By Ron Paul
In a free society, labor has the absolute right to organize, talk, work, and have tough negotiations with the businessman in a free market. But they also have to prove themselves. The unions have to prove they are good organizations that can produce productive workers. Believe me, if there’s a productive society the laborer is going to do well.
A lot of people have long thought we should put restraints on organized labor in order to curtail the power that they have been given. But free markets and voluntary associations can go a long way to solving this problem. Get rid of all the price controls on money and wages. They produce a mess that distorts things and creates even more poor people.
Right now I see a tremendous number of people (94 million) out of the work force. If you look at the government statistics, unemployment is only 5.1 percent! But you can’t fool people forever.
John Williams at ShadowStats says that the unemployment rate is really 23-24 percent. Even a government measurement of unemployment says that it’s 10 percent. The official unemployment rate has become like the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) -- it means nothing.
But the people are angry and disgruntled. The presidential campaign this year is different than ever before. As I have said, people vote from their bellies. The people are angry, upset, and fearful. They know they are being lied to. I’m just afraid they’ll ask for more government, rather than recognizing that government itself has been the problem.
The solution can be found in the principles of Liberty. That’s what we should be working for.
Thank you and be sure to tune in to tomorrow’s Liberty Report!
By Ron Paul
Last week Europe saw one of its worst crises in decades. Tens of thousands of migrants entered the European Union via Hungary, demanding passage to their hoped-for final destination, Germany.
While the media focuses on the human tragedy of so many people uprooted and traveling in dangerous circumstances, there is very little attention given to the events that led them to leave their countries. Certainly we all feel for the displaced people, especially the children, but let’s not forget that this is a man-made crisis and it is a government-made crisis.
The reason so many are fleeing places like Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq is that US and European interventionist foreign policy has left these countries destabilized with no hopes of economic recovery. This mass migration from the Middle East and beyond is a direct result of the neocon foreign policy of regime change, invasion, and pushing “democracy” at the barrel of a gun.
Even when they successfully change the regime, as in Iraq, what is left behind is an almost uninhabitable country. It reminds me of the saying attributed to a US major in the Vietnam War, discussing the bombing of Ben Tre: “It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.”
The Europeans share a good deal of blame as well. France and the UK were enthusiastic supporters of the attack on Libya and they were early backers of the “Assad must go” policy. Assad may not be a nice guy, but the forces that have been unleashed to overthrow him seem to be much worse and far more dangerous. No wonder people are so desperate to leave Syria.
Most of us have seen the heartbreaking photo of the young Syrian boy lying drowned on a Turkish beach. While the interventionists are exploiting this tragedy to call for direct US attacks on the Syrian government, in fact the little boy was from a Kurdish family fleeing ISIS in Kobane. And as we know there was no ISIS in either Iraq or Syria before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
As often happens when there is blowback from bad foreign policy, the same people who created the problem think they have a right to tell us how to fix it – while never admitting their fault in the first place.
Thus we see the disgraced General David Petraeus in the news last week offering his solution to the problem in Syria: make an alliance with al-Qaeda against ISIS! Petraeus was head of the CIA when the US launched its covert regime-change policy in Syria, and he was in charge of the “surge” in Iraq that contributed to the creation of al-Qaeda and ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The idea that the US can salvage its disastrous Syria policy by making an alliance with al-Qaeda is horrific. Does anyone think the refugee problem in Syria will not be worse if either al-Qaeda or ISIS takes over the country?
Here is the real solution to the refugee problem: stop meddling in the affairs of other countries. Embrace the prosperity that comes with a peaceful foreign policy, not the poverty that goes with running an empire. End the Empire!
By Norm Singleton
Last week's tragic shootings in Virginia have reignited efforts to pass new gun control laws, including extended "background checks." This presents a good time to revisit Ron Paul's writings on gun control and the second amendment.
1. Mental Health Screening is a good way to decrease Liberty, and a poor way to increase security.
Last week Americans were shocked and saddened by another mass killing, this one near a college campus in California. We all feel deep sympathy for the families of the victims.
2. More Guns Plus Less War Equals Real Security:
Last week’s tragic shootings in Canada and Washington state are certain to lead to new calls for gun control. The media-generated fear over “lone wolf terrorists” will enable the gun control lobby to smear Second Amendment supporters as “pro-terrorist.” Marketing gun control as an anti-terrorist measure will also enable gun control supporters to ally with those who support any infringement on liberty done in the name of “homeland security.”
This article was originally published at The Campaign for Liberty.
By Chris Rossini
Christians and Jews are being persecuted in the Middle East. Such a horrendous situation did not just fall from the sky. Though if you listen to Rick Santorum, you might think that it did:
"I can tell you, as president of the United States, if we’re gonna take refugees from Syria or refugees from Iraq or refugees from the Middle East, the refugees we’re gonna take are the people who being persecuted over there and the people who are being most persecuted over there are obviously, obviously Christians and Jews...They’re being crucified over there, they’re being burned at the stake, and they can’t get in the country [the U.S.]."
No prelude. No question as to why Christians and Jews are being persecuted, and no question as to why now?
In order to answer those questions, Santorum would have to shine light on a militaristic foreign policy that he supports for the United States.
Did Saddam Hussein persecute Christians? No he did not. Christians were safe in Iraq until the United States turned the country into a tinderbox where religious extremists could go after Christians.
Were Christians persecuted in Libya? No they were not. Once again, the United States turned another nation into complete chaos, where extremists run the show.
Were Christians persecuted in Syria? Once again, no. Syria is home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world! Trouble began when the U.S. and other Western powers decided to destabilize the country by backing violent "rebels."
Christians in Syria know the cause of their suffering. "It's simple," says Father Elias Hanout (of St Elias's Church - built in 542AD):
"If the West wants Syria to remain a country for Christian people, then help us to stay here; stop arming terrorists."
These are important details, don't you think?
It's time to stop this madness. The United States must return to the foreign policy of our Founders: Peace and no entangling alliances.
By Jeff Deist
Paul Krugman is world-weary. He's tired of being correct, tired of others being incorrect, and tired of the media for failing to make all of this known. He's especially tired of Ron Paul.
From his latest New York Times blog:
Almost 15 years have passed since I warned about media “balance” that involved systematically abdicating the journalistic duty of informing readers about simple matters of fact. As I said way back when, If a presidential candidate were to declare that the earth is flat, you would be sure to see a news analysis under the headline ”Shape of the Planet: Both Sides Have a Point.” After all, the earth isn’t perfectly spherical.
As we see, it's a heavy burden for one man to police the media year after year-- not to mention being the arbiter of simple matters of fact.
Why would a reporter credit the Fed’s critics with warnings they didn’t give, and fail to mention what they actually said? The answer, pretty obviously, is that if you were to say “Ron Paul has been predicting runaway inflation ever since the Fed began its expansionary policies”, that would make it clear that he has been completely wrong. And conveying that truth — even as a matter of simple factual reporting — is apparently viewed as taking sides.
What Krugman says is less interesting than what he really thinks. But fortunately he's easy to decipher, because his writing is full of poker tells-- what the Left calls "coded language" and "dog whistles" when their political opponents do it. He's writing for a receptive audience, namely New York Times readers who share his fatigue with the flyover yahoos who stand in the way of progress. But while most progressive writers adopt a sneering tone, Krugman chooses to show an almost magnanimous (but resigned) exasperation in the face of an American public that just doesn't get it.
Here are some recurring observations from his blog posts:
Mr. Krugman may well be a man of great intellect, and he may well believe what he professes to believe. But if the 20th century is any guide, being a progressive means never having to say you're sorry. It means never having to claim responsibility for the predictable consequences of the policies you advocate. And in Krugman's case, it means never having to admit that expansionary monetary policy and government spending cannot conjure up general prosperity. Hubris and certainty are no substitute for reality.
This article was originally published at The Mises Institute.
By Todd E. Pierce
Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul lays out a national security strategy for the United States in his book, Swords into Plowshares, which Carl von Clausewitz , the author of On War, would have approved. Clausewitz, a Prussian general in the early Nineteenth Century, is considered perhaps the West’s most insightful strategist, and On War is his classic work on the interrelationship between politics and war.
A close reading of On War reveals a book far more on the strategy of statecraft, that is Grand Strategy, than it is on the mere strategy of warfare. Unfortunately, very few readers have understood that. Indeed, Clausewitz’s target audience may have been principally civilian policy makers with his view that the political perspective must remain dominant over the military point of view in the conduct of war.
Whether or not Ron Paul ever read Clausewitz, Swords into Plowshares restores a proper understanding of statecraft as Clausewitz understood it and today’s American leaders fail to.
Helmuth von Moltke, who became Chief of the Prussian General Staff in 1857, almost immediately misappropriated and reinterpreted On War for his own militaristic purposes. (Clausewitz died in 1831.) Moltke was followed in this in 1883, when Prussian General Count Colmar von der Goltz, later known as the Butcher of Belgium in World War I, while paying homage to Clausewitz, wrote The Nation in Arms, a revision of Clausewitz’s On War and its complete opposite.
Moltke and Goltz twisted Clausewitz’s arguments in the interests of the Prussian military class that had come into full flower after Clausewitz’s time. For one, they self-servingly distorted On War by reversing the principle of civilian control to argue civilians must not interfere with military decisions. Also, their reinterpretations of Clausewitz as an advocate for total war became the stereotype which most people then accepted as Clausewitz’s thinking.
Most odiously, US Colonel Harry S. Summers, Jr. would later present to a post-Vietnam War audience Goltz’s version of Clausewitz. In doing so, Summers reversed Clausewitz’s position, which was that defense was stronger than attack, an argument against engaging in aggressive war. But Summers was collaborating with neoconservative Norman Podhoretz who shared Goltz’s militarism.
These distortions of Clausewitz’s principles — and that of America’s Founders who even earlier had established the idea of civilian control over the military — continue to the present day with US civilian policy makers now regularly deferring to the narrowly focused point of view of military leaders to the detriment of a sound national security strategy.
In Swords into Plowshares, Ron Paul offers a correction to this and a return to a civilian-directed national security strategy for the US to adopt which would restore a proper understanding of national interests and would be consistent with Clausewitz’s own strategic theory.
Peace as a Goal
Clausewitz would have heartily agreed with Ron Paul that “Having peace as a goal is both a key component of sensible foreign policy and crucial to economic prosperity and equal protection of all people’s liberty.”
Clausewitz would also have agreed with Paul that it is not sound national strategy when the result of having the most powerful military in history means to have “Americans continue to die in a series of wars, the treasury is bare, and the US is the most hated nation in the world.”
Clausewitz made his bones, so to speak, in fighting Napoleonic France which had a similar foreign policy in the early 1800s as the US has in the Twenty-first Century — using warfare and other means to achieve “regime change” — with the same negative results. France finally met its Waterloo (the original Waterloo coming to mean a decisive defeat) in 1815.
The question for the US isn’t if it will reach its own Waterloo, but when. Military solutions to geopolitical problems will inevitably exhaust even the most powerful nation, depleting its resources and manpower. Only by reversing imperial overreach and achieving peace can a sustainable prosperity become possible.
Clausewitz fully understood that reality, which is why he was an advocate of diplomacy and of restoring peace as soon as costs exceeded the benefit of whatever political object the war was being fought over. Clausewitz would be aghast at arguments that a war must be continued to “show resolve” or other such nonsensical purposes.
An expert on Clausewitz, Michael Howard, wrote that Clausewitz was a scholar as well as a Field General and knew and respected the works of political philosopher Immanuel Kant. Accordingly, Clausewitz would no doubt have been aware of and influenced by Kant’s 1795 tract entitled Perpetual Peace. Paul’s Swords Into Plowshares is in that tradition and applies the lessons to today.
Defense, Not Offense
In Clausewitz’s time and place, he had to fight a war of national survival against Napoleon, who could be viewed as the predecessor of today’s American neoconservative idea of using war as the means of imposing political change on other countries.
Clausewitz first fought France for his native country, Prussia, and when Prussia was defeated, he volunteered his services to Russia, serving until Napoleon’s final defeat. Clausewitz then began compiling what he had learned of statecraft and warfare with the experience he had gained.
But this was not for the purpose of encouraging aggressive war but only as recognition that “war” was used as a political tool which had to be addressed in a book of statecraft. “Subordinating the political point of view to the military would be absurd, for it is policy that has created war,” he wrote.
Ron Paul demonstrates a full understanding of that principle as he challenges the neoconservative euphoria for what they claim is now a “perpetual war.” But Paul does not write as a pacifist and Swords into Plowshares is not a pacifist tract.
As Paul writes, “When a people are determined to defend their homeland, regardless of the size of the threat, they are quite capable. Americans can do the same if the unlikely need arises.” That is not the voice of a pacifist but rather of one who has drawn the same lesson as Clausewitz had.
Clausewitz was surely not a pacifist either. His profession was the military. But he wasn’t a militarist, unlike what the Prussian officer class would later become. Clausewitz would not have called for civilian control over military decision-making if he had been a militarist. That was a key point that von Moltke would later repudiate (or ignore) as he ushered in German militarism.
But the purpose of Clausewitz’s profession as a soldier in the early 1800s in central Europe was to defend his native land, Prussia, against a foreign attacker. When he later joined with Russia to fight Napoleon, it was to fight a common enemy, France, which was not a prospective enemy but an actual foreign invader on their respective territories.
Along those lines, Ron Paul suggests that the US model its foreign policy after Switzerland, which has a military to defend itself but not one to wage offensive war outside its borders.
“Switzerland has done rather well with its streak of independence,” Paul writes. “Reasonable fiscal and monetary policy, along with the rejection of foreign intervention, have been beneficial to her.”
Perpetual War and Militarism
The only flaw in Clausewitz’s view that civilian policymakers must prevail over the military is that Clausewitz did not foresee the development of hyper-militarism, or what was called Fascism in the last century. Under Fascism, a sufficiently large number of militaristic civilians took over policy in Germany and Japan in the 1930s, paving the way to World War II.
An analysis of militarism prepared for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services in 1942 by Hans Ernest Fried, entitled “The Guilt of the German Army,” describes three types of militarism which had developed in Germany. They were characterized as glorification of the army, glorification of war, and the militarization of civilian life. Fried’s book is disturbing because it could be describing the United States of today with the prevalence of the same three features.
Clausewitz did not anticipate the rise of a civilian political class in the 1930s which was as narrowly militaristic in its attitudes as was the military, another pattern that is repeating itself in the United States of the Twenty-first Century. We are seeing the political dominance of neoconservatives and like-minded “progressive” interventionists who are eager to advocate war, often more so than the US military.
One reason for this reality is that many of these ideological advocates for “perpetual war” are far removed from the actual killing and dying, i.e., they are “chicken hawks” generally from privileged classes and don’t even know many real soldiers.
These “chicken hawks” follow in the footsteps of former Vice President Dick Cheney whose physical safety was sheltered by five deferments from the draft but who still celebrated when other men of his generation were marched off to the Vietnam War. Cheney was again eager to send a new generation of men and women off to the strategically catastrophic Iraq War on the basis of lies that he and President George W. Bush spread.
A Wider Audience
Gaining an understanding of US foreign policy and American militarism by readingSwords into Plowshares is important for the future of the United States and should not be confined to Ron Paul’s usual “libertarian” audience. Instead, it should be studied by those seeking to understand why it is that the more wars we fight and the more Muslims we kill, the more attraction groups like ISIS have.
ISIS and similar militant groups maintain their ability to recruit because they are resisting what they call US imperialism, a war against Islam. This appeal is even reaching into the US and Western Europe as the continuing bloodshed in the Middle East increases the anger and enmity of its victims and their sympathizers. Killing more Muslims does not resolve these hatreds, it exacerbates them, strengthening the political will to resist, as Clausewitz would have understood.
Similarly, Paul understands that US policy is a “combat multiplier” for groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda.
And, as if ISIS and Al Qaeda aren’t trouble enough, the US has now identified a new enemy, nuclear-armed Russia. Neoconservative militarists – led by Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and her war enthusiast Kagan family in-laws – have revived the Cold War through their nefarious machinations in Ukraine and elsewhere.
Furthermore, foolish US Generals such as NATO Commander Philip Breedlove, with a name and military policy suggesting he is a real-life character straight out of “Dr. Strangelove,” seems to be doing all in his power to create a hot war with Russia, even at the risk of a nuclear exchange.
But Paul explains that this “incitement to perpetual war has been achieved without an actual threat to our security. We have not engaged in hostilities with any nation since 1945 that was capable of doing harm to us . . . . Our obsession with expanding our sphere of influence around the world was designed to promote an empire. It was never for true national security purposes. To keep hatred and thus war alive, the propagandists must stay active.”
Clausewitz would have understood Ron Paul’s reasoning as expressed here: “The more US interventions caused deaths, incited and multiplied our enemies, imposed extreme costs, and jeopardized our security, the greater my conviction became that all foreign intervention not related to our direct security should cease as quickly as possible. The neoconservatives want an open license to go anywhere, anytime to force our ‘goodness’ on others, even though such actions are resented and the ‘beneficiaries’ want no part of it.”
Clausewitz not only theorized against interventions of that type; he helped defeat Napoleon, who practiced the Nineteenth Century equivalent. Knowing how Napoleon’s wars ended, Ron Paul sees the US as on the wrong side of history.
Paul, consciously or not, has drawn on the strategic insight of Clausewitz, which should be no surprise as it was a frequently expressed truism in the military before 2001, echoing Clausewitz, that wars were so expensive and unpredictable that they were to be avoided if possible. And if unavoidable, they were best kept short.
Cheney and other neocon hawks of the Bush-43 administration threw that wisdom overboard even before 2001. But 9/11 created so much hysteria in today’s military officers, who never had to experience how wars can go sour, that those bitter lessons are being relearned the hard way by a new generation of officers. They would serve the military well by reading Swords into Plowshares and reacquiring that wisdom.
What might turn out to be the tragedy of this book is that its readers will be limited to self-identified “libertarians.” But Paul has shown himself capable of joining liberals such as Democrat Dennis Kucinich in opposing the transformation of the US into an advanced form of militaristic state and resisting the wars which make that possible.
But every attempt at forming antiwar coalitions between libertarians and other political groupings or even co-sponsored forums, in the experience of this writer, go no further than about five minutes before one side or the other insists that before militarism is discussed, the other side has to concede to their respective economics ideology. More times than not, that comes from the libertarians who insist that any taxation is as repressive as military rule. It’s reminiscent of the early 1930s when the Nazis’ political opponents were happiest squabbling amongst themselves, while the Nazis were preparing Dachau and other prisons for members of each of the non-Nazi political parties.
Consequently, American militarists probably need not fear that Swords into Plowshares will interfere with their militaristic plans – and war profiteers need have no concerns for their future profits. But perhaps my prognostication is incorrect. Maybe Americans will realize that our militarists are leading us to the strategic abyss and that we’re already close to the edge.
Americans should find that Paul’s national security strategy is sound regardless of whether they agree with other aspects of his libertarian ideology. There is surely common ground among Americans who recognize that perpetual wars will also mean the suppression of constitutional rights and other encroachments on liberty.
Todd E. Pierce retired as a Major in the US Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps in November 2012. His most recent assignment was defense counsel in the Office of Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions.
Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com
By Ron Paul
It’s a shame to see what has happened so far in this new century. The last century ended with a victory over defeated communism. I think that was the greatest victory of the 20th century. Events showed that communism did not work.
Unfortunately, we jumped to the conclusion that we had an Empire to defend, and that Keynesian economics would solve all of our problems. Printing money, spending money, and debt wouldn’t matter, and we would bring peace to the world and make everyone good democrats.
Right now, the refugee crisis that we see in Europe is a failure of government policies and a failure of central banking. In some ways, I think we are in a great transition period. This cannot continue. The big danger is if the results of this failure are total poverty for more and more nations and total war. Or, hopefully, we can wise up and say that these policies have failed.
The American people should lead the charge on this. The policies are lousy, and yet government is always adding more and more of the same. The worse the economy gets, the more we’re starting to hear about socialism and authoritarianism as the cures.
So we live in an age in which the policies of the past are coming to an end. The Keynesian model does not work, and our Empire does not work. This total failure has to change, and we need to present the alternative.
For me, the alternative is free markets, free society, civil liberties, and a foreign policy where we mind our own business. The alternative is peace and prosperity. We were told about these things in our early years, but it seems they’ve been forgotten. We’d be much better off in this country with such a policy and we could set a standard for the rest of the world.
Thank you, and please tune in to tomorrow’s Liberty Report!
A big part of Carly Fiorina's Presidential pitch is that Americans are tired of the professional political class, and they want an "outsider," like herself, to take over the American Crown.
But is Fiorina really an outsider?
Let's start with a few positions:
“I actually wouldn’t speak to Vladimir Putin. I would act instead.”
"Now is the time for us to put pressure on them. And I would pressure on them in the follow way: I would be conducting big fly-overs right now in these disputed territories in the South China Sea. We cannot permit China to control those. I would be giving the Japanese and the Australians the technology they’ve asked for and make sure the Chinese know it."
"We should not be withdrawing troops from South Korea. In fact, now is the time for us to be building up our military. We need to have the strongest military on the face of the planet. Everybody has to know it, so I actually would be leaving our forces in South Korea."
Iran & Israel
"The first one [phone call as President] would be to Bibi Netanyahu to reassure him that we stand with the state of Israel. The second one would be to the Supreme Leader of Iran, to tell him that whatever the deal is that he signed with Obama, there’s a new deal and the new deal is this: Until you submit every facility [where] you have nuclear uranium enrichment to a full set of inspections, we’re going to make it as hard as possible for you to move money around the global financial system."
Looks like Fiorina won't have any political insiders shaking in their boots with those positions. Fiorina's ideas mimic those of neocon insider Senator John McCain, who Fiorina worked for as an advisor when he ran for President in 2008.
What about Fiorina's associations with government itself? It turns out, she has some very interesting street cred when it comes to working with it:
One week after 9/11, Michael Hayden, the director of the National Security Agency, the electronic surveillance arm of the U.S. government, had a long list of problems. High on the list was the fact that the NSA needed a ton of new high-tech equipment, particularly servers, right away, to handle a vastly expanded, critically important workload.
The whole "Fiorina is an outsider" schtick is just another dose of false political advertising.