THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 447, December 9, 2007
"People get used to the idea that they
are ruled by liars and thieves"
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
Thomas Knapp takes a shot at Ron Paul and his supporters in "The Problem With Ron Paul". Unfortunately he appears to base much of his rant on a notion that is patently false: that perfection among humans is not only possible, but attainable by a large percentage of them.
I had to roll my eyes at some of the neocon-style smears like "racism". When you dig into these, you find there is awful little there.
Yeah, Ron Paul is not a perfect libertarian, nor even a perfect Constitutionalist. But guess what? In associating with an awful lot of libertarians and an-caps, I don't believe I've ever found one who is perfect, either. There is usually some inconsistency if you dig deep enough. One seen among some older pretty hard-core libertarians is acceptance of Socialist Security checks.
Thomas writes, "The problem with Ron Paul is the uncritical cultism which so quickly took root. . . ." Well, is it really so bad as he imagines? It is commonplace to see supporters start out with, "I don't agree with all Ron's positions. . . ." Is that being uncritical?
Anyway, Thomas is asking human beings to not be human. There is a tendency very strong among most people, of loyalty. Most times it is directed at lowlifes like Bush or even Stalin; but it is a quibble of epic proportions to complain that this time it is directed at someone who has the bad judgement to be only 95% libertarian! Shame on people for being enthusiastic, and for liking a likable guy like Ron Paul!
Yet Thomas is inconsistent. He asks us to overlook the manifest imperfections of the LP and officers thereofthe same party that has already siphoned the libertarian vote from Ron Paul in congressional elections. If the LP had its way, we wouldn't have Ron Paul in this race at all. Yup, there goes the broadspread national movement toward libertarianism, down the drain. Back to getting 1% in the presidential race.
Here's the deal, Thomas. Libertarianism is going to grow. Along with its growth, its message is going to be diluted. That is simply inevitable. Most will join the crowd with positions clearly not libertarian; in some cases they will become moreso as time passes, in other cases not, and their divergence will dilute libertarianism overall. That's life! The only thing you can do is try to keep the message as pure as possible through discussion and persuasion. Or torpedo the movement by insisting on a purity that no human exhibits (including yourself I'll bet).
I believe those are the only two alternatives out there. Are you suggesting a third alternative is available: that expansion without dilution is possible? Or is it your position that NO broadspread movement toward libertarianism is acceptable if accompanied by any dilution of it, and that the best we can ever hope for is sitting always at 1%?
If the LP had in it to rise to respectable percentages of support, it's message too would become diluted. It would be vulnerable to the exact same charges Thomas is levelling at Ron Paul.
We might as well get on the train that is going in our direction now. Stop raising the bogeyman of "cults", or wishing humans weren't human.