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ANOTHER VIEW: Social Justice vs. Objectivism

Author Frank J. Batavick | CNBNews

Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, is a big fan of Ayn Rand and Objectivism, and his approach Images-2to creating a national budget reflects his beliefs. But what exactly does this mean? Imagine this:

The legions of heaven gathered for the big debate. The topic- Social Justice vs. Objectivism, or more precisely, the belief that everyone should have equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities vs. the belief that we are only entitled to what we’ve earned and need not care about the welfare of others. A Higher Authority had chosen his only begotten son to defend Social Justice. The Authority had also waived the rules and granted the originator of Objectivism a travel visa from her home in the nether world so that she might state her case in her own words. He deemed all of this necessary because Objectivism kept recruiting and corrupting souls back on earth.

After the Seraphim arranged two throne-like chairs facing each other, Gabriel called the adversaries from their corners. Jesus, the reigning and undefeated champion of Social Justice, approached the center of the ring and took his seat. Ayn Rand, pop philosopher and godmother to libertarians and Tea Partiers alike, confidently strode from her corner and sat opposite the Son of God. Gabriel cautioned, Top of Form

"Let's have a clean debate. Protect yourself at all times, and begin when the opening bell sounds.”

The bell clanged and Rand came out swinging. “If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.  I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

A look of incredulity appeared on Jesus’ face. He lifted both hands and asked, “But what of the new commandment I gave you: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?”

Rand scoffed at this. “Man is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others; he must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life.”

Jesus questioned her again. “Did I not say that when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me? What say you of moral purpose and happiness? It cannot exist without love for me and your neighbor. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. As for sacrifice, there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.”

Rand recoiled at this thought and decided to take a different tack. “"If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose the fact that they were the people who created the phrase 'to MAKE money.' The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human morality. Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction.”

Jesus cautioned, "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"

Rand defiantly replied, “The human race has only two unlimited capacities: one for suffering and one for lying. I want to fight religion as the root of all human lying and the only excuse for human suffering. This miracle of me is mine to own and keep, and mine to guard, and mine to use, and mine to kneel before, and I raise this god over the earth. This god, this one word: 'I.'”

Jesus showed a mixture of anger and disappointment. He murmured softly, “No. No. No.” and then proclaimed, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”

To this Rand replied bitterly, “Follow you? Well, it was my hope that when I died, I’d go to Heaven, whatever the Hell that is.

And for the first time, Jesus smiled, pleased that this goat had been separated from his beloved lambs for all eternity.

Frank Batavick is a graduate of Gloucester Catholic (‘63) and La Salle University ('67) with over 40 years of experience as a television writer/producer/director for public TV and media companies in IN and NJ.  He has also served as adjunct faculty and visiting professor in Communications at colleges and universities in NY and MD. Frank now lives in MD with his wife Dori (GCHS, ‘63), where he is the vice chair of the Historical Society of Carroll County’s board of trustees, editor of the Carroll History Journal, and a weekly columnist and occasional feature writer for the Carroll County Times.