Individual Rights vs State Autonomy - Ayn Rand

“I have sworn upon the altar of God,
eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
Thomas Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers meant it. 
They did not confine their efforts to the battle against theocracy and monarchy; 
they fought, on the same grounds, 
invoking the same principle of individual rights against democracy
i.e., the system of unlimited majority rule. 

They recognized that the cause of freedom
is not advanced by the multiplication of despots, 
and they did not propose to substitute 
the tyranny of a mob for that of a handful of autocrats . . . .
When the framers of the American republic spoke of “the people,” 
they did not mean a collectivist organism one part of which was authorized to consume the rest. 
They meant a sum of individuals, each of whom, whether strong or weak, rich or poor, retains his inviolate guarantee of individual rights.

The constitutional concept of “states’ rights” pertains to the division of power between local and national authorities, and serves to protect the states from the Federal government; it does not grant to a state government an unlimited, arbitrary power over its citizens or the privilege of abrogating the citizens’ individual rights.

An 'autonomous government' is not a defender of individual rights, but merely of states’ rights—which is far, far from being the same thing. When the autocrat denounces “Big Government,” it is not the unlimited, arbitrary power of the state that the autocrat is denouncing, but merely its centralization—and an autocrat seeks to place the same unlimited, arbitrary power in the hands of many little governments. The break-up of a big gang into a number of warring small gangs is not a return to a constitutional system nor to individual rights nor to law and order.

Ayn Rand : For the New Intellectual