Journal of Social and Political
ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)
ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)
Published: 24 May 2021
E pluribus unum Shrugged: Ayn Rand Against American Conservatism and Libertarianism
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Keywords: Ayn Rand, Party Ideology, Objectivist Philosophy, Republican Party, Conservatism, Libertarianism
The past decade has witnessed a renewed interest in the works of twentieth-century Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand. Political events ranging from the rise of the Tea Party to the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump have only helped to spur this resurgence, further evident in film adaptations and reissues of her popular literary novels. Political pundits abound have, in turn, deemed the return of Ayn Rand as a victory for libertarian thought and the Republican Party, more broadly. However, in this paper I contest such a theoretical synergy and complicate the Rand/Republican Party interplay by suggesting that it rests on false grounds. Drawing from Rand’s Objectivism, I argue that modern-day Republican Party politics, specifically conservative and libertarian strains of thought, fail on epistemological grounds. The philosophical writings of the Russian-born, turned-American philosopher therefore are not only incompatible, but function as a forceful critique against the governing platform of the Republican Party in preparation for the 2022 midterm elections.
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