Chait might be aware that he isn’t really jousting with Rand per se with all this material–he’s explicitly arguing with the likes of Stuart Varney, Greg Mankiw, unnamed stereotypical arrogant “rich people,” and Irving Kristol. But by spending so much of an essay ostensibly about Rand on these points, he’s misleading his readers about what Rand thought and why.
As much I hate to admit it, this is not such a bad point. Whatever one thinks of Rand — and I don’t think much of her work — it probably isn’t fair to condemn her on the basis of today’s glibertarian foolishness. I never like it when people link Nietzsche with Nazism, and that’s not so different.
I never thought I’d read this in a libertarian magazine, though:
All that has little to do with what Rand had to say and why she said it. She believed that it was morally wrong to take from people their just property at the point of a gun. “Gentlemen, leave your guns outside!” was one of her summations of her political philosophy…
I just hope she wasn’t talking about town halls!
Update. On further reflection, I agree that Doherty is not all that accurate in his assessment of Chait’s piece. I also agree that Rand’s actual philosophy is even more terrifying than what today’s glibertarians spout. Nevertheless, I don’t think we should blame Ayn Rand for Glenn Reynolds and Nick Gillespie.