Paul and Liberty
by Walter Block: President
Ron Paulís Likely Supreme†Court†Nominations
If Ron Paul
had won the Ames Iowa poll, the mainstream media would have dismissed
the entire exercise as unimportant. If he had come in at, oh, 6th
place, they would have used this as evidence that he is incompetent,
not in the first rank of Republican candidates, canít get out the
vote, the American people had rejected his candidacy, etc. So, when
Congressman Paul took a magnificent second place, only 1% behind
the winner, I said to myself, Hot diggity dog; the MSM canít ignore
him now. They cannot dismiss this entire result since if they did
so, they would have to also deprecate Michele Bachmannís win, and
that they will not do. They now MUST give Dr. Paul his due credit,
since he finished in close second place to her. They will be forced
to discuss his ideas: bring the troops home, get rid of the Fed,
drastically reduce taxes, eliminate a slew of illicit Federal departments,
legalize drugs and other victimless crimes, stop foreign "aid,"
save the American dollar via 100% gold backing, etc.
Silly me. That
shows how much I know. Instead, the talking heads are now tooting
this line: "The three front runners are Mitt Romney, Rick Perry
and Michele Bachmann." In their view, these are the major candidates,
and all the others are also-rans. Why Mitt Romney? Well, he looks
presidential, and he has a good chance with the tea partiers despite
his Romney-care health policy in Massachusetts, oh so similar to
Obama-care. Why Rick Perry? Well, heís the governor of Texas, the
second biggest state, isnít he? And this despite the fact that he
has not yet won anything in the presidential sweepstakes. Why Michele
Bachmann? This is because, of course, she just won the Ames Iowa
poll. Notice any name missing from all of this? Iíll give you a
hint: this is the guy who came in SECOND, 1% behind "major
candidate" Bachmann in this recent election. There used to
be among the beltway "Austro-libertarians" a campaign
to promote and study Austrian economics without "You Know Who"
(Ludwig von Mises, of course). There is now a campaign amongst the
major media to analyze the Republican presidential process without
uttering the name of "You Know Who" (Ron Paul, of course).
What can be
done about this? Well, keep sending in those cards and letters;
keep protesting; keep writing those e mails to these self-appointed
judges. Vote for Ron Paul. And, most of all, let us all pledge to
donate as much as we can to all of the upcoming Ron Paul money bombs.
There are some
otherwise excellent libertarians who hold their noses at the political
process. They think it is somehow incompatible with the non aggression
principle, the foundation of our philosophy. Voting just gives "them"
sanction, these people think. Well, if so, then libertarians should
not use fiat currency to transact grocery purchases, travel on government
roads, attend concerts at public theatres, patronize public libraries,
parks, museums, teach in, or attend, any public university, or even
private one that is subsidized. They should also not eat food, since
the government is heavily involved in subsidizing some of it. They
should not live in houses, since the statists have heavily involved
themselves with building materials. They should eschew Ö the list
goes on and on, and includes every jot and tittle of the economy,
so heavily ensconced in it is the state apparatus.
The point is,
the modern government is so heavily engaged in ALL facets of our
lives. If we really didnít want to give "sanction" to
them, and wanted, also, to be logically consistent, we could not
operate in modern society at all. We would have to either go off
to live in a self sufficient farm, or commit suicide. Hey, we donít
want to lose our souls, do we?
say that we have a choice regarding whether or not to vote, to support
Dr. Paul, whereas we have no choice with regard to any of these
other things. Nonsense. No, nonsense on stilts! Human action always
includes choice. We are engaging in human action all over the place.
Self sufficient farming, and/or suicide ARE choices! This attitude
of libertarians is very self destructive. It prevents us from supporting
Ron Paul to the extent that would otherwise be the case.
I suggest a
remedy for this sort of irrational thinking. It is Murray Rothbardís
"Do you hate the state?" available here.
While youíre at it, read this other excellent piece
by the same author, about my man Hector. If we really see our political
leaders as the gangsters most of them are (there are but a few honorable
exceptions to this general rule, certainly including in the modern
day You Know Who, and his son, the junior Senator from Kentucky),
we will reject this utter nonsense that to engage with them in any
way is to be false to libertarianism. If we donít engage them, in
many, many ways, certainly including voting, how will we ever rid
ourselves of this pestilence? If we donít support the greatest advocate
of libertarianism now active in behalf of the cause of liberty (hint:
You Know Who), we lose the best opportunity we now have to promote
Block [send him mail] is a
professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and a senior
fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Defending
the Undefendable and Labor
Economics From A Free Market Perspective. His latest book
Privatization of Roads and Highways.
© 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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