It seems, indeed, I’ve started a movement. Well, sort of. It’s called the Canton Movement, and you can find it here.
It appears to be a libertarian effort. Their concept of ideological cantons is new to me, so I won’t comment further. But as you can see, it’s based, in part, on the eight political perspectives outlined in Eight Ways to Run the Country. They have actually lifted my thumbnail sketch of each perspective straight from the book.
They don’t actually have the legal right to do that, but I’m flattered nonetheless. In fact, I’d rather they use my words than their own. Many times I’ve seen enthusiastic readers put their enthusiasm in their own words, only to give others grounds for objection.
Here’s one, for instance: Eight Ways is “insightful, well written, well documented, and best of all fair to all points of view … extraordinarily enlightening … If you are interested in politics or political theory at all, go out and get this book” — a great review, except when the reviewer writes about Individualists, “Moral relativism is what rules the day in this camp. Examples: Ayn Rand, David Boaz (executive VP of the Cato Institute).”
And sure enough, some anonymous online sharpshooter, who has not read the book, chimes in to say that Ayn Rand is most definitely not a relativist.
Very true, which I why I never wrote such a thing. In fact, I wrote that Individualists are “not quite relativists, for they reserve for themselves the right to reject what they don’t like.” I then go on to explain what Rand doesn’t like, according to her own personal ethic of selfishness, which she labeled “Objectivism.”
Oh, well. As Kipling says, “If you can bear to hear the truths you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools” — but the twisting in such cases is only done by fans less careful than they ought to be, and since, as some other sage says, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, I can hardly complain.
The bottom line: It’s a great book. See for yourself.