The Corner

Rand & The Fascist New Frontier

Don Luskin has a nice plug for my book. And, he adds this:

Reader Jameson Campaigne wonders, though, whether Goldberg gives credit to Ayn Rand, who originated this concept in a famous speech called “The Fascist New Frontier”? 

Me: Well, I don’t credit Ayn Rand for originating the concept that National Socialists were socialists. I credit that observation where it belongs — to the National Socialists themselves who said it over and over and over and over again.  Also, the observation that the New Frontier had fascist overtones was not solely offered by Rand (but I do  briefly mention her speech in the book). Milton Friedman made a similar observation about JFK. And, in the 1930s, it was commonplace across the political spectrum to observe the similarities between New Deal liberalism and fascism.  Indeed, FDR himself noted the similarities as did many leading New Dealers. But we can get into all that later.

Where I think Rand deserves some credit is for keeping the this line of argument alive as it became more and more dangerous to hold such a position. I don’t share the Randian analysis in all of its particulars, but I think there’s a lot of merit to it nonetheless. For the fullest statement of  the Randian argument on this score see The Ominous Parallels.

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