Good political treaties are very hard to come by. Most of them are sordid tales of self-aggrandizement coupled with mythological goings-on. Finding a needle in a haystack is infinitely easier than trying to find a politician behaving as a statesman instead of as a boot-licker. Well, found it I did, and it is Ron Paul’s The Revolution: A Manifesto.
There are many positive aspects to Dr. Paul’s first political treatise. A non-interventionist foreign policy where diplomacy and actual trade occurs between nation-states takes the place of the never-ending imperialistic wars of aggression. An end to all supposed “foreign aid.” Tackling the surveillance police state apparatus (such as executive orders, signing statements, “roving” wire tapping, extraordinary rendition and torture, etc). Condemning those who regard the Constitution as some sort of archaic relic that added no value whatsoever to the development of human liberty. Most importantly, addressing the imperative for drastic monetary reform.
It is intriguing to note Ron Paul’s perspective about the federal Constitution. It is true that, “[o]ur Constitution was written to restrain government, not the people. Government is always tempted to turn that maxim upside down.” Accurate also is the contemporary notion that, “…those who would give us a ‘living’ Constitution are actually giving us a dead Constitution, since such a thing is completely unable to protect us against the encroachments of government power.” On monetary policy, the good doctor’s position is quite clear when he states:
“The Constitution is clear about the monetary powers of the federal government. Congress has a constitutional responsibility to maintain the value of the dollar by making only gold and silver legal tender and not to ‘emit bills of credit.’ The records from the Founders make perfectly clear that that was their intention. The power to regulate the value of money does not mean the federal government can debase the currency; the Framers would never have given the federal government such a power.”
However, his more libertarian attitude bubbles to the surface when he states that, “[g]overnments, by their very nature, notoriously compete with liberty – even when the stated purpose for establishing a particular government is to protect liberty. The restraints placed on our government in the Constitution by the Founders did not work.” [emphasis added] This would seem to suggest that while Dr. Paul’s understanding of the Constitution is very nuanced and accurate to the Framers, he (like me) noticed that there are some very serious internal consistency problems that have emerged from the Great American Experiment (which was the practice of minimal statism), whereby the Constitution was supposed to be a chain around the neck of the State, limiting coercive force in its destructiveness while simultaneously using that very same force to protect the liberty and property of the population.
While Dr. Paul is passionate about not getting involved in foreign entanglements, he could have simply hit on the theme (that he did briefly mention) that, “[n]owhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the power to conscript citizens. The power to raise armies is not a power to force people into the army.” According to Article 1, Section 8, “The Congress shall have the power…to raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.” It should be crystal clear at this point that the American Republic (in name only) turned American Empire (which it actually is in practice) is not only never supposed to have a draft, but even the very existence of the standing US Army is unconstitutional!
I still find it humorous that that the corporate Borg media relatively recently asserted that Ron Paul is somehow a racist, based solely on someone else’s article that was in a Dr. Paul newsletter back in the ‘70s that nobody in their right mind really gives a shit about. Ron Paul makes his own position crystal clear when he repudiates racism in his own manifesto:
“Racism is a particularly odious form of collectivism whereby individuals are treated not on their merits but on the basis of group identity. Nothing in my political philosophy, which is the exact opposite of the racial totalitarianism of the twentieth century, gives aid or comfort to such thinking. To the contrary, my philosophy of individualism is the most radical intellectual challenge to racism ever posed.”
So much for the “fair and balanced” treatment of the good doctor. How come his own manifesto was never even considered when the newsletter debacle surfaced? Consider who owns the mainstream media; their motives should likewise be crystal clear.
Ron Paul’s manifesto is terrific in terms of analytical ability on a smorgasbord of civic issues, but, as is the case with most of the alternative media, it is disturbingly lacking in proposed solutions. While he does mention that people should educate themselves and support political reform in a number of areas (reinstating the gold standard, bringing the troops home, repealing the PATRIOT Act, etc), the only other implied action that the populace should undertake is, ironically, become more involved in the mainline political process, especially through voting! Sorry to say, but electing Ron Paul into the presidency will NOT secure our Liberties, plain and simple. Again, this is not a disagreement in terms of either philosophy or goals, but only in terms of methodology. You cannot achieve freedom by begging for it, which is what popular elections fundamentally are at their root.
Overall, I would recommend this book as a primer to the nature of the situation we are all suffering under, especially for someone who recently broke out of The Left-Right Paradigm. Unfortunately, for those who have been at this for quite some time and thus know better, the utility of this manifesto is virtually nil and should be subsequently passed to the younger set, if for no other reason than to prepare their psyches for understanding much more deeply the philosophy of Liberty and how to effectively manifest it, for their skills are still needed to eventually free the world.