Chris J.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 1
I am new to the group, so I apologize if I am bringing up something that has been covered. I am a Libertarian, and a cursory look at the member list shows several others, a large percentage for a relatively small political party. Is Libertarianism the most common political ideology amongst Objectivists? I consider the two philosophies to be closely related, and have come to both through my own reasoning. What other, if any, political beliefs are held by the members of this group?
Unrelated thought: are there any other classic car enthusiasts here? Not trying to go off topic, just trying to get some discussion goingbiggrin
A former member
Post #: 56
Is Libertarianism the most common political ideology amongst Objectivists?

Yes, sort of:
Allen, TX
Post #: 6
Is Libertarianism the most common political ideology amongst Objectivists?

There are many Libertarians who either call themselves Objectivists or state that they have some affinity for the philosophy. Ms. Rand regarded Libertarianism as a "perversion of liberty" (to borrow the title of Mr. Schwartz' article on this subject).

If you are interested, you may be able to find Schwartz' article at

A former member
Post #: 126
Almost all are Republicans as far as I can tell, ( maybe not true with N.T.O.S ) but you know I never understood why Rand did not like Libertarianism. I know Greenspan is fully against Libertarianism. It seemed to be the best fit for her, him & the others, or you'd think so anyway. She was a life long Republican, so is Greenspan, as am I. My reason is because they can atleast win, & anything is better than the Dems. I would like to know if any one can tell me why she spoke out against Libertarianism as she did. it almost dose not make any sence to me really. I do know she hated Murray Rothbard with a passion
( Libertarianism held him up as an economic god & I agree). Yet I never got that either. Can any of you tell me why? Do most of you guys feel the same way? I have always wondered about that myself.

Chris J.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 2
I have not heard that before. I too find it strange that she would not like Libertarianism. I sympathize with those who are Republicans, being a former one. I understand the logic of keeping Democrats out, and I will even vote Republican myself in a close race.
Santiago V.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 16
The reason Ayn Rand denounced the libertarian party even though it and Objectivism share many of the same political stances, is because it lacks philosophy. The Libertarian party took much of Objectivism's political conclusions and took them as an out-of-context absolute, and invited anyone who agreed with its conclusions - for any reason whatsoever - to join the party.

While this might not seem like a problem on the face of it, consider - how do you convince someone when they do not agree with you? You do not convince them, when the disagreement is one that is not a factual misunderstand but a disagreement on what is proper and moral, with statistics, positions, and rhetoric. You convince them by means of ideas, of philosophical observations and truths.

Yet this is exactly what the Libertarian party lacks. It consists of a million different ideologies, each jockeying for position within the party, and as a result the Libertarian party has no 'soul.' A Libertarian cannot say - this is why the Libertarian Party holds this or that conviction. And as a result it is, in the end, powerless to change the hearts and minds of America. Even the Republican and Democratic parties each have vague answers to that question - altruism, for democrats, and a strange mishappen melding of mysticism, pro-business traditions and altruism lite.

Yet, the Libertarian Party is so torn by radically different philosophies that it does not even have that faint thread to hold it together. It is a party purely of position - and, as a result, it holds little (if any) power to gain traction.

Look around you, today. Can the world be changed by platitudes, assertions positions and statistics? If it could have, it would have been saved long ago. The only thing that can save the world is the proper philosophy - the right ideas - and a consistant ideological program, what is most desperately needed on today's political scene, is the gaping hole in the Libertarian party.

It is right that it should be denounced. An Objectivist can, as an honest mistake, assume that the Libertarian Party is a vehicle through which to effect change. But the sad fact is that, by joining the party, voting for it or running under its auspices, you associate yourself with all sorts of unsavory characters, from anarchists to hedonists to Christian Fundamentalists. It would be improper to benefit a party that is largely made up of these kinds of absurd ideologies with your own effort, time and money.

That is the reason that Ayn Rand denounced the libertarian party. It is the reason I still am not a member of it, and never will be. Though their positions are correct, their methods are absurdly ineffective, and the company I would be forced to keep therein would be distasteful, to say the least.
A former member
Post #: 10
An Objectivist can, as an honest mistake, assume that the Libertarian Party is a vehicle through which to effect change. But the sad fact is that, by joining the party, voting for it or running under its auspices, you associate yourself with all sorts of unsavory characters, from anarchists to hedonists to Christian Fundamentalists. It would be improper to benefit a party that is largely made up of these kinds of absurd ideologies with your own effort, time and money.

Perhaps I'm one of these honestly mistaken Objectivists you refer to, because I do believe that it is quite possible for people to come to philosophical realizations based on the practical application of politics; this is how I came to be enlightened by the Objectivist philosophy-- by first being compelled that an economic and social laissez-faire system was the most effective and fair political framework, and then by asking myself the tough questions about what made it "right" (or more specifically, what was the moral paradigm that necessarily presupposed our fore-fathers' intents in framing our Constitution-- why is freedom good in the first place?)

I completley agree with you regarding the difference between politics and a philosophy (see my numerous previous posts on this topic)-- the notion that a political system can assert ideologies and platitudes in the absense of a comprehensive philosophical framework, thus rendering its tenets "floating in mid-air," is quite unpalatable. I also think, however, that this points to a serious issue with how Objectivsts view the practical, real-world application of government; as long as one has such a pessimistic view of any political system (because, as I think we have determined, none of the political parties are able to rationally justify their platforms without using religion and hypocritical altruism and other devices), one will forever be disenfranchised, and thus unsupportive, of any governmental platform. There's a certain paradox here: an Objectivist who has conviction about the way politics should be will never find politics an acceptable arena because he refuses to condone positions he believes in when they are based on incomplete or irrational pretenses. As a result, this Objectivist, who firmly believes that government is necessary (lest he be labeled an anarchist) is strictly apathetic to government of any form. So unless and until 100% of the country is accepting of Objectivist philosophy, 0% of true Objectivists would condone anything remotely political. And, as this decade is showing us, political apathy is perhaps the most dangerous thing, especially viewed from a philosophical basis-- when reason is threatened, one who champions reason above all else cannot bury his head in the sand simply because politicians have flawwed philosophical foundations for their policies.

You assert that the Libertarian Party will be impotent because is it position without justification, but that the Republican and Deocratic parties have traction because they "each have vague answers". First of all, based on your arguments on why Libertarianism is unacceptable to an Objectivist, both the Republican and Democratic parties should be equally unacceptable; after all, their "vague answers" notwishtanding, they still suffer from the same disconnect between philosphical justification and practical application. If you're going to call one inconsistent, you must recognize that they are all inconsistent. Second, I really don't think every constituent within each of those two political parties shares the same philosophy-- there are theistic and atheistic Republicans, there are capitalist and socialist Democrats, and there are sprinklings of pragmatists, skeptics, moral relativists, and pacificts among them all. The reality, albeit quite unfortunate, is that politics is a populist exercise, and by definition the way political movements gain traction is by aggregating practical interests irrespective of the origin of their ideologies. So I may not disagree that Libertarianism will have a difficult time gaining momentum, but I believe it is because Libertarianism is too focused (and thus incapable of garnering widewpread ideological support), not that it is somehow more hypocritical than any other political party.

Fully aware of the "ends justify the means" fallacy and the dangerous logical implications it has, I ask you: Is it better to be so dogmatic that one will forever reject all political systems (while simultaneously calling for government to be the ultimate arbiter of individual rights), just because there are cracks in the philosophical foundations, or is it better to accept politics that are congruent with our ideologies, even if they do not have logically consistent philosophical foundations? It seems to me that the former will lead to the disintegration of government, the marginalization of Objectivism, or both; the latter, however, might just help us get to a world where individual rights and interests are indeed held in the highest regard, which will undoubtedly bring people to understand and embrace Ayn Rand's philosophical breakthroughs.
Santiago V.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 18
Woah, that was like the setup question of the century.

I will answer, at lenth, with a document I have been working on for some months (mostly in thought, not in actual length - it will be, I think, 10-20 pages at most when done.) But your points have been considered and I have come up with what I think is a solution.

If I wasn't on my way out the door, to work, I'd outline it here. But I think you will have to wait until monday to see it - 12 hour shifts ahead of me all weekend. We'll see. But stay tuned, and thanks for the glorious leadup :)
A former member
Post #: 11
Just make sure I get a mention when you write the preface for your published work :)
Santiago V.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 25
Please see here­ for my response-at-length.

(Also, sleep is for people with nothing else to do.)
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