On Election Day, What Would Ayn Rand Do?

Did you really think we want those laws observed? said Dr. Ferris. We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

(Ayn Rand, from ‘Atlas Shrugged’ 1957)

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Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum came to the United States in 1926 on a visitor’s visa. She never returned to Russia.

Ayn Rand, the name she took for herself, was a proponent of republican ideals from a very early age. Her comfortable family life was disrupted after the October Revolution when the Bolsheviks confiscated her father’s pharmaceutical business. After the Russian Revolution, women were allowed to attend university, and she did, graduating even after attempts to remove her and other bourgeois students right before their graduation.

After her migration to the US, and in the coming years, she was involved in free-market and anti-communism activism. Here is an interesting chronology of her political leanings throughout her life in America. If you’ve read her books, you are already familiar with her political and societal leanings. We Libertarians like to count her as one of us, though she eschewed that moniker in favor of her own objectivist philosophy. I could go on and on, but this is blog, not a Master’s thesis.

I appreciate Ms. Rand for her literary achievements. That they happen to often echo many of my own beliefs is a bonus. The passage, above, came to me this morning and wouldn’t leave me. So I decided to post it. If you haven’t read (or listened to, it is available on CD) Atlas Shrugged, I recommend it. Buy a copy. You may be surprised at what you find. And don’t forget to vote.


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