Politics of Human Nature 21: Conclusion. What can be gathered from this long series of posts on politics and human nature? Mainly, three major points: (1) Human nature is heterogeneous, that is to say, the innate propensities influencing political behavior vary from individual to individual; (2) An individual's vocation often accentuates these propensities, so that, for example, an individual with innate talents for using force will become even better at using force if he joins the military, an individual with an innate talent for manipulation will become even better at manipulation if he becomes a politician, etc. etc.; (3) These innate differences and the intensification that comes about through the division of labor in society accentuates a tendency towards faction.
Why is faction important? Because the presence of faction in political society will effectively prevent Objectivist political ideals from ever being implemented under a representative system of government. What I have sought to show in the "Politics of Human Nature" series of posts is how various psychological, vocational, and social types are biased against laissez-faire, so that they could never be counted on to support such a policy. They may be biased by reason of innate personal inclination, by reason of vocational interests and sentiments, or by reason of social interests and proclivities. This rooted bias against laissez-faire is widespread, intractable, and incurable. The overwhelming majority in both the ruling elite and the masses don't want laissez-faire—they have no use for it. Nor does there appear any convincing evidence that this can change without a prior change in human nature. Having a government that interferes in economic affairs, sometimes less so, sometimes more so, is merely part of the human condition.
Objectivism seeks to attain its political goals through persuasion. Let's see how this is likely to work in practice. In order to for Rand's political ideals to be implemented as part of public policy, it is not enough that the 50%+1 of the nation support laissez-faire. To have any chance of having "real" or "legitimate" laissez-faire, Rand's so-called "separation of the state and economics" would have to be written into the Constitution, via amendments. (Even this would not be enough, but we will ignore what else would be needed for the time being.) Now getting a Constitutional amendment passed is very difficult. It would require very large majorities--at least as high as 80%. There will be powerful, entrenched interests (i.e., all those who have a stake in the present "mixed-economy" system) that will fight any movement toward laissez-faire with every means at their considerable disposal. This being so, where are you going to get your 80%? Which psychological type, which social type, which vocational type would likely support laissez-faire in large numbers? We know which types will oppose it in large numbers: bureaucrats, intellectuals, welfare recipients, the homeless, the uncreative, the unfortunate, the poor, the incompetent, etc. This group is probably large enough by itself to prevent the political implementation of laissez-faire. But when we look at other types, at other factions in society, the prospect becomes even bleaker. Will military personnel likely support laissez-faire? Not likely. There might be a few exceptions, but these are people who get paychecks from the government and live by force. Why would Objectivism’s variant of laissez-faire, with its moralistic disapproval of the initiation of force (including the force required for the taxation necessary to support a military), ever appeal to the typical militaristic mind-set? What about religious people? Well, Rand regarded such people as enemies to her political ideals (because religion is "irrational"); even if Rand were wrong about why religion people are enemies of her political ideals (the fact that someone is irrational about religion doesn’t necessitate that they will be irrational in other spheres of life), she is probably correct about the final result—i.e., the majority of religious people will likely oppose laissez-faire. What about businessmen--entrepreneurs and capitalists? Here is one class in which Objectivists could hope to find allies. But even among businessmen, there will be significant opposition (for reasons explicated in an earlier post). In short, by the time one goes through all of society, one would be lucky to find 10% of the population amenable to persuasion on the issue of laissez-faire. The biases against it run deep, into the very core of human nature and the institutional incentives embedded in society.
Back in the early sixties, Rand wrote to a fan: "We will only have to wait decades [for Objectivism to win] " [AR Letters, 596] Those words were penned almost 50 years ago. What has happened in the interval? Has Objectivism won? Not even close. Support for laissez-faire remains a fringe phenomenon. While there are many supporters of market Capitalism, few believe in the extreme version of Capitalism preached by Rand. They recognize it as being political unfeasible, legally incoherent, and economically undesirable. To desire it and think it the "ideal" system is to lapse into utopianism.