On February 11th of last year, Paul Krugman quoted Jonathon Chait, on the revelation that Paul Ryan is an Ayn Randite:
Ryan clearly has a passion for ideas and isn’t just interested in short-term positioning. It would be nice if the party had people like that who didn’t also happen to be loons.The rest of Chait's post read as follows:
Last week, I called Republican budget sorta-kinda point man Paul Ryan "crazy but honest." Today, some of the intellectual influences behind the first half of that description are coming out. TPM reports that Ryan is a big fan of Ayn Rand and "Atlas Shrugged." The Daily Beast, interviewing Ryan, reports that he was influenced by Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism."One of the commenters on Chait's piece posted the following about the comparison between Rand and Goldberg:
What do those works have in common? They're written by people who don't understand liberalism and the left at all, and are thus unable to present liberal ideas in terms remotely recognizable to liberals themselves. The specific lack of understanding lies in an inability to grasp the enormous differences between American liberalism and socialism or communism, seeing them as variants on the same basic theme. The historical reality is that the architects of American liberalism saw it as a bulwark against communism, and communists and socialists in turn viewed the liberals as in implacable enemy. (Yes, you can cherry pick a few data points of commonality, but these are the exceptions rather than the rule.) The result is a tendency to see even modest efforts to sand off the roughest edges of capitalism in order to make free markets work for all Americans as the opening salvo of a vast and endless assault upon the market system.
Jonah Goldberg is no Ayn Rand. Indeed, they are opposites. Ayn Rand's books are appealing (forget the politics), but her personality was nothing less than looney. Jonah Goldberg's personality is appealing (forget the politics), but his books are nothing less than looney.Krugman also quoted the late Paul Samuelson on Alan Greenspan:
You can take the boy out of the cult but you can’t take the cult out of the boy.We've seen this quote before. We've also seen the complete version of it in context.
And this brings us to Alan Greenspan, whom I've known for over 50 years and who I regarded as one of the best young business economists. Townsend-Greenspan was his company. But the trouble is that he had been an Ayn Rander. You can take the boy out of the cult but you can't take the cult out of the boy. He actually had instruction, probably pinned on the wall: 'Nothing from this office should go forth which discredits the capitalist system. Greed is good.'While Krugman was done, his commenters weren't: