Tag: individual liberty

How Ayn Rand’s Objectivism Shaped Libertarianism

By Josh Hughes | United States

Ayn Rand’s philosophy was very essential for the development of libertarian ideas as well as the Libertarian Party in the mid-to-late 20th century. While Rand and other Objectivists often feuded with libertarians in their time, it is undeniable that, in hindsight, the two have successfully coexisted and made great contributions to each other.

Ayn Rand’s Background

Rand was born 1905 in St. Petersburg, Russia. She lived with her family through the Bolshevik revolutions of the 1910s, and personally experienced the horrors of Communism when her father’s business was taken by the state and her family faced starvation many times. She learned about America while in schooling and decided to leave for the land of opportunity in 1925, originally intent on being a playwright.

Rand’s Beliefs

As someone that lived through one of the most collective regimes in modern history, Ayn Rand had a unique appreciation for individualism. She first started expressing her beliefs as a fiction writer, specifically in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Her ideas centered around the idea that man as an individual is the single most important thing in the world. More specifically, whatever made him happy was the most important purpose of his life, and his success his “noblest achievement.”

With such an egocentric philosophy comes many stipulations. Ideally, an Objectivist society would exist only within a very free state. One of Rand’s biggest beliefs is the necessity of Laissez-faire capitalism. In fact, it’s the only economic system viable for humanity’s success. She claims that state and trade must be separated the same as state and church, and that man, in realizing his potential and strength, will demand his freedom in trading. A government, she asserts, has one job: to protect the rights individuals and nothing more, something the Founders and many current day libertarians would agree with.

How Objectivism Shaped Libertarianism

It’s pretty obvious that a lot of these ideas sound very similar to libertarianism, more specifically a night-watchman minarchy state. As close as they may seem, however, Rand and her Objectivists frequently feuded with Libertarians in her time. Her specific thoughts can be read here, but the main idea is she was against libertarians because they try to combine anarchy and capitalism, which, in her opinion, cannot coexist. She consistently refers to the Libertarian Party as “right-wing hippies” that have moral convictions of those on the left, yet they advocate for limited government. Her views on foreign policy are iffy, and she often clashed with libertarian figurehead Murray Rothbard on ideas.

Whether or not Rand would still hold those values is impossible to find out, yet it would foolish to say the two philosophies and ideologies haven’t strengthened each other throughout the years. Many libertarians consider themselves Objectivists, due to the fact that the philosophy stands so firmly on the ideas of limited government and individualism. It’s important that we are knowledgeable of what laid the foundations of the Libertarian Party in the 1970s. While Objectivists and Libertarians have had their fair share of quarrels and disagreements, it’s an interesting philosophy that is invaluable for libertarians to look into in order to help shape their views.


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Politics is Awful but Necessary for Liberty in the Future

By Dylan Anders | @realdylananders

John Adams wrote, in a 1780 letter to his wife:

“I must study Politics and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematics and Philosophy.”

To be frank and seemingly hypocritical, I despise politics. The political system that many fellow citizens subscribe to is a perpetual debate of whose war is preferable, which tax plan would better supersede the previous president’s, and whether to legalize firearms or marijuana. All of these are the same question in disguise:

Which boot tastes better, the right or the left? In what way can the government claim itself all-powerful today?

These arguments are too childish for many of us, but we engage anyways, in a tangential manner. We criticize the deceit of Washington and its partners in an attempt to open the eyes of the masses. However, we should know that the masses do remain a part of the majority for the same reason that humans are drawn towards the thought of safety and dogmatism.

The necessity for contemporary politics means that there is a lack of liberty. This is inherent in today’s partisan system.

Thus, I hate politics. I yearn a feeling of gratification if I were to indulge in the studies of the sciences and the arts. However, I feel deeply obligated to debate, to write, to speak. One day, a day may come where society is free, but today is not that day. Today, it is not right to study the sciences and the arts, though they are fascinating. Liberty is necessary so that the next generations can indulge in life’s finer aspects.

Surely, these subjects are a noble cause in and of themselves, but I find myself baffled as to how seemingly intelligent men and women can be so complacent. After all, they are in the presence of an authority that will steal, kill, and abandon truth.

Being able to think critically, speak intently, and act willfully is the fundamental sign of a free human being.

Clearly, we know not what the future holds. However, one thing is clear. In the words of modern thinker Stefan Molyneux: We must debate or die. Otherwise, we are useless for the moral compass we claim to stand for.

For every wrongful act of government, be it the acts of genocide on innocent children, imprisonment of peaceful people, or authoritative policing on all citizens, I seemed to become more and more discouraged in this cause. But with this concept, hope can still exist. Our bodies may be compromised, but as long as I have my mind and my spirit, I am victorious against all tyrants. And by standing against these tyrants, the next generation may see a brighter future.


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A New Dawn for Cuba?

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

The communist island nation of Cuba is currently undergoing a significant and historic process, which is sure to shape the future of the country. Cuban lawmakers have been working since early summer to create a new constitution, which seeks to modernize the government. The last constitution was created in 1976, meaning the document is due for an update. Former President Raul Castro and his commission proposed a draft version on July 14th. It includes 87 new articles. Several reforms listed have caught the eye of those hoping the nation will begin guarding individual liberties.

Continue reading “A New Dawn for Cuba?”