I’ve taken flak for describing Ron Paul as controlled opposition. Here I’ll discuss his stance on money. I was pointed to the following overview of Ron Paul on the money issue to correct my alleged misrepresentation of his stances.
Ron Paul argues against more regulation [on the part of the government] and pitches for a free market economy by saying that the Fed should not be given more power, whereas giving the Fed more power means less regulation by the government as the Federal Reserve banks are fully private; the more power the Fed has, the greater the influence of the “free market.”
Ron Paul addresses the housing bubble by saying that Congress and the Fed encouraged the housing industry... finally the bubble burst and “we” [government] try to [pursue stupid policies] such as stimulating the housing market, cash for clunkers.... as a result “we” have no confidence in the market economy.
Reality check: the housing bubble and its busting was caused by the bankers a.k.a. the “free market”:
Boom: generously give out loans, which are funded out of nothing, to earn interest off of nothing...
Laughing all the way to the bank: make money by selling debt that can’t be paid off to investors, make money by selling insurance against the probability of defaults, make money by gambling on the probability of defaults...
Bust: loan less and cause a recession; acquire houses for pennies on the dollar.
Another reality check: The only money created by the government comprises of coins. Stimulating the housing market and cash for clunkers is just the bankers getting the government and hence the people more under debt.
Long-standing readers of MR will know that, over the years, we have enjoyed not just warm but quite heated relations with Perry de Havilland’s uber-libertarian blog, Samizdata. Having placed a comment of the usual incendiary kind on the thread to a Telegraph article titled Greece is slipping into the abyss, who should come along to bludgeon me with his critical-rational logic (or is it rational-critical, I never know) but Samizdata founder Perry de Havilland.
OK, so you don’t actually need to know what follows and, yes, I am being self-indulgent. But Perry was one of the first people to ban me. So he stands at the head of a small army of mad on-line liberals who have trespassed against me in that way, and he’s the only one I know by name, damn it! At the very least, he deserves to be turned into a foil for an explication of our Weltanschauung. Thus:
This attack is “oblique” because the direct target is Ayn Rand, whose philosophical followers call themselves Objectivists; some maintain that there is an important difference between objectivism and libertarianism. While there may indeed be an important difference it isn’t important to the attack, which will be seen to apply just as well to either.
On page 448-449 of my paperback edition of Atlas Shrugged, noble industrialist Hank Reardon is on trial before “a panel of three judges appointed by the Bureau of Economic Planning and Natural Resources”:
This is the keystone: there is no clash of interests among men. Pull it away and Rand’s ideology collapses. “There is no clash of interests” is another way of saying “there is no us and them any longer: in a proper understanding of the world there is only us.” How very anti-Darwinian! Considered another way, Reardon is telling the truth, but neglects to add that all creatures must by their natures “demand the unearned”, even unto cannibalism. Objectivism requires both moral universalism and cornucopianism. The same must be true of libertarianism.
If this is indeed Ron Paul’s opinion, I would like to ask him a series of questions.
Firstly, would he say that the land which currently comprises the USA morally belongs to: a. the people of America; b. the US Federal government; c. the whole world; or d. the Mexicans?
Secondly, if the answer to the first question is anything other than a., in what sense is that consistent with libertarian beliefs about people having the unquestionable right to their justly acquired property?
If, on the other hand, the answer is a., I would like to know how forcing the American people to accommodate, on what is morally their property, 60 million strangers they have no wish to have anything to do with is consistent with libertarian beliefs about freedom of association? Does one no longer have the right even to decide with whom to associate on one’s own property?
I would furthermore like to know why Ron Paul believes that an unwanted minority, only in the US because of government indifference to who the moral holders of a property think should be let in to this property, would in any way support libertarian initiatives.
If, as I suspect, these are not Ron Paul’s genuine views, then I would like to ask the same questions of whatever anti-property, anti-freedom anarcho-communist came up with this Kulturkampf-esque plan.
Addendum: The offending passage has now been removed. The questions should still be answered by whoever thought it right to associate such a position with libertarianism. However, I would like to add the further question of why LRC felt the need to ascribe a wholly fictitious position to Ron Paul.
The great parroterian himself, Perry de Havilland, has just seen fit to ban me from his blog. What occasioned this fit of distinctly unlibertarian censorship? What was my grievous sin? Did I perhaps doubt the ability of an individual to define himself? Did I question the compatibility of the war in Iraq with the non-aggression axiom?
No- it was my irredeemable “racism”, or rather my irredeemable inability to ignore objective reality about the races that made me feel the cold monstrosity of the libertarian state. I cannot remember offhand what precisely I wrote, my message having gone the way of a victim of a Stalinist show trial, but I’ll reproduce it as best I can. The context is Jonathan P. praising Euan Grey for refuting Matt O’Halloran’s race-realist ideas.
Here is approximately what I wrote in reply:
“EG did not dispose of anything, save perhaps of his reputation in our (if the plural isn’t too collectivist for your tastes) eyes. Matt and I made several claims about race, backed up by historical and scientific arguments. EG replied by asserting that mongrelisation leads to the opening of minds: a claim thoroughly refuted by the preponderance of socialist and anti-free speech tendencies amongst those of mixed ancestry.
Just look at London: one of the Mongrel capitals of the West, but scarcely a bastion of open minds. You would be on safer grounds if you claimed that inter-breeding opened arses, as there is a disturbing correlation between race-mixing and AIDS infection. But then, as good individualists, you think we should all support the Partisans of Sodomy.
If any of you wish to repeat this discussion, I could always copy what I said all those posts back. Or you could observe the mirth caused by your pathetic flailings at MR.com.”
What was I banned for? I admit some of my comments weren’t in the best of taste, but then the phenomenon I was describing isn’t precisely in the best of taste either. If anything, I was notably restrained considering the sort of abuse Perry routinely subjects us to.
If any of you wish to observe the latest twist in the war within the libertarian soul go to “The Economist on ‘soft paternalism’” on their website. Filed, incidentally and quite hilariously, under “opinions on liberty”!
I intended to write a post on the ramifications of sexual liberation (or the sexual “revolution”) in terms of its impact on our mores in the future. This is a subject which is broached quite often although the arguments in favour of greater liberation are never considered in the fullest sense of their real long term consequences.
The legalisation (or intended legalisation in the case of many American states) of Gay “marriage” was a massive step in the relentless march of liberal sexual morality (and this has occurred despite popular resistance to it - as with all the other cherished ideals of the liberal project). The question however is, how much further is this going to go? Have we gone far enough? Have we now permitted absolutely everything under the sun or are there still limits which gnaw away at the concept of the “sovereign” individual (and those limits therefore deserve to be destroyed because the individual is “sovereign”)?
Cross-posted at the Australian Libertarian Society
I’ve been devoting some of my time lately to examining alternative explanations for the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, and considering the necessary implications of each narrative for political and cultural discourse, and indeed freedom itself. This is an important thought process that all advocates of limiting government should undertake, because we must realise that the entire edifice of contemporary history - indeed virtually every assumption underlying much of our everyday life - is essentially constructed on the events of 9/11. That is why our understanding of the foundations themselves is crucial to what choices we take in the immediate future.
The prospects are great for ecologically imposed patriarchy enhancing the fertility of whites via oceanic frontiers. The majority of the earth’s surface remains not only uncultivated, but not biologically productive despite the presence of adequate sunlight and near-adequate nutrients. If recent experiments in iron fertilization of high nitrogen low chlorophyll oceanic surface regions are any indication, the primary ingredient lacking is the pioneering spirit that led to the cultivation and increased carrying capacity of the Anglosphere’s frontier territories: The United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. It is reasonable to expect that the Anglosphere alone could increase its numbers by a factor of 10, relatively unmolested by multicultural supremacists, during this pioneering renaissance and maintain if not improve the quality of their populations. Other, less sea-faring European peoples could enjoy smaller but nevertheless profound population and territorial relief. Moreover this population increase could be very rapid if the fertility rates of the United States frontier is any guide. This is a prospect that seems plausible in no other way short of world war.
Posted by James Bowery on Thursday, March 9, 2006 at 11:19 PM in Demographics, European Nationalism, Globalisation, Libertarianism, Science & Technology, White Nationalism
That motley collection of identical Sovereign Individuals and non-aggression axiom loving warhawks over at Samizdata have finally noticed our existence. Well, not this website’s, but certainly that of what they charmingly and inanely call “race collectivists”. A regular commentator called VeryRetired (and thank god for that) apparently wrote:
“My experience of racists is that they are race based collectivists who are so utterly without anything to redeem them (and know it), that they pick out something they didn’t have to earn (race) and claim that as their most valuable asset.”
Well, my experience of libertarians is that they are ideology based collectivists who are so utterly without anything to redeem them (and know it), that they pick out something they didn’t have to earn (their ever so correct opinions) and claim that as their most valuable asset. I decided to notify them of my existence in the following manner:
“Meanwhilst, “in the real world”, Blacks get together to filch from Whites, Mestizos get together to make American open borders a fait accompli, and Arabs get together to preach radical, anti-West jihad.
Oh, and as to your post-racial fantasies: have you noticed that the greater the number of inter-breds, the less liberty there is in a place? Deprived of any other identity, mongrels attach themselves to the all-powerful state to find some sort of belonging.
You state that believing in racial differences is the product of a sense of personal inferiority. Yet, if racial differences do exist, and judging by the performance of Blacks on just about any metric they do, then they should be believed in.
You state that the success of a nation is the result of its freedoms, not its race. But a nation’s freedoms are the product of its race. Why was classical liberalism only ever tried in the West?
You claim to libertarians: well, then, presumably you are opposed to social engineering. Yet, that is precisely what is necessary to convince the people to welcome every ethnicity under the sun into their embrace. The miscegenation you celebrate is the direct result of half a century of government propaganda to the effect that “if it feels good, do it”.
Every self-governing people in history has resisted large scale immigration. It is the empires, the late Romans and the Persians and the Mongols and the Soviets, which welcomed the great unwashed mass, caring as they did not for their people but for their military might.
“Diversity, tolerance, araciality” are the swan song of every civilization, and the beginning of many a dictatorship.
Is it possible to be a race-based libertarian? If you consider opposing government propaganda, social engineering and the whims of emperors to be libertarian, it most certainly is.”
That resulted in a veritable Niagara Falls of verbal diarrhea, as I was accused, in posts lacking any sort of evidence or argument whatsoever, of ignorance. I guess the truly enlightened do not need to discuss and debate: they just know what the case is.
Remembering what Kirk said about libertarians being like wild-eyed anarchists, albeit ones that don’t even know which sex they are, I invite you to watch the bitch fight progress.
I’d like to see some stats on the numbers of women drugged on diazipines and SSRIs. Did not I read that these drugs also suppress libido?
There is a pharmacy near where I live, in a very posh section of town, “professional women” can be seen frequenting this place in the droves, I’d bet they’re filling their purses with Prozac. We live in sick culture, I’ll say that.
The robust – I might say characteristically robust – response from a number of MR people to John’s “jolly Indian” post set me thinking about the problem of Individualism. And it is a problem for us. Not so much, perhaps, in cases such as Razib’s, who today answered a query about “the substantive difference between you (Razib) and the Majority Rights crowd” as:-
Now, I agree with Razib here. MR is primarily a vehicle to discuss the present and future life of Western Man, while GNXP argues for “Eastern Man’s” interests in the West and ONLY in the West by commending to us the lot of an atomised individual. (And if you are offended by that recommendation, you bloody well should be. It is offensive.)
Offensive he may be, but Razib is no evil genius. He is an uncomplicated young guy pursuing his “individual rights” in an entirely predictable way, and I don’t disdain him for that. I do disdain him, along with all GNXPers, for acting like the worst leftist and blackening our names for doing what we can to defend our group interests. But if he and we can agree that he does it in the name of a competing interest – he doesn’t want to be excluded just because we prefer our own kind – then at least we all know where we are coming from. Namely, the Salterism which GNXP’s David B so utterly failed to disprove or discredit because it can’t be disproved or discredited. It is manifestly true.
A libertarian peace treaty with communitarians from the Mises Institute
Brad Stone recently delivered a lecture at the Mises Institute concerning the relevance of the work of Robert Nisbet to the libertarian movement. He argued that it is important for libertarians to also be “communitarians,” defending traditional social institutions from the state. He cautioned against the valorization of the individual and any position that acknowledges only individual rights as ideas that lend themselves to a growth in state power.
Overall, the presentation was insightful. The importance of families and other such small communities (“subsidiary institutions” in the language of Catholic social teaching) should be a topic of concern to libertarians, and precisely for some of the reasons that Dr. Stone identified, such as the provision of services often connected to the modern welfare state. The introduction to Nisbet was also welcome as a point of intellectual history in light of the connection between the Old Right and the modern Austro-libertarian movement.
My thanks go to Michael R for a link to a Lew Rockwell article written last month by Ira Katz. Michael wanted in particular to point out a quote in the article by Ortega y Gasset from his classic of 1930, The Revolt of the Masses.
This was Katz’s opening shot in a bid to reconcile libertarianism and Conservatism, somewhat akin to Frank Meyer’s Fusionism of the 1950’s and 60’s.
I normally mention my own political outlook only in passing. I am more interested in understanding what is happening in the world about me than I am in proposing my own grand theories. And in that respect I think I am a mainstream conservative. Conservatives don’t like grand theories. I do however find libertarian ideas a very useful framework for thinking about problems. I think that most of society’s problems are caused by governments usurping choices that could better be made by individuals and that government is just about the worst way of doing almost anything. So libertarians normally have a good answer to most social problems—allow more freedom for individual choice. Libertarians have ideas and concrete proposals with a clear rationale and persuasive precedents. And that is a great contrast with the dismal Leftist reflex of solving everything via ever more pervasive coercion. And libertarian proposals in most spheres are normally congenial to conservatives too.
Where libertarians normally part company with conservatives is over moral issues. Conservatives want less regulation than Leftists but they do want some regulation. Exposing part of a black woman’s breast at a major sporting event upsets some conservatives dreadfully, for instance. I am afraid that I remain a total libertarian on such issues. What people do with their own bodies seems to me to be supremely their business. And all arguments that some idea or claim should not be uttered or made known simply suggest to me that the idea or claim concerned is a powerful one that cannot easily be opposed. I would not go so far as to say that any censored idea or claim is automatically correct but I think there is a strong presumption in that direction. So the argument that sexual restraint should be fostered by censorship of sexual expression suggests to me that the arguments in favour of sexual restraint are weak.
I was still sixteen and a schoolboy in the Summer of Love, such as it was in the suburban South London we knew then. So I was too young and, anyway, far too reserved to give myself up to the general intoxication. By the time another year had flown by and my boyish innocence had fallen away so grass smoking and the love-in was joined in the public’s image of youth by communist-orchestrated violence on the streets and the sheer fun of defying authority.
From that, at least, I was comprehensively saved by my drug of choice: horsepower. Four wide wheels, grunt under the bonnet, juice in the tank … yes. But left-wing politics? Jesus, man, fuck that.
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