“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nazi war criminals were being tried and hanged at Nuremberg, with the impromptu panel of judges unable to agree on the meaning of “Aggressive war.” Yet all agreed the term applied accurately to war the enemy government waged. Ayn Rand at 40 was concerned with definitions and meaning: “Men do not even agree on their interpretation of natural laws, let alone the much more difficult moral laws.”
In an informal letter to a friend, Ayn Rand was worrying over the definition of individualism, the subject of her gushing 1934 letter to H.L. Mencken. Her off-the cuff improvisation went like this:
For a practical definition, if men merely agree that no man or number of men have the right to initiate the use of force against any human being (and that includes the forcible seizure of his property), that they have no such right for any purpose whatsoever, at any time whatsoever—that would be all we need, that would achieve a perfect Utopia on earth, that would include all the moral code we need.
I hope this will be helpful to you. I could write volumes on the subject (and intend to some day), but I can’t do it in a letter. As it is, this is just a hasty statement, without revisions.
Rand criticised German National Socialism and the entire gamut of nearly identical mystical altruist collectivism nurtured in America by the Prohibition Party, WCTU, Klan, Republican Party, Christian Front, Silver Shirts, German-American Bund plus all the other Trojan horse, fifth column, spies, saboteurs and traitors remarked on by President Roosevelt–and even FDR’s own policies. Previously aired in The Fountainhead, her portrayals were gaining sharp focus in the tenth chapter of her work-in-progress “The Strike,” when she dashed off a letter to her friend Linda.
A year later, with Otto Rasch and Adolph Ott in the dock for Nazi war crimes, she took to task one of Hitler’s fellow Austrians then being courted by Republican Party champions of mystical altruist collectivism, Ludwig Von Mises. Gone was the toothbrush mustache and Austrian citizenship. Emigré Von Mises now presumed to lecture Americans on [get this!] economics. His assertions that Crashes were caused by “destructionism,” and not by Republican laws redefining vices, production and trade as crimes were received by “former” Klan, Silvershirt, Bund, Coughlinite and Christian Front activists with whoops of joy!(link)
Eager for relief from blame for crashing the economy by poisoning alcohol and waging moralistic jihads against enjoyable drugs in 1907, 1914, 1929, 1931 and 1933, Republicans had found their champion. Mises, they imagined, could help them distance themselves from Hitler’s Positive Christianity, God’s Own dictator Franco and the Duce’s treaty putting catechism into government schools. Like “apolitical” import Wernher von Braun on rocket-bombs, von Mises depicted the exchange of values as abstract and amoral. His Jewish ancestry could even shield tender conservative feelings from unkind references to their former role models and ideals.
Like Adam Smith before her, Ayn Rand understood that economics–the science of values–could not be separated from ethical, and political principles. When Atlas Shrugged hit the stands nine years later, God’s Own Prohibitionists were horrified. Rand’s explanation of panics, crashes and depressions had predictive value, testable against the facts of reality soon to unfold in 1972(link). Nixon’s weaponizing of border crossings in prohibitionism against plant leaves caused a recession as Rand’s admirers formed a political party based on her non-aggression principle.(link) As soon as the votes were counted, Comstock’s cruel laws forcing women into involuntary labor of reproduction were overturned.(link)
Yet infiltration by violent communists and mystical fascists had begun as in 1921, 1928 and 1933. The admitted sloppiness of her facile prescription these looters equivocated, countering with assertions that to stop someone from sneaking into the national border or jimmying open your back windows was the initiation of force. Rand’s reaction was to turn against libertarians dumb enough to be so easily gulled by spurious consistency and back the Nixon regime instead. Later she recognized in Reagan the same superstitious instinct for enslaving the fair sex that Harriett Beecher Stowe had exposed in her support for the Ninth (and later Thirteenth and Fourteenth) Amendments the Prohibition and Republican parties sought to violate in their efforts to force women at gunpoint to reproduce like chattel dams.(link)
That is how mystical belief in assertions led the Red Republicans full circle into actually advocating the return of the slavery they once opposed.
Good reading: The Letters of Ayn Rand (link)
Find out the juicy details behind the mother of all economic collapses. Prohibition and The Crash–Cause and Effect in 1929 is available in two languages on Amazon Kindle, each at the cost of a pint of craft beer.
Brazilian Sci-fi from 1926 featuring the usual beautiful daughter of a scientist touting prohibition and racial collectivism in America’s Black President 2228 by Monteiro Lobato, translated by J Henry Phillips (link)
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Tagged: individual rights, libertarian, mimesis, parasitism, political economy and ethical values, Spoiler clout, winning