Steve G.

Archive for May 2nd, 2008|Daily archive page

A review of Ron Paul’s The Revolution: A Manifesto

In Libertarian on May 2, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Dr. Ron Paul’s The Revolution: A Manifesto is a concise (167 pages) and convincing argument for a return to America’s libertarian principles. During his campaign for president, Dr. Paul established a very diverse following: Republicans, Democrats, Greens, and “even some anarchists,” he would joke. In truth, many people were drawn to him due his obvious sincerity — a breath of fresh air! — even if they did not fully agree with or understand his ideology. Now they will understand and become Austro-Jeffersonians, one and all!

The first chapter, “The False Choices of American Politics,” demonstrates why those Ron Paul supporters who do understand his message cannot bring themselves to vote for either McCain or Hillary/Obama, or even to really care who among them wins: There is very little (if any) substantive difference between them. They may disagree about when and where to use foreign intervention, but never over whether it should be used at all. They may disagree over how fast interest rates should be cut by the Fed, but never over whether the Fed should exist. You get the idea.

Chapters 2 and 3 are titled “The Foreign Policy of the Founding Fathers” and “The Constitution,” respectively. Here Dr. Paul challenges his neocon and liberal opponents to openly condemn the wisdom of the founding fathers, which they do with their actions, or else follow it. The framers of the Constitution were far from unanimous — there were bitter disputes among so-called “Federalists” (Hamiltonian nationalists) and “republicans” (Jeffersonian decentralists) — but today’s neocon/liberals reject the wisdom of both parties, taking an expansive view of their powers that even Hamilton himself would have seen as excessive.

Chapter 4, “Economic Freedom,” may be an eye-opening one for many readers. First, there are the liberals who were attracted to Dr. Paul’s campaign, who may for the first time be presented with a contrast between the true Austro-Jeffersonian libertarian brand of capitalism and the inflationist, Kudlow & Company / Forbes magazine variety. Secondly there are many “paleoconservatives” I met who supported Dr. Paul but were under the mistaken impression that he was against free trade — nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, as Dr. Paul points out here, he is 100% in favor of unilateral, unconditional free trade and 100% against quotas, sanctions, embargoes, duties, and protective tariffs. He does oppose phony “free-trade” deals like NAFTA and the WTO (joining many liberal Democrats in doing so, but for different reasons) not because they “steal American jobs” (they don’t), but because they limit trade too greatly. Furthermore, they erode constitutional sovereignty and work for the benefit of politically connected elites, something with which libertarians, paleocons, and liberals can all agree.

All three constituencies will also cheer Chapter 5, “Civil Liberties and Personal Freedom.” Here the contrast between Jeffersonian libertarianism (once considered “liberalism” before that philosophy was given a bad name in the early twentieth century) and the so-called “conservatism” of the neocons and post-WWII New Rightists is perhaps at its greatest. Ron Paul supports the Constitution and the limits it places on government — which makes him a “blame America” leftist among the neocon punditry, all apologists for the liberal Wilson/FDR/Truman/LBJ foreign policy, by the way.

But the best and most important chapter, without a doubt, is Chapter 6, “Money: The Forbidden Issue in American Politics.” Here Dr. Paul expertly details the operations of the Federal Reserve System in stunning clarity — no conspiracy theories or half-truths that often further obfuscate discussion of the secretive monetary authority. The Austrian (and true) perspective on the Fed is not to be horrified that the Fed isn’t a government agency (it is, even if indirectly), but to be outraged that all banks are essentially arms of the government. We don’t need the government to have even more control over the money supply, we need it to have no control whatsoever (the exact opposite of what sources like Freedom 2 Fascism seem to suggest). What’s more, Dr. Paul doesn’t spread the myth that the Fed somehow profits as an entity when it creates money (its profits go to the Treasury), but instead, politically connected individuals and businesses profit at the expense of working-class and poor families. You see, the effects of inflation are not uniform — the Fed System works as a wealth redistribution system from poor and middle-class to the rich and politically connected. How so? Buy this book and find out!

Finally, the book ends with the self-titled seventh chapter in which Dr. Paul lays out a moderate and realistic course that could be accomplished over one or two presidential terms. I’m tempted to share this blueprint for you here but I don’t want to discourage anyone from buying the book. Instead, I’ll use the last few words of this review to lament the fact that this blueprint will certainly not be implemented by the next president. Perhaps a young man or woman who volunteered for Ron Paul’s campaign in 2008 will work his or her way up through the political establishment and be swept into office, with a like-minded Paulian Congress, sixteen years from now (just as Reagan followed sixteen years after Goldwater — not that either of these two are to be looked at as heroes. . .). We can only hope that the Republic can endure that long!

P.S. If you like my review, please go to Amazon and give it a “helpful” ranking. It is currently one of the featured reviews.

LFV Exclusive…….

In Constitutional Rights, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Personal Responsibility, Politics, War on May 2, 2008 at 2:39 pm

First of all, it’s great to be back at the “new and improved” Last Free Voice. I like what Elfnino’s Mom is doing to the site and hopefully she’ll let me stay here as long as she can stand me. Face it, she did endorse me but due to financial reasons I had to terminate my campaign. Maybe I’ll try again in eight years!

Now that I am no longer a candidate for office and will be graduating next Saturday (party at my house, B.Y.O.Beer, if you’re in the area, you’re invited), I’ll just give you my opinion on all the serious candidates (yeah I’m excluding those like Milnes, Burns, Hollist, Imper-wacko, Link and other not-so-serious candidates).

Now who can I ridicule, I mean, talk about first. Let’s talk about Christine Smith. I think she’s crazy personally. I contacted her early in her campaign and she seemed like a nice person until she stopped calling or e-mailing me. Then again she doesn’t return e-mails to anyone. Steve Gordon has tried to get an interview with her for TPW. I think Tom Knapp has tried for Rational Review. Even her supporters can’t get a hold of her. What a way to blow off your base support by ignoring them. Great campaign strategy! She may have enough support to make to the debate in Denver. Out of all the candidates who would have an easy time to get to Denver, it’s her, even though she failed to make it to her own state party’s convention. Good luck Christine, run for Congress next time. Besides, I think she’s threatened by Mary Ruwart’s celebrity status.

Next is Mike Gravel. I’m glad to see a former Senator in our party even though he’s been out of office for 25+ years. He brings to the party a lot of passion. He’s not going to be our Presidential candidate. He’s supports the “fraud tax” and universal health care but he’s anti-war, anti- drug war and anti-Income Tax. He needs some grooming in our party.

Next is George Phillies. I like George, he’s a nice guy, not Presidential. He should be running for an at large spot on the LNC. George and I worked on Russo’s and Badnarik’s campaigns back in 2004. I have to say this much: George’s campaign is better organized than the others and I’m impressed. Now the big problem I have with George is that it seems like he has no respect for pro-life Libertarians and that he favors the continuation of the Federal Reserve and the Inflation Tax. Run for LNC in 2010, I will vote for YOU!

Next is Mike Jingozian. Mike is a nice guy, I spoke with at length in Kansas City. Very smart business man; a man with a plan! Unfortunately, Mike, you would be a great Gubernatorial candidate in Oregon. I can’t say much about Mr. Jingozian but I think his time is not now, maybe 2012.

Next is Bob Barr. Bob would be my third choice right now. There’s a huge problem why Bob Barr isn’t higher. He supports the “fraud tax” and he doesn’t fully agree with decriminalization of drugs. Bob, just answer the questions, we Libertarians have been trying to get you to answer since your grand announcement. Please re-clarify your stance on these issues or DON’T RUN FOR PRESIDENT!

Next is the oh so arrogant Wayne Allyn Root. I dislike him; he’s like a used car salesman selling a lemon. He’s just another conservative trying to hijack the LP. A Root nomination will effectively destroy the LP. Mr. Root can not see that the LP is NOT a wing of the “Torture” party. Libertarians aren’t conservatives and if you can’t see that, just leave the party-wait I’ll help you pack your bags.

Next is Steve Kubby. Before I jumped into the VP race, I supported Kubby. Kubby would be my second choice right now but I hope he doesn’t let his ego get the best of him and run for VP. Besides Tom Knapp would kick my ass if I didn’t say something nice about Kubby.

Finally, there is Mary Ruwart. I’m endorsing Mary because she’s the best candidate for the party. She will bring members into the party that will last. She’s the type of candidate that would be able to bring in the younger people, more women and possibly minorities into our homogeneous party. She’s not loud nor shy. She’s angry but soft-spoken. She’s articulate and principled. It’s just too bad I won’t be able to make it to Denver to cast me vote for her. I’ll be glued to C-Span all weekend though watching our convention but it’s not the same. At least if Mary is our nominee we will have our party intact and to me that’s what’s important.