This letter is part of a series of "open letters" on behalf of or about Ron Paul started by Walter Block (An Open Letter to the Jewish Community in Behalf of Ron Paul and similar to David Gordon's An Open Letter To Libertarians on Ron Paul. It is directed to agorists, anarcho-capitalists, minarchists, market anarchists, libertarian feminists, classical liberals, individual anarchists, free marketeers, and other anti-war, anti-state advocates of individual freedom. This is also partly in response to some of the criticisms made about Ron Paul 1 2 3 4 5 and the arguments for and against him.
In contradistinction to Gordon's letter and most of the other open letters which argue for supporting the Ron Paul candidacy, this will instead argue for not losing sight of the big picture. Even if you believe that voting and political activism is not the right approach to ending or minimizing the impact of the State on yourself and your fellow human beings, you can hardly deny the impact of the "rEVOLution."
Even if you disagree with some of Ron Paul's positions —as target readers already realize, each one of us is not a Ron Paul— you must surely admit feeling some comfort or even joy when Paul stands up to Howard Fineman's insinuations and points out that the money collected by the I.R.S. is "supporting some real evil in the world ... pre-emptive war ..." Even if you believe that politics is detrimental to expanding individual liberty, aren't you at least thankful that Paul's candidacy has inspired so many outstanding grassroots efforts, e.g., the 5th of November "Money Bomb", the Tea Party celebration, the Ron Paul Blimp, etc.?
When was the last time you saw so many people (Albert Jay Nock's Remnant?) so energized and interested in so many of the topics we have been advocating for so long? And as you may be aware, the phenomenon goes beyond the United States.
On the other hand, let us be realistic. Ron Paul is courageous, determined, principled and has other valuable attributes, but he is just another man. Do not buy into the argument that this "historical moment ... unique and unrepeatable" is all we have, that if he doesn't become the 44th President of the United States, all hell will break loose and we'll have to endure eight years of you-know-who, and so on.
As Stefan Molyneux counseled recently and Harry Browne argued earlier in How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, "freedom is a personal project", i.e., you first need to find freedom in yourself. Consider the things that are "tying you down" or "holding you back" and take action to become free from them. Continue to educate yourself about the freedom philosophy, by reading and by thinking about what you read. Continue to take steps in your own life to minimize the impact of not only the power of the State, but of other presumed "authorities."
If you are so inclined, spread the message of freedom in ways that you find may be effective: talking to friends and family, writing or speaking out on issues that you are passionate about, volunteering your time or donating money to worthwhile projects or campaigns.
If you really believe you must do something for Ron Paul, politically speaking, here is a suggestion that I haven't seen made elsewhere: IF (isn't that a big IF? :-) he does get elected, you know he is not going to get much traction interacting with the current crop of "people's representatives" in Washington, DC. So, why not work in or support the campaigns of liberty-friendly political parties or groups. Who knows? Maybe you'll be seeding the next "historical moments" ...
Thus, look beyond the immediate election. I see Ron Paul's "movement" as not just one "long tail", but many diverse "long tails" unified only because the web made it possible for them to find each other. The "tails" will tend to disperse, even if Ron Paul succeeds. Therefore, think about ways to nurture those individuals so they will continue advocating freedom regardless of the outcome on 4 November 2008.
12 Dec 2007
It's No Longer About He-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named-Here; It's About You, Sunni Maravillosa, Sunni and the Conspirators: Individualism & Freedom, 4 Dec 2007. ↩︎