Funny but true: recently on Facebook, a "friend" tried to insult me by calling me a libertarian and a Randian--a follower of bad novelist Ayn Rand. While I don't mind being labeled with the former since it's somewhat true, I laughed at the latter. We trash Rand and her followers--the creepiest cultists this side of Scientology, although the chicks tend to be hotter--as much as possible here, especially the Irvine-based Ayn Rand Institute, which considers her and her writings their version of Jesus despite Rand's hatred of organized religion other than the sycophants around her.
While there are some similarities between libertarianism and Randians, the Randians (or, as they call themselves, Objectivists) hate the freewheeling libs. And if you don't believe me, then check out what Ayn Rand Institute founder Leonard Peikoff and current president Yaron Brooks had to say on a recent podcast.
Brooks seems to have a problem that modern-day libertarianism is so damn hippy-dippy in its love of no war, no empire, and no drug war. "Even though it [libertarianism] might have initially been adopted innocently by certain people who were advocates of free markets, it was very quickly, in the 1960's and 70's co-opted by the anarchists and by the complete philosophic subjectivists," Brooks told Peikoff on the podcast. "And they dominated the movements throughout that period of time. Even though I believe that today the libertarian movement is fragmented, it's disintegrating."
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"Disintegrating"? Libertarianism is more popular and accepted now than at any point in this nation's history, with more young people than I care to know labeling themselves as such to justify their love of free markets, drugs, and cursing. Objectivism, on the other hand, is crashing and burning--and if you don't believe me, check out the box-office numbers for the execrable film adaptation of the execrable novel, Atlas Shrugged.
(Quick aside: I remember trying to read this book back at Anaheim High, because Randians love to distribute Rand's works en masse to kiddies under the façade of a scholarship. Even then, her writing bored me to death--and I'm someone who could read Finnegan's Wake in two days and get what the fuck Joyce was trying to communicate).
Libertarians ain't taking the insults of Peikoff and Brooks lightly. LewRockwell.com has already posted its retort, and more should come. This sordid episode just further proves my experience: that Objectivists are the most conceited people on Earth, and about as rational as having an ice-cube machine in the Arctic.