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Libertarian

Ron Paul: Extortionist

On second thought, let’s opt out and not pay government anything.

At the recent conservative CPAC conference, Ron Paul made an offer. Opt out of government, agree to take care of yourself and in return the government will only take 10 per cent of your earnings. As you can see in the above video, this offer met with some applause.

A Counteroffer

Allow me to make a counter-offer, because I have as much authority as Ron Paul to make offers like that. Allow people to opt out of government. Allow them to cooperate, trade, work together or generally do whatever they please as long as they don’t hurt anyone. In return, we shall pay absolutely nothing to your government, Ron. Why? Because these things are our birthright. To charge people for things they can get for free is the work of a scam artist. To demand monies be paid in return for nothing is the work of an extortionist. Ron Paul should be ashamed of himself.

What’s the Point, Ron?

Was Ron just being creative to make a point? But what point does he make? That we should forgo everything the state nominally owns, and then add to its coffers of ill-gotten gains? What is Ron thinking? Will the opt outs still be able to drive down the road, walk their dog down a sidewalk, use state universities? Or will the feds claim those as their own? His offer is broken. When you shop at Target instead of Wal-Mart, why would you keep paying Wal-Mart? It just doesn’t make sense.

Cult of Personality: Tedious

Am I being overly critical of Ron Paul? Is he a great guy who’s done more for liberty than X, Y or Z? Maybe. But the cult of personality around him requires constant tending. He is just a man, and therefore as prone to error as anyone else. His ideas are imperfect. He must constantly compromise his principles in order to remain in congress. He frequently speaks truth to power but that’s about it. If you want to bring liberty to a mainstream audience, you have to have your philosophy straight and your ideas consistent. Ron screwed it up.

Do you think his offer is a smart idea? Tell me why in the comments.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

44 replies on “Ron Paul: Extortionist”

In the context of the environment and the sensibility of the audience, I think Ron Paul ought to be thanked for his contribution and proposal. It was rhetorical obviously and was asked to prove a point. The same point would have been proven if he had said pay zero percent, but then who would have considered it, much less even listened? It was necessary to include one final thread of faith in minarchism for about 99.99% of the attendees to contemplate a new possibility of a free society.

Personally, I’m glad for both points of view. Ron Paul’s methods because they’re small steps in the right general direction, and George’s point of view because when the people Dr. Paul is reaching start thinking for themselves, they’re going to want the whole picture. Once that facade starts to crack, you must either go insane or understand that self-ownership really is all that it implies.

So, I hope Dr. Ron Paul goes as far and as high as he can go, and I hope that George Donnelly continues to criticize everything he does that isn’t right.

If it gets the voting public arguing about the ten percent instead of dismissing the concept of opt-out, then it was a brilliant offer. If you’re going to accept the premises of gradualism and appealism, which he undeniably has, then this is as good a rhetorical salvo as you’re ever going to get.

I think the 10% comes from the church laws of yore and it may actually be appealing to a large crowd. A required 10% tithing to a state that has still has total control of your life is just as odious as a 10% tithing to a church that subjugates the parishioner. On the other hand it could easily be dismissed if it was at zero because it is received as an affront to the society that is built on the participation of our time and money. It’s almost like saying “I don’t want to be part of the community built around me, but I will use their public resources just the same.” The real debate is about how to quantify these things and whether to impose them or not.

It’s good that this debate is happening though, as Kyle says gradualism is pretty much how the initial argument is won and then it’s just keeping the pressure on from there.

Just because things are our birthright does not mean they are free. Ron Paul might end the Fed, disband the department of education, close our international military bases, and stop all foreign aid. But, even the Ron Paul government would maintain highways, ensure air and food quality, maintain an Army, ensure equal rights etc…….

These things are your birthright, but that does not mean people are not trying to take them away from you. Al Quaeda attacked America, some people are prone to discrimination just because they are assholes, corporations ignore air, water and food quality standards. Someone/ Something has to keep them in line, and that costs money. Please note I am not defending the US Governments actual performance in these areas, just noting that there is a watchdog role to be played.

For my own education, has there ever been a functioning, industrialized society that did not collect tax revenue? Are suggesting this our society could function without a referee at least capable of restraining Corporations/ Foreign Governments/ Violent People?

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Nick, by compromising he destroyed any kind of point he imagined he might be making. If you think he made a point, what was it?

John, exactly which of our birthrights should have a price attached, what should the price be and who gets to collect it?

John, this watchdog role, do you think monopolies are better at this that a group of competing individuals?

We absolutely need referees. Would you like me to pick you referee for you and put him outside market incentives and accountability, or would you rather pick him yourself and have his performance be accountable to you?

Kyle, it seems to have people talking about how ridiculous the proposal is, because it falls into the same category as most conservative proposals: you keep socializing the losses, we keep privatizing the gains.

IOW, you keep paying us but when you need help, fuck you.

“as Kyle says gradualism is pretty much how the initial argument is won”

That is NOT what I said, and I disagree with it. I said *if* you accept gradualism, this is the best you can do. My point about him maybe getting an argument started that took a form that induced opponents to concede the opt-out premise was about pointing out the only possible good that can come from it, and the very clever strategic thinking from within a gradualist mindset.

I don’t support the making of arguments – at all, of any kind – in this context, but if someone feels like he has to make them, this one is better than most. But it still brings in a premise that I am not willing to concede for any reason, that I owe *anything* for opting out.

If I’m really generous, I may abandon my rightful claim to restitution just to be done with it, but that’s all.

George – I heard a follow-up interview where Ron was asked about his 10% proposal. I searched, but unfortunately, I could not locate the yt video. If I find it I will post it. I short, he said that he normally recommends a complete abolition of ALL personal income taxes. But he thought he would float a more moderate idea as an alternative to the CPAC crowd.

Efforts made to bring about a voluntary society are severely hampered by articles such as yours George. This is my humble opinion. I have as much authority to opine in this manner as you do to propose the notion that Ron Paul should be ashamed of himself.

Paul is not a web socialite, blogger, or street activist. He is a man who pursues liberty in the belly of the beast, using the tools that he has at hand in the ways that he deems most effective in that pursuit. You suggest that Paul has “maybe…done more for liberty than X, Y, or Z.” I ask you, why do you suppose you have thousands of friends on facebook? Why do you think so many are aware of voluntaryism? Why do you think that I am commenting on your website now? Many may have stumbled upon such ideas on their own as they saw the world going to shit and began researching the causes, yet I am confident in guessing that the majority of those who advocate a completely voluntary society never expected to come to that conclusion. They are people who followed some logical progression, open-minded, thirsting for knowledge, and lucky enough to have Ron Paul on the national stage. Paul leads to LewRockwell.com and Mises.org. Those lead to anarcho-capitalist outlets. Those lead to anarchy in general. Voluntaryism. The evolution of thought.

Perhaps he should have advocated the complete absence of the apparatus of government, as a member of the House. That would be the only way to be 100% insomuch as advocating liberty goes. It would have also been a way to guarantee that the liberty movement today would pale in comparison to what it actually is.

Are you saying, Bill, that any positive results of things Ron Paul has done in the past have earned him exemption from criticism now? Assuming Ron Paul sparked a thirst for truth and liberty in me, wouldn’t I be violating his teachings to give him a pass when he fucks up?

IOW, is this about truth and liberty or is it about a cult of personality?

So he contradicted himself too. Great. That really helps Rob.

Things won’t change until people understand not paying taxes is not violating anyone’s rights. If the government has a right to tax 1%, then it obviously has the right to tax 100%. The idea that one can limit the government to 10% is ludicrous.

It’s true. Ron Paul was illustrating a point. I heard him in an interview later where he said he doesn’t actually support income taxes at all and was surprised by the reaction.

But there is no way to reconcile anarchism philosophically with Ron Paul. Ron Paul is an impressive guy, but he’s no anarchist. He spreads the ideas of freedom to millions from the paradoxical womb of congress. Arguments against Paul always come back to the minarchist/anarchist debate. (Which, I’d add, is great.)

I think much of the celebration of Paul stems from the very fact that he is inside the belly of the beast stabbing away, however ineffectually, at statism. There is heroism in that. To even enter that bloody, perverse arena, however, requires concessions that no anarchist could ever make in the first place.

Of course, one cannot truly be part of the government and advocate it’s total abolishment for any length of time without either being banished, imprisoned, or murdered.

While the state deserves, and anarchism implies, that we all raise the black flag and start slitting throats to free ourselves from slavery, we’re, of course, not going to do it. Of course government is an act of war on individuals, but most rational people are unwilling to accept the horrific cost of self defense against it. Anarchists often hide from the fact that the ethics of individual self defense allows for violence against the state, and that one is forced into concessions to the state and minarchism from day one.

I only say this because it’s important to understand that we are all stained by government. Exposing the irrationalism of minarchism is important, but in the end it is always an exercise in self criticism.

George ~ Here is an interview from the 17th with John Stossel where RP elaborates on his proposal. He refers to it as a “rhetorical question”…Additionally, he reaffirms his position of zero tax on income.

Wow, George… I mean… Look at what this guy has done for the liberty movement, and all you can do is demonize him? After reading this article I now wonder what you’re all about. I thought that since you were a libertarian that you were at least a freedom fighter, but you’re fighting a freedom fighter through aggressive rhetoric towards a guy who has given so much for the people. Everything in that article is so negative. I think that it’s a pretty good compromise, considering that even though I filed a exempt on my w 2’s and still had my income taxed at 18 percent. I was into you and your journalism and linkage of movements here, but now I wonder about you… Don’t you know that the only reason why large abusive corporations stay afloat is because regulation and that they are subsidized by the money printed fresh off the press in our name? You gotta step back and take a look and consider these factors… Ron Paul has done more for the liberty movement than anyone in his time I strongly believe. How can you single out a team mate and scoff and ridicule him for something as silly as this. You lost my respect for you as a libertarian… I’m sorry, but Ron Paul has cured my apathy, and you just regressed my apathetic health a notch or two, knowing that there are libertarians out there misleading others to be against true libertarian freedom fighters. Shame on you!

George, I really think I’m actually going to throw up right now… This makes real sick. My gut is turning. I am a devout member of the Campaign for Liberty and work really hard to do my part to canvass and at least spread the word to friends and other people I come in contact with every day. I’ve read a lot two books written by Paul, The Revolution, and End the Fed, and I have to say that they were amazing! I have learned so much as to why we are not free from this patriot. Are you an inside establishment diversion?

Thanks for making me LOL, Matthew.

There are no saviors. When an authority figure, voluntary or not, outlasts his purpose, independent individuals move on. That is what I have done.

Ron’s good works do not exempt him from criticism.

I can respect someone while criticizing them when they get it wrong. As a blogger, that’s my job.

Be careful you don’t fall into a True Believe / absolutist / black and white kind of thinking. It can be self-destructive.

I hope nobody buys into your bs! You’re a disgrace to the liberty movement. Maybe you just don’t understand what we’re up against. You think you will be safe going out and propagating some random fields and what not, well think again, brother! They no our every move. They have satellites, and spaceships for all I know orbiting the earth with x-ray technology that can view through several layers of the earth. The elite have probably populated other planets. Mass awakening and resistance is our last chance. You are for minimal change. You are not living in reality. And, Ron Paul has speaks about how the income tax amendment was not even ratified and not in order and tells us not to pay, but some how you FUCKING demonize him. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH you make me so sick I am cringing you fake ass wanna be libertarian.

Why is there nothing good about him on your blog? Does he not do anything good for the movement? Seriously, COME ON! Who are you? I searched your page and it’s all negatives… Never said he was a savior. He’s a brave, truthful, intellectual, pro-active patriot. I’m sorry if I offended you but I’m very emotional about the fact that I am technically not free and have to not only fight against the oligarchy, but the “seeds with suicide genes” (gmo’s). I’m not going to be able to have a family because I know the suffering that they would go thorough during the upcoming resistance and earth changes we are up against. SAVE your children. Don’t separate yourself from the people who are on your side.

It may be ad hominem, which I should not have said those things, and I’m sorry. Tried to hold back! Was checking out all of your posts and different organizations and thought that they were cool and liked what you were saying for the very large part of it, but then I read this one and it really offends me. I call my representative and senators every few days to push the audit and abolishment of the Fed. I called Defazio the other day to propose direct democracy (initiative, referendum, and recall process) at the federal level. How awesome would that be!? Once again, I’m sorry for name calling… Got real heated!

Where is anything good that you have said about him or Rand? They have done so much for us, but you just demonize them. They are libertarians… Their voting records are libertarian! On campaignforliberty.com you can see the voting record for every congressman and I know that they are libertarian! Why do you discredit them?

I don’t demonize them. I point out their flaws. It’s called analysis and that is what writers are supposed to do. I suppose they’re decent fellows, but they’re still politicians aren’t they?

Why should I get all excited about a politician?

If it takes me a few hours to reply to your next comment, don’t be surprised or disappointed. I will reply.

Believe me, I’m am not the absolutist, black and white kind of thinking person… I just have a tremendous amount of respect for a person who devotes there life for our cause. I disagree with one thing he says, and that is that I believe that illegal Mexican and other Central and South American illegal immigrants should be called refugees because our country has destroyed theirs. I have read his opinions on the foreign relations we’ve had there, and they’re right on, but they are refugees. They are being slaughtered and are slaves to the corporatists. I strongly believe we need to start calling them refugees, not illegals.

But the flaw you pointed out isn’t even a actual principle of his. His voting record proves it. Thank you for responding to my comments. It’s getting late and I’m having trouble typing. I guess we really just need to get ready for what’s about to come. I’m buying a seed bank and definitely making sure I am well armed! I can’t see how the universe could allow evil to prevail because I strongly believe that that mind set leads to serious mistakes and nearly impossible for the survival of such. The Illuminati banksters will fall. They just want to take as many as they can down with them. It is their cause. I’m not going with them. I’m going to survive!

Wow! My grammar is real bad when I’m frustrated; as is my words in general! Just reread my comments. Once again, sorry for those hurtful words… I know we are on the same side. I guess I just disagree with the rhetoric in this article. “A wise man once said,’Don’t become frustrated or angry, because frustration and anger causes mistakes.'”

So from your arguments (not trying to misconstrue your words or anything just drawing conclusions) it sounds like you think that every politician is a bad person, and that nobody should try to run for any office in hopes of changing the ways things are in hopes of liberating the people. It’s pretty unethical to just settle for anarchy and wait until the fema police come to your door to drag you off to the nearest camp. Did you know that there are data mining fusion centers operated by the DHS in every state building profiles on everybody and that they are absolutely accountable to nobody! They have laser guns that will melt you in seconds just sitting in depot’s waiting for the war on humanity. They have stolen Teslas technological advances and have restricted us from them for everything but their use to destroy us. These people have spaceships that use electromagnetic pulse (use as fuel and antigravity in atmospheres using the magnetospheres) and antimatter as fuel and for other, God knows what, purposes. Biotech has been spreading environmentally destroying genetically modified seeds all over the planet, which have been cross pollinating with natural plants for decades. GMO’S are deadly… They cause cancer, organ failure, reproductive harm, and alter your genetics which deform our offspring. Ever heard of horizontal gene transfer? All genes are attached to a virus that works as a switch activating the gene. When someone digests that virus it works into your blood stream and into your DNA and starts switching on random genes and inactive viruses. Research Dr. Arpad Pustai. The IMF has been working hand and hand with biotech to first destabilize agriculture and then loan them money, and in return that they buy GMO seeds and if the country defaults on their loans then the IMF levies a (social security) direct tax on the people smoothing the mortar on the last building blocks for enslavement. Beyond all of that, I’d like to go back to the Fusion Centers and the forming of the 10 fema sectors in the US destroying all sovereignty and sweeping the hole surface and below for any resistors and putting us all into concentration camps. It’s all in order right now. I could go on for days about what lies in the road ahead. I just wish I could understand your logic for waiting for martial law and the fema police to come round you and your family up and probably execute you (since you are a dissenter). You know about HR 1955 right? NSPD 51? Rex 84? Fema blue and red list? Well I’ll tell you what, brother, I am not waiting, I’m going to try to stop this madness and prepare for the worst at the same time. It’s people like Ron Paul who have bought us enough time to make it this far, even with a shredded bill of rights. I’ve been working on secession campaigns and audit the FED campaigns as well. I’m building up a food storage, gun storage, and a storage of almost whatever I can get. I’m well educated in agricultural arts, geology, and engineering. It will take one sizable natural disaster (maybe the radiation from the Fukuishima plants spreading all over the Norther Hemisphere that has been increasing every day). With the technology we have today and the ruthless elitists trying to be God’s I think it is very unethical for a Libertarian to sit back and work the small scale and just wait for the destruction to play out. With all factors involved I strongly believe our only option is to stop it now, or each of our chances for survival are very minimal.

George is just pointing out the fact that Ron Paul is inconsistent in his principles. If it is wrong to take 50% of one’s income, than it is wrong to take 10%.

I myself don’t think it is wrong to go into politics, as long as one’s intention is only to reduce government.

Ron Paul would abolish the IRS and repeal the unconstitutional/non-ratified/Supreme court overthrown Income Tax Amendment. Don’t you know this??? He would essentially abolish the whole Federal Government. I know all of this for a fact. Your argument is false. He is 100 percent consistent!

And everyone knows that we all have the right to start communes and other non-taxable non-profit organizations… At least I though everyone knew that. I guess not.

Ending the income tax would not abolish the government. It would just bring it down to, I believe, the size it was in 2000 or something. It still would be getting a lot of money through the Social Security and Medicare taxes and other involuntary revenues.

He would abolish the IRS, DHS, Department of Education, EPA, CIA, FBI, Bring all of the troops home, End every bureaucracy except for a gradual abolishment of social security and medicare and medicade as soon as the states vote and figure out what they want to do to initiate their own programs. The constitution would be legalized; and that means states rights revamped! Secession, baby! I think the majority of people understand that the federal government, and even the states, are our robbing us of our resources and natural rights. My state has a direct democracy. We formed the 51st state (the State of Jefferson) in a secession movement in 1940. How is that not essentially abolishing the Federal Government?

The constitution was written and signed and the Federal Government was created to stifle dissent. Luckily we had good people like Thomas Jefferson who warned us what it was for and forced in the Bill of Rights. It’s all about the Confederacy!

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