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For example, before most free market advocates imagined it possible, Rand envisioned shutting down entire government agencies, especially those that had to do with controlling the economy.
Today, the oldest regulatory agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission, has ceased to exist, along with most government regulation of the airline and trucking industries.
Joe Bast, founder of the Heartland Institute in Illinois, numbers Rand as one of his inspirations. In the Portland, Oregon, offices of the Cascade Institute, one finds Rand’s books on the shelves of Steve Buckstein.
In Sometimes, it seemed, Rand was daring critics to misunderstand her—and they did, eagerly.They saw families and small communities as the arenas in which moral virtues are exercised, and they opposed a large federal government with broad powers because they thought it likely to destroy those small-scale arenas.But, for the same reason, they viewed Other thinkers, such as Ludwig von Mises and Milton Friedman, favored individual liberty and limited government at all levels, because they understood that government control destroys individual entrepreneurial initiative and thus social prosperity.As noted, other authors in her day were defending capitalism; a few were even defending pure laissez-faire capitalism.Of these last, however, most were economists who either avoided moral arguments entirely or relied upon utilitarianism.
January/February 2006 -- Although Ayn Rand was born a century ago, and although she died a generation ago, her philosophy of Objectivism is among the most vital influences on contemporary American culture—and, increasingly, on contemporary global culture.