Rand on the of “hippies of the right” (1971)

I promised to give an example of the tension between Objectivism and Libertarianism from mouth of Rand herself, so here you go. You can find plenty of other examples but this seems to represent the issue pretty well. The simple fact remains that the idea that Libertarianism and Ayn Rand are one in the same is a recent invention.

“For the record, I shall repeat what I have said many times before: I do not join or endorse any political group or movement. More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with, and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives, the so-called ‘hippies of the right,’ who attempt to snare the younger or more careless ones of my readers by claiming simultaneously to be followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism. Anyone offering such a combination confesses his inability to understand either. Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the collectivist movement, where it properly belongs.”

“Brief Summary,”
The Objectivist, Sept. 1971, 1

So when did the two begin to be seen as in the same? Without going into depth, it’s largely due to the Cato Institute and their minarchist brand of libertarianism. Cato’s minarchism was far more compatible with objectivism than the Luwig Von Mises institute’s anti-authoritarianism and anarcho-capitalism. By 2012, the institutional gap between Cato style libertarianism and objectivist organizations such as the Ayn Rand Institution was functionally closed. Personally, I find the fact that Ayn Rand’s objectivism is more influential than Natural Law, Austrian economics, or Chicago economics VERY concerning. Ethical egoism seems to undermine the best arguments for libertarianism since it makes concerns about “liberty” absolutely secondary.

This will likely be my last post on this topic. I am hoping on reviewing past Libertarian Party presidential Candidates or exploring the world of libertarian experimental living.

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