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Conservative Icon Ayn Rand Said 'Savages' Had No Right to Land

Ayn Rand, the Russian-born author, referred to Native Americans as 'savages' and defended the genocide committed against them.

Native Americans did not have a right to their ancestral homeland, and white people were justified in committing genocide against them, Ayn Rand, the Russian-born conservative heroine and writer, said during a Q&A in 1974, Salon reported.

"Americans didn’t conquer ... You are a racist if you object to that ... [And since] the Indians did not have any property rights — they didn’t have the concept of property ... they didn’t have any rights to the land," Rand said, reported Ben Norton of Salon on Wednesday.

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Rand, who is lauded by conservative politicians such as Republican House Representative Paul Ryan for her positions on a free market, referred to Native Americans as "savages" and implied they would have rather lived "like an animal."

"Let's suppose they were all beautifully innocent savages, which they certainly were not. ... What was it that they were fighting for, if they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their right to keep part of the earth untouched, unused, and not even as property, but just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal?" Rand said.

Rand is the author of "Atlas Shrugged," a novel about a society falling into chaos after the wealthy, strained by stringent regulations, divest from an economy.

Read more of Rand's comments and Norton's full report: Libertarian superstar Ayn Rand defended Native American genocide: “Racism didn’t exist in this country until the liberals brought it up