I discovered this blog the other day. It has very few posts currently, but I really like all of them. The blog is called “Hard Cases: A Critique of Pure Libertarianism” and serves as a preview of an identically-titled book the author is writing.
My favourite post is probably this one, where the author describes his personal journey as a libertarian. I have very similar sentiments. In fact his third sentence below could exactly describe my reaction on first reading The Fountainhead: no major change or even influence, but pleasure and thrill at seeing things I had always believed written down so powerfully.
I suspect I have always been a libertarian. My early exposure to this political philosophy was in no way akin to a conversion experience. It was more like the discovery that there actually were others who thought the same way that I did and were smart enough to have thought it through and written it down. In those early days I was quite the missionary for my new philosophy. I would share it with anyone, gleefully outraging them with some of the more extreme ideas that seemed to follow from it. There was a youthful naivete to it all, the belief that all I had to do was show people how perfectly logical and rational my ideas were and they would embrace them as I had. Like most youthful delusions, this one was wrong.
I have taken a long and confusing path since those early days. So have my ideas. Surprisingly enough, most of those ideas have ultimately come full circle. My political philosophy today is probably closer to what it was when I was 16 than it has ever been.
Also, this post, on the Libertarian party, is worth reading.