Thursday, January 3, 2008

Conjecture, Fallacy, Ignorance, and the Internet

How Ron Paul's Critics Feign Worthy Opposition to His Message of Freedom, Prosperity, and Peace — and Why It's Backfiring on Them

When it comes to fidelity to the Constitution and the defense of life, liberty, and property, Congressman Ron Paul is second-to-none. He is a walking lecture on ethics. The lessons of history don't escape him either; his sage foresight in domestic matters is outdone only by his prescience in foreign policy.

And it is that incomparable track record of being mindful, ethical, and correct in domestic and foreign matters, along with his successful, widespread dissemination of the message of liberty — not the man, himself — that strikes fear into his opponents.

In responding to a question from Jay Leno, Mr. Humility submitted, "I have my shortcomings, but the message has no shortcomings."

He's often avers, in so many words: I don't want to run the country, your life, or the economy. That's not my job, and besides, I don't know how!

What he's really saying is that nobody knows how, or is authorized, to do those things; the people — individuals — are supposed to be in control of the economy, their country, and their life. But the status quo just can't handle that truth, and will stop at nothing to snuff it out.

It is therefore no surprise that the only viable tools with which neocons and other statists, globalists, and isolationists can appear to hold the floor against him are ideological or personal ones, and are usually either long-debunked or argumentatively self-defeating. It's certainly no shock to me that Ron Paul's more desperate political or ideological opponents are driven to rely on fallacious conjecture in their exhibitions — and an estimated historical ignorance, intellectual laziness, or political apathy in their audiences — in order to castigate him when he really should be adulated for getting it right all this time while nearly all his political peers have gotten it wrong.

I tend to give very little credence to right vs. left arguments when it pertains to my choice of President of the United States of America. I believe that the most vital power struggle takes place between the state (federal government) and the people (individuals). Legal and moral ethics are precedent, as I ask: How will this person fulfill his oath by defending life, liberty, and property per the Constitution?

But unfortunately, we, the people who don't work or shill for the state, are kept divided by the state and its shills, along partisan and ideological lines. In the current, state-imposed zeitgeist, freedom of speech means the freedom to take this superficial dichotomy or that fallacious point of ideological contention and fight each other over it, while D.C. elites pretend to do the same on our behalf. And just in case the truth threatens to appear, we're entertained or lulled to sleep, 24/7, by ever-coagulating, unreality-peddling, corporate media.

Indeed, the role that partisanship and ideology plays in "the discourse" is one of managing the illness, whereas the role of divining legal and moral ethics begets the cure. Therefore, corporate media and enterprising politicians usually ignore the latter in favor of the former, lest they'd run out of job security or incriminate themselves. Which is all the more reason for the shrewd and conscientious amongst the people to keep striking the legal and moral roots.

Nevertheless, it's quite revealing, how the more outspoken, partisan, anti-Paul cyber-towncryers ("righties" and "lefties" on internet blogs and newsletters) practically invert reality with the use of fallacious conjecture in the attempt to persuade their politically ideological comrades not to support Ron Paul. On "the left," for example, it seems popular to sell to fellow "lefties" on the notion that Congressman Paul's ideals of free entry, free trade, and federal non-intervention in the marketplace comprise a brute, laissez-faire, monopoly-capitalism [sic] of the sort unleashed on otherwise non-free-enterprise third-world nations by the United States. What is not so easy is backing it up with sound logic.

Paul's detractors backwardly claim that his free-market approach is more of the same thing we've been getting from Bush & Co. all these years, when in fact the opposite is true. What we've been getting increasingly more of is the hardening of the "soft fascism" Ron Paul has been waxing clairvoyant about for over thirty years; it involves, among other unlawful and dangerous things, corporations (e.g., GE/NBC or Halliburton) in bed (e.g., enjoying no-bid [no-competition] "defense" contracts) with the state (the US Department of Defense, the CIA, et al.). Simply put, it entails corporate entities from innumerable industries — "defense," media, pharmaceuticals, environmental, medical, and so on, as well as "research & development" within each — raiding the loot of US taxpayer dollars with the help of their political cronies.

Ron Paul's opponents point to how Milton Friedman's version of capitalism failed to foster prosperity in third-world nations via US intervention. But therein lies the fallacy: 1) Paul prefers the stability of hard money (backed by gold and silver); Friedman didn't quite concur, 2) neither Friedman nor Paul advocate(d) government intervention in the free market, and 3) Friedman believed that his approach to capitalism could be successfully "implemented" in third-world nations; while Ron Paul knows as well as anyone that such nation-building efforts are futile.

The coercive management and enforcement of capitalism upon war-torn or empoverished nations (which are typically hosted by a dictator via Washington D.C. installment) by a central state is doomed to fail in its objectives, and it leads to an ever-lowered standard of living for the middle and lower classes; but by the same token, coercive enforcement of statist-corporatism within otherwise free-enterprise nations, e.g., the United States, is so doomed. And that's what we have experienced more and more of over the last 100 years.

But then, Ron Paul's more disengenuous ideological opponents do tend to be irony-defficient.

Ron Paul's constitutional approach to free-enterprise capitalism is based on the voluntary exchange of ideas, goods, and services, trading with hard money, and a healthy respect for private property; whereas the malignant capitalism referred to by his detractors is coercively imposed on the people by the state, and is designed to feed the state and keep it in full coalescence with the corporations that thereby maintain monopolistic control over their respective industries.

The current approach debases the currency and steals from all tax-paying individuals to finance unlawful ventures approved by the few who benefit, and the ones they've been able to persuade politically. It's fascism, or more euphemistically, corporatism. It's also mercantilism, as in the British Petrolium/CIA shakedown of Iran, culminating in the 1953 overthrowing of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq in the effort to reclaim [sic] the corporatists' undue share of the Iranian people's revenue through the theft of natural resources. The US invasion, carpet-bombing, and military-civilian occupaton of Iraq and Afghanistan — and the US drafting of those nations' "resource-allocating" legislation, like the Iraqi Hydrocarbon Law — are good examples of how "trade routes" are "secured," and how "democracy" and "liberty" are coercively imposed upon defenseless third-world nations.

Ron Paul's version of free-entry, free-market capitalism, on the other hand, is based on voluntary association, without the use of force to make political, economic, or social change. It respects national sovereignty, individual rights, states' rights, private property, and most importantly, the Constitution. In Ron Paul's approach, the federal government ("the state"), as per the Constitution, only collects minimal tariffs and enforces contracts (settles disputes) through the courts (though enforcement usually falls under the jurisdiction of individual states). Conversely, the type of monopoly capitalism rightfully abhored by Paul's detractors is based on compulsory association enforced theoretically and practically — ultimately, at the barrel of a gun — by the central government. In such a scenario, the government manages trade and enforces contracts on individual, local, state, interstate, federal, and international levels, and assumes eminent domain, grabbing private property, left-and-right and ad libitum. It employs corporate welfare and managed trade deals, which favor certain corporations in certain industries, in certain countries — and which attack US sovereignty and individual rights.

Such a system is tyrannical and results in malignant monopolies and a lower standard of living for common folks. How many licks to get to the center of a Tootsie-Pop? How many days to serfdom?

Try to imagine a regulation of labor imposed by force that is not a violation of liberty; a transfer of wealth imposed by force that is not a violation of property. If you cannot reconcile these contradictions, then you must conclude that the law cannot organize labor and industry without organizing injustice. –Frédéric Bastiat


Ron Paul's approach is truly free-market because liberty of the individual is maximized, with constitutionally limited federal government involvement; whereas, the statist-corporatist approach allows corporations and their host states to run roughshod over individuals with freedom-restricting mandates and corporate welfare; therefore is neither free nor fair. It is, in fact, what the United States has become: a corrupt, spendthrift, corporatist, welfare-warfare state fueled by US taxpayer dollars and borrowed money and run by special interests.

What's that you say? Politicians and bureaucrats have stolen our already-stolen money from Social Security, Medicare, and elsewhere in order to pay for illegal wars? D'you mean to tell me that the likes of GE/NBC — and by extension, the likes of Tim Russert, Keith Olbermann, Joe Scarborough, Tucker Carlson, et al. " and the D.C. elite whose soles they scrape for sustainence — are profiting from those wars? What has our country become? That type of ____ can't be happening here!

But it is. And it truly began to rear its head with the advent of the welfare-warfare state, around the dawn of the twentieth century. Beginning in the 1910s, a few events stand out:

Through the creation of the Federal Reserve and the implementation of the federal income tax, Woodrow Wilson & Co. were able to finance their illicit globalist agenda of "making the world safe for democracy," while maintaining a veil of economic security at home through a system of debt and currency debasement. [
1] The welfare-warfare state was then re-upped in the FDR years, with Roosevelt's New Deal socialism — the grand "cartel scheme" — and further terroristic attacks on the people and their gold. [2][3] Then in 1971, during the Nixon Administration, even more control of the economy was stolen from the people with the final eradication of the federal government's use of precious metals to back the monetary unit. [4] There were subjugative Executive and Congressional acts of drunken surgery performed on the US Constitution in between and since those red-letters, but the aforementioned are the most impactful ones; they are the main roots feeding the fruits of economic and political crises we currently face. Each of those drastic shifts toward a more centralized and domineering state and a weakened monetary unit were sold, ideologically, as means of "strengthening the economy," "providing for the common good," and "spreading democracy," when in fact they have proven to be not only unethical, but counteractive. They've merely been tools by which the state has been able to wrest undue, unconstitutional control over the economy away from the people by extracting undue taxes, printing counterfeit money, and borrowing money to finance globalist, corporatist agendas; transferring wealth from social programs to Military-Industrial Complex ventures; and thereby, stripping lower and middle class individuals of life, liberty, property, and the means to prosper through inflation, corporate welfare, price-fixing, and so forth. All the while, Wall Street, K Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, and their corporate ("upper-class") accomplices stay fat.

"De-regulation" and "free (or "fair") trade deals" are glittering generalities in the whole scheme of things. The federal government can offer de-regulation or free trade, but can only deliver inefficient bureaucracy, corporatism, and general tyranny: in other words, more regulation. The key is whether the capitalistic enterprise is subsidized, and thereby extorted and arguably owned, by the state. Is the capital being put to use through force of a central government (racketeering, corporatism, socialism, communism, etc.), or by voluntary associaton of the people (free entry, free enterprise)?

In a truly free market, the consumer benefits from the provider's incentive to produce the best goods and services at the best price. So, do the state and the corporation scrath each other's back to diminish competition at the tax-payer's expense? If so, then it's not truly free-market capitalism, and it's doomed to fail in the United States or anywhere, if the goals are promoting prosperity and preserving liberty and the free exchange of ideas, goods, and services. Emperical evidence? The United States. Said Congressman Paul, before the House of Representatives:

Capitalism should not be condemned, since we haven't had capitalism. A system of capitalism presumes sound money, not fiat money manipulated by a central bank. Capitalism cherishes voluntary contracts and interest rates that are determined by savings, not credit creation by a central bank. It's not capitalism when the system is plagued with incomprehensible rules regarding mergers, acquisitions, and stock sales, along with wage controls, price controls, protectionism, corporate subsidies, international management of trade, complex and punishing corporate taxes, privileged government contracts to the military"industrial complex, and a foreign policy controlled by corporate interests and overseas investments. Add to this centralized federal mismanagement of farming, education, medicine, insurance, banking and welfare. This is not capitalism! [5]

Coercive federal intervention in the market is tyrannical, because it takes from all to benefit some — in most cases, "some" meaning the state, its corporate cronies, and those they've been able to fool all this time. Very few elite are benefiting illicitly by taking away from everyone else; and that is not free-market capitalism. It's conflict of interest. It's deprivation of life, liberty, and property. It's taxation without representation. It's piracy. It's organized crime. It's the diametric opposite of what Ron Paul has championed, and is comprised of some of the same forms of tyranny that oppressed the Founding Fathers & Co. up to 1773 and led to the original Revolution.

Bottom line: Coercive government intervention in the otherwise free market is unconstitutional and doesn't achieve its stated noble goals. Ron Paul is simply the most capable messenger of that reality; he, of all the presidential candidates, is certainly the most qualified in that regard; and that's why his more disengenuous and calculating detractors can't simply debate the issues on the merits. When they can't compromise him on legal, moral, or intellectual grounds, they resort to logical fallacy zeroed-out at their ideological view. But by so doing, they end up pigeon-holing themselves instead, thereby revealing their superficial motivations and disengenuous means.

Other areas where Ron Paul's positions are tossed about the ideological cesspool of fallacy:

— His opposition to federal control over local and state education programs gets spun into an aversion to public education on the whole. The same fallacy is applied to his positions on farm subsidies, abortion subsidies, stem cell research, prayer in schools, and other highly divisive areas.

— His vote to table Congressman Dennis Kucinich's Cheney-impeachment resolution is spun into a partisan move, when in fact it was made on the grounds of legal ethics. [
6] The ones playing partisan games with the American people's lives are the Republican asses who voted against tabling the measure just to spite Kucinich and "impeach now!" Democrats.

— His position on earmarks and appropriations gets spun into a contradiction by the likes of NBC's Tim Russert. But it's Russert who's guilty of dubious distinctions when he upbraids Ron Paul for voicing his constituents' appeals (requesting the earmarks) and at the same time, battling bureaucratic corruption (opposing the unethical and inefficient federal appropriation of the funds for said earmarks by voting against the bill into which the earmarks were inserted). God forbid, should anyone but the most ethical and transparent one be grilled for doing his job better than any of his peers! Woe is us, should anyone question Russert, NBC, and their conflicts-of-interest when they peddle their arses so nicely for the state! [
7]

Bastiat, ideologically wordy himself, surely had Russert and his statist ilk in mind when he wrote:

Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain. (The Law, 1850)

If a larger and more coercive (and thereby, unconstitutional) central state is preferred, then its proponents can supplicate their local and state representatives, and try to amend the Constitution accordingly; but in the meantime, it'd be wise to recognize the root sources of the ails so that we can alleviate the pain and the infection. Ethics and etiquette are not the same thing. Ron Paul would like to overturn many laws, but knows he can't do it on a whim. And like he says, amending the Constitution is constitutional; the worst thing we can do is ignore it. (Look at where ignoring the rule of law has gotten us so far!)

For some, it might be easier to use fallacious conjecture to make a gripping ideological point — while counting on the audience's ignorance of the pertinent legal or historical context — than it is to simply come out and say, "I don't care about the Constitution; I want more of this big government ... protection of the commons" or "the Constitution is pliable ... novel ... optional ... obsolete." But ignoring the ethical and logical grounds for Ron Paul's positions, in favor of trivia and conjecture, is a self-defeating m.o. in the long run.

We could argue left vs. right all day, but the system would remain corrupted: the apparatus, still rigged. But there's an overflowing wealth of information available on the Internet to those who'd do the basic research and find the historical, ethical truths contrary to fallacious ideological conjecture and state-peddled propaganda.

There, one will find that Ron Paul's supporters are attracted to a message fronted by foresight, based on ethical principles, and backed by proven history — not to a man fronted by personality, bent on personal ideology, and backed by special interests.


Notes:

[1] Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., "Gold and Government" (mises.org: December 1998)
[2] Thomas J. DiLorenzo, "The New Deal Debunked (again)" (mises.org: September 27, 2004)[3] Bob Murphy, "Rejoinder to David Frum on the Gold Standard" (lewrockwell.com: January 1, 2008)
[4] Ibid.
[5] Rep. Ron Paul, MD, "Has Capitalism Failed?" (lewrockwell.com: July 9, 2002)
[6] Paul, "Statement Regarding Impeachment of Vice President Cheney" (ronpaullibrary.org: November 6, 2007)
[7] Louis Nardozi, untitled blog comment on Tim Russert (swamppolitics.com: December 23, 2007)

2 comments:

  1. Saw this featured on the People's Voice.
    Good for you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Friend. Good for you, too. (I see your material everywhere! Nice.)

    ReplyDelete