By the “constitutionalism of Ron Paul” I mean his many calls for returning to the original interpretation of the constitution as well as following it rather than ignoring it. He spent a lifetime in politics calling for the US to follow the constitution as well as his two runs for the GOP nomination for president. It seems to me that Ron Paul was always after an even greater goal than the US government following the original interpretation of the constitution. I think he was after a libertarian society and the quickest way to get there would be by first following the constitution and making the vast cuts in government that following the constitution would require. The quickest way to get to a libertarian society would be by making as much of government as possible optional or voluntary.
We need to forge a wide social agreement on the concept of voluntary self-government and tolerance and this means making secession at the personal level more and more of a reality. We live in a police state and empire at the present time and the brutality of the state grows with each passing day. Surely we can all agree that moving towards the laissez-faire economy and the non-intervention of government in our lives that was the hallmark of the first decades of this country would be a great movement towards real and total liberty. Even if it is difficult to see how cutting government down to size and making it follow the constitution might be accomplished, we can certainly agree that it is important as one of our goals in the liberty movement. This goal contrasts starkly with any more spreading of the government’s brutality, involuntaryism, coercion and cronyism. The power and reach of the US government has spread into more and more areas of life, here and across the world and it is time to put an end to the growth and start to reduce the long arm of the state.
Economics is simple really. Nearly the full extent of it can be taught in a small book, as has been done before. Look at Henry Hazlitt’s ‘Economics in One Lesson’ which is practically the full extent that any individual citizen needs to know about economics and you will see that the laissez-faire policies of the early republic were far superior to the fascist style interventionism of the present day.
Austrian economics has taught us that if we want to live a more comfortable life in a more comfortable world then we must live by the golden rule, or the non-aggression principle as we libertarians like to call it. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you —- or don’t aggress against anyone else unless they first aggress against you. This golden rule (or the N.A.P.) is not handed down by a supreme being, but it is the path to making the society approach a state of Nirvana none the less. The Taoists and their path (the Tao) told us a long time ago that intervention by “the ruler” was always bad and that we should let the people do things for themselves.
The fastest and easiest way to convince people that less government is more happiness by the masses is to reduce the size and scope of the government and let them see the incremental improvements. But there will be many road blocks along our journey to liberty. After all, the political class is not really running things. The political class is only the veneer of the state and not really the state itself. The state is the permanent bureaucratic structures and it is those institutions that make up the real ruling apparatus of the state. Look at the CIA for just one example.
No society can achieve any kind of justice based on the concept that some people have a “right” to have the state loot other people for their benefit. We see this today in the welfare state which has destroyed countless families and destroyed the morality of generations. Don’t forget that large, well connected corporations receive much from the state as well. We don’t call it “crony-capitalism” for nothing. We have created a power struggle that is endless, pointless, futile, and destructive. Only a return to the relatively non-interventionist government of the early days would be a good start towards a total freedom from the state. (that is, if you abhor the violence of armed revolution)
In truth there is no need for a “Constitution” to maintain peace and civility in a society. What is needed is a deep belief in the people that the initiation of physical aggression, intimidation, theft, fraud, and trespass are all morally reprehensible. That and the realization that assigning a monopoly power to an institution – government – is only going to yield in the end the utter brutality and cronyism we see around us today. When the people are compelled by a monopoly which interprets “the law” and uses violence to enforce its will upon the population, then it violates the individual’s right to choose which services one wants to use. We should have a right to choose which protective service we want to use for in a free, civilized society. No one should be above the law, and no one has any legitimate authority over anyone else without voluntary consent.
Ron Paul used a return to the constitution to try to teach the masses that government intervention is always the wrong way to go. Let us hope his message keeps on reverberating with the masses until they withdraw their consent to be governed by the evil monopoly we call the state.