Lunatic Libertarian Foreign Policy

From Wikipedia:

Antiwar and non-interventionist libertarians were highly influenced by economist Murray Rothbard and author Karl Hess. Rothbard criticized imperialism and the rise of the American empire which needed war to sustain itself and to expand its global control.[4][5]Rothbard said, “Our entry into World War II was the crucial act in foisting a permanent militarization upon the economy and society, in bringing to the country a permanent garrison state, an overweening military–industrial complex, a permanent system of conscription.”[6] This tradition is continued in the anti-war analysis of the Cato Institute‘s David Boaz[7] and former U.S. Representative Ron Paul

Even though the writers behind Ayn Rand Institute and Ayn Rand Lexicon define themselves as Objectivists and are more often opposed to libertarians,[19] large minorities of libertarians, mainly in the United states, use aspects of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism[20] to justify, in this topic, basing their foreign policy beliefs on the right of defense

Pew Research Center found overwhelmingly in 2011, with new and updated data in 2014, that libertarians in the United States are about as close to evenly split as normal Americans on U.S. foreign policy. In 2014 for example, they found through polling that 54% of U.S. libertarians oppose American involvement overseas, and that 43% are in favor of it.[25] ..

A nearly half minority (48%) believe that the best way for American military to ensure peace on earth is to stay the strongest military of Earth by a very long way, and an identically sized minority also think that the best way to defeat a terroristic ideology is to overwhelmingly and militarily crush that ideology on its soil.[27]

From Crawford Kilian:

Ayn Rand was a kind of running joke when I was a kid in the 1950s. I knew about her thanks to the 1957 publication of Atlas Shrugged and its instant rise on the best-seller list. That in turn drew attention to her philosophy of Objectivism, which promoted selfishness as a virtue and damned altruism as a vice — a self-evident joke…

Its followers have infiltrated the Tea Party movement, which in turn is a force in the U.S. Congress and the Republican Party. Worse yet, he claims, Objectivism long had an agent in place on the commanding heights of the U.S. economy: Alan Greenspan, for decades the head of the Federal Reserve and a dedicated disciple of Ayn Rand for 60 years…

Future John Galts would have to sleep in castles, behind a wall of guards protecting them from us. A philosophy that detests the “gun” of government coercion would survive only by imposing such coercion on everyone else…

From Counter Currents:

Before changing its name to the Cato Institute in 1977, the libertarian think tank was known as the Charles Koch Foundation, since American billionaire Charles Koch was one of the most magnanimous contributors to the institute started by Ed Crane in 1974. When Crane stepped down as the leader of the Cato Institute in 2014, he was replaced by John Allison, a banker who had once endowed college courses on the work of Ayn Rand. Allison’s mission was to use his own profits from his career as a banker to endow colleges with courses on Rand and thereby promote her philosophies through the educational system. [1] The selection of Allison as the new leader of the Cato Institute is a testament to the fact that Cato Institute, which claims “to originate, disseminate, and increase understanding of public policies based on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace,” is, in fact, doing no more than promoting the philosophies of Rand.

From Firmin DeBrabander:

Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has said Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” is his favorite book. Mike Pompeo, head of the CIA, cited Rand as a major inspiration…

The Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, famously made his staff members read Ayn Rand. Trump himself has said that he’s a “fan” of Rand and “identifies” with Howard Roark, the protagonist of Rand’s novel, “The Fountainhead,” “an architect who dynamites a housing project he designed because the builders did not precisely follow his blueprints…”

Though the Trump administration looks quite steeped in Rand’s thought, there is one curious discrepancy. Ayn Rand exudes a robust elitism, unlike any I have observed elsewhere in the tomes of political philosophy. But this runs counter to the narrative of the Trump phenomenon: Central to the Trump’s ascendancy is a rejection of elites reigning from urban centers and the coasts, overrepresented at universities and in Hollywood, apparently…

Mitt Romney captured Rand’s philosophy well during the 2012 campaign when he spoke of the 47 percent of Americans who do not work, vote Democrat and are happy to be supported by hardworking, conservative Americans…

Like Rand, her followers – who populate the Trump administration – are largely indifferent to the progress of the masses. They will let people be. Rand believes, quite simply, most people are hapless on their own, and we simply cannot expect much of them. There are only a few on whom we should pin our hopes; the rest are simply irrelevant.

From Zachary C. Shirkey:

Steve Bannon—the adviser whose views perhaps most closely align with the white ethno-nationalist component of Jacksonianism and who has cited influences as diverse as Lenin and the Italian reactionary Julius Evola—is strongly averse to Randianism

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson argue in their recent book, American Amnesia, that the Randian worldview has several important elements when it comes to governance. Taken together these elements make Randianism distinct from traditional conservatism or libertarianism. These elements are as follows. First, Randians see government as always being harmful rather than at times fostering environments where all parties gain. Second, Randians see the world as constant sum. In other words, any gain for one side is a loss for the other. Third, Randians see the world as divided between makers and takers

To start, if one sees international organizations and international law as equivalent to government, then it becomes imperative for the Randian to destroy such institutions and laws…

The Randian worldview pushes Trump and his advisers to favor the dismantling of the international organizational architecture that the United States and its allies have worked so hard to construct over the last 70 years.

Rather than seeing these institutions as enhancing and legitimizing American power, Randians see them as inherently malign bodies that choke off creativity and freedom of action. It also helps explain why Trump sees Russia and other right-wing authoritarian countries as potential allies as they too want to weaken international institutions and law…

Trump sees the United States as a maker and our allies as takers, rather than that both the United States and its allies benefit from their agreements with each other. Mutual benefit is impossible given the Randian view that the world is constant sum…

His appalling, undiplomatic rhetoric is not simply a personal trait, but is consistent with a Randian worldview.

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