I wonder when Christian conservatives will wake up to the fact that libertarianism and theism are contradictory? We've either been asleep at the wheel, or woefully ignorant. Or worse...
From The Ayn Rand Lexicon: (note: Rand referred to her philosophy as "objectivism." She resented Libertarians, but they adored her. You can substitute "libertarian" for "objectivist" without loss.)
Objectivists are not “conservatives.” We are radicals for capitalism; we are fighting for that philosophical base which capitalism did not have and without which it was doomed to perish . . .
Politics is based on three other philosophical disciplines: metaphysics, epistemology and ethics—on a theory of man’s nature and of man’s relationship to existence. It is only on such a base that one can formulate a consistent political theory and achieve it in practice. When, however, men attempt to rush into politics without such a base, the result is that embarrassing conglomeration of impotence, futility, inconsistency and superficiality which is loosely designated today as “conservatism.” . . .
Today’s culture is dominated by the philosophy of mysticism (irrationalism)—altruism—collectivism, the base from which only statism can be derived; the statists (of any brand: communist, fascist or welfare) are merely cashing in on it—while the “conservatives” are scurrying to ride on the enemy’s premises and, somehow, to achieve political freedom by stealth. It can’t be done.
--Ayn Rand, “Choose Your Issues,” The Objectivist Newsletter, Jan. 1962, 1.
From the Atlas Society website:.
A new collection of the former President's private letters reveals that Ronald Reagan was a fan of Ayn Rand's work. On pages 281-82 of Reagan: A Life In Letters (New York: Free Press, 2003; edited by Kiron K. Skinner, Annelise Anderson, and Martin Anderson), we find the following passage:
In a May 23, 1966, letter William Vandersteel, president of the Ampower Corporation, expressed confidence that Reagan could win the presidency in 1968 and enclosed a pamphlet by Ayn Rand titled "Conservatism: An Obituary" written after the 1960 presidential campaign. In the essay Rand argues that many conservatives are opposed to statism but don't seem to realize the only good alternative is capitalism.
New York, New York
May 23, 1966
Dear Mr. Vandersteel:
Thanks very much for pamphlet. Am an admirer of Ayn Rand but hadn't seen this study.
In other words, capitalism is the only alternative to statism, but the only way capitalism can flourish is if it is not hindered by "mysticism" (i.e., belief in supernatural realities like God and souls), "irrationalism" (only what is natural--that is, what is material--is rational) or "altruism" (that pesky Christian belief that one should do unto others as one wishes others to do to him.)
Was Reagan oblivious, confused or devious? Actually, I think his deepest devotion was not to the Christ and His Kingdom (Rand's "mysticism," "irrationalism," and "altruism,") but to a pragmatic and utilitarian ethic, which permitted him to ignore "the base [upon which ] one can formulate a consistent political theory." Unfortunately, I fear that this is the still the case for many, many Christians.
Someone mades this acerbic observation on Facebook:
"Funny how the 'Christian' right supports the Randians when Rand and her disciples espoused atheism. Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernancke - all Randians, all atheists and all Republican appointees. Acts 2:44-45, Luke 3:16 and many other Bible verses and parables all preach the opposite of what Randians preach. But then, the 'Christian' Right has denied Christ and elevated Rush, Sean, and Glenn to the new Trinity of God."