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Name: Josh Cryer
Gender: Male
Hometown: Colorado
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 62,050

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Some philosophy: Ron Paul is "anti-war," but pro-contractor-mercenary.

Ron Paul is "anti-surveillance-state," but pro-datamining and anti-consumer-protections.

Ron Paul is "anti-crony-capitalism," but pro-deregulation and fully Laissez-faire.

Ron Paul is "anti-drug-war," but pro-business and anti-state-welfare.

Let's look at what this actually means from a Libertarian perspective, shall we?

His "anti-war" stance is very admirable to quite a few progressives, those progressives can champion it as a good thing, even while vehemently disavowing the other stances he's taken (I'm pretty sure I've said it was good at least once or twice). However, when you look at what he really means by "anti-war" it becomes clear that he is against government militaries going to war. A purely Laissez-faire perspective privatizes all policing forces, including 'militaries.'

You can imagine, for instance, that if we had several oil conglomerates (we do) and that if they wanted an oil contract in the Middle East (they do), all they need do is get their foot in the door (they have). At the first sight of anti-western economics or anti-capitalist pressure, these oil companies would be, from a purely Laissez-faire perspective, legitimized in "striking back" against those "economic terrorists." "The people" signed a contract, and with enough bribes (bribes themselves being economic contributions to further ones business agenda), you can take over any country, anywhere, militarily, with an impressive imperialist force.

This is perfectly in line with Ron Paul's view on "war." So the absolute end result of his perspective is to back, albeit non-diplomatically, the use of mercenary contractors where ever conglomerates want resources. If one state official in said country wanted to arrest some contractors for killing a bunch of children playing with sticks, Paul would 'allow' it and there would be no diplomatic immunity, but that is only until the bribing mechanisms weren't fully set up. At which point the very states one could expect to protect their own people would be corrupted by the imperialist regime that is capitalism, in all its glory. We've seen this time and time again in the Banana Republics.

Ron Paul is not anti-war.

His "anti-surveillance-state" view sounds quite good. Who wants a surveillance state? However, his view on other parts of economy completely render it meaningless. What does it matter if the state is surveilling through the payment of contractors, or corporations doing the surveilling through the payment of contractors? Because Ron Paul is against consumer protections, and because companies utilize datamining at every level, the end result of his views are that instead of a state surveilling everything you do, companies will do it. And because he believes that liability lawsuits would solve every consumer protection issue, his stance on surveillance is quite possibly the worst one you can possibly imagine, as how can you prove damages to corporate secrets where your data was mined and where your life was completely spied upon? How would you even begin to prove such a case? It's madness.

Ron Paul is not anti-surveillance-state, he arguably is the stronger supporter of such a state, of all.

Paul's definition of "crony-capitalism," likewise, needs some work. For Ron Paul, "crony-capitalism" means "capitalism that benefits from a state apparatus that is only beneficial if the state exists." Like most Libertarians (or "anarcho"-capitalists), they delude themselves that Laissez-faire "cannot" be corrupt. It's trivial, of course, to show how all forms of Laissez-faire are inherently corrupt and cannot be otherwise. Indeed, Ron Paul himself appears to understand this with his position on monopolies (he belives some forms of monopoly are fine), but he still delusionally thinks that his view is "anti-crony-capitalism."

Ron Paul might provide an example where the state sets up a regulation that makes it harder for smaller businesses to enter a certain field. He might even invoke lobbying efforts for one of the larger players in that sector, as evidence that they are manipulating the state into crushing competition. That's all well and good, and it's reasonable, on the surface. If the state does help certain companies succeed by passing laws that suppress smaller companies, then, why not be against that?

Except in the magical world of mind bogglingly asinine "Laissez-faire," the all mighty "contract" is the very mechanism that you would use, if you were a company and wanted to oust competitors. Indeed, in our current system we have the concept of anti-trust, which is as yet to some extent arbitrarily enforced, but it says "you can't make an anti-competitive contract, because that's not fair to the competitors." Laissez-faire rejects this idea, outright. Anti-competitive contracts, therefore, are the very heart of Laissez-faire, and the very reason Ron Paul's variant of capitalism is the single most crony, or corrupt that can exist.

For example, say you had a few stores in town and they needed some goods from some manufacturer. If you get a competitor who also works with that manufacturer, you merely tell the manufacturer that you will continue doing business with them if, and only if, they don't do business with the other competitor. This is perfectly in line with Laissez-faire. It is perfectly "free market." Or, if you want to be really sneaky about it, you tell them that they can do business with said competitor, but you'll pay them a 5% convenience fee if they don't do business with that competitor, even better! A bribe, of course, but it's what's done every day in business. I've signed "no-competes." I know what that shit is like.

Ron Paul is not anti-crony-capitalism. In fact, I would argue that if you come across a progressive or liberal who believes he is, you should take caution with regards to anything that they say, as they may not be well versed in the true evils of the system that Ron Paul aspires to.

Paul is "anti-drug-war," and that is probably the only position that he holds that one can take more seriously. The President, at least in theory, should be able to back off federal crackdowns on the drug trade, do mass pardons, who knows, it could be epic if you give it a lot of thought. However, being anti-drug-war is very dangerous if you do not provide social safety nets for those people who do partake in drugs. Since Paul is pro-business to the extent that businesses should be able to do whatever they want within the confines of their property and with respect to personal liability, you can't expect drugs to immediately be "legalized" overnight. A true "anti-drug-war" position would be to not discriminate based on ones off-work casual consumption. Ron Paul would certainly be against that, and companies would still be using brutal drug testing methods to discriminate based on ones off-work recreational activities. In that vein I don't see that much would terribly change within the country, however, I would be remiss to ignore that it would be helpful to end the drug war which has contributed to many innocent deaths outside of our borders. So I can concede that.

Ron Paul is only somewhat actually "anti-drug-war." His position does not end drug-based discrimination nor does it provide a social safety net for those who are addicted to the stronger drugs. It does, however, help end the brutal violence that the drug trade creates in foreign countries.

Al Jazeera: The Long Road to Tripoli (1h40m Documentary)

For many Libyan exiles living abroad they wanted to be a part of their country's revolution. We follow a group of them as they take on Gaddafi's forces and make their way to a newly-liberated Tripoli.

Part I:

Part II:

Incredible. Please watch this. Amazing.
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