Peace without justice
Ron Paul is anti-war and anti-Patriot Act, but lousy on the environment.
It is odd that Rep. Ron Paul claims to be a strict Constitutionalist yet does not co-sponsor the bill that would impeach Cheney. Impeachment is the Constitutional remedy for these flagrant abuses of power.
Libertarians (which Paul is) are supposed to be "pro-choice" but Rep. Paul supports making abortion a "states rights" issue. States Rights has been the rallying cry for anti-civil rights people for decades. Making civil rights and other rights an issue solely for the States to determine means that some places in the United States will have more liberties than other places, which negates the concept of a federal republic. While there are arguments for breaking up our federal system into decentralized bioregional governments, this is not what Ron Paul is arguing for.
Ron Paul's 2012 economic plan
Anyone who values environmental protection or compassion who still supports Paul after this is not thinking clearly. Reagan also promised to eliminate the Energy Department until he realized most of the DOE was the old Atomic Energy Commission nuclear complex. If we eliminate federal funds for education then we can ensure an even dumber populace, which benefits the Empire.
The idea that libertarian free market fundamentalism is going to protect us from corporate pollution is demented, to be polite.
There's a great satire on youtube about this - "Somalia libertarian paradise" - Somalia is a libertarian paradise, no regulations of any kind.
Suggesting that these things should be delegated to "State's rights" is unambiguous code in Dixie. Paul probably knows exactly the sentiments that he's playing to when he says this in his ultraconservative district. This is not an endorsement of uncontrolled Federal authority, but most efforts to delegate social concerns to the States are not done in order to encourage creativity in how to protect people and the planet.
There are reasons why civil rights laws had to be passed at a national level.
Ron Paul is a stopped clock - right twice a day, but not useful for telling the time.
The view that the "free market" and unrestrained corporate gluttony should determine acceptable amounts of pollution is nuts. At least Bush and Obama have to pretend that they care about ecology and public health while they gut protections -- Paul doesn't even pretend that he cares. Since he's an M.D. I consider his policies malpractice as they increase the likelihood that people are poisoned.
I'm unaware of any mention by Paul of the problems of corporate power (far greater than mere "personhood"), the unconstitutional nature of the so-called intelligence agencies, or that the total size of the economy (measured in terms of resources, not inflated dollars) has reached the limits to growth.
Pollution prevention is better than regulation, and regulation is better than Ron Paul.
It would be interesting to poll prospective Paul voters and see the gender balance among his supporters. In my experience nearly every Ron Paul promoter is male.
- Mark Robinowitz
Ron Paul to propose $1T in specific budget cuts
By DAN HIRSCHHORN 10/17/11 5:06 AM EDT
Ron Paul's opinions about cutting the budget are well-known, but on Monday, he'll get specific: the Texas congressman will lay out a budget blueprint for deep and far-reaching cuts to federal spending, including the elimination of five cabinet-level departments and the drawdown of American troops fighting overseas.
There will even be a symbolic readjustment of the president's own salary to put it in line with the average American salary.
During an afternoon speech in Las Vegas ahead of Tuesday's debate, Paul will say that his plan for $1 trillion in cuts will create a balanced federal budget by the third year of his presidency.
"Dr. Paul is the only candidate with a plan to cut spending and truly balance the budget," says an executive summary of the plan, which POLITICO obtained, along with detailed spending and taxation levels, ahead of its release. "This is the only plan that will deliver what America needs in these difficult times: Major regulatory relief, large spending cuts, sound monetary policy, and a balanced budget."
[regulatory relief = freedom to pollute whatever and wherever you want]
Many of the ideas are familiar from Paul's staunch libertarianism, as well as tea party favorites like eliminating the departments of education and energy. But Paul goes further: he'll propose immediately freezing spending by numerous government agencies at 2006 levels, the last time Republicans had complete control of the federal budget, and drastically reducing spending elsewhere. The EPA would see a 30 percent cut, the Food and Drug Administration would see one of 40 percent and foreign aid would be zeroed out immediately. He'd also take an ax to Pentagon funding for wars.
Medicaid, the children's health insurance program, food stamps, family support programs and the children's nutrition program would all be block-granted to the states and removed from the mandatory spending column of the federal budget. Some functions of eliminated departments, such as Pell Grants, would be continued elsewhere in the federal bureaucracy.
And in a noticeable nod to seniors during an election year when Social Security's become an issue within the Republican primary, the campaign says that plan "honors our promise to our seniors and veterans, while allowing young workers to opt out." [ie. ensure the end of the program as younger workers age]
The federal workforce would be reduced by 10 percent, and the president's pay would be cut to $39,336 — a level that the Paul document notes is "approximately equal to the median personal income of the American worker."
Paul would also make far-reaching changes to federal tax policy, reducing the top corporate income tax rate to 15 percent, eliminating capital gains and dividends taxes, and allowing for repatriation of overseas capital without tax penalties. All Bush-era tax cuts would be extended.
And like the rest of his GOP rivals, Paul would repeal President Barack Obama's health care reform law, along with the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform law enacted last year. Paul, a longtime Federal Reserve critic, would also push a full audit of the central bank, as well as legislation to "strengthen the dollar and stabilize inflation."
What You Might Not Know About Ron Paul, and Why You Should Know It
January 8, 2008
I've been meaning to write about Ron Paul for a while, and still probably will, but if he's of interest or concern to you there's a good thread on the RI board you should read. And I think this comment by chlamor bears repeating:
It reminds me of that old game show, "Concentration". When only a few squares were revealed, it was hard to tell there even was a message there. As more became visible, it was possible to recognize a coded word here and there, but it was still difficult to tease out any meaning. It wasn't until most of the squares had been uncovered that the message was revealed.
By cleverly selecting which bits to reveal, Paul and his supporters presented snippets of code that seemed easy to interpret: anti-war (sane foreign policy), anti-neocon (anti-imperialism), etc. Then we turn over some more squares, "international banker" obsession, black=criminal, anti-public education, anti-separation of church and state, etc, that suggested a more sinister message. A detailed overview leaves no square unturned, revealing a hero of the Bircher/Patriot mold who consistently panders to his loyal base, including it's more racist fringes. Turns out this "straight talker" uses deliberately deceptive language to send one message to his base and another to the rest of us. This defender of the Constitution has some radical alterations in store for that "hallowed" document. This lover of liberty counts overt fascists among his most dedicated fans.
It's not that I wouldn't consider supporting a message candidate, I'm just not willing to provide even temporary, tactical support to one whose message makes me want to vomit.
Support for Ron Paul from the John Birch Society
I am definitely not one to jump on to the Ron Paul bandwagon either. An interesting, short history of the John Birch Society can be read here:
They even have a quote from Ron Paul praising the John Birch Society towards the bottom. Unfortunately, I could not verify the quote from a better source. To read the overall world-views and philosophies of the John Birch Society and to see how similar they are to Alex Jones' world-views and philosophies is very revealing.
Read: Power Shift by Kirkpatrick Sale, Power on the Right by William Turner, Yankee and Cowboy War by Carl Oglesby and Deep Politics and the Death of JFK by Peter Dale Scott for more info on this topic.
These books go into how the Birch Society was created in the late 50s by the new money (Hunt, Welch, Murchison, etc), which was (and in many ways still is) culturally divided from the old money (Rockefellers, Morgans, Harrimans, etc). It was largely used as a populist smokescreen to place the blame on everything wrong in the society on the old money families and institutions and to take the heat off of its founders and those close to them.
Libertarian logic / Ron Paul
Is libertarianism really viable today when the environment/global warming/peak oil/sustainability are so pressing? Paul has actually never mentioned an environmental policy and his website doesn't address it as an issue. His voting record indicates a libertarian stance on it as well--not necessarily for wrecking the environment, but certainly not for regulating or curtailing other people's freedom to wreck it.....
"Ron Paul is opposed to the United Nations. He has introduced legislation to withdraw the United States from the UN. Dr. Paul believes that the UN is rife with corruption. It serves as a forum for rampant anti-Americanism. Instead of being reformed, the UN needs to be renounced. Dr. Paul is against any kind of world government or new world order." http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance109.html
"Paul's first amendment would prohibit the use of taxpayer funds for payment of UN dues, an important step toward withdrawing America from the UN altogether (Paul's popular bill, HR 1146, would not only withdraw America from the UN, but also evict the organization from its New York headquarters). The second amendment directs the administration to withdraw the United States from UNESCO (the United Nation's Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), a virulently anti-American and anti-western UN offshoot. UNESCO is nothing more than a propaganda mouthpiece for the usual globalist causes, including international abortion and population control; politically correct UN curriculum for American schools; UN control of federal land in America; cultural relativism; and global taxation, just to name a few. President Reagan wisely withdrew the U.S. from UNESCO in 1984." http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul190.html
NOTE: Calling the UN a part of a "new world order" or "world government" is a tactic of the right to try to scare people away from this important institution which stands up to the fascist policies of the Bush Administration and has repeatedly humiliated the US to the rest of the world for it's false promotions of rationales to bomb and destroy. The UN inspections of Iraq kept the US out of that country for longer than anyone else could have, and were able to expose the charade of the false basis for the war by showing that WMDs did not exist. Efforts to stop war crimes through the establishment of bodies like the World Criminal Court would not exist without the UN . . .
Peace, Injustice, and Ron Paul
By David Swanson
Created Sep 1 2007 - 10:22am
If Ron Paul had been president for the past 6 years, a million more Iraqis would be alive, and another 4 million would not be refugees. The world would be a safer place, and Americans would have lost fewer freedoms.
But more Americans would lack decent health care. More American children would lack adequate education. More families in America would struggle in poverty. Immigrant families would face increased threats and abuse. Women would have lost rights. And a growing oligarchy would further dominate American politics, making reversal of any admirable Paul policies likely.
Paul arrives at some admirable positions for some unexpected reasons. And his principles lead him to many reprehensible positions as well. He opposes occupying Iraq because it involves massive government expense and power. That, and not the million corpses, is his primary concern.
Paul is brave enough to say what he thinks and stand by it. While there are Democrats, like Dennis Kucinich and Barbara Lee, who have that same quality, the Democratic Party as a whole has an established reputation of not standing and fighting for anything, and least of all peace.
So, it's not completely surprising that a lot of opponents of the occupation of Iraq are looking to Paul as the best presidential candidate out there. Many Paul supporters really want peace and want it for the best reasons, but they detest the word "liberal" and loathe "big government." Others are not quite in that camp but consider the war such an overwhelmingly important issue that they don't much care what Paul's other positions are.
But Paul would end the occupation of Iraq and offer the Iraqi people not a dime to help rebuild the nation we've destroyed. In fact, he would cut the pittance we give in foreign aide around the world. But Paul has never, to my knowledge, said he would cut a single dollar from the biggest big government expense there is, much bigger than any war: the yearly budget of the Pentagon. And if he thinks he can keep funding that and NOT launch new wars, he hasn't thought about the workings of our government quite enough.
So, a Paul government would be stingy, extravagant, war-prone despite itself, and in debt. Would Paul solve that problem be reinstating progressive taxation for the super wealthy and corporations? No, he'd cut taxes. Of course, taxes SHOULD be cut for most people. But unless they're raised for the wealthy and corporations, we will have even more debt (which Paul says he opposes) or we will have to make massive cuts in what's left of the non-military public sector. And that's exactly what Paul would like to see: "wasteful agencies" and "governments collecting foreign aid" are among his targets. Rather than increasing funding for public schools, his solution for education would be to cut more taxes (the thinking being that this would allow parents to teach their children at home). That works for parents who want to do that and don't have to work. But most parents don't want to do that and do have to work. And with a president Paul allowing the minimum wage to plummet, opposing living wage standards, and doing nothing to restore the right to unionize, parents' work hours would not be shrinking.
Of course parents who don't work, or don't work jobs with good benefits, tend to lack health insurance. Paul would offer these tens of millions of Americans and the even greater number with inadequate health insurance nothing more than a middle finger. Paul believes the greatest crisis in our health care is the imposition of vaccinations. Everything always comes back to his notion of personal "freedom," even if it's the freedom to die of a curable disease. The only solution that has been found to provide everyone decent health care – in fact it works in almost every industrialized nation in the world – would mean private medicine, allowing everyone to choose their own doctor, but would also mean replacing the health insurance companies with the government. This is the last thing Paul would ever stand for. Better that people suffer and die than that the government be involved in helping them.
Women who value the right to abortion would lose it under a Paul Administration. This is not speculation. He openly says he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. That's his principle and he stands by it courageously and honestly, but most Americans disagree with him.
Life would change dramatically for all Americans under this sort of right-wing rule, but much more so for immigrants. Paul would allow fewer legal immigrants, while denying any illegal immigrants a path to become citizens. An immigrant woman here without papers who was raped would be denied the right to an abortion. Her child, born in America, would be denied citizenship. Her family would be denied welfare, as well as health care, and education, not to mention any investment in public transportation. Undocumented workers would gain no workplace rights under a Paul government, and so the rights of all of us would continue to erode. In fact, immigrants would be scapegoated and associated with 9-11, and Paul's priority would be "securing borders."
Under a Paul administration there would be fewer immigrants for a good reason: he opposes the trade policies that destroy the economies of the nations they flee to come here. But Paul opposes those policies because they are international, not because they empower corporations and hurt workers. That's none of his concern. He's a "property rights" man, even if it's at the expense of those without property. He opposes NAFTA for the same reason he opposes the United Nations. He would erode international law far more swiftly than Bush, thereby endangering us all in the long run. International law is what works against wars of aggression.
But if Paul is as major an opponent of justice as I suggest, why then are so many advocates of peace and justice flocking to him? It depends in each case. Many passionately oppose the occupation of Iraq, but they don't call it an occupation. They call it a war. And their chief concern is not the million Iraqis dead, but the nearly four thousand Americans. And (this is key) they don't like the Democrats.
Paul is a man with principles, bizarre and twisted principles, but principles. Beside him, most of the Republicans look like charlatans, and the Democrats who are allowed on television and in the New York Times look like spineless cowards. They look like spineless cowards not because they favor peace (they don't), but because they refuse to stand up to Bush and Cheney. Paul stands up to Bush and Cheney. NOTHING is more powerful than that in today's politics, and he does it. Standing up to Bush and Cheney is what propelled Howard Dean's campaign so rapidly, and few paid close attention to what his positions were either.
Of course, there is a candidate in the 2008 presidential race who stands consistently and courageously on principle for both peace AND justice. And if we had the courage of our convictions we would put everything we have into backing him. Not only might he win, but our backing him now might force the Democrats in Congress to act like they believe in something, and force other candidates to improve their positions. His name is Dennis Kucinich. Paul doesn't want people to give their money to Washington. Give it to www.kucinich.us 
About author David Swanson is a co-founder of After Downing Street, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com.
The Freedom to Starve
Why the Left Should Reject Ron Paul
By SHERRY WOLF
"POLITICS, LIKE nature, abhors a vacuum," goes the revamped aphorism. Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul's surprising stature among a small but vocal layer of antiwar activists and leftist bloggers appears to bear this out.
At the October 27, 2007, antiwar protests in dozens of cities noticeable contingents of supporters carried his campaign placards and circulated sign-up sheets. The Web site antiwar.com features a weekly Ron Paul column. Some even dream of a Left-Right gadfly alliance for the 2008 ticket. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, liberal maverick and Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich told supporters in late November he was thinking of making Ron Paul his running mate if he were to get the nomination.
No doubt, the hawkish and calculating Hillary Rodham Clinton and flaccid murmurings of Barack Obama, in addition to the uninspiring state of the antiwar movement that backed a prowar candidate in 2004, help fuel the desperation many activists feel. But leftists must unequivocally reject the reactionary libertarianism of this longtime Texas congressman and 1988 Libertarian Party presidential candidate.
Ron Paul's own campaign Web site reads like the objectivist rantings of Ayn Rand, one of his theoretical mentors. As with the Atlas Shrugged author's other acolytes, neocon guru Milton Friedman and former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan, Paul argues, "Liberty means free-market capitalism." He opposes "big government" and in the isolationist fashion of the nation's Pat Buchanans, he decries intervention in foreign nation's affairs and believes membership in the United Nations undermines U.S. sovereignty.
Naturally, it is not Ron Paul's paeans to the free market that some progressives find so appealing, but his unwavering opposition to the war in Iraq and consistent voting record against all funding for the war. His straightforward speaking style, refusal to accept the financial perks of office, and his repeated calls for repealing the Patriot Act distinguish him from the snakeoil salesmen who populate Congress.
Paul is no power-hungry, poll-tested shyster. Even the liberalish chat show hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar on "The View" gave a friendly reception to Paul's folksy presentation, despite his paleoconservative views on abortion, which he-a practicing obstetrician-argues is murder.
Though Paul is unlikely to triumph in the primaries, it is worth taking stock not only of his actual positions, but more importantly the libertarian underpinnings that have wooed so many self-described leftists and progressives. Because at its core, the fetishism of individualism that underlies libertarianism leads to the denial of rights to the very people most radicals aim to champion-workers, immigrants, Blacks, women, gays, and any group that lacks the economic power to impose their individual rights on others.
Ron Paul's positions
A cursory look at Paul's positions, beyond his opposition to the war and the Patriot Act, would make any leftist cringe.
Put simply, he is a racist. Not the cross-burning, hood-wearing kind to be sure, but the flat Earth society brand that imagines a colorblind world where 500 years of colonial history and slavery are dismissed out of hand and institutional racism and policies under capitalism are imagined away. As his campaign Web site reads:
"The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence-not skin color, gender, or ethnicity."
Paul was more blunt writing in his independent political newsletter distributed to thousands of supporters in 1992. Citing statistics from a study that year produced by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, Paul concluded: "Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal." Reporting on gang crime in Los Angeles, Paul commented: "If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be."
His six-point immigration plan appears to have been cribbed from the gun-toting vigilante Minutemen at the border. "A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked," reads his site. And he advocates cutting off all social services to undocumented immigrants, including hospitals, schools, clinics, and even roads (how would that work?).
"The public correctly perceives that neither political party has the courage to do what is necessary to prevent further erosion of both our border security and our national identity," he wrote in a 2005 article. "Unfortunately, the federal government seems more intent upon guarding the borders of other nations than our own." The article argues that, "Our current welfare system also encourages illegal immigration by discouraging American citizens from taking low-wage jobs." The solution: end welfare so that everyone will be forced to work at slave wages. In order that immigrants not culturally dilute the nation, he proposes that "All federal government business should be conducted in English."
Though he rants about his commitment to the Constitution, he introduced an amendment altering the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteeing citizenship to anyone born in the United States, saying in a 2006 article: "Birthright citizenship, originating in the 14th amendment, has become a serious cultural and economic dilemma for our nation. We must end the perverse incentives that encourage immigrants to come here illegally, including the anchor baby incentive."
Here we come up against the limits of libertarianism-Paul wants a strong state to secure the borders, but he wants all social welfare expenditures eliminated for those within them.
Paul is quite vocal these days about his rank opposition to abortion-"life begins at conception," he argues. He promotes a "states' rights" position on abortion-that decades old hobgoblin of civil rights opponents. And he has long opposed sexual harassment legislation, writing in his 1988 book Freedom Under Siege (available online), "Why don't they quit once the so-called harassment starts?" In keeping with his small government worldview, he goes on to argue against the government's right "to tell an airline it must hire unattractive women if it does not want to."
In that same book, written as the AIDS crisis was laying waste to the American gay male population prompting the rise of activist groups demanding research and drugs, Paul attacked AIDS sufferers as "victims of their own lifestyle." And in a statement that gives a glimpse of the ruling-class tyranny of individualism he asserts that AIDS victims demanding rushed drug trials were impinging on "the rights of insurance company owners."
Paul wants to abolish the Department of Education and, in his words, "end the federal education monopoly" by eliminating all taxes that go toward public education and "giving educational control back to parents." Which parents would those be? Only those with the leisure time, educational training, and temperament commensurate with home schooling! Whatever real problems the U.S. education system suffers from-and there are many-eliminating 99 percent literacy rates that generations of public education has achieved and tossing the children of working parents out of the schools is not an appealing or viable option.
Paul also opposes equal pay for equal work, a minimum wage, and, naturally, trade unions. In 2007, he voted against restricting employers' rights to interfere in union drives and against raising the federal minimum wage to $7.25. In 2001, he voted for zero-funding for OSHA's Ergonomics Rules, instead of the $4.5 billion. At least he's consistent.
Libertarians like Paul are for removing any legislative barriers that may restrict business owners' profits, but are openly hostile to alleviating economic restrictions that oppress most workers. Only a boss could embrace this perverse concept of "freedom."
Individualism versus collectivism
There is a scene in Monty Python's satire Life of Brian where Brian, not wanting to be the messiah, calls out to the crowd: "You are all individuals." The crowd responds in unison: "We are all individuals."
Libertarians, using pseudo-iconoclastic logic, transform this comical send-up of religious conformity into their own secular dogma in which we are all just atomized beings. "Only an individual has rights," not groups such as workers, Blacks, gays, women, and minorities, Ron Paul argues. True, we are all individuals, but we didn't just bump into one another. Human beings by nature are social beings who live in a collective, a society. Under capitalism, society is broken down into classes in which some individuals-bosses, for example-wield considerably more power than others-workers.
To advocate for society to be organized on the basis of strict individualism, as libertarians do, is to argue that everyone has the right to do whatever he or she wants. Sounds nice in the abstract, perhaps. But what happens when the desires of one individual infringe on the desires of another? Libertarians like Paul don't shy away from the logical ramifications of their argument. "The dictatorial power of a majority" he argues ought to be replaced by the unencumbered power of individuals-in other words, the dictatorial power of a minority.
So if the chairman of Dow Chemical wants to flush his company's toxic effluence into rivers and streams, so be it. If General Motors wants to pay its employees starvation wages, that's their right too. Right-wing libertarians often appear to not want to grapple with meddlesome things like economic and social power. As the bourgeois radical Abraham Lincoln observed of secessionist slaveowners, "The perfect liberty they seek is the liberty of making slaves of other people."
Too much government?
Unwavering hostility to government and its collection of taxes is another hallmark of libertarianism. Given the odious practices of governments under capitalism, their repugnant financial priorities, and bilking of the lower classes through taxation it's hardly surprising that libertarians get a hearing.
But the conclusion that the problem is "big government" strips the content from the form. Can any working-class perspective seriously assert that we have too much government involvement in providing health care? Too much oversight of the environment, food production, and workplace safety? Would anyone seriously consider hopping a flight without the certainty of national, in fact international, air traffic control? Of course not. The problem doesn't lie with some abstract construct, "government," the problem is that the actual class dynamics of governments under capitalism amount to taxing workers and the poor in lieu of the rich and powerful corporations and spending those resources on wars, environmental devastation, and the enrichment of a tiny swath of society at the expense of the rest of us.
Ron Paul argues, "Government by majority rule has replaced strict protection of the individual from government abuse. Right of property ownership has been replaced with the forced redistribution of wealth and property" Few folks likely to be reading this publication will agree that we actually live in a society where wealth and property are expropriated from the rich and given to workers and the poor. Even the corporate media admit that there has been a wholesale redistribution of wealth in the opposite direction. But Paul exposes here the class nature of libertarianism-it is the provincial political outlook of the middle-class business owner obsessed with guarding his lot. As online anti-libertarian writer Ernest Partridge puts it in "Liberty for some":
"Complaints against "big government" and "over-regulation," though often justified, also issue from the privileged who are frustrated at finding that their quest for still greater privileges at the expense of their community are curtailed by a government which, ideally, represents that community. Pure food and drug laws curtail profits and mandate tests as they protect the general public."
In fact, the libertarians' opposition to the government, or the state if you will, is less out of hostility to what the state actually does than who is running it. Perhaps this explains Paul's own clear contradiction when it comes to abortion, since his opposition to government intervention stops at a woman's uterus. But freedom for socialists has always been about more than the right to choose masters. Likewise, Paul appears to be for "small government" except when it comes to using its power to restrict immigration. His personal right to not have any undocumented immigrants in the U.S. seems to trump the right of free movement of individuals, but not capital, across borders.
Right-wing libertarians, quite simply, oppose the state only insofar as it infringes the right of property owners.
Some antiwar activists and leftists desperate to revitalize a flagging antiwar movement make appeals to the Left to form a Left-Right bloc with Ron Paul supporters. Even environmental activist and left-wing author Joshua Frank, who writes insightful and often scathing attacks on liberal Democrats' capitulations to reactionary policies, recently penned an article citing-though not endorsing-Paul's campaign in calling for leftist antiwar activists to reach out to form a sort of Left-Right antiwar alliance. He argues, "Whether we're beer swilling rednecks from Knoxville or mushroom eatin' hippies from Eugene, we need to come together," ("Embracing a new antiwar movement").
Supporters of Ron Paul who show up to protests should have their reactionary conclusions challenged, not embraced. Those of his supporters who are wholly ignorant of his broader politics beyond the war, should be educated about them. And those who advocate his noxious politics, should be attacked for their racism, immigrant bashing, and hostility to the values a genuine Left champions. The sort of Left-Right alliance Frank advocates is not only opportunistic, but is also a repellent to creating the multiracial working-class movement that is sorely needed of we are to end this war. What Arabs, Blacks, Latinos-and antiracist whites, for that matter-would ever join a movement that accommodates to this know-nothing brand of politics?
Discontent with the status quo and the drumbeat of electoralism is driving many activists and progressives to seek out political alternatives. But libertarianism is no radical political solution to inequality, violence, and misery. When the likes of Paul shout: "We need freedom to choose!" we need to ask, "Yes, but freedom for whom?" Because the freedom to starve to death is the most dubious freedom of all.
Sherry Wolf is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review. She can be reached at sherry @ internationalsocialist.org