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Founding mothers of modern American libertarianism

The Tea Party movement and the recent resurgence of libertarianism have brought to the fore a renewed interest in, among many other related ideas and persons, the Constitution, the Founding Fathers and Ayn Rand. It was heartening to learn that Rand was but one of three illustrious women, along with Isabel Paterson and Rose Wilder Lane, now widely known as the founding mothers of American libertarianism.


Quotes from and articles about these wonderful women are plentiful. Below, I copy a few:

Isabel Paterson
"Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse or omission."

Rose Wilder Lane
"One thing I hate about the New Deal is that it is killing what, to me, is the American pioneering spirit. I simply do not know what to tell my own boys, leaving school and confronting this new world whose ideal is Security and whose practice is dependence upon government instead of upon one’s self.... All the old character-values seem simply insane from a practical point of view; the self-reliant, the independent, the courageous man is penalized from every direction."

Ayn Rand
"Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims."

The year 1943 was a watershed moment in the history of libertarian thought -- with the publication of the influential books The God of the Machine, The Discovery of Freedom and The Fountainhead, by Patterson, Lane and Rand, respectively. In retrospect, these seem to serve as a metaphorical mirror for events around the world that year -- for 1943 was also the year that the tide began to turn in all theaters in World War II.

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