Rand Versus Rothbard

From: L
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2018 7:57 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Ayn Rand

Hello Walter, I’m not sure you would remember me, but we met briefly at the Mises Institute 2017. I am emailing you because I have listened to many interviews of yours discussing your time with Ayn Rand, and her intolerance of people questioning her beliefs, and it has me wondering if you could clarify something for me. What were the contradictions you speak of regarding Ayn Rand’s views, and what would you say are the most significant differences between Ayn Rand’s beliefs vs Murray Rothbard. Thank you for your time, L

Dear L: There are two main ways in which Rand and Rothbard differ. The first is on foreign policy. Rand was a US militarist, a war-monger. Rothbard took a more measured look at this, and concluded, on the basis of much evidence, that the US was a belligerent imperialist force, continually bombing nations that had never attacked our country. The second was that Rand was a minimal government supporter, or minarchist, and Rothbard an anarcho-capitalist. They both started with the premise of the non-aggression principle, the NAP: it is illicit to initiate or threaten violence against innocent people. Rothbard correctly inferred from this that no state could be justified, since it necessarily violated the NAP, by taxing people without their consent, and demanding a monopoly of force within a given area. Rand was illogical on this point; she contradicted herself. Rothbard argued brilliantly on this matter.

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6:15 pm on August 1, 2018