Ron Paul: the Venn diagram

Mother Jones attempts a taxonomy of libertarian thought in order to figure out where Ron Paul fits. My feeling is that Ron Paul can only be understood by abandoning the traditional one-dimensions left-right political axis, or, rather, augmenting it with more axes: libertarian-authoritarian, centralist-decentralist, material-spiritual, and probably a few I've forgotten.

Congressman Ron Paul's third-place finish in Tuesday's Iowa Republican Caucus was a remarkably strong showing for a candidate who has so little in common with mainstream Republicans. Perhaps the nation's most politically unique congressman, Paul shares policy stances with conservatives, liberals, and libertarians, while differing markedly from all of them.

The Venn of Ron Paul and Other Mysteries of Libertarianism Explained (Thanks, mmechanic!)


  1. As a non-american and looking over from across the pond, Ron Paul seems to me to be the only US politician who is sincere and of statesman-like stature. While I don’t necessarily agree with all of his views, at least he shows some thought and integrity. The rest of the candidates remind me of corrupted Lovecraftian cultists who sold their souls to “political realities” (aka corporate state) so long ago they don’t even remember what it’s like to be a human being.

    The stench of slimy corruption and artifice is so nauseating when watching the likes of Santorini and Romney, I’m half expecting them to spontaneously start sweating salt water and turn into Deep One hybrids at any moment.

    Ron Paul at least looks and behaves like a human being. He seems like a guy you could actually talk to about issues rather than get presented with some plastic PR schlock with big industry & the rest of the monsters behind it.

    1. +1 for the H.P. Lovecraft reference.

      Yes, you do not have to love or even like Ron Paul.   There are a lot of us voting for him and we do realize how flawed he is on some issues.

      However, I *do* want all of you to ask yourself some questions though:   Which candidate has less corruption and is more representative of what our Founding Fathers originally had intended?  Who is more likely to fix the economy without Fing over the middle class?  Who is more likely to preserve our rights while ensuring we eliminate our enemies?  More importantly, who is the ONLY candidate that understands how not to make MORE enemies?

      The answer should be very very very clear to you.  If it isnt, then no amount of convincing is going to work.

      1. Which candidate will most likely cause my access to medical care to decrease, increase my chance of dying, or increase my chance of arrest or use of illegal high-risk options should I ever become pregnant! 

        Hey, you think for yourself and I think for myself. You don’t think I’m important, but that’s ok. I do.

        Then there’s also the immigration issue, and the state’s rights argument of the old south which hasn’t changed since the war of northern aggression.

        Which candidate will most likely result in a flux of impoverished workers and immigrants pulsing through the country in a wave of desperation as they try to make it into a state with better labor options or more laxity on immigration , straining resources in the states where they attempt to settle!

        I think the problem here is that our options suck.

        1. Like he said, not everyone can agree 100% with him. It all depends on what’s important to you. If you don’t mind war, corporate corruption, indefinite detention of US citizens, assisination of US citizens, Not allowing gays to be married, end of the open internet, then feel free to vote for Obama or any other GOP candidate. If health care is your only worry then he’s not your guy. Might also want to consider the number of people Paul would save by ending all of the wars.

          You also may want to read further into his stance on healthcare. Being a Doctor himself, he understands the system. It’s a different approach and can’t be fully understood with snippets.

        2. Agreed!

          I recall four years ago I voted for a “populist” president who has since getting elected has strayed quite far from his original message.

          If you think Ron Paul is going to fix all your troubles, then you will be sorely disappointed.

          The real future will be in cooperation, integration and a united planet. Ron Paul is an isolationist. I don’t see how this is good for the country but it does pander to the grumblings of the disillusioned, working class who want things back like they used to be.

          I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

          1. “The real future will be in cooperation, integration and a united planet.”

            Agreed, what I disagree on is that this ‘cooperation’ has to be mandated, or even facilitated, by some pseudo-omnipotent federal government. We have already developed a system that takes every ones desires into account — its called the free-market system.

            (BTW, I’m not saying that we have anything resembling a ‘free market’ right now or under Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Nixon etc etc.)

            “Ron Paul is an isolationist … who want things back like they used to be.”

            Yeah, the way it used to be … before we spent untold billions overseas supporting dictatorial regimes. Before we spent billions supporting people that hate our guts. Before we starting handing out billions to Wall Street to keep them in their Ferraris.

            Yeah, they sure were so backward in the olden days.

    2. Marko-

      As an American, I 100% agree with your assessment and I am glad you are willing to call b.s. when you see it.  Americans need to do a little soul-searching, because America is not getting it done.  WAKE UP PEOPLE AND RECLAIM YOUR DIGNITY AND HAVE FAITH IN HUMANITY!

    3. You will be disappointed to know that despite his supposedly principled opposition to government spending and ‘pork’ in appropriations bills, Ron Paul requested $138 million in earmarks this year and $398 million in 2010. In fact, every year he makes these requests while simultaneously voting against the appropriations bills (which he knows will pass) in so-called principled opposition.

      Paul generally does not change his stated positions on the issues, no matter their popularity, which would lead one to believe he was integrity. But his actions are not consistent with his rhetoric; indeed in this case, he says one thing and does another.

      I’m not impressed.

        1. It does not… that is the point. Read the OP. Marko Raos said, “Ron Paul seems to me to be the only US politician who is sincere and of statesman-like stature.” I demonstrated to him that in fact Paul is just like the others.

          1. There’s a difference between being “just like all the others” and being loosely attached to a similar situation while handling it differently.

            Lastly, if you feel Ron Paul is so bad, who is better and why?

          2. Unfortunately, I do not think that any of the candidates for the U.S. presidency are worthy of the office or our votes. If you are a libertarian (I am not) Gary Johnson is probably your best option.

          3. So like most anti Ron Paul posters, you have no viable candidate of your own in the upcoming election but have no problem attacking Ron Paul.

            Just making sure that is clear to everyone, because it seems to be a common theme.

          4. I am confused. Wouldn’t the fact that I do not support any of the candidates (and therefore do not have a personal stake in the matter) grant my comments more legitimacy? I do not criticize your candidate because I hope that mine succeeds. Rather, because I think Rep. Paul is worthy of criticism.

          5. This isn’t choosing a favorite flavor of ice cream, this is real world politics.  If you aren’t bringing a viable candidate of your own to the discussion, then you don’t have a viable position in the debate.

            Anyone can attack each and every candidate running, but if you don’t bring a solution to the table then you don’t bring anything worthwhile to the discussion at hand.  We have to choose someone to run for president, the options aren’t Ron Paul or nobody.

          6. Fine, I will play the game according to the rules you have set. My answer: Gary Johnson is a more legitimate libertarian candidate for president than Rep. Paul.

      1. You forgot to mention that Ron Paul then voted “NO” against the earmarks he requested.

        His logic on this is quite sound.  He says if earmarks are going to exist, he believes his district should be entitlted to them the same as everyone else.  That’s completely fair, if everyone else is getting them, Ron Paul’s constituents should be entitled to them as well.

        But that doesn’t change the fact that Ron Paul believes earmarks should be banned entirely, and while he has “requested” them for his own district, he has *always* voted against the bills containing the earmarks, even the ones he requested for his own district.

        1. Actually, I did: “In fact, every year he makes these requests while simultaneously voting against the appropriations bills…” Of course Paul voted against the appropriations bills; he knows with certainty they will pass in spite of his opposition. His behavior is a perfect example of the idiom “to have one’s cake and eat it too.”

          If you want an example of a principled position on this issue, look to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Ron Paul’s justification of his behavior is, by comparison, embarrassing.

          1. Embarrassing, hmm…what would actually be embarrassing would be to continue paying unjustified taxes to Washington and have that money used for purposes that you don’t agree with or benefit your area. I think a better word would be ‘shameful’. If the government steals your money, Paul uses legal means to get it back. The minute income taxes cease to exist, Paul will stop using earmarks.

          2. I am confused. Are you arguing for the abolition of income taxes, or the redistribution of taxes to various agencies, etc. by popular demand/vote?

      2. The earmarking issue goes like this: Earmarking is currently the only way for congressmen to get the appropriate funds for their regions. Therefore, Paul /has/ to earmark money, because there is no other system. Then, yes, at the same time, he fights against it, because it’s a messed up way to do things.

        He’s being forced to do it because there is no other alternative, while voting against it in principled opposition.

  2. The real irony of this diagram, and Paul’s campaign, is that it demonstrates how little the Constitution matters to our current government. Running as someone who supports Constitutional positions on most issues? You’re the extreme fringe.

    1. I know right? He wants peace and prosperity, what a crazy loon. A balanced budget and freedom, what a psycho! He believes the Federal Government should play less of a role in local affairs, what a Nazi!

        1. Dismantle the government? He wants to get rid of useless programs, failed departments and to cut excess spending. That is not dismantling the government, that is called fiscal responsibility. It would help if Americans knew how to budget their own money. 

          1. When you object to government should be helping people stranded by natural disasters, but still let it help business, you are neither against only excess nor in favor of responsibility.

            Here, have Ron Paul and Tim Russert.  I am pretty sure that, even more than Obama, people like Ron Paul because they ignore what he actually stands for.

        2. And the best way to do that is by taking the highest government office? 

          “If you make me king, I’ll get rid of all the dukes and princes.” 

          Because that sounds wise.

  3. Libertarians are Pro-NAFTA?

    Because I’m not.     While NAFTA says “Free Trade”, it’s anything but.     Which is why Ron Paul doesn’t support it despite being in favor of Free Trade.

    NAFTA is a “Trade Agreement”, and the “Free” stuff is just political BS.    If it was free trade, the agreement would consist of about 1 line.    But NAFTA is bloated with tons of regulated trade agreements.

    Managed trade is not free trade.

      1. Yeah it has Ron Paul correctly being against NAFTA, but I never heard of Libertarians being pro-NAFTA.

    1. The diagram is flawed. Libertarians are definitely no pro NAFTA. We Libertarians are for Constitutional freedom/individual liberties.

      It’s actually very simple. Libertarians believe that you are allowed to do what ever you want with yourself and property, as long, AS LONG as you don’t hurt anyone Else’s person or property.

      Peace, Freedom, Prosperity… nutty crazy insane ideas.

      1. That sounds all well and good but libertarianism also tends to go hand in hand with ‘market fundamentalism’. At the core of the “let the market decide” mentality is the economic ethos “greed is good”, rugged individualism, yadda yadda. Which flies in the face of pretty much any lesson that should have been learned from the last economic crisis… and pretty much every economic crisis that has preceded it.

        1. That is 1 sided.     There is the property/individual rights side of things, which provides the limits of free markets.  

          It’s let the markets decide, UNLESS someone is being injured/frauded/having their rights stepped on.

          Pollution should be illegal for example.   Because nobody has the right to pollute someone elses property/environment.    

          None of this has anything to do with the economic crisis.    Which happened in a regulated market, not a free market.

          1. “Pollution should be illegal”

            Congratulations, you’ve just outlawed… everything. I’m as much of an environazi as the next guy, but you’ve got to maintain a sense of perspective.

          2. Actually I do support Paul, although in a somewhat cynical manner and with some serious reservations.

            But pollution is a great example of why someone like Paul getting his way entirely would be an unmitigated disaster. The version of conservative libertarianism he represents has no good answer for such Tragedy of the Commons type problems other than a willful misunderstanding of human nature.

  4. I didn’t see the word insane on there anywhere.  Where do Paul’s nutty conspiracy theories fit into this model?

      1. no he can’t, but i can; balanced budget, strong national defense that protects our borders, sound money (not fiat money that inflates and “taxes” our dollars into oblivion), and a huge focus on personal liberty, which means we’re free of excessive government intervention and tyranny.  shameful, crazy, and nutty ideas!!

        1. So what?
          He doesn’t recognize that the Constitution delegates the power of personal opinion to the president and is not going to stuff Baptism down our throats.

          I was raised Southern Baptist and left the denomination as soon as I was old enough — and I have no problem voting for Dr. Paul.

          1. There is your problem. You left the denomination, not the fanasty world.

            In the real world problems need to be solved using the best science and technology at our disposal. Destroying the Department of Education, allowing states to decide which biblically based version of reality they will teach, will definitely not help the cause.

          2. Again, so what?

            A scenario:

            If Alabama or Tennessee want to enforce some means of teaching (or not teaching) some tenets of modern science — lets say quantum properties of atoms for instance. Then let them! Their economies would crumble due to a basic understanding of modern technology. Within a generation the  local economy would be in tatters. There would be no straw man to blame — it would be revealed to all that the cause of the calamity was indeed the forced obeisance to some arbitrary opinion: atoms have no quantum properties. In the marketplace of ideas anti-quantum thinking would loose out big time.

            You make a logical mistake in your reasoning:
            “allowing states to decide which biblically based version of reality they will teach”

            Who says that any biblical approach would automatically be the default option?

          3. I’m not too concerned that the average american understands quantum mechanics, however that would be great. I’d settle for them to just quit calling the higgs boson the ‘god particle’.

            The majority of the south and part of the mid-west would definitely jump to teach ‘biblically based’ science, i.e. remove evolution, ecology, and earth science (with the exception of petrology of course). They have been trying for years.  That is the whole point of the Discovery Institute, who are  predominantly baptist.

            While I do appreciate the approach of letting them be idiots and fail, the effects would be felt across the rest of the country. If you could guarantee that the damage would stay local I would reconsider.

          4. Well, if the NSF is to be shut down, it probably doesn’t matter what the personal beliefs of the President are. If it’s to remain open, a president who’s not covertly opposed to the scientific perspective would be a plus.

        2. Ok 2718, you’re at least willing to listen and have your mind changed. Thats a start!

          If the Federal Dept of Ed were to go under and it went back to the states, they would have just a hard a time of instituting far-reaching educational policies of the type that Creationists would like. Could it happen at the county level? Quite possibly. There you have a smaller population that would tend to share some of the same beliefs.

          Can I guarantee that anything will happen, good or bad? No and thats where our little thought experiment fails. Mass migration out of a state that pushed this direction would certainly hurt the local economy more so than the larger macro economy. The so-called “Brain Drain” effect.

          Is there some special commodity, only found in Alabama or Tennessee (again within our thought experiment), that would hurt the national economy without? Lets say ‘yes’. Well, presumably you have some market mechanism in place (remember, free-markets and all that). The market is great at providing substitutes for scarce resources. Ex – TVs are now universally housed in plastic cases, there used to be a time when it was common for TVs to be packaged in wood. Yeah, real wood. The market provides a substitution. Simple example not wanting to get into an environmental debate here.

          Basically, there is a market place of prices and goods while there is also a complementary market of ideas. You take a position against this idea market and absent any sort of governmental stick to enforce your position it will be tested and either falter or succeed.

          1. While I philosophically agree with you, we unfortunately don’t have unlimited time or resources to let ‘the market’ magically fix our long term social and economic problems. 
            I wish we lived in a world populated by sane, rational adults where people could be trusted to make ethical decisions without having to be babysat all the time by a governing force, however until that day comes deregulating everything is a very risky idea. With a world population expected to hit 10+ billion in the near future, it would be disastrous.

          2. 1) In your proposal, you wantonly allow an economy to fall apart, destroying thousands if not millions of lives. Those lives were not responsible for the terrible decisions, why should they be punished? 

            2) An uneducated populace votes poorly. Uneducated people don’t understand the system enough to vote in their best interest. So in your libertarian playground, a devastated economy and thousands of uneducated children will continue to perpetuate (and likely worsen) the same problems. 

      2. Sure. According to Ron Paul:

        1. ‘Malicious’ gay people deliberately infect heteros with AIDS:

        2. The U.S. Government and WHO manufactured the AIDS virus:

        3. Mossad was behind the original WTC bombing:

        4. 95% of black men in Washington D.C. are ‘semi-criminal or entirely criminal’:

        5. The American race war is imminent (he said this in 1993):

        1. You sir, deserve the Dan Rather award for journalistic integrity!

          Out of curiousity, I followed all five of your links. Not one mention of Dr. Paul. However, there are several grainy xeroxes of, what I suppose to be, the purported newsletters published by Dr. Paul. Two of the links don’t even work (although this could be because I’m using a proxy to surf the net).

          If you’re going to bother to go to the trouble of posting links, at least post a link to something of substance; not unattributed pages torn out of some random magazine. There wasn’t even a header/footer to get an idea of what magazine this pages were torn from.

          1. Those newsletters bear his signature. And ten years ago, he admitted to writing them. He’s since changed his story, because that’s what principled politicians do. Now, he says he didn’t. 

        2. Ok, its called the “Ron Paul Survival Report”. Ok, but where does it show that in the one grainy image you linked too? I know of these allegations but have never bothered to track down complete, whole PDF’s to read. What you submitted is just a single page and, quite frankly, was mis-titled. You want to inform the world about Dr. Paul, then put up a whole freaking PDF file with coversheet, table of contents and all. What you’re submitting I have to take on honor that its from his newsletter.

          1. Fair enough. I am not willing to devote this Saturday afternoon to find another copy of his newsletter, so I concede my point to you. For the record, I am not that interested in “informing the world about Dr. Paul.” Rather, I believe he is a bigot and a hypocrite and, when the opportunity presents itself such as here at BoingBoing, I express that opinion.

    1. If the government does lie to us, our society is to the point where we will label anyone who is telling the truth as a conspiracy theorist.  It’s kind of scary that we dismiss people who question the official story as nutty, not like Ron Paul even is a conspiracy theorist.  I guess I just think it’s healthy to have people not willing to accept everything at face value and their opinions to be respected.

  5. ” My feeling is that Ron Paul can only be understood by abandoning the traditional one-dimensions left-right political axis.”It’s called the Nolan Chart, been around since 1971.

    1. Good recommendation. The thing I like about the Nolan Chart is it’s predicated on a political standard of value: freedom. Maximizing and protecting freedom, liberty, should be the goal of all political activity.

  6. I thought even the right-‘libertarians’ opposed NAFTA. I think they’re pickier than the neoliberals and the politicians about the meanings of “free trade” and “privatization” which aren’t supposed to mean *cronyism.*

  7. I’d like to see an analysis of President Obama. Not of what he says he’s for, but the policies he’s actually signed into law.  If he didn’t have a D beside his name, he’s the type of president Republicans 
    in the past  would have been happy to have .

    1. Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan… doesn’t matter… They are all elitist, status quo plutocrats who push the policy slid across the table to them by their handlers…

      1. > “Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan… doesn’t matter”

        Yes, the “they’re all the same” train, keep saying it. You want some incense with that? Some chanting? If you keep saying it, maybe it’ll become true.

      1. I knew someone would rise to my bait.  But I didn’t base it on the newsletters.  I based my statement on a close friend’s direct personal interaction with Mr. Paul, during the 2008 campaign.

    1. Where does racism go on this diagram?

      It’s so vast that the whole diagram falls inside the racism/homophobia bubble.

  8. The chart is fine, but it is important to compare/contrast with the other candidates.

    I give this article an INCOMPLETE and it needs to be resubmitted…

  9. Good catch.   Its probably an oversight.   The vast majority of Libertarians should be anti-NAFTA, at least on principle.   The Libertarians that were pro-NAFTA supporters were probably duped into believing that some minor regulations would bring a much greater amount of trade between countries in the long haul.  Not all Libertarians agree on everything.    

    I for one will at least consider supporting non purely Libertarian endeavors if you can show me there is a far greater positive impact in the future.

  10. Right-wing American politician: Pro-competition, anti-government rhetoric serves as a smokescreen for pork and massive corporate welfare. Piety serves as a smokescreen for control of what others do in their private lives that’s grounded in fear of difference.

    Left-wing American politician:  Pro-cooperation, anti-market-failure rhetoric somehow still turns into pork and corporate welfare. Less fear of difference somehow still results in failure of courage to protect what others do in their private lives. But not quite as bad as right-wing politicians.

    Ron Paul: Despite completely unrealistic anti-government rhetoric, still gets plenty of pork. Thinks there is a important difference whether it’s state or federal government that’s telling you what to do in your private life. Will never be in a position of much power, thank God, but can take credit for inspiring Republicans to come up with a more radical line in smokescreens.

    1. I’ve heard this same complaint from a friend who is leaning towards Dr. Ron Paul. Frankly, he could believe in the FSM or even be a devotee of Eris for all I care as long as he didn’t attempt to force that belief down my throat.

        1. Is evolution a litmus test for cognitive capacity?

          He has his opinion, and its his personal opinion. Will he sign bills based on that opinion — he says no.

          Quite frankly, evolutionists are more to blame than religious nuts for the confusion. As a scientifically minded person that just so happens to study chaotic systems and simulates evolution in a computer — yeah, I strongly suspect that something like what we call evolution happens.

          The WHY is what gets people bogged down. Creationists will content that its divinely directed. Evolutionists say that it is just random mutations as organisms change the environment then respond to that change and so on.

          That Dr. Paul has distilled this into his own worldview says volumes about his ability to reason.

          1. ‘Is evolution a litmus test for cognitive capacity?’  Yes. It tests your capacity to hold a belief against all evidence.

            ‘He has his opinion, and its his personal opinion.’
            An opinion not based on fact. Just like his opinion on climate change.

            ‘Quite frankly, evolutionists are more to blame than religious nuts for the confusion.’ 
            Are you serious?

            ‘The WHY is what gets people bogged down.’ 
            Clinging to stolen stories told by goat herders thousands of years ago is what bogs people down.

            ‘That Dr. Paul has distilled this into his own worldview says volumes about his ability to reason.’
            I agree, it certainly does.

  11. @Marko Raos

    I blame the education system.   The whole system needs a complete overhaul.  Additional classes just in empirical, secular, critical thinking need to be mandatory.

  12. I don’t think the chart is right.  Pro choice actually violates the most important libertarian principle of doing no harm  to other human being. Should be actually put on the left border . Also, for comparison,  It would be hard to place Obama on such constructed circles. Also ‘right’ should be re-defined as neo-conservatism.

    1. Only if you beg the question and define personhood from conception.  Even if you do pregnancy is a unique situation where you can’t respect both people’s rights at the same time.  They impose on one another by biological design.  Being pregnant usually cause small harms to the mother, often causes moderate harms, and occasionally cause fatal harm.

    2. oh sigh. don’t be absurd. the crux of the debate over abortion depends almost entirely on whether you consider the result of some period of time’s development by a fertilized egg to be a person or not. there’s no “libertarian” position on that question, though certainly if you were strongly libertarian and believed that it constituted a person, you might have different positions than some other people.

  13. You need to add a section on Currency.

    Currently we have a DEBT BASED Currency, typed on a computer into existence by bankers when they loan government, business and people money. This has to be repaid always causing a drawdown of the money in circulation. When there is a credit freeze there is no money coming into the society while existing loan payments extinguish money. Interest money for payment is never created so that it also has to be borrowed or come from other terrible sources such as bankruptcies or money laundering.

    Where does Ron Paul stand: DEBT Money to profit Bankers or NO DEBT Money to profit Americans:

    Gold/Silver Backing a DEBT based currency (FIAT or Gold/Silver Coins) created or
    loaned into circulation by banker’s loans to government, business and
    people. You can never get out of debt if your money itself is debt even
    if backed.


    Gold/Silver Backing or the Real Value of an Infrastructure Rebuild Backing a NO DEBT Fiat Currency created by government to spend into society on infrastructure DEBT FREE. The Value of an Infrastructure Rebuild is the idea of Rep. Dennis Kucinich to provide millions of jobs, unprivatize money creation to benefit people not bankers, and to fix our decaying infrastructure. See information about Dennis Kucinich’s NEED Act HR 2990 bill (formerly HR6550):

    Materials for reaching local officials and civic organizations

    Email this Webpage to all of your Contacts!

    Action Plan and How to Use These Materials

    (1) One Page Handout

    (2) Short Email

    (3) Full Length Email

    (4) Letter to the Editor

    (5) Correspondence with Government Officials

    (6) The Way Out, A Speech to City Councils and Civic Organizations

    (7) Stephen Zarlenga’s Address to the Demonstrators


    How the Economists Facilitated the Crisis and How HR 6550* Solves it
    (Now HR 2990)
    by AMI

    The crisis gives a rare opportunity for reform. There’s no denying that the present “Economics” regime has been a key cause of the pain, suffering, illness and even death inflicted on America’s less affluent; and of the worldwide economic destruction we see. My observations are admittedly from an outsider and there should be a value for you from that perspective, but this was well expressed by Economist Jamie Galbraith in testimony to the Senate Crime subcommittee on May 4th, 2010:

    “I write to you from a disgraced profession. Economic theory,as widely taught since the 1980s, failed miserably to understand the forces behind the financial crisis.”

    With rare exceptions, those in control of the World’s monetary/economic agenda and the theories supporting it have helped bring the world to its knees. Shouldn’t they (and their theories) be held accountable? The challenge will be for “youngsters” like yourselves, to bring your chosen profession to its senses.

    False “monetary” beliefs (some call them theories) have misdirected public policy decisions for decades, with devastating effect! Errors of Concept, methodology and factual errors led to disastrous outcomes for our nation and have the potential to gradually take America down into an unprecedented abyss of lawlessness and deprivation. Consider the present insane calls for austerity.  Economists have allowed the idea to prevail that a government has to be run the way a shopkeepers runs his store.  These times call for greater care and some heroism among
    economists; and cowardice is no longer tolerable among those who do understand.

    Which particular monetary errors? Most importantly, economists have not understood or appreciated the difference between money and credit. That using credit for money is dangerous, harmful and unnecessary. Can’t they read Knapp’s “State Theory of Money, available in English since the early 1920s, to understand credit is just one type of money system, and not a good one at that? Even Minsky who pointed out that such a fractional reserve system always collapses….

    Many economists have falsely concluded that “all money is debt,” and while most money in our particular mis structured system is debt, this attitude ignores the possibility and necessity to define a better system based on government money, not private debt. This failure to understand the concept of government money as opposed to private credit, has had immense and deadly repercussions. The Great Henry Simons summed it up in one magnificent sentence in the 1930s:

    “The mistake … lies in fearing money and trusting debt.”

    Henry Simons, (Economic Policy for a Free Society, 1930s, P.199)

    This fundamental error has allowed the most egregious banking and money system to dominate our society for a century. It has caused immense damage:

    For example: The privatization of our monetary system, with control over public policy being in unelected hands, for whoever controls the money system, over time will control the nation.

    And look what they have done with that power:

    * They’ve given special privilege to create money to some, and disadvantage to others; which has led to an obscene concentration of wealth and a corresponding poverty! This has encouraged lawlessness and corruption among the privileged; pushing them to diseased excess for acquisition, and ignoring those among us in great need.

    * They’ve turned economics into a primitive religion, and worshipped the “market” as a god, despite all evidence to the contrary. A primary tool they use is to denigrate and ignore evidence. “Anecdotal” was the description Greenspan used for real evidence that challenges their theories. A fundamental sin of poor methodology.

    * They have placed an unnecessary ball and chain on the leg of every producer by having the money supply itself bear an unnecessary interest cost to society.

    * They’ve foisted a “fractional reserve” system on us prone to periodic collapse. Credit will collapse during a crisis. Money does not collapse. Credit will collapse during a crisis. Money does not collapse. Money does not collapse.

    In our present system most of what we use for money – more accurately purchasing media – comes into existence as an interest bearing debt, when banks make loans. In that sense, most money in our fractional reserve system – is debt. But economists can’t seem to grasp that those rules can and must be changed. Afraid to confront their paymasters, who are benefitting from the injustice, they can’t conceive of practical ways we can use real government issued money for money instead of substituting private debt for it. They ignore previous attempts such as the Chicago Plan of the 1930s; and smear prior periods when such real money was used successfully.

    Errors of methodology regarding money include refusal to examine the facts and a tendency to ignore history where the monetary facts are found. This leads to the silliest errors of fact regarding monetary history including:

    * Being unaware of the colonial periods’ excellent experience with government money.

    * The Continental Currency – they are generally unaware they were destroyed by Brit counterfeiting.

    * The Greenbacks – which is mistakenly characterized as worthless paper money, ignoring that they ultimately exchanged one for one with gold.

    * The French Assignats – where they have again ignored Brit counterfeiting and enshrined the propaganda book written by a banking heir as unbiased fact (White’s Fiat Money in France)!

    * The German Hyperinflation is not recognized as occurring under a privately owned and privately controlled Reichsbank!

    * Regarding the FED as part of the government!

    * The Free banking Schools misidentify the Free banking period because New York’s “Free Banking Law” gave better results. But despite its title it imposed much stronger requirements and regulations and was the opposite of free banking!

    Jamie Galbraith ended his testimony to the Senate’s Crime Subcommittee with this warning: “But you have to act. The true alternative is a failure extending over time from the economic to the political system.

  14. No more FIAT currency, no more Fractional Reserve Monetary system. The US Dollar is very near being replaced as the world’s reserve currency. Once that happens it’s dark time for us…

      1. For oil dealings most likely a group of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar. For reserves, while not a tangible currency, you could see IMF created SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) come in to play.

  15. Oh man, everywhere I go there are Randroids on the internet today, what is with that?  Anyhow, I don’t really have any interest in socially regressive politicians.  Whether they dress up their reactionary policies in state’s rights or Social Darwinism is beside the point.  Ron Paul talks about freedom but he means freedom for straight white men.  It doesn’t take much to read between the lines.

    1. And this supposition is based on what exactly? Is there a bill he sponsored or a pattern in his voting record in which you see non-white men being wronged? Please educate us.

      1. I’m one of those crazy guys that think, hey, if you edit & publish a newsletter with your name on it, & a super duper flamingly racist article comes across your desk & you say “oh, I will definitely print this!” then huh. Yeah. Bingo.

    1. It’s gonna be tough to resist the temptation to challenge their… assertions. I actually support Paul (for rather cynical reasons), but his supporters tend to give me pause.

      If only we could get them to weigh in on the previous post instead. That might be a more instructive debate.

  16. And while Ron Paul is Pro-Life, the important distinction is that he does not believe the Federal Government should impose laws for or against abortion. He believes states should be allowed to decide for themselves.

      1. Well if my only choices are Federal Tyranny or State Tyranny, I will gladly take State Tyranny.  At least I have more influence in state politics and the populace can vote for legislation that works for them.

         What works in Maine doesn’t automatically work in Arizona.

        1. so clearly, you don’t agree that the smaller the government, the easier it is to buy it? you certainly get more “locally influenced” government at the state level, but this cuts both ways: it will be more reflective over general state-wide mores and situations but also </strong more subject the influence of the big fish in the small-pond-that-is-your-state, people who are really not so big when it comes to the country as a whole. personally, i believe this is exactly why so many wealthy and powerful people love the idea of dismantling or reducing the scope of the federal government: they get their government instead …

          plus, another detail: you’re also going to end up with states becoming more and more polarized as they legislatively hone in on the preferences of the state majority on any number of issues. left-leaning liberal in alabama? right-leaning libertarian in new york? decreasing the influence of the federal government is going to make the lives of such people less, not more comfortable.

          maybe that’s a good thing, maybe its not. my gut feeling is that its not actually what most people want. instead it would make the ideologues of whichever slant dominates a state happy, while making most other people less happy.

    1. If you believe that states rights trump basic human rights and personal liberty, then you no longer support basic human rights or personal liberty.  Being oppressed by a smaller state rather than a larger state is inconsequential.  Many of us who are pro-choice see the issue as being on the same level as free speech or suffrage.  It is basic control over ones own body and health.  It can’t be dodged with states rights.  Current mobility between states is also inconsequential unless you believe denying suffrage to a group of persons could also be justified in the same manner.

      1. The “States Rights” argument has been used by racists and sexists for years. It will continue to be. No amount of logic or discussion will make these people check their privilege and realize the truths behind their statements. 

        “States Rights” was the argument against the Civil Rights Act. It’s part of Ron Paul’s argument against the Civil Rights Act. When I hear the “States Rights” argument, I hear, “Will anybody think of the poor white men?”

    2. . He believes states should be allowed to decide for themselves.

      Not a word for the rights of the individual? Just why are states so damn sacred? 

      Perhaps we could resolve this dilemma entirely by getting rid of states, and allowing the national government to occupy this role. The Nation-State! I like the sound of that!

  17. Ron Paul is one of those guys who should have stopped talking two sentences ago. Just when I start to agree with him, he says something far out.

    That said, he couldn’t fuck it up much worse than any other. I love that you can’t place him left or right. A majority if Americans fall in the middle. We need more people like this guy – but a liiitttttllleeee bit saner ;o)

    1. Can you give an example? What exactly did he say that made you go from agreeing to disagreeing? It would be great if you could provide exact quotes and links.

      1. “I think it’s a theory…the theory of evolution and I don’t accept it as a theory. But I think the creator that i know, you know created us, every one of us and created the universe and the precise time and manner and all. I just don’t think we’re at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side.”
        – There is absolute proof that evolution is true. He would know this if he read any college level textbook.

        “The greatest hoax I think that has been around for many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on global warming.” 

        – Where does he get this crap? 

        1. Interesting hadn’t read that one yet but you left out the first part of his answer which was:

          “Well, first I thought it was a very inappropriate question, you know, for the presidency to be decided on a scientific matter,”

          Which shows to me that his is not interested in pushing his religious beliefs on others.  I asked my Nana the same question and she gave me almost the same answer. Must be something with these old Christians, still clinging to their beliefs.

          While I completely disagree with him on it, It doesn’t change my mind about his campaign platform. Like things he is proposing to do. Unless he wants to pass a Federal law recognizing only Creationism, then I don’t care if he believes Grover from Sesame Street is the one true god.

          And the climate is changing, it’s always changing has been forever. Whether mankind has an impact on it or not is up for scientific debate which I don’t think he is any more qualified then you or I to comment on it. Without seeing the context around his quote he could be implying how Global Warming can be used as a political tool for wrongdoing as well as good as I have heard him speak out against it being used to cripple some industries with taxes and regulations while other similarly polluting industries (friends of Congress) get a pass.

          1.   Since we live in the real world I definitely think that scientific matters should play a serious role in deciding the presidency. Huntsman is the only republican candidate that understands this:  ” To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy. ”
              The Discovery Institute, a baptist run ‘non-partisan think tank’, has been pushing for giving control of education to the states for years, as a way of removing science from education. The federal government doesn’t have to pass a federal law recognizing creationism, the states (especially the south and part of the mid-west) will do it for them.
              This actually does matter, and is the main reason that I couldn’t vote for Paul. Science and technology  are vital for long term economic sustainability, both for the United States and globally.
              As far as climate change goes, I’m scientist at a top five american university who does research at the interface of physics, biology and geology, so I am qualified to comment on it. He is flat wrong. I agree with him that politicians are unfortunately using it as tool. This must be stopped. However getting rid of the EPA is not the answer.

  18. Alright the diagram is not perfect. Overall it has a very true perspective and snapshot of where Ron Paul’s support may be. Crossing edges or fringes of the out line is what the effort has been about all along. If people would except the main thrust of freedom and constitutional awareness ….the rest will flow into place without a fine line between them. The diagram does show what lacks in all the other candidates Ron Paul’s convictions although they seem radical and crazy to some groups have a strong ring of American historic verbrato patriotism our country was founded on. Ron Paul is here to remind us and ring the bell of freedom loud.

    1. They may seem crazy because we have been brainwashed by the plutocracy to except the staus quo as the way it should be. Smart people don’t like to realize they have been acting foolish by propping up such a nefarious regime.

  19. What I do find impressive is that the Southern Strategy was so successful that people do not even recognize an old school Dixiecrat when they see one.

    1. If you are implying that Ron Paul somehow supports racial segregation and the stoking of anti-white fears to get votes in the South then I have to say that is preposterous.

      1. What is preposterous is that people can look at his immigration stance, his tacit use of the state’s rights argument, his comments friends and background, and have so little sense of history that they can not see that he clearly appeals to the same racially frightened contingent that had my family voting democrat until the 60’s when the democrats began to support civil rights (which was a state’s rights issue and it is dishonest to suggest otherwise as the standard line has always been that it was not the federal government’s right to get involved, and that it was  the right of businesses schools and other private institutions to discriminate at will) along with a few desperate libertarians who are trying so hard to be “race-blind” that they could call a zebra gray. 

        See you find it so offensive, it’s like calling some one a Nazi to point out that they are in line with anything that could be associated with the “wrong” side of something.

        But really, yes, he does not have to have an opinion on the historic issue of racial segregation, he only has to make the exact same ideological arguments on issues that are analogous to civil rights in that era to essentially be a throwback. 

        You make paleo-conservative sound like it’s a dirty word. It’s not. It’s just not libertarian.

  20. Nothing more nuanced than temperature can be accurately depicted on a single axis graph, so it’s always baffled me that people expect something as complex and multi-factored as political beliefs to work that way.

      1. AD&D had the nine alignments. The original D&D had only “Law, Neutrality, and Chaos”. On the other hand, “Elf” was a character class, so perhaps things were simple then.

        4th edition has “Lawful Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil, Chaotic Good”, so perhaps the challenges of playing “Lawful Neutral” monks were too difficult.

    1. But most Americans are one dimensional men. The DW-Nominate studies boil historic voting behavior to one or two principal components– and the second component hasn’t been important since the civil rights era.

  21. been brainwashed-corruption is normal,unavoidale and systemic. EVERYTHING… flows from a top down. America wants to see the ‘ol America’?
    Cleanse the top structure or it is just another ‘can kick’.

  22. Since there seems to be some confusion:

    libertarianism referred to anarchism long before it referred to any other political philosophy. In this sense, it’s about freedom, and about organization and cooperation without the state and without class/sex/race-based hierarchies.

    libertarianism may also refer to other political philosophies, but core libertarianism isn’t about markets, it’s about free, and free markets are one hypothetical way to have free economies. core libertarianism doesn’t accept the United States Constitution as an end-point, a constitution which enables war, originally supported slavery, and now tolerates torture, but it might take the Bill of Rights as a good starting-point.

    and it’s not up to the Libertarian Party, the Freedom Democrats or the Republican Liberty Caucus to redefine.

    P.S. What on earth is going on when people portray Rand Paul’s proposed national union-busting act as libertarian? Or when people portray immigration restrictions as libertarian? Or intellectual property [as in robbery?] as libertarian?

  23. The Left is anti-war and anti-Patriot Act?  Seriously?  If I take the time to look at Congress’ voting record or the behavior of Left-leaning Presidents, will such a contentious statement be remotely defensible?  I think not.

    1. How many people does the left have in congress?

      I guess you could count Kucinich in the house and Sanders in the senate… maybe a few others…

      But anyone who supports the torture state is, by definition, on the right.

      1. That seems like begging the question to me. 

        Throughout history, Leftists and Rightists are both inevitably driven to war, and are more or less the same people.  The author of this piece is correct in saying that Libertarians defy the left-right political spectrum, but that’s because there really isn’t one.

        Subverting individual liberty for the sake of the state and subverting individual liberty for the sake of the collective society end up in the same place.

  24. Well, I think a lot of people here are confused.  Last time I checked, Mr. Paul was not in the libertarian party.  He is in fact, a republican.  His views are not libertarian.  They are simple and completely fucking stupid statism.  There is no way that statism is libertarian.  Why the fuck is a statist running for president?  At least the other idiots admit that they don’t like gay people and give us some nice rhetoric about thier racism.  This guy just lets it hang , and you decide what his stupid fucking views are.

  25. The thing that’s most perplexing to me about the Cult Of Paul is, how much they believe he will be able to “fix” while barely any of it falls underneath Presidential mandate, the Fed being the glaring example. Couple that with his inability to form much of any type of meaningful alliance with lawmakers from either side of the spectrum. In order for Paul to “fix” any of the crap that the perspiring faithful believe he will, a large majority of lawmakers have to be just like him.
    And they’re not.

    1. I think it’s funny that any libertarian would want one really-powerful figure to do the work that they should be doing.

  26. This ven diagram is interesting to look at if for nothing else b/c it makes some pretty broad assumptions about what a libertarian is and where it is they stand on the political issues.

  27. As far as placing pork and then voting against it proving he’s just another politician, the real test is, would he vote still vote “No” if he knew his vote was the deciding one against the bill. I suspect he would gleefully make that vote. THAT is a BIG difference. Though I’m not a Paul supporter, he’s dead on as far as the need to shrink our bloated government and our entitlement state.

    1. We cannot know what a person might do in a hypothetical scenario, we can only judge that person on what they have done in very real scenarios. Given that fact, how do you judge Paul?

  28. Nice assumption into the mind of the Ron Paul supporter. However, the idea of the libertarian minded voter to replace the lawmakers which have supported bills which supercede the constitution. I like the assumption that you have to play ball in Washington with ineffectual politicians to get anything accomplished.

    1. This makes sense.  Mr. Paul is now an OWS supporter.  Mr. Paul isn’t against anything.  All he is about is doing nothing about anything.  All of his statements are negative, there are notpositive assertions.  Anything else is a projection into the living rorschach that is paul.

  29. Andrew S. – Exactly whose Constitutional mandate does the Fed fall under? One problem with our government is so many federal bureaucracies have arisen with no clear Constitutional mandate. Without such, they get “oversight” and grow on and on. This was exactly what was to be avoided when our Constitution was written to give the people all power, and define those few things our government could/should do, instead of giving it all power, and defining a few things it could not/should not do.

  30. I take issue with the fact that Libertarians are labelled as being “anti-Goverment”. I don’t know a single Libertarian who I would label that way. Most Libertarians are, rather, pro small, responsible government. That’s an important distinction.

      1. You’re right about that, however, the popular definition has changed over the last several decades, despite how anarchists may feel about that. Just like the term “liberal” used to mean what “libertarian” means today. I’d be more than happy to shift both terms back to their previous definitions, but that would be extremely difficult to undo, so in my original comment, I’m referring to the current definition of the word.

        1. “the term “liberal” used to mean what “libertarian” means today”

          No. This is not true, there is no such thing as a distinction between “classical” and “modern” liberalism

          “The liberal tradition is about far more than questions of economics, as important as those questions are. Modern liberalism did not start with the New Deal and end with The War on Poverty. What my critics call modern liberalism is instead the logical and sociological outcome of classical liberalism. That is why Adam Smith is a liberal and twentieth century libertarians such as Hayek are not.”

      1. A venn diagram MUST contain every possible combination. More specifically a “venn diagram for n component sets must contain all 2^n hypothetically possible zones that correspond to some combination of inclusion or exclusion in each of the component sets”. There is no region where only the “left” and “right” sets meet therefore this cannot be called a venn diagram. You could call it a euler diagram (a less restrictive version of a venn diagram) or you could call it a graphic but its technically not a venn diagram. see more here

        1. i’m honestly not sure why people incorrectly labeling something as a venn diagram bothers me so much but it does. 

  31. Wouldn’t the polar opposite of libertarian be totalitarian?  Irrespective of Paul’s positions.

    Nice to see people thinking outside ‘linear left-to-right’, anyway, cause it just ain’t that simple.  Both the left and right can reach libertarian perspectives, and, in extremes,  beyond that to anarchy.

    1. Aren’t you?  I’d have thought free trade would fit right in with libertarian ideals of behavioral freedom.  Personally I think NAFTA is a disaster, but I’m not a libertarian. Hmmm, maybe you aren’t either?

  32. Per the OP, there is a 2 axis model for political philosophy that does a pretty good job at showing how wildly most of us are from our alleged leaders. Put “political compass” into the google machine try your luck. It uses right/left as well as authoritarian/libertarian as the axes.

    I am surprised that so many Ron Paul supporters haven’t read enough *about* him to know where these criticisms originate. In political circles, it’s called opposition research: you want to know every piece of dirt on your guy, even the stuff he is unaware of or forgotten. So publications that warn of the need to arm yourself or that comment on how “young black males are fleet of foot” that appear on your guy’s letterhead are something you need to be aware of. Anyone can look these up. If you’re a Ron Paul supporter and haven’t done so, why not? This isn’t some debatable birth certificate stunt: this is verifiable work product from an organization he managed.  

    I watched a short video clip the other day where he argued that the Civil War could have been avoided by buying the slaves or otherwise negotiating around the issue. I wouldn’t accept that argument from a high school student. It’s ahistorical nonsense. 

    My take on the newsletters and fundraising materials is that if he didn’t know about them, he lacks the executive skill to be President. If he did know about, he lacks the political and social skill to be President. So, yes, damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t but such is life. Responsibility is a bitch. 

    Libertarianism requires a childlike faith in human nature and markets that I haven’t had since I was about 6. Just as communism proved that people are not universally altruistic, libertarianism is based on the belief that people are rational AND that markets are perfect, that information is universally available and the interests of the various parties are transparent and understood equally. Look at insider trading or the bank failure shenanigans or income inequality and ask yourself how this demonstrates rational behavior or symmetrical information flows.

    1. It’s from the same period of intellectual idealism as Marxism. It just hasn’t been debunked by being put into practice. But like Marxists, hard-line Austrians do have to ignore decades of theoretical advances in economics.

      1. That and a basic understanding of human nature, the history of civilization, etc. 

        And like hardcore Marxists, libertarians can claim that it would *so* work, it just hasn’t been done right. 

  33. Cory,

    Have you heard of the Political Compass?

    Essentially it is a system of political rating that uses two scales: economic and social.
    What most fascinates me is that just about Every US politician lands within the same quadrant:

    I’d love to hear your thoughts…

  34. “My feeling is that Ron Paul can only be understood by abandoning the traditional one-dimensions left-right political axis”

    Well yeah, you need to add one more axis — Race.

  35. None of it matters; as soon as a leader is brought into power they’re taken out back and given the low-down; a pep speech from the banks and lobbyists, then they drop their shoulders, make a frowny face, and carry on in the shadow of the previous leader.

    I think most candidates have the illusion that they’ll be different.  Problem is that world leaders don’t lead the world, they just speak on behalf of the world owners.

    I’m not sure if I’m being pessimistic or crazy.

  36. Libertarian (and Paul’s) economic views have all the complexity of a spoiled 14 year-old kid that doesn’t want to do his chores. Ranting how it’s ‘unfair’ that they have to contribute while standing inside the house his family provided for them. And so long as there are 14 year-old kids in the world, there will be a Libertarian party and Paul backers. Adults understand that you must contribute to society if you wish there to be a society. So either Paul isn’t this bright or he doesn’t want a society. He does want policies that benefit the 1% and harm the 99%. Not surprising as he himself is part of the 1%.

    1. I’d ask you to provide specifics to back up all your claims, but the silence would be deafening….

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