(Blog post by Michael W. Dean of the Freedom Feens.)
For over a year, Neema Vedadi and I have been predicting on the Freedom Feens podcast and radio shows that after Ron Paul finished with politics, he would come out as a full-on anarcho-capitalist. (Examples of us saying that are here, here, here, here and here.) And that’s just the ones I can quickly find from mentions in the show notes. We said it a lot more than just five times, going back to May 12, 2011.)
Ron Paul was an important step on the path for liberty for many people, including myself. He brought me to Constitutionalism, then he and others took me beyond that, to knowing that no piece of paper grants, or even enforces, rights, and that all government is immoral. Seems ironic that a government employee could teach us that, but hey, Ron Swanson helped with my journey too.
Check out Ron Paul’s farewell speech from the floor of Congress from this afternoon:
I’m surprised they gave him 49 minutes, but the GOP probably figured “If we let him do this, we’ll never have to hear him again, and maybe some of his fans will vote for us next time.” (Good luck on THAT.) It’s an awesome and beautiful speech, and he uses the word “Voluntaryism.” He doesn’t say “anarchist”, but you don’t even need to read between the lines to hear that “peaceful market anarchy” is what he’s talking about. He’s gone way beyond Constitution humper and is now a full-on AnCap “no-government man”….
He started by basically saying (and I’m paraphrasing for length’s sake) “Many would say I’ve been a failure as a politician, but I’ve been a success as a catalyst for the spread of understanding of liberty….” which is something Neema and I have also been saying about Dr. Paul.
Fact: “Of the 620 bills that Paul had sponsored through December 2011, over a period of more than 22 years in Congress, only one had been signed into law – a lifetime success rate of less than 0.3%.” But consider the literally millions of people Dr. Paul has turned on to the idea of liberty.
So…..after the good doctor enumerates the reasons he’s more or less pronouncing America dead , and how blind trust in politicians is the reason, Dr. Paul talks about liberty. Not Constitutional government “liberty”, but true liberty. Not “liberty” from “fixing” government, but the true liberty that can only come from a LACK of government, and from purely voluntary interactions among people.
After I listened to it, I was going to go through and find all the parts in Ron Paul’s farewell address that support my “he’s an anarchist” theory as fact, but Edward Kodgis already feen-sourced it on his own before I could ask anyone to help. After that, a full transcript went up, here.
So here ya go, Ron Paul’s own words from his farewell speech talking about the failure of government, and the need for going beyond government to fully voluntary interactions. (If you have a short attention span, you can just skip down to the last two lines):
“What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted the simple moral premise of rejecting all acts of aggression. The retort to such a suggestion is always: it’s too simplistic, too idealistic, impractical, naïve, utopian, dangerous, and unrealistic to strive for such an ideal. The answer to that is that for thousands of years the acceptance of government force, to rule over the people, at the sacrifice of liberty, was considered moral and the only available option for achieving peace and prosperity.”
“What could be more utopian than that myth—considering the results especially looking at the state-sponsored killing, by nearly every government during the 20th Century, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. It’s time to reconsider this grant of authority to the state.”
“No good has ever come from granting monopoly power to the state to use aggression against the people to arbitrarily mold human behavior. Such power, when left unchecked, becomes the seed of an ugly tyranny. This method of governance has been adequately tested, and the results are in: reality dictates we try liberty.”
“Sadly, we have become accustomed to living with the illegitimate use of force by government. It is the tool for telling the people how to live, what to eat and drink, what to read and how to spend their money. To develop a truly free society, the issue of initiating force must be understood and rejected. Granting to government even a small amount of force is a dangerous concession.”
“First, we recognize that individuals shouldn’t initiate violence, then we give the authority to government. Eventually, the immoral use of government violence, when things goes badly, will be used to justify an individual’s “right” to do the same thing. Neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence against another yet we are moving toward the day when both will claim this authority. If this cycle is not reversed society will break down.”
“Legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society.”
“Humanitarian arguments are always used to justify government mandates related to the economy, monetary policy, foreign policy, and personal liberty. This is on purpose to make it more difficult to challenge. But, initiating violence for humanitarian reasons is still violence. Good intentions are no excuse and are just as harmful as when people use force with bad intentions. The results are always negative.”
“The idealism of non-aggression and rejecting all offensive use of force should be tried. The idealism of government sanctioned violence has been abused throughout history and is the primary source of poverty and war. The theory of a society being based on individual freedom has been around for a long time. It’s time to take a bold step and actually permit it by advancing this cause, rather than taking a step backwards as some would like us to do.”
“A moral people must reject all violence in an effort to mold people’s beliefs or habits.
“A society that boos or ridicules the Golden Rule is not a moral society. All great religions endorse the Golden Rule. The same moral standards that individuals are required to follow should apply to all government officials. They cannot be exempt.”
“The misunderstanding that tolerance is an endorsement of certain activities, motivates many to legislate moral standards which should only be set by individuals making their own choices. Both sides use force to deal with these misplaced emotions. Both are authoritarians. Neither endorses voluntaryism. Both views ought to be rejected.”
“The ultimate solution is not in the hands of the government. The solution falls on each and every individual, with guidance from family, friends and community.“