Flipping around the TV the other day I heard Right Wingnut Michelle Malkin advocating that the 'productive' in our society should 'go John Galt' and not contribute to punish President Obama for his 'socialist' ideas.
As many of you know I began my life as a Conservative. I read all the great 'thinkers' of the movement, Edmund Burke, Michael Oakeshott, Fredrick Von Hayek, and the rest as an undergraduate. I believed in all their ideas for the most part until I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
Rand is a favorite of many on the right in the US. She has devoted fans in such luminaries as Alan Greenspan, Ronald Reagan and it appears Michelle Malkin (The Asian American woman who argued that interning Asian Americans during World War 2 was justified.) Rand's book Atlas Shrugged argues that if we as the 'productive' would just stop doing and producing society would stop and the collectivists would be defeated. According to Malkin and her friends this is what will stop the evil Obama from turning America into France (Do we get the Cheese, Style Sense and Bullet trains too?).
My reading of Rand began my migration away from Right wing ideals. It took a long time but it was the seemingly strange pairing of a love for Ayn Rand and the Right's love of Christianity that made their positions so ridiculous to me.
Below are two quotes that bear reflection;
The first by Ayn Rand
It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.
The Second is From Mark's Gospel
Who is Greatest?
33They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."
36He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."
So my question is would Jesus "Go John Galt"? It does not appear that he would. The problem with post-modern Neo-Liberalism (American Conservatism) is that it is based in the kind of Selfishness embodied by Ayn Rand. What they have done is dress it up with a robe of "Christianity" to make it palatable to the masses who are not in the 'productive' group and whose votes they have needed.
This big lie has resulted in the Christian masses getting a steady diet of fear mongering- while the real agenda of the Right wing was put in place- to make Selfishness the center of everything government does.
This is why when President Obama says things like "i want to spread the wealth around" the Right howls that he is a Socialist. Or they howl and accuse him of trying to turn America into Europe.
I even heard one Right Wing Talker asserting that the reason we have unemployment is because our Unemployment Insurance System is too generous and that companies owe nothing to their workers or the society in which they operate.
The fact is that President Obama is trying to change a mentality that was imposed on America by the Right. For most of our history we progressed towards a society where people could live without fear. It was however the Right that decided to gain and keep power they would make fear central. Fear of Blacks, Gays, Women, the Poor, anyone not like them. What they fear now is that President Obama will end fear and by giving Americans more security and thus end their cash machine.
People on the Right like Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh talk about "Capitalism" and how great it is because they already have money and they benefit from selling fear. What Barack Obama is talking about is a society in which everyone has a chance and that threatens those who deal in fear and believe with Ayn Rand that Sacrifice is Slavery.
I for one will go with Jesus who sounds more like Barack Obama don't you think?