By Ron Paul
While I'm very optimistic about the prospects for liberty, we live in dangerous times. It almost appears like the stage has been set for authoritarianism in America. Dictatorial types flourish in an environment of fear, and right now Americans are fearful for their economic futures, and (thanks to 24 hrs of propaganda) of numerous hobgoblins from overseas.
Authoritarianism is nothing new in mankind's history. Rather it is the ideas of liberty that are new. Freedom tends to appear in short and very powerful bursts, with America's founding years qualifying as one of those bursts. But tyranny and power do not sleep. Like weeds in a garden, they reappear to strangle everything in their path.
The stage seems to be set, not only for an authoritarian, but for a complete takeover by crony special interests as well. With a strong executive, motivated interests (like the military-industrial-complex) will cozy themselves up with the crown to an even greater degree.
Those of us that believe in free markets and liberty must contend with this environment. We cannot run away, nor shirk our responsibility to battle it intellectually. We must confront it head on, and with an expectation of victory.
The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises had to face the darkness of fascism and communism that was closing in on civilization. Yet he continued to speak and write the truth despite the odds that were staring him in the face. He left this wonderful quote that can help inspire us as dark clouds loom once again:
“Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping toward destruction. Therefore, everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interest of everyone hangs on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.”
We can turn this thing around.
The ideas of liberty are percolating beneath the surface. Washington DC and the media will never report it, nor do we need them to. We're extremely fortunate to have tools at our disposal that run circles around the gatekeepers of public opinion.
Our number one task is to use them with passion.
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