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Ayn Rand: Centenary Plus One

Having written quite a bit in celebration of the Ayn Rand Centenary last year, there is not much I can add this year, except to note a few very provocative posts on Rand published by my colleagues, Roderick Long and Sheldon Richman. At L&P, Roderick writes of "Ayn Rand's Left-Libertarian Legacy," and at "Free Association," Sheldon discusses Rand here and here. Both cite my own article on Rand's radicalism as applied to the realm of foreign policy: "Understanding the Global Crisis: Reclaiming Rand's Radical Legacy" (PDF version).

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the points therein made, I think it is terrific that more and more people are grappling critically with Rand's legacy, and practicing that Spanish proverb that Rand and her associates uttered on more than one occasion: "Take what you want, and pay for it"... that is, in this context, acknowledge what you've learned from Rand, and take responsibility for your own integrations and conclusions.

It's one of the chief means by which ideas filter throughout an intellectual culture.

Happy Birthday, Ayn Rand!

Comments welcome.


thanks for the links(they were interesting) and I count myself among those trying to grapple critically with her legacy/thought as I work on my personal essay.


I e-mailed a whole bunch of people with the hopes that Ayn's birthday will be honored and celebrated in lots of places around including someday in Terhan,Bagdad,Havana and PongYang. I don't think I'll see it in my lifetime but we should aim for no less


I also enjoyed reading the material that you drew to my attention with your comments and with the links that you generously included.

You wrote, though, that "[w]hether one agrees or disagrees with the points therein made, I think it is terrific that more and more people are grappling critically with Rand's legacy."

This leaves me curious about the following. What do you think about the points therein made? Having found that material fascinating - especially Roderick Long's - I would love to learn. I'd love to learn in particular whether you agree or disagree with any of Long's points. Specifically, I'm curious to learn what you think of the label, "left libertarianism."

Even more: what do you think the relationship is between "left libertarianism" and "dialectical libertarianism" - and does, say, "hard right libertarianism" ever qualify as a form of "dialectical libertarianism"? :-)


Vid Axel

Thanks, gents, for all your comments here, as always.

I agree with most of the points made by Roderick (whose birthday is today: Happy Birthday, Rod!!!), as evidenced in my post here.

I do have a bit of a terminological problem with the left-right divide, however, and don't know how eager I'd be to embrace "left-libertarianism" or "right-libertarianism"---as so designated.