Friday, January 23, 2009

The Ron Paul Page-A-Day #3

Here's the 3rd installment of the Ron Paul Page-A-Day, in which I supply a section of Ron Paul's "The Revolution: A Manifesto" for your enlightenment and commentary. I hope to continue this until I've posted the entire book, or until Congressman Paul's publishers say "cease and desist". In the previous installment, The Good Doctor lamented the Republican anti-intellectualism and Democratic naivete and inconsistency. In this installment, he indulges in a wee bit of back-patting before explaining why his short-lived campaign exceeded initial expectations:

"In late 2006, a number of friends and colleagues urged me to consider running for president. I was a reluctant candidate, not at all convinced that a sizable enough national constituency existed for a campaign based on liberty and the Constitution rather than on special-interest pandering and the distribution of loot.

Was I ever wrong.

On November 5, 2007, we set a record when we raised over $4 million online in a single day. That December 16, on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, we broke that record by raising over $6 million. In the fourth quarter of 2007, we raised more than twice as much money as any other Republican candidate. Not only is the freedom message popular, but if fund-raising ability any indication, it is more intensely popular than any other political message.

By the end of 2007, more than twice as many Meetup groups had been formed in support of our campaign than for all the rest of the candidates in both major parties combined. I have never seen such a diverse coalition rallying to a single banner. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Greens, constitutionalists, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, antiwar activists, homeschoolers, religious conservatives, freethinkers - all were not only involved, but enthusiastically so. And despite their philosophical differences in some areas, these folks typically found, to their surprise, that they rather liked each other.

The mainstream media had no idea what to make of it, since we were breaking all the rules and yet still attracting such a varied and passionate following. I began making this a central point of my public speeches: the reason all these different groups are rallying to the same banner, I said, is that freedom has a unique power to unite us.

In case that sounds like a cliche, it isn't. It's common sense. When we agree not to treat each other merely as means to our own selfish ends, but to respect one another as individuals with rights and goals of our own, cooperation and goodwill suddenly become possible for the first time.

My message is one of freedom and individual rights. I believe individuals have a right to life and liberty and that physical aggression should be used only defensively. We should respect each other as rational beings by trying to achieve our goals through reason and persuasion rather than threats and coercion. That, and not a desire for "economic efficiency" is the primary moral reason for opposing government intrusion into our lives: government is force, not reason.


Lazy Slacker said...

I've read this book cover to cover twice. It makes so much sense it hurts. I'm glad you're sharing his wisdom with the world. I'm just wondering: is this legal? LOL.

Stephen M. Smith said...

I spent the day in Houston at the Mises Circle seminar. Ron Paul was the keynote speaker. It was a good day.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Glad you're back with us. I've read the thing three times. Hunter S. Thompson once typed the entire text of "The Great Gatsby", just so he could get the style down pat.
I think that I'm a better person for doing this. Honestly.

I'm insanely jealous. I'm sure you'll write about the Mises Circle, right?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

And yes, it's legal.
As long as I'm throwing small chunks at a time, they'll leave me alone.
Plus, by the time I'm done, I bet I sell a thousand copies of the book for them.

Dr Ralph said...

WS - small chucks add up to big chunks. Isn't that what you say about government spending? I wouldn't assume what you are doing is necessarily legal.

At what point do you think you'll cross the threshold so that you get bitch-slapped by the copyright police? No doubt Dr. Paul got a healthy advance. It's the publisher you're ripping off now. They may not be so sympathetic to your noble goals.

Speaking of which, how about some clarity on where the Libertarians stand on the current state of copyright and patent law, and the issues around intellectual property in general?

Inquiring minds want to know.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I've searched the Tarrant County, Texas, and National Party sites in vain. They don't mention it.
However, Wikipedia, as usual, has the best summary of how many "Classical Liberals" look at copyright. Please excuse the footnote numbers. It's too tiresome to delete them:

"Many libertarian organizations, such as the Reason Foundation,[12] Independent Institute,[13] Cato Institute,[14] and Ludwig von Mises Institute[15] copyright their publications. However, the latter nonetheless makes entire books freely available on the Internet, making their "non-free" status somewhat irrelevant from the point of view of someone who merely wants to read them. Moreover, the site hosts many articles about the allegedly absurd lengths that copyright enforcement is taken to, which they claim have hindered the ability of consumers to buy the products they want. For instance, a Mises blog entry notes that a bakery is refusing to put Disney characters on its customized birthday cakes, lest it be liable for infringement;[16] another blog criticizes the Marvel Comics lawsuit over the City of Heroes game that allows players to create characters that resemble those from its comic books."

I can't put my hands on a good example right this minute, but I've seen numerous copyrights that restrict use to "short excerpts for review or editorial purposes". Which is what's going on here. I'd be willing to bet that I'm selling more Ron Paul books per eyeball/page than any other media outlet.

One other thing I've noticed (and that's totally beside the point)...the material in this book can stand alone. Since there is a consistent philosophy behind the book, it's fairly easy to slice it into bite-size chunks. Seriously, can you imagine anyone setting a goal of typing Hillary Clinton's "Living History" onto the Internet?

tomlinsteel said...
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