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Ayn Rand Was NOT a Libertarian

Many people assume that Ayn Rand was a champion of libertarian thought.

But Rand herself pilloried libertarians, condemning libertarianism as being a greater threat to freedom and capitalism than both modern liberalism and conservativism. For example, Rand said:

All kinds of people today call themselves “libertarians,” especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies, except that they’re anarchists instead of collectivists. But of course, anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet they want to combine capitalism and anarchism. That is worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism, because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. The anarchist is the scum of the intellectual world of the left, which has given them up. So the right picks up another leftist discard. That’s the Libertarian movement.


I’d rather vote for Bob Hope, the Marx Brothers, or Jerry Lewis [than a candidate from the Libertarian Party].


[The Libertarian Party is] a cheap attempt at publicity, which Libertarians won’t get.


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jrd3820's picture


Get over it! I received a public school education where I was indoctrinated into the belief that socialism can work. When I was 16 I seriously asked my libertarian Dad who voted for Ron Paul 20 yrs ago what was wrong with socialism or communism because I did not think it was such a horrible thing. Two years later I read Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand described to me perfectly what was wrong with socialism and communism. Atlas Shrugged allowed me to think about economics in a whole new light and introduced me to free market ideas. Do we have to hate everything that is not said or written by Ron Paul?

Atlas Shrugged is not a bible, but it helps people look at the government's role in the market places and how that role should be limited.

bottom line was gary johson was too lackluster of a proponent

for monetary reform.. he spends more time on gay marriage and immigration than federal reserve

Ayn Rand was actually a snotty, crochety old lady

Selfish and ugly. She made a good mistress for the elites until she got old and they tossed her to the curb. I still think its funny when regular joe blows identify with the Rothschild character in Atlas Shrugged though.

jrd3820's picture


was not a character in Atlas Shrugged.

In defense...

In defense of Ayn Rand - she made these comments, and most of her philosophical writing, in the 60's, obviously a tumultuous and radically different time in our country. This has been well-trod now in these comments, but it's worth understanding (briefly) how much the 'nuances' of words change, even within a few generations. I'd encourage any fellow-philosophers-of-language types here to read Wittgenstein on this. The context in which she understands libertarianism and writes about it there makes it sound fairly clear that those comments are directed towards a certain kind of neo-hippie, not a modern, Ron Paul style libertarian/conservative.

Funny how Paul Ryan lies and claims she was his inspiration.

Maybe she was a liar too.

Maybe they are both liars, writing and saying what they think people want to hear.


Rothbard on Rand

Murray Rothbard wrote a great article on the personality cult that sprung up around her.

'The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult' by Murray Rothbard: http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html

He also wrote a satirical play, based on his experiences with them.

'Mozart Was a Red' by Murray Rothbard: http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/mozart.html

Check out the Laissez-Faire Journal at LFJournal.com

"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard

Look, one does not have to

Look, ...


The trouble with the word "anarchy" is that it has many different definitions which makes it difficult to discuss rationally without first defining what you mean by the word. Look it up on Wikopedia and you'll see what I mean.


who cares?

Blah blah....Quotes of Ayn

Blah blah....Quotes of Ayn Rand throwing ad homs around again to avoid making a counter argument to those libertarians who owned her in the intellectual world. I can't take her seriously....ever...and her racist and irrational statements about Native Americans make me want to puke.

Very interesting

Reading this, I was strongly reminded of something I read in Connor Boyack's book "Latter-day Liberty," in which he emphasizes that there is a difference between little l libertarian and big L Libertarian, the one being a believer in the philosophy of freedom and responsibility, and the other being a member of the Libertarian Party.

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -- Thomas Paine

Cyril's picture


Hmm... Hmmmmm...

I can't help but to remember :

"Enough with -isms !" -- Ron Paul

(note : approximate quote; I only remember he said and wrote about it several times alike).

My take :

1. I have a tremendous respect for Ayn Rand although I discovered her thinking rather late ... Pieces of evidence :

1.a) http://www.dailypaul.com/256871/the-stunning-foresight-of-ay...

1.b) http://www.dailypaul.com/249170/liberty-vs-socialism

2. Yet, her thoughts recalled in the OP's post leave me pondering with a very strong taste of a tedious rant about "-isms" and all things surrounding "political parties" - oppositions, divisions, acquaintances, etc.

Coincidentally, the latter point has been tickling my brain for a while, now - self-pimping on another speculative dimension :

Supporting A ZERO-Political Party System To Honor The Republic ?



"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

-- Henry David Thoreau

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius


The Book of Mormon talks about a people with no "ites" among them. Same idea.

Often categorizing ourselves leads to a perceived division which keeps us from considering the subtleties of others' thoughts.

Let me guess, this is an op

Let me guess, this is an op to trigger the randoids to run off the anarcho-capitalists.

Gotta hand it to the neocon think thanks on this one. They know how to play us.

Here is an interesting article on the comparison of an anarchists work (Tolkien was a conservative anarchist) and Atlas Shrugged.


I like the message in Lord of the Rings better than Atlas Shrugged. You don't get a garantee of good coming from the characters of Atlas, but from LOTR, people who'd sooner be left alone and have nothing to prove to anybody at the least, in failing that, are not going to hurt anybody else.

Don't blame Neoconmen; You played yourself.

"this is an op to trigger the randoids to run off the anarcho-capitalists."

By "Rondoids", do you mean capitalists, real Libertarians or anybody that can see though an Anarchists crap?

Don't blame anybody but yourself for thinking "a free market" of violence will serve anything but mans covetous nature.

There's a reason people flock to Walmart even though they know they're buying imported slave goods. There's value there. People want to get the most they can for their money, so slavery is the win in a free market without justice.

Value will be what capitalism serves without justice, and slavery is the ultimate source of value.

Productive human labor is like a gold mine walking, and all you need to do is apply force. In an AnCaps version of a free society, Walmart would not only sell the products of slavery, but ACTUAL slaves.

She was a genius.

She gave the world "A = A"! What else is there to say, objectively speaking?

Leges sine moribus vanae


That was Aristotle's law of identity, to which Rand references often, giving credit. She often invokes Aristotilian influences in her work.

Not to rain on your post though, I support you!

I am aware of that

actually I should have credited Murray Rothbard with that dig at Ayn Rand. here: http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/mozart.html

Leges sine moribus vanae

Yeah ...

... A is A is Aristotle, which is one of his contributions to Metaphysics.

Ayn Rand's major contribution is in Epistemology (how do we know what we know?). This is why she called her philosophy "Objectivism."

What year did she make these comments because...

...the Libertarian Party was formed in 1971.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

Ayn Rand was a commie tard selling books

Her idea of what a "producer" is was as skewed as that of any Soviet. The Soviets too were all about how great it was to build tanks, ships, and locomotives, while people waited in line for things like toilet paper. Where they thinking about how great it was to build such great things while their butts were sore? Doubt it.

As soon as the Randians get old an die, we can bury them alongside the old dead GOPers and maybe have a future.


You have no idea what you're talking about. The fact that you would even compare Rand and her views of heroic individualism and producers of value to be ne in line with Soviet views throws out any sort of credibility you have.

Ayn Rand never saw value in production that was extracted at the expense of others, only in what voluntary individuals could produce from their own minds and labor.

Hey Dude, maybe in her books

Hey Dude, maybe in her books she was this wonderful creature, but in real life she supported the income tax, the war in vietnam, and a few other things.

She was a charalatan, espousing the virtues of liberty in her writing, but telling her movement to be good little sheep in the real world.



Have you read her writings? I ask this because she did not merely "espouse the virtues of liberty." She had a deep understanding of liberty- the kind of depth that is impossible without some level of belief in it.

Often we know things intellectually and live differently. We do that every day. I don't know too much about her life but after reading her books I can't believe what you said is true. That wouldn't make any sense at all.

Have you personally read Ayn Rand

or just saw youtube clips on Donahue? Ayn Rand was against the draft and war in Vietnam. But she was against stopping the war in the middle and betraying South Vietnamese AFTER the war had started. NOW the BOMBER - Ayn Rand almost ended relationship with Mises, because the latter was supporting the draft. Later editions of Mises books washed out his remarks on that issue. YOU SEE, how life, full of irony, turns midgets, fakas and giants around? ... and "clean" hands of Mr. LR.

Ayn Rand was opposed to the

Ayn Rand was opposed to the war in Vietnam

No ...

... she did not support the income tax. She did support a tax which she thought would be voluntary, such as paying a stamp tax when writing contracts.

I don't know about Vietnam, but many Ayn Rand followers today want to support bombing Iran, so maybe she did. This is a major flaw in their thinking.

Murray Rothbard Letter to Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand rejected Rothbardian Libertarians for 1) his plagiarism; 2) anarchy; 3) the fact that Rothbard joined far socialist party ("New Left".) That is why those quotes above. After Rothbard failed to counter Ayn Rand's criticism of anarchism, bad mouthing was his only option for him and his followers. But let's look what was before.

Dear Ayn,

"I want you to know that, even without seeing you, you have had an enormous influence upon me—even before the novel came out. When I first became interested in ideas, my first principle that I had from the start was a burning love of human freedom, and a hatred for aggressive violence of man upon man. I always liked economics, and was inclined to theory, but found in my graduate economics courses that I felt all the theories offered were dead wrong, but I could not say why. Mises’s Human Action was the next great influence upon me, because I found in it a great rational system of economics, each interconnected logically, each following, as in Aristotelian philosophy, from a basic and certain axiom: the existence of human beings. When I first met you, many years ago, I was a follower of Mises, but unhappy about his antipathy to natural rights, which I “felt” was true but could not demonstrate. You introduced me to the whole field of natural rights and natural law philosophy, which I did not know existed, and month by month, working on my own as I preferred, I learned and studied the glorious natural rights tradition. I also learned from you about the existence of Aristotelian epistemology, and then I studied that, and came to
adopt it wholeheartedly. So that I owe you a great intellectual debt
for many years, the least of which is introducing me to a tradition of which four years of college and three years of graduate school, to say nothing of other reading, had kept me in ignorance."

Murray Rothbard

Albert Einstein never agreed with the modern interpretation...

of quantum mechanics. Nonetheless, his contributions are greatly appreciated.