Ron Paul in One Lesson: A Primer on Libertarianism

Quadrennial asterisk Ron Paul is once again displaying his Libertarian Wolf Boy exhibit at the Republican freak show, again prompting puzzled onlookers to remark “oh yeah, I remember that guy,” and “what the hell is he doing up there?” Now that Paul has risen from novelty candidate to so-called “top tier” status, his libertarian principles arguably merit closer examination before being mothballed for another four years.

The superannuated jester of the U.S. House has long attracted a comparatively young throng of supporters, conspicuously younger than the great ossified bulk of rank and file Republicans. This seeming paradox is no great mystery. As a former long-haired pot-smoking Libertarian, I can attest that libertarianism attracts—not only pot-smokers, but—starry eyed idealists, believers in a Lennonesque live-and-let-live utopia tantalizingly within reach if only they could manage to convince all of humanity to abruptly and simultaneously stop being assholes. It takes a while for the smoke to clear, and by then the Libertarian larvae have metamorphosed into more or less mature creatures, plunged unwillingly into a workaday world which brooks no such chimerical stargazing. The ugly truth sinks in: All of are mortal, and none of us is self-sufficient. And libertarians lose another follower.

It might seem odd for a liberal to call a libertarian idealistic, particularly since we liberals for so long have borne the moonbat sobriquet, but to my mind there is a distinct difference between the idealism of libertarianism and the comparatively hardheaded realism of liberals. Libertarians believe that if government and all such collectivist enterprises simply vanished, an ideal world would miraculously arise on the ash heap of the old. Liberals, on the other hand, are willing to work for it. Why trust an invisible hand when you’ve got two visible ones at the ends of your arms?

Libertarians, as the bumper sticker goes, “love their country but fear their government.” Like whipped dogs wary of strangers dangling juicy bones, libertarians deny themselves the blessings of a beneficent government for fear of plummeting down a slippery slope of totalitarianism. Anyone who has dealt directly with an unthinking Federal bureaucracy or even contemplated from a safe distance the staggering injustices often dispensed by such agencies ought to come away with the same sense of awe and respect as one might experience after a close brush with an irritable bear. Government is no trifle, that is a certainty, but abolishing it in an attempt to ward off potential abuses makes no more sense than killing all bears to avoid an unfortunate potential camping incident.

For all its power to kill, destroy, and generally wreak havoc, government is also the most powerful tool for good at our disposal. In libertarian lingo, government doesn’t enslave people, people enslave people. Rather than letting disappointment and misgivings regarding government metastasize into hopeless cynicism however, we liberals idealize that our government can be harnessed to serve the will of the people, as indeed (mostly) it has. Liberals embrace self-government; libertarians shirk. When things go awry, liberals seek to reassert control of government and restore balance, whereas libertarians seek to blow it all to hell and let the chips fall where they may.

In a nutshell, libertarians are anticommunists. By this, I do not mean to say that libertarians are opposed to communism (although they are), but that libertarianism itself is in nearly every respect the precise opposite of communism. Libertarians don’t want less communism or even no communism; they want anticommunism. If Karl Marx says the glass is half full, libertarians insist it’s a completely empty beer stein. If Karl Marx advocates a strong centralized government to enforce social justice and equality and create a workers’ paradise, then libertarians instinctively advocate a weak central government that ignores social injustice and inequality to permit a capitalist’s paradise. It’s a pity that most libertarians have not read any Marx and don’t know that he envisioned the state eventually withering from disuse as a natural consequence of proletarian bliss. If they did, they might start reflexively predicting that a flourishing bourgeoisie would most assuredly bring about the rise of an all-powerful state, catch themselves mid-sentence, and slink off to register Green.

Alas, libertarians are quintessentially fat, dumb, and happy, satisfied with the blunt but serviceable concept that government is the enemy of liberty. Libertarians view government on a scale (actually, it’s a four-quadrant bi-directional chart) ranging from brutal totalitarianism on one end to—at the other end—an idyllic anarchy of well-educated, nonviolent, freedom loving individuals pursuing their own enlightened self-interest to the unintentional benefit of all. Sadly, the paradise envisioned by libertarians as the result of eliminating or minimizing government to Norquistian levels does not exist in reality. The closest thing we have experienced to it was Gilligan’s Island, which was only a television show and which was regrettably canceled after only three seasons. Those of us who are less sanguine about anarchy are inclined to want a good bit more government than Somalia and a good bit less than North Korea.

And what is liberty in the libertarian scheme of things? It is quite simply the freedom to do anything you can afford to do, no matter how stupid. That’s right. We’re all born with a bushel basket of freedoms we can exercise with abandon. We all have the right to drive a Rolls Royce and vacation on the French Riviera, at least to the extent that no one is forcibly preventing us from doing so. Likewise with food, housing, and medicine. If you can afford them, great! If not, well, we never promised you a rose garden. What about your inalienable right to charge for sex, or wager your house in a poker game for a quick payoff? No, that mean old government says it’s illegal. You can’t kill the pain with drugs or even kill yourself because some imperious prig in a powdered wig is always peering over your shoulder, harshing your buzz. All our precious liberties are under assault by meddling do-gooders, while inconsequential fripperies such as food and housing are rammed down our throats by a nanny state gone wild.

And don’t forget: anarchy may be free, but government costs a lot of money. To fund its sinister activities, we have unwisely conferred upon our governments the right to collect taxes. But libertarians don’t just hate taxes because government misuses the money. They hate taxes because taxation is theft, an involuntary confiscation of the fruits of our labors. The battle cry of the original Tea Partiers was “taxation without representation is tyranny,” but libertarians prefer a more concise “taxation is tyranny,” or the ever-popular “I’m all right, Jack, keep your hands off my stack.”

Liberals will instinctively retort that such things as fire departments and police forces require money to function, but any libertarian worth his salt will strenuously maintain that private enterprise can provide these services more efficiently in voluntary transactions. For those too sheepish to extol the free market models of “pay-for-spray” fire departments and policemen who must regretfully inform you they can’t investigate your robbery since now you don’t have any money left, the American Libertarian has a handy dodge at the ready: Federalism.

Here’s how it works: If I buy fire protection on the free market, I have a choice in the matter. If the fire company I use hikes their prices, I can go elsewhere. If they’re slow to respond, again, I can change companies after the smoldering ruins of my old house are razed and rebuilt. I can even elect to forgo fire protection altogether to save money, and hope for the best. If my burning house ignites the meth lab next door, well, dem’s da berries. The point is that I’m in charge.

By contrast, if the federal government provided all fire services, I’d be stuck. I’d have to pay for the service even if I didn’t want it, and if the service was poor I would have no alternative because the feds would have a monopoly.

However, since fire departments are typically run by cities and counties, I always have an option: I can move. If I don’t like the fire department in Phoenix, I can move to Tempe. If I don’t like the fire department in Maricopa County, I can move to Pinal County. If I don’t like any of the fire departments in Arizona, I can move to Colorado. But a federal fire department leaves me no options because it’s impossible to leave the United States. Lo, there be tales of serpents, dragons, and cannibals in the lands and waters beyond the contiguous forty-eight, and woe be to those who venture into that unknown horizon. Yar!

So it’s very neat and elegant. Everything the federal government does is confiscatory tyranny, but individual states and municipalities can impose some burdens and strip some rights without slipping into outright despotism because freedom-loving citizens can always vote with their feet, scampering across the border into a neighboring patch of dirt. And business cannot possibly amass too might power over the rights of man because we can always let our fingers do the walking and change companies, early termination fee be damned.

This is a critical concept for many Republicans, as well. For instance, a health insurance mandate under ObamaCare is an audacious arrogation of our rights under God, but the same mandate under RomneyCare is just another experiment in one of fifty vibrant laboratories of democracy. Cigna is just making an honest buck writing checks for aspirins and bedpans. If you don’t like them, well then, just change jobs. See how easy?

Can’t get seated at a restaurant because you’re black? Find another restaurant. Can’t rent an apartment because your spouse is the same sex? Keep looking. Didn’t get hired because you’re a Muslim? Send out more résumés, and if you get the interview, for God’s sake, leave the prayer rug at home. Libertarians have all the answers, don’t they? And they love African-Americans, yes they do. But that restaurant owner reserves the right to refuse service to anyone, remember? And we can’t mandate that apartment building owners rent to homosexual couples because that would be tyranny. And you Muslims have every right to be as Muslimy as you like, but understand that rednecks have an equal countervailing right to be as rednecky as they like. That’s fair, isn’t it?

It is fundamental to libertarianism that all business is inherently good and naturally self-policing. If I bake an apple pie and sell it to you, that’s a good thing. I have money and you have a pie, so we both win. If my apple pie tastes bad or makes you sick, you won’t buy any more, and soon I’ll be out of business. Presto! Problem solved! Now, if I make you a home loan I know you can’t pay back and sell the paper at a profit to someone else, that’s even better than baking pies because I made a lot more money, you have a house instead of just a pie, and dumbass over there has a nice-looking asset for his balance sheet. The whole thing may blow sky high one day soon, but by then I’ll be sipping my fourth mango daiquiri while sunning myself on a beach in the Caymans. Too bad about that house, pal! Sorry about tanking your economy! Looks like I wasn’t as enlightened as you’d hoped, but at least I’m out of business!

And what of the commons, that time-honored notion that there are certain resources which are best owned and shared by all, rather than auctioned off to the highest bidder? To libertarians, this is the cruelest of all communist hoaxes, ineluctably resulting in the so-called “Tragedy of the Commons.” The Parable of the Public Restroom teaches us that common resources will be abused or overexploited by individuals because they have no significant individual stake, and act in their own self-interest even to the detriment of their own long-term interests. Somewhat less technically, in a public restroom someone can always be counted upon to shit in the sink simply because it amuses them and they don’t have to clean it up.

As per usual, libertarians have a pat answer to solve this problem: private ownership. Just think if McDonald’s owned the Grand Canyon. You could get a Spicy McChicken sandwich for a buck, and Happy Meals replete with John Wesley Powell action figures, and the bathroom sinks would be appetizingly shit-free. And no one would dare scrawl graffiti on the pristine rock walls of the canyon, reason libertarians, because the unspoiled nature of this wonder of the world would be an asset McDonald’s would protect assiduously. Besides which, graffiti would detract from the eighth wonder of the world: the gleaming nine-mile-wide neon golden arches towering over the newly remodeled Grand McCanyon.

Non-libertarians are often perplexed by what seem to be conflicting ideas within the Libertarian Party platform, which admittedly is a mishmash of high-minded idealism and muddleheaded policy prescriptions. Conservatives revel in the gun rights and anti-tax rhetoric, but blanch at their freewheeling approach to social issues. Liberals like their stance on war and personal privacy but are horrified by planks calling for the privatization of nearly every function of the federal government. I have often opined aloud (usually just to piss off Libertarians) that these mixed messages we get from the Libertarian Party arise from the shamefully collectivist practice of holding conventions and adopting platform planks in a democratic process. To be true to libertarian principles, oughtn’t they retire individually to their respective bunkers with their jars of gold coins, spark up some doobs and write their own personal platforms?

In truth, libertarianism may seem conflicted, but it is internally consistent at least. The only true conflict is between libertarian idealism and reality itself. You may say the devil is in the details, but libertarians have no use for either. Everything is so damn clear, simple, and digestible for libertarians it’s easy for them to be consistent. I’ll confess I sometimes envy them.

Oversimplification of complex issues may have been popularized by the Tea Party, but it’s long been the stock in trade of Libertarians. Try to discuss abstruse international trade theory with a Libertarian and he’ll always manage to boil the issue down to a story about Jack and Judy trading car washes for pomegranate pastries. Indeed, any good libertarian has a compendium of reductio ad absurdum and slippery slope fallacies and thought-terminating clichés at the ready for any occasion, and can recite them on cue with the polished obduracy of a telephone solicitor.

This is the fractured intellectual crucible which has produced the self-professed “Party of Principle,” and its spry but doddering elder spokesman, Ron Paul. Though he calls himself a Republican, he is the nation’s best-known Libertarian. He laughs at those who call him and his followers “dangerous,” but while he rightly decries creeping fascism and assaults on our civil liberties, his cure is worse than the disease.

Libertarianism is like liquor. A little bit warms your cockles, but too much impairs your judgment. Ron Paul is driving nuclear waste through a school zone with a jug of libertarian hooch under his belt. Thankfully, a plurality of Republicans think he’s nuts, too, albeit for different reasons. Since this is likely his last hurrah before Mitt Romney slouches to his inevitable Republican primary victory, we’ve very nearly heard the last of Ron Paul’s entertaining rants.

But we haven’t heard the last of his poisonous philosophy.

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72 Replies to “Ron Paul in One Lesson: A Primer on Libertarianism”

  1. Excellent and timely analysis. I particularly enjoyed your conclusion: “Libertarianism is like liquor. A little bit warms your cockles, but too much impairs your judgment. Ron Paul is driving nuclear waste through a school zone with a jug of libertarian hooch under his belt.” Beautiful imagery. Sadly, as you say, we haven’t heard the last of libertarianism.

  2. and this is where the term personal responsibility comes in. Don’t like your cable company? Get another one, oops there isn’t another one because there seems to be a monopoly in your neighborhood. Don’t have health insurance? If your personal responsibility to have it even though the healthcare corporations have priced it well beyond your means.

    This is an excellent expose a of libertarianism. Of how the 1% will do just fine and the 99% to various degrees will crawl through the mud. If you can afford it you’re free to step on anyone.

    Our founding fathers, despite what the tea party thugs believe, believed in a strong central government. The Constitution was not written for states rights. It was written to provide us with the president, commerce, a Congress and the right of each state to equal representation. Those are the values of the founding fathers. Libertarianism has no values whatsoever to it that apply to the 310 million people in this country

    It’s so easy for Ron Paul to talk about our liberties and freedoms. The one thing he never talks about is the effects of everyone having the freedoms that he talks about. Ron Paul does not believe in roads or anything else is provided to you through your taxes. To him these kinds of things just magically appear. To him the free-market is free to run over anyone that wants under any circumstances. Ron Paul has absolutely nothing to offer Americans

  3. Libertarianism is the hugely nectarous smell that Dissocialist fly traps use to lure the poor little flies who vote.

  4. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a person that has conservative and liberal traits or beliefs. For instance as a liberal I fully agree that capitalism is an absolute must in our civilization. But then again that is not take into account corrupt capitalism which is rampant. I do not think that change can ever come about by people who only believe in one form of Belief. I guess that takes us back to compromise, the words it speaker Boehner does not believe in

  5. From what you have written, you don’t seem to know what libertarianism is.
    Do you know what a classical liberal is?
    Do you seek egalitarian ends for all people?

    What do you believe?

  6. The tone of this article is very divisive, and will only serve to divide potential voters.

    The younger libertarians need to be folded into the party and not insulted. Obama needs to work on his policies in this regard too if he wants the massive youth vote to come back.

  7. Ed the floor is yours. If you can do it without attacking the author give us your rendition of a libertarian

  8. Well, I do have some libertarian values. I just balance them against a host of other values, and often as not the libertarian values are outweighed by more important concerns.

  9. Ed, from what you have written, you don’t seem to understand what I have written.
    I do know what a classical liberal is… Do you know the difference between a classical liberal and a neoclassical liberal? A social liberal?
    We all have egalitarian ends, by the way. We all end up dead. Beyond that, we all must follow our own path. We will always have poverty, but I believe one of the greatest measures of any society is how it treats its poorest and most vulnerable members. And no, I don’t care that this is not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

  10. This is just wonderful, but allow me to disagree that the libertarian ideal is Gilligan’s Island. Because libetarian mythology is grounded in a totally erroneous assumption that the foundation of all civilization is property, I really think that today’s libertarian wants NO government (we agree here) so that corporations can create new almost feudal empires. They would be unfettered to be totally adventuristic, having private armies (dust off that armor) that invade already fragile Third World nations rich in resources. While the traditional GOP enthusiast would agree with some of this, they think government should contribute to defense of that adventurism. That has been the American Way since at least McKinley. But Libertarians don’t even want that I hypothesize – they really do want mercenaries and private armies to do the actual engagement. Their reading of the Constitution is that “the pursuit of happiness” is actually code for “property” – and thus defy the actual words of the Constitution that says nothing at all about the right of private property (just its disposition in the 4th and 5th amendments.) Because of this utterly fallacious interpretation, they are grounded in a kind of materialist world where human rights, morality, community are indeed not only irrelevant but dangerous.

    Government must go. It cannot be a stopgap between citizens and capital to protect the former from the predations of the latter. No domestic role, no defense role – it’s useless. Private enterprise is uber alles, and if we’d just smarten up and SEE that, we could plunge forward to the 12th century. Since a good number of libertarians are ALSO Dominionist Christians, well, there’s lots of room for a new Crusade, too.

    I listen to these folks – and I believe they actually believe this. There is no government pleasing to them larger than a Manor, with IBM, Chevron, and other corporations substituting for the King. It’s perfect. Government off our backs, out of our lives, and the corporation triumphant.

    Does’t that just appeal to you no end?

  11. Catering to young people in the throes of delusion is probably not worth the time. They have been hornswoggled, and they need to come out into reality. I’m not at all sure they “need to be listened to” if they, themselves, are incapable of listening. You need to start from reality, and passionate devotion to libertarian views would not be where one begins. I think they are beyond reason if they love Ron Paul.

  12. Libertarian: The dude who insists on running his RV’s huge generator right next to you in the Yosemite campground all day, cause he has margaritas to make in his industrial-sized blender while ‘the game’ blares over the Bose system ~ “Yeah, baby!” ~

  13. A libertarian is not his brother’s keeper in any biblical sense. That is all a Christian needs to know about it.

  14. I think you give Libertarians far too much credit. In my experiance, they come in only two varieties: Those that want corporate feudalism and those that really, really hate the poor. And there’s a lot of cross-over.

  15. MacKenzie, you write well and I enjoyed your article, yet…, Ron Paul for President. I truly believe he is the only person for the job. No label really fits him. He is honest, intelligent, charitable and a philosopher. He has my vote.

  16. I was debating the issue of government regulations with a Libertarian co-worker. I like the fact that my food doesn’t poison me and the products I buy and use are safe. My co-worker and I worked out a compromise. We can rescind all government food safety laws when all companies test their food on Libertarians. I think it is a great deal for them: free food for as long as you live! That could be a week, a month, or maybe even as long as a year!

    Similarly, when all coal mines are staffed by Libertarians, we can rescind the coal mining safety laws.

    The Libertarians I’ve met are young, idealistic optimists. They think everyone is just like them and will always behave and decide in the public good. When they get some life experience they will realize (as the author has) that some people are self-centered, evil, and/or desperate and will shortchange others for their own benefit. Libertarianism has no realistic controls to prevent the ruthless from taking advantage of the public.

  17. The irony is that “Libertarian” Ron Paul wants to head the government that he says there is too much of. He has already been feeding at the trough of this government for years, and that is only one of the facts that weaken his case as a libertarian.

  18. His libertarianism is the flytrap nectarosity I alluded to, supra.

    You know, it’d be great if our virtual Stammtisch could provide real coffee and pastry in the morning, and real lager and delicatessen at night. However, that would make posting here one more pleasure that is fattening.

  19. there is a very extensive list of things that Ron Paul would do away with. Fortunately even if he were elected president his own Republican Congress would not work with him.

    Under Ron Paul there will be no roads,No public institutions for the elderly or children, no libraries and nothing that supports the people of this country. And that’s not even mentioning the environmental laws that would do away with

  20. These things he wants to do away with show the danger of being drawn in by his message of non-intervention in other countries and his being against the war on drugs. Too many of his ideas are dangerously destructive, and I agree with you that he would get very little support even from fellow Republicans.

  21. It’s been my observation that a lot of young (and not-so-young) people like the Libertarians and Ron Paul because he will decriminalize pot (and that’s about the only thing they think about).

    I don’t care whether pot is legalized or not (except keep the stuff away from me – even the odor causes a splitting headache), but they do appear to be one-issue voters. This may get some people angry… but that has been my observation of people who advocate the libertarian party and use pot… they’re self-centered and their biggest concern is their next high – they don’t give a damn about anybody else (except when confronted with their self-centered-ness).

    I’ve run into people who, while they smoke pot and want it legalized, want tobacco criminalized and eliminated from existence. Nice double standard (especially as we use tobacco in many ways including in ceremony).

    They don’t even pay attention to the other things Ron Paul and the Libertarians stand for, and they don’t think things through.

  22. Yeah, when Ron Paul shows up, the roads will vanish.

    Look every candidate has things they say they will do, but there are certain things they are way more passionate about, and they can’t get everything done in 4 years that they want to get done anyway. Ron Paul has said time and time again, that he’s cutting the wars, and over seas occupancy. He wants to get rid of the Patriot Act, and NDAA, and fix the monetary system.

    Anything else he talked about isn’t going to get done, as it’s not high on his list.

    So, continue to vote for anybody else you want. If you vote any other candidate, expect the wars to keep happening, except your freedoms to keep disappearing (Patriot Act, NDAA, PIPA, SOPA), and the economy to keep tanking. The course of the country isn’t changing and it won’t change. We voted in Obama for change, and we’re still going in-step with the Bush Administration. There was no change. We got a watered-down Healthcare bill. Absolutely ridiculous.

    The only thing different about Ron Paul than Obama is that Ron Paul has a record that’s been consistent, and Ron Paul has no money from corporate backers. He’s the only candidate that’s actually outside the system. And at this time, we should all know that every candidate has been corrupted. If you don’t, there is PLENTY of dirt on the internet to prove otherwise.

    This time, I’m voting for the only one who’s not corrupt. I don’t care what party they’re aligned with. Corruption has to come to end somehow, and I’m running out of ideas. I do know that we’re not going to get there with the current president, or the other Republican hopefuls.

  23. ask yourself where the roads come from. They come in good part from your gas taxes. That’s One of the first thing he will do away with according to him. Now Where does the money for roads now come from? The federal government? The one he is getting rid of income taxes for its? You need to think very seriously about the effects of what Ron Paul will do away with and how it will affect your life. I can come knock on your door and tell you I’m taken away all your taxes and wont you be happy? You will be happy until you start realizing that everything those taxes went for will be disappearing.

    I left a link in this thread of things that Paul wants to do away with. I strongly suggest that you read it and think deeply about how it would affect you, especially the environmental ones. If you have a family and I assume you do think about them.

    unfortunately you will not get rid of the patriot act. I wish he could, I will agree with you on that. But you have a Congress who is dead set on keeping it. You have a Congress who is dead set on keeping the NDAA. You have a financial system that is stronger than United states itself that will spend billions to keep him away from it.

    You got a watered-down health-care bill why? Because a blue dog Democrats in the Senate who would not go along with it. The single-payer system we all want would never have passed. You can blame that on Obama if you want to I don’t care. And Ron Paul is not outside the system, he has been part of it for what 25+ years?

    this is the reason that many people get into the libertarian party and then understand what the results of their fantasy world would be like and leave. I would love to get rid of the patriot act and the rest of the things you mention. I would love the fact that George Bush had left us an economy the forced us to stay where we are and that did not allow for the change that Obama wanted. I’m disappointed in the fact that people like you don’t understand that. And I will not argue with you that all of these people are corrupt. At this time I would take Obama over any of the others in part because I at least have some trust in Obama

  24. I call bullshit, sorry dude, but I hang out with Paul fans, and their number one issue by far is killing the Fed. It is not marijuana, that is the dumbest thing I have heard an anti-paul bot say yet. You do realize that the people who smoke pot are going to do so regardless of who is in office? Another thing, most pot heads are too lazy to go vote in caucuses, how do I know this, because I know a lot of potheads. You are attempting to associate Dr. Paul with idiot drug users, and you obviously do not understand the importance of the real issues that Paul brings up. Go back to school son.

  25. Not sure how fully valid the article is, from my perspective. I have heard Paul time and time again indicate to shrink the federal central government while transferring much of that responsibility to the local government (yes, and individuals too). Seems your essay ignored that aspect and only mentioned the downsizing of the fed. While everyone might worry about taking care of themselves, having local governments care more for their constituents to me could be a more-effective option. No one in DC knows or cares about where I live, though I’m also not too sure the congrssthings do either. We’re in for really bad times I believe without a correction somehow and frankly I don’t see any substantial difference in the presidency and course in the last 12 years. What’s been happening is not working and that is apparent. A comment that roads will disappear if Paul gets elected are quite bizarre as the roads around here have been declining, in constant disrepair for decades. Not that Paul is the best possible answer, but at least you know what he represents. I haven’t heard a politician seem truly honest most of my life. Were still in Guantanamo, etc. despite oh so many empty promises.

  26. So many straw men, so little time! I’ll just hit a couple of them from the article:

    1. “It is fundamental to libertarianism that all business is inherently good and naturally self-policing.”

    Here, libertarianism is indeed “anti-communist” for libertarianism doesn’t in fact require that all people (or even businesspeople) become good and selfless. Libertarians fully acknowledge that people are flawed and that some may try to lie, cheat, or steal their way to the top. We just point out that in a truly free market, it would actually be much more difficult to do so. Here’s an example: John Stossel is well known for reporting about the abuses of corporations, calling them out for their lies and dishonest advertising. He’s made a career out of it, all the while working for media corporations who derive their revenue selling commercial spots. Ralph Nader once said that corporate media would never allow consumer reporting because they wouldn’t want to lose ad revenue. He thought that only public broadcasting media would do such reporting. In fact, it is almost entirely the reverse. It turns out that we consumers actually want to know who might be trying to cheat us and that there is a valuable market for those who investigate such things. Furthermore, it matters to us that those reporters be honest and not merely shills for businesses. If we don’t trust the reporters, we won’t watch. If we don’t watch, they can’t make their advertising revenue. This is just one example of how the marketplace can be self-policing without the need for all businesses to be “good”.

    2. “Now, if I make you a home loan I know you can’t pay back and sell the paper at a profit to someone else, that’s even better than baking pies because I made a lot more money, you have a house instead of just a pie, and dumbass over there has a nice-looking asset for his balance sheet.”

    This is an example of how “Big Business” is confused with “Free Market”. We don’t have a free market in this country (or, as far as I know, anywhere in the world). Government is entwined in virtually everything we do. Thus, when you notice failures in a segment of the economy, you cannot simply chalk those up to failures of the “Free Market”. This is certainly the case with the most recent banking and mortgage crisis. One (I think smaller) part of the problem which was more loudly argued by conservatives is that the federal government passed a law to encourage banks to issue more loans to those with lower incomes and thus, presumably, less ability to repay. But if that is all the government did, the problem would only have affected the specific banks issuing the loans. It wouldn’t have metastasized into the massive tumor that it became. If the banks knew that they would have had to bear the brunt of making bad loans, they wouldn’t have willingly shot themselves in the foot. But they knew that they could package those bad loans together and sell them to whom? That’s right the U.S. Government. And when the ish really hit the fan, who did those “Big Business” Wall Street fat cats turn to? That’s right, their good ole Uncle Sam. (This is one reason that Ron Paul is sympathetic to some of the sentiments behind the Occupy Wall Street movement.) So all these supposedly free market businessmen made all of these seemingly ludicrous investments because they knew they could count on the government to bail them out. The truly free market is about profits AND losses. That sort of risky behavior would have been punished instead of rewarded.

    3. As far as the “Tragedy of the Commons”, it is a real concern. For instance why did buffalo become endangered and not cows? (Aside from the fact that eliminating buffalo herds was a tactic used by the U.S. government in their genocidal war with Native Americans.) People owned cows. They made money off of cows. Therefore they had an interest in making sure there would always be more cows. They fed them and they bred them. They made sure that other people didn’t come around and kill their cows. But people didn’t own the buffalo. When they were hunting them, there was no incentive to make sure there would be enough left to keep the species going. Afterall, if I don’t kill this buffalo, someone else will. Assigning property rights in endangered species would be the single most effective means of ensuring the survival of said species.

    OK, this was just my attempt to answer a few of the topics brought up in the article. For more detailed analysis on how a genuine free market would be infinitely better than a state regulated one, please check out There’s tons of articles, videos, and audios. There are e-books and audiobooks that you can download for free. People like Murray Rothbard, Walter Block, Hans Herman-Hoppe, and Tom Woods have done amazing work on this.

    Look, we libertarians don’t want to kill bears. But if the bear is the metaphor for the government, then it has do die, because there’s simply no way to train the bear to take care of my pet salmon. It’s a bear. Eating salmon is in its nature. Destroying liberty is embedded in the very nature of government. To think it can do otherwise is truly utopian.

  27. No you dump shit. Ron Paul doesn’t believe in paying for roads though your Federal Taxes. The states themselves can still tax and make roads for you. There is nothing in the Constitution or Amendments that give power to any branch of the Federal Government to take money from your and provide roads. None at all.

    We are talking about the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT and not local and state governments.

    You think that it is right for the federal government to take money from you and the people in your state and give it to people in other states for their road ways?

    Everyone seems so willfully stupid these days when it comes to personal freedoms and getting the Federal Government out of our pockets.

    Let me give you an example of the Liberal side of things.

    Liberal would like everyone to have health insurance. They accomplish this by passing a law that forces everyone, even those that can’t afford it to buy health insurance. They also wanted, but didn’t seem to get, individual mandates; which force you to buy insurance or get fined.

    Liberal do this because they “value human life” and feel that everyone should be “entitled” to health insurance. That “entitled” system cost everyone more money in their taxes, because this has to be paid by someone, so it is yet another burden on those that they are trying to help out.

    Libertarians are not heartless people, myself included. I enjoy helping people. I also understand and accept that my days are numbered on this Earth as is everyone else’s. I love my wife, my dog, my friends, my family and myself. I would hate for any one of them to die or go though pain.

    We didn’t always have the modern medical marvels we have today. People suffered way before I was born and people will suffer way after I’m dead. This is apart of being a human The fact that if I don’t have enough money in the society that has been built by the governments and people before me; then I need to work harder and/or smarter.

    I must say though, you may all hate Ron Paul. He is the only thing that is different from what we have currently. Bush stated wars. Obama has continued the wars and started more wars. So Ron Paul is the only person that is different.

    Bush signed the PATRIOT ACT.
    Obama singed the PATRIOT ACT and the NDAA.

    I’m not sure which one is worse, but the currently Liberal President has taken due process away from the Citizens of this country and has made it where they can be arrested by the US Military.

    You might see Ron Paul as extreme. At least he doesn’t want to take away my freedoms. I do not want tanks on the streets of the US. You will see them if you do not stop the government from making laws that take power from you.

    But sure. Vote of Obama again. Maybe we can launch some nukes at Iran. You know deep down in your heart you like war no matter what side, right or left, you take. Blood thirsty hypocrites.

  28. then what you get is vastly higher state taxes. Now who’s dumb

    by the way, if there is so much of this charity that Ron Paul wants you to live on, ask yourself why there are so many children going hungry in this country. Ask yourself why 80% of the wealth is in the top 20% and yet we have millions of children knowing hungry.

    As for your last sentence and most of your post, you’re just getting carried away.

  29. “There is nothing in the Constitution or Amendments that give power to any branch of the Federal Government to take money from your and provide roads. None at all. ”

    article 1 section 2
    article 1 section 8
    amendment 16

    One of the reasons the Constitution was written was because the government had no method of collecting taxes. You really need to bone up on your history and get off the Ron Paul train

  30. You know what Shiva, your right. You name says it all – Giving or being a sign of future success.

    I’m sure that the Liberal views and your trust in Obama really gives the deity a good name.

    Your Obama signed the NDAA taking away your right to due process. You Obama signed the PATRIOT ACT that allows for warrant less searches and wiretaps. Please forgive me if I do not want to live under a military state, you might. I don’t know.

    Ron Paul may have been in office for 25+ years, but he is not part of the system. He is not part of the spending and he is not part of the war machine. He voted to go after Osama, not Iraq or Pakistan (yeah, Bush didn’t invade Pakistan, that was Obama.)

    I do not see success in the Liberal views that are on display in the Whitehouse today. I do not see them in congress either. What I do see is a bunch of killing by our past 2 presidents all in the name of Oil and Religion.

  31. and worse, what you stand for is giving your tax money to people like the Koch brothers who now own Wisconsin. Or you can take completely corrupted state like Florida whose governor is trying to make money off his medical operations by forcing people to take urine tests. Do I want to give my tax money to corrupt Republican governors who give away power plants? No

    You are very wrong again, constantly wrong in fact. Bush was in Pakistan before Obama took office. He was using drones there the same as we are now only in lesser numbers

    I don’t like the patriot act and I don’t like NDAA. There was nothing in the NDAA that any president doesn’t already have.

  32. There’s the thing. I no longer trust Obama. I did up until his idea to fix the banking crisis was to bailout the banks, put the people who broke the system back in charge to fix the system, and then resigned the Patriot Act.

    We’re living in a nation under manufactured terror, and I’m not voting to keep it anymore. I thought I was voting out of it last time, but I was wrong.

    Having said, that if Ron Paul isn’t going head-to-head with Obama, I will be re-electing him for a second term. He’s still an extremely smart, and articulate man. I’d rather the nation be lead by somebody smart than any other snake oil salesman.

    I think Obama’s done a lot of good, but in the areas that it counts (the war and the economy) we’re not doing anything to get out. We’re starting new wars, and inflating the bubble all over again.

    Gay marriage, healthcare, school systems, are all important. But what’s more important?

    I suppose at the end of the day, if Ron Paul were to win, he would just delay the inevitable until the next President shows up, and we’d be right back on track to invading all the other countries who have the ability to build a nuke. If America didn’t come across as the nation of war-mongering idiots, I’d imagine we’d have less people that would want to do us harm.

  33. How nice, another heartless conservative (who thinks that he or she is libertarian) troll with a nice, sheltered life and who doesn’t have a clue.

    Wake up, jackass. You’re blindly supporting the 1% (like I’ve heard so many conservative and “libertarian” trolls do). You AREN’T THINKING.

    BTW… I don’t want war no matter what. I don’t like war. All of the liberals I know don’t like war. Nobody in their right mind likes or wants war. We may be driven to it, but as a last resort.

    Unless you’re a bigger idiot than you seem, you would fight and possibly even kill to defend yourself or your family (if you have one). Nobody can blame someone for self-defense, and that goes true for countries as well.

  34. Rob, Obama was NOT the person who bailed out the banks. That was Bush. Obama was the person who changed things so that the money had to be repaid.

    That’s a canard put out by the conservatives, and one I regularly hear. Usually it’s told by dominionists who are Tea Party. They don’t even remember that the crisis started before President Obama and that Bush is responsible.

  35. One of the main points of this article is how the libertarian philosophy is “naive” because of the thought that everybody will do good things if they are free to do what they want. But at the same time, the author states that less “naive” liberals, get to understand the ugly reality and then start to work in order to the “society” (= mainly meaning government for them i assume), do good things for everybody, protects poor people, protect the weak against the strong, provide good services for everybody, and remains incorrupt and truly to the people necessites while doing so. My question is,

  36. My question is, ¿isn’t that naive itself?, if you accept that the existence of capital in hands of privates is necessary, and most of this “good things” to be done by the government is done by recurring or associating with the private capital owners (gov subsidies, gov contracts, gov mandates for you to acquire services from private companies), ¿how will u be certain that this two powers, (force monopoly and law enforcement from the gov. and money power from the capital owners), will not be as corrupt (even symbiotically) and willing only to take advantage of the system for their own benefit, as the “only private no government” libertarian utopia that you criticizes?. Is that you think that the fact that the government officials are elected in a “democratic” process restrain them from being corrupt?. I think reality has shown us that is not the case. Democracy can and its been manipulated and its representativity is questionable. News media is too, private capital strongly influence both and misinformation and manipulation of the masses occur, and people are not quite alert to this because in their minds is the idea that “government is protecting me”, while certainly is not for most part. So, government officials is people too, same as private capital owners,and both have equal chances of not being “well intended”, and since gov. officials are making the laws that can possible restrain goverment corruption … well, u get the idea.

    From that point of view, for me as roughly “libertarian”, makes a lot more sense a truly marxist and public owned system, if somebody came out with ideas to solve the political corruption and abuse, and solve the lack of price index for the correct distribution of goods and services that makes marxist system fail in the past … i will be glad to see that is another alternative for the current issues… “centralized capitalism” is not …

    For me the most important point of all , as the author points himself is, if we accept the necessity of the private capital, we must understand what is the promise of this system for the poor and the middle class. As i understand, the promises are mainly two,
    1) Increase in quality and decrease in prices of goods and services through enterprises competition
    2) The job that u can perform, even if is a “under skilled” job, will have demand and capital owners will have to “fight” for your services as long as unemployment is low (under 4% as different theories and studies says), so you will have resources and good salary to have a better life. This is also an argument for restraint illegal immigration, is not a race or chauvinistic issue, is just be faithful to this promise for the people inside a given country adopting the capitalist system, and making the sacrifice for the bad parts of it.

    So is important that government actions, do not violate this two promises. Lots of the “social protection” policies are doing it, even under truly good intentions, because they are most worried for immediate moral satisfaction more than long term effects. From all political spectrums, i think libertarians understand this more than others. I think there is room for government intervention for the most serious problems of the capitalist system, but we must not forget of the final objective and the desire of achivieing people self-reliance.

    Finally, i think there is room for more solid and non passionate discussion of this issues. There is a despective tone to the article i must say. There is also some valid points, but making a cartoonish depiction of libertarians is certainly not constructive. At least they are searching for alternatives and understanding of the current problems of the society. And what is so wrong about believing in people intelligence and selfdetermination?, i use to thought that liberals are champions of that … more and more i know them .. more im starting to think the opposite.

    P.D=Sorry for the bad english .. i´m a third world libertarian :P

  37. This is a STUNNINGLY well written analysis of libertarianism.

    My crib notes on libertarianism have always been:
    Libertarians are just anarchists with jobs.

  38. “Try to discuss abstruse international trade theory with a Libertarian and he’ll always manage to boil the issue down to a story about Jack and Judy trading car washes for pomegranate pastries.”
    ;)Pomegranates are socialist fruits. Peaches are the fruit of the Libertarian (one seed).

    Libertarianism would totally work — “if only they could manage to convince all of humanity to abruptly and simultaneously stop being assholes”

    if only

    until that day, it’s a puerile fantasy

  39. No system is perfect, but in my opinion, what it boils down to is we at least have some minor ability to control government, where we’d have absolutely no ability at all to control the handful of giant mega-corporations that would soon own everything in a Libertarian utopia.

    What’s naive about Libertarians is that they refuse to understand how capitalism really expresses itself in the real world, and they refuse to look at the past and admit WHY all these “terrible, job-killing” regulations and social programs needed to be put in place. The natural progression of capitalism is NOT “competition” and “free trade”, it’s DESTROY or buy out the competition and CONTROL the market.

    The fantasy that “the market will correct itself” has little basis in history or reality. If the government hadn’t stepped in to force Ma Bell to break up her monopoly on telecommunications, there would never have been any competition and certainly no way for the market to “correct itself” if there’s no one else to give your business to.

    And then there’s the basic fact of reality that you cannot simultaneously maximize profits for the shareholders AND ensure your employees live comfortable lives. Without government intervention, CEOs are NOT going to lose any sleep worrying about ethics, worker safety, or whether they’re enjoying any reasonable expectation of a standard of living. Their job is to reap profits for the shareholders. That’s IT.

    Look at what’s going on with Verizon right now. Those guys pay no taxes, in fact get almost 3 billion dollars back from the government, and made 6 billion dollars in PROFIT last year. Yet, they’re trying to justify cutting worker salaries and benefits and force people to do multiple jobs.

    Why would they do that? Because of the way Wall Street works. Even though they’re making plenty of money in profits, if they spend more money on workers this year, then that hurts their stock value. Shareholders don’t care that profit only went down a few hundred million dollars because worker’s benefits needed to be protected, they only care that their shares are worth a few cents less today than they were yesterday. For the top executives to hang on to their HUGE salaries and multi-tens-of-millions bonuses, they have to continue to find ways to squeeze a few more pennies of profit from somewhere, and cutting “overhead” (i.e. worker pay and benefits) is where they ALL end up looking for those pennies, sooner or later.

    It’s the nature of the beast. What capitalists really want is for America to become a third world country, where they can pay pennies a day for slave labor in local sweatshops in order to maximize their profits.

    This also shows the utter short-sightedness of those working as management in the capitalist system, because they’re so focused on this years dividend reports that they’re not wondering who will be left to buy their products when capitalism reaches it’s inevitable (if unchecked) destination.

    Libertarianism is naive because they look at the world the way it is NOW and think how much better it would be with no taxes and more freedom, but they don’t realize that if we had gone with Libertarianism form the start, the world wouldn’t BE the way it is now, it would be a nightmare tyranny beyond their tiny ability to imagine. You have to be completely ignorant of human nature and the nature of greed to believe that Libertarian concepts are workable in the real world.

    it’s a lovely dream, but it’s utterly unrealistic.

  40. But worse than basic Libertarians are the Ayn Rand cultists. They aren’t naive and actually are fully aware of all the stuff I said above but simply believe that it is “just and right” for those “superior supermen producers” to take everything for themselves and screw everyone else regardless of the cost in human suffering.

  41. Every question should be answered on the basis of it’s own merit, context and ramifications. Good answers can come from anywhere. The only real problem are extremist ideological points of view.

  42. Go back to school?


    You may be right about them using pot irregardless of who is in office, but at the same time, the main reason I’ve heard why people who use pot support Paul and the Libertarians is the one I gave. And those who used and supported the libertarians for the most part fit my description.

  43. One Point – Gas taxes are levied at the pump, collected by the state and sent to Washington. From there, the Government takes their cut (management fees, if you will) and redistributes the money back to the states according to some formula that may or may not be affected by favoritism or other political input. Why not let the states keep the money they collect and remove the management fee so states will have more money to spend on roads? be cause it takes the government out of the loop, they loose control of that large chunk of money.

    We have all seen how the government holds that money over states heads when they want something done. (i.e. reduce the speed limit to 55 or we won’t give you your gas tax money back)

    That is what Ron Paul is talking about when he says ending federal gas taxes. The Federal government should not be in the highway business. We all know highways are great, they bring commerce to the many places they pass through, but I think the states are well formed enough now to maintain that infrastructure. If not, the state will fail to attract new business, people will move to states with better roads, following the work, taxes revenues will fall, and the state government will loos their own little pile of money to play with.

    Remember, the government doesn’t have any money. They get it from us and then act like they are doing us a favor by sharing a little back.

  44. Regarding the workers versus shareholders necessities, you are certainly right about the driven forces involved, but i can make you a real example about my country (Chile), around 1995 we get to a point when we get 5,5% unemployment and salaries start to rise sharply. Then we start getting a strong flow of people from surrounding countries, (peru, bolivia and argentina, not in good economical shape at that time) around 250 thousand people in 2 years for a workforce of around 8 million people, thats (thats 3% more workforce), with gov. annuance and under the pretext that our enterprises were losing “international competitivity” which supossedly will hurt ultimately the workers (lobbiest and labor unions in the same train too). Salaries do not rise anymore, then the asian crysis came and start to tumble since then, (not so bad thought compared with others countries). That is and example of an indirect bailout from the gov to the enterprises, under the pretext of “helping the workers” at the cost of the perspective of better salaries for them.
    Also, during this last decade of crysis, the gov, create lot of social programs to protect the least favored people, and also protectionist measures for different productive sectors (agriculture, wood and paper, fisheries) The objective was achieved, and income unequality growth sharply ….

    The general collectivist ideologist around the world(liberal, socialist, socialdemocrats and moderate right wingers) ,are mainly advocating for redistribution of the wealth from the rich to the poor via taxes in order to implement social programs. And that is what perplex me more about this ideologies. By de-facto this means accept and perpetuate the existence of big business that pays this taxes, and perpetuating a critical mass of poor people receiving a part of this taxes (which the poor must expend acquiring goods and services from the designated rich providers, and of course a good fraction been retained in burocracy and finance of political actors). That is like the state saying, ok rich guys, here are a big bag of poor people that will work for you, for little money, mantained by the state, (mis)educated by the state, feeded by the state, with the money that we get from you. But think again, that money came from where?, Big business?, they just increase the prices to compensate for the higher taxes, wipe out a good part of smaller competitors that can not do so and stay competitive, and since the poor and middle class expend a higher % of their salaries buying stuff, ultimately that money came from them.

    So i will like this paradox to be explained to me from current collectivist in general. They are not advocating state controlled production anymore, they accept the existence of private capital, and everywhere in the world this is stimulating the creation of monopolies by the restrictions imposed by taxation and regulations, by the gov giving to the banks the power to lend money without a backing in real values (fiat money system), and by the people been forced to acquire health insurances, pension insurances, and such. Perhaps the exception is countries like finland and norway and such, where is a very low level of political corruption, a high level of people education and culture and a general sence of social morality. (also a high initial level of excess wealth that allows big expends on social programs). Is this achievable in most countries of western hemisphere?, i think not.

    I agree with you that for the current state of things, extreme libertarism is unpractical, state is needed to enforce contracts and prevent anticompetition practices, and the level and extent of this actions i think is the main point to discuss regarding economical issues, but nobody is adressing this kind of things. Anyway i´m mainly advocating for awareness of the net result of the so called “wealth redistribution policies”, and the complete loss of the initial objective of the free market system. Is not working, poor people is getting crumbles at the expense of growing inequality. So for me the thing is, more free market or a completely new and revolutionary state controlled system (ala Venus project, … not good if you want freedom to smoke, get drunk, have a flashy car, burn some meat in a barbecue and other stupid things like that which make us humans)

  45. uite frankly I have seen how Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan act, I think the less that goes to the management of most states the better off we are. However, we must rememeber that money also is spread out where its needed. Montana being far less populated but having US highways would need federal monney.

    I have far more faith in the fed than I do the easily corruptible states

  46. Author is a big government socialist. He has no clue what our founding fathers had in mind when they founded this country. Couldn’t even finish the article. Crap. Liberals want to blame the corporations for the problems created in this country, yet want to turn around and make the government larger which breeds MORE greed and corruption that corporations then lobby the government and make more money. Liberals are blind. Republicans are idiots. Ron Paul is on a team of his own. He tells the truth. He is not corrupted like Obama, Bush, and 95% of congress. You need to do a little more homework before you spew this crap.

  47. Article 1 Section 2: direct taxes were never instated.

    Article 1 Section 8: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    As you can see Congress has a right, Not the President. The IRS, our tax collectors, is under the Department of Treasury. The Head of the DoTreasury is appointed by our President. This is giving control to the President and not to Congress. Thus Paying taxes to the Executive branch is unlawful.

    “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States” – This is the big key here.

    Defense is currently an offense to most people. They like the preemptive strikes. Lets strick before someone else strikes us. That is war on the world, not a defense.

    “but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States”

    This part looks like everything should be paid out equally. I don’t see our current government coming close to this accomplishment. My mom can’t get Social Security money back she paid in because she didn’t pay in enough while others that didn’t pay into the system get welfare and food stamps, fuck like bunnies to get more government handouts.

    The 16th amendment was put in place because direct taxes were never put into effect. I guess it was easier to make everyone pay taxes than to get the direct taxes the Constitution required.

    Still no matter how the taxes are pulled in you still need to be providing for the common defense and welfare;not war on Drugs and War on Terror. If anything the US Government terrorizes the people people, so that they can use the fear of the people to go to more wars.

    Before you start in on me about the “General Welfare” clause in the there and how we should pay taxes for those that do not want to work for themselves and have as many kids as possible.

    If our government was really concerned about the “General Welfare” of this country then we wouldn’t pay farmers to not grow food. “What you mean our government pays farmers to not grow food?” Yes our government does that. So if they really cared they would pay farmer to keep up the equipment that would harvest the food so that prices when they get to market would be much lower, thus allowing for poor families to afford food with out the use of food stamps.

    So from my perspective I while the government has a right to take taxes, they also have an obligation to defend this country (you cannot defend a goal when you are playing on another field) and to make sure the people of this country have food and shelter.

    When we are truly doing that, I will be happy to pay taxes. Until then I do not want to pay for wars over seas that do nothing but make others angry at us.

    So your right, they are there with stipulations. Those stipulations are not being met thus makes taxes null and void. Or is that not how contracts work these days?

  48. I’m not heartless. I just don’t think taking form someone and giving to another is right, maybe you do.

    I support the 1% who have things I want to buy like my cell phone or my TV. When it comes to things that I can get form someone local, when I can find someone local, I go with the local person even if the cost is greater.

    I work for a living myself. I have a full time job in IT and I blow glass in the evening trying to start another career for myself and more income for my family (yes I do have one).

    It doesn’t really matter if you like war or don’t like war. When you vote for a president that wants to go to war to “prevent” something form happening you might as well nuke the world, because every nation is a treat when they think it is their time to wear the pants. Right now the US is bullying other nations. Didn’t we make a law about bullying? maybe not.

    I would kill to protect my family. That doesn’t mean that I kill every one I see as they can all be considered a threat.

    9-11 was a sad day. 10 years later we have killed Osama and taken care of the man behind the attacks according to our government. Why then are we still there? Why did we invade Iraq? Why are we in Pakistan? Why are we about to go to war with Iran, because of a nuke? Do we not have nukes? what gives us the right to have and use nukes and no one else? Are our noses so high in the air that we can see the ground where we are walking?

    So you take your Liberal views of not liking war, and your preemptive strikes against other countries that do now like us, or who have people that don’t like us, and shove them up your ass. It is meaningless words that spew out of your mouth when you still support war lords.

  49. OH REALLY?

    You do consider Thomas Jefferson to be a “Founder”, don’t you. Well, I learned something last night that I hadn’t known about him – from a surprising source (TV program).

    He pledged to give a huge sum for that day, $200 a year, to fund public schools. He not only pledged it, but kept his word. He put his money where his mouth was… and public education is one of those things the braindead conservatives like to denigrate as “Socialism”. Yep, he supported a “socialist cause”! It goes to show that people who spew things like “liberals don’t know what the Founders intended” don’t know what they’re talking about, and that they’re motivated by their ideology even though source documents prove them wrong.

    You need to study some more history before you open your mouth. In fact, it sounds to me like you’ve been listening to those wannabe historian fakes like Barton, who spew lies for the dominionists.

  50. look at it another way. The term the says that powers not given to the federal government will be given to the states was put in to get two men to sign the Constitution. there were too many people who really wanted to sign this Constitution in fact out of 55 only 39 of them did. So we take that quote above and just give it a nod and a wink? There’s a lot of people that hang their hats on that quote thinking that it was important to the founding fathers. It wasn’t. The only thing that was important to the founding fathers was that the states get equal representation because at that time the large states had more representation of the small states that.

    is it any less important than the government being able to collect taxes? The Constitution was written because the articles of Confederation did not allow for commerce( the states had to compete with each other with their own representatives overseas, they wanted the federal government to take that over), the the articles did not provide for the government collecting taxes to provide the things that the government had to take care of, the articles did not provide for a Congress with two houses and what’s more the articles did not provide for a president of the United States.

    The claim that the government cannot collect taxes is bogus. Quite a few of the people At the Constitutional convention wanted the president to serve for life. They only wanted people who were worth over $100,000 at that time to represent people, and that representation would be made up of the wealthy making the decisions for the people not because of the people.

    My point is that there is a great amount of stuff in the Constitution that people have erroneous ideas about when it concerns the founding fathers and what they wanted. But collecting taxes was one of them

  51. I have to ask seeing as how you support the 1%, do you support 80% of the wealth in this country setting in the lapse of 20% of the people?

    A successful country as a wealth distribution of 20% – 60% – 20%. Ours is skewed at 80% -10% – 10%.( approximate). That is not a recipe for success under any circumstances. A country such as the Netherlands is vastly more successful and able to have important things like universal healthcare because of its distribution. The United States used to have that distribution until Ronald Reagan came along and started throwing more and more money at the rich. That is one hour distribution started to change. It is now reached a point where it cannot be successful as we know success. The nice house with a white picket fence.

  52. You seem to have a very poor understanding of Ron Paul’s ideas as well as what Libertarians actually believe. You seem to get stuck on certain ideas like personal liberties and make extreme examples and assumptions of what could happen with no real understanding of the subject. Your English is very good though and your able to make quite a argument through bullshitting.

  53. Excuse me, but it was Bush, a dominionist and conservative (neoconservative at that) who got us into that war, not a liberal. In other words, a Republican. Ask him, not us, why America went into Iraq. (Bush got us in, President Obama got us out or almost all the way out.)

    As far as going to war with Iran, the ONLY people I hear that bullshit from is dominionists, who actually WANT a nuclear war (so as to force Jesus to return). The only people I’ve heard “preemptive strike” from is the neoconservatives and the dominionists, whom we despise. Personally, I’d rather see a law passed that we cannot use military force unless we ARE attacked or invaded.

    Your language makes me suspect that you’re a dominionist troll, because the only place I’ve heard liberals blamed for everything is from the dominionists (who are the antithesis of what they claim to be). Either you are woefully ignorant, or you’re just prattling the company line from the preachers. Plus, everything you have said reinforces the image you give, of a heartless, selfish SOB who has had a sheltered life and doesn’t know what real suffering is.

  54. If you listen to any one side long enough, you get brain-washed to that side. Everybody should learn to flip-flop every once in a while.

    Nothing is black and white in this world, and there are always extremes. You can enjoy riding your bike down and hill, and know when to stop before you’re riding it off a mountain. All things in moderation perhaps?

  55. I think you meant “puerile.” And I don’t think you understand the meaning of the expression “argument by intimidation.” But thanks for playing!

  56. Well, that will never happen — the Republicans wouldn’t permit it, and Democrats won’t vote for him.

  57. Definition of IRREGARDLESS
    : regardless
    Usage Discussion of IRREGARDLESS
    Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.
    Examples of IRREGARDLESS

    I told them that irregardless of what you read in books, they’s some members of the theatrical profession that occasionally visits the place where they sleep. —Ring Lardner, The Big Town, 1921

    Origin of IRREGARDLESS
    probably blend of irrespective and regardless
    First Known Use: circa 1912

  58. I was wondering how many “libertarians” you keep regular contact with?(I don’t mean contact as in; misjudging or communicating AT with condescending statements like you’ve done here). I mean how many have you formed an actual bond with an respect enough as individuals whom are strong enough in their beliefs to base an entire group off of their personas? The description you provided is rather generalized, cliche, and to some extent disrespectful.

  59. I am constantly amazed at the number of people that say the author is wrong but never, and I do mean never have anything to say except he is wrong. Is it becuase they don’t know what libertarianism is themselves?

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