Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Has anybody read "How (Not) to Achieve Freedom" by Stefan Molyneux

rated by 0 users
This post has 24 Replies | 3 Followers

Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 289
Points 9,530
Kenneth Posted: Sat, Feb 20 2010 11:06 PM

I think it totally demolishes the idea of achieving freedom through the democratic process. It also exposes the contradictions in the modern libertarian movement. I think it is a must read for libertarians. For those who have read it, what do you think about it?

Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,940
Points 49,115
Conza88 replied on Sat, Feb 20 2010 11:22 PM

Kenneth:
For those who have read it, what do you think about it?

Wasn't that impressed to be honest. Not going to bother critiquing it here by the way. Looking forward to his, How to achieve freedom though. When's that out? Hopefully it's better.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 289
Points 9,530
Kenneth replied on Sun, Feb 21 2010 6:07 AM

Do you know where I can read yours or anybody else's critique of it?

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Mon, Feb 22 2010 2:38 AM

Loved it. One of my favorite libertarian books.

 

I too have been waiting for “How to achieve freedom”, but I don’t think I’ll like that. Criticizing is easy, setting up alternatives much more difficult. And than again I don’t agree with Molineux’s view on statism in general. Still “how not to achieve freedom” was major.   

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2
Points 25

I didn't like it at all.  His arguments about the alleged need of "testing" remind me of the "critiques" of Austrian economics by Keynesian and Friedmanite economists.  The argument that "because Ron Paul didn't win in 2008, that proves that libertarians can't win in the election process" seems to me to be patently ridiculous.  The Ron Paul 2008 campaign was premature, didn't really get going until the election was already lost (in large part due to the awful ads that the campaign management wasted millions of FRNs on), and the core of his message were predictions of events that only began to come to pass in September of 2008, long after the campaign was over.  The one undeniable success of the Ron Paul campaign is its role in making the Federal Reserve a debatable issue (without a Ron Paul 2008 campaign, it is unlikely that the Audit the Fed legislation would ever have passed the House).  I think Ron Paul has a much stronger chance should he run in 2012 (especially if he gets a favorable December surprise right before the primaries).

Molyneux's scare stories about the effects of attempting to implement libertarian policies are laughable.  A libertarian presidency need not necessarily antagonize the bureaucracy, but could merely shut down the programs and continue to pay full salaries to the bureaucrats (and allow them to take private sector work).  In all likelihood, most big government programs would be phased out (or competition would be legalized) rather than immediately abolished or privatized.  Ron Paul has proposed exactly this for Social Security.  Any true libertarian would take immediate abolition if it were obtainable, but I think our victory will likely come incrementally.

If it weren't for the fact that "left-sectarians" (Rothbard's term) like Molyneux are undermining the final goal.  Rothbard defined a "left-sectarian" as one who considers the use of strategy, organization, or tactics that do not undermine the ultimate goal as a "betrayal of principle."  The "left-sectarian" has betrayed libertarianism every bit as much as the "right-opportunist" (beltway "libertarian").  I am well aware that voting is irrational and is usually ineffective (except in local elections), but I strongly reject the arguments that voting is a violation of principle.

I am interested to see whether or not Molyneux has any serious proposal for obtaining our common goal.  At the moment, I don't think liberty is obtainable except by taking over the government and incrementally dismantling it.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 3:06 AM

Ragnar Danneskjold:
The argument that "because Ron Paul didn't win in 2008, that proves that libertarians can't win in the election process" seems to me to be patently ridiculous. 

It is indeed.

Ragnar Danneskjold:
The one undeniable success of the Ron Paul campaign is its role in making the Federal Reserve a debatable issue (without a Ron Paul 2008 campaign, it is unlikely that the Audit the Fed legislation would ever have passed the House

And that's why inflation has so much been eliminated nowadays, isn't it?Wink 

The Ron Paul campaign achieved two things: by associating libertarianism with fundamentalist Christianity it attracted fundamentalist Christians to the movement and turned off the movement whoever was bickering at the time and was not  a fundamentalist Christian (i.e. believed earth to be slightly older than 10;000 years).  

Ragnar Danneskjold:
I think Ron Paul has a much stronger chance should he run in 2012 (especially if he gets a favorable December surprise right before the primaries).

This thread has some cool comments.

Ragnar Danneskjold:
Molyneux's scare stories about the effects of attempting to implement libertarian policies are laughable.  A libertarian presidency need not necessarily antagonize the bureaucracy, but could merely shut down the programs and continue to pay full salaries to the bureaucrats (and allow them to take private sector work). 

 Are you serious? That would  antagonize the people (we pay taxes for nothing!), which is infinitely worst. Do you think congress will put up with that?

Ragnar Danneskjold:
In all likelihood, most big government programs would be phased out (or competition would be legalized) rather than immediately abolished or privatized. 

And the average voter will of course be delighted to see senior citizens receiving a diminished pay every year (gradual abolition of social security). Or how would older citizens hope to face a decent livelihood when saving is impossible due to inflation? You see, in an inflationary regime, social security is the only alternative people have to working in their ’70 (as in Japan). And unions will of course be happy to receive a swelling number of aged worker to compete with them.  Do you sincerely thing that people will tolerate the abolition or even the partial backroll of the program?

 

Or that the all-powerful beurocracy will tolerate a reduction in power? Even if they don’t instigate riots right away (they will) they will fund the democrats as crazy and everyone will just understand that staying with Ron Paul would be political madness (if anyone would be left with him at any rate, by that time).

 

But one only need to take a look at Tatcherite Britain so see what an even slightly liberal program could do to a country so heavily depended on the government. Do you think any US politician has the balls Thatcher had to put up with riots for 20 years in order to achieve only very modest gains?

 

The way I see it that could only be achieved by : 1) running in a small, under a million people, country, 2) being totally badass and not giving a f**k about the people, ready to beat the hell out of protesters, impose martial law and generally having an overarching character and 3) being continuously on popular short wars to make up in national pride what is lost in internal consent. Now the US is a very big country (hence unmanageable), neither Paul nor any US politician has Thatcher’s character (the last US politician to come close was Teddy Roosevelt), and there are simply no cheap wars around to fight.  

 

So I must agree with Molineux on this: running for President is just plain stupid and invites abysmal failure.

 

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,940
Points 49,115
Conza88 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 3:19 AM

Merlin:
The Ron Paul campaign achieved two things: by associating libertarianism with fundamentalist Christianity it attracted fundamentalist Christians to the movement and turned off the movement whoever was bickering at the time and was not  a fundamentalist Christian (i.e. believed earth to be slightly older than 10;000 years).  

No it didn't. That association was already there.

Merlin:
So I must agree with Molineux on this: running for President is just plain stupid and invites abysmal failure.

You, Ragnar, Molenyeux and others completely miss the point - that even Ron acknowledges, he wouldn't be able to change much in office at all. Voting in congress, does next to nothing - i.e bringing about change. Ron has also explicitly said this.

The point of running is education. The bigger the stage, the bigger the audience. It is one strategy / method and it should not be the only one. Yet dismissing it entirely, because it lends legitimacy to the system? lmfao - what? All Ron has done is destroy the modern concept of the presidency. So short sighted.

What Ron Paul supporters themselves fail to realise is that there is no chance of him winning. Even if there was, the parasitic elite have diebold - they have the voting machines, they have the MSM. Their not just going to give it up, never happened & won't. But that's besides the point... there is a different goal - and if his goal is to spread the message, which it is - how on earth can you possibly contend he failed? lol..

So both extremes fail - one side rejects it completely, the other clings to it as if it is all there is.

1.30.... 2.09

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 3:29 AM

Conza,

 

so if the actually got nominated by the RP, he would decline, wouldn’t he? Do you sincerely believe that?

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,940
Points 49,115
Conza88 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 4:03 AM

Merlin:

Conza,

 

so if the actually got nominated by the RP, he would decline, wouldn’t he?

I don't know. I wouldn't think so. Why should he? Getting nominated isn't getting elected. He would have a bigger platform again to spread the message, to point people towards this very website.

Abolish the IRS, CIA, FBI, End the Fed, Income Tax, Dept of Lab, Dept of Education and abolish everything else not outlined in the Constitution is radical considering the level of statism today. It'd be his platform, as it was previously in the other debates.

If he does get Republican party nomination (and get past all these lifetime political hacks whose jobs they are trying to maintain), all that will happen will be an effort to try create a 3rd party (tea party) led by Palin or whoever, with Faux News drum beats to split the vote, with the goal of keeping Obama in power.

Again, abolishing the public office isn't possible - even if the president were Ron Paul, and staff etc are all the austro-libertarian kingpins - not going to change squat, because with a monarchy, the king used to be able to do that (his decree stands), but not anymore with democracy.

What the Ron Paul supporters should be doing is starting at the local government areas, with an effort to obtain a majority of folks who back anti-democratic reforms and then go for secession. That's another avenue that is possible.

Merlin:
Do you sincerely believe that?

I believed Mises when he was asked, 'What if you were president?" - and he said he would resign.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 4:27 AM

Conza88:

Merlin:

Conza,

 

so if the actually got nominated by the RP, he would decline, wouldn’t he?

I don't know. I wouldn't think so. Why should he? Getting nominated isn't getting elected. He would have a bigger platform again to spread the message, to point people towards this very website.

Abolish the IRS, CIA, FBI, End the Fed, Income Tax, Dept of Lab, Dept of Education and abolish everything else not outlined in the Constitution is radical considering the level of statism today. It'd be his platform, as it was previously in the other debates.

If he does get Republican party nomination (and get past all these lifetime political hacks whose jobs they are trying to maintain), all that will happen will be an effort to try create a 3rd party (tea party) led by Palin or whoever, with Faux News drum beats to split the vote, with the goal of keeping Obama in power.

Again, abolishing the public office isn't possible - even if the president were Ron Paul, and staff etc are all the austro-libertarian kingpins - not going to change squat, because with a monarchy, the king used to be able to do that (his decree stands), but not anymore with democracy.

What the Ron Paul supporters should be doing is starting at the local government areas, with an effort to obtain a majority of folks who back anti-democratic reforms and then go for secession. That's another avenue that is possible.

Merlin:
Do you sincerely believe that?

I believed Mises when he was asked, 'What if you were president?" - and he said he would resign.

 

So, let me get your idea straight. You say that if Ron Paul wins nomination (let’s just assume, although I believe it is increasingly possible), he must accept it. And if he actually manages to win he should…resign?

 

If he doesn’t resign, he’ll open the flood gates of either 1) massive riots which he can’t control, let alone overcome or else 2) total inaction. In the later case, libertarian will be discredited for life, in the former he’ll only resign in shame, libertarianism in the US will be dead for good and the doors of martial law will be wide open for the nearest power hungry chap that happens to come by.

 

If instead he wins and just resigns the day after…the voters will be so abysmally angry (“it was all a plot to elect the unpopular VP!”) that libertarianism will again be stained for life: “What, can you talk with a straight face now that your candidate ran like a lady? Do shut up!”

 

Or let’s talk about the publicity he does to the movement. If he indeed has no real intention or hope of getting elected, than why does he conform by the rules of the politic debate, making clear his fundemantalist views on religion (denouncing evolution?! WTF!)?

 

He could just say, “My religious feeling are personal, and have nothing to do, nor shall they interfere with my term. I prefer to keep them to myself”. Normal politicians don’t do that (in the US) because they’d loose votes. But Ron Paul shouldn’t care about that. So why does he imprint this terrible image of libertarians as Christian fundamentalist? The damage he des to the movement might well be much bigger that the publicity he gives (just like the Nazi propaganda about Jews did them more harm than ‘publicity’).

 

So, if indeed Ron Paul would have used his candidacy to further a libertarian PR, he should have played it much more differently than he actually did.

 

The way he ran his last try, and will run this next one, will give him a chance of wining (especially if Obama keeps screwing up), and if, oh my, if he wins, its bye-bye libertarians. For good.

 

That's why I belive that runnig for President cannot be but an stageringly stupid choice. Mises would have never run in the first place.  

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 321
Points 5,235
Seph replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 4:31 AM

Merlin:
So I must agree with Molineux on this: running for President is just plain stupid and invites abysmal failure.

Yeah, total failure; if your only definition of "success" is to singlehandedly turn a trillion dollar empire into a free market paradise overnight. Personally, I think that's a rather lofty goal.  

All Ron Paul did by running was probably bring more people to Austrian Economics and/or Libertarianism than all the people on this forum combined. What a failure!

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 4:49 AM

Seph:
All Ron Paul did by running was probably bring more people to Austrian Economics and/or Libertarianism than all the people on this forum combined. What a failure!

Yet how many more, especially foreigners where mildly attracted to libertarianism, and ever read some LvMI stuff and where taken aback from Paul who disagreed with evolution (I’m telling you, I myself would have never visited mises.org if I’d heard of that form Ron Paul)? Do you see that what his camping did? Probably to keep from joining sound minds and inviting fundamentalist? It only shifted the composition of new entries, from mildly religious-to-agnostics to fundamentalists.  A contribution sure, but perhaps detrimental in the long run. But of course we cannot know for sure.

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 321
Points 5,235
Seph replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 4:54 AM

Merlin:
Yet how many more, especially foreigners where mildly attracted to libertarianism, and ever read some LvMI stuff and where taken aback from Paul who disagreed with evolution (I’m telling you, I myself would have never visited mises.org if I’d heard of that form Ron Paul)? Do you see that what his camping did? Probably to keep from joining sound minds and inviting fundamentalist? It only shifted the composition of new entries, from mildly religious-to-agnostics to fundamentalists.  A contribution sure, but perhaps detrimental in the long run. But of course we cannot know for sure.

Are you seriously entertaining the idea that Ron Paul could be bad for the libertarian/Austrian movement? 

Because that would be an ideal start to not achieving freedom.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 5:12 AM

Seph:

Are you seriously entertaining the idea that Ron Paul could be bad for the libertarian/Austrian movement? 

Because that would be an ideal start to not achieving freedom.

Hm, let me see if we can agree to a few points:

 

1) Ron Paul attracted people to the libertarian movement.

 

2) those attracted by Ron Paul tended to be attracted by his overall showing, i.e. tended to be attracted by Christian fundamentalist ideas among others.

 

3) Ron Paul lost some for the libertarian movement.

 

4) those lost, yet on the brink of indecision prior to the campaign, tend to strongly disagree with his religious view: they tend to be less than Christian fundamentalists, i.e. anything from agnostics to moderates.

 

So, Ron Paul won us some, and lost us some others. To decide whether his camping was bad or good would mean to decide whether we would have valued more those he lost, ore those he gained.

 

I cannot speak for anyone here but myself, and I myself would rather prefer an handful of logic guys than hordes of “10’000 yearers”. This is precisely how movements begin to corrupt and break under the weight of masses. This was certainly not how Mises got the movement started in the States.

 

But than again, it’s just me. Everyone must make up his own mind yet, saying that even entertaining the possibility that Ron Paul might have harmed the movement is preposterous, well that would seem far from certain.

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 321
Points 5,235
Seph replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 5:39 AM

So essentially your argument boils down to the fact that you

a) dislike people who don't share your religious beliefs, or lack thereof. 

and

b) you dislike them to the extent that you would prefer to have fewer libertarians, if it meant less people who disagree with you on the origin of life.

As a "fundamentalist Christian" this strikes me as slightly offensive, not to mention incredibly counterproductive.

Whatever happened to the big tent? 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 5:56 AM

Seph:

So essentially your argument boils down to the fact that you

a) dislike people who don't share your religious beliefs, or lack thereof. 

and

b) you dislike them to the extent that you would prefer to have fewer libertarians, if it meant less people who disagree with you on the origin of life.

As a "fundamentalist Christian" this strikes me as slightly offensive, not to mention incredibly counterproductive.

Whatever happened to the big tent? 

 

If I really disliked people who do not share my (atheistic) religious beliefs I would indeed have little to do with this forum, amongst others.

 

But I believe that a person’s religious inclination is unimportant to this cause as long as a decent degree of logic is retained.

 

Let me show you what I mean: if a guy, living in this technological world, having at his disposal tons of information as well as the power of science, still believes that this earth was created 10’000 years ago, and that there never where any such things as dinosaurs, or that a single guy managed to get e couple of all animal species (what about plants? What about intra-species mutations? Which among the mutated pair got the ticket to ride?)  within a boat built by one single family in a short time, well this guy is not particularly susceptible to logic at all. And it doesn’t matter an inch if he believes that 10’000 years ago it was God, Allah, Satan, Yahweh, Frank Sinatra, the Magnificent Etjon “Merlin” Basha I or indeed pure chance that created earth. As long as he tenuously refuses to believe even elementary scientific fact, he can be of no use at all to a very logic-intensive movement as libertarianism. How van you except him to truly get the libertarian idea? Fight for it?

 

That, my friend, is all I hold against fundamentalists and that’s why I believe they cannot help. Of course that doesn’t mean we should kick them out, all of the contrary, the Big Tend should indeed be preserved and expanded. But in this precise case, when we are “forced” to chose more fundamentalists against fewer non-fundamentalists, of whatever religious (or non-religious) inclination they may be, in this case I believe that choosing the former would be a mistake.

 

Again, please do accept my apologies if I sounded like ‘denouncing’ believers and all. You can easily believe in a Christian God who makes things as they are and be perfectly within the bound of logic (he can’t be proved, he can’t be disproved, hence science should be silent on the issue). There’ no problem believing that God made the earth and life…but 6 billion years ago, not 10’000! For heaven’s sake!

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 321
Points 5,235
Seph replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 6:35 AM

Merlin:
that there never where any such things as dinosaurs

straw man, no self respecting Christian believes this.

Merlin:
or that a single guy

family, just for starters.....

Merlin:
managed to get e couple of all animal species

the bible makes no mention of species however it does say "kinds" many times; there's a big difference!

Merlin:
what about plants? What about intra-species mutations?

what about them?

Merlin:
10’000 years ago

Actually, I'd suggest it's more like 6000

Merlin:
How van you except him to truly get the libertarian idea? Fight for it?

I wonder how I got them then.....

 



 

 

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 6:49 AM

Seph:
straw man, no self respecting Christian believes this.

I that is true, I take it all back and apologize to Ron Paul. But I’m afraid that denouncing evolution is saying that there never where such things as other species beside those we know. But please, do correct me if I’m wrong.

Seph:

the bible makes no mention of species however it does say "kinds" many times; there's a big difference!

The Bible, specifically the Old Testament in this case, was translated form Hebrew (itself a translation form Aramaic, most probably). As everyone that has an even cursory knowledge of Hebrew writ knows full well, the same bundle of characters could mean tens of different words. Add on top of that 4000 years and you’ll see that no translation of the old testament is possible. One has to read it in its original form to even pretend to have read it. So, whet specific term did some English translation is indeed unimportant to say the least.

Seph:
I wonder how I got them then.....

I’ve always wondered myself. But I’m afraid we should ask Ron Paul about that:” What made you trust libertarianism, and please don’t feed us “it made sense” as we know that ‘making sense’ is a rare art for someone who disagrees with evolution.”

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,940
Points 49,115
Conza88 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 6:53 AM

Merlin:
You say that if Ron Paul wins nomination (let’s just assume, although I believe it is increasingly possible), he must accept it. And if he actually manages to win he should…resign?

He can do what he god damn wants. He "musn't (doesn't have to) accept it". Though I don't see why he wouldn't, nor why he shouldn't. You've stilled failed to give any reason why he shouldn't.

'Should he win the presidency (lol, what planet are you living on?) he should resign?' - I don't believe he would accept it. You can see from the video before, that he's even hesitant about winning CPAC, and mentioned it had gone to far. He has no desire for office, just to spread the message.

Merlin:
If he doesn’t resign, he’ll open the flood gates of either 1) massive riots which he can’t control, let alone overcome

Baseless assertion. Care to back that up with reasoning? I know the argument btw, the unions - special interest groups won't have any of it. But "statism is dead" right? ;) So it'll happen anyway. lol. Again, there is a reason why Ron is obviously hesitant of "it going too far".

Congrats - again, you fail to understand the strategy. And yes, I've listened to stef's podcasts on it, and yes - you are puppeting the exact same line. Stef is epic on everything else, but he levels strawmen at Ron's strategy and you're committing the same error - both he & other Ron Paul "supporters / "minarchists / constitutionalists" do.

Merlin:
or else 2) total inaction. In the later case, libertarian will be discredited for life, in the former he’ll only resign in shame, libertarianism in the US will be dead for good and the doors of martial law will be wide open for the nearest power hungry chap that happens to come by.

Total inaction is bad? Discredited? Resign in shame? You can't see him resigning out of principle? No epic speech about not wanting to run your lives, like he did in the debates? Get ya hand off it. Confused Again though, your whole doomsday scenario fails: "libertarianism in the US will be dead for good"....

Explain that to me thanks. Lew Rockwell.com perishes, Mises.org disappears, no more freedomain radio? lmao. You don't even consider for a moment, it fails - top down political strategy doesn't work (which we already know)... then what happens to the millions of folks, "Ok, Ron Paul was President".. he couldn't change anything. Besides most people at RPF's natural reaction... ("we needed Rand as vice president, that would have changed everything! haha Big Smile") ... you don't there will be folks who radicalize and seek other means?There would now be the strongest argument to give up top down political activism, i.e washington think tanks, convince the intellectuals etc. and then it could possibly shift where it should be.

But this is all fantasy land stuff btw..but if it were to happen, then if anything the word libertarian would become dead, it looks like it's going that way already - if Beck is a Libertarian etc. New word association then. Voluntarism etc.

Merlin:
Than why does he conform by the rules of the politic debate, making clear his fundemantalist views on religion (denouncing evolution?! WTF!)?

And where did he do that?

Ron Paul: "I just don’t think we’re at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side. So I just don't...if that were the only issue, quite frankly, I would think it's an interesting discussion, I think it's a theological discussion, and I think it's fine, and we can have our...if that were the issue of the day, I wouldn't be running for public office." 

You think that is fundamentalist? I'm an atheist by the way, and I again get where you are coming from and I agree with stef on religion. Do you have a take on this though?

Merlin:
So why does he imprint this terrible image of libertarians as Christian fundamentalist? The damage he des to the movement might well be much bigger that the publicity he gives (just like the Nazi propaganda about Jews did them more harm than ‘publicity’).

Strawman. What part of the above quote of his, do you not understand? He follows natural law, as do I. And the beauty about that is:

"The assertion of an order of natural laws discoverable by reason is, by itself, neither pro- nor anti-religious.[4]"

Religion has nothing to do with political philosophy, and everyone would be far better off if it was dropped from the discussion. It's completely irrelevant & useless.

Merlin:
The way he ran his last try, and will run this next one, will give him a chance of wining (especially if Obama keeps screwing up), and if, oh my, if he wins, its bye-bye libertarians. For good.

No it won't. How delusional. Do you know anything about "Politics and the power elite"?

Merlin:
That's why I belive that runnig for President cannot be but an stageringly stupid choice.

Yeah, stupid if your goal is to obtain power & try change things from the top down. Except that's not the goal (not that, unfortunately, - many of his supporters, or opponents understand this).

Merlin:
Mises would have never run in the first place.

Yeah, neither would Rothbard... or countless other people. Division of labor and specialization. We should all contribute, but in our own ways. If that's going agorist, setting up businesses to support the intellectuals, or institutes / think tanks (not CATO or the DC crowd) then it should be done. Do what you think you can do best, that helps the cause. Find your calling.

"Just as rationalism implies the desire for system and completeness, so it implies political activism. To rationalists, human beings are above all rational animals. Their actions, and the course of human history, are determined by ideas (rather than by blind evolutionary forces of spontaneous evolution and natural selection). Ideas can be true or false, but only true ideas “work” and result in success and progress, while false ideas lead to failure and decline. As the discoverer of true ideas and eradicator of false ones, the scholar assumes a crucial role in human history. Human progress is the result of the discovery of truth and the proliferation of true ideas—enlightenment—and is thus entirely in the scholar’s hands. The truth is inherently practical, and in recognizing an idea as true (or false), a scholar cannot but want it to be implemented (or eradicated) immediately.

For this reason, in addition to pursuing his scholarly ambitions, Menger served as personal tutor to the Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf, and as an appointed life-member of the Austrian House of Lords (Herrenhaus). Similarly, Böhm-Bawerk served three times as Austrian minister of finance, and was a lifetime member of the Herrenhaus.Likewise, Mises was the nationally prominent chief economist of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and advisor to many prominent figures during Austria’s first Republic, and later, in the U.S., he served as advisor to the National Association of Manufacturers and numerous other organizations.

Only Mises went even further. Just as he was the first economic system-builder, so was he the first to give the Austrian activism systematic expression by associating Austrian economics with radical-liberal-libertarian-political reform (as laid out in his Liberalism of 1927). Only Rothbard, who likewise served in many advisory functions and as founder and academic director of several educational organizations, accomplished something comparable. Proceeding systematically beyond even Mises, Rothbard accomplished —in his Ethics of Liberty[5]—to integrate (via the concept of private property) of value-free Austrian economics and libertarian political philosophy (ethics) as two complementary branches of a grand unified social theory, thereby creating a radical—Austro-libertarian—philosophical movement." ---

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 321
Points 5,235
Seph replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 7:01 AM

Merlin:
I that is true, I take it all back and apologize to Ron Paul. But I’m afraid that denouncing evolution is saying that there never where such things as other species beside those we know. But please, do correct me if I’m wrong.

I'm really not sure how Christianity denies the extinction of species; I certainly haven't ever heard of the tasmanian tiger or the ivory billed woodpecker used as evidence against Christianity. 
I would suggest that this is because it's fairly obvious that they have absolutely nothing to do with each other. 

Merlin:
The Bible, specifically the Old Testament in this case, was translated form Hebrew (itself a translation form Aramaic, most probably). As everyone that has an even cursory knowledge of Hebrew writ knows full well, the same bundle of characters could mean tens of different words. Add on top of that 4000 years and you’ll see that no translation of the old testament is possible. One has to read it in its original form to even pretend to have read it. So, whet specific term did some English translation is indeed unimportant to say the least.

And yet Homer reads quite well....but that's the least of your problems. 

Seph:
I’ve always wondered myself. But I’m afraid we should ask Ron Paul about that:” What made you trust libertarianism, and please don’t feed us “it made sense” as we know that ‘making sense’ is a rare art for someone who disagrees with evolution.”

 

Well alright then. 

 

But in the interest of not hijacking this thread into a creation vs evolution debate, I will back out now. PM's are welcome if you're interested. 

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 7:37 AM

Conza88:

Ron Paul: "I just don’t think we’re at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side. So I just don't...if that were the only issue, quite frankly, I would think it's an interesting discussion, I think it's a theological discussion, and I think it's fine, and we can have our...if that were the issue of the day, I wouldn't be running for public office." 

I apologize to Ron Paul supporters and I take back what I’ve said here about his fundamentalism.

 

 

What remains, though, 1) is that if he wins, 2) libertarianism in the US will take a heavy hit and 3) this is not the bets way for him to use his finite resources (political credibility).

I apologize to Ron Paul supporters and I take back what I’ve said here about his fundamentalism.

 

 

What remains, though, 1) is that if he wins, 2) libertarianism in the US will take a heavy hit and 3) this is not the bets way for him to use his finite resources (political credibility).

 

 

1 – can he win?

 

When Thatcher (I take her instead of Regan as he didn’t really do anything, unlike Thatcher who made a very few advancements) spoke of denationalizing coal pits, or stop fixing coal prices etc. the whole of England was paralyzed for a hundred+ days riot (one such riot had brought down the previous Heath government). Thatcher was able to pull that off only because she rode on the wave of “Empire Strikes back” on the Falkalnds. Will  RP have such an option?

 

But if he indeed will invite massive riots (see below), that form the point of view of the state, would it be so bad to have him in? The grand Prophets of the State, Krugman holds that Volcker tok a monetarist course in the ’80 only to discredit monetarism forever (success!). So, it would not be the first time that the state makes ample concession in massively important fields only to manipulate its opponents. So, if I was some wily republican, I’d actually back Ron Paul and see him fail abysmally. At least, I would do that under some circumstances.

 

So, if Obama’s popularity sinks lower, if unemployment rages on, if  the afghani kick even more American ass, there just could be a large minority of republican that will be attracted to RP as their “last hope”. So, you either try to stifle that, only to have libertarians criticize your every movement in the future, or actually get him into power (do not oppose him) and see him fail. So, if Ron Paul manages a good nomination campaign, I say he has a good chance of wining.

 

Don’t forget, a day before the Russian revolution, Bolsheviks where laughed at in Petrograd. Things can change very quickly and one must bee prepared for that. “It will never happen” just wont do.

 

 

2 – will he destroy libertarianism?

 

Suppose he resigns after being elected (I’m assuming he won’t resign earlier). People ‘boo’ him for life. I myself would think ‘This guy was so much ‘do this, and do that, and you got this wrong’, and he now walks away? Who’s he kidding with?” its easy to se that much, much, fewer people would keep reding LRC or LvMi, and libertarianism would plunge back to the level of public appreciation it had in the ’50.

 

Suppose he accept but limits himself to veto every bill he gets. People will say, just as much, “well do you have a better idea? Health Care is a mess, what will you do about it? Medicare will be unfundable in 10 years, hat will you do about it?” If RP does nothing, he’s discredited, and us long with him.

 

Suppose some of his measures are put to practice. He deregulates the medical profession. The medics, having spend millions of dollars in education, bribery and opportunity costs of years gone, would never accept cheaper competition now. They’ll sit outside hospitals until the bill dies. Who shall cure non-mortal cases?

 

Yes, he could try to explain the situation, but “while the president talks, my heart is failing! Get that law out of the way!”. One seriously overestimate the average voter in expecting them to chose calm reason in such a scenario (half the people here would back down, I’m afraid). Its easy to see that people’s riot could begin in some cities. I witnessed this in my own university; a protracted professors sit-out caused a student riot directed to the state and backing the professor’s claim for higher pay. “Just get school to begin, we don’t give a shit!” And it was an economics faculty, mind you. Its ugly.

 

Now, he either holds on, and congress puts up with this no more (and libertarians are discredited as spineless hypocrites), or he gives in (inactivity as above, for the rest of his term) or he uses force. I don’t even want to think about that last option, even if it would be easy to bribe some police chief to have some violence on medics and blame the president. It’s a very, very difficult trap to get out form and we’re walking right in.

 

I see no way in which RP could walkout in 2016 with more than handful of people still reading LvMI articles.

 

 

 

3- he could be ‘used’ much, much better

 

See my local politics post above.

 

   

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,940
Points 49,115
Conza88 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 9:03 AM

Merlin:
I apologize to Ron Paul supporters and I take back what I’ve said here about his fundamentalism.

That's not an apology, because he isn't a fundamentalist. An apology would be taking back what you said, by associating him with fundamentalism.

Merlin:
1 – can he win?

Win the nomination? Not likely. Presidency? Not a chance in hell. Does that change anything? Nope.

Comparing Thatcher & Reagan to Ron Paul, fails remarkably on so many levels. What an insult. You don't think he has principles?

Merlin:
Will  RP have such an option?

In case you didn't realise, he's the anti-establishment, anti-status quo congressman.

Merlin:
But if he indeed will invite massive riots

Again, no reasoning behind this what so ever.

Merlin:
The grand Prophets of the State, Krugman holds that Volcker tok a monetarist course in the ’80 only to discredit monetarism forever (success!)

Success? Haha.

Merlin:
So, it would not be the first time that the state makes ample concession in massively important fields only to manipulate its opponents.

You're going to need to do better than the above, if you're trying to present some kind of credible example.

Merlin:
I was some wily republican, I’d actually back Ron Paul and see him fail abysmally.

I bet you would. Congratulations, the left sectarian certificate is in the mail.

Merlin:
So, if Obama’s popularity sinks lower, if unemployment rages on, if  the afghani kick even more American ass, there just could be a large minority of republican that will be attracted to RP as their “last hope”. So, you either try to stifle that, only to have libertarians criticize your every movement in the future, or actually get him into power (do not oppose him) and see him fail. So, if Ron Paul manages a good nomination campaign, I say he has a good chance of wining.

All of the above will happen to Obama. Not that it means anything for RP. Try to stiffle what? Ron Paul spreading the message of Liberty? Really? /facepalm. 

"(Do not oppose him)" doesn't automatically translate into "get him into power". Massive non sequitur.

I say Ron manages to get nominated, then the republican party splits - a 3rd (tea party movement is formed), guided by Beck and Faux News - in order to split the vote, keep Ron Paul out. Nothing brings the vultures together in bi-partisanship more so, when both their jobs are on the line from a legit - anti-establishment, anti-status quo candidate. Your power elite analysis is non existent. Did you even watch the Ron Paul 2008 campaign?

World wide media blackout... hello?

Merlin:
2 – will he destroy libertarianism?

If anyone is a fundamentalist, it's you. You just re-hashed the arguments you made earlier, and basically ignored my whole post. I'm done with you on this. Not worth my time.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 9:22 AM

Fine than, let’s hope you’re right and he doesn’t win.

Conza88:

 

Merlin:
I apologize to Ron Paul supporters and I take back what I’ve said here about his fundamentalism.

That's not an apology, because he isn't a fundamentalist. An apology would be taking back what you said, by associating him with fundamentalism.

That's what I meant.

 

 

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,940
Points 49,115
Conza88 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 9:47 AM

Merlin:
let’s hope you’re right and he doesn’t win.

No, lets hope he does. Because his goal (end) is spreading the message & educating others. That's how success is defined. (How I Won in the Election - John Sophocleus)

Daily Bell: What is the future of the Ron Paul freedom movement in your view?

Rockwell: This much is clear: the Paul movement has made a huge difference in bringing people to libertarian ideas. In some way, there is an element of tragedy in that it takes politics to wake people up. Ideally, people would discover the ideas of liberty through other means.

Ron Paul agrees with this observation, by the way. He sees himself as an educator first. He chose politics because, for him, it was an effective route for his larger and more important goal. And what an extraordinary job he has done, in his writing and speaking and personal example for almost four decades. He has brought vast numbers of people into the light. That was always his dream. I should add that his early support was very important in the Mises Institute's success. We are honored to have him as our distinguished counselor.

Daily Bell: Will your educational organizations become more involved in political efforts or not?

Rockwell: I would say no to that. Unless you are Ron Paul, politics is a dangerous business that tempts people to say and do crazy things. Success is fleeting, whereas we are in this for the long term.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 768
Points 12,035
Moderator
ladyattis replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 10:09 AM

What has to be understood isn't how to get people elected, but how to get the people that have the clout to get folks elected to actually focus on the real deal of getting things changed. Using the political mechanisms aren't the best option, nor are the changes under the political mechanisms permanent. If they were, we wouldn't have such a Leviathan in our midst. That is what I take from Stefbot's point, but I do agree that his need for positivism is idiotic, beyond that it's a good strategy to focus on the actual everyday stuff than worry about what the morons on Capital Hill have to say.

"The power of liberty going forward is in decentralization.  Not in leaders, but in decentralized activism.  In a market process." -- liberty student

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (25 items) | RSS