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Silicon Valley throws Ayn Rand under the bus

Is libertarian ideology losing its shine in Silicon Valley?

Valleywag's Nitasha Tiku noticed Tuesday morning that Travis Kalanick, the CEO and founder of the fast-growing Uber car service, changed his Twitter avatar from the cover of Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" to an image of founding father Alexander Hamilton.

To borrow a revolutionary-era analogy; for hardcore libertarians, this is the kind of move one would normally associate with Benedict Arnold.

Ayn Rand, of course, is herself one of the fountainheads of modern get-rid-of-government libertarianism. But Alexander Hamilton was something quite different. The first Secretary of the Treasury not only created the nation's first central bank, but was also the earliest and most forceful advocate of a strong government role in developing the U.S. economy. In his "Report on Manufactures" he laid out in painstaking detail a program for industrial policy arguing that if the United States was to compete with the established nations of Europe and make the most productive use of its labor possible, the government needed to get involved. America's budding manufacturing startups needed help!

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