for Ron Paul
by Walter Block: Is
Ron Paul an Antisemite? No
Ron Paul is doing just fine in his campaign. He is promoting liberty
at a magnificent clip. He is converting people to libertarianism
en masse, perhaps more so than any other person in the entire history
of the planet (with the possible exception of Ayn Rand; however,
she abjured the libertarian philosophy, while Dr. Paul embraces
So, Congressman Paul certainly doesnít need any advice from me.
Will that stop me from offering him some? Of course not. Lack of
knowledge and expertise (as my critics tell me time and time again)
never stopped me from mouthing off, and it wonít this time either.
On the other hand, I am fully aware that in the matter of politics,
the only libertarian congressman from Texas is the master, and I
am but a humble student. Yet, sometimes, out of the mouths of babes
come interesting thoughts. And, also, brainstorming never hurts,
even if only one out of a thousand off-the-wall ideas has any merit.
So, it is in this self-effacing spirit that I offer some food for
thought for the Ron Paul rEVOLution.
I. Send out an open letter to all other candidates for the Republican
nomination, along these lines:
Dear fellow candidates for the Republican nomination:
The present format for our debates is unfair; some competitors
are given way more of a chance to speak than others. Imagine if
Usain Bolt were given a five yard head start because he is expected
by the judges to be the winner of the race; posit that Michael Phelps
were allowed to start swimming a few seconds earlier than his competitors
on this ground. The officials responsible for such outrages would
be summarily fired, not to say lynched by sports fans. And yet that
is precisely what occurs in these debates for the Republican
nomination for president. These umpires, too, ought to be severely
In order to rectify the wildly unjust situation, I suggest the
following (I am open to all friendly amendments):
1. Equal time be allotted to all competitors (what could be fairer
2. Our positions on the podium be determined by lottery
3. The order in which we are asked questions be determined by a
4. We all be treated as equally in every other way as are the runners
in the 100 meter race at the starting line, and all throughout the
As soon as XX numbers of us sign this petition, we publicize this
fact, and, agree not to be on the same stage as those who refuse
to sign it.
This is obviously just a first draft, but, Iím sure you get my
gist. Romney and Perry, I expect, will at least initially refuse
to sign this Open Letter; the others will likely do so. Perhaps
those two can be embarrassed into signing it. If not, I think that
Ron will benefit from allowing those two to debate each other alone
all by their lonesome, provided there is enough of a chance that
a debate of all the signatories to this Letter will actually occur
on prime time TV, and be more popular. On the positive side of this
suggestion, the American people, I think (well, I hope) have some
sort of sense of justice and fair play. When this open letter is
publicized (of course not in the mainstream media, at least at first
Ė thank God for the internet), my hope and expectation is that there
will be sufficient howls of outrage against the MSM, and Romney
and Perry for not signing on (if they do not). On the other hand,
there is some real danger that the MSM will jettison all other candidates,
and conduct their future interviews with Perry and Romney alone,
as is their heartfelt desire.
II. Social security
The radical libertarian position on this institution is clear.
Not only is it a Ponzi scheme, but it is a compulsory one. It ought
to be ended, forthwith, and all payments stopped. What about the
elderly retirees? They are the victims. They should sue those responsible
for foisting this system on them, but should not collect a penny
more, ever, from the long suffering taxpayer, for to do so would
be to violate the rights of the innocent. (Full disclosure here;
at 70 years of age, I now collect social security payments. I support
the ending of this scheme, but am not at all about to decline my
own checks for reasons mentioned here,
What should be done about the perpetrators of social security? They
should be treated roughly in the manner meted out to Bernie Madoff.
There is of course a more moderate position, at least roughly compatible
with libertarianism: end social security now!, but in an altogether
different, less radical, manner: do not enroll any new people
on it. Allow all others now on the books to stop their payment contributions
forthwith if they wish to sever their relationship with it. As for
the others, enable them to continue, and pay retirees what they
have been promised.
It has been said that "gradualism in theory is perpetuity
in practice." Well, perhaps not in this case. Present enrollees
and recipients will be grandfathered in, and this pernicious system
will continue, for them, but, eventually it will end, starting right
now. In that sense, this proposal is "gradualistic." But,
in refusing to bring any young people into this Ponzi scheme, it
will start to end immediately.
It should be emphasized, moreover, that in addition to the unsavory
financial elements of this system, it tends to weaken and even break
up the family. And, the family, a strong united family, is the backbone
of our country. In the days before social security, the common practice
was for middle aged people to take care of their parents, with the
full expectation that their own children would return the favor
to them. But with the government thrust into this situation (whether
federal or state it matters not) these familial bonds are weakened.
Even did not social security constitute fraud and theft, it ought
be ended on that ground alone.
The radical position on drugs is clear. End. The. Prohibition.
Now! And, again, imprison all of those responsible for perpetrating
it, as the non violent prisoners of this victimless crime are freed.
And, while weíre at it (right after ending the Fed) end the FDA.
This latter institution will not even allow those on their last
legs to take a crap shoot with experimental drugs. For shame.
In the free society, the FDA would be supplanted with a competitive
certification industry filled with the medical and pharmaceutical
equivalents of Fitch, Standard and Poor, Kosher foods, the Good
Housekeeping Seal of Approval, Consumer Reports, Moodys, etc.
But, there is a moderate libertarian position open to Ron Paul
as well: "Immediately upon becoming president, I will legalize
marijuana, and release all prisoners who are guilty of using or
trafficking in, this drug." (I havenít got the foggiest notion
of whether or not the president of the U.S. has this power. I donít
care about that either. Let the politicos wrestle with that
one. I am an ignoramus on these sorts of issues. My only goal here
is to promote liberty. This is what should happen, whether
it can or not.)
IV. Gary Johnson
asked to distinguish himself from the "libertarianism"
of Governor Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, the next president of the U.S.
(boy, I like the sound of that) could say the following:
"Unlike the Democratic wing of the Republican Party (Perry
and Romney) we in the libertarian wing of the GOP do not relish
the idea of interminably arguing back and forth over Who Said What,
When and Where. Rather, we focus instead on ideas for liberty.
And in this vein I welcome Governor Johnson to the podium. He, too,
supports the constitution, free enterprise, limited government,
legalized drugs and a purely defensive foreign policy. Gary may
well take some libertarian Republican votes away from me, but I
am delighted that he is here at my side since he also promotes liberty."
Now, I realize that Ron will never in a million years say anything
like that. He is simply too much of a gentleman to bash Perr-ney
(hey, thatís Perry and Romney combined; get it?). But, I couldnít
resist offering this advice to him. Also, I have no idea whether
or not it would be wise to be so supportive of Johnson. For an alternative
view on that, see here.
I offer this one, and all these other ideas, in the spirit of brain
P.S. I saw Ron Paul at the Campaign for Liberty recently held in
Reno. His speech there brought
tears to my eyes. I love this man.
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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