Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

March 20, 2007

Rudolph Giuliani In His Own Words

by Doug Mataconis

The date is March 20, 1994. The forum is a conference on crime in major cities sponsored by the New York Post. The speaker is Rudy Giuliani: [Emphasis is mine]

We constantly present the false impression that government can solve problems that government in America was designed not to solve. Families are significantly less important in the development of children today than they were 30 or 40 years ago. Religion has less influence than it did 30 or 40 years ago. Communities don’t mean what they meant 30 or 40 years ago.

As Americans, we’re not sure we share values. We’re sometimes even afraid to use the word values. We talk about teaching ethics in schools — people say, “What ethics? Whose ethics? Maybe we can’t.” And they confuse that with teaching of religion. And we are afraid to reaffirm the basics upon which a lawful and a decent society are based. We’re almost embarrassed by it.

We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

Okay, so there you have it. Freedom is about your willingness to give up your freedom.

And War is Peace.

And Ignorance Is Strength.

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  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/a-bit-about-kevin/ Kevin

    Okay everyone, tell me how Hillary is worse than Guiliani again.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Kevin,

    The phrase “two sides of the same coin” comes to mind right now.

  • uhm

    He supposed to be a moderate libertarian? He must love our police state ;)

  • http://anarchangel.blogspot.com Chris

    A moderate Libertarian? No. I don’t think anyone would ever have said that. He’s a liberal Republican (a tendency common to New York Republicans), with a strong authoritarian streak.

  • Mark T

    This stuns me. The references to the slogans from “1984” are dead-on. How can a rational, thinking person define freedom as the subjugation of all of oneself not just to a person, but to a bureaucracy (today’s implementation of “lawful authority” at multiple levels)? A bureaucracy, like other large organizations, has no soul, no conscience, and no ethics. Who watches the watchers?

    If he would define freedom in this way, I cannot trust the rest of his remarks to reflect the plain, common understanding of those words either. Anything he says could mean anything that could be imagined.

    Give me liberty and do NOT give me Rudolph Giuliani.

  • Wild Pegasus

    Guys, need I remind you GOD BLESS AMERICA UNITED WE STAND SUPPORT THE TROOPS 9/11 NEVAR FORGET WE MUST FIGHT THEM THERE OR THEY MARCH ON AKRON

    – Josh

  • BCSBuck

    Not sure why all the handwringing. Without lawful authority you have either A) unlawful authority (i.e. dictatorship) or B) no authority (i.e. anarchy).

    I see nothing in here that says “police state.” In fact, the first sentence says something very supportive of limited government: “We constantly present the false impression that government can solve problems that government in America was designed not to solve.” The highlighted passage seems to me to express the genius of America, that we are one of the free-est countries on the planet precisely because of our enlightened rule of law, not in spite of it.

  • uhm

    People do call him a “Moderate Libertarian.” He looks like a Liberal Republican to me as well.

    I support the troops. I don’t want their sacrifices to be in vain.

    The last sentence saying freedom is when people give up a “great deal of” privacy sounds like someone who is for a “police state.”

  • http://www.freedomdemocrats.org/ LoganFerree

    Doug, I’m tracking down how this quote managed to spread online, what was your source in pointing this out to you?

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Logan, I picked it up from a post at LewRockwell.com and they linked to a Yahoo group that had a link to the NY Times. I should’ve noted that in the post

  • http://doublethinkblog.blogspot.com Jono

    He is quite fluent in doublespeak.

    The only possible defence might be in the words “cede authority”…

    Did he possibly refer to voluntarily ceding authority over to some authority who has discretion over many decisions ?

    I very much doubt it. I think he’s referring to being coercively governed and heavily regulated.

    Although this was 1994, I’d be very scared if Rudy didn’t immediately distance himself from those comments.

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    Kevin asks what’s the difference between Giuliani and Hillary?

    Answer: 30 points.

    Giuliani scored as a Moderate Libertarian on OntheIssues.com with a 60/60.

    Hillary scored as a Liberal with 60/30.

    Now which one would you rather have?

    BTW, Ron Paul scored a 70/70. He was the best scorer on the Index. Though, he continues to poll at less than 2%, at 0% in fact, in most national polls.

    So, which would you rather have, the 60/60 scorer who might actually win, or the 70/70 scorer at less than 2% in national polls?

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    Note to Kevin… Giuliani cut taxes in NYC 26 times as Mayor.

    Has Hillary Clinton ever cut taxes?

  • http://unrepentantindividual.com/ Brad Warbiany

    Eric,

    Why would I want to vote for someone that expects me to cede a great deal of my rights to his “lawful authority”?

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/a-bit-about-kevin/ Kevin

    Eric,

    If given a choice between Hillary and Rudy, I’ll vote Hillary. At least Hillary will have opposition to her totalitarian agenda while Rudy’s totalitarian agenda will have no opposition and quiet obedient support.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Kevin,

    Left with a choice between Hillary and Rudy, the option of moving to New Zealand would be very tempting.

  • http://unrepentantindividual.com/ Brad Warbiany

    Kevin,

    Don’t do that. That falls into their false choice. If I’m faced with Rudy vs. Hillary, I’ll probably vote for the Libertarian candidate.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/a-bit-about-kevin/ Kevin

    Left with a choice between Hillary and Rudy, the option of moving to New Zealand would be very tempting.

    Better yet, Australia. Or perhaps even New Hampshire.

    Don’t do that. That falls into their false choice. If I’m faced with Rudy vs. Hillary, I’ll probably vote for the Libertarian candidate.

    And why should I reward the incompetant loon the LP will probably nominate with my vote? Just because the Republican and Democrat candidates are horrendous (like a Rudy/Hillary race) doesn’t mean an unqualified Libertarian should receive your vote. Try staying home and selling hot dogs outside the polling place.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org Doug Mataconis

    Kevin & Brad,

    In the past, I probably would follow Brad’s lead and vote LP if given the choice between Rudy and Hillary…or McCain and Hillary….or Rudy and Obama….or McCain and Obama.

    You get the idea.

    I would consider doing that this time around, but only if the LP actually nominates someone credible.

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