After very much deliberation I could not decide between the two that stand out the most in my mind so it is a tie.  The first is a veritable heavyweight based on name recognition and percentage of those on the political right that have read at least one of her books.  The other is much less known unless you are a devotee of science fiction.  The first I chose is the one that probably came first to your mind when you read the title of this article, Ayn Rand.  The other is Robert Heinlein.  You might be wondering why I scored them so high as authors who espouse libertarian philosophy in their books.  I’ll let you decide for yourself through quotes from their novels.

Atlas Shrugged is by far Ayn Rand’s most famous work. Here is a speech from the character Francisco d’Anconia which is directed to Bertram Scudder. It would make Milton Friedman and Adam Smith proud.

So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

Here is a quote from Dr. Floyd Ferris to Hank Rearden which has a strong Jeffersonian flavor to it, or perhaps reminiscent of Ludwig Von Mises.  That quote perfectly describe the odious way our government behaves now.

There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kinds of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of lawbreakers—and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.

Here is a speech from Hank Rearden to a panel of judges

Who is the public? What does it hold as its good? There was a time when men believed that ‘the good’ was a concept to be defined by a code of moral values and that no man had the right to seek his good through the violation of the rights of another. If it is now believed that my fellow men may sacrifice me in any manner they please for the sake of whatever they believe to be their own good, if they believe that they may seize my property simply because they need it—well, so does any burglar. There is only this difference: the burglar does not ask me to sanction his act.

The Fountainhead, which was written before Atlas Shrugged, is also a wonderful novel that is packed with libertarian philosophy.  Here is a speech by Howard Roark, which is the climax of the novel.  It reminds me a lot of this video by Milton Friedman.

Man cannot survive except through the use of his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. Man has no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons, and to make weapons—a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man—the function of his reasoning mind.

But the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought. An agreement reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn upon many individual thoughts. It is a secondary consequence. The primary act—the process of reason—must be performed by each man alone. We can divide a meal among many men. We cannot digest it in a collective stomach. No man can use his lungs to breathe for another man. No man can use his brain to think for another. All the functions of body and spirit are private. They cannot be shared or transferred.

Robert Heinlein was the author most responsible for my transition from someone that leaned very much to the political left to a libertarian.  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is ranked on a lot of websites as the most libertarian novel ever written.  Professor Bernardo de la Paz is the character I most closely identity with from any novel.  Here are four separate quotes through which he defines his philosophy:

A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as “state” and “society” and “government” have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals.

I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

Comrades, I beg of you — do not resort to compulsory taxation. There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

You have put your finger on the dilemma of all government — and the reason I am an anarchist. The power to tax, once conceded, has no limits; it contains until it destroys. I was not joking when I told them to dig into their own pouches. It may not be possible to do away with government — sometimes I think that government is an inescapable disease of human beings. But it may be possible to keep it small and starved and inoffensive — and can you think of a better way than by requiring the governors themselves to pay the costs of their antisocial hobby?

Revolt in 2100 is another Heinlein novel that scores extremely high on the libertarian scale.  Here is my favorite quote

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything—you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.

It is safe to say that I’m a very voracious reader.  My primary passions, when it comes to fiction, are science fiction, horror, fantasy, and political thrillers.   I never discriminate when it comes to the political views of authors, even when their political views color their work.  Being a Libertarian, I much more closely identify with libertarian and conservative authors.  When I read books by liberal authors who infuse their views into their work I find myself debating with the author and the characters in my head as I read. This can be distracting, which is why I enjoy reading books by those on the right more.  Here are my favorite fiction authors that also happen to be on the political right:

Dean Koontz

Over the years I’ve read over thirty of his novels. There is no author whose work I enjoy more and there is no fiction author who I agree with more when it comes to political views.  Dean Koontz is very much a libertarian and those views permeate just about every one of his novels.  The heroes pretty much all expose libertarian views while the villains are most often progressives.  The central theme of most of the novels that I’ve read is– individual freedom will triumph over the forces of collectivism.

Here is how Wikipedia describes Dean Koontz:

Dean Ray Koontz (born July 9, 1945) is an American author. His novels are broadly described as suspense thrillers, but also frequently incorporate elements of horror, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and satire.

I completely agree with that description.  His books are thrillers and horror stories.  He uses his political views to color his novels.  They are not works of political fiction.  Dean Koontz is a very vocal Catholic.  His Catholic faith also permeates his novels.  Good versus evil is very often a central theme.

If you are thinking about checking out Dean Koontz, I would very much recommend “Watchers” and “Strangers.”  Those are the two novels that first got me hooked.  His “Odd Thomas” series and his “Frankenstein” series are also fantastic, along with so many of his stand alone novels.

Tom Clancy

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve reread his Jack Ryan series.  It is probably north of a dozen times.  Tom Clancy novels are political and military thrillers. The main character in the Jack Ryan series starts off as an analyst for the CIA.  Tom Clancy was very much a Reagan Conservative and he lets that shine thru very clearly in all of his novels.  In the novel “Executive Orders” President Jack Ryan discusses his political views in great detail.  They are a mixture of Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan.  Tom Clancy was a Catholic and so was his main character, Jack Ryan.

Tom Clancy was a very prolific author who wrote many different series of novels.  I’ve only read the Jack Ryan series.  The first ten novels in the series were all fantastic.  After the novel “The Bear and the Dragon” this series was nowhere as good.  If you’re interested in starting the series then “Patriot Games” is the perfect novel to start with.  His standalone novel “Red Storm Rising” is one of my all time favorite novels.  This book is about a nonnuclear world war between the US and the USSR, which takes place in the mid 1980s.

Suzanne Collins

A few months ago I came across an article listing libertarian works of fiction.  Featured in this article was the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Before that article I had not given those books much thought.  I heard the name of the books but considered them to be just for young adults.   After reading the article I decided to give that series a whirl.   I’m not ashamed to admit that I enjoyed the series so much that I read it three times and have watched all of the movies.

The author of the article was correct about this series having a libertarian message.  The series is set in the future where the part of the world that used to be the United States is now part of a country called Panem.  This country is made up of twelve districts which are oppressed by an extremely tyrannical central government.  The main character, Katniss Everdeen, accidently ignites a rebellion then becomes a central figure in the rebellion.  Overthrowing an oppressive government and restoring individual freedom is the central theme.  During the third book Katniss overhears a discussion between two central characters about who should lead the government after the oppressive capitol is defeated.  Here is the answer

“Everyone,” Plutarch tells him. “We’re going to form a republic where the people of each district and the Capitol can elect their own representatives to be their voice in a centralized government. Don’t look so suspicious; it’s worked before.”

There is one line in the book that has a slight pro global warming message but no book is perfect.  The line mentions that a lot of the land has been flooded by rising seas.  There are no details. Man made global warming is never mentioned.  The series takes place in the distant future after many wars have been fought so this rise in the seas could have been caused by anything.  .

The political nature of the Hunger Games has been hotly debated by all sides.  Usually a few lines are pulled out from here and there to claim victory by a liberal or a conservative blog author.  After reading the entire series this libertarian stands firmly behind the conclusion that this series has a strong libertarian message.

There are so many other right leaning fiction authors I’ve read.  I may make this into a regular series of articles if there is enough interest.  If anyone would like to recommend an author please do so in the comments section.

11th Doctor: Merry Christmas, Mister Sardick.
Mr Sardick: I despise Christmas.
11th Doctor You shouldn’t. It’s very you.
Mr Sardick: It’s what? What do you mean?
11th Doctor: Halfway out of the dark

Doctor Who A Christmas Carol 2010

A few days ago Kevin Williamson noted that Duke porn star Belle Knox has decided to enter the political fray as a College Republican:

Miriam Weeks, better known as Belle Knox, even better known as “the Duke porn star,” is sophomoric — but then, she is still a sophomore – and, having stockpiled a supply of that most important American commodity – fame – she has announced her intentions to inflict her sophomoric analysis on the world at large as a political activist, being, as she is, a College Republican of a purportedly libertarian bent.

I and others (most notably Stacy McCain) are on the record critiquing her choices and the long term costs of them to wit:

I don’t agree with Michelle Obama on much but the truest words I ever heard a person speak was this:

The truth is, because of their lack of experience, as a rule young people are in fact knuckleheads. I think their overwhelming support of Mrs. Obama’s husband for president is clear evidence of her contention but it can’t compete with this incredible statement from Ms. Knox/Weeks in an interview:

However there is within this poor career choice an aspect that make Ms. Weeks, Mr. Williamson piece notwithstanding, a person who can speak to one critical aspect of the GOP agenda due to practical experience that most people her age do not have and may never get.

As Stacy Noted Ms Knox age and appearance makes her a “premium productt” in the porn industry.  Her notoriety makes her even more so.

Thus she is at the moment making money most 18-20 year olds do not and because of this she is at this very time encountering a reality that most people her age do not.  The Actual bite of state and federal governments.

As I put it on twitter in a tweet that ironically Ms. Knox favorited:

knox tweet

Ms Weeks is getting a perspective that those young Obama voters still in college will only get if they somehow find well paying jobs in the president’s economy post graduation.  When you are a person making a good paycheck, local state and federal government taxman comes for their share.

One might question just how thrilled Ms Knox is with her profession but I suspect nobody questions her desire to keep the lions share of what she’s paid for it.

It’s because of this fact she could be a highly effective spokesperson to the Obama / Hillary crowd and to those who don’t pay normally pay attention, from feminists who cheer her choice as a slap in the face to morality to men & woman who might “come for the breasts”.  It’s possible such folk who would ignore a Mitt Romney or Kevin Williamson on the folly of over taxation might listen if Belle Knox makes the case against a large government taxing away the money she ahem, sweated for.

You fight a war with the army you have and if Belle Knox can actually persuade some young fools that big government is a bad idea so be it, but there is another potential positive from this scenario.

Consider we have a teen here who is able to resist and / or abandon liberal economic theory in a liberal environment where such ideas are pushed.

Might not such a person capable of learning from experience one side of the conservative coin be able to figure out the other?

She might be rebelling against the church at the moment but the combination of age producing an inevitable declining in her appeal as a barely legal sex object and the almost certain prayers of devout and faithful parents produce epiphany in what she thinks?

It might take years or even decades but she’s half way out of the liberal dark already and when she’s ready to take that second step she’ll find Christ waiting with open arms as Pope Francis has reminded us.

She has the knowledge, what her potential is if she is granted the wisdom is anyones guess?

Another day and another attempt to spin the faith by the left & via Time magazine.

Pope Francis and the Catholic Church increasingly have little patience with libertarian economic thought: this will clearly pose a problem to some lawmakers in Washington.

Oh does he? You mean the Pope is not in favor of paying ones bills or not spending what you don’t have? As a person who read the same documents in full that’s news to me.

And it would be news to the author of Samuel Gregg who authored  Tea Party Catholic: The Catholic Case for Limited Government, a Free Economy, and Human Flourishing. but that book needs to be ignored, why?

It was roundly rejected by Catholic progressives in the United States, most notably the National CatholicReporter’s Michael Sean Winters.

In other words it was roundly rejected by Catholics who don’t follow the church’s teachings and the paper Father Z calls the “National Schismatic Reporter”

The Washington Post being the Washington Post ran with the story of a conference that our Time Magazine opinion writer is going with

In Washington this week, the cardinal some consider the pontiff’s “vice-pope’’ mocked them outright at a conference called “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case against Libertarianism.” The Religion News Service story on the smackdown of trickle-down ran under the headline, “Catholic and libertarian? Pope’s top adviser says they’re incompatible.”

It was interesting to see how opposing views were handled

The Rev. Robert A. Sirico, of the Michigan-based libertarian Acton Institute, said the conference seemed designed to “create a straw man, shoot it down, and make political hay,” but did not accurately define or reflect views held by any but the most “extreme Randians or anarchists.” Not only is the market far from unfettered, he said, but there’s evidence that its expansion lifts people up rather than leaving them behind.He was invited to come and sit in the audience and be instructed, he said, but no libertarian Catholic was asked to speak or sit on a panel at the day-long event.

but that wasn’t the purpose of these people:

One of the conference organizers, Michael Sean Winters, whose anti-libertarian work the cardinal quoted extensively at the top of his remarks, said the event was very consciously not a debate, in the same way that during the Cold War, “the objective wasn’t to dialogue with communism; it was to defeat it.”

It’s a cute attempt to spin a false moral equivalence between fiscal libertarianism & the mass murder of millions and persecution of the church under communism almost as bad as the attempt to equate Libertarians argument about taxes with NARAL’s defence of killing children in the same piece.

(There is a reason why both the Post & the Time piece are classified as “Opinion”.

What kind of person makes such a ridiculous argument? Well in Time magazine it’s this guy…

Christopher Hale is a senior fellow at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. He helped lead national Catholic outreach for President Obama’s re-election campaign.

Surprise surprise, a  man who spent the last 6 years selling the most pro-abortion and anti-Catholic president of my lifetime to the clueless & uninformed strikes again.

Well given that the Democrats supports objective evil (abortion), considers marriage as defined by the church as bigotry and is specifically attacking the church through Obamacare they certainly can’t make the case for believing Catholics voting Democrat, therefore the plan is to make the case AGAINST the tea party.

There’s two problems with this plan, the first is reality.  The left’s economic policies don’t lift people out of poverty, it keeps them in it:

“The income gap between rich and poor tends to be wider in blue states than in red states. Our state-by-state analysis finds that the more liberal states whose policies are supposed to promote fairness have a bigger gap between higher and lower incomes than do states that have more conservative, pro-growth policies. . . . According to 2012 Census Bureau data (the latest available figures), the District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Mississippi and Louisiana have the highest measure of income inequality of all the states; Wyoming, Alaska, Utah, Hawaii and New Hampshire have the lowest Gini coefficients. The three places that are most unequal—Washington, D.C., New York and Connecticut—are dominated by liberal policies and politicians. Four of the five states with the lowest Gini coefficients—Wyoming, Alaska, Utah and New Hampshire—are generally red states.”

via Glenn, but their second problem is something a lot of secular and low information voters have missed.  While the left has done well in the culture wars in general there is a 2nd culture war that has taken place in the Catholic Church and while the secularists & liberals have been highly successful in the former, they have failed miserably in the latter as liberal orders are dying out while conservative ones are drawing vocations and conversions.

The irony of course is that fiscal libertarianism is not where the conflict with the church exists, it’s on social issues where strong libertarians most disagree with the church but since those positions tend to align with the left one can’t make that case to the faithful.

So if the left can’t win the faithful catholics to their cause the plan is to keep the nominal mass skipping Catholics as misinformed for as long as possible.


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I’m not sure what to think.  My opinion of the Paul family is mostly shaped by Ron Paul.  You remember him right?  Older gentlemen, never met a government agency he liked, has a bunch of college-age follower-droids, ran for president several times.  Ron Paul is for many the only introduction into libertarianism they have had.  Having been “schooled” time and time again by Ron Paul followers who seem to all use the same pre-determined arguments (like zombies repeating what they were taught at the mother ship) against everyone and anyone who may even slightly disagree with them (like calling them “statists” and no different than President Obama), I’d grown weary of the libertarian movement.

Taking a look at the “liberty” platform, they definitely have some solid core beliefs.  Government should be smaller, much smaller. Civil liberties good, government intrusion bad.  Good stuff.

Then they go off the deep end.  They want to legalize all drugs, end the Federal Reserve (I’m sorry everyone, I agree it needs more review like regular audits, but you can’t just “End the Fed”), legalize prostitution, and legalize same-sex marriage.

Libertarians are natural allies to Conservatives on issues related to the size and scope of government (though I’m not sure both groups agree on the degree of that scope).  However, I cannot nor will I ever support legalizing heroine and prostitution.

But, given the mammoth size of our government, it seems that coming together on our shared fiscal concerns should be paramount.  However, I’ve never met a Ron Paul supporter who is able to have a meaningful conversation about areas of relative agreement between conservatives and libertarians.  As soon as I say something like, “are you sure we should end ALL foreign aid?  What about for war-torn countries or for Israel?  Maybe we should just reduce the amount we dole out and ensure our aid only goes to allies?”  The Ron Paul supporter will respond by flying off the deep end and telling me that I am in bed with the Left and that my ideas would lead to the end of America as we know it.

After having several interactions at various events during the last few years (and lots of arguing on Facebook), I came to the conclusion that whatever the Ron Paul supporters are selling, I don’t want it.  They are a badly-behaved bunch who lose the opportunity for persuasion by choosing to engage in disrespectful behavior with an all-or-nothing mentality that only allows for their version of libertarian purism.

So, you can imagine my surprise over the last several months as I’ve watch Sen. Rand Paul.  I fully expected Senator Paul to behave in office like his dad did (don’t get me wrong, I think that Ron Paul is a good man, but he was not an effective legislature).  I’ve gone from being pleasantly surprised at Senator Paul to now finding myself cheering for him and hoping that he is real thing (and this is not just a  show).  Consider the evidence:

Rand’s filibuster- Let’s face it, that was the best television we’ve seen in a long time.  It also demonstrated, however, the commitment of Senator Paul to issues he deems of vital importance.  He had a point to make and he made it.  He is a leader.

Rand’s stance on drugs – Rand has often discussed the overcriminalization of drug offenders.  He is not trying to legalize drugs, but to have a more reasonable approach to the so-called Drug War (are we still doing that?).  In other words, he has found a position that appeals to someone like me, a staunch conservative, and that may actually get some traction.  And he has a point.  Someone caught with drugs at a very young age can be in jail for decades based on our zero-tolerance policy.  I’m not sure I agree there should be no jail for drug offenses, but a policy that considers the nature of the crime and the individual involved is one worth considering.

Rand’s visit to Howard University – Senator Paul had the guts to visit Howard University.  He got both cheers and jeers from media onlookers and blogger-pundits.  However, it certainly was a gutsy move, especially considering the fact that he spent time after his speech in a Q+A session.  He didn’t ace every question, but assumedly he learned from his experience and will be even better the next time.

Rand’s recent letter on immigration – Okay, if you are like me, you are wondering what has taken over Senator Rubio.  He is peddling his immigration bill on all sorts of conservative talk shows.  He is gutsy, for sure.  To actually have an on-air interview with Mark Levin on an issue Levin disagrees with is, well, nearly suicidal.  But, trying to push the bill through without reasonable debate is naturally causing concern by many.  (Also, whining that not allowing illegals amnesty is like slavery crosses the line).   Senator Paul, in light of the tragic events of last week in Boston, has asked for more reflection on the immigration bill.  He sent a letter to Sen. Reid asking that the legislation be examined with analysis on the bombings and determine what immigration failures may have taken place.  Smart move by Sen. Paul.  He is absolutely correct.

Rand’s commitment to life – This got little attention, but a few weeks ago, Senator Paul introduced the “Life at Conception Act.”  He knows a bill like this will never even see the light of day, unfortunately, but it is good to know where he stands.  He had a fiasco recently on CNN when asked about abortion.  He said there are “thousands of exceptions” to his pro-life stance.  He later backtracked and confirmed he is truly pro-life.  I’m going to choose to believe he misspoke on TV trying to find ways to find common ground with the host vs. not actually being pro-life.  He’ll need to work on the message.  But, I’m grateful to see him introduce the “Life at Conception Act” legislation if for no other reason than it demonstrates where he stands.  Also, it ticked off liberals (and you gotta love that).

My point in all of this is Rand Paul is doing a good job of positioning himself close enough to libertarians to pick up some of their vote, but far enough away so as to remain credible with conservatives.  He certainly is not concerned about getting moderates.  That is fine with me.  So, when he runs for President (that’s right, I said “when” and not “if.”  Let’s not fool ourselves.  He is not just considering a run, he is doing everything he can to prepare for a run), I think he may be a viable option.

However, I would advise him to not use his dad as a debate coach.

Lisa @