Thursday, February 6, 2014

Rand Paul: There is a Role for Government in Libertarianism

I guess Rad is a libertarian, again. Or more correctly a distorted libertarian. In a speech sponsored by the American Principles Project, Rand Paul said, “I don’t see libertarianism as, you can do whatever you want. There is a role for government, there’s a role for family, there’s a role for marriage, there’s a role for the protection of life,” reports Politico.

Actually, many libertarians are against any form of government and as discussed recently here at EPJ, libertarianism is silent on topics such as the role of family and marriage. Libertarianism is not about lifestyle. (See: Other Perverts) Further, most libertarians would argue that "the protection of life" could be much more efficiently handled by the private sector.

Rand has totally struck out here in advancing the essence of libertarianism.

He them made things worse by doubling down on his position against drug legalization:
I’m not talking about legalization. I’m talking about making the criminal justice system more fair and giving people a second chance when they serve their time.

He the went into his Ronald Reagan fanboy routine:
 He said now was not the time to back down.
“Everybody else told Reagan to shut up, too,” he said.


  1. Rand is more of a classical liberal, not libertarian in the Rothbardian sense. I don't see any problem with that. If as a classical liberal he has more chances of getting into office, then so be itl He is not doing an educational campaign as his father; he is really into getting there.

    1. Getting there at what cost, killing all the momentum that his father had generated? In that regard he may be worse than Reagan, who killed off years of growing anti-government sentiment. He'll do it without even getting the nomination.

      And fooey to your assertion that he's a classical liberal. Just about all the criticisms lodge against would be made by classical liberals were they around today.

    2. There are the sycophants again, making excuses for Rand by saying things that are utter B.S. while ignoring all the things that prove differently.

    3. Classical liberal? Look at Rand Paul's proposed budget:

      He reduces spending in 2014 to 2007 levels, then increases spending every single year for the next decade. How is a GWB-2007 baseline classical liberal?

  2. Typical government hack. We need to make government more "efficient", more like the private sector. He'll be a disaster if he's elected (and he won't). Hurry up and collapse empire.

  3. Anyone think they can get Rand to admit that he rejects Rothbard?

  4. "...many libertarians are against any form of government..."

    Thank you for using the word "many." Libertarianism encompasses a range of thought and seems to include classical liberalism, minarchism, and AnCap. Just because someone sees "night watchman" forms of government as valid, does not make them a statist.

    Rand Paul is not perfect. Would Murray Rothbard endorse him? He sure seemed to bend his principles when supporting Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan. The first being a constitutionalist and the second being a paleocon.

    Rand is not his dad, but he is surely better than Pat Buchanan.

    1. What is it with you people and your cognitive dissonance?

      How many times does it have to be show that Rand Paul says things that are not libertarian IN ANY WAY, such as his lies about Ronald Reagan, and his assurance to the religious right that harder drugs would stay illegal if up to him? What about these things is libertarian IN ANY WAY? Classical liberal, minarchist, objectivist or whatever you come up with? Which form of libertarianism wants to decide what you can put into your own body? Tell us, we'd like to know.

      He wants to use the state to legislate MORALITY. Get it? Sound libertarian to you? Does financial support to Israel sound libertarian? Does locking up whistle blowers for revealing the truth about unconstitutional government spying sound libertarian to you (he said Ed Snowden should do some time). Does wanting to privatize organizations whose purpose it is to molest flight passengers in unconstitutional ways sound libertarian to you? Does supporting sanctions against Iran sound libertarian to you?

      If you have no problems with these things, then you are NOT a libertarian, period.

    2. Tony, they're a bunch of old women, thinking with their emotions and not reason. It's wrapped up in false hope.

    3. Tony and Mike,

      I have no false hopes. Like Rothbard, I'm willing to find people to support in order to move the ball down the field.

      It sounds like we have a difference of strategy.

      I'll be honest, I can't go 100% AnCap and if AnCap is the test, then supporting Ron Paul was a kind of statist fool's game. In 30+ years of public life, Ron Paul has advocated a constitutionalist view. His son is just not as hardcore as Dad.

    4. “Which form of libertarianism wants to decide what you can put into your own body?”

      At times, Ron Paul advocated “federalism” in regards to drugs and other social issues. Does advocating a constitutionalist approach make him a statist?

    5. "Does advocating a constitutionalist approach make him a statist?"

      Probably. But at least he's a minarchist, so it's easier to tolerate and even respect him because on the sliding scale/paradigm of statism he is on the extreme end.

      I seem to remember hearing his doubts lie mostly around the viability of private courts and defense...which is understandable even if you are an anarchist because no such paradigm exists today so any reasonable person might question if it can.

    6. “Which form of libertarianism wants to decide what you can put into your own body?”

      At times, Ron Paul advocated “federalism” in regards to drugs and other social issues. Does advocating a constitutionalist approach make him a statist?"

      I reiterate: which form of libertarianism wants to decide what you can put into your own body?

      If the shoe fits... I don't care about names. Anybody that is pro-drug war is simply not a libertarian in any sense and so your point is refuted.

      As far as Ron Paul is concerned, being a constitutionalist at least he comes somewhat close, unlike his son, who doesn't pass the test of libertarianism, or of constitutionalism. He keeps throwing around that word libertarianism and that is my biggest peeve. He should reject the term completely and consistently, so there is no confusing the gullible. There are MILES of difference between father and son, and with Ron you could actually read between the lines and find an even more radical form of his beliefs. Whereas Rand just seems to be getting worse and worse.

      By the way, being a constitutionalist does indeed make one a statist. The articles of confederation were abrogated by the constitution because the mercantilist statist Alexander Hamilton thought the constitution gave government more power over the populace. While it is a document of blinding liberty compared to what we have today, it has never been a libertarian document. But it just goes to show how radical one can be as a consistent constitutionalist in the world of today, and Rand Paul cannot even muster getting close to anything like that.

      Also, you talk about moving the ball down the field. Do you really have a clue in what way Rand would "move the ball" or do you have nothing but his rhetoric and wishful thinking? I didn't use all those examples for no reason. They clearly prove he is pro-state over individual freedom, that he is a drug warrior, that he idolizes a state grower (Reagan) and is willing to lie about it, that he believes exposing criminal government actions is itself a crime, that he is interventionist and so on. And that is PRE-presidency.

  5. Rand Paul also thinks there's a role for the war on drugs in libertarianism.

    Need it be repeated again that he is DAMAGING the libertarian cause by mixing his statist religio-conservative crap in with his hypocritical statements about libertarianism (hypocritical because, after all, he constantly tells anyone who wants to hear that he is not a libertarian to begin with)?

    Libertarianism has no place for pro-drug war theocons. God, this guy is really starting to make me sick. As does Ron Paul's silence about his son's ignorant speeches.

    P.S. Government doesn't protect life. It destroys it. Even in the case of criminal assaults, government agents almost always come after the fact.

  6. Well, if it is self-governance, then yes.

  7. At some point in the future if I decide to cultivate and juice marijuana for my health, Rand Paul and his fellow southern white christian crackers would prosecute me to the full extend of the law for partaking of a plant which God placed on the earth to benefit mankind. Then after I had served my sentence in prison Rand in his beneficent judgement would feel pity on me and maybe allow me live outside prison walls in a christian purgatory of societal redemption. If I was able to show the proper amount of sorrow for my sin against the godless state I may be allowed to cast a provisional ballot in a gerrymandered district where two shills for AIPAC are duking it out.

    Oh how I long for the glory days of Ronald Reagan when the foul stench of hypocrisy was coated with a finer gloss of conservative self righteousness and patriotic self reverence. Those were the days my friend.

  8. how are large voting blocks like senior citizens and the christian right going to respond to 'legalize all drugs" and "no more foreign aid" and "open the boarders" and "end social security, medicare" etc. the man is campaigning, and it's ugly for libertarian ideologues to witness. he's in the game, and he's playing the moderate for maximum results. we've all seen what happens when you don't sell out, rand knows this better than anyone.

    1. There's no reasoning with you people. You are too addicted to being played by slick demagogues.

      Go on, bow down to your idol Rand Paul.
      Swallow all the crap he wants to shovel down your throats.

      Dupes deserve to be duped.

    2. no one is defending his actions, just pointing out his intentions. everyone here repeatedly criticizes Rand and the gradual distancing from his fathers legacy. and you're right, he's a sell out. why is anyone surprised buy this? you'd have to be naive to think he would pursue the Rep nomination without kisses every ring on the way up. he's not trying to educate and illuminate the way his father did, he's trying to win. you don't have to like it, hell i know i don't.

    3. The point is not that we criticize Rand for being a sell out.

      The point is two-fold:
      1) He continues to throw around the word "libertarianism" thus giving fuel to enemies of libertarianism by claiming Rand is one of us, and thus linking his words and actions to us.
      2) He fools gullible people into believing that he (Rand) really *is* one of us, thereby helping to dilute the meaning of what libertarianism stands for.

      We continue exposing him and criticizing him to make clear that he is NOT one of us, and WHY he is not one of us.

      If Rand would distance himself from the word "libertarian" and do so consistently, he'd be just another run of the mill politician and would likely get blasted by us a lot less. We might actually kind of like him then, because despite not being a libertarian, he does seem to be marginally better than the rest of them (for the time being anyway).

    4. Open borders for statist immigrants like the majority of Latinos is anti-libertarian.

  9. Ron Paul was the last decent dude I knew in the GOP.
    Let alone vote for.

  10. "There is a Role for Government in Libertarianism"

    Cleaning toilets???

    1. We KNOW the private sector can do that better, so I have to say "no".

  11. There's so much confusion around Rand (Paul the Lesser) these days, it's getting to be downright maddening. All one has to do is look at the comments and it's obvious that Rand is doing more harm than good for the liberty movement - he's creating nothing but confusion regarding the meaning of libertarianism. It's true that there are some schools of thought within libertarianism that see some role for government - the minarchists and classical liberals are perfectly clear examples. But here's the thing: Rand is saying things that NO libertarian, from anarchist to classical liberal, should approve of. And he gets away with it because of his last name and people are fooled into believing: 1). that he has a chance of winning, and 2). that even if he were elected, he would actually be able to get anything positive done... whether he actually wanted to or not.

    Be very cautious about this guy. He's Reagan 2.0 (all rhetoric, no substance, statist) and that is a frightening prospect for those of us who truly want a free society.

    1. "It's true that there are some schools of thought within libertarianism that see some role for government - the minarchists and classical liberals are perfectly clear examples."

      Well, that is not what I hear from people in this thread. The purity test is 100% AnCap or total exclusion.

    2. The purity test is the following question: "do you hate the state?" It should be obvious to you that Rand Paul does not.

    3. I wholeheartedly agree with Anonymous at 4:54. In response to Anon at 3:33, I am an anarcho-capitalist. I think the logical end of libertarian thought is anarchy - a private law society. That said, we'd be much more prosperous (not to mention mentally healthier) under a classical liberal/minarchist state and I'm willing to say that they represent legitimate schools of libertarian thought. Rothbard was right - better to have hardcore minarchists in the movement who hate the State than lukewarm anarchists. Rand does not hate the State. He's an interventionist and wants Power. I don't believe for one second that he actually cares about giving people their liberty back.

    4. @ Anonymous February 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      That's because so many so-called minarchists don't even seem to know what minarchism is.
      Minarchism means: only government police, army and courts (to be kind i'd even include building roads). Does Rand Paul even come close to passing this test? No.

      Call yourself a constitutionalist for all i care: Does Rand Paul come even close to passing THAT test? No.

      The apologetics for Rand Paul by "minarchists" or even constitutionalists is therefor considered to be suspect by a lot of us.

      If you think minarchism is part of libertarianism, at least ACT like a minarchist, instead of just like a random (paleo)conservative. As it stands, if you seem to be excluded here, it is because you don't even seem to act or speak like a minarchist or classical liberal.
      The constant apologetic "he is just playing the game" is pure political pragmatism, itself based on wishful thinking, and in no way represents a libertarian viewpoint, anarchist OR minarchist.

  12. "most libertarians would argue that "the protection of life" could be much more efficiently handled by the private sector"

    Correct. It is best handled by the woman carrying the life. That's what the Constitution says.