Ron and Ron: Two of capitalism’s finest
“Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class.”
It has taken Nuremberg-class war crimes, craven ineptitude by Congressional Democrats, foreclosures on every other home in the neighborhood, and a metaphorical gun to our heads when we fill our gas tanks, but growing numbers of us US Americans are shedding our smug insularity.
“Ron Paul in 2008” has become the mantra for untold millions who are realizing that the establishment in the United States is an abomination that needs to be torn down and replaced. Ostensibly, Dr. Paul is the populist maverick we need to shake up the system and set our nation on a path to sanity and viability. His political coffers are overflowing with cash, almost none of which came from corporate or “special” interests. He is principled and consistent. And his position on a number of important issues aligns with the interests of the masses.
When he appeared on Meet the Press on December 23rd, even Tim Russert, one of the system’s most prominent cheerleading whores, couldn’t rattle him. It would certainly have been difficult not to admire Paul’s frontal assault on a number of the “sacred cows” that Russert and his ilk in the mainstream media work so hard to defend.
Consider several of the broad-sides Paul leveled against our malignant status quo:
[MR. RUSSERT: Would you cut off all foreign aid to Israel?
REP. PAUL: Absolutely.
REP. PAUL: They don’t come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they, and they attack us because we’re over there.
MR. RUSSERT: “Because we’re over there.” And then you added this on Tuesday: “But” al-qaeda has “determination. The determination comes from being provoked.”
How have we, the United States, provoked al-Qaeda?
REP. PAUL: Well, read what the lead–the ringleader says. Read what Osama bin Laden said. We had, we had a base, you know, in Saudi Arabia that was an affront to their religion, that was blasphemy as far as they were concerned. We were bombing Iraq for 10 years, we were–we’ve interfered in Iran since 1953. Our CIA’s been involved in the overthrow of their governments. We’re bought right now in the process of overthrowing that nation. We side more with Israel and Pakistan, and, and they get annoyed with this. How would we react if we were on their land–if they were on our land? We would be very annoyed, and we’d be fighting mad.
MR. RUSSERT: Do you think there’s an ideological struggle that Islamic fascists want to take over the world?
REP. PAUL: Oh, I think some, just like the West is wanting to do that all the time. Look at the way they look at us. I mean, we’re in a, we’re in a 130 countries. We have 700 bases. How do you think they proposed that to their people, saying “What does America want to do? Are they over here to be nice to us and teach us how to be good Democrats?”
REP PAUL: ….But the point is I’m not against the FBI investigation in doing a proper role, but I’m against the FBI spying on people like Martin Luther King. I’m against the CIA fighting secret wars and overthrowing government and interfering…]
Amen to ending over a hundred years of imperialistic foreign policy, breaking up the military industrial complex, cutting off our financial and military support of the genocidal squatters in Palestine, and reining in the torturers and assassins in our “intelligence” community. His pursuit of these goals is certainly an objectively sound reason to support Ron Paul.
Yet despite these highly laudable positions, Paul is potentially as treacherous as the creatures of the system most of us have come to loathe. Compared to opportunistic moneyed elites like Mitt Romney or Hillary Clinton, Paul is indeed an alluring candidate.
However, he has at least one very deep flaw which would almost certainly make his presidency an unmitigated disaster for the poor and the working class the world over:
Ron Paul ardently supports the libertarian notions of laissez faire, free markets, deregulation, and privatization. In an ironic and almost comical twist, the imperialism, corporatism, and prefigurements of fascism he has so accurately identified (and vowed to eradicate) are symptoms of monopoly capitalism, a mature form of the system that his libertarian principles would serve to buttress and amplify.
In “The Shock Doctrine” Naomi Klein amply documents the widespread murder, mayhem, and misery caused by implementing a libertarian economic doctrine (as the United States facilitated under the tutelage of Milton Friedman and his acolytes) throughout South America, Southeast Asia, Russia, and China. Savage capitalism at its finest. And for evidence that it CAN happen here (in our “enlightened” Western culture), one need only look back to the Gilded Age and Dickensonian England.
Regardless of how malformed it was due to the relentless pressure applied by the United States via the nuclear arms race we initiated to break it and our HUGE economic advantages, the Soviet Union represented a powerful counter-balance to the forces of unrestrained capitalism. Upon its collapse, the capitalists of the world united and set out to eliminate the hard fought gains the working class had made throughout the Twentieth Century. And Dr. Paul wants to hand those cynical bastards the keys to the kingdom by dismantling what is left of government restraints on the bourgeoisie.
Contrary to the agenda advanced by Ron Paul, “all government” is not inherently evil. It is true that the federal government we have now is an enemy to the masses in many respects. But Uncle Sam is not our foe because he “over-regulates” the parasitic capitalists who are raping the planet, “steals” our money through taxation, or acts as a “nanny state” by providing what has become a nominal safety net for the poor and elderly, as Paul suggests. He is our adversary because he is looking out for the wealthy elite and views people like you and me as disposable. In contrast to Lincoln’s vision—“of the people, by the people and for the people,” we have a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.
While Ron Paul MIGHT be able to slay the dragons of the military industrial complex and undue Zionist influence, his adherence to a “prehistoric” form of capitalism has the potential to essentially eliminate what is left of the rapidly eroding gains the working class and poor have made over the last century.
Despite his apparent opposition to the powers that be, a vote for Ron Paul is still a vote for our continued enslavement by a system predicated on greed, selfishness, and the prosperity of the few at the expense of the many. In fact, unless by some miracle a viable candidate who opposes capitalism actually emerges, the act of voting in our bourgeois democracy is little more than a validation of our servitude.
So don’t participate. Our ruling elite can’t mouth hollow platitudes about democracy if they don’t have voters.
Jason Miller is a recovering US American middle class suburbanite who strives to remain intellectually free. He is Cyrano’s Journal Online’s associate editor (http://www.bestcyrano.org/) and publishes Thomas Paine’s Corner within Cyrano’s at http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/. You can reach him at JMiller@bestcyrano.com
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