Yesterday I briefly discussed Rand’s take on Prohibition and FDR. Jeff Britting turned me on to a couple of comments that Rand made about Prohibition and Hoover. Mark Wickens looked up these quotes and sent me the result. Here’s what Rand had to say:
Only one thing is certain: a dictatorship cannot take hold in America today. This country, as yet, cannot be ruled — but it can explode. It can blow up into the helpless rage and blind violence of civil war. It cannot be cowed into submission, passivity, malevolence, resignation. It cannot be “pushed around.” Defiance, not obedience, is the American’s answer to overbearing authority. The nation that ran an underground railroad to help human beings escape from slavery, or began drinking on principle in the face of Prohibition, will not say, “Yes, sir,” to the enforcers of ration coupons or cereal prices. Not yet. (“Don’t Let It Go, Part II,” The Ayn Rand Letter, Vol. 1, No. 5, December 6, 1971, page 21 of the bound volume.)
President Nixon opened the way for [McGovern] (just as another “conservative,” President Hoover, opened the way for the welfare-state policies of President Roosevelt). (“The Dead End,” The Ayn Rand Letter, Vol. 1, No. 20, July 3, 1972, page 85 of the bound volume.)
It has been an interesting hundred years, and I suspect our times will grow more interesting still.