Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, by Ron Paul
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Click here for 50 full quotes from Ron Paul in the book Liberty Defined, by Ron Paul.
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OnTheIssues.org BOOK REVIEW:
This book is Ron Paul's attempt to communicate libertarian ideas to his large group of followers, many of whom are new to libertarianism. It catalogs key concepts in alphabetical order, with a few pages dedicated to everything from Abortion to Zionism. Presumably the intent is that Paul's followers have a handy reference in which to look up his views, and the general libertarian view, on key issues of the 2012 presidential race.
Rep. Paul describes the book in the introduction: "The idea of this book is not to provide a blueprint for the future or an all-encompassing defense of a libertarian program. What I offer here are thoughts on a series of controversial topics… not final answers but rather guideposts for thinking seriously about these topics." (p. xvii)
Paul extends in this book beyond the typical policy prescriptions about current issues and into libertarian philosophy and history. OnTheIssues covers the current issues in our excerpts below, so we'll review here some of the book's philosophical topics, which include:
- Austrian Economics: A review of the 19th century philosophy underlying much of today's free-market economic outlook.
- Demagogues: The bad guys in the bipartisanship debate, focusing on the "despicable" Pledge of Allegiance and flag-burning issues rampant among Republican demagogues. There's also a chapter on bipartisanship, which Paul doesn't like (a failure of bipartisanship means fewer bad laws).
- Empire: Rep. Paul outlines the dangers of military over-extension from the Roman Empire and connects that to the current American Empire. Throughout the book, Rep. Paul tosses in statistics about American imperialism and world-wide militarism (another of his big differentiators from mainstream Republicans) such as "Government wars and exterminations in the 20th century reached 262 million people killed by their own governments and 44 million people killed in wars." (p. 107)
- Keynesianism: This is the philosophical opposite of Austrian Economics, and is the current underlying philosophy of Bush's & Obama's economic stimulus package,
- Noble Lie: How politicians justify doing whatever they want, by claiming it's good for the country. George W. Bush's advisers fall heavily under this rubric, following Adolf Hitler and others. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is the hero of this chapter, since he exposed the Noble Lies of the U.S. government.
The book was written in anticipation of Rep. Paul's entry into the presidential race, released in early 2011. Paul was the Internet darling of the 2008 race, and the 2012 race is shaping up with the same following. That means thousands of young people will discover Ron Paul and will read this book for a fuller introduction to libertarianism. The approach is self-standing essays of just-a-few-pages-at-a-time, instead of a fully-involved book.
Ron Paul has plenty of fully-involved books for when his followers want yet more (as they always do). For the hardier Paulie, End the Fed, published in 2010, provides substantially more detail about the Federal Reserve and the economic situation.
-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, Aug. 2011
| OnTheIssues.org excerpts: (click on issues for details)
Abortion causes inconsistent moral basis for value of life.
Abortion laws should be a state-level choice.
Day-after pill allows individual moral choice.
Efforts to fund abortion ranks among stupidest policies.
Deregulate the adoption market.
Budget & Economy|
If we want to cure the bust, don't create the boom.
Voluntary associations are better than quotas.
Definition of marriage is free speech.
Constitution even protects terrorists, not just citizens.
Too many capital convictions have been proven errors.
Eliminate ultimate penalty & incarcerate for life.
Replace "hate crime" with equal penalties for equal assaults.
Drug War allows drug lords to make a lot more money.
Someday we'll wake up and end the Second Prohibition.
Competition helps, but vouchers invite bureaucratic control.
No-Child-Left-Behind hooks institutions on federal funding.
Evolution doesn't support atheism nor diminish God.
Energy & Oil|
Absurd to let global bureaucrats try to manipulate climate.
Recycling consumes more energy than it saves.
Worldwide interventionism requires perpetual fear.
We're endangered as a result of our foreign policy.
Foreign aid wastes billions, with unintended consequences.
We manufactured fear about Saddam, Al Qaeda, & Ahmadinejad.
Wartime brainwashing that Islam is inherently warlike.
Fast-track cedes power from Congress to President.
I oppose trade organizations because of flawed fast-track.
Enough bipartisanship; gridlock can be the friend of liberty.
Tax-funded elections are worse than campaign finance reform.
People shouldn't be able to vote to take away others' rights.
Government "insurance" is really just a transfer payment.
I vote for term limits, but they won't solve anything.
Gun-free zones don't make any difference.
FactCheck: Terroristic shootings do occur with guns around.
ObamaCare is only as socialized as Bush's & Nixon's reforms.
Assassination policy targeting citizens is unconstitutional.
Conscription is not part of Constitution nor free society.
Hated for freedom? No, hated for invading their countries!
American Empire is big government war & militarism.
Military Keynesianism? Blowing up bombs is economic negative.
Patriot Act is radical departure from 4th Amendment.
100 detainees have died of torture under US custody.
Sending 12M illegals home won't & shouldn't happen.
Give illegals limbo status: a green card with an asterisk.
Mandated wages & unions hurt unprotected workers.
Principles & Values|
Government today threatens the American dream itself.
Patriotism means NOT being blindly obedient to the state.
WikiLeaks only released true but embarrassing information.
Surveillance cameras are out of control; safety is no excuse.
War & Peace|
Sanctions are precursor to war, not an alternative.
World ignores Israel's 200 nukes yet pressures Iran's 1 nuke.
Click for quotations from other sources by:
- Ron Paul
The above quotations are from Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, by Ron Paul.
Autobiographies for 2012 GOP primary candidates:
- No Apology, by Gov. Mitt Romney, Mar 2, 2010
- Real Change, by Speaker Newt Gingrich, Dec 18, 2007
- CEO of SELF, by Herman Cain, 2001
- Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption, by Jules Witcover, 2010
- Rick Santorum: A Senator Speaks Out on Life, Freedom, and Responsibility, 2005
- Michele Bachmann: Why She Will Win, by Ron Paul Jones, 2011
- A Mormon in the White House? 10 Things Every American Should Know about Mitt Romney, by Hugh Hewitt
- Mitt Romney: The Man, His Values and His Vision, by Lisa Ray Turner and Kimberly Field
- Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind, 2011
- Core of Conviction, by Rep. Michele Bachmann, 2011
- It Takes a Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, 2005
- On My Honor, by Gov. Rick Perry, 2008
- End The Fed, by Rep. Ron Paul, Sep 16, 2009
- Gold, Peace, and Prosperity: The Birth of a New Currency, by Ron Paul, 2007
- My Journey to the White House, by Herman Cain, 2011
Page last edited: Mar 30, 2012