The left's notion that the ends justify the means vs the conservative notion that only just means create just ends.
To hear it from some people, you’d think that America was a terrible place with a terrible history with few redeeming qualities. Some of their points are valid, but they do not give a balanced perspective on our nation. Our Founding Fathers were men of wisdom and courage who sacrificed much and were prepared to give, even more, even their lives if necessary for us to gain our independence.
We've all heard someone ask: “Who are you to judge me?” or some variant of that question. It's a defensive question usually asked by someone who reasonably expects to be judges harshly by their peers for some ethical or moral transgression. It's safe to say that someone secure in the notion that society or their peers would judge their actions favorably, is not going to pose this rhetorical question. A good retort to that question might be: “Who are you that you are above judgment?”
When we base rights on what is good for society, that begs the question: Who speaks for society? Throughout history, such people who claim to speak for society inevitably turn out to be tyrants. You have a few, even a single person, deciding what is good for the people. Rand thought that people ought to decide for themselves, based upon rational self-interest.
Ayn Rand saw collectivism in all its forms as an impediment to human rights. "The good of society" cannot be the basis of rights, since society is merely a collection of individuals, and so the only proper rights are individual rights. When we base rights on what is good for society, that begs the question: Who speaks for society? Throughout history, such people who claim to speak for society inevitably turn out to be tyrants. You have a few, even a single person, deciding what is good for the people. Rand thought that people ought to decide for themselves, based upon rational self-interest.
Ayn Rand explains how leaders with a collectivist mindset can justify such lusty sums for pet projects and public largess even though we are experiencing record inflation partly due to previous enormous spending. It comes from altruism, paired with a neurotic lack of self-esteem in a leader or among lawmakers that fuels the need for ever more spending on “the public good”. It is based upon the need to feel good, rather than actually doing good.
The public who support these policies get to feel good about themselves too, but only for a little while, until the bill comes due. By the time they're paying $5 for a loaf of bread, and $6 for a gallon of gas, it's too late.
Today, we can see the Left is still using the same playbook, as their motivations and political goals remain the same. They retain all of the moral shortcomings that Rand wrote about over fifty years ago, including when in 1964 she wrote a chapter in her nonfiction book, The Virtue of Selfishness, which is a collection of essays written by her and Nathaniel Branden that lay out the principles that make up her Objectivist philosophy.
Racism, as a collectivist pursuit, was anathema to her strictly individualistic Objectivism. To her, all forms of collectivism be they socialism, fascism, or racism were immoral on the basis that collectivism on the national level, ultimately and inevitably leads to authoritarianism and the trampling of individual rights by the government. Racism therefore, would necessitate that same authoritarian brand of government that all other forms of collectivism required in order to sustain itself on a national level.
To Reagan, and many of his generation, communism, and socialism equaled slavery-- not to a particular person, but to the state. What would the people of that era not so long ago make of the acceptance of Marxism and of collectivism we see among so many today?