Vague Muddle

 Posted by on 21 July 2005 at 9:01 am  Libertarianism
Jul 212005

I must admit, I wasn’t favorably impressed with this commentary on “the enigma of the moderate Republican judges” that I found via my “Ayn Rand” Google News alert. (That’s hardly surprising, since it is posted on Alan Keyes’ Renew America site.) Nonetheless, I found its method of argumentation rather revealing. Consider this mention of Ayn Rand:

Libertarian ideas have steadily increased in influence since Ayn Rand wrote The Fountainhead in 1943. Libertarian concepts have infiltrated both conservative and liberal thought. Sometimes both the ACLU and Evangelical pastors slip onto Ayn Rand’s turf without realizing it. The infectious power of her ideas are in their elemental simplicity. However, God’s creation is anything but simple, and man–who is part angel and part devil, part spiritual and part worldly–is a mass of contradictions.

As far as I can tell, those last two sentences say absolutely nothing meaningful. The author does not bother to say in what way Ayn Rand’s ideas have an “elemental simplicity.” (And that matters, since they are essentialized to fundamentals but not simplistic.) Nonetheless, the supposed complexity of the world refutes her. Yet no particular instance of such complexity is offered in comparison to Ayn Rand’s thought, merely a string of references to God the creator, mind versus body, and contradictions in reality. Thus is Ayn Rand dismissed.

The rest of the essay seems to be written in the same basic vein. Overall, it seems to be little more than a bumbling attempt to dress up an appeal to Christian faith with the veneer of rational argument. Personally, I suspect that the “mass of contradictions” in question exists in the mind of the author, not reality.

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