Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ayn Rand Institute madness

Recently, the Ayn Rand Institute published this:

Results from a recent poll indicate that 77 percent of Palestinians support their government's kidnapping of an Israeli soldier and that 60 percent support the continued rocket fire from Gaza into Israel--this despite Israel's withdrawal of its troops and removal of its citizens from Gaza just a few months ago.

Israel should declare and wage war not only against the Palestinian leadership but also against the Palestinian people. The inevitable deaths of a few truly innocent Palestinians should not stop Israel from doing whatever it takes to eliminate its enemies; any deaths of innocents would be the moral responsibility not of Israel but of the guilty majority of Palestinians that seek to destroy it.

That's David Holcberg, a writer for the Institute. The Ayn Rand Institute has taken a rather cavalier attitude towards civilian casualties ever since 9/11, but to my knowledge this is the first time the Institute has sunk so low as to call for the deliberate attacks on civilian populations as an end in itself.

This is extremely depressing to me. Ayn Rand isn't the reason I became a libertarian- Friedrich Hayek got me started down that path when I was about 15 or 16, and from that point on it was basically an inevitability, because Hayek pointed me to Mises and Rothbard- but it was Rand who first radicalized me, who brought me to the idea that statism was not something to be trimmed here and there, but something that deserved to be torn out at the root. Seeing so many of her successors degenerate to this level is very, very sad.

Happily, there are some Objectivists out there who don't go along with this. A good antidote to the ARI's warmongering statism can be found at ARI Watch.

Hat tip to Sheldon Richman at Free Association.

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