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Recently several prominent social and populist conservatives have attacked libertarianism. These conservatives, some of whom are allies in the fight against our hyper-interventionist foreign policy, blame libertarianism for a variety of social and economic ills. The conservative attack on libertarianism — like the attack on the freedom philosophy launched by leftists — is rooted in factual, economic, and philosophical errors.

Libertarianism’s right-wing critics claim libertarianism is the dominant ideology of the Republican establishment. This is an odd claim since the Republican leadership embraces anti-libertarian policies like endless wars, restrictions on civil liberties, government interference in our personal lives, and massive spending increases on welfare as well as warfare.

Anti-libertarian conservatives confuse libertarianism with the authoritarian “neoliberalism” embraced by both major parties. This confusion may be why these conservatives blame libertarians for the American middle class’s eroding standard of living. Conservatives are correct to be concerned about the economic challenges facing the average American, but they are mistaken to place the blame on the free market.

The American people are not suffering from an excess of free markets. They suffer from an excess of taxes, regulations, and, especially, fiat money. Therefore, populist conservatives should join libertarians in seeking to eliminate federal regulations, repeal the 16th Amendment, and restore a free-market monetary system.

Instead of fighting to end the welfare-regulatory system that benefits economic and political elites at the expense of average Americans, populist conservatives are promoting increased economic interventionism. For example, many populist conservatives support increased infrastructure spending and tariffs and other forms of protectionism.

Like all forms of central planning, these schemes prevent goods and services from being used for the purposes most valued by consumers. This distorts the marketplace and lowers living standards — including of people whose jobs are temporally saved or created by these government interventions. Those workers would be better off in the long term finding new jobs in a free market.

Anti-free-market conservatives ignore how their policies harm those they claim to care about. For example, protectionism harms farmers and others working in businesses depending on international trade.

The most common complaint of social conservatives is that libertarianism promotes immorality. These conservatives confuse a libertarian’s opposition to outlawing drugs, for example, with moral approval of drug use. Many libertarians condemn drug use and other destructive behaviors. However, libertarians reject the use of government force to prevent individuals from choosing to engage in these behaviors. Instead, libertarians support the right of individuals to use peaceful means to persuade others not to engage in destructive or immoral behaviors.

Libertarians also support the right of individuals not to associate with, or to subsidize in any way, those whose lifestyles or beliefs they find objectionable. Social conservatives object to libertarians because social conservatives wish to use government power to force people to be good. This is the worst type of statism because it seeks to control our minds and souls.

Most people accept the idea that it is wrong to initiate force against those engaging in peaceful behaviors. Libertarians apply this nonaggression principle to government. Making government follow the nonaggression principle would end unjust wars, income and inflation taxes, and the destruction caused by the use of force to control what we do with our property, how we raise our children, who we associate with, and what we put into our bodies. Making governments abide by the nonaggression principle is the only way to restore a society that is free, prosperous, and moral.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Rational says:


    Though libertarian ideas sound good in principle, to a point, libertarians are cooks, just like the liberals (libbarbarians) and both their ideas are WRONG IN PRINCIPLE, esp. the insane idea of “free movement of people.”

    First of all, you cannot have a “free market” if you don’t pin down and limit a market and have a sovereign to enforce the rule of the markets, albeit the rule of it being free. You cannot have a “free nation” if you cannot pin down a nation (a set of people, places, properties). Their idea of free movement of people contradicts their free “market” and free “nation” idea.

    Libertarianism is just corporatism—let the big corporate thugs bleed the public, the consumer and the worker, by trafficking in humans (cheap labor, alienism), scam the consumer by selling fake deceptive products, (3 oz chips in 16 bags for $2), gouge them by lying, and keep the govt. out of the way.

    No wonder the libertarinism is financed by corporations.

    Everybody loves liberty–for themselves, but not for others. Eg. Muslim aliens are all for liberty too–the liberty to beat their wives.

    • Replies: @Truth3
  2. Libertarianism’s right-wing critics claim libertarianism is the dominant ideology of the Republican establishment.

    The dominant ideology of the Red establishment is the same as the blue establishment. Graft. Elected Republicans (Conservatives?) recently joined the so called Left in a Green Card giveaway to Big Tech Monopolists.

    If you think a monopoly is a success story, if you think you can have a free market without a policeman, if you insist on private financing for public needs, if you are a social Darwinist, if you view the invisible hand as a deity rather than a metaphor you might self identify as Libertarian. If you are on board with the Neo-Liberal free trade, open borders, privatization of everything agenda you might also self identify as Libertarian.

    To the extent that Libertarians value individual sovereignty, the rule of law and honest money I too am a Libertarian.

  3. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    I have long been an admirer (and supporter, when I still had some faith in USA democracy) of Dr. Paul. However, in such a long list of issues, immigration is conspicuously absent. This is below his standard for intellectual honesty.

  4. Truth3 says:

    Rational is pissed that his chips have been watered down.

  5. MarkinLA says:

    “Freedom” Whatever the hell that means is very dependent on your political and financial power. The rich guy wants the freedom to create monopolies and cartels by grinding any infant competitor into the ground and take it’s assets for pennies on the dollar in bankruptcy court.

    Ron Paul like all libertarians can’t see the forest for the trees. So in love with their fairy tale world that they can’t possible consider the possibility that anything bad would happen (if it does they find a way to blame the government), in spite of all the long history showing that when regulations are lowered the free market runs off the rails.

    • Replies: @Tusk
    , @Realist
  6. Tusk says:

    I forgot that it was the free market that has engineered and sustained the boom-bust cycle plaguing Western countries for the past 100+ years, and that indeed the 2008 financial crisis is what happens when a free market exists.

    • Replies: @Avis
  7. To take the question of interventionism or non-interventionism: why is it proposed or opposed? Ron Paul says – if I am correct – social conservatives support the former, libertarians the latter. Throughout its history the US has intervened in foreign conflicts because the advocates of the policy claim it to be in the national interest; equally, those against, say those interests are best served by not getting involved. By intervening abroad America could be confronted by a rising China, and quite possibly lose (as history suggests in the ultimate fate of all great powers). But not intervening could bring the expanding Asian empire to the very borders of the United States, dominating Central and Southern America, exploiting mineral and energy rich Alaska and investing in wealthy California. When core interests are undermined to the point of existential threat the only recourse is nuclear annihilation. Can world leaders see this and avoid it?

  8. dvorak says:

    Does Ron Paul support physical removal, a la Hoppe? If not, Paul is a confirmed leftist, who supports the unlimited right of hundreds of millions of communists to reside in the U.S.A. (LEGALLY!)

    Ron Paul will then steadfastly oppose the new communist majority when it changes the U.S. government to communist, only, oops it’s too late. Dr. Paul dropped the baby (ordered liberty) on its head.

  9. alexander says:

    I would like to point out, Dr. Paul, that “non-aggression” is more than just a “principle” (libertarian or otherwise)….its the law.

    “War of aggression” is recognized as the most heinous of crimes, by the entire world.

    In the wake of 9-11, there was a clear mandate from the American People to bring its perpetrators to justice, …There was NO mandate from the American People, ….EVER,… to initiate wars of aggression against countries who never attacked us.


    Our leaders and our media , both under “neocon” tutelage, LIED US INTO COMMITTING THE SUPREME CRIME….WAR OF AGGRESSION.

    Because of their lies…millions of innocent people have been murdered and maimed ,tens of millions more have had their lives “shattered”..

    Because of their lies..thousands of US troops have died, thousands more crippled, and even more……committing suicide, everyday.

    Because of their lies….the greatest flood of refugees (perhaps since WWII) has overtaken the surrounding areas and much of Europe., creating new chaos and conflict.

    Because of their lies…The United States now faces its greatest debt crisis (23 Trillion) in history.

    Because of their lies….The US Dollar is now in jeopardy of losing its status as the worlds reserve currency.

    Where, Dr Paul, is the accountability ? .

    Where is the accountability for the lies ?

    Where is the accountability for the “deceptions” ?

    Where, Dr Paul, is the accountability for the “Neocon War Fraud” …… foisted upon us all ?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  10. Realist says:

    Agreed. Capitalism needs to be controlled. Only with under controlled capitalism would you find useless social media companies at such high market values. There is no redeeming value to social media.

  11. Ron, how do you expect to solve our current drug epidemic with “peaceful means to persuade others”? Sinaloa Cartel won’t be swayed by the same canned lecture you gave Rand when you found him smoking a joint behind the pool house.

  12. Avis says:

    I forgot that the boom/bust cycle is the be-all-end-all of economics and never happens outside of the Federal Reserve.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  13. @alexander

    There was NO mandate from the American People, ….EVER,… to initiate wars of aggression against countries who never attacked us.

    Germany didn’t attack us in 1941. True, that faggot in charge there did declare war on us, but we could have laughed that off.

    By staying out of Europe, we could have dealt with Japan much more quickly. However, since we goaded them into war with sanctions, Pacific armament (yes, I see the oxymoron there), and conscription, dealing with Japan quickly was evidently not what our leaders had in mind.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    , @MarkinLA
  14. @Reg Cæsar

    that faggot in charge

    Sums up Franklin Roosevelt perfectly.

  15. Sums up Franklin Roosevelt perfectly.

    I hail from his own upstate New York, so you’ll get no argument from me! Or his neighbors:

    Trump is FDR in reverse; the appleknockers preferred a real downstater to a fake upstater:

    You can also apply the argument that Churchill was able to detect Hitler’s fundamental insanity because he himself was most of the way there.

  16. MarkinLA says:

    Boom-bust is the result of bubbles in the economy. They are a natural occurrence of human nature and would occur with or without the Federal Reserve. Speculation leading to easy money takes on a life of it’s own. Who doesn’t want to get rich without working?

    The Federal Reserve didn’t make Wall Street buy all those crappy loans and Wall Street buying them lead to mortgage lenders making all Wall Street could buy.

  17. MarkinLA says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    True, that faggot in charge there did declare war on us, but we could have laughed that off.

    Not so sure about that. Unrestricted submarine warfare in US waters to stop Lend-Lease convoys would have eventually forced the hands of the US.

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