• Ayn Rand: Has the time she warned us about arrived?

     

     

         If you never have, and you’re feeling confused about what’s going on in America today, it’s time for you to read Ayn Rand’s, Atlas Shrugged. This prescient novel, which lauds reason and objectivist and libertarian philosophy written over fifty years ago, was never more relevant than it is today.

         This is important because although we’ve been headed down the collectivist path Rand so brilliantly warned us about, we are now at a specific and critical juncture. What tells me this? People used to become upset with me, some even on the right, when I’d use the “S” word (socialism) when describing the political left in our nation. They described the term as mean-spirited and said it, “went too far.” Now Newsweek declares, “We are all Socialists now,” right smack on its magazine cover.

         We’ve recently elected an American president, the heir to the legacies of the likes of Washington, Jefferson, and Adams, who together with his political party in the majority, appears to have no qualms about pressing forward with—not a subtle socialist-like agenda, but a blatantly socialist one.

         In Atlas Shrugged, among many other lessons, Rand teaches us the socialist immorality of rewarding failure and punishing success, thus resulting in an ever-growing entitlement class and an ever-shrinking productive class, which can only lead to a greater loss of liberty, political and economic collapse, and eventual governmental totalitarianism.

         The current “soft” tyranny of seemingly beneficial social programs that primarily benefit the unproductive to the financial harm of the productive, can only lead to a “hard” tyranny, once the productive begin to disengage and a forced working class becomes necessary.

         Do I truly believe that a socialist society will emerge in the United States? No I don’t; I hold out hope that this nation, conceived in liberty, still has enough liberty-loving patriots so that Washington’s, Jefferson’s, and Adam’s America will not parish from the Earth. However, I do fear the damage that will be done while those currently in power spend their political capital like a scorned woman armed with her soon to be ex-husband’s no-limit credit card, paying back the constituents responsible for putting them in power with a massive political payback disguised as an economic stimulus package, at a mind-numbing, head-spinning, vision-blurring velocity.

         Come on America; pay attention and get involved.    

  • New Glory

         One fringe benefit of a liberal Democrat being elected President of the United States seems to be a newfound, “universal” affinity for the American Flag. I’ve noticed, quite happily I might add, that many on the left side of the political spectrum have found a new love, or at least respect, for the flag. Previously there seemed to be a prevalent view that the American Flag was somehow an exclusive symbol of the political right. In fact, many on the left often blame those on the right for “appropriating” the flag as their own.

         There is a reason for this: The right has never abandoned their reverence for Old Glory. There was a time, probably right up to the 1960s, when both sides of the political aisle honored the flag as their own, if in their own disparate ways. For example, sewn-on patches were all the rage in the 60s and 70s and many hippies sewed patches on their jackets and jeans (sometimes to cover holes on their butts), which were fashioned in various variations (or mutilations) of the American Flag, peace symbols, ecology, etc., but at least it was being positively acknowledged, if not honored, in their minds, rather than rebuked entirely.

         I’m just waiting for the disillusionment that’s sure to come at least to some degree—being president is hard. Then we’ll learn: Will the left abandon the flag again or will more Americans honoring our flag remain one of the surviving benefits of the election of President Obama?