Jeff Riggenbach (born January 12, 1947-January 24, 2021) is an American libertarian journalist, author, editor, presenter, individualistic feminist and educator. He write regularly for and



"Ayn Rand and the Early Libertarian Movement," 2010


Jeff Riggenbach, "Karl Hess and the Death of Politics," (text) The Libertarian Tradition (6 May 2010).

  • [Professor Jennifer] Burns doesn't seem to understand that when leftists, or conservatives or liberals for that matter, refer to capitalism, they don't mean what Ayn Rand meant by it.  They mean the system that is otherwise known as mercantilism, corporatism, state capitalism, or even fascism—a system in which huge corporations, aided by the state, dominate a heavily-regulated and centrally-directed economyThis is what both conservatives and liberals advocate, this is what the New Left opposed.  One New Left guru, the late Murray Bookchin, told me thirty years ago in Boston that he had no quarrel with what Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard meant by the term capitalism, a system in which people divide their labour, specialise in producing certain goods and services, and trade among themselves.  Bookchin told me that he would say that that is not capitalism, though there are many different definitions.
  • His byline was particularly familiar to readers of The New Republic—until his radically antiwar views on the eve of the US government's intervention in World War I got him fired.
  • Randolph Bourne has not been forgotten, not completely.  People are still reading his work.  They're still talking about his ideas and about his memorable phrases.  The most famous of these has gradually become so widely quoted in our culture that millions of people have heard it, even heard it repeatedly, without ever learning who originally wrote or said it: "War is the health of the State."
  • The work that's being done 24/7 at not only honors Randolph Bourne's contribution to the libertarian tradition; it also helps to assure that that tradition will continue and grow.
  • [Republicans in Hess's youth] represented the only strong anti-imperalist political position.  Anti-imperialist?  Republicans?  Uh-huh.  But Republicans were not smart enough to call it that.  They let it be labeled isolationism, as though they wanted the United States to sneak off the world stage, slam the doors, and bolt the windows.  The underlying Republican argument, that we should trade with everyone but not interfere with or intervene in their internal politics, was lost behind that unattractive label.