Letter to the editor

Wanted: Ideological revolution, Ron Paul

Dear Editor:

Libertarianism is a set of radical political doctrines. In this sense, it is similar to socialism, yet unlike socialism, (1) it “works;” (2) there is no inevitable and massive coercion hiding under its humanitarian appearance; and (3) as Murray Rothbard writes, “Socialism, like liberalism and against conservatism, accepted the industrial system and the liberal goals of freedom, reason, mobility, progress, higher living standards for the masses and an end to theocracy and war; but it tried to achieve these ends by the use of incompatible, conservative means: statism, central planning, communitarianism, etc.” Therefore, the verdict that Rothbard pronounces of conservatism, namely that “Pessimism, however, both short-run and long-run, is precisely what the prognosis of conservatism deserves, for conservatism is a dying remnant of the ancient regime of the preindustrial era, and, as such, it has no future,” applies equally well to socialism.

This presidential election Ron Paul offered voters the most radical departure from the status quo since at least the 1994 Republican revolution, and probably far longer, in favor of classical liberalism, the Constitution and the vision of the founders of the country. Why then, has he been unable to gather more than 10 percent of the vote? The reason is that political leadership and organization are not enough; it must be accompanied by an ideological revolution. For example, Paul has brought into light issues which generated virtually no debate for many decades, such as monetary policy. I’ll bet that you have not heard of the connection between booms and busts and the Fed’s manipulation of the interest rates. Or that every bank is at every moment in time bankrupt, maintaining an illusion of solvency only due to the Fed and the FDIC. Or that the actuality of inflation and the possibility of more inflation is the chief reason why we have a global empire. If the federal government, instead of going into inflation-soothed enormous debt, tried to finance its wars and foreign bases through taxation, it would have an instant rebellion on its hands.

There are other ideals revived by Ron Paul; for example, federalism and keeping all abortion legislation on the state level. Elimination of the income tax and, contra the fair tax nonsense, replacing it with nothing. Fully privatizing health care. And, of course, ending the Iraq and every other war. These policy suggestions are not arbitrary, nor are they a haphazard collection of ideas from the right and the left. They are animated by a highly systematic, and correct, view of man, economy and state.

Thus, instead of being beholden to a particular party and never getting what you want, or being a fanatic to a rotten ideology, such as what Lew Rockwell has called “red-state fascism” (you remember the map of the USA in the 2000 election which showed the counties that voted for Bush in red and for Gore in blue), learn how the world works and seek to make it as happy as possible. Libertarianism offers one way for a person’s energies to be used for the cause of the good.

Dmitry Chernikov

Graduate philosophy student and

president of the College Libertarians