Exposing Paul Ryan's Narcissism

Uploaded by TheDailyConversation on 03.10.2012

Rep. Paul Ryan: I grew up on Ayn Rand, that's what I tell people. I, uh, you know, everybody
does their soul-searching, and trying to find out who they are and what they believe, and
you learn about yourself.
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 [laughter]. 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 the fight we are in here, make no mistake about
it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.
In almost every fight we are involved in here, on Capitol Hill, whether it's an amendment
vote that I'll take later on this afternoon, or a big piece of policy we're putting through
our Ways and Means Committee, it is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict: individualism
vs. collectivism.
And so when you take a look at where we are today, ah, some would say we're on offense,
some would say we're on defense, I'd say it's a little bit of both. 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 principles are.
Mike Wallace: One of the principle achievements of this country in the past 20 years particularly,
I think most people agree, is gradual growth--social, protective legislation, based on the principle
that we are our brother's keepers. How do you feel about the political trends of the
United States, the western world.
Ayn Rand: The way everybody feels except more consciously. I feel that it is terrible. That
you see destruction all around you and that you are moving toward disaster until, and
unless, all those welfare state conceptions have been reversed and rejected. It is precisely
these trends which are bringing the world to disaster because we are now moving towards
complete collectivism or socialism, a system under which everybody is enslaved to everybody.
...and now what is self-sacrifice?
Mike Wallace: Yes, what is self-sacrifice? You say that you do not like the altruism
by which we live. You like a certain kind of Ayn Rand-ist selfishness.
Ayn Rand: I will say that I 'don't like' is too weak a word. I consider it [altruism]
evil. And self-sacrifice is the precept that man needs to serve others in order to justify
his existence, that his moral duty is to serve others. That is what most people believe today.
Mike Wallace: Well yes, we're taught to feel concerned for our fellow man, to feel responsible
for his welfare, to feel that we are - as religious people might put it - children under
god and responsible one for the other. Now, why do you rebel? What's wrong with this philosophy?
Ayn Rand: But that is what, in fact, makes man a sacrificial animal. That man must work
for others, concern himself with others, or be responsible for them, that is the role
of a sacrificial object. I say that man is entitled to his own happiness and that he
must achieve it himself, but that he cannot demand that others give up their lives to
make him happy and nor should he wish to sacrifice himself for the happiness of others. I hold
that man should have self-esteem.
Mike Wallace: And cannot man have self-esteem if he loves his fellow man? What's wrong with
loving your fellow man? Christ, every important moral leader in man's history has taught us
that we should love one another. Why then is this kind of love, in your mind, immoral?
Ayn Rand: It is immoral if it is a love placed above one's self. It is more than immoral,
it is impossible because when you are asked to love everybody indiscriminately, that is
to love people without any standard, to love them regardless of the fact of whether they
have any value or virtue, you are asked to love nobody.