Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ron Paul: Honest Abe Lives

Congress' premier defender of the Constitution”

Why on earth would a left libertarian who admires democratic socialist Hugo Chavez favour a conservative Republican candidate? The answer is simple: I see no other contender who is willing to seriously challenge the drift toward fascism. The preservation of constitutional democracy is the first and most urgent task at hand. All other issues can be debated once the basics are secured: preserve democracy.

“Ron Paul stands for populist ideals that the country is screaming out for after seven years of hell under Bush.

Paul unites opposition to the war and the police state at home across the entire political spectrum…from libertarians through anti-war Democrats.

Ron Paul is a constitutionalist who votes based on principles that support our rights as individuals.

But it is how he does is that makes him a HERO. He consistently stands undaunted in the face of opposition. He is dedicated to protecting “the good.” He is uncompromising in his standards, valiant in his efforts, and he does it all with a quiet nobility that is inspiring. He does what is right. He tells us the Truth. It is this that defines him as a HERO for our times.”

I would urge all who oppose the slide into corporatocracy and a police state to stand up now, speak up now, across the spectrum, from liberal and progressive to conservative or libertarian, social democrat or libertarian socialist – all who oppose tyranny and who would prefer democracy to fascism – and support Ron Paul. The stakes are high, and the time is short.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul has announced he is running for U.S. President in 2008: I think he would be far superior as a president than either Bush was, or Hilary Clinton would be.

Bush goes without saying. Hilary Clinton has expressed her support for expanding the Middle East war into Iran. She has consistently voted in favour of massive funding for unconstitutional imperial war in the Middle East, thereby helping to get thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, while bankrupting the country. She also voted in favour of the draconian and dangerous Patriot Act. She boldly voted to limit the Military Commissions Act to 2011. What’s four years of abuse of power among friends?

Barrack Obama is admired by many, but I could not possibly support such a man who would speak against war, and simultaneously continue to fund it, voting in favour of over $580 billion for military appropriations in 2006 alone – much of this specifically targeted to increased funding for the war in Iraq.

On December 21, 2005, Senator Obama voted in favour of the $450 billion Defense Department FY 2006 Appropriations Bill – including $50 billion specifically tagged for continued war in Iraq and Afghanistan. On May 4, 2006 Senator Obama voted in favour of $67 billion in “emergency supplemental appropriations” for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On June 15, 2006, Senator Obama voted in favour of $70 billion in “emergency supplemental appropriations” for the “Global War on Terrorism.” On June 22, 2006, Obama voted in favour of over $500 billion in military spending for the fiscal year of 2007.

Now that I know the voting record of Hilary and Obama, whenever I think of either of these two “doves” I think of the line by The Who: “Meet the new boss – same as the old boss” (Won’t Get Fooled Again).

If we are to judge by action – by his voting record – and not just by words, Obama is full of shit; to be blunt. His words speak of peace, but his actions speak clearly of deferential and timid support for continued wars of empire. This man either has no spine, or else no integrity. I wouldn’t elect Obama to watch my dog for the weekend. He says one thing, and votes another. I would love to be shown wrong on Obama, but presently these seem to be the indications.

Even more fundamentally, Obama voted on March 2, 2006 - along with Hilary Rodham Clinton - to make 14 provisions of the Patriot Act permanent. This man is no patriot. Nor is he a democrat. This man, along with Hilary Clinton, voted in favour of legislation that can only be described as thoroughly anti-democratic, unconstitutional, draconian and, frankly, fascist. We cannot afford to see such wolves successfully masked as sheep. Democrats should be the first to reveal the true nature of such false-hope candidates and corporate lap-dog technocrats in drag as champions of freedom.

If I am wrong somehow on Obama, I would be glad to be enlightened. However, it seems he, like Hilary, is a lackey for the military-industrial complex, war-profiteers, oil barons and Washington chicken-hawks. Unless there is reason to believe otherwise, from what I can see now, I would hate to see this man elected or re-elected to any high office, let alone President of the United States.

As far as I am aware, there is no-one running for the next U.S. presidential election that merits support, other than Ron Paul, with the possible exception of Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) – a New Deal Democrat, reminiscent of FDR.

A former mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, Dennis Kucinich has voted against the Military Commissions Act, the Patriot Act, and the exorbitant funding for adventurous neo-colonial wars. Perhaps a two-party ticket is in order. “The Democracy Ticket.” Paul and Kucinich: uniting the sane from the Republicans and Democrats in 2008. This might be a possibility worth pursuing. I’m not sure if they would be willing to run together, but if so, it could be a winning combination. The campaign focus: end the wars of empire, and restore the Constitution. Unfortunately, differences over immigration and gun control, among other issues, would likely prevent such a liberal-conservative alliance between Paul and Kocinich. I say unfortunately, and this must be emphasized, because these are the only two candidates I know of that seem willing to stand up to the assault on civil rights and constitutional democracy.

Ron Paul voted against the Orwellian Military Commissions Act of September 2006. He voted against the Patriot Act in 2001, and again in 2005 – on three separate occasions – as well as in 2006. If there is any measure of a federal U.S. political candidate’s integrity in defending constitutional democracy, it is this: unwavering opposition to these two terrible anti-democratic, unconstitutional pieces of authoritarian legislation. Obama and Hilary both fail this test.

Ron Paul also voted to close the infamous School of Americas – the largest terrorist training center in the hemisphere, operating out of Fort Benning Georgia, whose graduates have gone on to join and lead death squads throughout Latin America, and who were among those responsible for the assassination of 9 Jesuit priests as well as Archbishop Romero in El Salvador. This man will help fight terrorism – by ceasing to fund it. If you want a true defender of democracy and freedom, here is the real McCoy.

While most of Congress is unaware of, or silent about the Security and Prosperity Partnership, Ron Paul is speaking out and standing up for sovereignty and democracy.

“NAFTA’s superhighway is just one part of a plan to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico, called the North American Union. This spawn of powerful special interests, would create a single nation out of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, with a new unelected bureaucracy and money system.” - Ron Paul

The Democratic Party hates Ron Paul because he’s Republican; the Republican Party hates Ron Paul because he does not tow the party line in prostrating before the military-industrial complex, serving the interests of the corporate elite, paying homage to wars of empire, or backing the rush to implement fascist legislation in the form of the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act. The grassroots, however, love him – across the political spectrum, from conservatives and libertarians, to anti-war democrats, to all those who oppose the slide into a police state.

All those who prefer genuine democracy and the rule of constitutional law to fascist corporate oligarchy, would be wise to support this humble Congressman. He may well be this era’s Honest Abe: a liberator of the country. If he succeeds in exercising the popular will and ending the imperial wars abroad, as well as the slide into a police state at home, he will have been, truly, a liberator of America.

Ron Paul is a true grassroots hero, in that he is willing to back the people with authentic and substantial support for the constitution, the struggle to preserve democracy, and the opposition to imperial wars – all of which, the majority of Americans clearly want. It will take more than one person to change the course of American society, as it always has. Even if that person holds the highest office in the republic, there will need to be a mass movement, not just to get a better president elected, but to get the job done: to halt the drift toward fascism and to restore democracy, freedom and human rights in America.

Paul is a Republican conservative reminiscent of Eisenhower. Like Eisenhower, he recognizes the grave danger of the military-industrial complex. Taking up where Ike left off, it is no longer sufficient to warn against the possible abuse of power and encroachment on democratic powers, of the military-industrial complex. It is now clearly time to rein it in. Ron Paul stands in this tradition, and is prepared to take the efforts to rein in this beast, to the next step. The plug must be pulled on the corporate military complex. Ron Paul is the only candidate I am confident will do just that.

Paul has 37 years of political experience, and currently sits on the House Financial Services Committee, the House International Relations Committee, and the House-Senate Joint Economic Committee. He knows the political arena.

Paul will have to run a broad-based grassroots campaign to win, as the corporate media are sure to try and shoot him down, or shut him out, while the Republican Party machine is unlikely to support a maverick who repudiates the corporate subservience of the party, and fiercely opposes their agenda of “war without end” overseas and an authoritarian surveillance state at home.

There may be issues where I disagree with Ron Paul, but he is right on the two biggest ones, in my mind: end the wars of empire abroad, and stop the destruction of civil rights and democracy at home. If there is any other candidate who shows spine enough to deal with these two most pressing issues, they should be supported. Presently, only Ron Paul evokes confidence with regards to these most critical issues.

Ron Paul is a conservative libertarian. If I were to put a phrase or a label on my political views, I would have to say they are libertarian socialist. The differences between a conservative libertarian perspective and that of a libertarian socialist are significant, but there is common ground as well. Libertarians have a deep skepticism about excessive concentrations of political power, as did Thomas Jefferson – they are not great fans of bureaucracy, authoritarianism or elitism, to say the least. Libertarians on the right have traditionally questioned state or governmental power – that is, concentrations of political power – while libertarians on the left have questioned not only concentrations of political power, but also excessive concentrations of economic power. Thus, while there may be natural common ground, libertarians of the right and the left have been historically estranged, barely communicating, if at all. However, recent trends have narrowed the divide.

What the right still fails to recognize – although this is changing – is that since the fall of the Soviet bloc, the left has abandoned what little remaining allegiance it had to bureaucratic big government, and now leans very strongly to a left libertarian perspective, advocating freedom, diversity, and limited government that is in close contact with the grassroots. Thus, there is more common ground between the right and left now than the right has recognized.

Likewise, the right is coming to realize that excessive concentrations of economic power are also threats to freedom, just as are excessive concentrations of political power. Jefferson and Lincoln – one a Democrat, one a Republican – both realized this very clearly. Now the grassroots right is beginning to realize it as well. This new tendency within the right offers the possibility for a greater basis of understanding between right and left. The left also does not yet recognize the narrowing gap between the two polarities.

While the left has largely rejected the big government bureaucratic paradigm, the right, at least at the grassroots, is coming to view the current threat to democracy and freedom as a threat waged by a combination of elitist, authoritarian government, aligned with a growing concentration of corporate power. The grassroots right now speaks of the present emergence of corporate fascism – a terminology that should be familiar to the left. The gap is indeed narrowing. It is now a struggle not so much between left and right, as it is between all those who prefer democracy to fascism – and this is the vast majority - and the few who are willing to side with an emerging corporatocracy.

It is important that the left and the right both understand this. We need a coalition that spans the political spectrum – from right to left – of all who would stand now to preserve constitutional democracy. If we fail to recognize the urgency of such a union, we will fail, and we will see fascism take hold. It may be unthinkable, but the unthinkable is taking place. We had better form a union of diverse groups and individuals to preserve democracy, freedom and human rights, or we will lose them all.

I’m not a conservative, nor a Republican party fan, but if there is going to be a conservative wing to U.S. politics - which of course there will be for a long time - there should be a representative who’s at least sane, who’s not on a corporate payroll, and who is not a military-industrial complex lackey. Ron Paul for President - now!

And for a running mate? If not Dennis Kocinich, then Robert Bowman. Fair trade, non-interventionist, anti-corporatist conservative. I didn’t know there was such a creature, but there is. He’s the real deal. Ron Paul and Robert Bowman would make a stellar team. I hope the Ron Paul campaign team will give this idea some serious thought. It could be a powerful alliance. It could be an alliance to successfully defeat the threat to democracy. The threat at home, that is.

We must now end the left-right alienation. It is in some senses a false polarization. Yes, there are very real and important issues on which there is serious divergence, but there is common ground between traditional conservatives, traditional liberals, right libertarians, left libertarians and democratic socialists. The common ground is that we all prefer democracy to fascism - whether it is the corporate fascism that is arising, or any other kind of totalitarian regime. It is neoconservatism and neoliberalism, which are two sides of the same corporate boot-licking coin, that has to be defeated now. It is the preservation of constitutional democracy that must come first. Afterwards, we can debate the rest of the issues. Democracy and human rights are fundamental.

The real division, the one that matters most, is between the neoconservatives and neoliberals on the one hand, who promote and support a corporatist regime both domestically and world-wide, and all those who prefer and support constitutional democracy. Traditional liberals and conservatives, progressives, libertarians of the right and left, as well as social democrats, must get together now to stop this slide into fascism and corporate rule.

Let’s get it together on the major issues; the rest we can debate later. First things first: we must preserve democracy and stop the slide into corporate fascism. We must first rein in the military-industrial complex, and the corporate powers more generally. Once that is accomplished, we can debate the rest of the issues `till we’re blue in the face. Until that is done, debate is largely irrelevant, because corporate fascism rules.

So long as the neoconservatives are in power in Washington, or their neoliberal “opponents” in the Democratic Party - Kerry, Edwards, Hillary, Obama et al. - the nightmare will continue to unfold.

With Ron Paul or Robert Bowman in the White House - and ideally both - I could envision a safe and prosperous, sane and just - albeit conservative - America. This would be a tremendous relief, not only to the great majority of Americans, but to the world.

Left/right debates can resume once we’ve secured the basics: the safeguarding of constitutional democracy. Until then, we need to get together, across ideological and party lines.

Support Ron Paul! Stop corporate fascism now! Yes, we are heading in that direction, and no, there seems to be no-one else in the U.S. Presidential race that will halt this slide into a very dark time.

If you like the corporate lobby, the military-industrial complex, unending bloody, costly and dangerous imperial wars, the destruction of civil rights and freedom and the slide into a police state, vote for Hilary or Obama, or any of the other Republicans or Republican look-alikes. If you prefer peace, freedom and constitutional democracy, there seems to be only one choice: Ron Paul.

Ideological rigidity won't help us now - not that it ever has. There is a war on democracy, in case anyone has missed this fact. What we need now is a coalition of all who oppose the drift into oligarchy and the destruction of constitutional rights and freedom. Come on people now, let's get together.

“I have a dream. I want to re-instate the Constitution.” – Dr. Ron Paul

J. Todd Ring,

March 2007

Vote Ron Paul For President 2008 – video short

Can it get any more clear? Ron Paul stands up to speak against war in Iraq, while Democrats – who now control Congress, and have the ability to pull the plug on this ongoing tragedy - continue to fund the war. Ron Paul clearly stands out. And what an overtly Orwellian speech by a Democrat to follow him!

Defund the War by Rep. Ron Paul – video short

Even Conservatives Hate Republicans Now

YouTube - Texas Republican slams Bush "demented philosophy of conquest

Congressman Ron Paul on Iran Situation (3-15-06) – video short

Gulf of Tonkin 2: Iran – video short

YouTube - Ron Paul on Interventionism

YouTube - Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) on House Iraq Resolution

YouTube - Ron Paul vs. Congress: Don't regulate the Internet

Presidental candidate Ron Paul to 'reinstate Constitution' - video

YouTube - Ron Paul on the North American Union

YouTube - Ron Paul Confronts the Federal Reserve

Ron Paul Supporters at Anti War Rally – video

Ron Paul Officially Runs For President - C-SPAN Part 1 of 4

The Original American Foreign Policy - by Ron Paul

Rep.Ron Paul on Iran: The Next Neocon Target « Dissident

Ron Paul 2008

*YouTube - Ron Paul Revolution - Phoenix

“Ron Paul stands for populist ideals that the country is screaming out for after seven years of hell under Bush.

Paul unites opposition to the war and the police state at home across the entire political spectrum…from libertarians through anti-war Democrats.

Ron Paul voted against the Patriot Act, opposes the draft, advocates the abolition of the income tax, urges the re-introduction of the gold standard, and stands against initiatives to strip the U.S. of its sovereignty such as CAFTA and the FTAA [as well as the secretive SPP].

Ron Paul has consistently upheld his commitment to civil liberties and slammed the militarized police state that Bush has created.

Paul has been in and out of Congress since the 70's and is universally hated by the Republican elite, who routinely back Democrats against him just to try and get him out of office. The former Vietnam flight surgeon is the perfect candidate for President and activists from every corner of every political persuasion should mobilize now in an attempt to help Paul shatter the power monopoly of the Republican and Democrat establishment who have worked together for decades to slit America's throat in the interests of power, greed, and ego.

Paul was one of only a handful of Republicans to vote against the illegal invasion of Iraq...In bucking a trend, Paul was anti-war long before the majority of the country came around to a similar way of thinking following the catastrophe of the occupation.

While Democrats soft-peddle and cozy up to Bush, creating phony arguments about the level of troop presence in Iraq and ignoring the majority will of the country to bring the troops home immediately, Ron Paul's opposition to unnecessary wars of intervention has remained steadfast throughout his entire political career.

If a gargantuan effort is made from now until the end of 2008 to heighten Paul's media profile and forward him as America's last hope, he truly has a significant chance of giving Jeb Bush, Rudy Giuliani or whichever elitist puppet the Republicans choose to put forward a real run for their money.

With the favor of the political landscape continually swinging away from the scam repeatedly run by the Republicrats and Democans, we should really start off on a positive footing and consider the fact that Ron Paul, though still an underdog, has a real chance of becoming the next President.”

- Ron Paul – America’s Braveheart

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Blogger Larry Gambone said...

While a Canadian, I am another left-liberarian that respects Ron Paul. I think it important for Americans to unite around oopposition to empire, war and fascism. This means a libertarian-left--libertarian right coalition around these issues, which are the pressing issues of our times.

6:22 p.m.  
Blogger J. Todd Ring said...

Absolutely. And more: not only left and right libertarians, but social democrats, liberals, conservatives - anyone who opposes the emerging oligarchy of corporate-state power, and prefers and will stand up for freedom and democracy.

That is, anyone who is not a neoliberal or neoconservative - anyone who is not an elitist, authoritarian, corporatist.

We need a broad coalition now. Only that will bring us success in defeating this war on democracy, freedom and civil rights.

8:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Ray said...

J. Todd Ring, I can understand your admiration of Ron Paul due to his foreign policy stance, but the rest of your positions I find confusing and contradictory.

As a paleo-libertarian, I would call the label libertarian-socialist an oxymoron.
And you are against elitism and authoritarianism, but you admire Hugo Chavez?

I know Lincoln is a saint of the right and the left. I would attribute the blame mostly to the establishment history books which portray him as Honest Abe.
The truth is quite different from the high school fictional portrayal of him. He was after all one of the highest paid corporate lawyers in America, a proponent of corporate welfare (they called it "internal improvements" back then). The misnamed "Civil War" was not started about the slavery issue, if it was sold as that to the Northern population at the time, only a handful of recruits would have even shown up. It was an economic war as most wars are in reality, Lincoln invaded a sovereign confederacy for the reason he couldn't handle losing all that tariff money to fund his big government schemes or lose all that business for his northern protectionist monopoly friends.
Instead the war was sold under the vague slogan called "saving the union", which is something similar to Bush invading Iraq to "spread democracy".
I know Ron Paul would agree, he forgot more about American history than most people know.

2:31 a.m.  
Blogger J. Todd Ring said...

"As a paleo-libertarian, I would call the label libertarian-socialist an oxymoron."

I hate to be blunt, but it I would say it is right-libertarianism that is an oxymoron.

Right libertarianism questions, challenges, and repudiates high levels of concentration of political power in society - and rightfully so, I believe - yet it is, or at least has been until recently, unwilling to question the role and nature of high levels of concentrations of economic power.

This is frankly a gross oversight, and one that makes right libertarianism a contradiction in terms: you cannot advocate limitations on powers that unduly constrict human freedom and pose threats of tyranny in a self-consistent, coherent or even reasonable manner if you are only willing to look at one form of power in society. Economic power is every bit as real as political power, some would say more so.

The 500 biggest corporations on earth now have combined revenues that total three times the GDP of the world's biggest national economy - that of the United States. If this does not constitute power in society, I'm not sure what would.

OK, well, corporations have immense power, but that does not mean it translates into political power - does it? They are competing with one another. Yes, they are competing with one another, and they also share common interests: drive labour costs and wages down, eliminate or circumvent labour and environmental standards, find the cheapest source of labour and resources and move there, then dominate them, open borders to free flow of capital, but not to labour...The commonalities are pretty clear.

And do they meet, discuss common interests, work together cooperatively? Of course. Wouldn't you if you were in their position?

Do teachers join together to pursue common interests, such as decent pay, pension plans, etc.? Do janitors get together to pursue common goals of better pay and working conditions?

It is, or should be, obvious that there are common group - or, heaven forbid we use the term - class interests, that bring otherwise competing parties together to pursue common goals. The corporate elite are no different. This is not a conspiracy, but simply common sense.

The world's corporate elite gather, among other places, at Davos Switzerland every year for the World Economic Forum, and there seek to push governments to their will, to advance coommon interests among the elite global investment class, to the extent that they are able - and that is a considerable length.

It is impossible to deny the very real power of corporations in society without digressing into ideological fundamentalism and willful blindness. Refusing to challenge economic concentrations of power while espousing a libertarian philosophy is self-contradictory.

Would a laissez-fair, free-market capitalist who supports only limited government - a libertarian as it is known on the right - be considered an oxymoron or a self-contradiction if he was also a slave owner? Of course.

It is not very different if a libertarian advocates checks and balances on political power, yet does not question the giant corporate monopolies and oligopolies that now wield more power than democratically elected governments.

Right libertarianism is truly a contradiction in terms, unless by that you mean a conservative libertarian who also questions and challenges excessive concentrations of corporate power, and not only state or governmental power. Ron Paul I would describe as a conservative libertarian in this sense. He has his head on his shoulders when it comes to corporate powers, as far as I can tell. He is not stuck in ideological dogmatisms.

The left is equated - wrongly - with heavy-handed, bureaucratic, if not totalitarian government, at least this is the view of the left we get from the right; however, there are broadly speaking two wings or schools of thought within what has been called the left, and only one of the two fits the above description.

In the socialist movement of the 1800's there was a definite rift and fierce debate between the two kinds of what is loosely described as left political views. Marx led the wing we are familiar with, Bakunin the other.

Bakunin and the libertarian socialists were ousted, lost the battle, and were to some considerable degree eclipsed from history.

Bakunin warned Marxist ideas would lead to a new form of tyranny, and of course he was right.

Now, with the Marxist-Leninist school of thought being in full disgrace within the left as well as the broader community world-wide, the alternative is becoming clear to many. I would say it deserves attention, and merits respectful consideration.

As to Lincoln, you are probably right. I only found out about some of his more questionable actions after writing the article above. Probably it was a poor choice of title, and an inappropriate comparison. I was comparing the image of Abe that I was familiar with, to Ron Paul, who carries on that tradition in some genuine ways. I did not know that the image we are fed of Lincoln is largely inaccurate. Sorry for the misjudgment here.

Chavez I'll deal with in the next post. Please stay tuned....:)

2:13 p.m.  
Anonymous Ray said...

I don’t know where you get your misconceptions about right-libertarianism from.
You make a false assumption that there is a difference between political power and economic power in libertarian thought.
Libertarian principles, which are most prevalent in the U.S. Constitution involves one thing that defines the only true purpose of government, which is to protect the natural rights and property of the individual from aggression by others.
When government goes astray from that, they end up putting political power, and hence economic power in the hands of certain individuals (namely politicians and their cronies) and favored corporations and special interest groups. Instead of protecting the individual from aggression, they pick winners and losers, the winners based on who has the most potential for aggregating political power in government, the losers being those that were unsuccessful or uninterested in being in a politicians pocket in exchange for largess.

It is in the best self interest of the individual and the corporation to grow, a corporation after all is owned by a group of shareholders (people) that have a common interest in profiting from the companies success. They also likewise share a common risk should the company fail. Corporations come, corporations go and corporations change in a complex organic system, in a free market they compete for the consumer dollar. How well they do that is a measure of their success at pleasing the customer.
I don’t find the fact that the 500 biggest corporations on earth now have combined revenues that total three times the GDP of the world's biggest national economy to be of any relevance to anything. Since they employ so many people in a productive enterprise and diminish poverty and raise living standards at that, is that a bad thing to you?
The only thing that is important is which corporations are in collusion with governments to gain favored status over their competitors through subsidy, protectionist tariffs and regulation. Those corporations are in fact violating the property rights of every taxpayer, consumer and honest businessman by transferring unearned wealth to themselves via government policy. There never has been any corporation that gained anything resembling monopoly powers in the market without collusion with government. I dare you to name one that accomplished such a feat without government consent.

Apply the same standards to public unions. (you brought up teachers unions). Do they compete for the parents business by offering the best product at the best possible price?
Obviously the answer is no since they are paid through coercive taxation, you are forced to buy their product whether you want it or not and for whatever price they demand through both direct taxation and indirect taxation through subsidy. They are in fact a pure socialist monopoly, Soviet style, with such a tight political grip on plundering the taxpayer, that they fly into rage on the notion of expanding even semi-privatized schooling, such as charter schools or allowing the parent to choose which school they want to send their children to by way of vouchers. Mr. Ring, if corporations were operate this way by complete monopoly with the consent of government, it would be your worst nightmare and you would be screaming in rage. Why do so many people then give public unions a pass to operate in such an immoral manner?
There are some defining elements to any monopolistic system. They are unaccountable to consumer demands of quality or choice. Prices rise dramatically and quality usually declines dramatically. Since the creation of that useless federal bureaucracy called the Department of Education in the 70’s and the resulting centralization of power in education bureaucracies in D.C. and the state capitols, the cost of education has skyrocketed and education quality has plummeted to embarrassing levels in many public schools and universities.

5:45 p.m.  
Blogger J. Todd Ring said...

Humbly I must say that your comments reflect a continued unwillingness to acknowledge economic power as a form of power in society, and particularly corporate power as the most dominant form of economic power today. This is exactly what I was critiquing with regards to right libertarianism.

It is not simply a matter of ending corporate welfare, via big government subsidies, patronage, inflated no-competition contracts, etc. While state support for the corporate elite is a very big issue, it is not the only issue at stake.

If government were to renounce completely its servile support for big business, and stop propping up the fattest of the corporate giants in particular, we would still face the fact that economic power tends to become more and more concentrated over time within a capitalist system.

If you have no money and no assets, no collateral and no capital, it is very difficult to start any business beyond a lemonade stand, or to find any way forward, other than selling your labour to the highest bidder, as an economic prostitute, as the economic framework forces most to do - a fact noted with great disgust by the liberal democratic theorists themselves. But if you have amassed a million or a few billion in capital, then you can start or buy whole enterprises, or in some cases, whole industries.

The old saying is generally true: you have to have money to make money. And the more money you have, the more easily you can make more money. As your assets increase, your ability to leverage those assets into more money-making endeavours increases - exponentially in fact. Therefore, capital tends toward monoploy, or at least oligopoly, under a catpilist economy, unless it is checked. (This is what competition and anti-trust laws were meant to do, but have utterly failed to do.)

This is all to belabour the obvious. The person with the corner store, the mom and pop shop, or the labourer who sells his time for money, is not in the same league of economic or social power as the person who controls vast amounts of capital. The opportunities are staggeringly divergent.

We now have, in the Western world as well as globally, a situation where, due to our neglect at having put checks and balances not only on political powers, but also on economic powers, a few global giants of economic entities - we call them corporations - that dominate whole industries, and together, dominate virtually every government and society on earth. This should be plainly obvious by now; and it is to most people.

Thus, getting rid of corporate welfare - massive government subsidies and support for big business - is not the only issue. Recognizing and addressing the extreme concentration and imbalance of power in society in the form of economic, and in particular corporate power, is an enormous issue in itself.

Any reasonable assessment would in fact show the hyper concentration of global economic power to be the central issue of the late 20th, early 21st century for the people of the earth.

If the extreme and totally unprecidented hyper-concentration of global economic power is not addressed, democracy is in ruins, freedom a fading dream, or mere Orwellian imagery without substance, and the well-being of the vast majority of people in the world, as well as the earth we live on, steadily and rapidly deteriorating. All of this should be obvious by now.

How concentrated does economic power have to become before right libertarians begin recognizing that corporate power, when left unchecked and allowed to concentrate in extremes, becomes a dangerous, oppressive and anti-democratic force?

Six corporate empires now control the broadcast media of the United States. Does it have to narrow to one corporation controlling American broadcast media for right libertarians to realize that this is a threat to freedom and democracy?

Three global corporations now control the majority of the advertising and PR industry world-wide - an industry which in the U.S. alone has more revenues at its disposal than the American education system. How obvious does it have to get?

Let's put the ideoligical fetishes and blinkers aside. It's time to face the facts.

2:22 p.m.  

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