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Video: Sirico on Ayn Rand’s ‘false gospel’

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Acton President Rev. Robert A. Sirico appeared in a a video interview released yesterday by Catholic News Service, following a press conference in Rome last week held to introduce his new book “Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for the Free Economy” to the local media.

CNS Rome bureau chief Frank Rocca interviewed Sirico regarding his own moral defense of market economics and asked his opinion of the libertarian novelist and intellectual Ayn Rand, whose philosophy of objectivism and rational-self interest gained widespread support from laissez faire capitalists in the United States and Europe.

Rev. Sirico expressed his opinion of Rand’s  “false gospel” of laissez faire capitalism in these words:

Ayn Rand is a very interesting character … She attempts to defend capitalism by the use of Aristotelian and, even at times, Thomistic categories. But I think that Rand has a counterfeit form of Christianity. Her success … to a very great extent, is [due to] the moral passion she brings to the question of economics.

Sirico told CNS that Rand’s “false gospel” is most manifest in John Galt, the fictional philosopher-inventor of her popular novel “Atlas Shrugged,” who just like Jesus was rejected by the establishment, persecuted, tortured and is “the redeemer who comes to the world to show [us] the right way”.

Sirico explains, what Ayn Rand should be really looking for in the heroic character John Galt is Jesus Christ. In Galt we find the defender-until-death of human liberty while the libertarian author “rejects all the fundamental principles of Christianity, such as human solidarity, even a clear sense of human dignity … She coverts the notion of the uniqueness of the human person that we find that at the heart of Christianity … into a radical individualism.”

Michael Severance


  • “. . . the redeemer who comes to the world to show [us] the right way/”

    No, Galt was not interested in showing people the right way. He only wished to live the right way himself, by refusing to allow others to put him under coercion. Those who also wanted that — really wanted it — joined his cause to live free. That is all.

    “. . . the uniqueness of the human person that we find that at the heart of Christianity … ”
    If Christianity were true to that foundation, it would never support any form of political collectivism, socialism etc. The actual record of Christianity on that point is poor.

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  • Twisting and rationalizing will not meld Ayn Rand into a cult she denounced and named its fatal flaw. The ethic of sacrifice inherent in Christianity can never be a sound foundation for capitalism and extolling the spokesman for sacrifice as an example of heroism comparable to John Galt is naive.