Unfortunately for Buckleyite conservatives, fusionism largely needed the threat of atheistic communism in order to give the movement a reason for existence. With liberal capitalism's victory over communism, the fusionists are now in the sticky position of having to explain to the average American why their cultural, social, and economic life has stagnated or declined over the past thirty years, despite the fact that conservatives have gotten much of what they wanted in the economic sphere while scoring few recognizable victories in the Culture War. Indeed, many of the major political victories in the Culture War have been won by members of the Democratic base, primarily African-American and Hispanic voters. It is becoming clear that while many Republicans campaign on Christianity, family values, and other popular manifestations of social conservatism, they are primarily concerned with endless wars, privatization, tax cuts for the wealthy, and the annihilation of organized labor. With this in mind, Christian conservatives must choose: Ayn Rand or Jesus Christ?
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Ayn Rand or Jesus Christ?
Isaiah J. Poole has an excellent piece on the total conflict between the thought of Ayn Rand and the teachings of Christ. I cannot think of a better article for this year’s Easter, as a new film adaptation of the first third of Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged is currently in theaters. The film and its philosophy are being promoted by Tea Party organizations such as FreedomWorks and can be seen as part of the revival of the libertarian Right. This is a very important development because it should make religious conservatives think twice about the movements and ideologies they are currently allied with. For example, Rand was a virulent atheist, a supporter of abortion, and an advocate of sexual hedonism, as Megan Gibson points out in her article at Cif America. For these and other reasons, more traditional American conservatives such as William F. Buckley and Russell Kirk were dismissive of Rand and Objectivism. Rand's ideas simply could not fit into the fusion of laissez-faire economics and traditional Christian morality that Buckley and his allies were developing at the National Review.