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Ron Paul's Appalling World View

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Cross-posted from Consortium News


Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, answering questions while campaigning in New Hampshire in 2008. (Photo credit: Bbsrock)

Rep. Ron Paul, an icon to the libertarian Right and to some on the anti-war Left, gave a farewell address to Congress that expressed his neo-Confederate interpretation of the Constitution and his anti-historical view of the supposedly good old days of laissez-faire capitalism.

In a near-hour-long rambling speech on Nov. 14, Paul also revealed himself to be an opponent of "pure democracy" because government by the people and for the people tends to infringe on the "liberty" of businessmen who, in Paul's ideal world, should be allowed to do pretty much whatever they want to the less privileged.

In Paul's version of history, the United States lost its way at the advent of the Progressive Era about a century ago. "The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be "progressive' ideas," said the 77-year-old Texas Republican. "Pure democracy became acceptable."

Before then, everything was working just fine, in Paul's view. But the reality was anything but wonderful for the vast majority of Americans. A century ago, women were denied the vote by law and many non-white males were denied the vote in practice. Uppity blacks were frequently lynched.

The surviving Native Americans were confined to oppressive reservations at the end of a long process of genocide. Conditions weren't much better for the white working class. Many factory workers toiled 12-hour days and six-day weeks in very dangerous conditions, and union organizers were targeted for reprisals and sometimes death.

For small businessmen, life was treacherous, too, with the big monopolistic trusts overcharging for key services and with periodic panics on Wall Street rippling out across the country in bank failures, bankruptcies and foreclosures.

Meanwhile, obscenely rich Robber Barons, like John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan, personally controlled much of the nation's economy and manipulated the political process through bribery. They were the ones who owned the real "liberty."

It took the Great Depression and its mass suffering to finally convince most Americans "that sacrificing some liberty was necessary," in Paul's curious phrasing, for them to gain a living wage, a measure of security and a little respect.

So, under President Franklin Roosevelt, laws were changed to shield working Americans from the worst predations of the super-rich. Labor standards were enacted; unions were protected; regulations were imposed on Wall Street; and the nation's banks were made more secure to protect the savings of depositors.

Many social injustices also were addressed during Ron Paul's dreaded last century. Women got the vote and their position in the country gradually improved, as it did for blacks and other minorities with the belated enforcement of the equal rights provisions of the 14 th  Amendment and passage of civil rights legislation.

The reforms from the Progressive Era, the New Deal and the post-World War II era also contributed to a more equitable distribution of the nation's wealth, making the United States a richer and stronger country. The reforms, initiated by the federal government, essentially created the Great American Middle Class.

Paul's Complaint

But in Paul's view, the reformers should have left things the way they were -- and he blames the reforms for today's problems, although how exactly they're connected is not made clear.

Paul said: "Some complain that my arguments make no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies. But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady.

"It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.

"The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary."

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http://www.consortiumnews.com

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at more...)
 

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Pointed out the truth that you can't accept.... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:08:27 PM
Right on sister!... by gabe robles on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 4:11:08 PM
Its funny you take things Dr.Paul says out of cont... by gabe robles on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:05:51 PM
This is not a laissez faire confederacy and we hav... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:10:59 PM
Really?!? A "functioning government." REALLY?!?!... by Mitch Connor on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:53:40 PM
of the government don't you like?... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 5:58:17 PM
The part where they arrest me indefinitely with no... by Jamie Cornett on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:31:20 AM
For anyone you know?... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:34:39 PM
... by Michael Rose on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 8:21:46 PM
I should not.And I don't.It is, however, a great d... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:28:03 AM
... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 2:31:28 AM
Nor am I unaware of the imperfections of the life ... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:08:05 AM
 imperfections .... democracy....not as catas... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 6:35:25 AM
Who is both able and seriously committed to do som... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 10:02:38 AM
... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:08:21 AM
I am trying to help a friend, a scientist, who wan... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 1:11:39 PM
Al Gore tells US that the only good thing about CO... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 3:05:40 PM
or would it be much more productive to investigate... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 3:43:09 PM
Yes, plants thrive on CO2. But no, that has nothin... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:44:42 PM
Yes, plants thrive on CO2. But no, that has nothin... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 8:14:11 PM
You don't care about removing CO2 or do you?... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:16:08 PM
... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:45:37 PM
Sorry about the gremlins bustin' our lynx.  W... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 10:33:57 PM
But I don't believe more than half of what you sai... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:13:16 PM
why you believe even that much  I said "belie... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:22:41 PM
...thought I'd better make sure you've got the cor... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:34:09 PM
And I try not to hate the truth, even when unpleas... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 6:28:54 AM
I have NEVER said not to reduce CO2... and YOU als... by Michael Rose on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:01:42 AM
I wanted real info about somebody who would help w... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:24:10 AM
Maybe you don't see it happening because that cogn... by Ms Nan on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 5:30:13 PM
" Not one corporate media story has yet appeared e... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 6:34:22 PM
"I never believed an axiom" - Al EinsteinThan... by Michael Rose on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 7:07:05 PM
And, if you can quote Al Einstein, even better.Jus... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 8:22:17 PM
... by Michael Rose on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:29:18 PM
That there was no discussion about geoengineering.... by BFalcon on Saturday, Dec 1, 2012 at 6:12:03 PM
Suggest first do some original revision of the evi... by Michael Rose on Saturday, Dec 1, 2012 at 7:39:41 PM
Say something scintillating?Can't be sure what you... by BFalcon on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 5:29:20 AM
just ask any inhabitant of Venus. Their pine trees... by John Sanchez Jr. on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:20:19 AM
If it's not an irrelevant question (or even if it ... by Michael Rose on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 1:01:18 PM
And the part where they such wealth from the middl... by Wil Masisak on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:18:19 PM
to support their fantasy that libertarianism would... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:24:24 AM
in domestic policy we are pretty far apart.That's ... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:18:37 AM
But again, on social issues and government regulat... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:33:43 PM
You know that libertarians and greens have the sam... by Wil Masisak on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:26:59 PM
When everyone's perfectly informed and perfectly m... by Jim Arnold on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 7:12:51 AM
This government can only be regarded as a man-made... by Dan Mage on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 2:54:38 PM
Is very different from "this" Bush Jr administrati... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:19:22 PM
The government I refer to is the present one; howe... by Dan Mage on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 9:36:21 PM
On your concerns about wars abroad and police beha... by BFalcon on Saturday, Dec 1, 2012 at 6:41:18 PM
... by Michael Rose on Saturday, Dec 1, 2012 at 7:25:53 PM
$16 Trillion Debt and raising and you say this is ... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 11:03:59 AM
This article has so many fallacies, generalization... by Censor Sin on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:08:03 PM
From a true believer.... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:11:24 PM
...is not going to add legitimacy to your point of... by Censor Sin on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:25:24 PM
The huge amount of misinformation that the believe... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:41:55 PM
why do opponents of Dr. Paul use one line explanat... by gabe robles on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 4:14:39 PM
Richard Girard's comment below... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 5:56:57 PM
Your complete and total misinterpretation of every... by Steven Beckham on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:35:48 PM
I've been buying precious metals as a hedge agains... by Mitch Connor on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:42:36 PM
Double Post... by Mitch Connor on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:51:29 PM
in a world that never was, and if it ever came int... by Richard Girard on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 4:23:29 PM
More putting words in Ron Paul's mouth. Dr. Paul d... by Censor Sin on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:27:19 PM
I dont think people disagree with Dr. Paul. I just... by Chris P on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:02:19 AM
But does not understand.And all this talk about "f... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 8:33:49 AM
Oh so how can the Federal Govt be function if it c... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 11:18:33 AM
Dr Paul would have no problem with single payer?... by BFalcon on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 11:23:41 PM
I am not going to elaborate and waste my time on s... by Jamie Cornett on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:10:04 AM
Is obviously your idol.Blind beliefs have their pr... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 8:37:22 AM
I would appreciate some clarification from the Ron... by Jim Arnold on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:06:59 PM
We know the purpose of the Constitutional Conventi... by Simon Profit on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:40:29 PM
"Liberty is not incompatible with workplace safety... by Jim Arnold on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 10:14:19 PM
Ask any owner what they would rather have; (A) reg... by Simon Profit on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:07:00 PM
You left out the third option, which many owners w... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:04:10 PM
until the libertarians' pet project of "tort refor... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 7:55:52 AM
If that's true, then why are we putting anyone in ... by Simon Profit on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:15:17 PM
"If that's true, then why are we putting anyone in... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:15:23 PM
yeah...... by Don Caldarazzo on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:46:13 PM
Even, if the purpose was to create a "stronger" Fe... by Censor Sin on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:43:57 PM
We can agree that the federal government has becom... by Jim Arnold on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 10:37:44 PM
Technology grows with industry. Any smart business... by gabe robles on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:26:22 AM
Business owners got smart at about the same time t... by Jim Arnold on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:28:50 PM
Had me until 4th paragraph " Before then, everythi... by Simon Profit on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:09:31 PM
Have you cashed your George Soros check yet?... by Batman Robin on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 11:31:10 PM
You all will turn to Ron Paul when everything he w... by Chris P on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 3:34:30 AM
Paul's positions aren't that hard to interpret and... by Jim Arnold on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 7:06:13 AM
Thanks for the article.   Libertarians of ... by Libertarian International on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 9:47:58 AM
was a farewell speech, so we shouldn't have to tro... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:28:22 AM
Yikes! Is about all I can say in response to this ... by gary roberts on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:29:28 PM
that DR. Paul is still under attack. Could it be h... by Ms Nan on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 6:32:29 PM
Hey everybody, listen up: Parry is really stup... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 7:39:27 AM
Mr. Ned Lud for President.... by Don Caldarazzo on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:49:20 PM
Truth as metaphor, never better. Kids should get t... by SwamperTom on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:25:56 PM
One should praise someone such as Ron Paul who has... by Seymour Patterson on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 8:11:05 AM
This article completely ignores the "War o... by Dan Mage on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 3:28:39 PM
Mage.... by Don Caldarazzo on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:59:39 PM
What? Huh? Who, whuh? Is this supposed to be ... by Don Caldarazzo on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:51:24 PM
This article is moronic and one-sided.  Obvio... by Charles Charlbury on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 5:25:07 PM
Are not going away for those 2 issues stand right ... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 11:33:05 AM