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Ron Paul on the Meaning of Freedom

Something to think about for Memorial Day weekend...

from Ron Paul's congressional website:

Randolph Bourne said that "war is the health of the state." With war, he argued, the state thrives. Those who believe in the powerful state see war as an opportunity. Those who mistrust the people and the market for solving problems have no trouble promoting a "war psychology" to justify the expansive role of the state.

This includes the role the federal government plays in our personal lives as well as in all our economic transactions. And certainly the neo-conservative belief that we have a moral obligation to spread American values worldwide, through force, justifies the conditions of war in order to rally support at home for the heavy hand of government. It is through this policy, it should surprise no one, that our liberties are undermined, the economy becomes overextended, and our involvement worldwide becomes prohibitive.

Out of fear of being labeled unpatriotic, most citizens become compliant and accept the argument that some loss of liberty is required to fight the war in order to remain safe. This is a bad trade-off in my estimation, especially when done in the name of patriotism.

Loyalty to the state and to autocratic leaders is substituted for true patriotism--that is, a willingness to challenge the state and defend the country, the people, and the culture. The more difficult the times, the stronger the admonition becomes that the leaders be not criticized.

Because the crisis atmosphere of war supports the growth of the state, any problem invites an answer by declaring "war" -- even on social and economic issues. This elicits patriotism in support of various government solutions while enhancing the power of the state. Faith in government coercion and a lack of understanding of how free societies operate, encourages big government liberals and big government conservatives to manufacture a war psychology to demand political loyalty for domestic policy just as is required in foreign affairs. The long term cost in dollars spent and liberties lost is neglected as immediate needs are emphasized.

It is for this reason that we have multiple perpetual wars going on simultaneously. Thus the war on drugs, against gun ownership, poverty, illiteracy, and terrorism, as well as our foreign military entanglements, are endless.

A very good speech, so be sure to click the link and read the whole thing. I don't agree with all of it, but it's nice to see someone who is bold enough to expect Americans to act like the sons and daughters of people who died for freedom rather than just a flock of sheep.

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Comments (3)

Paul Hamilton:

Thanks for the links, but I'm not quite ready to make the leap yet though I certainly admire Paul's libertarian ideas.

And reading the stuff from that forum reminds me a lot of the heady early days of Ross Perot's '92 campaign. I was involved with that one from almost the beginning and it was remarkable how grassroots it was and how it seemed to grow exponentially. Unfortunately just about the time the organization really started to get the attention of the public, the "white shirts," or the people from Perot's businesses just moved in and took over control and that derailed the whole effort. That and the silly talk about "Vietnamese assassins on his lawn." :)

But I do find Paul's efforts very interesting -- did you see his appearance on Real Time last night?


I don't agree with him on everything either, but I believe he is the only politician comitted to actually hunting down Bin Lade, getting us out of the Middle East and stripping away the fascist powers the Executive branch has grabbed over the past 5 administrations.

If he wins, that alone will keep him busy for 4 years, and I'll look at him again then.

He is rock solid. He's never flip flopped on any issues. WYSIWYG. He's the only one I trust to work for the people, and not for the special interest groups.

* He has never voted to raise taxes.
* He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
* He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
* He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
* He has never taken a government-paid junket.
* He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.

* He voted against the Patriot Act.
* He voted against regulating the Internet.
* He voted against the Iraq war.

* He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.

* He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.


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