Rand began formulating these doctrines more than seventy years ago. The ideological landscape has undergone significant changes during this time. After the publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archepelago, the Soviet version of Marxism became thoroughly discredited in the West, even among radical leftists. But the pathological urge to impose equity fairness on modern society has persisted among our civilizations' left-leaning discontents. To scratch the equity fairness itch, a new type of Marxism needed to be formulated. Thus was born Post-Modernism and Identity Politics, which replaced the class conflict paradigm of the old Marxism with a new paradigm based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. This constituted a real improvement over traditional Marxism in that it justified and nurtured a powerful political coalition between white progressives and non-whites. Demographic changes caused by declining birth rates among whites and increased immigration of non-whites will increase the chances that the left, and quite possibly the radical left, enjoys a permanent electoral majority in the United States in future decades.
In the face of this (seemingly) impending dominance of the left, the right has begun to fragment and fall apart. No broad consensus has been reached regarding what should be done. Mainstream conservatives have merely buried their heads in the sand and pretended they are still living in the 1980s. Another faction on the right, along with much of the conservative base, has embraced an anti-immigration form of civic nationalism. A much smaller but noisier faction has jumped the shark and decided to embrace the identity politics of the left, applying similar ideological rationalizations to what they conceive as "white" interests (whatever those might be). In this shifting and jostling of ideological paradigms, the libertarian side of the right has become somewhat lost in the shuffle. That's not to say libertarians have disappeared completely. One still hears of conferences, books, speeches, even YouTube videos. But somehow the flame of Libertarianism, which seemed to flareup around the Tea Party movement in 2010 and Ron Paul in 2012, has in just four years been greatly dimmed. The enthusiasm has abated. Political energies, particularly on the right among the young, seemed to shift from concerns about the size government to issues involving immigration, changing demographics, and threats to Western Civilization.
Michael Lind has argued that America is undergoing a political realignment:
The partisan coalitions that defined the Democratic and Republican parties for decades in the middle of the twentieth century broke apart long ago; over the past half century, their component voting blocs — ideological, demographic, economic, geographic, cultural — have reshuffled. The reassembling of new Democratic and Republican coalitions is nearly finished....
Why is this all happening now? ... The culture war and partisan realignment are over; the policy realignment and “border war” — a clash between nationalists, mostly on the right, and multicultural globalists, mostly on the left — have just begun.
For the nationalists, the most important dividing line is that between American citizens and everyone else—symbolized by Trump’s proposal for a Mexican border wall. On the right, American nationalism is tainted by strains of white racial and religious nationalism and nativism, reinforced by Trump’s incendiary language about Mexicans and his proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S....
The rise of populist nationalism on the right is paralleled by the rise of multicultural globalism on the center-left.
For multicultural globalists, national boundaries are increasingly obsolete and perhaps even immoral. According to the emerging progressive orthodoxy, the identities that count are subnational (race, gender, orientation) and supranational (citizenship of the world). While not necessarily representative of Democratic voters, progressive pundits and journalists increasingly speak a dialect of ethical cosmopolitanism or globalism — the idea that it is unjust to discriminate in favor of one’s fellow nationals against citizens of foreign countries.
There is obviously a great deal more to the realignment than just nationalism versus globalism. The radical left, through its infiltration of cultural and political institutions, wields an influence that far outstrips its numbers. Meanwhile, on the right, we find a small but noisy confederacy of racial nationalists busy stirring up trouble on the internet. Among all this reshuffling, libertarian creeds, including Objectivism, are struggling to extend their respective brands. In the second half of the Twentieth Century, conservatism in America was made up of a coalition of economic libertarians, anti-communists, and social conservatives. Now that civic nationalism is becoming the dominant ideology on the right, libertarians are increasingly going to find themselves the odd man out.
Evidence of this can be gleaned by taking note of a number of influential nationalists, both civic and racial, on YouTube. A surprising number of them started out as Libertarians (or at least libertarian sympathizers — e.g., Stefan Molyneux, Milo Yiannopolous, Richard Spencer, Gavin McInnis, Laura Southern, and Theodore Beale among others). Essentially, all these people fell under the spell of Ann Coulter's book Adios America, which sent shock waves through the right upon its publication in 2015. Coulter argued that the overwhelming majority of Third World immigrants would always support the Big Government policies of the left, and that if immigration is allowed to persist unchecked, the left, and quite possibly the radical left, would gain a permanent majority in America.
Orthodox Objectivism has, for the most part, remained immune to Coulter's thesis. Leonard Peikoff, toward the end of his career as a podcaster, briefly flirted with the notion. But Yaron Brook staged
a quick intervention and brought Peikoff back to the pro-immigrationist fold. While this may have preserved ARI from further Peikoff-inspired embarrassment, it hardly serves to make the Objectivist creed more attractive to young people on the right. Indeed, it would seem that young people with conservative and libertarian leanings are quickly losing faith in the do-nothing creed of Objectivist inspired laissez-faire politics. Objectivism and libertarianism having been trying to convert people to their respective creeds for over sixty years, and they have little to show for it. With the surge of the radical left (at least terms of social and cultural influence) in recent years, the right is beginning to retrench into old forms of nationalism, both civic and, sometimes, in extreme cases, even racial. As the right-left ideological paradigm shifts and new factions on the right form to challenge globalism and non-white identitarianism, it's not clear how Objectivism and Rand-inspired libertarianism are going to maintain even a small sliver of relevance.