I have no idea how I missed this essay on Paul Ryan and his cult of "self-reliance " when it first came out. Leon Wieseltier is one of the finest writers and finest thinkers in the liberal tradition. Obviously, I disagree with Wieseltier about the transformative power of suffering, but then I worship a crucified God and Wieseltier does not. But, his critique of the Randian worldview is breathtakingly spot-on. And, I apologize for missing this essay when it was published, but it has lost none of its currency because Mr. Ryan is still a prominent player in Washington and the libertarian ethic he espouses is shockingly, and frighteningly, popular, especially among so many of our young people.