The author of Wrapped in the Flag, a memoir of her childhood in the John Birch Society, appeared on the MOMocrats podcast yesterday to talk about Rand Paul’s America. His father, former Texas congressman Ron Paul, has been the favorite politician of the JBS for a long time, and JBS doctrine seems to overlap perfectly with “libertarianism.”

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  • Bil Danielson

    Claire Connor’s obtuse comments regarding Ms Rand are sadly not unique. Moreover, she illustrated in spades the problem with not only her bald assertions, but so many other commentaries one hears regarding Ayn Rand. What most have in common is an ill-formed opinion coupled with a clear cut case of not performing the due intellectual diligence required to grasp what Objectivism actually subsumes. Connor actually admitted here to not reading all of Atlas Shrugged, and (ostensibly)that is where her actual knowledge appears to have ended. Were Ms Connor to have actually read it, and then followed up with some real intellectual leg work on Objectivism, she would learn that there is essentially nothing fundamentally in common between Libertarians and Ms Rand. Pure nonsense spewed from Connor in this episode, truly pathetic.

    Rather than belabor the point here as to why she was simply wrong on multiple levels, I would merely offer to any and all who listened to this pathetic episode to actually spend less than 10 minutes here (scroll down to the section regarding Ms Rand and Libertarianism), then try this on for size .

    Lastly, I would highly recommend one last piece of excellent writing by Ari Armstrong who penned Let’s Smear Ayn Rand!(2011). Seems appropriate under the circumstances, and Connor fits into Ari’s overview where he states:”Usually, those who most viciously smear Rand display the least understanding of her ideas.”

    Sorry Ms Connor, but you’re busted!

    Oh, and by the way, if you or anyone else is interested in actually learning what Ms Rand and her Objectivism is actually concerned with I would highly recommend in addition to here fiction any of a number of her non-fiction works. In addition, I would highly recommend Loving Life by Craig Biddle, Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist by Tara Smith. There is much to learn about Ms Rand and her ideas cannot simply be discarded and smeared by run of the mill, ill-informed commentators such as Claire Connor.

    • What we find fascinating about this comment is that you have seized on offhand remarks Ms. Conner has made about Rand and libertarianism in the context of her actual topic, which is the John Birch Society. We also have to take issue with your defense of Rand, who is one of the most annoying and useless authors we have ever had the misfortune to try reading. We say we have “tried” because Atlas Shrugged is the longest and most boring science fiction work we have read since Battlefield Earth, which is a comparable novel by a different cult leader. We could not finish L. Ron Hubbard either.

      You might expect a philosophy founded on Rand’s admiration of a serial killer to have some problems, and indeed Objectivism has many issues. It is more sociopathic than scientific. Science understands human beings as social creatures, with millions of years of cooperative AND competitive evolution underlying our complex behavior. Objectivism understands each human as a discrete icon of bootstrapping, atomized individualism, a free radical in its own medium. Guess which model is used by social scientists? Guess which model often fails under examination?

      Rand is not solely responsible for the growth of libertarianism, to be sure. Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, and Wall Street, as well as the Koch brothers and the entire staff of Reason Magazine, have worked to popularize Rand within the libertarian ethos. It is all very well for you to deny any connection because of some obscure doctrinal or philosophical differences, but as long as Paul Ryan is slashing food stamp budgets while handing out copies of Rand’s book, you will find it impossible to convince a mass audience that there is NO relation whatsoever.

      Do you have any thoughts on the relationship between Objectivism and Satanism?