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Communism, Libertarianism and Ron Paul

When Ron Paul picked up an endorsement from a Nevada Brothel (“Hookers for Paul”) people were shocked, yet it fits perfectly with the Libertarian position (as do his strange foreign policy ideas). Why are people surprised Ron Paul would pick up such endorsements? Perhaps they don’t understand what Libertarians actually believe and the major flaws in the Libertarian position. Socialists (and many Democrats) have similar issues — both make major errors in understanding the human condition leading to major political problems.

Communism/Socialism believes man is basically good, that someone would be willing to go to school for many years, work long hours, study hard and sacrifice to be a doctor when the garbage man makes the same money. Why? “From every man according to his ability and to every man according to his need” simply doesn’t work as it lacks any incentive to work hard and outperform your fellow man for greater reward. Without an incentive, little reason exists to work harder than everyone else.

Libertarianism fails for similar reasons (even though it differs considerably from Communism). We don’t need laws regulating drugs, because everyone is free to do what they want. But when the drugged-up person runs into a school bus of kids, their liberty interferes with someone’s else’s. Here’s where Libertarians make their mistake — they believe people will basically do the right thing if left alone. Wrong. Sadly, many won’t unless grave consequences exist.

History of course, shows man is not basically good, thus both political philosophies fail (the only thing man learns from history is man learns nothing from history). Socialists, Communists and Libertarians all fail to learn from history — and are doomed to repeat it if and when they implement their policies upon election.

Man is greedy by nature; the only system which uses that basic nature (and does not deny it) is capitalism. Of course, unbridled capitalism leads to many problems by itself. But as a starting point it at least understands the human condition which the other philosophies seek to deny — man is a greedy self-serving creature who will almost always act in his own best self interests.

Libertarianism sounds good (and many conservatives fall for its siren song), but fails by making the basic assumption left alone man will make correct choices; history shows this is not the case. The modern Libertarian party has been overrun by the drug legalization crowd and other fringe groups, bearing little resemblance to the party of years ago. As such, it’s no surprise Ron Paul is endorsed by fringe groups seeking approval for their destructive behavior.

So what works? A foundation of capitalism, but restrained by moderate regulation, charity, and personal responsibility; what we call constitutional conservatism:

  1. Textual interpretation of the Constitution — The Constitution is not a “living document”. In order to have a consistent system, judicial activism must not happen. Judges must interpret laws, not create them.
  2. Fiscal responsibility — All levels of government must balance budgets each year. Republicans and Democrats alike both spend too much. It’s citizen’s money and they should exercise prudence.
  3. Charity — It is not the role of government to take care of people. Each citizen has a moral responsibility to help those less fortunate. While it would be immoral to end current programs to those who depend on them, the growth must be stopped.
  4. Personal responsibility — It’s time society stops allowing “victims” to shift the blame somewhere else — it’s not the twinkie’s fault.
  5. Understand man is basically greedy and self-serving, and use that knowledge when needed, and protect society when needed.

Many people make the mistake of equating Libertarianism with Conservatism. Yet while they have a few similarities, they are not otherwise equal; Ron Paul is not the savior of the Republican party. He’s not really a Republican, and is most definitely not a conservative. You may or may not like him, but understand the difference between Libertarians and Conservatives. Ron Paul is a Libertarian, not a conservative — a big difference exists between the two.

Looking for a candidate which doesn’t deny basic human nature, takes care of fellow man, is fiscally responsible while not endorsing theft (income redistribution) isn’t an easy task. Yet if the country is to move forward and not repeat the mistakes of the past, it’s vital — there aren’t many Southern Democrats left, and the Republicans ship of fiscal responsibility left the pier long ago (and is sinking).

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4 Comments

  1. Colin says:

    Great article. I have been granted some time this morning, so I thought I would elaborate on a few of these points.

    Communism/Socialism believes man is basically good, that someone would be willing to go to school for many years, work long hours, study hard and sacrifice to be a doctor when the garbage man makes the same money. Why? “From
    every man according to his ability and to every man according to his need” simply doesn’t work as it lacks any incentive to work hard and outperform your fellow man for greater reward. Without an incentive, little reason exists to work harder than everyone else.

    This is true. However, this is merely the pragmatic mechanism of socialism. Philosophically and ethically, socialism is considerably more evil. It declares that men do not have free will and are born with inherent debt to their fellow men. Man is obligated to enslave himself to a faceless collective entity or ideal. He has no rights, no self and no soul.

    Even conservatives, libertarians or anarchists can be philosophical socialists – any policy or position which makes men into the forced laborers/servants of an other man, an ideal or a collective body is inherently socialist. For example, I have seen countless Ron Paul supporters proclaiming that it is you “duty as an American” to vote Ron Paul. Such is the same oxymoronic rhetoric as fighting communism with the draconian methods used in the US in the 1920’s through 1950’s. Freedom is not served by authoritarianism.

    Libertarianism fails for similar reasons (even though it differs considerably from Communism). We don’t need laws regulating drugs, because everyone is free to do what they want. But when the drugged-up person runs into a school bus of kids, their liberty interferes with someone’s else’s. Here’s where Libertarians make their mistake — they believe people will basically do the right thing if left alone. Wrong. Sadly, many won’t unless grave consequences exist.

    Only a reckless person would justify a libertarian position with language like that – unfortunately, some do. Your argument uses the same fallacy that “hate crimes” legislation uses – that somehow it’s a different crime because of some extraneous factor (such as racism). A person running into a school bus full of kids is guilty regardless of whether he’s blind, on drugs or has neglected to put brakes on his car. He hit a bus full of kids – that is the crime.

    If he uses drugs in his house and watches tv – he’s not morally equivalent to a drunk driver or “drugged” driver. We don’t punish people when they drink alcohol in a restaurant, but if they assault someone, drive into a mailbox or run over a bicyclist they are severely punished because they committed a crime. This is a standard principle of all law abiding societies and our own constitution – that the punishment fits the crime.

    Solid secular law based on Greek, Roman, Judeo-Christian and natural law philosophy requires a crime to be clearly defined, to have an external victim and a perpetrator. For example, we cannot sue “global warming”, nor can we defend “the planet” nor can we call the crime “polluting the earth.” We can quantify that CEO Jack dumped toxic chemicals on farmer Bubba’s property. Voluntary drug use cannot enter the legal system unless there is a clear crime, perpetrator and victim. Doing otherwise makes a mockery of law and order, despite the endurance of grand buildings, official documents and judges and officers with intimidating uniforms. Until a drug user commits a real crime, he must be presumed innocent like the rest of us – although there are some who would see this fundamental right abused as well.

    History of course, shows man is not basically good, thus both political philosophies fail (the only thing man learns from history is man learns nothing from history). Socialists, Communists and Libertarians all fail to learn from history — and are doomed to repeat it if and when they implement their policies upon election.

    Libertarians do not argue that man is basically good. In fact, it is that man is basically evil which validates libertarianism. Foremost, evil men do not become government officials and suddenly become self-sacrificial philosopher-kings. Even worse than when they were evil men without the power of government behind them, they now have the only monopoly on force (the state) to wield against any they would like. An authoritarian position (that men require government – regardless of the form) is the one that ignorantly makes the presumption that men with power will not abuse it. History is indeed a long testament of abuses – and the greatest of these were all accomplished by men who wielded the power and form of government.

    Man is greedy by nature; the only system which uses that basic nature (and does not deny it) is capitalism. Of course, unbridled capitalism leads to many problems by itself. But as a starting point it at least understands the human condition which the other philosophies seek to deny — man is a greedy self-serving creature who will almost always act in his own best self interests.

    Man is indeed inherently greedy and selfish. He will enslave others, steal and kill if he is given the chance. By contrast, capitalism has been the greatest force for good in the world, not because it converts men to goodness, but because it restrains them from their evil nature. While I happen to believe Jesus Christ is the only one who can truly convert men, capitalism is the second most powerful force to restrain men because it operates based on the principle that men should not be allowed the power of force.

    Capitalism declares that men are free to pursue their lives, liberty and attain property through voluntary, mutual benefit. Men are encouraged to make peace with each other, as it is to each man’s benefit to trade. Capitalism has been the second greatest (again, second to Christ) force for peace the world has ever known. By integrating people all over the world in a mutual survival and prosperity, it causes us to put our differences aside. Man does not become a self-sacrificing individual, but suddenly his greed and selfishness is (via unintended consequences) attached to the benefit of other men. For example, a businessman expands his business out of selfish gain, but in addition to increased profit for him, 100 more jobs are created for others and more money now exists for everyone’s benefit.

    Libertarianism sounds good (and many conservatives fall for its siren song), but fails by making the basic assumption left alone man will make correct choices; history shows this is not the case. The modern Libertarian party has been overrun by the drug legalization crowd and other fringe groups, bearing little resemblance to the party of years ago. As such, it’s no surprise Ron Paul is endorsed by fringe groups seeking approval for their destructive behavior.

    Clearly, drug use and prostitution (for example) are destructive behaviors. But fortunately, as outlined before, against precluding an actual crime against someone (which already have plenty of legal framework to be dealt with) the destruction of these people is their own. While I suspect many in the drug/prostitution crowd want the laws gone so they can destroy themselves, the rest of us want them gone because of (among other pragmatic reasons) they are authoritarian in nature – declaring that man has no free will and is obligated to serve other men by force. Again, this might be called compassionate or conservative, but it is philosophically socialist and incompatible with freedom and a free society.

  2. Michael says:

    “Libertarianism sounds good (and many conservatives fall for its siren song), but fails by making the basic assumption left alone man will make correct choices; history shows this is not the case.”

    What history are you refering to?

  3. For starters, just look at the drunk driving and drug abuse problems – and those actually have a legal penalty.

  4. semporion says:

    ““From every man according to his ability and to every man according to his need” simply doesn’t work as it lacks any incentive to work hard and outperform your fellow man for greater reward. Without an incentive, little reason exists to work harder than everyone else.”

    why to strive to work more? why not work less and have more time for family, friends, hobbies, fun, nature?

    i know that US propaganda taught you bad bad things about communism since WW2 (Soviet times, Cuba) but it’s propaganda and the meaning of propaganda is to instruct the masses what is bonafide and what is not (brainwashing). i’m coming from former Yugoslavia, i’ve had opportunity to experience two systems on my own skin: socialism and capitalism. Yugoslavia was entirely independent and tailored its socio-economic system to suit best. there were many nations which ended under Soviets (Romania, Poland, frmr. Czechoslovakia, East Germany,….) and had no such luck. Yugoslavia was pretty much open to the western world, we could go freely abroad to European countries, we’ve been partner to Europe and to Russia, serving as a bridge to both worlds. we were open to the western brands, our factories produced Adidas shoes, Volkswagen and Renault cars,…

    the making money in socialism/communism is actually not so important than the quality of your life (the true happiness does not come from goods, even small children know that, but from giving out, sharing love). there was a very high hygiene of social standards for everyone: free health insurance, free kindergartens, free education from grammar school to university, (almost) free public transports, the real-estates were damn cheap (houses for a price of a new middle class car and if you couldn’t buy a house government gave you free flat and there was absolutely no homeless on the streets), there was almost no criminality, no unemployment because the production was planned, it did not depend on market (the bad thing is that sometimes there was a surpluss and sometimes deficit of certain goods).

    people were living modest but they absolutely didn’t have to worry about things like: how will i pay for mortgage, will i get the pension, what if i go bankrupt, what if my insurance company denies health expenses? there was a big stress on solidarity, volunteer jobs, young people went on working to help build a bridge or a road free of charge, having good time, singing, getting inlove, having sex.. 🙂 in general, people were feeling more much more responsible for making and maintaining society.

    capitalism brought competition and the competition is “i can work more than my coleague until i burn out” and in striving to catch the carrot on the stick, you end having no time for your self, family, friends, everything is scheduled, you’re becoming more and more of a manufacturing machine processing mundane tasks, unhappy, empty and lonely. they don’t have time to think and feel, to create and invent but solely to perform. from global perspective, human being’s meaning of life is reduced from son of nature to a machine described with attributes like effectivenes/productivity/expenditures. non-thinking consumer. more credit cards and loans the better citizen.

    humane?

    capitalism is a cruel system with unfair distribution of the wealth. it’s not true that competition works best for the best that they get the most. the invisible mechanism almost assures that the poor are becoming only poorer and the wealthy becoming only wealthier. and the best do really never attain the elite, more the sickest and most hypocritical. the members of the elite are resistant to mechanism of competition. and when the “in charge” and “in power (of capital)” come to work together from the same group of people these people will never get to be displaced from their positions they own all vital powers of the society (media, politics, businesses, banks, insurance companies, schools, universities, federal reserve system, water resources, patents, medicals, health system, pension system…). and so via ownership the society ends up in the magic circle of domination of few people/families which rule the nations for decades and no matter how badass they may be and no matter the freedom of speech you can do… nothing. and this is de-facto autoritarian dictatorship – they can do anything because they own (the capital which is the crown). they own and will own more. they can and will be able to do more. and the rest work and will work more.

    so please don’t critisize capitalism / socialism, they are most humane systems humankind has invented. Yugoslavia was practical example. it was not perfect but way better than what we having. how and why it ended, is not important coz whatever is born must die, it’s the law of nature.

    hopin best for you, fellow Americans. listen to your heart – what makes you truly happy. is it stealing from someone and making him sad or giving to someone and making him happy? is it support for a privatization of army (Blackwater), designing time bomb who can one day slaughter thousands of your fellow Americans or is it caring about a child in your heart? man can be anything – greedy and selfish or empathetic and generous – it’s all a matter of choice. it’s what makes us human – the choice – animals can’t choose.

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