Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Futility of Politics: Robert P Murphy

As this October issue will be published just before the presidential election, and especially because our interview this month with Murray Sabrin touches on the subject, I thought it appropriate to share my general thoughts on the so-called "political process." To cut to the chase: I think it can be entertaining, but that people who revere liberty should focus their energies elsewhere.

What About Ron Paul?

The first thing that many self-described Austrians and libertarians will say in response to my claim is, "What about Ron Paul? Are you saying we just wasted our time and money spreading his message of Constitutional government, which necessarily includes his stress on genuine national defense and sound money?"

No, I'm not saying that the "Ron Paul Revolution" was a waste. But thepurpose of the Ron Paul movement wasn't to put him in the White House.

For one thing, that objective was impossible in the present climate. Look, if Ron Paul is right in his diagnosis of what ails the Republic, then the Federal Reserve and what Eisenhower famously called the "military-industrial complex" literally makes hundreds of billions of dollars annually by keeping the American public in a constant state of fear: Fear about collapsing banks, fear about terrorist attackers, fear about "paranoid" militia groups, fear about superflu viruses, you name it. Many of Ron Paul's most ardent supporters—and I've talked with literally thousands of them over the years—think it's clear as day that a small ruling clique manufactured bogus "evidence" to justify the invasion of Iraq. Yet if the Ron Paul supporters thought these shadowy figures are capable of starting wars to keep the money flowing, did they really think these nefarious characters were going to let somebody waltz in and end the gravy train?

For those who followed the Ron Paul campaign this last time, it was an amazing sight to behold. His insistence that, say, the Constitution said a formal declaration of war was necessary before U.S. forces occupied another country for a decade, was treated like the ravings of some lunatic. Yet when Newt Gingrich talked of building a moon colony by 2020, this was all taken in stride—at least among the Fox News crowd—as an interesting position from the "intellectual" in the pack.


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