(Re: "Ease Their Pain," Oct. 4-10, Vol. 22, No. 14)
Outstanding article Mr. Hamilton! Thank you!
Our politicians are suppose to represent people rather than trying to control things. Senator Crain should get this issue out to the people and let them decide. Senator Connie Johnson has been trying to get this issue to the front for SIX YEARS, but our senate keeps delaying and postponing it, while people with cancer, multiple sclerosis, etc., continue to suffer. That's too long to shove anything under the rug! Medical cannabis belongs in the hands of our doctors, and not our politicians!
Thanks again to Arnold Hamilton for writing this article!
With the recent passing away of Gore Vidal and the selection by Mitt Romney of Paul Ryan to be his Vice-Presidential running mate, I thought it would be a good time to dust off an excellent essay Gore Vidal wrote about Ayn Rand's philosophy. Paul Ryan has said that Ayn Rand has influenced him more than any other person. That in itself is rather odd, being a Catholic, one would presume Jesus Christ would have that honor. Regardless I think this essay might give voters some insight into Paul Ryan's economic/moral perspective. The essay has been truncated to fit in the available space.
Gore Vidal Comments on Ayn Rand from the July 1961 issue of Esquire magazine:
Ayn Rand ... has just published a book ... The Philosophy of Ayn Rand; it is a collection quotations from her novels and must be read to be believed.
Herewith, a few excerpts from the Rand collection.
-- "It was the morality of altruism that undercut America and is now destroying her."
-- "Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same society.
-- "I am done with the monster of 'we,' the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame.
And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: 'I.'"
This odd little woman is attempting to give a moral sanction to greed and self interest, and to pull it off she must at times indulge in purest Orwellian newspeak of the "freedom is slavery" sort.
She has a great attraction for simple people who are puzzled by organized society, who object to paying taxes, who dislike the "welfare" state, who feel guilt at the thought of the suffering of others but who would like to harden their hearts. For them, she has an enticing prescription: altruism is the root of all evil, self-interest is the only good.
She is fighting two battles: the first, against the idea of the State being anything more than a police force and a judiciary to restrain people from stealing each other's money openly. ... But it is Miss Rand's second battle that is the moral one. She has declared war not only on Marx but on Christ.
Now, although my own enthusiasm for the various systems evolved in the names of those two figures is limited, I doubt if even the most anti-Christian free-thinker would want to deny the ethical value of Christ in the Gospels. To reject that Christ is to embark on dangerous waters indeed. For to justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.
For one thing, it is gratuitous to advise any human being to look out for himself. You can be sure that he will. It is far more difficult to persuade him to help his neighbor to build a dam or to defend a town or to give food he has accumulated to the victims of a famine. But since we must live together, dependent upon one another for many things and services, altruism is necessary to survival. To get people to do needed things is the perennial hard task of government, not to mention of religion and philosophy. That it is right to help someone less fortunate is an idea which has figured in most systems of conduct since the beginning of the race. We often fail. That predatory demon "I" is difficult to contain but until now we have all agreed that to help others is a right action. ... Mr. Gore sums it up nicely when he says "Ayn Rand's 'philosophy' is nearly perfect in its immorality."
I am not going to presume to read Mr. Ryan's mind and try to explain what he meant when he said Ms. Rand had a great influence on him (he still requires his staff to read her books), but I am disturbed that a man potentially one heartbeat away from the presidency could find a lunatic like Ms. Rand so compelling.
I am of the belief that this "letter to the editor" will not be published as the one I wrote concerning the "tower guy." This is because the people of North Tulsa are not considered "people" of Tulsa. With the upcoming elections, "Tulsa" is being urged to vote for Vision2 as something that will benefit "all" of Tulsa. However, you would be hard pressed to even find a poster or yard sign "in" North Tulsa to vote on Vision2, while South Tulsa is flooded with them.
Those pushing for passage of Vision2 expound the beliefs of attracting people to Tulsa and retaining many for the future. But people willing to live in North Tulsa are "not" being encouraged to do so by being given employment, entertainment or any opportunities. When my children were young, we went to South Tulsa around 51st and 61st street to look at horses that were for sale. Thirty years later, you would never know that there were farms in the area through 101st. However, North Tulsa has not changed at all.
I believe the people of North Tulsa understand the "vision" better than our city leaders realize.
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