“Statism” and the Ayn Rand Cult

Count how many times the word “statist” appears in this weird op-ed in the Washington Post: America’s new culture war: Free enterprise vs. government control.
Statism” has become a cult-word, used most frequently by people who are in the Ayn Rand cult. “Collectivist” is another. The Rand cult has been around quite a while now. Alan Greenspan actually lived with the Rand cult for a while. Randians are more and more becoming the core of the conservative movement, as this op-ed reflects. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, members of Congress and others are more and more frequently using strange-sounding Randian cult-words like these.
I don’t know if the author of the op-ed is a Randian, but he uses the word “statist” over and over and places free enterprise and government as an either-or. He thinks regulation of business is wrong. (Aside — He writes that “government housing policy,” not Wall Street, caused the economic crisis. (??) He’s the head of the American Enterprise Institute.)
So now I am thinking about the Rand cult… Randians believe government is inherently bad — evil actually — and that helping others is wrong and immoral. “Collectivism” means democracy and this is also bad. They say it is the group imposing its will on individuals. From the Ayn Rand Lexicon,

“Democratic” in its original meaning [refers to] unlimited majority rule . . . a social system in which one’s work, one’s property, one’s mind, and one’s life are at the mercy of any gang that may muster the vote of a majority at any moment for any purpose.
[. . .] Democracy, in short, is a form of collectivism, which denies individual rights: the majority can do whatever it wants with no restrictions. In principle, the democratic government is all-powerful. Democracy is a totalitarian manifestation; it is not a form of freedom . . .

As for government,

The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law.

I don’t understand how it is consistent for them to claim that protecting from criminals is legitimate. Doesn’t society define what a criminal is?
Oh, and by the way, for any Christians who think they are conservatives, here is where they stand on religion:

Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. … They may have a good influence or proper principles to inculcate, but in a very contradictory context and, on a very—how should I say it?—dangerous or malevolent base: on the ground of faith.
[. . .] Christ … according to the Christian mythology, he died on the cross not for his own sins but for the sins of the nonideal people. In other words, a man of perfect virtue was sacrificed for men who are vicious and who are expected or supposed to accept that sacrifice. If I were a Christian, nothing could make me more indignant than that: the notion of sacrificing the ideal to the nonideal, or virtue to vice. And it is in the name of that symbol that men are asked to sacrifice themselves for their inferiors. That is precisely how the symbolism is used.

And here you also find the roots of Glenn Beck’s warning to run from any church that asks you to help others,

It’s either-or. If capitalism’s befuddled, guilt-ridden apologists do not know it, two fully consistent representatives of altruism do know it: Catholicism and communism.
Their rapprochement, therefore, is not astonishing. Their differences pertain only to the supernatural, but here, in reality, on earth, they have three cardinal elements in common: the same morality, altruism—the same goal, global rule by force—the same enemy, man’s mind.
There is a precedent for their strategy. In the German election of 1933, the communists supported the Nazis, on the premise that they could fight each other for power later, but must first destroy their common enemy, capitalism. Today, Catholicism and communism may well cooperate, on the premise that they will fight each other for power later, but must first destroy their common enemy, the individual, by forcing mankind to unite to form one neck ready for one leash.

Go see what they think of charity, altruism, the environment, morality, society
If you are starting to feel that you have entered into the mind of the sociopath, there is a reason you feel that way. As she was developing her philosophy she was enthralled by a serial killer named William Edward Hickman. Ayn Rand wrote that the serial killer was an “ideal man,” a superior form of human because he didn’t let society impose their morals on him. He didn’t worry about what others thought and just did as he pleased.
“Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should,” Rand wrote. Hickman had “no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel ‘other people.'”
She saw these as positive traits and the philosophy she developed certainly reflects this view. And this is the foundation of the modern conservative thinking.

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21 thoughts on ““Statism” and the Ayn Rand Cult

  1. This is a strange post. “Statist” is used by anyone from Noam Chomsky to Murray Rothbard, to Ron Paul, Kevin Carson, to Franz Oppenheimer, and so forth. Few of these have _anything_ in common with Ayn Rand, except some of them are Jewish. I wouldn’t call Noam Chomsky a raging right-winger. Kevin Carson is pro-market _and_ pro-labour (cooperatives), and still anti-capitalist (corporations). So it doesn’t really fit into your idea of reality.
    This blog seems quite right wing to be a “lefty blog.” But as a Norwegian I would probably be branded as a COMM-UN-IST anyway. And yes, over here, we do blame _both_ social housing and Wall Street, as they create structural problems (financial relations which cannot be sustained). Then it’s all boom and bust and the middle class pays the bill. Which is quite disrespectful, since former working class people worked really, really hard to become middle class.
    We’re also not a democracy. Praise monarchy.

  2. Glenn Beck’s warning to run from any church that asks you to help other
    That’s a outright lie, and it makes me wonder about all the other claims you make in this article (seeing that you are an ideological zealot on a crusade)
    Proof is of course, here: Beck’s new theme is “Faith, Hope and Charity”. But charity in the sense of individuals giving to individuals.
    What he tells others to “run from” their churches for is if those churches are preaching “social justice” or “economic justice” and if those churches define those terms in Marxian (not Christian) ways; which are things very different
    from “helping others”. They are words which have been used by Marxists, Fascists and Nazis to transform society/”redistribute the wealth” from the disfavored groups to the favored groups.
    You may not agree with Beck; you may even think that Christianity and Socialism are one-and-the-same, but there is no reason to lie to make your point.
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,589382,00.html
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/marchweb-only/20-51.0.html

  3. I agree with the twoposters above, one who pointed out an error in the entire premise of the piece, the use of statist. And the other who points out that, with that put aside the rest of the post is still built on a series of and I’ll be kind, uneducated assertions.
    I’ll try and point out some of the glaring ones left unattended.
    To the cult status, it takes a ‘special’ kind of mind to attribute the word cult to a philosophy that sees the individual as primary.
    “Randians believe government is inherently bad — evil actually” – Objectivists beleive that the government is absolutely neccessary, and has a proper and moral role.
    “and that helping others is wrong and immoral.” It appears the author didn’t even read his own links, or wilfully ignores entire parts of the passages and hopes that others will follow suit. From the link you provide “There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them.” In essence, buying heroin for a junkie, probably wouldn’t be on the top of the list. But hey that might be what you mean by charity, who knows.
    “I don’t understand how it is consistent for them to claim that protecting from criminals is legitimate. Doesn’t society define what a criminal is?” I’ll let Rand answer, again from your own links.
    “A social system is a code of laws which men observe in order to live together. Such a code must have a basic principle, a starting point, or it cannot be devised. The starting point is the question: Is the power of society limited or unlimited?
    Individualism answers: The power of society is limited by the inalienable, individual rights of man. Society may make only such laws as do not violate these rights.
    Collectivism answers: The power of society is unlimited. Society may make any laws it wishes, and force them upon anyone in any manner it wishes.”

  4. I wrote that “statism” has become such a word. It is used now the way far right cultists intentionally mispronounce “Democrat party” to self-identify.

  5. With repect to use of the word statist and collectivism, these are clearly code words. You see them used frequently on web sites like Cato and mises.org. The fact that they appear frequently in the main stream press suggests a concerted effort for libertarian ideals to be represented as the author has rightly pointed out.
    The first comment here challenges that “”Statist” is used by anyone from Noam Chomsky to Murray Rothbard, to Ron Paul, Kevin Carson, to Franz Oppenheimer, and so forth. Few of these have _anything_ in common with Ayn Rand, except some of them are Jewish.” First of all, the very clear area of concern for these people is politics, economics and public policy. The fact that intellectuals of their ilk use the term “statist” is to be expected. Such jargon in The Washington Post and other MSM venues is peculiar as it is antiquated terminology. By the way, Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard are both Randians so they clearly have something in common.
    Libertarians have an agenda. They support a very strong government for property rights. They want those with property to be protected from those that do not. They insist that the impoverished can survive just fine on public charity without government assistance. After all, if we do not enforce self sustenance you just encourage freeloading. Of course this ignores the fact that most people in poverty are children, seniors and the disabled-victims of circumstance not iof their bad choices. But never mind about that.
    The other gaffe that many libertarians repeatedly make? They always seem to err on the side of property rights over civil liberties. I honestly don’t know how, for example, John Stossel and Rand Paul can accept separate is equal.
    Lastly, although I could go on and on, the Libertarians like Glenn Beck *ahem* are always quick to quote the founders. But does he know that corporations were originally chartered for a job specific and time certain period? How do we get from the founders denying and revoking corporate charters to giving them civil rights as we do today? Don’t even get me started on corporate representation without taxation, 95% of court cases not ambulance chaser suits but one corporation against another, and where are all these teabaggers on the right for gays to marry? Why weren’t they gnashing their teeth over the American citizens denied due process in our war on terror?
    There are situations where the markets are completely inferior in addition to those where it is superior. This fact is callously denied not by reason, as libertarians would have you believe but by a steadfast determination and faith in their belief set. If this is not the case, then explain to me how single payer systems spend less money and have better outcomes than the USA? I will accept as an answer the libertarian model that is more succesful in its outcomes than say Swden.

  6. I’m curious about your use of the word “cult” for people who hold an ideology of limited government.
    Psychologically it appears you are trying to diminish or ridicule an idea that makes you feel insecure by calling it nasty names.
    “Cult” is a word that in modern English signifies a group where the leader exercises total control over the thoughts and actions of the group members.
    Ann Ryand, and others with similar ideas do not have a group leader, nor do they advocate one, as they are individualists. They really don’t fit the definition of a cult-like group.
    Statism is the belief in the ultimacy of the collective state as the unifying force and savior of human society, with the state personified in the leader(s) and the individual expected to subvert his own desires to the will of the collective. Ironically, that is pretty close to the definition of a cult.
    Could you be projecting your own preference for cult-like authority on those who reject it?

  7. What I’ve always found interesting about the, let us call them, the followers of Rand is considering what a fetish they make of the individual is how much they sound alike. Really, change a few words about and you’ve got the minutes of the Eighth Soviet international. And oh yes, the constant quoting of Rand as if it was holy writ? Very creepy and very cultlike.

  8. Libertarians have discovered a basic truth. Their fault is in the extremist belief that it is the whole truth.
    Democracy without some idea of the protection of individual rights can become a form of totalitarianism.
    For instance a democracy that advocated a state majority religion and religious law and expels all minority religions show that democracy also needs to be balanced with individual natural law rights that can trump the will of the majority.
    Our founding fathers understood this danger and created the “bill of rights” as ammendments to the constitution.
    Natural rights are derived from the right to self ownership and libertarians generally see “labor” and “free trade” as forms of self ownership and therefore any tax on these as a kind of restriction of freedom as
    would be a tax on the words of speech or press.
    This libertarian view is true but one-sided because not all private property derives from labor and trade. Property can all also derive from natural resources such as land, water, oil and air. Furthermore
    some forms of property like “money” itself are creations of law and government and not individual labor making the issue more complicated with both libertarians and collectivists having some argument for validity.

  9. I think it is telling that none of these Ayn Rand ideologues even attempted to address the fact that Ayn Rand idealized a sociopathic serial killer, William Edward Hickman. Think about that morally. Their tiny one track minds just skipped right over that. These people have no morality. In fact these apologists think their utter lack of morality is a strength. The other item I want to address is how these people never finish a thought process because to do so would destroy their argument. Randians believe in laws but not in democracy because democracy is “collectivist”. In that case who writes the laws? How are these laws made legitimate? If people in the US don’t consider any law born from a tyrannical dictator to be legitimate then you cannot have law. What is your way out of this? Maybe you could send the majority of “wrong” thinking people to re-education centers or just have them exterminated. Those would be the choices facing Randians should they ever get any real power and which all you apologists refuse to address until after you already have that power…just like the Nazis and the final solution, only after they were in total control of the state did they embark on taking their ideologies to their inevitable conclusions.

  10. I notice that no attempt is made here to refute any of Rand’s ideas. But at least the author presents some direct quotes for the reader to mull over.
    As an Objectivist, I’d like to clear up a few things. First, there is no such thing as “Randianism” or “Randism”. The name she gave to her philosophy is Objectivism, for a very good reason: it is a comprehensive and integrated philosophic system of life-guiding ideas that stands on its own objective merits, independent of the method of personal application of any individual, including Rand’s. It is derived from a study of reality, and is therefore open to rational scrutiny, which Dave Johnson pointedly avoids.
    Second, since rationality and independent judgement are two of the cardinal virtues under the ethical principles discovered and systematized by Ayn Rand, Objectivism can not logically be a cult. Some may treat it as such, as with any system of thought, by taking her ideas on faith. But then, that person is not an Objectivist. An “Objectivist Cult” is a contradiction in terms.
    Where is the evidence that Objectivists “believe government is inherently bad — evil actually — and that helping others is wrong and immoral”? It is not government as such, but government unconstrained by constitutional limitations based upon individual rights that is evil. Tyranny, in other words. The institution of government, properly constructed, is a necessary good.
    And it is altruism, properly understood, that is considered evil – not helping others as such. They are not the same thing.
    As to the idea that Ayn Rand is “more and more becoming the core of the conservative movement”, I only wish that were so. In fact, many conservatives cherry-pick isolated components of Rand’s thought when convenient, while ignoring the essentials of her philosophy. Mr. Johnson is correct that Objectivism is gaining in the culture, though, but not because conservatism is adopting it. It is because of the utter failure of conservatism to stem the statist tide that has begun to cause some people to look for alternatives. (Statism being the political manifestation of collectivism, the belief that the individual is subordinate to the group as represented by the state.) The truth is, despite generous sprinklings of Ayn Rand among conservatives, it is the Religious Right that is “the core of the conservative movement”.
    Thank you for pointing the reader to the sampling of Objectivist thought over at the Ayn Rand Lexicon. They need it, because unfortunately, Mr. Johnson demonstrates yet again that Ayn Rand’s critics have little to say, and that the only way for anyone to get a proper understanding (if not agreement) of her ideas is to exercise one of Objectivism’s central virtues – intellectual independence.

  11. Many fans of Rand don’t discuss the Hickman claim because it’s a blatant lie, designed to turn Rand into the kind of sociopathic monster her critics *need* her to be.
    If you want Rand’s actual view of Hickman, and not just internet drivel, I recommend reading the actual source for the claim: the *Journals of Ayn Rand*. Why, I have a copy, and here’s the relevant bit from page 22:
    “[My hero is] very far from him, of course. The outside [that is, outward attitude towards people] of Hickman, but not the inside [i.e. his twisted psychological state]. Much deeper and much more. A Hickman with a purpose. And without the degeneracy [she sees Hickman as having a corrupted moral stature]. It is more exact to say that the model is *not* Hickman, but what Hickman *suggested* to me.”
    And page 43:
    “There is a lot that is purposelessly, senselessly horrible about him [Hickman]. *But that does not interest me*. I want to remember his actions and characteristics that will be useful for the boy in my story…[One example of such actions being] His almost inhuman strength in being able to joke about his death sentence: ‘The die is cast and the state wins by a neck.’ [Hickman was hanged.]”
    So: What did Rand admire so much about Hickman? Not his socio-pathic qualities, we learn from reading her journal entries. She admires him for the deeper reason the society at the time resented him: that he represents independence, not in his murder, but in his attitude toward people in general. He was very defiant and indifferent to society, even up to his death sentence–he didn’t guide his actions and feelings by what he thought people would respond to–he didn’t plead for mercy or forgiveness, and he wasn’t socially “dependent.” He didn’t “tell them what they want to hear.”
    Rand admired Hickman because of the elements of independence his character had, but she denounced him as a monster for his actions towards that poor girl. This is much like our respect for “master-minds,” destructive sociopaths who nevertheless concoct complicated, brilliant schemes (see: the recent movie “Law-Abiding Citizen”). Just because we recognize something they possess (independence, indifference, cleverness, etc.) doesn’t mean that we unconditionally support everything they are and everything they do.
    Having read the relevant entries myself, and having extensive knowledge of her view of the morally good, and individual rights, I know for a fact that she doesn’t support or admire Hickman’s murderous, sociopathic nature. To suggest she does is to lie to unsuspecting people who’ll be taken in due to their trust of the source, and unwillingness to check the facts for themselves.
    She was a staunch advocate of individual rights and argued that initiating physical force against others is evil and should be condemned.
    “Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: ‘I’ll do as I please at everybody else’s expense.’ An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of man—his own and those of others.
    An individualist is a man who says: ‘I will not run anyone’s life—nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone—nor sacrifice anyone to myself.'”
    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/individualism.html
    As for helping others: I’m an Objectivist, and I help people all the time, in the context of my interests and life. It’s proper to help people when your interests are thereby served. (It’s irresponsible to help people without considering your own needs, the goals you have to accomplish, or deliberating helping those who would sabotage you, who ruin your life.) The author’s claim reveals a lack of understanding and appreciation for Rand’s own life and the philosophy of Objectivism, particularly the principle of justice.
    (Rand’s generosity and help can be researched on the internet through audio “reminiscences,” or through her willingness to teach people about her own philosophy, and her letters of gratitude to family, friends, and fans over the years.
    http://facetsofaynrand.com/additional/audio.html
    http://www.solopassion.com/node/4512
    “Letters of Ayn Rand,” edited by Robert Mayhew. When her husband Frank found that he loved painting late in life, she encouraged him to pursue and even helped him investigate art schools he should attend.
    http://facetsofaynrand.com/book/chap6.html
    The point is simply that Objectivists and Rand are not against helping people, and that the philosophy has a lot to offer to people who want to incorporate the lives of those they care about into their own interests and goals in life.)
    On Conservatism: Rand gave up on conservatives sometime before the 1960s–she thought that their religious defense of capitalism would not succeed because Christianity and capitalism rest on two opposing views of morality. And she’s right: Modern conservatism hasn’t changed, and still denounce secular philosophies for lacking the “spiritual” values that only a religion could supposedly uphold.
    She said: “Objectivists are *not* ‘conservatives.’ We are *radicals for capitalism*; we are fighting for that philosophical base which capitalism did not have and without which it was doomed to perish…” And she wrote an essay called: “Conservatism: An Obituary.”

  12. I am at a loss about what to call this Rand-bashing article: scraping the bottom of the barrel, or an argument walking on stilts. The author latches onto two words, “statism” and “cult,” and proceeds to “demolish” Objectivism, reason, logic, syllogisms. To call Rand or Objectivists “cultists” is to call Aristotle and Aristotelians “cultists.” This is the umpteenth article or opinion piece I’ve read that attempts to excoriate Rand and her admirers.
    But I think the author’s chief motivation for penning this poor excuse of criticism can be found in the first paragraph: “Randians are more and more becoming the core of the conservative movement, as this op-ed reflects. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, members of Congress and others are more and more frequently using strange-sounding Randian cult-words like these.” That, I contend is a confession of fear, fear that Rand’s philosophy — or at least the political element of it — is spreading and that it threatens to displace shop-worn conservative notions of the roots of limited government and individual rights based on the benedictions of a ghost. Many Americans — and even some Congressmen — are seeking a more plausible, reality based reason to advocate fight for our freedom.

  13. I am at a loss about what to call this Rand-bashing article: scraping the bottom of the barrel, or an argument walking on stilts. The author latches onto two words, “statism” and “cult,” and proceeds to “demolish” Objectivism, reason, logic, syllogisms. To call Rand or Objectivists “cultists” is to call Aristotle and Aristotelians “cultists.” This is the umpteenth article or opinion piece I’ve read that attempts to excoriate Rand and her admirers.
    But I think the author’s chief motivation for penning this poor excuse of criticism can be found in the first paragraph: “Randians are more and more becoming the core of the conservative movement, as this op-ed reflects. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, members of Congress and others are more and more frequently using strange-sounding Randian cult-words like these.” That, I contend is a confession of fear, fear that Rand’s philosophy — or at least the political element of it — is spreading and that it threatens to displace shop-worn conservative notions of the roots of limited government and individual rights based on the benedictions of a ghost. Many Americans — and even some Congressmen — are seeking a more plausible, reality based reason to advocate fight for our freedom.

  14. Is that the best the AEI has to offer — drawing a false dichotomy between freedom lovers and statists and then calling anybody who favors any regulation a statist?
    He’s playing his readers for rubes. The fact that 70% of Americans favor a free market economy doesn’t mean that they’re against all regulation. As a matter of fact, the preceding question asked:
    14 Is it now a good idea or a bad idea for the government to exert more control over the economy than it has in
    recent years?
    54 Good idea
    37 Bad idea
    9 Don’t know/Refused (VOL.)
    100
    The poll was taken in March 2009, since then, there’s been a massive campaign against HCR and well-funded effort to portray Obama as a socialist, so I imagine that 54% number favoring more government control would be lower. Or, it would have been had that poll been conducted again before the Macondo disaster. Now, who knows?

  15. Wow Rodfitts, I guess I should just not believe my lying eyes. I am sorry that you are so blinded by your ideology that you have to hunt and scratch for any morsel to disprove what is blatantly obvious to the rest of us who are not brainwashed. From the links your provided it is obvious that there are a lot of Ayn Rand apologists out there. Rand clearly idealizes a killer who kidnapped and mutilated an innocent 12 year old girl. This is why corporations love Ayn Rand. Her ideology clears the conscience of the corporate leaders who do things like the gulf oil spill or the suppression and murder of the indigenous people in Nigeria in the name of the cheapest possible barrel of oil or Coca Cola allowing their people in Columbia to murder and intimidate union leaders. Ayn Rand not only clears their conscience she makes these people out to be superior in every way. This was at the core of her belief system and apologists should not be allowed to rewrite a more flattering history in hindsight.

  16. bayoustiohndavid, isn’t it great how you can cherry pick your information to make it say whatever you want? First, that massive campaign against HCR that you are speaking about was bought and paid for by massive corporations, most if not all of which are partly owned by foreigners. Just so you know I am not mincing my words; you are supporting the foreign subjugation of the national interests of the country that I love. Second, since you like polls, how about this one: 59% of Americans support government supplied single payer healthcare http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/SunMo_poll_0209.pdf
    How does that fit into your “the people want less government” canard? You know what? It certainly wasn’t a massive campaign by partly foreign owned companies that got people to feel that way either. Since this position flies in the face of these partly foreign owned, partial monopolies, you can be sure that people came to this conclusion through their own personal experience, not the one dictated to them by Fox News (another foreign owned corporation by the way).

  17. Chris, did you read my comment? I’ll admit it might not have been 100% clear, but I also think you’re looking for reason to take offense — we’re on the same side. Maybe you were put in battle mode by the number of Randians who commented before me, but I’m certainly not one of them.
    I pointed out that the AEI hack took a poll that showed that at least 70% of Americans favor a free market economy to try to argue that they were against all (or most) government regulation. However another question in the same poll showed that most Americans (even though they favor free market capitalism) also favored more regulation. In other words, it’s pure bullshit to say that the fact that 70% of Americans say they favor a free market economy means that they’re libertarians against government regulation.
    From there I acknowledged that a conservative would probably be right to argue that the 54% favoring more government control over the economy probably would have gone decreased after a massive campaign against HCR and well-funded effort to portray Obama as a socialist. However, any conservative making that argument would have to concede that the number favoring more government regulation will probably increase after the disaster in the Gulf. I left a little of that between the lines, but go reread my comment.

  18. It’s curious in some of the comments above how the denouncers try to paint individualists as the “immoral” ones…and yet it is those who defend distorted big “D” Democracy (collectivism–majority gets to steal from the minority) who are the thieves. I often use this analogy–if someone hires a hitman to do their killing for them it doesn’t make them any less culpable for the murder…and those who vote to promote a collectivist or redistributive society where they choose to elect politicians to do their stealing for them through government force makes them no less culpable in the theft. That is why the Soviet Union was appropriately called the “Evil Empire”…because it promotes the theft of free individuals by those dumb enough to have others do their stealing for them. It is the collectivists who are immoral…not the individualists. Men, by virtue of their nature (as individual, imperfect humany beings), cannot be forced into a beehive of collectivism by virtue of their Natural Individual Rights.

  19. Objectivism is not increasingly becoming the “core of the Conservative movement,” since Objectivism and Conservatism are incompatible. Many Conservatives cite Rand as an influence, but her ideas are fundamentally different than those of the religious right.
    I do, however, think that Objectivism will become increasingly more influential with little opposition. As this article shows, Objectivism’s detractors offer tired smears in the place of well-reasoned arguments.

  20. ssumner, I am not sure you read my comment. Where is my link? If you don’t provide me with one then I think I have every right to call your Friendman quote a right wing myth ginned up specifically to defend the indefensible.
    Budden, make no mistake I am calling you immoral. You may not have noticed but corporations are collectivist. You are just too brainwashed to see it. They are a collection of rich investors who are doing everything they can to take whatever they can by any means necessary. Go put “water wars” into google and you will get an idea of what is really going on. You think everyone should give up their $.00005 water to a corporation and have those same corporations turn around and sell it to us for $2 a bottle and if we should tax these enormous profits you call it thievery! I can safely say that you are un-American. Americans believe in democracy (don’t give me that Republican form of government crap, that is semantics and you know it). If the majority of Americans decide they want a particular form of government even, heaven forbid, a form you do not agree with, our constitution says that we should be allowed to have it. Your comments make clear that this state of affairs offends you and you prefer a form of government where a few certain people tell the rest of us how to live our lives for our own good. I think you are an elitist and probably a fascist or possibly worse. The end result of your form of government is slavery for the majority. Corporations will privatize everything and then most of us will be working 14 hour days 365 days a year just to get enough food and water to survive. That is not the future I had in mind for my family I hope you understand. Thankfully your viewpoint is in the extreme minority. Have fun defending those defenseless rich people.

  21. No man is an island, even if they’d like to think so! So I don’t quite follow the idea of
    what a statist or collectivist means in reality.
    Only sounding to me more like slippery argument for some kind of elistist rule.
    However, I would agree that yes,
    we are all created equal with inalienable rights.
    Or that we are entitled to equal rights and oppurtunites. But the reality is
    also that not everyone is born with equal strengths and talents.
    So again, why does Ayn Rand argue for an laissez faire type of economy when every strata of society nowadays is being bailed out? From single mothers with children to Wall street executives and banks?

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