Working my way along what I thought would take me back to the edge, I saw many platforms for topics that I found uninteresting. Most of these were sparsely populated. I ignored the pet food discussion. Nor did I pay attention to the American football platform. I might have thought twice about joining those who were discussing the building of medieval furniture but there were no people involved, just a quiet stack of lonely books on a platform soon to be reintegrated into the center of this contraption.
But a few people were standing on the Libertarianism platform. And, tiring of the sheer physical effort of not getting squashed by beams and gears, I figured that was as good of a platform as any. So I leapt and found myself next to the man who had been in front of my in live.
``So,'' I casually started a conversation, ``did you know that Ayn Rand hated Libertarians?''
Several hours later, now that I'm awake and have gotten started on the day, I can't recall what dialogue (if any) that followed my statement about Ayn Rand and what she thought of Libertarians. But it is true. The author of Atlas Shrugged despised (or would have despised had she lived to see them) most of the groups that find strength in her novels.
Rand's criticism of Libertarianism was many angled, covering quite a few aspects that many people don't understand about her thought.
- Many Libertarians are religious, a sign to Rand that they are irrational and incapable of truly understanding her ideas.
- The similarities between Libertarianism and Rand's Objectivism are entirely superficial and to claim that the ideas of one match the ideas of the other is to understand neither
- Libertarianism makes liberty into the greatest, or at least the most important, human good which is contrary to Objectivism.
- Contra Libertarians, Rand thought that government is necessary to human society and the best government is the one that will rationally enforce objective laws regardless of the will of the people
- Rand thought that Libertarians do not understand how government actually works and, consequently, for them to get involved in the affairs of state shows that they are naive and they will most likely only make things worse than they already are.
- Libertarians, in Rand's view, misunderstand both the true role and the true power of capitalism and private property
With the exception of that last bullet point, how Rand differs from Libertarians can best be summed up in a single statement of her very own, Rational men are not afraid of government.
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