Boy, it is not easy to make heads-or-tails of Ayn Rand and her devotees on foreign policy.
In the book Ayn Rand Nation, sloppy journalist Gary Weiss read some of Rand’s writings on war and peace, mistook her for a peacenik, and ended up asking Ayn Rand Institute board member (and soon to be president of the Cato Institute) John Allison, So why was World War II such a bad idea again? Allison sort of bumbled through an answer and said that, well, Rand had been responsible for changing his mind on Vietnam.
Yet as Jordan Bloom shows in this good American Conservative piece, Rand was both against America’s initial involvement in Vietnam and seriously bloodthirsty in her prescription for how to get out of it — which was essentially the Nixon-Kissinger position.
Rand’s take on World War II was a mix of Harry Truman’s initial let-the-Russian-German-bastards-fight-it-out position and the conspiratorial suggestion that America forced Japan to attack us.
There’s a lot more of course. Here, Bloom attempts to sum up Rand’s foreign policy pronouncements in one neat package: