Paul Ryan Hero Ayn Rand Was a Virulent Anti-Arab Racist

The pick of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate has sparked renewed interest in the ideology of Ayn Rand, the famed author who popularized an extreme, laissez-faire vision of capitalism. Ryan’s hero was Rand.

AlterNet’s Jan Frel has a good rundown here pointing to articles that “shed light on why Rand's influence on Ryan is so dangerous.” But what’s less well-known is the fact that Rand had some extreme right-wing views on foreign policy and the Middle East.

Phil Weiss of Mondoweiss (full disclosure: I’m a staff reporter there) dug up one of Rand’s most noxious statements on Israel/Palestine. Rand thought Arabs were “savages” and uncivilized; she supported the US giving unconditional support to Israel.

Here’s a Rand speech on Israel that illuminates her racism:

Ayn Rand on Israel (Ford Hall Forum lecture, 1974)

Q: What should the United Sates do about the [1973] Arab-Israeli War?

AR: Give all the help possible to Israel. Consider what is at stake. It is not the moral duty of any country to send men to die helping another country. The help Israel needs is technology and military weapons—and they need them desperately. Why should we help Israel? Israel is fighting not just the Arabs but Soviet Russia, who is sending the Arabs armaments. Russia is after control of the Mediterranean and oil. Further, why are the Arabs against Israel? (This is the main reason I support Israel.)

The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it's the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are. Israel is a mixed economy inclined toward socialism. But when it comes to the power of the mind—the development of industry in that wasted desert continent—versus savages who don't want to use their minds, then if one cares about the future of civilization, don't wait for the government to do something. Give whatever you can. This is the first time I've contributed to a public cause: helping Israel in an emergency.

This speech helps explain Paul Ryan's affinity for neoconservatives, who are now advising him on foreign policy.

AlterNet / By Alex Kane

Posted at August 13, 2012, 3:45pm

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