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

“I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”     Ayn Rand

January 15, 2008

Ron Paul And Libertarian Orthodoxy

by Doug Mataconis

There’s been much discussion here in the days since the Paul newsletter story broke about the extent to which some Ron Paul supporters seem to have the view that calling oneself a libertarian obligates you to support the Paul campaign.

Apropos of that discussion, I was recently clued into this “Open Letter To Libertarians” written by Walter Block and posted on Lew Rockwell’s site:

In my view, the “Ron Paul question” constitutes a litmus test for libertarians. Simply put, the “Ron Paul question” consists of determining whether or not a person supports Dr. Paul. If so, as I see matters, he passes this test and can be constituted a libertarian; if not, his credentials are to that extent suspect.

I’ve read much of what Block has written over the years and generally thought of him as a reasonable person, but this one quote symbolizes for me what is wrong with the Rockwellian brand of libertarianism. Unless you support us, they say, you’re not a real libertarian.

And it seems to be an orthodoxy that the campaign’s supporters picked up on, as I noted in this comment:

Over the past year, I have posted about Ron Paul because the campaign was an important issue for libertarians. I’ve praised where I thought he deserved prasie and criticized him where I thought he deserved criticism.

And when I criticized, I got attacked — mostly, not so much for my ideas but because I dared to attack St. Ron. This caused me to become more and more skeptical about this campaign and whether it will amount to anything in the struggle for liberty.

But I was still rooting for him, because people were talking about libertarian ideas on CNN, FOX, and elsewhere.

At one point I had even written a post that I intended to publish on my personal blog formally endorsing his candidacy. Then in December the Stormfront story started coming out, and I held back. Frankly, after this latest fiasco, I am glad that I did. Last week, I finally deleted the draft of that post.

You might disagree with my opinion, but it is mine. And I think the worst thing that has come out of this campaign has been the assertion by some that if you don’t support Ron Paul, you’re not a “real” libertarian.

And how are the high priests reaction ? Almost like nothing happened:

There is, I suspect, little joy in Auburn right now. That the crew at LRC is responding to these events in much the same way that they’ve always mocked the Randroids for acting is telling. Hopefully that behavior is driven by genuine shock and confusion rather than by knowledge of their own culpability in what’s fast turning into a combination black eye, broken jaw and diagnosis of venereal disease for the libertarian movement.

We’ll be talking about this one for awhile, I think.

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68 Comments

  1. The idea that Ron Paul is a viable litmus test for libertarianism is laughable.

    Let us recall that, prior to the TNR scandal, Paul consistently declined to use the word “libertarian” in his campaign speeches and interviews, the word “libertarian” appeared nowhere on his campaign website and he never — not once — mentioned his 1988 LP run.

    A little reality goes a long way.

    Comment by KipEsquire — January 15, 2008 @ 9:24 am
  2. Don’t let freedom, prosperity, and peace get in the way of getting duped by the long-debunked racism smear-hoax.

    And here’s an idea: Start perusing the Internet for what various other self-described libertarians consider libertarian orthodoxy; get pissed-off over it; and then, widdle out your pigeon-hole accordingly. At that rate, you might just end up voting for Hillary, Huckabee, or no-one.

    Comment by Dan Alba — January 15, 2008 @ 9:48 am
  3. Supporting Ron Paul certainly isn’t a litmus test of anyone’s libertarianism. As a long-time Libertarian and dedicated Ron Paul supporter, I differ with him strongly on immigration and have minor quibbles on other issues.

    Supporting Ron Paul might be a litmus test of your political intelligence, however, if you consider yourself a part of the broader freedom movement. There’s never been a more visible or viable candidate who embraces the freedom philosophy to anything close to the extent that Ron Paul does.

    Supporting Ron Paul, and voting for him, is a chance for everyone in the freedom movement to stand up and be counted, to show just how strong we are, to serve notice to the establishment that we are not to be underestimated ever again.

    If we can’t all agree to at least vote for Ron Paul, a qualified 10-term Congressman with a stellar voting record who we agree with on probably 90% of the issues, what’s the point of political activism at all?

    Comment by Craig — January 15, 2008 @ 10:00 am
  4. As the saying goes, “the silence is deafening.”

    By the way- since I reluctantly endorsed Paul before rescinding that endorsement last week (and after being a relatively enthusiastic supporter at the beginning), does that mean that I was a libertarian and now I’m not?

    If we’re going to use litmus tests, I rather favor Kip’s Lochner litmus test, which at least gets to the heart of the matter while leaving significant room for argument on specific policy matters.

    Comment by Mark — January 15, 2008 @ 10:02 am
  5. While everyone argues over who is the real libertarian.

    The Federal government grows and grows.

    For god sakes, can we please have a candidate this fall that wants to reduce the size of the federal government, give us back some of the fundamental civil rights we are loosing, and argues for a Jeffersonian approach to foriegn policy, and Globalism. And could this candidate please be smart enough to talk transition plans ?

    Someone ? anyone ?

    Comment by John Galt — January 15, 2008 @ 10:06 am
  6. There’s never been a more visible or viable candidate who embraces the freedom philosophy to anything close to the extent that Ron Paul does.

    I would argue, strongly, that Reagan and Goldwater were both more visible and more viable and pretty well embraced most of the “freedom philosophy” as well as Ron Paul does. Reagan did so well enough to get some good marks from Reason and Cato in the 70′s. The Rockwellians couldn’t stand him, but that’s a plus in my book!

    Come on, this definitely qualifies for one of the rules in the Ron Paul drinking game.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 15, 2008 @ 10:14 am
  7. So noted. I might have to scratch one of the other rules though. The rulebook’s getting pretty cumbersome.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 15, 2008 @ 10:24 am
  8. Craig,

    “If we can’t all agree to at least vote for Ron Paul, a qualified 10-term Congressman with a stellar voting record who we agree with on probably 90% of the issues, what’s the point of political activism at all?”

    You’ve raised a valid point, but I’d argue that Ron Paul has demonstrated that he’s fallen prey to the Peter Principle. While he’s in the position of representative, he can be an idealist because he’s not really in charge of anything beyond selling his ideals to other people. If he were President, however, he’d be responsible for getting those ideas implemented which would require managing staff and hiring the right people (which he’s never demonstrated a great ability to do) because one man simply cannot handle the job without competent help.

    Not to be exceptionally rude, but you can get away with hiring an Eric Dondero or the guys who handled and wrote for the newsletter for a prominent position on your staff when you’re a representative because your responsibilities are limited as is your exposure. You put a guy like that on your staff or in your Cabinet when you’re President and you’re fucked…as is the rest of your administration. Sorry, but Ron Paul hasn’t demonstrated a capability to do two of the most important jobs a President can do, read people and surround himself with people who can get things accomplished. And for those reasons alone it’s wrong to put him in the White House.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 15, 2008 @ 10:32 am
  9. Isn’t haivng a party of individualists a little like the Steve Martin skit where he gets everyone to repeat the individualists oath with him:

    “I promise to be different.”
    “I promise to be unique.”
    “I promise not to repeat things other people say…”

    But I agree with Craig, being a Ron Paul supporter isn’t a litmus test of Libertarianism, it’s a litmus test of practicality.

    I say, if we are going to sacrifice principle for practicality, let’s at least get maximum benefit for our trade. Ron Paul is not the Saint of Libertarianism (nor even libertarianism), he is a Republican through and through.

    But he is the best darn Republican (or Democrat for that matter) to come down the pike in a long, long time. And while his chances of actually winning are small, they are not zero (which is exactly the chance that all of the LP candidates have of winning – zero. Even if $200 million was raised and they got onto all the ballots, into all the debates and were given equal time and respect by the moderators and mainstream press.)

    The people he is attracting to the message of freedom and liberty are going to have some hard days ahead. If we Libertarians are smart, we will bring these enthusiastic supporters into the LP fold once the GOP stabs them in the back.

    Keep the long view, and be amazed that Dr. Paul is doing as well as he is.

    For goodness sake, Dr. Paul has young college-age kids cheering the elimination of the Federal Reserve! When did you ever think that would happen? That is like the king of esoteric policy-wonk positions to try to explain to people. Dr. Paul not only explains it, he gets them begging for it.

    Put the LP on ice for a few more months, reach deep and contribute to Dr. Paul’s next money bomb, and let’s push this for all it is worth. Whether it succeeds or crashes, the results can only benefit the LP (provided they can keep out of the way of the wreckage if it occurs.)

    If, by some miracle, Ron Paul actually wins the primary and the general election, then we will see a drastic change in the direction of this country. If not, then we will see a lot of activated, energized, angry-at-the-GOP, lovers of liberty looking for a new home.

    Later

    Comment by Kevin Houston — January 15, 2008 @ 10:38 am
  10. UCrawford:

    So noted. I might have to scratch one of the other rules though. The rulebook’s getting pretty cumbersome.

    Claiming that Ron Paul is the best liberty oriented candidate for President ever = 1 shot of whiskey

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 15, 2008 @ 10:38 am
  11. Ron Paul drinking game????

    link to explanation please?

    Comment by Kevin Houston — January 15, 2008 @ 10:40 am
  12. This is typical of libertarian non-committal. This country deparately needs a libertarian/conservative in office who will reverse this disastrous trend toward statism. The troops are suffering to the tune of 2-3 deaths per day and who-knows-how-many injuries. They have donated more money to the Paul campaign than anyone else and they’re begging to be brought home. Yet, libertarians, not quite ready to break out of their academic narcisism are content to simply be right without doing anything about it. The real libertarian revolution will happen when libertarians acquire the kind of organs which produce testosterone.

    Comment by Grizzle Griz — January 15, 2008 @ 10:41 am
  13. Reaches for the Knob Creek and pours a shot neat.

    Ron Paul is the best liberty oriented candidate for president ever. (only ‘cuz he actually has a chance of winning, no matter how small that chance happens to be.)

    [sips]

    ah….

    (well, you never said I had to drink it all at once…) ;)

    Comment by Kevin Houston — January 15, 2008 @ 10:45 am
  14. From what I have seen, Libertarians are Fools.

    They seem more content in their arrogance of principle rather than advancing their views. Unless they see totality in identical view they are not motivated to defend. It is in this flaw that Libertarians are doomed to be the “whipping boy” of the American system forever. Divided we fall.

    Things given, without effort to achieve, are not as valued as they should be. Such is the American freedom of those born into it.

    So little understanding of the scope of the danger America faces today has been displayed by the populous that I am almost convinced that the fall of America has already happened and we are just riding into the inevitable destruction.

    Continue your pompous and circumstantial Judgment of the last voice of Liberty on the Public forum. The voice was more important than the presidency and you have helped to kill it.

    Pray for what your children will inherit.

    I vote for virtue; I vote for Ron Paul.

    Comment by Brad — January 15, 2008 @ 10:46 am
  15. It is apparent from the schism between Ron Paul supporters, and other libertarian-minded “groups” – your Blog, the Randians (of which I consider myself), Reason Mag et al, is that movement of the American political democracy / republic toward libertarian policies (the trumping position of individual rights) is almost impossible.

    It seems obvious to me that any one Libertarian is only capable of endorsing their one and only individual position in politics, and most of them would really only consider voting for themselves!

    The majority of Libertarians are incabable of endorsing any candidate where there exists the slightest disagreement with their individual set of ideals and subsequent policies, even if there is agreement on 95% of them.

    In the meantime, the collectivists and tribal-minded populus, spurred on by those who profit from their desire for sanctioned theft, will continue to erode the right of the individual as the core underpinning of American political philosophy, with each and every election.

    Tragic.

    Here is the reality (dare I say “compromise”?) –

    Given a finite number of candidates capable and willing to move America away from it’s own demise, I will most certainly give my vote to Ron Paul, long long before I would ever consider giving it to any of the remining “correct-thinking” Republican or Democratic candidates – i.e., those sure to continue the elimnation of our civil liberties and the fruits of our free actions (our property).

    In an “all-or-nothing” view, to do otherwise will surely result in “nothing” (and worse).

    Comment by George — January 15, 2008 @ 10:58 am
  16. Brad:

    So little understanding of the scope of the danger America faces today has been displayed by the populous that I am almost convinced that the fall of America has already happened and we are just riding into the inevitable destruction.

    Well Brad, I would argue that the danger in 1774, for example, was greater. Then we had the British Army occupying major cities, stationing troops in our homes and conducting searches without warrants, as just a few examples. Read the Declaration of Independence for a few more. Or, how about 1861, with a President who suspended habeas corpus without Congressional approval. How about 1917, Congress passes treason laws, the President signs them and the people of this country wildly cheer. 1933, the advent of FDR’s Fascism in America? Or, how about the day that FDR ordered that all Japanese-Americans be unconstitutionally deprived of liberty and property? I could go on, but maybe you will get my point.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 15, 2008 @ 11:04 am
  17. I only have to read blogs like this to understand why Ron Paul doesn’t use the term ‘libertarian.’

    Just look at where the majority of this smear campaign is coming from.

    Again, I am SO glad I decided not to join your party.

    More interested in talking philosophy than actually DOING anything. Anyone that starts becoming successful get’s “vinny the libertarian” with a baseball to the knees.

    People keep saying it is the MSM and the conservative blogs spewing a constant stream of smears and lies at Ron Paul. Nay, it is the libertarian blogs and media doing all the smearing.

    Comment by James A. — January 15, 2008 @ 11:25 am
  18. James,

    You’re right, the MSM isn’t the one talking about Ron Paul right now.

    Right now, they’re ignoring him because he’s a non-factor in the race.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 15, 2008 @ 11:28 am
  19. James:

    Again, I am SO glad I decided not to join your party.

    Uhhhhh, show me anywhere on here that says that we are libertarian, affiliated with the Libertarian Party, or anything similar. We range from Goldwater Republicans to full blown anarcho-capitalists, but the site is not libertarian. Feel free to not join the Libertarian Party, I’ll cheer that you didn’t, since I don’t like ‘em either.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 15, 2008 @ 11:31 am
  20. At that rate, you might just end up voting for Hillary, Huckabee, or no-one.

    I would submit that voting for no one is a far more intellectually consistent — and principled — stance than voting for a candidate (Paul) whose core beliefs (anti-libertarian neoconfederalism) I as a libertarian find as abhorrent as I do Clinton’s or Huckabee’s.

    Comment by KipEsquire — January 15, 2008 @ 11:56 am
  21. Just look at where the majority of this smear campaign is coming from.

    Again, I am SO glad I decided not to join your party.

    Do we have a rule about calling all criticisms of St. Ron “smears” instead of addressing them?

    Comment by Kevin — January 15, 2008 @ 12:14 pm
  22. One thing I ought to point out- Ron Paul’s position on immigration alone is probably enough for some libertarians to find another candidate preferable. It all depends on the issue which is your top priority, and how much more a priority it is than your other issues.

    For me, it’s a pretty high priority- I view the freedom of movement as one of, if not the, most important freedom of all, and immigration is a key factor in terms of human rights (fleeing REAL oppression and poverty) and economic freedoms (the right to hire who you wish), and in my opinion is one of the most important elements of a stable economy. I think this is especially true if you’re going to be a non-interventionist who thinks we should stay out of other countries’ affairs partly on the grounds that residents of those countries have a right to choose their own destiny. You can’t make that claim and then limit the ability of some of those people to choose their own destiny by moving to another country.

    Paul’s nativism on that issue was the first thing that made me start second-guessing my support for him; alone it wasn’t enough to get me to withdraw my support for him, but it was a huge first strike. Additionally, the freedom to engage in consensual sexual relations is a fundamental freedom, and his opposition to Lawrence v. Texas is a major strike against him as well in my book.

    Certainly, I think it’s tough to argue that the gold standard/Federal Reserve are more important issues than either of those two things.

    While those two issues alone weren’t enough for me to withdraw my support (my top priority initially was the Iraq War and his position on the WO(s)D was a major plus), I don’t think anyone could have justly accused me of being irrational if I had withdrawn my support on those grounds.

    …And that’s the problem with libertarian orthodoxy- Paul has some very un-libertarian positions on some issues that many libertarians correctly view as extremely important. On those issues, he’s not only un-libertarian, but actually worse for libertarians than people like John McCain and Barack Obama, even Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton (as much as I fear those last two!). And let’s not forget Bill Richardson before he dropped out (Edwards I’m not as sure about). Hell- even Huckabee is better than Paul on immigration, if that’s your top priority.

    To make Paul a litmus test on libertarianism is to say that libertarians must subsume the issues most important to them (qua libertarians) “for the greater good.” That is collectivism at its worst.

    (cross-posted at PE)

    Comment by Mark — January 15, 2008 @ 12:35 pm
  23. “It all depends on the issue which is your top priority, and how much more a priority it is than your other issues.”

    For some of us it’s not just about this-issue or that-issue, but about Paul’s core political philosophy, which is an absolute belief in unbridled majoritarianism (i.e., no respect for individual rights) at the state and local level.

    That is not being a “90% libertarian,” but a 0% libertarian.

    Paul’s supporters can screech as loud and as relentlessly as they want. It will not change the simple fact that Paul does NOT hate government — he just hates Congress (and the Fed). There’s a difference, and the difference matters.

    Comment by KipEsquire — January 15, 2008 @ 1:13 pm
  24. Kip:

    Agreed.

    Comment by Mark — January 15, 2008 @ 1:35 pm
  25. Your first paragraph on immigration – so, looking at your voting options to bolster your “singular” issue of immigration – you’re willing to trade (compromise) and get nationalized healthcare to get your immigration policy? Or at the cost of continued wars fought overseas (with bribes to struggling immigrants to sacrifice for citizenship)? Or at the cost of increasing the immoral fraud of taxes against individuals?

    Your rationale speaks directly to why the “politically-correct” don’t understand why “fringe groups” are also attracted to Ron Paul. In fact, if your immigration emphasis, as a singular issue, takes such a priority that you’re willing to accept the compromises highlighted above, it matches exactly how “fringe groups” get so labeled – by using a singular issue to attach to a candidate – whether we all believe their position moral or immoral.

    Freedom of movement? If America were restricted to it’s original economic freedoms and lack of welfare state, then “free moving” individuals (e.g., the first sets of immigrants) understood that America represented true opportunity. However, given the socialist welfare state we now represent, should each “free moving” alien immigrant now be given “free” access to the properties perversely taken by taxes from current victims, er citizens? Is this their “right”? Does it make ie more moral to take it from American taxpayers through the government proxy?

    As for travelers and immigrants choosing their “own destiny” – you can choose any destiny you desire – it just can’t belong to someone else, or shouldn’t include property taken from others. “Legal immigration” seems the only restriction on pure sacrifice of American citizens to “citizens of the world”, at least under the current welfare state. Perhaps a vote for Ron Paul, and a change in America’s ideals and policies would change that and make it easier acceptance for free immigation into the US, without further taking by force, the current inhabitants (citizens) property.

    As for his opposition to Lawrence v. Texas, I disagree with him also, (I believe his arguments were primarily based upon separation of powers). However, unlike you, I can separate this issue – I see him as a person capable of entertaining a rational discourse. In fact, his ability in this regard is one of the strongest reasons to vote for him in any case, (open to rational argument), and this is in stark contrast to the other candidates.

    On Federal Reserve elimination and it’s importance, I totally disagree – taxpayers being required to pay the interest “owed” to the internationl and privately held Federal Reserve bankers, on financing of the welfare state and foreign intervention, is the SOLE reason we pay income taxes! But you’re OK with that?!

    Paul doesn’t deserve a vote because he’s a “Libertarian” (however that gets defined). Libertarians should vote for him because he is far more aligned with the majority of their “issues” than anyone else – i.e., he represents a basic philosophy of individual rights.

    Finally, “collectivism at it’s worst”, is to expect some “gimme” on a singular issue, and a willingness to discard a candidate who represents the right of the individual as supreme in USA – i.e., to knowingly allow the majority of collectivist and tribalist policies and ideals to foster, because you have a disagreement with Paul on some set of individual arguments.

    There’s no litmus test, it’s just that the other candidate options are increasingly poisonous solutions for America.

    Comment by George — January 15, 2008 @ 1:42 pm
  26. OK, I’m going to weigh in from a different libertarian perspective: Not Randian, not urbane, not any of that. I arrived at libertarianism from the left in the vehicle of religious freedom coupled with a quasi-let-me-alone and superiority-of-the-individual-over-government, constitutionalist perspective. I’ve never read Rand or Rothbard. I’m working on Hayek and such.

    Dr. Paul’s campaign is not a litmus test for libertarianism. Dr. Paul is not running as a libertarian, either in principle or Party (at the moment). BUT he is as close as any major party candidate gets to that philosophy in this election. Is he perfect? Nope, but no candidate is to every one of us. Some libertarians disagree with Dr. Paul’s immigration or abortion stances and therefore refuse to support him over those issues. Never mind that the immigration issue is directly tied to the recession and the abortion issue is simply small potatoes when stacked up against the two major issues of the war and the economy. (FWIW, I agree with his immigration stance and I disagree with Dr. Paul on the abortion issue, but on Constitutional principles, and nothing to do with the pre-natal human life argument.)

    As for the TNR smear, it’s a non-issue. The Austin TX head of the NAACP has stated explicitly that he’s been friends with Dr. Paul for 20 years and states he is in no way racist. That seems to cover the period in question and IMO puts it to rest in favor of Dr. Paul. The real authors of that piece are most likely close friends of Dr. Paul and he is remaining silent on outing them over loyalty. I think I know who they are as well, but lacking proof I won’t go out on a limb and say either.

    If Dr. Paul were to take the Advocates quiz today he’d probably score a 90 economic and 70 social, well within libertarian bounds but not the “perfect” and “pure” libertarian.

    So don’t look at Dr. Paul’s candidacy as a litmus test on libertarianism. Look at it for what it truly is, which is a litmus test on the Constitution. Unfortunatley, the litmus test appears to be failing badly, not from Dr. Paul or his message, but from the general apathy and ignorance of the American people, fueled by electoral disaffection, the inaccurate and censoring Old Media, bad public schooling, and a screwy judicial system.

    Me, I support Dr. Paul because he the closest candidate to my views (and I’m a LP member!). I can live with his abortion position because it’s a minor issue as I stated before. I cannot support any other R or any D candidate because they would just bring more interference in our lives. Ditto the G candidates. The LP candidates are lacking. To me, Dr. Paul is the best choice. If he doesn’t get the GOP nod or run third party, then IMO our nation is doomed to more of the same mess.

    Comment by Tannim — January 15, 2008 @ 2:09 pm
  27. James,

    You’re right, the MSM isn’t the one talking about Ron Paul right now.

    Right now, they’re ignoring him because he’s a non-factor in the race.
    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 15, 2008 @ 11:28 am

    Is there any way we can get The Liberty Papers to do the same?

    Comment by John Newman — January 15, 2008 @ 2:54 pm
  28. John,

    Is there any way we can get The Liberty Papers to do the same?

    Believe me, there are plenty of other issues to discuss.

    At the same time, this campaign and its aftermath are important issues for the cause of liberty and, speaking just for myself, I’m not going to ignore them if there’s something relevant to say.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 15, 2008 @ 2:56 pm
  29. Doug,
    Simply because this place is called the Liberty Papers doesn’t mean you are the least bit concerned with liberty, freedom or peace. Drinking games and calumny seem to be the agenda. The haughtiness of several contributors here has a stench only a mortician should have to put up with.

    Comment by John Newman — January 15, 2008 @ 3:53 pm
  30. John,

    Drinking games and calumny seem to be the agenda.

    It’s a hell of a lot more fun than treating the Paulestinians like they’ve got a viewpoint worth respecting :)

    Comment by UCrawford — January 15, 2008 @ 3:57 pm
  31. Chuckles, I think you mean me, among others. But, frankly, some of the people who support Ron Paul deserve to be mocked. And, just as frankly, I would mock them face to face (and have, when they tried to tell me about their latest conspiracy theory). You’ll notice, if you stop and look, that anyone who is a Ron Paul supporter, rather than a Ron Paul lemming, gets treated much differently than the goofs who show up and go on about Carroll Quigley.

    Much of our disagreement goes far back to discussions about whether the government can, or should, intrude in private transactions between corporations and employees. And, by corollary, whether those transactions constitute private or public behavior; one would be regulated by the Constitution, the other wouldn’t. That, it seems to me, is something that reasonable people can disagree on without railing on about one or the other not supporting liberty or freedom. When you change to that sort of statement, then you are attacking the person and no further reasonable discussion can happen.

    On the other hand, the bitterest disagreements happen between family members. Folks outside this circle would wonder what the hell the issue is on some of the arguments that occur.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 15, 2008 @ 4:11 pm
  32. What Adam said.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 15, 2008 @ 4:32 pm
  33. For the first time I’ve contributed to a candidate. I’m tired of OUR country being run by ambulance chasers,game show hosts,and snake oil salesmen.Ron Paul is the only genuine person out there.It’s time to get back to what made this country great.Every day people standing up for FREEDOM! “Nothing happens till something moves.”

    Comment by David Wiersma — January 15, 2008 @ 4:57 pm
  34. David,

    “I’m tired of OUR country being run by ambulance chasers,game show hosts,and snake oil salesmen.”

    Actually the ambulance chaser (John Edwards) is an afterthought in the Democratic primary and every politician is to some degree or another a game show host or a snake oil salesman (including Ron Paul).

    “Ron Paul is the only genuine person out there.”

    Until you ask him to discuss just who it was who wrote and/or edited the racist newsletters or explain why he continues to employ and seek advice from incompetent campaign and political personnel…then he gets plenty evasive and vague.

    “It’s time to get back to what made this country great.”

    Electing competent people for the Oval Office? I’d posit that Ron Paul has pretty clearly demonstrated himself to be a bad choice on that front.

    “Every day people standing up for FREEDOM! “Nothing happens till something moves.””

    hail comrade, hail…whY, thOse capitalist rUnning dogs will be the fiRst up against thE wAll wheN the revolution comes. would that theIr innarDs mIght oOze in the guTters with the rest of the offal.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 15, 2008 @ 5:37 pm
  35. This website is a fraud.

    Comment by hoaxbuster — January 15, 2008 @ 6:00 pm
  36. hoaxbuster, you forgot anti-semitic.

    Comment by John Newman — January 15, 2008 @ 6:21 pm
  37. Kip is wrong that federalists don’t believe in unbridled majoritarianism at the state level. They just don’t believe the federal government should hold the reins. After all, they have their own courts and constitutions.

    Comment by Joshua Holmes — January 15, 2008 @ 8:37 pm
  38. The problem for many Paul supporters is they want Utopia. However, as David Bergland, the LP Presidential candidate pointed out in his 1984 run for the Presidency, and in his book, “Libertarianism In One Lesson”, “Utopia is not an option.”

    As a former State Chair of the LP in KY, a former candidate for office, and former activist in KY libertarian circles in the late ’70s and 80s, I can no longer associate myself with the LP or even small “L” libertarians who seek this fantasy world and ignore the reality that the US was founded as a Constitutional Republic – something that explicitly calls for levels of government enforced coercion. That the country has significantly strayed from this limited government role intended by the Founders is a damn shame, and I worry for my daughters and their children. That the libertarian Utopians still want to hit non-believers upside the head with a proverbial 2×4 is not a way to reverse the situation. I would refer people to Michael Cloud”s “The Late Great Libertarian Macho Flash”. [Note - I knew him as Michael Emmerling, thus aging myself]

    I view these folks as mentally masturbating fantasists arguing over minarchism vs. anarchism, ignorant of human behavior, and generally unwilling to accept that people seeking a society based upon individual liberty can disagree with the “purists” and not be villains.

    Comment by Horatio — January 16, 2008 @ 5:00 am
  39. Horatio,

    I agree that some government is required, and frankly I consider the limitations imposed by our Constitution to be as good a guideline as any for how limited it should be. As attractive as anarcho-capitalism would be in an ideal world, I just don’t think that it will work in ours without quickly reverting to tyranny and that government is both required for and desired by the people. So I’d see myself more as a Constitutionalist than an anarchist or fantasist.

    Good points.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 16, 2008 @ 6:31 am
  40. Well looks like the public school system has worked its magic on most of you. Some government is required? Really? Do all of you need a nanny to tell how to behave? Constitutionalist? You really should read Lysander Spooner’s “No Treason”. The Constitution was unable to constrain government to its supposed limits until the ink was dry, and you think with a little tweaking it somehow will? Can any of you tell me what institution has been the cause of more death, destruction and misery during the course of human histoy? Hint: It wasn’t the church.

    Comment by Bill — January 16, 2008 @ 2:35 pm
  41. “Can any of you tell me what institution has been the cause of more death, destruction and misery during the course of human histoy?”

    Humanity in general? Really hungry dinosaurs? Uwe Boll?

    Comment by UCrawford — January 16, 2008 @ 2:43 pm
  42. No, government. In the 20th century alone governments around the world murdered over 100 million of their own citizens. This figure doesn’t include war dead.

    Comment by Bill — January 16, 2008 @ 2:46 pm
  43. No, government. In the 20th century alone governments around the world murdered over 100 million of their own citizens. This figure doesn’t include war dead.

    So if we don’t support Ron Paul, we will have murdered over 100 million….

    I need another drink.

    Comment by Kevin — January 16, 2008 @ 2:55 pm
  44. Where do you come up with Ron Paul when I ask who needs government? What is wrong with you? Did I say anywhere in my post that we need to elect Ron Paul? Are you obsessed with this man? You need something and I don’t think it’s a drink, you’ve had far too much already, get a grip on yourself man. For the record, I refuse to play the let’s elect the next fool to run our lives for us game.

    Comment by Bill — January 16, 2008 @ 3:00 pm
  45. To be perfectly clear, I will not participate in a corrupt system. I will not “vote” for any man to run my life for me, they might will be a benevolent ruler, but aim to rule they do.

    Comment by Bill — January 16, 2008 @ 3:04 pm
  46. Bill,

    “Where do you come up with Ron Paul when I ask who needs government? What is wrong with you? Did I say anywhere in my post that we need to elect Ron Paul?”

    No offense, but what in the hell are you talking about then? This comment thread is about Ron Paul and libertarianism…not anarchy. Stay on topic. If you want to discuss anarchy as a rational way of life, wait for one of tarran’s or Adam’s posts or write your own blog and invite us over to discuss…I’m sure they’ll bring this stuff up soon enough, or somebody else here will. We get around to everything eventually :)

    Comment by UCrawford — January 16, 2008 @ 3:12 pm
  47. “To be perfectly clear, I will not participate in a corrupt system. I will not “vote” for any man to run my life for me, they might will be a benevolent ruler, but aim to rule they do”

    That’s OK – sit it out and don’t give them the sanction of the victim. You’ll feel great as they control you regardless.

    It’s like the lottery – you can’t win if you don’t play. The system is corrupt and it sucks. So how do you expect it to change? Anthropogenic Global Warming killing off everyone so the system collapses and you can become a hunter/gatherer wearing cowhide from the animal you killed? Alien Invasion? Other people doing it for you?

    Quit whining and do something

    Comment by Horatio — January 16, 2008 @ 6:13 pm
  48. UC:
    I brought this up in this thread because both you and Horatio stated that you want government, you desire people to have control over you, you just that power and control to be limited by a piece of paper that is ignored by every politician in office. I simply asked you to explain your position in the face of evidence to the contrary.

    Horatio:
    Like voting is going to do anything. If you really believe you are going to vote your way out of this mess, I have a bridge for sale. There are simply no candidates running at any level, from President to my local reps and senators, who are qualified to run my life for me. Sorry, but I refuse to take part in the bread and circuses that are put on by our rulers which ultimately mean nothing. The republicans were voted into power in 1994 and they quickly disspelled any thoughts they might actually do soemthing. The first order of business was to break the so-called “Contract with America”. Then the democrats were voted into power in 2006 on the promise of ending the war in Iraq. No sonner were they sworn in than Nancy Pelosi explicitly told everyone ending the war was off the table. So, tell me again how your vaunted voting is going to change this country back to a Constitutional republic. At the same time, keep in mind the definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over again and expecting a different result. How are we going to change it you ask? Then you offer up ridiculous, insulting things you assume I believe in. If voting is so effective, please explain how the likes of Ted Keenedy, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Chucky Schumer and the rest of their ilk keep getting re-elected. No, everyone needs to wake up and stop giving them their consent to be governed.

    Comment by Bill — January 17, 2008 @ 8:54 am
  49. Bill,

    you desire people to have control over you

    No, I desire that we have a government to arbitrate disputes within a Constitutional framework so that the disputing parties don’t feel a constant need to go to the gun…because, regardless of what some anarchists might like to believe, not all people behave rationally all the time, nor are they always willing to accept logical arguments as to rights or to forego aggressive violence even when they’re clearly on the wrong side of the issue. It’s an imperfect system, but so is anarcho-capitalism or any other form of human organization you’d care to name. Beyond that I’m not much of a fan of government and I don’t see much of anything that they can do that the private sector couldn’t do better and more inexpensively.

    you just that power and control to be limited by a piece of paper that is ignored by every politician in office

    That’s why I’m an ardent believer in both the strict enforcement of personal property rights and the right to bear arms. It keeps the government at least somewhat honest.

    Sorry, but I refuse to take part in the bread and circuses that are put on by our rulers which ultimately mean nothing.

    The difference between you and me is that I’ve never seen anybody as my “ruler” regardless of what office they held or how much power they have. When somebody is an official of government and they try to pass a law regulating my behavior that I feel violates my rights I always have the ability to not comply with what they tell me to do. There may be severe consequences for doing so, but if the situation is one I’m no longer willing to live with the option to resist is always there. Believing otherwise is merely subscribing to a victim mentality.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 17, 2008 @ 9:14 am
  50. And actually, I’ll add national defense and police to the things I’m okay with the government handling. And roads. I like roads. Even if the feds do use road funds to blackmail states.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 17, 2008 @ 9:56 am
  51. Actually, we seemed to get along fine without the local police until the turn of the 20th century and there is ample proof roads can be handled privately. As further example, many States are now selling their toll raods to private companies. National Defense seems to be the only real sticking point and I am sure we can come up with something to replace that too.

    I agree, I don’t see anybody as my ruler, but, unfortunately, rule they do and it affects us whether we accept it or not. Yes, we do have the option of non compliance but, as you said, we have to be prepared to face the consequences. I don’t see myself as a victim so much as powerless to effect real change and get these bozos to live up to the oath they took when they entered the office. I also feel things are accelerating towards a socialistic police State. If you had told me in 1980 we would have roadblocks, drug testing, taxation at 50% of income, smoking bans etc. by the year 2000, I would have laughed in your face and told you it could never happen in America. Well, it is happening and I see no way to stop it at this point.

    Comment by Bill — January 17, 2008 @ 1:25 pm
  52. Bill,

    Actually, we seemed to get along fine without the local police until the turn of the 20th century and there is ample proof roads can be handled privately.

    Whoa whoa whoa, sport…Wyatt Earp? Wild Bill Hickok? Ring any bells? Local police forces have been established in the U.S. since at least the 1830s (Boston, I believe was first). Although many police officers were basically mercenaries (well, technically they still sort of are) appointed or hired by civic leaders or the populace the idea that we didn’t have them until the 20th century is just historically wrong. Now if you’re talking about a national police force, I can see your argument and I’d agree…to a point. I think there’s a useful purpose to be served by the FBI when it comes to crimes committed across state lines (although they go after a lot of stuff that really shouldn’t be criminal) or when it comes to state governments violating the Constitutional rights of its citizens, but I’d be okay with scaling them back a lot or limiting the scope of their authority. But I’ll disagree with the idea that we don’t need police, mainly because it then becomes an issue of which warlord can assemble the biggest fighting force to impose his will on those slow to react. Working the Afghanistan mission was enough to convince me that anarchy doesn’t work…the lack of a government and the anarchic state of local affairs after the Soviet withdrawal led to the Taliban being able to seize control of the country and impose their rather draconian will. Even a society with no more social order than voluntary interaction will eventually lead to a government being formed (many villages actually welcomed the Taliban, at first, because of the constant fighting between warlords seeking power) and unless that government has a Constitution that specifically limits its actions a move towards tyranny is very likely. That’s what the Afghanis found after awhile…once the Taliban had consolidated their power the voluntariness of the alliance they’d formed with the populace disappeared.

    I won’t argue with you about roads…I’m okay with things the way they are, but I can see the merit in the other side of the argument as well so I’m not a zealot about it. I just don’t consider the privatization of the roads to be of utmost importance, I don’t think it’s the worst thing the government’s ever done and there have been benefits from it (because it’s about as “good for the common welfare” as the government’s ever going to get). If there were a list of things I’d change if I had the power to do so, “privatizing roads” would probably be close to the bottom :)

    I agree, I don’t see anybody as my ruler, but, unfortunately, rule they do and it affects us whether we accept it or not.

    Not to be dismissive, but everything everybody does affects us in some way or another, sometimes negatively, even in a society where all interaction is voluntary.

    I don’t see myself as a victim so much as powerless to effect real change and get these bozos to live up to the oath they took when they entered the office.

    I recognize that the only real power to change anything that I have is my own actions and my own decision to comply or not comply with what society dictates I do. Sometimes I go along with it because it’s in my best interests to do so, sometimes it isn’t, so I don’t. I might be able to convince others to act the same way, I might not, but ultimately I can’t control what they do…only what I do. As long as I act in a manner that serves my own best interests I figure I’ll find a way around whatever the government wants me to do. I guess what I’m saying is, the best way to get Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” to operate most freely is simply to practice what Smith preached yourself, try to convince others to go along when you can, not get bothered when they don’t, and fight them whenever they cross a line where you can’t accept it if they get coercive.

    If you had told me in 1980 we would have roadblocks, drug testing, taxation at 50% of income, smoking bans etc. by the year 2000, I would have laughed in your face and told you it could never happen in America.

    The growing police/nanny state bothers me too and I speak out against it whenever it’s appropriate (meaning most of the time). Although as my dad (a banker) is quite fond of pointing out regarding high taxes today:

    The top marginal tax rate in the U.S. was 67 to 73 percent from 1917 to 1921, then began to fall, reaching a low of 25 percent from 1925 to 1931. The rate was increased to 63 percent in 1932, to 79 percent in 1936, and to 88 percent in 1942. From 1951 to 1963, the top marginal tax rate was 91 percent, and was 70 percent through most of the 1970s. In 1988 it was lowered to 28 percent, but raised in 1993 to 39.6 percent.

    The 2007 individual federal income tax rates are between 10% and 35%, depending on income and family status. People with relatively low incomes may pay no income tax, or may receive earned income tax credits (tax benefits); however, this does not include income based payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities states that three-fourths of taxpayers pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes.[16] IRS data indicate that the wealthiest 5% of taxpayers (ranked by AGI, counting only returns with positive AGI) paid roughly 60% of all income taxes; the bottom 50% of taxpayers account for just 3% of income taxes paid.[17]

    So we’re certainly better off on the taxation front than we’ve been in the past. Let’s not let pessimism bias blind us to the fact that we’re also much freer in this country in many ways than we were 50, 30 or even 10 years ago. That’s of course not a reason to ignore asswipes like Huckabee, Clinton, or Guiliani when they pop up and try to repress those freedoms…but as I said to another poster a few days ago, we’re hardly slaves here nor do I think we’ll go back to being slaves.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 17, 2008 @ 2:21 pm
  53. Bill,

    And regarding the roadblocks, you’re likely never going to hear me say anything good about the War on Drugs. Although if private companies want to drug test their employees I do believe it’s their right…and federal agencies as well if only because I believe they should have some ability to screen who they employ to insure competence. We did drug testing all the time in the military, but I got why they did it because of the nature of the job. Unsurprisingly, however, they were also very inefficient and ineffective at it.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 17, 2008 @ 2:30 pm
  54. Damnit UC, you stole my thunder! That’s what happens when I travel and don’t have much time to read and comment.

    Bill, what if I told you that we would have an absolute prohibition on alcohol and most narcotic drugs, public works program on a scale as broad as any seen in Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, tax rates at nearly 90%, private ownership of gold made illegal, rallies to promote government programs, a leader establishing a cult of personality and signing Presidential Directives to put hundreds of thousands of native born American citizens in concentration camps and deprive them of their legal property. What if I told you that we would keep 1/10th of our population in chattel slavery, the President would suspend habeas corpus without Congressional authorization and the property of citizens would be seized and disposed of without due process? What if I told you that a President would institute wage and price controls, threaten to pack the Supreme Court if the Court didn’t go along with him and launch an illegal and undeclared naval war against a nation that had not initiated hostilities against us? What if I told you that we would have a government that used blatantly false racial stereotypes to demonize an enemy in wartime?

    Would you say that could never happen in America? Every bit of it did. Some is Civil War era, some is Great Depression and some is WWII.

    The fact is that this period of war has had the least intrusion into civil liberties of any war where the American people felt directly threatened. It has had the least ugly racism, propaganda and ugly stereotyping. And it has been characterized by a significant lack of government intrusion into the marketplace, unlike the Civil War, WWI or WWII.

    None of that excuses any of what has happened, however it is not nearly as bad as in past wars and eras of unrest.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 17, 2008 @ 8:10 pm
  55. Adam,

    The fact is that this period of war has had the least intrusion into civil liberties of any war where the American people felt directly threatened.

    And I suspect that’s only because people have the ability now to check up on what their politicians were doing, read through bills before they’re passed, and fact-check stories that don’t sound right to them without having to depend on the media to provide them with the information. If we still had the same resources now that we did back then to find out what was going on, I suspect Comrade Bush would happily start up the camps again and suspend all our civil liberties.

    I love the Information Age.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 17, 2008 @ 11:00 pm
  56. Adam and UCrawford–

    “Amen, Brother!”

    You’ve both stated the case very well. Bill yearns for a world that has never existed within the framework of the US Constitution. Fair enough – I can appreciate his desires. However, he wants to opt out of what is admittedly a rigged game. So what are his options?

    1 – Do nothing
    2 – Get involved in the game – along with others who think the way he does – and try to persuade people to his way of thinking.
    3 – Leave the US for green pastures if they exist elsewhere and hope the game doesn’t follow him
    4 – Ignore the game, live his life and do what UCrawford does – that which is in his best interest as he defines it accompanied by risks that he is willing to take
    5 – Start a 2nd American Revolution – good luck with that one in a day and age where more and more Americans dine at the public trough

    Comment by Horatio — January 18, 2008 @ 4:52 am
  57. UC
    As you ended up saying yourself, Wyatt Earp and the rest were not government employees, they were employed by the citizens of the towns or territories they lived in. They could be fired for non – performance or any other reason. The only organized government police were the US Marshalls, which should be dis-banded along with a myriad of other Fed agencies. I’ll grant you Boston and other eastern cities, but they were hellholes then and they are today.

    You are stuck on that warlord crap like most folks who haven’t been trying to think though a Stateless society. I have been guilty of that in the past myself. No evidence that so-called “warlords” would take over anything, except maybe in the ghetto.

    While it is true the IRS rates are lower than in the past, take a long hard look at all of the others taxes you pay. Right now you are paying more in taxes than ever before. Property taxes (I would hope, since all of you claim to be such staunch defenders of property rights, you will agree these henious taxes are illegal as they are proof you do not own your property) up, gas tax up, sales tax up, tobacco taxes up, liquor taxes up, SS & medicare taxes up and new taxes being invented and implemented on almost a daily basis. Face it, you are paying more than ever before. Couple that with the inflation since the creation of the Federal Reserve and we are being royally screwed.

    Don’t give me that butterfly effect nonsense, you well know what I am talking about.

    Better off than we were 5, 10, 20, 30, 50 years ago, certainly much freer, are you kidding me? For one, there are now more gun control laws on the books than ever before in the history of this country, like the Gun Control Act of 1968 for example. There are more regulations governing every aspect of life, from what you can build on your property to what color you can paint it, permits licensing, etc. I grew up in the 60s and 70s and I tell you, we are certainly not moer free than we were then. Shirley you jest!;)

    I do not agree that a company has the right to your bodily fluids unless they show cause, like you are a train engineer and you are involved in an accident.

    Adam,
    Most of what you are complaining about in the past, we have today so I am failing to follow your so-called point. At least in the past, most of these transgressions were repealed, nobody’s talking about repealing any of it today.

    Horatio,
    A combination of #2 & #4 is what I have decided to do. The others aren’t really options are they?

    Comment by Bill — January 18, 2008 @ 1:00 pm
  58. I must say that I think I get along with most of you here and while we have our differences, they can be worked out. But what about the die hard Statists who think everything wonderful and good flows solely from the government?

    Comment by Bill — January 18, 2008 @ 1:07 pm
  59. Bill

    Adam,
    Most of what you are complaining about in the past, we have today so I am failing to follow your so-called point. At least in the past, most of these transgressions were repealed, nobody’s talking about repealing any of it today.

    Really? Can you show me an 88% income tax rate in this country? How about the President putting significant numbers of state and city officials in prison without due process (i.e. suspending habeas corpus). Or public works programs comparable in size, scope and scale to those of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union or Fascist Italy? Hundreds of thousands of American citizens in concentration camps? The President has not seized property without due process (as happened in the Civil War) either. Private ownership of gold is legal. Alcohol is legal.

    Come on, join the real world. I grew up at the same time you did Bill, and I agree that we are regulated to death. But, really egregious stuff, like concentration camps, slavery, fascist public works programs, are not happening.

    I talk about the problems a lot, but I do my darndest to not overstate them. Going too far that direction convinces people that you are not in touch with reality. Then they stop listening.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 18, 2008 @ 1:17 pm
  60. Bill

    But what about the die hard Statists who think everything wonderful and good flows solely from the government?

    Name one contributor here that fits that description. Provide evidence for it.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 18, 2008 @ 1:18 pm
  61. Bill

    I do not agree that a company has the right to your bodily fluids unless they show cause …..

    That’s a private transaction, between you and your employer. They don’t have a “right” to drug test you. It’s a voluntary, private transaction. Changing that would require government regulation. Is that really what you want? Do you really want the government to further regulate the private workplace?

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 18, 2008 @ 1:20 pm
  62. Adam,

    That’s a private transaction, between you and your employer. They don’t have a “right” to drug test you. It’s a voluntary, private transaction. Changing that would require government regulation. Is that really what you want? Do you really want the government to further regulate the private workplace?

    I think the better way to put it is that an employer has the right to make pre-employment and random drug screening a condition of employment, and to set sanctions if one fails such a test. The prospective employee has the right not to agree to those conditions and find another job.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 18, 2008 @ 1:25 pm
  63. Adam

    That’s a private transaction, between you and your employer. They don’t have a “right” to drug test you. It’s a voluntary, private transaction. Changing that would require government regulation. Is that really what you want? Do you really want the government to further regulate the private workplace?

    Billy is an An-Cap.

    Comment by Kevin — January 18, 2008 @ 1:26 pm
  64. Yes, better word choice definitely. My question to Bill still stands.

    Bill, to get what you want requires that the government regulate the private workplace and the voluntary, private transactions of employer and employees. Is that what you want?

    Most of the regulations you complained about earlier came about because of that sort of thinking.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 18, 2008 @ 1:27 pm
  65. Kevin:

    Billy is an An-Cap

    Now I’m really confused. Bill, if you don’t believe in government, how do you plan to prevent an employer from demanding a drug test and then firing you when you refuse to comply with their demand? I have a very hard time imagining a consistent An-Cap thinking that these sorts of voluntary transactions should be prohibited in some way.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 18, 2008 @ 1:29 pm
  66. Bill,

    they were employed by the citizens of the towns or territories they lived in.

    Or the town’s elected officials. Or by popular election. Pretty much the same as they are today.

    You are stuck on that warlord crap like most folks who haven’t been trying to think though a Stateless society. No evidence that so-called “warlords” would take over anything, except maybe in the ghetto.

    I didn’t need to “think through” a stateless society. I was there to see it firsthand. And I studied it extensively for my job. As for the imaginary warlords, I could name Ismail Khan, Rashid Dostum, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Mullah Omar…all of these people seized and consolidated power, violently, in the absence of a Afghani government. All of them violated individual rights to do so using coercive methods, many regions of the areas they ruled were forced to go along unwillingly. As for the “ghetto” crack, I assume you’re talking about the poor and minorities. They’re a part of human society too…unless you’re thinking that they’re undeserving of being a part of your Great Society, in which case I question just what sort of free society you’re attempting to champion and who you see as being deserving of rights in it.

    While it is true the IRS rates are lower than in the past, take a long hard look at all of the others taxes you pay. Right now you are paying more in taxes than ever before. Property taxes (I would hope, since all of you claim to be such staunch defenders of property rights, you will agree these henious taxes are illegal as they are proof you do not own your property) up, gas tax up, sales tax up, tobacco taxes up, liquor taxes up, SS & medicare taxes up and new taxes being invented and implemented on almost a daily basis. Face it, you are paying more than ever before.

    I’m still paying far less than 90%. In fact, I think it’s actually around 50% all things considered, counting property tax, sales tax, etc. with quite a bit left over for disposable income. Could I pay less? Sure, and I’m all for that. But I also recognize that I’m better off than my folks were back in the 70s so I don’t see the gloom and doom that you do.

    Don’t give me that butterfly effect nonsense, you well know what I am talking about.

    Yeah, and it’s a myopic viewpoint. You’re a part of an intricate society and even in a society based entirely on voluntary interaction where no regulation exists unforseeable bad outcomes for individuals sometimes result. So get over yourself.

    Better off than we were 5, 10, 20, 30, 50 years ago, certainly much freer, are you kidding me? For one, there are now more gun control laws on the books than ever before in the history of this country, like the Gun Control Act of 1968 for example. There are more regulations governing every aspect of life, from what you can build on your property to what color you can paint it, permits licensing, etc. I grew up in the 60s and 70s and I tell you, we are certainly not moer free than we were then.

    People can get out of miserable marriages, women are generally no longer treated as property, Jim Crow laws are history, interracial marriage isn’t illegal in half the states, who you sleep with is generally considered your own business by the government, and anyone with a home computer is able to share their thoughts on any topic with the entire world. Sounds a lot freer than when I was a kid.

    I do not agree that a company has the right to your bodily fluids unless they show cause, like you are a train engineer and you are involved in an accident.

    Sorry Bill, but the other guys were right…you can’t be for anarchy whenever it suits you personally and against it every time it inconveniences you personally and think that’s a persuasive argument for anarcho-capitalism. As for probable cause, that’s for the government, not private individuals. If I’m the owner of a company and I want to drug test my employees that should be my right as long as they give consent. If they don’t it should be my right to get other employees. That’s how individual rights, property ownership and free association work.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 18, 2008 @ 2:38 pm
  67. Well, I don’t know what you guys did, if anything, but I have been unable to post since last week. I keep getting a “CPU ERROR” so we’ll see if it works today.

    Unless you are in the top 2% of earners, your tax argument falls flat on its face. The fact of the matter is the average middle class American is paying more to the government than ever before and it is nothing short of criminal.

    As for our being more free than ever, I find your examples lacking, they deal with laws that affected very few people, whereas today these laws affect us all.

    Anarchy has worked in the past, your examples of third world countries where it didn’t not withstanding.

    I don’t call people names on here or purposely twist their screen names into veiled insults, so why Kevin feels he can do it to me is amazing.

    As for Adam calling me out for claiming there are Statists on here, I didn’t. I merely said we seem to be able to get along, but WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THE STATISTS?

    You all seem to think that when we leave our property, we leave our rights there too. I completely disagree.

    Comment by Bill — January 24, 2008 @ 6:31 pm
  68. And let us not forget what the FED and its inflation has done to the value of the dollar, a 95% drop since 1913.

    Also, our rights are natural, we are born with them, they are not granted by man nor government, so your claims of our rights being a check only on government are false.

    Comment by Bill — January 24, 2008 @ 6:49 pm

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