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Who Are the Real Extremists?
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The recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton have re-ignited efforts to pass “Red Flag” laws, which allow the government to take away a person’s guns without due process, and expanded background checks on those wishing to purchase a gun. Some supporters of these measures acknowledge they would not have prevented the Dayton and El Paso shootings, but they think the government must “do something,“ even if that something only makes it more difficult for average Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

The fact that one of the shooters may have been motivated by anti-immigrant views has led to calls for government surveillance of “right-wing extremists.” There are talks of developing computer programs to search social media and identify those whose extreme views supposedly make them likely to commit violence. There are also calls for legislation giving the government new powers to prevent “domestic terrorism.”

Proposals targeting individuals based on their political beliefs — no matter how noxious they are — are a step toward criminalizing those beliefs. If the government gains new powers to treat those with abhorrent beliefs as potential criminals, it will not be long before those powers are used against anyone who challenges the welfare-warfare status quo.

The current use of “right-wing extremism” as a justification for expanding the surveillance state is the mirror image of the use of “Islamo-fascism” to justify the post 9-11 infringements on civil liberties. That is why it is distressing to see progressives and Muslim advocacy groups pushing for new federal authority to crack down on “domestic terrorism,” just as it was disappointing when so many conservatives who opposed Bill Clinton’s attempt to expand the surveillance state endorsed the exact same proposals when they were included in the PATRIOT Act. It is ironic that progressives are supporting new laws against domestic terrorism while simultaneously protesting FBI targeting of Black Lives Matter activists as domestic terrorists.

This is not to say there are not those with extreme ideologies who threaten our liberty and safety, but they are the Republicans and Democrats located in Washington, DC! The most obvious example of DC-based violent extremism is the war party propagandists who spread falsehoods to build support for regime change wars. By the time their falsehoods have been exposed, it is too late: America is stuck in another no-win quagmire and the war party has moved on to its next target.

Demagogic politicians also fan fear and hatred to protect and expand the welfare state. Right-wing nationalists scapegoat illegal migrants without distinguishing between those who come here to take advantage of the welfare system from those who come here seeking economic opportunity — while left-wing progressives demonize the wealthy without distinguishing between those who made their fortunes in the market serving consumers and those who made their fortunes by manipulating the political process. These extremists use scapegoating and demagoguery to gain power and keep the people from focusing on the real source of their discontent: the welfare-warfare state and the fiat money system that makes it possible.

As the welfare-warfare-fiat money system collapses, we will see increased violence. This will result in an increase in police state power. The only way to avoid this fate is for good people to unite and replace the extremist ideologies of the mainstream of both left and right with the ideas of liberty. A good start would be applying “Red Flag” laws to remove neocons from any influence over US foreign policy!

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Civil Liberties, Gun Control, Terrorism 
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  1. Realist says:

    As the welfare-warfare-fiat money system collapses, we will see increased violence. This will result in an increase in police state power.

    The problems of the US will not be resolved by elections.

  2. Durruti says:

    This is not to say there are not those with extreme ideologies who threaten our liberty and safety, but they are the Republicans and Democrats located in Washington, DC!

    America’s Finest Statesman, and you are on Fire.

    *Some years ago visited your son’s office in DC. Left him a note. Wish for his speedy recovery & for him to be careful.

    God Bless

    Durruti – alias Peter J. Antonsen

  3. It was a 100% column there, and I was just about to quote the great line that Mr.Durruti excerpted just above. Then, you’ve gotta:

    Right-wing nationalists scapegoat illegal migrants without distinguishing between those who come here to take advantage of the welfare system from those who come here seeking economic opportunity

    This example kinda sucks, I gotta say. Do you mean that it’s OK for some illegal migrants to just be here? What number of aliens, whether legal or not, do you think is about enough for now, Dr. Paul.

    Do you realize that 99% of the new arrivals aren’t the type (hell, I’ll include most Europeans in this group too) that are about to vote for Libertarianism and Constitutionalism. You know that, even if they come legally through all proper channels and are not going to be welfare cases, they just cram for that citizenship test, don’t you? Do you think they take that stuff to heart, having come from places that have ZERO history of individualism or healthy fear of Big Government? It ain’t agonna work out, Ron, as the new immigrants are more Statist than the people already here? Whaddya’ gonna do, make it up in volume?

    You could have just picked another example. Let me try it right now: “Alt-right Nationalists scapegoat Capitalism, when they’ve never seen Capitalism outside the flea market in their whole lives, and they wouldn’t know freedom if it bit them on their scrawny asses.” There, FIFY!

  4. A large portion of the essay is repeated in the body of the text.

    As always Ron Paul is eminently sensible in his analysis. I don’t see any practical outcome of it though. Nobody stopping this freight train now and it’s all down hill from here on.

  5. Antiwar7 says:

    Ron Unz, it appears the text of this excellent article is repeated twice. Could this be fixed?

  6. Rurik says:

    Proposals targeting individuals based on their political beliefs — no matter how noxious they are — are a step toward criminalizing those beliefs. If the government gains new powers to treat those with abhorrent beliefs as potential criminals, it will not be long before those powers are used against anyone who challenges the welfare-warfare status quo.

    for those in our federal government, there are no more abhorrent or noxious beliefs that that those people wielding power today- shouldn’t be.

    It is the ultimate expression of ‘abhorrent and noxious extremism’ – that our federal government is an illegitimate den of criminals and treasonous scum.

    If it were up to our federal government, the most patriotic and decent American alive today; Edward Snowden, would likely be tortured to death for his honesty and patriotism.

    His views being as ‘abhorrent and noxious and as dangerously extreme’ as it can get = that our federal government is a rogue regime, in criminal and treason0us violation of the US Constitution.

    If there’s one man our federal government would like to make an example of, it would be the guy who told the truth about what they’re up to.

  7. When I was a child it struck me that the state penalized an attempt at murder as aggressively as the act of murder. Maybe sometimes incompetence or bungling shows a lack of commitment? In many cases a politician was involved, and the attempt, even if unsuccessful, was treated harshly. JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton were all murdered, but no one knew/knows nothing. Squeaky Fromme pulls an “unloaded” gun and clicks at Gerald Ford; she spent 34 years in jail. Hinckley spent 35 years in a mental institute after being found not guilty. Sirhan Sirhan who stood in front of RFK and magically put a bullet in the back of his head, is still in jail 50 years later. These are a few cases where violence spills over from foreign policy, where 100s of thousands of people are killed for the benefit of Israel and Saudi Arabia, but no benefit for America (excepting oil companies, the MIC and politicians getting “donations” from donors).
    Freedom of speech and assembly are only that which the Establishment allows. As Biden’s 2015 Omnibus Counterterrorism bill, which eventually became the Patriot Act showed, no interference with the Police State will be tolerated. “Extremists’ will be prosecuted for thought crimes (often fantasy), and people will be entrapped into crimes they had no interest in committing until enticed/ provoked by the Police State minions. They need extra federal charges (in addition to murder, assault and battery, or even vandalism) so double jeopardy doesn’t apply in the rare cases when a trial goes to jury and the State loses.
    Meanwhile, in the real world of domestic terrorism, the average murderer serves 12 years, and 4% of non-fatal and 20% of fatal shootings are “solved” in Chicago. Chicago is about fifth worse behind St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore and Washington, DC (god forbid a politician gets shot in DC!)

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