But more important of course is the risk that objectivism could begin to influence policy. I read Atlas Shrugged. And the Fountainhead. And Anthem (BTW - it does in 100 pages what it takes her 1000 pages to do elsewhere.). I read them around the age of 20. I tried on the ideas. I am a smart, above average height, ok looking, athletic guy. I mean, yeah, don't deserve to be me? Haven't I earned everything I've gotten? Why should others ride on my coattails as I ascend to greatness?
How long before you meet your first walking reality check? Someone whose father has cancer? Someone whose company lays them off at just the wrong moment? How long before you realize that there but for the grace of god go you?
I am all for more personal responsibility. It could go a long way to improve the functioning of our society. But it doesn't change that we live together and our aggregate interactions require policies to govern them. Otherwise a free spirited mother is getting my kid sick with TB because she refuses to vaccinate. Where's my freedom there?
Ayn Rand takes the extreme position that there should be no regulation and no social safety net. You just need one exception to derail such an ethos and I think even the starkest libertarians among us have lived a few of those exceptions themselves. To do otherwise can be barbaric.