Thursday, 16 August 2012

From The Fountainhead

• "I just want to speak to you a little bit about Ayn Rand and what she meant to me in my life and [in] the fight we're engaged here in Congress. I grew up on Ayn Rand, that's what I tell people."

• "I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are."

• "It's inspired me so much that it's required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged. There's a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead, but then we move on, and we require Mises and Hayek as well."

"But 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."

• "And when you look at the twentieth-century experiment with collectivism -- that Ayn Rand, more than anybody else, did such a good job of articulating the pitfalls of statism and collectivism -- you can't find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism than Ayn Rand."

• "It's so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand's vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are."

• "Because there is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand's writings and works."

• He told Insight on the News on 24th May 1999 that the books he most often reread were "The Bible, Friedrich von Hayek's The Road to Serfdom and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged."

• He told the Weekly Standard on 17th March 2003 that "I give out Atlas Shrugged as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it. Well... I try to make my interns read it."

• At a 28th February 2009 speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Ryan said that Obama was trying "to use this [financial] crisis to move America toward the sort of Europeanized economy... Sounds like something right out of an Ayn Rand novel."

You know, the sort of "Europeanized economy" that combines socialised medicine with either almost immeasurably more restrictive abortion laws than in the United States, or else outright bans, the only notable exception being here in by far the most Americanised country in Europe.

If you have the other fruits of Catholic Social Teaching, then of course you can have abortion laws like that, since the situations typically giving rise to abortion are in any case vastly less likely to present themselves. Britain was like that for a generation between the end of the War and the enactment of the 1967 Abortion Act, and it is more than notable that the legalisation of abortion up to birth was enacted by Margaret Thatcher.

Much of the Continent still is like that. But America never has been. And America certainly would not be under Paul Ryan. Catholic enthusiasm for him is in fact monomania, which is the opposite of catholicity. It is yet further evidence that the American and wannabe American outposts of the Catholic Church are becoming a single-issue pressure group on the subject of abortion. The concept of single issues is in itself utterly uncatholic and un-Catholic. Just ask the Pope.

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