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Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard

—–Original Message—–
From: JH
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2017 5:15 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu

Sir, Since I often mention Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard in the same sentence, I would greatly appreciate it if you could briefly summarize your reasons for saying that I should discontinue that practice. Feh [meh?] on Ayn Rand? Her attack on altruism and her defense of rational self-interest won me over long ago, as did her artful story telling to illustrate her moral themes. Where did I go wrong?
Thanks for any clues, JH

Dear JH: When Ayn Rand was good, she was awfully, awfully, good. When she was bad, she was horrid. I’m very ambivalent about her. On the one hand, she, personally, along with Nathaniel Branden, converted me to libertarianism. On the other hand… Well, see my pubs on her:

Block, Walter E. 2002. “The Libertarian Minimal State?” A critique of the views of Nozick, Levin and Rand, Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 141-160; reprinted in Younkins, Ed, ed., 2004. Philosophers of Capitalism: Menger, Mises, Rand and Beyond; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/minimal_state.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2003. “Libertarianism vs. Objectivism; A Response to Peter Schwartz,” Reason Papers, Vol. 26, Summer, pp. 39-62; http://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/26/rp_26_4.pdf Nambla, child sexuality, child abuse

Block, Walter E. 2005. “Ayn Rand and Austrian Economics: Two Peas in a Pod.” The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. Vol. 6, No. 2, Spring, pp. 259-269

Block, Walter E. 2007. “The Non Fictional Robert Stadlers: Traitors to Liberty.” Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”: A Philosophical and Literary Companion. Edward W. Younkins, editor. Hampshire, England: Ashgate.

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Religion and Libertarianism: Ayn Rand was wrong.” June 18;


Block, Walter E. 2010. “Is Libertarianism a Part of the Right or the Left? Neither. We Are Unique” April 13; http://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block156.html

Block, Walter E. 2011. Ayn Rand, Religion and Libertarianism, Journal of Ayn Rand Studies Vol., 11, No. 1, Issue 21, July, pp. 63-79.

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Justifying a Stateless Legal Order: a critique of Rand and Epstein.” Journal of Private Enterprise; 29(2) Spring: 21-49; http://journal.apee.org/index.php/Category:Spring_2014; http://journal.apee.org/index.php?title=2014.Spring.JPE_part2.pdf

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