Monday, January 31, 2011

Personal Freedom, Public Assistance, and So-Called Conservatism

by Dick Mac

Ayn Rand, the now-deceased 20th Century philosopher, promoted personal freedom above all else, and a minimalist government for the betterment of all people; and insisted that welfare, social security, medicare, and all other social programs were bad, bordering on evil.

Rand's philosophy, like most philosophies, is neither completely right nor completely wrong. There are points some agree with and points some disagree with; some areas that will prove to be accurate and some that will eventually prove to be folly. That's how philosophy works! We are humans.

The notion that one can take Rand's writings and simply say: this is a road map to freedom, is absurd. Still, there are many "conservatives" on the right, and fringe radicals in the Tea Party, that hold Rand up as the only philosopher who had it right.

Abolish all social services: welfare, medicare, social security, and any other program that makes an individual beholden to a state.

Like all other right-wingers, however, Rand really only wanted to abolish this stuff after she got her benefits; leaving the rest of us in the lurch.

It's a pretty standard philosophy among right-wingers and so-called "conservatives": "I got mine now go fuck yourself"! They are all for a government that is helping build civilization while they are young, and starting out in the world and building a career; but once they have their house and car and retirement fund and bank account, all of a sudden they want the government to get out of everyones' lives.

So-called "conservatives" hold Rand in very high regard and often evoke her writings and philosophy when arguing against the government that helped them become comfortable by ensuring there is a functioning society and infrastructure.

Come to find out, though, that like most right-wingers, Rand was just like today's so-called "conservatives": she was against Social Security and Medicare, until it was time for her to cash-in! She had no problem taking our government-sponsored Medicare to pay for the treatment of lung cancer caused by decades of personal freedom (smoking); and neither she nor her husband declined their right to a slice of the funds in the Social Security pie. They took Social Security while being part of a generation that paid nominally into the program!

And that's how so-called "conservatives" operate: they are against everything the government creates and every function and service that they do not personally use, until it's their turn. Then suddenly, their silent acquiescence allows funds to flow into their bank accounts and services to be rendered on their behalf.

One of her namesakes, Rand Paul, of Kentucky, has the same philosophy as the late writer. He thinks every government program needs to be considered for cutting. Well, everything except direct Medicare reimbursements to doctors. Why? Because DOCTOR Rand Paul, of Kentucky, rakes in about a half-a-million bucks a year from that program! He doesn't see any reason to cut THAT program.


No wonder people aspire to be a "conservative"! Conservatives get to suck the government dry while blaming the poor for all the ills of the nation.

The sad thing is that working people, and anyone with less than a couple hundred million in the back, vote against their own best interests and elect frauds like Paul and others who espouse this bogus philosophy.

Social Security is Immoral, by Alex Epstein, at the Ayn Rand Center For Individual Rights website

Ayn Rand Received Social Security, Medicare, by Patia Stephens

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