The Best in the Box
by Jim Davies, 10/22/2011
There is one way to terminate government, and one only: to motivate all its employees to quit their jobs. In The Fix, I showed how that is being done. It will take a few more years, but nearly everyone reading this will live to see it happen.
All other activity including political campaigns is therefore a total waste of time, except to the extent that they help educate the public about government and freedom; though even the best of them do so inconsistently and at huge expense. They have only one other merit: should a pro-liberty candidate be elected, he will make life much more agreeable while we await the real thing.
So it's certainly a pleasure to imagine that Ron Paul might be President, for I would enjoy that additional comfort - as well as the very important release from the increasingly horrible restrictions government will continue to impose if he isn't. He is by far the best of the Republican bunch, and there's nobody worth mentioning on the other side.
But he's still inside the Statist box, and so he will not bring liberty. Gold and peace, yes, I hope so; but freedom, no. It is impossible for the violators of freedom to grant it; for if they grant it and continue to exist, they can remove it again. Freedom is something that has to be seized, as in the lead paragraph above, and then its grabbers disarmed.
Freedom is quite simply the ability, as well as the right, to operate one's own life in any way one wishes; and because it applies to everyone, the single thing one is not free to do while exercising freedom is to interfere with anyone else's - directly or by proxy. Therefore, all and every government must be 100% eliminated. Ron Paul does not even promise that as an ultimate aim.
One example suffices to show why he is still boxed in by the Statist premise. On Wednesday in the car I had on the Rush Limbaugh show, with its multimillion Conservative audience, sub-hosted by Mark Steyn, and he actually mentioned Paul's name, along with the others; and a Paul "commercial" aired. In that well made spot, Paul told of how as an obstetrician he had once on the same day encountered a late-term aborted fetus, and a premature baby. The first was tossed in a bucket and set aside, the second was given all possible care and attention and survived healthy. "We have to sort this out," he said. I agree.
In his use of the word "we", however, in the context of a political race for votes, there can be no doubt that Paul meant that the anomaly must be sorted out by political means; that is, by government laws over-ruling the wishes of some people in society. He did not say that the matter can be sorted out by a free market, with government (if any) absenting itself. That proves his mind is, alas, still inside the box. Indeed, his web site actually threatens to overturn Roe v Wade and to promote a "Sanctity of Life Act. Who knows what that might contain, but with such a name the Act can be expected to favor the presumed interests of a zygote over the unquestionable ones of its host. Paul may urgently need the support of religious conservatives, but in seeking it he seems to be doing what all politicians must eventually do: compromise on principle. I saw him do it, in 1988. He ran for President then on the Libertarian ticket, after promising that he would faithfully represent the Party's pro-choice position and mention his own, opposite belief as personal only. When addressing a capacity crowd of students at Trinity College, Hartford, he broke that promise. The entire audience groaned. He had lost them.
An unfettered free market could "sort out" abortion rather easily. Several years ago I outlined a market solution, which would take care of far more of the problem than any government laws ever could (given the continuing existence of back alleys.)
It's very encouraging as well as mildly amusing to see how desperately the mainstream media try to ignore Paul's better proposals - the ones about the economy and foreign policy. Bloomberg, for example, isn't opposing his ideas for slashing FedGov size, but just wants it done more gradually - while repeating the increasingly desperate mantra that his "chances of making it to the White House are beyond remote." In similar vein IBD loves all his ideas except his alleged "isolationism" (false; he's not isolationist at all) which "hurts his chances to be seriously considered for the presidency." Note to self: forget any plans to subscribe to IBD. If they can be so wrong about this, why trust their investment advice?
Politics is not the solution, politics is the problem; for politics presumes that there is one correct answer to every question, and that is dead false. Freedom means freedom for every one, or it means nothing at all; and freedom for every one means a multiplicity of answers such as only a market can serve. This needs to be learned and understood, and one way to learn and understand it is freely available, and when it is learned and understood all politics will vanish. That's freedom.