden others and support the other things that the Catholic Church also teaches like government should work to create an enviornment where everyone can work and be treated fairly.
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  #39  
Old Apr 20, '12, 10:44 am
ringil ringil is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

At Rand's funeral there were flowal decorations in the shape of $$. How apropo.

Money is base.
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  #40  
Old Apr 20, '12, 11:17 am
styrgwillidar styrgwillidar is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

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Originally Posted by ringil View Post
At Rand's funeral there were flowal decorations in the shape of $$. How apropo.

Money is base.
I disagree. It is the love of money that is base. It is the coveting of money, or any other property that our neighbor has that is base. It is base greed to demand sacrifices from others. It is base to trivialize the demands we put on others. Love of money is the root of all evil- not money itself.

Have you ever pondered the phrase that time is money?

Most of us laborers exchange a portion of our lives-- our time here on earth- in exchange for money which we can use to support our families and the Church community. When the thief steals our money he is truly stealing that portion of our lives and labor it took to acquire it. He isn't willing to make that effort, to spend his own life and time in honest labor like us.

Coveting our neighbor's money and demanding he make sacrfices, that he support others, by threatening him with the force of government if he doesn't, is extremely base. Especially if instead of acknowledging with gratitude that he is contributing from the risk, effort, labor and that portion of life he can never regain that went into producing it; we reduce it to an object --money-- as if it just fell into their lap and we have an equal claim on their lives. It reduces our fellow man to being our slaves.
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  #41  
Old Apr 20, '12, 12:36 pm
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curlycool89 curlycool89 is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

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Originally Posted by Cat View Post
Yes, once they start working and discover just how much of their wage is taken from them for taxes.


Seriously, where is the "Like" button on this website?
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  #42  
Old Apr 20, '12, 1:21 pm
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Tampa Dave Tampa Dave is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

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Originally Posted by MillTownCath View Post
Sorry, it's not that simple. Catholic Charities (Which relise on some government funding) can do a lot, but there is a lot it cannot do. One example, the Church advocates for unemployment benefits to be continued to be paid by the government. Obviously the Church has neither the means nor ability to do that themselves.

http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-024.cfm

Also, the Church believes the government has a crucial role in improving and maintaining the common good.

The Bishops said of Paul Ryan's budget: "this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good."


http://www.usatoday.com/news/religio...ource=timeline



So as you can see, it's not just a choice between government or Catholic Charities, but rather they rely on each other for support improving the common good.
You are perfectly entitled to your opinion. I believe in the largesse of individual Americans, not the government. If I disagree with the way Catholic Charities operates, for example, I can withhold further donations and contribute to another charity. The federal government often picks winners and losers based on political motivations, depending upon which particular party controls White House and Congress at any given time. Government cannot be cut out of the picture as a practical matter, I'll readily concede. But I will always maintain my preference for private charitable institutions.
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  #43  
Old Apr 20, '12, 1:50 pm
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Tampa Dave Tampa Dave is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

I'll add the fact that I'm an attorney practicing law in Washington, DC. My opinion is greatly influenced by personal experience with private charities and the federal government. Of course, my opinion and $2 will buy you a cheap drink at Starbucks. Take it for what its worth!
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  #44  
Old Apr 20, '12, 3:22 pm
Et Cetera Et Cetera is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

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Originally Posted by Cat View Post
Yes, once they start working and discover just how much of their wage is taken from them for taxes.
Heh, I meant more that they see the flaws of her so-called philosophy. Her philosophy of selfishness is not followed by the mature. I was a snarky fan of hers in high school, then I grew up and realized that I hadn't really worked for my privilege and that if I want to be a decent human I should help others.
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  #45  
Old Apr 20, '12, 6:09 pm
ellipsis2 ellipsis2 is offline
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Default Re: Why is Ayn Rand popular among Christian Conservatives?

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Originally Posted by MillTownCath View Post
I heard he makes his entire staff read Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand), is there any truth to that?
I've read that, also. It makes no sense to me that a Catholic would advocate this thinking.
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