Friday, January 06, 2012

Ron Paul - the Propertarian

How easy it is to fall into the same trap as we often criticise the MSM for ie accepting their re-definition of words.

Check out the history of the political meaning of "Libertarian"

Ron Paul is NOT a libertarian, no matter how often he or others make the claim. To be clear and to use the correct terminology Ron Paul is a propertarian

Right-"libertarians" are not interested in eliminating capitalist private property nor the authority, oppression and exploitation which goes with it. They make an idol of private property and claim to defend "absolute" and "unrestricted" property rights. In particular, taxation and theft are among the greatest evils possible as they involve coercion against "justly held" property. They call for an end to the state, not because they are concerned about the restrictions of liberty experienced by workers and tenants but because they wish capitalists and landlords not to be bothered by legal restrictions on what they can and cannot do on their property.

Chomsky argues that right-wing "libertarianism" has "no objection to tyranny as long as it is private tyranny." , "if you have unbridled capitalism, you will have all kinds of authority: you will have extreme authority."
Again Noam Chomsky put it: "Anarcho-capitalism, in my opinion, is a doctrinal system which, if ever implemented, would lead to forms of tyranny and oppression that have few counterparts in human history. There isn't the slightest possibility that its (in my view, horrendous) ideas would be implemented, because they would quickly destroy any society that made this colossal error. The idea of 'free contract' between the potentate and his starving subject is a sick joke, perhaps worth some moments in an academic seminar exploring the consequences of (in my view, absurd) ideas, but nowhere else."
Chomsky explains "Consider, for example, the [right-'libertarian'] 'entitlement theory of justice' . . . according to this theory, a person has a right to whatever he has acquired by means that are just. If, by luck or labour or ingenuity, a person acquires such and such, then he is entitled to keep it and dispose of it as he wills, and a just society will not infringe on this right. One can easily determine where such a principle might lead. It is entirely possible that by legitimate means -- say, luck supplemented by contractual arrangements 'freely undertaken' under pressure of need -- one person might gain control of the necessities of life. Others are then free to sell themselves to this person as slaves, if he is willing to accept them. Otherwise, they are free to perish. Without extra question-begging conditions, the society is just.The argument has all the merits of a proof that 2 + 2 = 5 "

Paul's support for "free market" capitalism ignores the impact of wealth and power on the nature and outcome of individual decisions within the market. This can be seen in the argument of Paul's influence Ayn Rand - "Freedom, in a political context, means freedom from government coercion. It does not mean freedom from the landlord, or freedom from the employer, or freedom from the laws of nature which do not provide men with automatic prosperity. It means freedom from the coercive power of the state -- and nothing else!".

Right-"libertarians" ignore the vast number of authoritarian social relationships that exist in capitalist society. The right-"libertarian," then, far from being a defender of freedom, is in fact a defender of certain forms of authority. To defend the "freedom" of property owners is to defend authority and privilege.

Right-"libertarianism" is unconcerned about any form of equality except "equality of rights". This blinds them to the realities of life; in particular, the impact of economic and social power on individuals within society and the social relationships of domination they create. Individuals may be "equal" before the law and in rights, but they may not be free due to the influence of social inequality, the relationships it creates and how it affects the law and the ability of the oppressed to use it. Without social equality, individual freedom is so restricted that it becomes a mockery (essentially limiting freedom of the majority to choosing which master will govern them rather than being free).

In Ron Paul's "libertarian" world there would be no National Insurance, no Social Security, no National Health Service nothing corresponding to the Poor Laws; there would be no public safety-nets at all. It would be a rigorously competitive society: work, beg or die.

Emma Goldman's rightly attacked that "rugged individualism" expoused by Paul "which is only a masked attempt to repress and defeat the individual and his individuality. So-called Individualism is the social and economic laissez-faire: the exploitation of the masses by classes by means of trickery, spiritual debasement and systematic indoctrination of the servile spirit . . . That corrupt and perverse 'individualism' is the strait-jacket of individuality . . . This 'rugged individualism' has inevitably resulted in the greatest modern slavery, the crassest class distinctions . . . 'Rugged individualism' has meant all the 'individualism' for the masters, while the people are regimented into a slave caste to serve a handful of self-seeking 'supermen' . . .and in whose name political tyranny and social oppression are defended and held up as virtues while every aspiration and attempt of man to gain freedom and social opportunity to live is denounced as . . . evil in the name of that same individualism."

Common ground? The socialist opposition to wage labour was shared by the pro-slavery advocates in the Confederacy. The latter opposed wage labour as being worse than its chattel form because, it was argued, the owner had an incentive to look after his property during both good and bad times while the wage worker was left to starve during the latter. This argument does not place them in the socialist camp any more than socialist opposition to wage labour made them supporters of slavery. As such, right-"libertarian" opposition to the state should not be confused with anarchist and real-libertarian opposition. The former opposes it because it restricts capitalist power, profits and property while the latter opposes it because it is a bulwark of all three. Therefore it is no coincidence that Ron Paul try to limit the definition of "libertarian" purely to opposition to the state or government.

As Anatole France said which reflects Ron Paul's philosophy "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

Many thanks to Anarchist FAQ

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