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Ron Paul is a Voluntaryist (video)

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Graham Wright Posted: Wed, Jul 20 2011 2:15 PM

In this video, using Ron Paul's own words from his books and interviews, it is shown that Ron Paul's goal is voluntaryism. He adopts limited-government positions and appeals to the U.S. Constitution as part of a long-term strategy for achieving a completely free society, absent any State.

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Right, this might be well for us here, but i don't think we should be outwardly promoting that as his position.

 

His "anarchism" might not appeal to the voters we need to elect him.

Eating Propaganda

What do you mean i don't care how your day was?!

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Right, this might be well for us here, but i don't think we should be outwardly promoting that as his position.

His "anarchism" might not appeal to the voters we need to elect him.

What do other people think of this?  Is there a chance that widespread promotion of this video could undermine what Ron Paul is trying to do?

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Eric080 replied on Wed, Jul 20 2011 7:01 PM

Graham, I think it's highly likely that it would damage his campaign temporarily.  But in all reality, he's got to "come out of the closet" sometime, or else all he's done is spawned a bunch of "We the People!" types, which is still antithetical to Paul's ideal society.  I have said in the past before that if he did come out as an an-cap that it would isolate a good porition of his fan base.  But at the same time, if hangs onto it all the way to the grave, we'd probably wind up with fewer an-caps in total.

 

In addition to these clips, he was also at a debate in 2007 at FreedomFest with Doug Casey and said in the following speech after Casey said he was an anarchist that he would love to give Casey the VP nomination if nominated.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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Eric:
Graham, I think it's highly likely that it would damage his campaign temporarily.  But in all reality, he's got to "come out of the closet" sometime, or else all he's done is spawned a bunch of "We the People!" types, which is still antithetical to Paul's ideal society.  I have said in the past before that if he did come out as an an-cap that it would isolate a good porition of his fan base.  But at the same time, if hangs onto it all the way to the grave, we'd probably wind up with fewer an-caps in total.

Whether or not Ron Paul should "come out of the closet" is a different question to the one I asked, though a very interesting one.  My video shows he is already out of the closet to an extent; he is leaving glaring vacuums between his principles and his positions.  I believe he is hoping that his supporters will pick up on the clues and take the principles to their full conclusion.

If Ron Paul is asked if he is an anarchist - yes or no - during a televised debate, how do you think he will answer?  How do you hope he will answer?

I agree that it would damage his campaign short-term if he said yes, but I think it could well also do long-term damage to the voluntaryist movement.  He is currently acting as a filter: he turns liberals / conservatives into constitutionalists, and some of them (the ones that follow his leads to LRC and LvMI) become voluntaryists by resolving their cognitive dissonance.  If he "came out" he would be less effective at converting socialists to constitutionalists, and by extension, less effective at leading people to voluntaryism.

My mind is not made up on this.  I would like to hear what others here think.

Eric:
In addition to these clips, he was also at a debate in 2007 at FreedomFest with Doug Casey and said in the following speech after Casey said he was an anarchist that he would love to give Casey the VP nomination if nominated.

Wow, that's great.  Is it online?

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Eric080 replied on Wed, Jul 20 2011 9:34 PM

It is a different question, but it's kind of the same thing.  If us anarchists spread the video around, it would functionally be the same thing as "outing" Ron Paul.  So they are similar in that fashion.  If he's asked in a televised debate whether or not he is an anarchist, my guess is that he'd answer no and say he thinks the society with the least amount of coercion would be the best society, but that he believes a Constitutional government would the best means to achieve those ends.

 

Obviously I would hope he'd answer in the positive, but that would turn him into a laughingstock.  If the people asking questions at these debates like Brit Hume, Chris Wallace, Chris Matthews, or Anderson Cooper did 5 seconds of research, they would discover that Ron Paul a) has all of these clips floating around on the Internet, b) is affiliated with the majority anarcho-capitalist Mises Institute, and c) alludes to a load of anarchist literature in Liberty Defined (such as the LvMI publication "Let's Abolish Government," a collection of essays by Spooner).

 

I agree that Ron Paul's role is as an educator.  He gets people interested in libertarianism and then turns people onto the Mises Institute.  If you took a poll here on this message board, I'd bet that 50+% of the people first heard of this place through Ron Paul's 2008 campaign.  Changing somebody into a voluntaryist is a gradual thing and it's something that's probably easier to glide into rather than jump into.  So I think you're right.  But there comes a point where you reach critical mass and Ron Paul has appealed to all of the people who are serious thinkers and at that point he can drop the anarchist bomb on his fans.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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Eric080 replied on Wed, Jul 20 2011 9:40 PM

Oh, and the Paul/Casey thing.  He obviously may have said that because Casey said some nice things about Ron in Part 4 (that he was the only decent human being running for the presidency that year), but Ron is an ideas-man and probably takes it that Casey is an ideological ally of his.

 

@4:50

 

@4:30

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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Wesker1982 replied on Wed, Jul 20 2011 11:43 PM

It is not incumbent on the libertarian to always proclaim his full “anarchist” position in whatever he writes; but it is incumbent upon him in no way to praise taxation or condone it; he should simply leave this perhaps glaring vacuum, and wait for the eager reader to begin to question and perhaps come to you for further enlightenment. - Murray Rothbard

 

 

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Jul 21 2011 12:53 PM

Wtf did I just watch?

This is the video I should have made ages ago. Well, friggin, done. Taken all the choice quotes I've harped on about and made it into one production. Much respect!

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Conza:
This is the video I should have made ages ago. Well, friggin, done. Taken all the choice quotes I've harped on about and made it into one production. Much respect!

Thanks Conza. I knew I could count on your support. ;-) Your work digging up quotes and clips inspired this video.

Thanks also to Wesker for the Liberty Defined quotes on security. I missed the one that you just posted as a youtube comment: "The government is incapable of doing what it's suppose to do. A job like the provision of security is something best left to private institutions". That's even better than the ones I used!

Thanks to Nielsio for finding the Adam Kokesh interview.

I am considering a follow-up video, which will talk about the Rothbard-Rockwell-Paul strategy. If anybody would like to contribute, I have started a thread about this over at The Voluntary City.

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I added this to your thread:

 

 

Ron Paul is also on the back of Mary Ruwart's book  Healing Our World in an Age of Agression:
 
Healing Our World bridges the gap between conservatives and liberals, Christians and New Agers, special interests and the common good,  with practical solutions to our economic and societal woes. - Ron Paul
 
It is a book on Voluntaryism and Mary Ruwart is a Voluntaryist. 
 
So here we have Ron Paul stating that the Voluntaryist solutions are practical for economic and social problems. 
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I'm still skeptical that Ron Paul is a 'voluntarist.' I watched the videos, I hear what he says but a part of me still thinks that he is reaching out for political points. He never says "Yes I'm a voluntarist and this is why I think these ideas work." He just seems sympathetic to the philosophy. It is very much like how I feel about his presidency run. Would I like him to win? Sure but I have my own agenda. 

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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"I like voluntarism. That's what a free society is supposed to be all about." - Ron Paul

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=diHLIFfZ4FQ

1:16

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Nice find, thanks for sharing.

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"Our lives and our liberties come outside of government.  Government was not created to allow us to have liberty.  If we're going to have government, it should be limited, precisely to protect those liberties that are rightfully our own." - Ron Paul

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psV6pOsW9YY

2:43

 

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To believe in liberty is not to believe in any particular social and economic outcome. It is to trust the spontaneous order that emerges when the state does not intervene in human volition and human cooperation. It permits people to work out their problems for themselves, build lives for themselves, take risks and accept responsibility for the results, and make their own decisions. - Liberty Defined, XII

If the government is granted a monopoly on the use of force to achieve these goals, history shows that that power is always abused. Every single time. - Liberty Defined, XV

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Hm... I found a big problem in Ron Paul being voluntaryist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeg4lXicyEA&feature=player_embedded#t=7m37

You can argue it's a popular slip (I do it myself sometimes), but...

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If he is an Anarcho-Capitalist hypothetically, maybe he does not care much for the word anarchy, just as I do not. Hm...

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Wheylous:

Hm... I found a big problem in Ron Paul being voluntaryist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeg4lXicyEA&feature=player_embedded#t=7m37

You can argue it's a popular slip (I do it myself sometimes), but...

Oh come on.

 

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Well, fine, maybe I'm overreacting, but your thoughts on this?

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Here's the problem: If we posit that Ron Paul is really a closet Voluntaryist, any disconfirming evidence can easily be explained away--and maybe it can be explained away plausibly. But in order to keep this hypothesis intact, we have to look very closely at the amount of ad-hocness involved in explaining away this. Otherwise, we get to a point where it's just not even falsifiable anymore. It just must, must, must, must be true, and there are no conditions in which the hypothesis could be shown to be false.

Here's an outlandish example:

A: Ron Paul told me in person that he was not a Voluntaryist!

B: Yeah, but you were probably in a CIA bugged room, and he was concerned that they'd leak it to the media if he spoke the truth!

We have to make sure we don't take a collection of anecdotes as evidence of his adherence to Voluntarism, and then try and explain the disconfirming evidence away. It isn't easy.

“Remove justice,” St. Augustine asks, “and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms?”
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My thoughts are he's a 76 year old future President who doesn't spend his days hanging out on Internet forums with a bunch of purists elitists attacking people for not identifying as "anarchists".  He was on national television having to speak on the spot and just happened to use a word in the way it is commonly understood to simply get his point across.

I honestly don't know how anyone could see the video that began this thread (and Graham's other Ron Paul's Ideas one) and still think Paul is not a voluntarist...let alone actually reading what he writes and watching what he does.  I don't even know why this debate still exists.  Paul is just proceeding in line with Rothbard's point about interacting with non-ancaps.  I explain this here.

And seriously just stop and think about it.  If the public were demanding abolishment of so much of the federal government that it would be de facto non-existent...do you really think Ron Paul would object?  Give me a break.  This whole thing is nonsense.  The guy simply has the 2 brain cells necessary to realize you don't get elected President by going around calling yourself an anarchist, and people are actually wasting time attacking him and his supporters for being statist.  And now you think you've found "a big problem" because he used the word "anarchy" as a synonym for "chaos", the way 99.9% of the population does.  I say again.  Give me a break my friend.  Give me a break.

 

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Along with JJ's point, what is so bad...if he is a minarchist anyway? I, for one, would rather have a radical minarchist like himself than several non-radical Anarcho-Capitalists on the internet.

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I'm with JJ.  In Ron Paul we are watching perhaps the last true relevant old style statesman to exist in the USA.  Always a rare breed to begin with, we will probably never see anything like this again.  You may as well enjoy this while you can - it is a once in a life time experience, lightning will not strike twice.  And if one considers themselves any type of LvMI type liberterian, this is aweful snobbery or flat out haterade drinking. 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Eric080 replied on Mon, Dec 5 2011 2:57 AM

He was using "anarchy" in the pejorative.  Like JJ said, he used it to get a point across.

 

I saw the video earlier and was pleased to see that, when asked to recommend one book, he chose The Law by Basiat.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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Alright, my bad cheeky

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bbnet replied on Mon, Dec 5 2011 6:42 AM

Noted that in the Huckbille forum he ranked the heiarchy of sovereignty from high to low as individuals, followed buy the states, followed by the federal government, wuth none for the UN and NATO.

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He was using the term in the way that the vast majority of people understand it. 

I debated about this a while back on the RPF because on Sean Hannity's show he said he was not an anarchist.  

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Conza88 replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 6:39 AM

"Hm... I found a big problem in Ron Paul being voluntaryist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeg4lXicyEA&feature=player_embedded#t=7m37

You can argue it's a popular slip (I do it myself sometimes), but..."

Lmao! No it's not. This has been addressed countless times. He's using "anarchist" in the same sense Mises did... and Rothbard did earlier on (before he changed his mind).

I refuse to be associated with the label publicly... just as Ron Paul does. It's stupid to accept the label unless with fellow travelers.

He explictly rejects it, and wisely so. He accepts self-government and voluntarism though - as do I - again, wisely so.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Wheylous replied on Mon, Jan 2 2012 12:07 AM

Ooooh, evideeeence:

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Here is what Murray Rothbard wrote about Ron Paul...

Murray Rothbard on Ron Paul:
Ron Paul is a most unusual politician – in many ways. In the first place, he really knows what he’s talking about. He is not only for the gold standard. He knows why he is for it, and he is familiar with the most advanced and complex economic insights on the true nature of inflation, on how inflation works, and how inflationary credit expansions brings about booms and busts. And yet Ron has the remarkable ability to take these complex and vital insights and to present them in clear, lucid, hard-hitting terms to the non-economist reader. His economics is as sound as a bell.

But, even more important, Ron Paul is an unusual politician because he doesn’t simply pay lip service to moral principles. He believes in moral principles in his mind and heart, and he fights for them passionately and effectively. High on his set of moral principles is the vital importance of individual freedom, of the individual’s natural right to be free of assault and aggression, and of his right to keep the property that he has earned on the free market, and not have it stolen from him by confiscatory taxes and government regulations.

Ron Paul, in short, is that rare American, and still rarer politician, who deeply understands and battles for the principles of liberty that were fought for and established by the Founding Fathers of this country. He understands that sound economics, moral principles, and individual freedom all go together, like a seamless web. They cannot be separated, and they stand or fall together.

Ron Paul: A Most Unusual Politician

 

And conversely...

Ron Paul on Murray Rothbard:
It would be difficult to exaggerate Professor Murray N. Rothbard's influence on the movement for freedom and free markets. He is the living giant of Austrian economics, and he has led the now-formidable movement ever since the death of his great teacher, Ludwig von Mises, in 1971. We are all indebted to him for the living link he has provided to Mises, upon whose work he has built and expanded.

But many are less aware of Rothbard's political influence. Some would say that while he is undoubtedly an excellent economist, his political efforts have been less than successful.

I would deny this. Rothbard is the founder of the modern libertarian movement, and of the Libertarian Party which is its political incarnation, and he thus has built the necessary foundation for liberty by inspiring the most important third-party movement ever. And in my own political work, I have been profoundly influenced by the lucid and brilliant works of Rothbard.

In his first correspondence with me after I was elected to office, Rothbard expressed surprise and delight to find a real Congressman who wrote that "taxation is theft," and approvingly quoted his article, "Gold vs. Fluctuating Exchange Rates." I, of course, was thrilled to hear from someone whose works I had studied and admired for so many years.

The Political Importance of Murray Rothbard

 

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