Ron Paul

Against Empire


Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) discusses the expansion of the American empire after the collapse of the Soviet Union, how empires lead to the loss of liberty, security and wealth, and long term prospects of the current financial downturn.

MP3 here. (23:43)

Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) is a former Republican presidential candidate. He is the author of The Revolution: A Manifesto, Pillars of Prosperity and Freedom Under Siege.

27 thoughts on “Ron Paul”

  1. America isn’t supposed to be an Empire? Then why doesn’t Ron Paul want to pull out of Texas, which is snatch lands from another sovereign state?

    Oh, right: Paul is only against some empires, not all empires.

  2. Jim your grammar is too poor to get your point across. Pull what out of Texas? I assume you’re refering to the Texas Revolution and the grab of territory from Mexico.
    Anyway. Paul is against the idea of empire which includes all empires. Paul’s ideals are libertarian at their root and thus reject the ideal of a strong central government (like the kind of government necessary for an empire). What empire do you think Paul supports?

  3. I am not commenting on the interview… more importantly, I am commenting on the excellent cosmic picture with Scott Horton in it on the home page of the site, which made me giggle for an extended period of time.

    Now to the interview comments… Jim, being a purest is cool and everything… but let’s not spew acid all over a man who has introduced thousands and thousands of people to the teachings of the Austrian School of Economics along with sites like and… I am sure in your purest anarchist/ original 13 colonies advocation, all politicians are evil (as they are)… but keep your aim at the ambitious, not the people who just are congressman or run for president so the government will stop doing things instead of believing it is the ultimate good in society.

  4. Forgetting an ed on a verb makes me have inherently bad grammar? Great way to miss the point.

    I’m not a purist. I’m a skeptic. There’s a big difference. Mr. Paul is staunchly anti-illegal immigration and for limiting immigration and lives in a state that was really snatched illegally from Mexico in a similar way that Mr. Raimondo complains about Israel doing to the West Bank. My skepticism is aimed at thus: why is it that Paul feels so condemning of Empire, but seeks to maintain it in his own back yard? I guess when you win the war and everything’s over…then your past mistakes aren’t worthy of condemnation; shouldn’t the Austrian school condemn the Mexican-American war as much as WWII? Why don’t they? Could it be because a lot of Americans in the school live on lands snatched from another country?

  5. Jim, you have a valid point but it is not very pertinent or realistic. Our entire nation was snatched from the Native Americans, but I am assuming you are writing to us from somewhere in the states and not an uninhabited island in the Caribbean that you conquered by your own devices. It is unfortunate that most of the world’s populations live on confiscated lands from another people, but it is the reality of the situation. Realistic people do not call for Israel to cease to exist, but call for a reasonable two state solution between that state and the Palestinian Territories. It would be interesting and reasonable to discuss the validity and morality of parts of Texas being returned to Mexico; however, it is absurd to insist that anyone who is from Texas has no right to speak about the American empire.

  6. Jim wrote”America isn’t supposed to be an Empire? Then why doesn’t Ron Paul want to pull out of Texas, which is snatch lands from another sovereign state?

    Oh, right: Paul is only against some empires, not all empires.”

    That land belonged to Native Americans not Mexico or the US. Coloring it in on the map doesn’t make it yours. Mexico had existed a whppig 11 years independent from Spain and tried to take the Apeche Comanche territories and failed. Thus the northnern region was being regionally scape goated by the rest of Mexico.

    The Texicans fought Mexico to make there own state and then they joined the US as it was volinteers from Tennessee and the US army that won the Mexican war.

    Currently Native Americans and people from Mexico, Europe, or wherever else can live in the US and can live in Texas by going through a legal process. It’s not a ethnic or racial state.

    America is certainly an empire and always has been. But like Paul said it really got rolling after the fall of the USSR. That’s American but unlike some empires in the past, Americans (the people) don’t want to be an empire. The majority of Americans are against war and are cluless to the amount of military spending.

    On the issue of treaties and statis forces agreements, A treaty is not the same as a Defense Pact or mutual defense pact. A peace treaty usually means we will have peace and trade so long as x conditions are met. And the US normally ignores them or changes the rules (interpretations) as they go along.

    Military spending has go to be cut as well as all aid to Israel. I wuold still like to know where that “missing” money is from the Pentagon 2001 Septemeber 10th when they lost 2 trillion dollars.

    Sing down here in NC reads for a motel “Recession Rates”
    The US was selling counterfit. Bonds with no collateral. Bets with no insurance. They’ve got allow a drop in housing prices ASAP.

  7. Jim said, “Forgetting an ed on a verb makes me have inherently bad grammar?

    Oh, so “which is snatchED lands from another sovereign state?”, is better??

  8. Who said Mexico wasnt an abusive government? Santa Anna was a dictator and if you believe in the ideas of liberty you would believe that the people have the right to replace their government if they want to. Thus the Texas Revolution happened…

  9. WTF is all this Texas snatchery? Once upon a time, Mexico won its independence from Spain, much like the U.S. did from England. About a decade later, they dissolved their constitution and disbanded their congress, vesting all power in their central government. Several states and territories rebelled in a civil war (similar to that in the U.S.) including Texas. Only Texas won its own independence and became the Republic of Texas. After begging Mexico to give them State status and being rebuffed, Texas finally allowed itself to be annexed by the U.S.A. – because it was a very dangerous time for weak countries on account of the ever expanding and competing empires of the time. Mexico objected and was promptly put in its place. It is noteworthy that at the time, in this vast territory, the population was merely in the thousands and nearly all of them opted to become Americans.

  10. I’d be remiss if I didn’t express my compliments to Ron Paul, M.D. If there’s such a thing as a “principled” member of Congress, he’s it. Of course, he’s principled about the right things–lawful government at home, and an honorable, noninterventionist foreign policy.

    Let’s hope that these strange concepts (!) catch on, shall we?

  11. Ironically, the self-contradictory “free market” principles of libertarianism lead inevitably to mega-government by a merged government/corporate elite.

    Why? Libertarians think they hate government, but they also favor the unlimited “right” of people to do whatever they want with their money. Inevitably, there always IS a government (otherwise there’d be no “money” and no “ownership”). And so, if economic power is not constrained in ways which “libertarians” abhore, the richest few take control of the government, and they get richer and richer and richer, until they and their “enterprises” are “too big to fail”, and we have no choice but to let them take whatever they want from us.

    Libertarians think they want to be free from government, but currency, private ownership, and the “free market” couldn’t exist without the “government programs” which maintain them, ultimately through state violence. Without the government, which is the rich man’s slavish benefactor and protector, there would be no such thing as “private ownership.” There would only be immediate, brute, physical possession of a thing, whether a wallet or a house, which could be snatched from you at any moment by any person or cooperating group of people strong enough to do so.

  12. Thanks, Myron, for repeating in two paragraphs the litany of cliches that have been debunked a thousand times over by a vast literature you apparently didn’t feel a need to consult, or even to become aware of.

  13. Tom, say what you will, but it follows as the night the day that if – as libertarians insist – the rich must be allowed to do whatever they want with their money, then (a) they will buy the government, and (b) that will result in the kind corporate/government tyranny which libertarians claim to abhor.

    Libertarianism is deeply incoherent. Your shallow dismissal does nothing to hide this.

  14. Jim, Ron Paul is old, but not that old. He wasn’t exactly around when that happened. but he’s trying to prevent what’s happening RIGHT NOW. what are you doing?

  15. “Your shallow dismissal does nothing to hide this.”

    What I was thinking, but better said.

    Tom, explain my misunderstanding :
    Capitalism DOESN’T tend inexorably to monopoly, in the absence of restraint?

  16. The Pentagon aims to achieve a disarming, unanswerable first-strike capability against Russia and China, probably “only” for Blackmail. That´s the problem. The Russians may have no choice but Launch On Warning. A mistake will be caused by the bloody fools in the Pentagon. Please read the books by former Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge: The Counterforce Syndrome, First Strike! The Pentagon´s Strategy for Nuclear War, Nuclear Empire and America in Peril. And go to

  17. Jim, I am sure you know that this Texas/Israel bromide is classic Zionism 101 and has been almost exclusively used since 1948 by Zionists to justify Israeli occupation of Palestine. Why do I think your opinion and this statement has actually nothing to do with Paul’s subject at hand, i.e. empire, and everything to do with the Israeli/Palestine conflict?

    “Mr. Paul is staunchly anti-illegal immigration and for limiting immigration and lives in a state that was really snatched illegally from Mexico in a similar way that Mr. Raimondo complains about Israel doing to the West Bank.”

  18. “Tom, explain my misunderstanding :
    Capitalism DOESN’T tend inexorably to monopoly, in the absence of restraint?”

    Your assuming ANY government would be just like our PRESENT modern governments, with unfettered power to shower largesse on friends and destroy it’s enemies by it’s assumed powers in the marketplace. A libertarian/minarchist government would wield no such enumerated power.

    If a politician has no power to help your business in any way, then there is certainly no need to try and buy/influence him is there? Please divorce your mind from the idea that today’s distortions are a consequence of capitalism. We live in a mercantilist/corporatist system and always have.

    The problem isn’t that corporations are buying off politicians, it’s the fact that politicians have been given/assumed a power that REQUIRES corporations to bid for them.

    “Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.” H.L. Mencken.

  19. So “the rich” (however they’re defined) must be constrained in how they spend their money or else they’ll buy the government?

    So, who is it that would constrain how “the rich” spend their money? The government, I presume? So, in this case, the rich no longer control their money, the government does — and since control infers ownership, it is now the government who are “the rich.”

    I don’t see how this is an improvement.

    I think the problem here is the assumption that there must inevitably be some distinct class of people who can lord it over everyone else. So long as we remain trapped in that way of thinking, there will always be power-aggrandizing elites — the only important difference between one system and another being the labels we place on those elites.

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