Learning About Political Science and Freedom

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture
Submitted by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Tue, 2018-09-04 22:22

I wonder how all the Passionate Objectivists here at Solo Passion were converted from welfare statism to freedom, libertarianism, and capitalism? I read Ayn Rand's book The Virtue of Selfishness (1964) at about age 18 and one-third. It had 19 long, fairly-difficult essays in it, mostly on ethics, but two were focused on politics: 'The Nature of Government' (1963) and 'Man's Rights' (1963). I read most of the book in under 24 hours, and was completely persuaded on the issue of political science.

The way I view it is this: All my life I was given essentially just two political philosophies, or viewpoints, to think about and decide between: right-wing conservatism and left-wing progressivism. The other political alternatives I knew about, such as communism, fascism, Nazism, monarchy, and theocracy, didn't seem serious to me (nor to my teachers, classmates, parents, or virtually anyone in the American media).

But the fact is: conservatism and progressivism are essentially all nonsense. They pretty much constitute nothing but brainwashing.

So when finally and at long last I was presented with sensible thinking and truth about political science, I responded to it instantly. I was gasping with relief at finally finding out about the nature and function of government.

And I learned all this despite Ayn Rand's prophetic, religious, and feverish writing and rhetorical style. She almost continuously hectored, insulted, and disrespected the reader (me!). Basically she shouted at me that I was a moron and a scumbag for not currently knowing about, and believing in, political freedom, libertarianism, and capitalism, despite the fact that I had never previously come across this radical and alternative political philosophy. But notwithstanding her offensive and inappropriate methodology of persuasion (in my view), she also presented a ton of clear reasons and undeniable facts in favor of political freedom, and so I was utterly and immediately convinced.

Anyway, that's how I was converted to my pro-liberty political beliefs. But I wonder: What persuaded everybody else?