Does Ayn Rand and her Objectivist philosophy support Austrian economics, libertarianism and Anarcho-capitalism? NO!

In response to an earlier post, Redmond wrote:

Say what you will about Rand – many people who I have met who are interested in the Austrian School came to it through Ayn Rand.

And they are young enough that they know nothing of the internal politics.

This is unquestionably true. Nevertheless, it is a dangerous error to embrace Rand and her philosophy as anything but antagonistic to Austrian economics, anarcho-capitalism and libertarianism. This is far more than mere “internal politics.”

Take it from the horse’s mouth — from the Ayn Rand Institute’s FAQ:


Does Objectivism support Libertarianism?

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.

[Ayn Rand, “Brief Summary,” The Objectivist, September 1971]

Above all, do not join the wrong ideological groups or movements, in order to “do something.” By “ideological” (in this context), I mean groups or movements proclaiming some vaguely generalized, undefined (and, usually, contradictory) political goals. (E.g., the Conservative Party, which subordinates reason to faith, and substitutes theocracy for capitalism; or the “libertarian” hippies, who subordinate reason to whims, and substitute anarchism for capitalism.) To join such groups means to reverse the philosophical hierarchy and to sell out fundamental principles for the sake of some superficial political action which is bound to fail. It means that you help the defeat of your ideas and the victory of your enemies.

[Ayn Rand, “What Can One Do?” Philosophy: Who Needs It]

See also “Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty,” by Peter Schwartz, in the Ayn Rand collection titled The Voice of Reason.


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