Ron Paul’s New Book Review: Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom Review- This is a fantastic overview of the libertarian philosophy. It relates Ron Paul’s interpretations of liberty to 50 topics (each a short chapter):
Abortion is an act of violence against a living defenseless human–and for states to legislate.
Assassination is immoral and illegal–everyone should have a right to public trial.
Austrian Economics focuses on individual, is opposite of central state-centric economic control.
Bipartisanship perpetuates bad ideas that favor the corporate state.
Business Cycle is mis-directed, mis-led, by Central Bank manipulation of interest rates.
Campaign Finance Reform is a side show–the real challenge is reducing size & scope of government.
Capital Punishment should at least be up to each state, and ideally set aside in favor of life punishment.
Central Intelligence Agency has a mostly failed record, $80 billion for IC not worth it, need to “re-set.”
Civil Disobedience as long as it is non-violent is an essential check on power, especially on war matters.
Conscription is not in the Constitution, can never be fair, is de facto slavery, leads to totalitarianism.
Demagogues are nurtured in political systems that reward co-manipulation of truth with the media.
Democracy is not same as a Republic; majoritarian rule can be totalitarian and unconstitutional.
Discrimination is not ably-addressed by laws–egalitarianism should be left to the social domain.
Education is USA is bankrupt–government presence unconstitutional–should be locally controlled.
Empire is when a lot of people hate us for invading countries, supporting dictators, starving people.
Envy is a driving force for encouraging government intervention against the rich. No mention of fraud.
Evolution versus Creation should be local state issue. Empire and global death hardly reflects evolution.
Executive Power stems from corruption of the Constitution and includes granting of dictatorial powers.
Foreign Aid fosters corruption by the government intermediaries. We should only export ideas.
Four Freedoms (speech, religion, want, fear) actually foster government growth toward Empire
Global Warming is not something bureaucrats can manage, very skeptical, leave this to the market.
Gun Control is a precursor to genocide. Gun-free zones harmful. Armed society is a polite society.
Hate Crimes is another area where government intervention is harmful, a mis-use of the law.
Immigration arises as an issue in part because of government-mandated mistakes and free services.
Insurance is not insurance when government provides it–grossly misleading, corporate welfare.
Keynesianism has been used by governments to grow and manipulate economies including inflation.
Lobbying is in the Constitution as “petitioning” but sharply limiting size of government contains damage.
Marriage should be interpreted as a First Amendment right, be tolerant of varied definitions.
Medical Care “insurance” is a guarantee, unaffordable. Need to increase doctors, get corporations out.
Monetary Policy is inevitably speculative excess, government manipulating is harmful. Choice needed.
Moral Hazard occurs when belief in reimbursement increases risky behavior. Defines big government.
Morality in Government virtually non-existent. Connection between means, ways, and ends lost.
Noble Lie is not noble, and all too characteristic of the neo-conservatives and other grand schemers.
Patriotism demands honesty–lying is not patriotic. Useless unjustified wars are not patriotic.
Political Correctness is a form of thought control–thought police embedded in government.
Prohibition not compatible with free society. Government regulates everything. Relax on drugs.
Public Land inevitably is dominated by special interests. One third land mass is federal. Should not be.
Racism is used to shore up government power, leverages personal prejudices for political effect.
Religion and Liberty go together–secular dictators and democracies far more oppressive.
Security is destroying liberty. Patriot Act a terrible misdirection of government.
Slavery is about ownership and control of one by another. Government is enslaving all of us.
States’ Rights–Americans disgusted–increasing talk of nullification and secession. Taxes not working.
Statistics need validation by other parties–they encourage “control” meme and that is bad.
Surveillance by government is out of control. Would be nice to have a monitor on every bureaucrat.
Taxes from 16th Amendment gave government a claim on individual productivity. Need to turn back.
Terrorism is a tactic and a response to foreign incursions by the USA and US support for dictators.
Torture is sadistic cruelty, ineffective, and contagious. Torture is wrong and should not be condoned.
Trade Policies include sanctions and blockades and are a form of asserting empire. They do no good.
Unions should be voluntary, not mandated, and government should not be in wage business.
Zionism has been a cultural blessing for Israel and the Jewish faith, but tough on US and Palestinians.
[Thanks to Robert D. Steele (Oakton, VA) for the one sentence summary for each chapter.]
Ron Paul’s idealism about libertarianism, free markets, liberty, deregulation, income tax, the Constitution, and the Framers tend to rub people the wrong way, but all I can respond to that is: can we at least try to force our elected officials to follow the Constitution and break the cycle of big government?
Ron Paul may very well be the only honest politician who runs for president every four years and never gets a chance. That’s because he attacks not only the left and the right, Democrats and Republicans, U.S presidents from various eras, but he also says and writes things that piss off his fellow congressmen, Washington’s administrations, corporations, lobbyists, and the military.
I’m surprised the CIA never took him out yet. [joke]
He is pretty much the lone politician that can see through the labels and false arguments that keep us divided.
Now I readily admit that some of Ron Paul’s opinions don’t seem practical or rooted in reality, and at times he does come off paranoid (he is an Enneagram Type 5), but why not give it a chance? Why not shoot for idealism and at least try to implement ideas and policies to get the United States back to a truly free society as a opposed to the “warfare-welfare” country it has become.
There’s actually a lot of themes in Ron Paul’s new book that echoed and rehashed Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. However the major differences between Paul and Zinn are probably on racism, unions, humanitarian government policy, public education, and health insurance.
Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom is a good mainstream book about everything that is wrong with America, and even if you totally disagree with his views, you have to pause and at least consider his arguments.
I did take issue with a few of his points, for example as a doctor he witnessed firsthand the glory of “fetuses”, whereas I don’t fully equate a “potential human” to a human, and I think it’s a stretch to give equal value of rights of the “unborn” to its mother. Dr. Paul is also a Christian, and I’m not, so our views on religion and evolution are different.
Other than that his take on American history, foreign policy, taxes, George Orwell, abuse of power, privacy, public land, Federal Reserve, and government scams totally confirmed what I do believe.
A few things I did not know, but now my mind is open about:
-Austrian Economics > Keynesianism. It’s amazing how our society has been conditioned to worship John Maynard Keynes’ economic theory: “saving money is bad”, “stimulus packages”, “artificially change interest rates”, and “print more money”.
-Obama ordered the assassination of a U.S. citizen (“targeted killing”) suspected of terrorism. Yeah, I had missed that. Even Keith Olbermann called Obama out on that.
-Publicly funded education is a relatively new thing. And I’m sure I don’t want my taxes going to it anymore.
-The federal government illegally owns a LOT of land. The land should have been auctioned off in the care of the states.
Anyway, Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom will definitely shock you if you are a casual observer of politics, news, and if you simply accept the Company Line from your school, mainstream media, and government officials.
It’s a super quick read and a great start for you if you want to do the research on your own to discover the truth about how the U.S. government is slowly eroding our civil liberties via the two party system, military industrial complex, poor economic theory, unlawful wars, violations of privacy, lack of disclosure, and by taxing and spending on things we don’t even want.
I highly recommend this book- it’s very factual: make up your own mind by reading it before you continue to defend the current system by voting for President Obama in 2012.
If you are a Republican, can you please vote for Ron Paul in 2012 in the primaries instead of the same old shit you will be getting with Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, or the other usual suspects?