Saturday, June 11, 2011

Liberty Defined by Ron Paul

“Liberty means to exercise human rights in any manner a person chooses so long as it does not interfere with the exercise of the rights of others.” (xi) While leaders in Washington say they believe in liberty, Paul argues that they do not. “We are policed everywhere we go...” Paul says. “What is at stake is the American dream itself...” (xiii) “Understanding how governments always compete with liberty and destroy progress, creativity, and prosperity is crucial to our effort to reverse the course on which we find ourselves.” (xv)
Paul says, “The crisis demands an intellectual revolution.” (xvii) We need to understand again the ideas of liberty and Paul offers thoughts on a number of controversial topics. While he does not expect everyone to agree with him, he does hope to spark thinking and debate.

Following are a few comments from his alphabetical list of issues of liberty.
On abortion: the Constitution says nothing about it. “If anything, the federal government has a responsibility to protect life – not grant permission to destroy it.” (2) “A society that condones abortion invites attacks on personal liberty.” (6) He suggests removing jurisdiction from the federal courts, returning it to the states.
On bipartisanship: forget it. When two bad political parties agree they just pass more bad legislation. “Gridlock can be the friend of liberty.” (20)
CIA, government and terrorism: “They never want to ask or admit that we're endangered as a consequence of our foreign policy.” (40) Wondering why some are willing to commit suicide to do us harm, Paul says, “I believe the answer relates directly to the recklessness of U.S. foreign policy.” (43)
Education: “...[T]here's no constitutional authority for the federal government to be involved in education...” (78)
Empire: that the U.S. is one, by any definition, “An empire, which requires perpetual war and preparation for war....” (88) (Troops in 135 countries, 900 bases.)
Foreign Aid: “The Federal Reserve is allowed to make secret agreements with foreign governments, foreign central banks, and international financial institutions. Since audits of these agreements has never been allowed, there is no way to know with certainty whether the Fed participates in foreign policy strategy.” (120)
Global warming: a skeptic. “...[I]ndustrial growth in a free market is the only solution to poverty and hunger.” (138) He says it took years to scare people into believing grave danger lies ahead unless radical laws were instituted regarding growth and energy. “...[I]t will require many more years and hard evidence to come back to sanity regarding CO2 emissions...” (140) He says of the oil energy issue: “This whole scandalous debate is misleading. The only thing that counts is whether the free market or government planners are in charge of providing energy to the people.” (142)
Prohibition: “The entire drug war is an arbitrary prohibition that violates the Constitution...” (226)
Public Land: “Total federal ownership is more than one third of the land mass of the fifty states.” (232) Federal laws override state and local laws. Most federally owned land is not part of a national park. “Our biggest current battle is to restrain the eminent domain enthusiasts at all levels of government.” (234)
Racism: “The 9/11 hijackers were not devout Muslims, but er are often led to believe that they were.” (239) “Government-backed racism is designed to shore up government power. The idea is to steer popular opinion that should be directed against one's own government toward some evil foreign enemy.” (241)
Taxes: “Taxes and the power to tax have been destructive to civilization and all progress.” (280)
Terrorism: “Invading other countries is a bad idea, especially if the goal is to stop terrorism; quite the opposite will be the result.” (288)
Paul concludes, “We must recapture what it means to be free.” (323) “All we need is the access to good ideas, some degree of idealism, and the courage to embrace the liberty that so many great people of the past have embraced.” (325)
Grand Central Publishing, 325 pages.
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