Steve Bannon and Paul Ryan Conflict over Capitalism and Ayn Rand

Perhaps, the most critical disparity between the two men’s worldviews is the way they conceptualize the relationship between working people and America’s economic elites. While Paul Ryan champions our nation’s corporate titans as “job creators” — whose prosperity is inextricably linked with that of the middle class — Bannon paints them as rootless, godless elites whose wealth is harvested from the exploitation of ordinary people.

This split is reflected in Bannon’s and Ryan’s diametrically opposed assessments of libertarian novelist and theorist Ayn Rand. Ryan heralds Rand as one of his greatest intellectual influences, and requires his interns to read Atlas Shrugged.

In his 2014 remarks, Bannon took a different view. Lamenting the erosion of a “form of capitalism” that adhered to the “spiritual and moral foundations of Christianity,” Bannon decried the “state capitalism” ascendant in China and Russia — and the libertarian capitalism taking over the United States.

The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism…that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the “enlightened capitalism” of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost — as many of the precepts of Marx — and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. And if they don’t see another alternative, it’s going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind o

Source: Why Steve Bannon Hates Paul Ryan

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