RRD: We have already seen that Obama “misunderstands” Ayn Rand.
Obama, Unsurprisingly, Gets Ayn Rand Wrong
However he is also off-base on Lincoln as well:
Rolling Stone Mobile – Politics –
Politics: Obama and the Road Ahead: The Rolling Stone Interview
”Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we’re only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we’re considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity—that that’s a pretty narrow vision. . . . Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a “you’re on your own” society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party. Of course, that’s not the Republican tradition. . . . You look at Abraham Lincoln: He very much believed in self-sufficiency and self-reliance. He embodied it—that you work hard and you make it, that your efforts should take you as far as your dreams can take you. But he also understood that there’s some things we do better together. That we make investments in our infrastructure and railroads and canals and land-grant colleges and the National Academy of Sciences, because that provides us all with an opportunity to fulfill our potential, and we’ll all be better off as a consequence. He also had a sense of deep, profound empathy, a sense of the intrinsic worth of every individual, which led him to his opposition to slavery and ultimately to signing the Emancipation Proclamation. That view of life—as one in which we’re all connected, as opposed to all isolated and looking out only for ourselves—that’s a view that has made America great. . .
Lincoln on Liberty & Tyranny #tcot #teaparty #aynrand |
Glory to man in the highest
… “The world has never had a good definition of the word “liberty,” and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word, we do not all mean the same thing. With some, the word “liberty” may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself and the product of his labour; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men and the product of other men’s labour . Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name,–liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names,–liberty and tyranny.”….
Lincoln:The Free-Market vs. Slavery | Glory to man in the highest
” FRAGMENT. WRITTEN ABOUT JULY 1, 1854 Equality in society alike beats inequality, whether the latter be of the British aristocratic sort or of the domestic slavery sort. We know Southern men declare that their slaves are better off than hired labourers amongst us. How little they know whereof they speak! There is no permanent class of hired labourers amongst us. Twenty-five years ago I was a hired labourer. The hired labourer of yesterday labours on his own account to -day, and will hire others to labour for him to -morrow. Advancement–improvement in condition–is the order of things in a society of equals. As labour is the common burden of our race, so the effort of some to shift their share of the burden on to the shoulders of others is the great durable curse of the race. Originally a curse for transgression upon the whole race, when, as by slavery, it is concentrated on a part only, it becomes the double -refined curse of God upon his creatures. Free labour has the inspiration of hope; pure slavery has no hope. The power of hope upon human exertion and happiness is wonderful. The slave -master himself has a conception of it, and hence the system of tasks among slaves. The slave whom you cannot drive with the lash to break seventy-five pounds of hemp in a day, if you will task him to break a hundred, and promise him pay for all he does over, he will break you a hundred and fifty. You have substituted hope for the rod. And yet perhaps it does not occur to you that, to the extent of your gain in the case, you have given up the slave system and adopted the free system of labour.”