Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ron Paul: Wolves Agreeing on the Dinner Menu

It surprised some people more than it should have that Ron Paul's first witness was an outright racist celebrator of 'states' rights'. It's yet another display, for those who still need it, of the utter emptiness of libertarianism as political or moral doctrine, as philosophy, and as a basis for policy making.

Paul's take on human liberty amounts to nothing more nor less than that the liberty of the strong to act is a meaningless and empty illusion unless it trumps that of the weak to live without somebody beating the living shit out of them. Citing the fact that government power needs restraint, he refuses to accept that other actors, too, have power requiring restraint, which is one of the raisons d'etre of government in the first place. He basically demands that cigar smokers should feel free to light up in a room full of asthmatics.

The parallel to free speech comes to mind: a First Amendment absolutist refuses to let government censor, say, the right of Nazis to parade through a Jewish neighborhood, lest that same power be asserted to suppress any dissenting voice at all. It's entirely potted to view a citizen's relationship with government similarly; government is nothing if not a creature of its citizens, or, at least, that's what them there Founders' Original Intent was. And without some sort of restraint, or a human nature radically different from that seen throughout history and today, you're left with the strong contending with the weak. Not all that desirable, that, not even, in the long run, for the strong. You'd think the word would have got around...

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