Print Story Dreaming of Ayn Rand and her hatred of Libertarians
By lm (Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:16:36 AM EST) (all tags)
In the wee hours of the morning, as I lay slumbering, an obscure vision of a social event at a book store pranced through my head. It was an odd event. A sophisticated contraption, something like a purely mechancial shifting carrousel of a maze, was in the center. Along the edges of this rotating device were tables with stacks of books clustered around different topic areas. The idea was that participants would climb aboard the platform around areas that interested them and engage in discussions with people who shared that interest.

While waiting in line, I found myself next to a Libertarian who insisted in telling me all about the greatness of Ayn Rand. I was relieved when he clambered aboard the discussion engine in front of us and then I waited my turn which came soon enough. But being the deviant that I am, I did not climb onto a discussion platform but into the bowels of the mechanism itself where I found myself lost in a maze of twisty passages all alike.

Well, to be fair, they weren't so much passages as wood beams and metal gears, rotating along multiple axes with new discussion platforms being pushed out to the edge and old discussion platforms being brought in from the edge to be dismantled by mechanical arms. It was a bit harrowing, difficult to see, difficult to find where I was going, difficult to see if I should go anywhere at all. It wasn't long before I realized that this mode of participation was a mistake and one that might imperil my life.

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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Dreaming of Ayn Rand and her hatred of Libertarians | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
"shoes that they are naive"? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 09:11:25 AM EST
Otherwise; +1 FP

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

boots of naivete by aphrael (4.00 / 3) #2 Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 11:17:43 AM EST
sound like a great magic item in a d&d campaign. you secretly replace someone's regular boots with them and voila ....
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Drops their wisdom by 6... by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 01:16:11 PM EST

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Clearly a typo and a word left out by lm (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 07:42:54 AM EST
Should have been, ``for them to get involved in the affairs of state showers shows that they are naive.''

Her point is obvious. Only the most naive would-be politician takes a shower with Uncle Sam without knowing what's about to happen.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
interesting by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 03:11:54 PM EST
Sounds like a useful bit of rhetorical kryptonite, should have known about this for the last presidential elections to beat down the Ronulans.

It occurred to me after writing it that ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:04:15 PM EST
... Libertarianism is the Scientology of political theory.

So to speak.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Dreaming of Ayn Rand and her hatred of Libertarians | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback