The paleo strategy, as laid out here by Rockwell, was clearly designed to create a libertarian-conservative fusion exactly along the lines Jacob lays out in his post. It was about appealing to the worst instincts of working/middle class conservative whites by creating the only anti-left fusion possible with the demise of socialism: one built on cultural issues. With everyone broadly agreeing that the market had won, how could you hold together a coalition that opposed the left? Oppose them on the culture. If you read Rockwell’s manifesto through those eyes, you can see the “logic” of the strategy. And it doesn’t take a PhD in Rhetoric to see how that strategy would lead to the racism and other ugliness of newsletters at the center of this week’s debates.
An eye opening expose from Steve Horwitz at Bleeding Heart Libertarians. It’s all news to me, and it explains so much: Just as the memories of past indiscretions were fading, the infamous Ron Paul newsletter controversy arrives like a rotting ghost ship to disembark its regrettable cargo of base cultural pandering and other brain-eating zombies. Sikha Dalmia at Reason follows up. Ron Paul should confront the past. He might be able to salvage his campaign if only he were up front about this ill-considered and long abandoned political strategy of playing on middle America’s latent bigotry and fears. The truth, I think, is the only thing that could set him free.
Lamenting that mainstream intellectuals and opinion leaders were too invested in the status quo to be brought around to a libertarian view, Rothbard pointed to David Duke and Joseph McCarthy as models for an “Outreach to the Rednecks,” which would fashion a broad libertarian/paleoconservative coalition by targeting the disaffected working and middle classes. Paul’s inner circle learned between his congressional stints that “the wilder they got, the more bombastic they got with it, the more the checks came in. You think the newsletters were bad? The fundraising letters were just insane from that period.”
An earlier reason piece that I missed in 2008. I can almost imagine some people almost forgiving Ron Paul for playing politics in a political world–but nobody who actually thinks Paul is an actual bigot will forgive him for being a bigot. Ron Paul should come clean. The truth will set you free, Ron. Just do it.
Thomas E. Woods, Jr. reacts to the newsletters with a dose of common sense. Which will you weigh more heavily: twenty-year-old dead words on a page, or the positively destructive policies that the other candidates now proudly support? Tom also offers a short list of further reading.
The first item on Tom Woods’s reading list. Justin Raimondo begins with a disappointing series of ad hominems against Reason.com’s fashion statements. He more-or-less dodges the authorship and motive questions and focuses primarily on minimizing the damage by adding context to the newsletters, including the racially charged LA riots, and the promiscuous gay scene. He is somewhat successful, but that success must be balanced against Steve Horwitz’s recollection of the paleo-strategy, and his requests to be removed from the Mises Institute mailing list due to what he considered to be inappropriate content.
Another transparent Ron Paul smear from Mother Jones. Is there any particular reason this article references a “Ron Paul video” rather than a “John Birch Society video”? Surely MoJo editors do not mean to attribute everything said in the video to one of the videos interviewees. Also, has everyone already forgotten the furor over the U.N.’s recently abandoned anti-blasphemy code? If so, here is a reminder. Without defending the John Birch Society’s alarmism, perhaps a better title for this article would have been, “Ron Paul was right…again”.
Here is another lame example of the same sort of criticism I posted last week. There is very little in the way of counter argument. The author/editor just applies a few select pejoratives–or not even–and voila! Instant smear. The only thing coming close to an actual argument goes like this:
“We would still have monetary policy – it would be set by gold miners in South Africa and Uzbekistan, rather than bureaucrats in Washington,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist with JPMorgan Chase.
Srsly? Conflicts of interest aside, this argument is as thin as the paper that federal reserve notes are printed on. What is easier to manipulate: money that comes from a printing press or a computer keystroke, or money that comes out of a mine? Draw your own conclusions. Tom Woods responds.
Cute re-working of the Little Red Hen story, intended to expose the alleged immorality of capitalism, and posted on a libertarian web forum as a respectful critique. The libertarian commenters saw right through it, as did I. The moral of the story is: Be sure to understand the terms under which you work before you launch into it.
You’ll see right here a case study in exactly why I dislike government, for some few people still fail to understand: Congress ordered the U.S. Mint to make these things without much of a clue as to whether its captive customers (i.e. taxpayers) would be interested. Modern Americans have never accepted dollar coins so long as paper dollars have been available, even though the coins would save them tax money over the long term. Seeing the success of the state quarter gimmick, Congress figured the public would eat up these dollar coins, too. No such luck. So the coins have continued to be minted, under congrssional order, since 2006. They have been filling warehouses unused for almost as long. We in the coin world have looked on and rolled our eyes for YEARS.Now, five years later, here comes the government, tra la la, laughing at how it’s been screwing over taxpayers: “Ho ho ho! He he he! Ha ha ha! How funny it is when the government fleeces its subjects! So okay, fun’s over. We’ll put the program on hold now. …”A private company would have put the kabosh on this dibacle at the first sign of unprofitablility. Government gets to it when it gets to it, and then laughs at how wasteful it’s been. Ha ha ha! Funny, right? Of course, government representatives only laughs when government wastes money on innocuous things like coins. When government wastes money on positively destructive programs government, and is ideologically convinced that these programs are proper, there is no laughter. There is an air of righteousness. But the government has no idea whether it is serving people or injuring them. The government gets paid either way.
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