With Ayn Rand film to screen in Lincoln, Paul Ryan’s ardor has cooled

Oct 11, 2012

The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity is helping to present a screening tomorrow at Lincoln Cinema World of Atlas Shrugged Part 2, a film inspired by the work of Ayn Rand.

Rand’s influence has waned and waxed over the years. Paul Ryan, set for his big VP debate tonight with Joe Biden, used to be a big disciple.

Yet Ryan has since walked back his public enthusiasm for Rand. TPM reported last month on how Paul has further distanced himself from the late novelist.

Ryan says he no longer would describe programs like Social Security as “collectivist”as he did in a speech before the Randian Atlas Society in 2005.

“I don’t think of it like that,” Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Saturday when asked about his past remarks.

In his address to the Atlas Society, audio of which recently was posted online, Ryan called for privatizing Social Security in terms familiar to Rand’s followers, saying it was part of a broader “fight of individualism versus collectivism.”

“Social Security right now is a collectivist system,” he said. “It’s a welfare transfer system.”

He described Medicare and Medicaid in the same speech using similar language, offering up an early preview of his 2010 plan to replace “socialist based” Medicare with a privatized structure.

Proceeds from the screening tomorrow will help to support the free market Center for Freedom & Prosperity.