Chris Sciabarra asks:
Do you have anything specifically in mind, John, with regard to practical efforts in large-scale social, political, or economic change?
I do: The production of means by which individuals may increasingly evict collective politics from their lives.
An example of this would be Phil Zimmermann’s creation Pretty Good Privacy. The question of whether or not individuals ought to be free to communicate privately was previously subject to collective politics, but Zimmerman and a handful of other individuals largely evicted politics from the question. States may still assert authority to read your email, but whether they can is now up to the individual. I think a significant reason the Soviet Union fell when it did was that it lost it’s war on private communication. That wasn’t the result of strong encryption, but it’s another example of how technologies can enable individuals to increasingly evict politics from their lives. People typically assume the state will have it’s way as long as enough people approve of it, but that is simply not the case in many areas, and those areas can be expanded.
I find it striking that Rand’s great protagonists were inventors and businessmen, yet her admirers tend to focus almost exclusively on rational evangelism. The most powerful model for collective action appropriate to individualists is business, yet business gets short shrift from libertarians as a means for curtailing the state – they tend to devote themselves instead to collective political movements.
More comments at Catallarchy.