By Ron Paul
Many people think the Internal Revenue Service was violating civil liberties when it harassed tea party groups. After all, the groups were targeted because they wanted to exercise their civil liberty to challenge government policies. However, the specific issue in the IRS case was the groups’ application for tax-exempt status, which seems to be an aspect of economic liberty. In fact, the IRS case demonstrates that there is no meaningful distinction between civil and economic liberties. A true friend of the free society defends both civil and economic liberties.
Many “civil libertarians” who oppose government laws interfering in the personal choices of consenting adults support laws preventing consenting adults from working for below the minimum wage. Other civil libertarians support government programs forcing consenting adults to purchase health insurance. Many liberals who join libertarians in opposing the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping fail to protest Obamacare’s assault on medical privacy. Even worse are those “First Amendment defenders” who cheer on government actions preventing religious individuals from operating their businesses in accord with the teachings of their faith.
The hypocrisy of left-wing civil libertarians is matched by the hypocrisy of many “economic conservatives.” Too many conservatives combine opposition to high taxes and Obamacare with support for authoritarian measures aimed at stopping individuals from engaging in “immoral" behavior. These conservatives do not understand that using force to stop people from engaging in nonviolent activities that some consider immoral is just as wrong as using force to make people purchase health insurance. Obamacare and the drug war both violate individual rights, and neither has any place in a free society.
In a free society, individuals must respect the right of others to make their own choices free from government coercion. However they do not have to approve of those choices. Individuals are free to use peaceful persuasion to stop others from engaging in immoral or destructive behavior. They can also avoid associating with individuals or businesses whose actions they find immoral or simply distasteful.
Many civil and economic libertarians also mistakenly believe that they can defend liberty while supporting an imperialist foreign policy. It is impossible to be a true civil libertarian, or a true fiscal conservative, and support the warfare state.
America’s imperialist foreign policy is the underlying justification for the rise of the modern surveillance state, and the reason Americans cannot board an airplane without being harassed and humiliated by the Transportation Security Administration. The warfare state is also the justification for the government’s greatest infringement on personal liberties: the military draft.
The United States government’s militaristic foreign policy costs taxpayers over $1 trillion a year. The costs of empire are major drivers of the American debt. Yet many of the most fervent opponents of domestic spending oppose even minuscule cuts to the defense budget. The government’s budget will never be balanced until conservatives give up their love affair with the welfare state and military Keynesianism.
Scholars, commentators, and other public figures who defend liberty in some areas and authoritarianism in other areas — or combine a defense of economic or civil liberty with a defense of the warfare state — undermine the case for the liberties they claim to cherish. Restoring the link between economic liberty, civil liberty, and peace is a vital task for those seeking to restore a society of liberty, peace, and prosperity. I examine the link between an interventionist foreign policy and a loss of our civil and economy liberties in my new book Swords into Plowshares.
You can purchase a copy of Swords into Plowshares here.
By Tom Woods
Here's one of the 400 videos I made for RonPaulHomeschool.com. This video is a sample lesson from Western Civilization from 1493.
By Justin Raimondo
Ron Paul changed American politics in a way that no single individual can claim: it was Paul, a congressman from a rural district in Texas, who put libertarianism on the political map. It was the movement he inspired – a movement driven largely by young people – that has challenged the War Party like no other. Not even the antiwar movement of the 1960s has done so much to change the American consciousness when it comes to our interventionist foreign policy – and Paul’s new book, Swords Into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity, encapsulates the spirit of the man and the seed he has planted.
Written in the form of a memoir, Swords Into Plowshares tells the story of how Paul’s philosophical and political development made him into one of the foremost champions of peace in the history of this country. Born in a small farming community in Pennsylvania, young Ron grew up during the early years of World War II and he relates that experience – the rationing, the war propaganda, the deaths that impacted his friends and family – from the perspective that only wisdom and distance can grant. No, he wasn’t born a libertarian – that came later – but he instinctively recoiled at the tragedy and regimentation that wartime America engendered. Through the Korean “police action” and then into the Vietnam era – when Paul, by then a medical doctor, served in the Air Force – the author recalls his growing alienation from the rah-rah “patriotism” and unthinking belligerence expected of all “good” Americans during that era.
By the time Paul was elected to Congress as a Republican, in 1976, he had become convinced that the foreign policy of the Founders – friendly relations with all, entangling alliances with none – was the best prescription for peace and prosperity. Unfortunately, not many of his colleagues agreed with him.
As he examines the history of US global interventions since the Eisenhower administration, Paul notes how brazen our empire-building has become. Whereas under Eisenhower – whose reign is usually thought of as a relatively peaceful era – the interventions were mostly covert, as time went on our policy of global meddling evolved slowly but surely into outright aggression, openly practiced, and even trumpeted. Until we finally arrived at the ultimate militarism of the Bush Doctrine – a morally perverse policy that allowed us to “justify” the ethically indefensible policy of preemptive war, i.e. attacking countries that had never attacked us and posed no credible threat to our security.
There is so much material packed into this volume – the nature of war, the welfare-warfare state, the effectiveness of war propaganda, the historical origins of neoconservatism, the economic fallacies perpetuated by war propagandists, and that’s just for starters – that a comprehensive review would make a small book in itself. The best I can do, in the space allotted to me, is to give you a glimpse into what I would unhesitatingly call the best and most convincing antiwar polemic of our times.
Paul is best known for his deep knowledge of economics, which finds expression in his longstanding crusade to rein in – and eventually abolish – the Federal Reserve system. His focus on this issue made him a lonely figure in Washington for many years – that is, until his campaign finally bore fruit with the “mainstreaming” of the “End the Fed” campaign. His prescient prediction that foresaw the Great Collapse of 2008 led to the subsequent popularization of his anti-Fed views. And yet even as many conservatives came to recognize the real source of the boom-and-bust pattern of the economy over the years, they failed to see how the Fed enables our foreign policy of perpetual war. InSwords Into Plowshares, Paul makes the vital connection:
“Our economic policy, and in particular the Federal Reserve, is intertwined in global finance and our foreign policy. Without the power over the creation of money and credit employed by the politicians and central bankers working in secret, most wars could not be fought. The people would never tolerate the taxation and borrowing required to pay for the wars. Inflating the currency is more convenient and less noticeable. To the benefit of those who promote war, the cost of war is hidden and the payment delayed.”
Secrecy – in which the Fed is shrouded – is the greatest weapon in the arsenal of the State’s constant warfare against its own citizens: the costs are hidden from the populace, and thus are tolerated for a bit longer. Yet in the end, there is no evading the terrible toll. As Paul writes:
“Just as we can expect a cataclysmic end to a deeply flawed economic and monetary system, we should expect a similar end to the US Empire. And a strong case can be made that the two will reach their ends together.”
Ron Paul is nothing if not brutally honest, albeit not in a way that Donald Trump would dare engage in. When it comes to examining the crimes of our rulers, he is unsparing:
“It’s no longer a complaint about the ‘Ugly American.’ Instead the ‘Ruthless American’ is blaming others for acts of terrorism yet engaging constantly in the same.”
If the “American exceptionalism” our political class constantly invokes means exempting American policymakers from the judgment of history, then Paul, for one, is having none of it. Nor is he fooled by the fuzzy-minded “multi-lateralism” of the “realists” and internationalist liberals who think organizations like the United Nations and other transnational organizations hold out any real hope for peace:
“The tendency of multinational agreements and organizations to advance war, even if their stated purposes involve promoting peace, arises from the nature of government. By their very nature governments are opposed to peaceful resolution. Their goal is strictly to solidify power and gain economic advantage. Governments have always been in the business of war. They will not deliver peace. Most people naively believe that governments intend to promote peace, liberty, and security. It’s more accurate to say governments use force, including war, to secure power and wealth for a privileged class at the expense of the rest of the people.”
Paul doesn’t have a lot of confidence that governmental structures are going to give us a more peaceful and prosperous world. Which makes perfect sense: after all, he’s a libertarian, i.e. someone who knows better. Yet you don’t have to be a libertarian to appreciate – and agree with – Paul’s hardheaded analysis.
One of the most interesting aspects of this book is the insight it gives us into Paul’s career in Congress, and the difficulties posed for someone with his views. Like that time he tried to get on the House Foreign Affairs Committee:
“Initially they had told me with confidence that, with the Foreign Affairs Committee not a highly sought after committee, there would be no problem with me joining it. But, later, in a remarkably blunt statement my request was denied because, due to my opposition to foreign aid – to anyone. I was accused of not being a friend of Israel. I was pleased though that four years later, and without me changing my voting habits, I was, after persistent, polite requests, assigned to the Foreign Affairs Committee.”
While the most conservative Republicans rail against “special interests” who lobby Congress relentlessly in order to get subsidies for themselves, this same fastidiousness doesn’t carry over into the foreign policy realm – especially when it comes to Israel, which is given a blank check by these alleged paragons of fiscal virtue. Sen. Rand Paul, Ron’s son, ran into the same buzz-saw when he came out for abolishing all “foreign aid,” and no matter how strenuously he’s tried to appease the Israel lobby they won’t let him forget his supposed sin. Ron might have schooled his son in why appeasing these fanatics doesn’t work, but I suppose Paul the Younger had to learn this all on his own. I think I’ll send him a copy of Swords Into Plowshares: it couldn’t hurt.
A looming sense of apocalypse hangs over Ron’s narrative – he thinks we’re living in the shadow of the biggest financial crisis yet – but congruent with it is also a shining sense of optimism. I can’t quite explain how these two tropes can coexist in the same narrative without breaking its spine, and yet they do and the spine of this book is all the stronger for it. On the one hand, Ron sees the difficulties inherent in trying to change the direction of US foreign policy:
“Public opinion is a powerful tool, if not the ultimate tool, for changing policies of the seemingly omnipotent political leaders. The greatest danger is an apathy that allows for evil to thrive when bad people rule over us and provoke nationalistic and patriotic fervor that intimidates many into compliance.”
Yet Ron speculates that a political and cultural change is in the air, and poses the possibility that we are evolving beyond the mindless violence that has marred human history since the beginning of civilization. And although this is taking a very long view, he holds out some hope that we are beginning to see a change. He writes:
“Yes, we know that the war propagandists have the edge, with help from the government bully pulpit, the media, and, to a degree, Hollywood. But, today we have the Internet with which to compete.”
Yes, we do have the Internet, and it is an invaluable tool. It’s how Antiwar.com gets past the “mainstream” media and reaches over the heads of the Establishment to make the case for a more peaceful and rational foreign policy. But we can’t do it without your help.
You may have noticed that, on our front page, our end-of-summer fundraising drive is beginning today. We do this four times a year: since we aren’t funded by some eccentric billionaire, and the big foundations aren’t interested either, we are totally dependent on you, our readers and supporters, for the funding we need to keep going. As Ron Paul points out in his book, the War Party has the tremendous resources of the Establishment media constantly pumping a steady diet of war propaganda into our brains – including the young brains of students imprisoned in the public school system, which teaches the War Party’s version of “history” and promotes State-worship as a matter of course.
If the younger generation is to break free from this State-imposed ignorance, then the only hope lies in the Internet – and that’s where Antiwar.com comes in.
We’ve been debunking the War Party’s mendacious narrative since 1995 – yes, since the very earliest days of the Internet. If we’re going to win the battle for public opinion in cyberspace then Antiwar.com is an absolute necessity – but we can’t continue doing it without your support.
As a special inducement to our supporters and potential supporters, we’re offering a copy of Ron Paul’s Swords Into Plowshares with each donation of $100 and over. And it’s all tax-deductible.
The above review doesn’t even begin to describe the sheer value of this book: it’s chock full of the intellectual ammunition you need to make the case for peace to your friends, family, and associates – and it’ll expand your own understanding in most unexpected ways. I thought I knew a lot about the history of this country’s wars and the case for a noninterventionist foreign policy, but Swords Into Plowshares was a real lesson for me: Ron Paul’s years of experience at the center of the national debate is a value that can’ be measured in monetary terms.
And the same, I think, goes for Antiwar.com: the value you’re getting from this site really can’t be calculated, because what we’re doing is giving you a glimpse into the future – news of wars and rumors of wars before they happen. Because that’s what the people need in order to win the fight for peace.
Antiwar.com is reaching more people than ever before: we now have a Drudge link, which is a tremendous help, and we’re being cited in the “mainstream” media on a regular basis. Yet we still lack the financial resources we need to keep from worrying about where our next dollar is coming from.
I wish we could afford to hand out Swords Into Plowshares for free – but unfortunately we just can’t. Antiwar.com doesn’t even come close to having those kinds of resources – not when we’re being outspent by the War Party by a factor of 10,000 to one. This is your chance to help level the playing field.
No, your contribution doesn’t have to be $100 or over – most of our donations don’t rise to that level. The book premium is an inducement for those who can afford it to give more. We’re happy with what you can afford to give; you can be sure it will be greatly appreciated.
Our small and greatly overworked staff is toiling day and night to make sure the American people are informed about what their government is doing overseas in their name. The darkness of that task very often weighs us down: it’s a lot to carry on our shoulders. Yet we are buoyed up by the hope that we can change our foreign policy if only we let the people know and present them with an alternative. Please help us carry out this important work: make your tax-deductible contribution today.
This article was originally published at Antiwar.com
By Ron Paul
Without dictators there would be no war. Dictators don’t all look like Hitler, Stalin, or Mao Zedong. There are many flavors and degrees of dictators. All of them are authoritarians. We have economic authoritarians, military authoritarians, and lifestyle authoritarians. They are all part of the problem because all of them support the initiation of violence and feel obligated to do us all a big favor by blessing us with mandates. Authoritarians like dependency and use government to exert their power and force their opinions on others.
Even with the advancement of society we continue to have “wars and rumors of war” as was prophesied. Yet I believe it’s possible for mankind to mature and “evolve” for the better, ushering in an age when fewer wars will be fought. While we’ll never rid the world of the monsters who live to rule others while suffering no remorse for the wars they instigate and rationalize, we can take action to keep the dictators from gaining great power.
The evil and needless suffering that the dictators cause never influences the warmongers to change their minds about human relations. Can one imagine a Dick Cheney, a Donald Rumsfeld, a John McCain, a Lindsey Graham, or a Joe Lieberman ever giving up his neoconservative beliefs and seeking peaceful solutions for the world’s problems rather than constantly advocating war? This goes for all the dictators of the world, current and past. They know best! They are the boss! The people aren’t smart enough about matters of vital importance like war, the dictators believe; the dictators will take care of us. This attitude is characteristic of economic dictators as well as dictators advancing foreign intervention. Look at what’s happened to this country in the last several decades with policies of expansive foreign and economic intervention supported by Democratic and Republican politicians and all branches of government.
Dictators, big and small
Dictators come in all sizes and shape. The many varieties of dictators, both big and small, are encouraged by the dependent masses who believe the lies the dictators and their facilitators trumpet persistently. Too many people believe a “free lunch” is just around the corner. If the people don’t have a strong government to protect them from domestic and foreign threats, they reason, how can they possibly be safe, secure, and well fed?
Most dictators gain support of the people by deception. Those who want to run our lives, always for “noble” reasons of course, deceive the people, and even themselves at times. The little dictators are local government officials. They start out with minor regulations of our persons and property. The worst kind of dictators is the tyrant of the Hitler, Stalin, and Mao Zedong variety. But, no matter how big or small dictators are, they all accept 100 percent the principle that granting government authority to manipulate our lives and control our property is legitimate and morally acceptable. Though it may be supposed a simple matter to contain their dictatorial urges, government power and its corruption tends to grow in spite of all efforts made to place barriers to the rise of dictators.
Most believers in limiting the government’s use of aggression who seek positions of political influence yield to the temptation to use government to solve many problems of the world. Their attitude about the role of government quickly changes once they’re in office.
Dictators, whether central economic planners, warmongers, or both, often see themselves as equalizers. They justify their use of force as only to help the weak, the sick, the hungry, the poor, and the unfortunate. But, most problems that political power holders argue it is their obligation to solve were created by previous government actions. This causes the bureaucratic system and profiteering special interests to metastasize. What really happens? Government grows, money rules, and the largess feeds into a culture of dependency. The three percent in need, with government benevolence, become six percent then 12 percent and grows continuously until the government goes broke and poverty engulfs the entire society as we have witnessed in Detroit. The perpetrators of the disaster scream that the only solution is more government benevolence.
Government has no moral authority to compromise the principle of nonaggression. And the people have no moral authority to use government force to give themselves benefits. Accept these two principles and the dictators lose their power.
The above in an excerpt from Ron Paul's new book Swords into Plowshares. Get your copy today!
By Norm Singleton
A popular trick of politicians who wish to placate both sides of the gun debate is to introduce legislation aimed as keeping guns out of the hands of those with "mental health problems". For example, Texas Senator John Cornyn has introduced legislation creating a new federal grant program to states to share the names of people with "serious" mental health problems with the national background check system.
This proposal could result in someone who has a serious, but temporary, struggle with depression being permanently deprived of their second amendment rights.
Restricting the second amendment rights of those with "mental health problems" could effect those who support individual liberty and limited constitutional government. Some mental health professionals have claimed that support for free-markets and limited government is a sign of mental illness--implying that most of the readers of this blog suffer from mental illnesses.
Libertarian psychiatrist Thomas Szasz famously pointed out that diagnosis of mental health can be quite subjective, thus oftentimes used to deprive individuals of their liberties for engaging in 'eccentric' behavior.
Those improperly diagnosed with mental health problems are oftentimes prescribed potentially dangerous psychotropic drugs. The overuse of psychotropic drugs like Ritalin is a serious problem in our nation's schools. Some children have actually been given drugs such as Ritalin against their parents wishes.
President Bush's misnamed "New Freedom Commission" on mental health recommended that government force all school children to undergo mandatory mental health screening. Rep. Ron Paul led the fight against this proposal when he was in Congress. While the Commission's recommendation has not yet been implemented, there are still pushes for mandatory screening.
Just this year, Texas Representative Jason Villalba introduced legislation giving Texas teachers the authority to force students suspected of having mental health problems to undergo mandatory mental health screenings. Fortunately, the Texas State Legislature did not consider this proposal.
Interestingly, Representative Villalba is also a promoter of mandatory vaccinations and even introduced legislation making it a crime for citizens to film incidents of police misconduct.
Here and below is Dr. Paul's official statement on the Parental Consent Act, legislation forbidding the use of federal funds mandatory mental health screening conducted without parental consent:
INTRODUCING THE PARENTAL CONSENT ACT
Here and below is Dr. Paul's tribute to libertarian scholar Thomas Szasz:
TRIBUTE TO THOMAS SZASZ
This article was originally published at The Campaign for Liberty
By Chris Rossini
Politicians (and Donald Trump) are notorious for not having any shame. Expediency and double-dealing are as easy to politicians as breathing in, and breathing out.
Scott Walker, who is in the process of running for President, and who is praised by his followers as some kind of radical cost-cutter, signed a $250 million spending bill to build a new arena for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. That's some good old-fashioned corporate welfare for Wisconsin taxpayers.
Apparently Walker feels no shame. He erroneously says that he's doling out this corporate welfare to save jobs, but out of the other side of his mouth he'll tweet something like this:
Walker is certainly not getting government out of the way. He's instead using it as piggy bank for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Putting Walker's rhetoric aside, he embodies the ideas of corporate welfare, cronyism, and to add insult-to-injury, a disgraced neocon foreign policy.
In other words, same old, same old.
Sanders’s boldest move on climate change is his plan for a carbon tax. He has introduced legislation, alongside Sen. Barbara Boxer, that would tax carbon emissions at $20 per ton.
By Chris Rossini
When a Presidential candidate declares war on economic law, they're declaring war on an opponent that they cannot beat. Leonardo da Vinci noted long ago that "Nature never breaks her own laws." As true as that statement is, it has never stopped politicians (and their supporters) from trying to do the impossible.
Presidential contender Bernie Sanders is vociferously trying to put da Vinci's truth to shame, specifically with the well-known economic law known as supply & demand. Sanders definitely knows that supply & demand exists. There's no doubt about that.
In fact, here is Ezra Klein describing Bernie's carbon tax proposal:
The point of this tax, though, isn’t to raise money. It’s to change the way the economy works. By making carbon-intensive activities more expensive, Sanders hopes to push producers and consumers toward more sustainable alternatives.
Let's put aside the fact that the federal government has absolutely no business creating a "carbon tax". Let's also put aside the arbitrary "$20 per ton" magic number that these politicians have concocted.
Let's focus on the motive:
So Bernie does understand supply & demand. He understands that if he pushes up the price of "carbon-intensive activities," it will force companies to find other alternatives. Sanders gets it! He shouldn't be making such a proposal, but he gets it!
Unfortunately, Sanders' respect for supply & demand is very selective. He wants it to exist for the "carbon tax," but he wants supply & demand to disappear when it comes to the minimum wage. As opposed to da Vinci, Sanders wants nature to break her own laws.
Bernie champions the imposition of a $15/hr minimum wage on employers. He sells this to his supporters as help from the government. In his mind, it's the job of the government to "give America a raise," or whatever slogan he uses.
But if Sanders forces an arbitrary $15/hr minimum wage, won't that make "labor activities" more expensive? Won't that force employers to find other alternatives? Yes, of course it will!
Raising the minimum wage is like a kick to the gut for teenagers, the poor and low-skilled. They're forced (by law) into the unemployment line. These individuals could find work were the minimum wage abolished, but politicians (like Bernie) are apparently fine with them remaining jobless.
What about the alternatives? What will employers look to do as a result of this disastrous law? Well, the minimum wage provides a major incentive for employers to automate as much as they can. Fast-food companies like McDonald's are already rolling out kiosks that customers can use to place their orders.
Sanders' proposal harms the very people that he's purportedly trying to help! Does he believe that supply & demand will work for the "carbon tax," but will not work for the minimum wage?
If so, my money is on Leonardo da Vinci, and his statement that "Nature never breaks her own laws."
By Dan Sanchez
Ron Paul is a man of faith. His faith shines through every page of his new book, Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity.
The title itself, based on a Biblical verse, evinces his religious faith, which greatly strengthens his steadfast opposition to war.
But what most pervades the book is Dr. Paul’s faith in humanity: his belief that mankind is naturally inclined to peace and averse to war. He devotes an entire chapter of his book to “Our Peaceful Nature.” And, he gives no credence to platitudes about “the inevitability of war,” largely because of this faith in man’s basically peaceful predisposition.
This is no blind faith, but a thoroughly informed one.
Dr. Paul sees humanity’s true nature bursting through artificial restraints in the many incidents throughout history of soldiers defying their commanders and choosing to show mercy, kindness, and even conviviality toward their fellow men on the other side of the battle lines. For example, he movingly relates the story of “The Christmas Truce.”
“World War I was only a few months old. The hate that automatically grows on both sides as the violence increases was not at a fever pitch on that very special and different Christmas Eve. That growth in hate came later, once it was clear that many of those soldiers on both sides who were involved in the truce that exceptional night were wrong in their belief that the war would end quickly. The dramatic and spontaneous truce that Christmas Eve spawned by the wishes of young German, British, French, and Belgian soldiers reveals the true nature of most human beings forced into wars that have no meaning.” [Emphasis added here and throughout.]
Dr. Paul also sees humanity’s natural revulsion against fratricide in the epidemic of “moral injury” among American veterans. Their devastating psychological problems cannot be fully explained by the terrors of personal combat. The specter of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will even visit drone pilots in their safe, air-conditioned control rooms, and haunt them at home ever after. As Dr. Paul put it:
“It is now known that the “sterile” nature of this type of killing of innocents does not prevent the problem of PTSD.” (…)Drone operators do suffer with PTSD and suicidal thoughts in spite of the fact that they are located thousands of miles from their targets. The real guilt of many is not felt immediately, and it can take years for it to end in suicide.”
Dr. Paul tells of the tragic consequences:
“Today, with 22 American military veterans committing suicide each day, it’s impossible to claim any victory from our decades of misadventure in the wars that our leaders have dragged us into. (…) Not being able to morally justify our wars contributes significantly to the suffering of our veterans.”
A major indicator of our peaceful nature is the fact that governments have to work so hard to overcome it in order to wage their wars. Indeed, according to Dr. Paul, government manipulation of the masses is the chief reason why man, in spite of his peaceful and sociable inclination, has been beset by so many wars throughout his history.
Indeed, governments are as predisposed toward war as individuals outside of government are predisposed against it. As Dr. Paul writes:
“By their very nature governments are opposed to peaceful resolution.”
This is because war nourishes the power and prestige of government, as official warmongers are fully aware:
“The authoritarians are mainly concerned with their power. They know well what Randolph Bourne revealed in his essay ‘The State’: ‘War is the health of the State.’”
To overcome their subjects’ natural reluctance to go to war, governments must resort to lying, fear-mongering, and jingoistic propaganda to make them feel direly threatened by a foreign foe. Only after this is accomplished do the people accept that the times are so desperate as to call for war, that most desperate of measures. As Dr. Paul writes:
“Certain conditions must exist for the people to be persuaded to support a war that challenges their natural instincts. (…)
Dr. Paul concludes:
“The common people of all nations have always preferred peace, harmony, and prosperity over war. War propaganda, however, can overwhelm the natural inclination to seek peace.”
Governments tell countless lies to deceive the public into war. Dr. Paul and his Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity debunk such lies in real time every day in columns and on the Ron Paul Liberty Report show.
But in this book, Dr. Paul undercuts all such lesser lies at once and in advance by dismantling the one big lie upon which they depend: the falsehood that war makes us any safer in any case. He shows how, even if all the government’s horror stories about foreign bogeymen were true, war would still do nothing to effectively address those threats or enhance our security. To the contrary, it only endangers us.
Dr. Paul describes how “War is death and suffering,” discusses “The peril of entangling alliances” versus the benefits reaped by “Swiss neutrality,” and once again explains the principle of “Blowback,” as he has done for millions ever since his famous 2007 exchange with Rudolph Giuliani. He warns that, thanks to recent US foreign policy, for many around the world:
“It’s no longer a complaint about the “Ugly American.” Instead the “Ruthless American” is blaming others for acts of terrorism yet engaging constantly in the same.”
In an indictment of President Obama’s allegedly “smarter” and “more targeted” foreign policy, Dr. Paul argues that drone warfare does nothing to alleviate blowback, and if anything exacerbates it. Furthermore, Obama will not be able to tiptoe around blowback with his constant recourse to covert foreign intervention.
“Pretending to keep our hands clean by providing ‘secret’ assistance to various warring factions and limiting our military involvement by using drones will not serve the cause of peace even if such actions are less noticeable and not condemned by the American people. The victims of this policy know exactly where the money and arms come from.”
Dr. Paul relates scholarly work demonstrating that it is foreign occupation, and not religious fervor, that chiefly motivates suicide terrorism. And he argues that economic sanctions are counter-productive, in part because:
“…an opposed nation’s political leaders can often rally domestic support by blaming sanctions for people’s troubles.”
Some warmongers even contend that war not only makes us safer, but richer too. This is the other big lie that Ron Paul dismantles, devoting two whole chapters to explaining how war destroys, and does not create, wealth. He also shows how governments use central banking and unsound money to surreptitiously finance their wars.
Ron Paul warns that America’s rampant and profligate foreign policy, “will become a major contributing factor one day to a financial crisis associated with a national bankruptcy.” But he sees a silver lining in that dark cloud:
“This crisis may provide a historic opportunity to witness the failure of the current system built on bad ideas and to advance a replacement consistent with the cause of liberty.”
But such a rebound could only happen if the educational groundwork has already been laid.
“Yet, educational efforts that appear to yield no policy changes for years on end can set the groundwork for quick changes in times of chaos and distress. Patience, convictions, and vigilance are required.”
Ron Paul does not put forth elections and officeholders as the vehicles for such changes. Far from it, he writes that:
“The people who desire peace and prosperity must accept the fact that government and the politicians never deliver peace or prosperity.”
The heroes Ron Paul recognizes in the short run are not politicians, but educators and whistleblowers. He specifically cites Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.
As for the long run, Ron Paul takes a splendidly radical stand for civil disobedience, calling for an eventual:
…refusal to participate in government crimes through the military and tax system with full realization of the risks of practicing civil disobedience since government will not go away quietly;
Ron Paul closes his book with stirring optimism:
The more this is a worldwide movement the better. It may be radical, and it may have never been tried. Yet, there’s no reason to believe that mankind and civilization cannot advance in our political understanding. It worked in science; there it changed the world. There’s every reason to believe that a philosophy that strips government of all its arbitrary power will provide the world with its best chance for achieving peace and prosperity with AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME.”
Ron Paul’s Swords into Plowshares is a principled yet practical, realistic yet radical, message of peace and hope. For a generation afflicted by an empire that has declared the whole world a battlefield, it is just what the doctor ordered.
It is also a very personal book written from the heart by a plainspoken, but highly learned and deeply moral man. Due not only to his religious convictions, but also his abiding faith in both basic human decency and the power of ideas, he shares the optimism of Isaiah, who prophesied that one day, the people of the world:
“…will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.”
Join Ron Paul at the Mises Institute’s celebration of his 80th birthday this Saturday in Lake Jackson, Texas. Registration is only $20. This is your chance to thank the world’s foremost champion of peace and wish him a happy birthday on a very special occasion. I hope to see you there!
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By Robert Wenzel
Donald Trump revealed a bit more of his nationalistic anti-trade perspective this morning and linked it to the views of the Democratic socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
The U.S. getting “ripped off left and right on trade” is “one of my big things, we’re getting killed by China,” Trump said in telephone interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Trump says he was watching Sanders talk about trade and “I said, ‘you know, I think I can take that paragraph and just use it in my speech’”
“Now here’s the difference between Bernie Sanders and myself. I negotiate. I will make great deals with China. He can’t do that,” Trump says, “but he knows the problem, at least."
Trump has called for high tariffs against Mexico. China and Japan and seems to hold the view that trade is not about deals between two businessmen, whatever ground they stand on, but about macho nationalistic deal making between rulers.
Trump is actually worse on trade than Mussolini.
In a speech to the Italian senate in 1930 (as reported in Economic Fascism: Primary Sources on Mussolini's Crony Capitalism), in the shadow of the US stock market crash, Mussolini said
Well, tariffs are always poisonous, but next to Trump, Mussolini looks like Ludwig Erhard.
This article was originally published at EconomicPolicyJournal.com
[T]here is not much that can be done, perhaps the already extremely high customs barriers could be raised, but as has been seen at a certain point this proves counterproductive. Custom duties, like some medicines, become poisonous beyond a certain dose...
By Ron Paul
Among the items awaiting Congress when it returns from its August break is reconciling competing House and Senate bills reauthorizing No Child Left Behind. These bills passed early this spring. Each bill is being marketed as a huge step toward restoring state and local control over education. However, an examination of both bills shows that both provide local schools with only limited relief from a few federal mandates.
The biggest problem with these so-called reform bills is that they do not significantly reduce federal education spending. Congress and the executive branch use the promise of “free” money — which they have taken from the American taxpayer — to convince state and local governments to allow the federal government to control the classrooms. The only way to protect American schoolchildren from schemes like Common Core is to repeal, not replace, the federal Department of Education.
Restoring local control over education would be a good step toward restoring constitutional government. However, simply replacing federal bureaucrats with state, or even local, bureaucrats will not create an education system capable of leaving no child behind.
The key to real education reform is to give parents control over education by giving them control over the education dollar. When parents control the education dollar, schools must be responsive to parental demands that children receive a quality education that meets their unique needs. Therefore, if Congress was serious about improving education, it would defund the warfare-welfare state, which would then allow dramatically reduced taxes. Congress could also end the Federal Reserve, thus freeing middle and working class Americans from the regressive inflation tax.
In order to make parental control meaningful, parents must be able to choose from a variety of education alternatives. Thus, private schools, religious schools, and homeschools must be allowed to compete in a free market without government interference. This would allow parents to choose an appropriate education for their child.
The growing popularity of homeschooling has already created a thriving market in homeschooling curricula. Working with a team of scholars, I have developed my own homeschooling curriculum. My homeschooling curriculum provides students with a rigorous education in history, math, English, foreign languages, and other subjects. The curriculum is designed to benefit both college-bound students and those interested in pursuing other educational or career opportunities.
The curriculum features three tracks: natural science/math, social sciences/humanities, and business. Students may also take courses in personal finance and public speaking. The government and history sections of the curriculum emphasize Austrian economics, libertarian political theory, and the history of liberty. Unlike the curricula in too many government-run schools, my curriculum never sacrifices education quality to ideological indoctrination.
The curriculum is free for students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Families with a student above the fifth grade pay $250 a year, plus $50 per course.
I am offering three special deals to allow parents to see if my curriculum is right for their child. One is an academic boot camp, designed especially for college-bound students. This is a six-week course that should help students raise their grade point average by at least a full point.
The curriculum is also offering special courses in phonics and mathematics for preschoolers. Both courses consist of 40 video-based lessons designed to teach children basic math and reading in two months.
If you are a parent searching for an appropriate homeschool curriculum for your child, please consider enrolling your child in my academic boot camp, my preschool mathematics program, or my preschool phonics program. Go to ronpaulcurriculum.com for more information.