Is Ron Paul an Anarchist?

Antony — November 23, 2011

Following from Dave’s post yesterday, there are various opinions on the best ways to advance the cause of Liberty, and whether it’s worthwhile participating in the political process. It is interesting to imagine an ideal free society and what it would be like. But it is far more challenging to come up with a realistic path that could lead us there from our current state.

Many libertarians are attracted to Ron Paul’s ideas, but have concerns that getting involved in politics may be pointless, or even counterproductive. They are not interested in legitimizing the state, or making it more efficient. But what are Ron Paul’s goals? Is he trying to make the current system work better, or is he working towards more revolutionary change?

Ron Paul’s philosophy follows in the tradition of figures like Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises. This video traces the sources of some of Ron Paul’s ideas, then goes on to make the case that he is a Rothbardian anarchist, using limited government positions and constitutionalist rhetoric as a means to promote liberty and lay the groundwork to begin dismantling the apparatus of state.


Jeremy M says

They make a compelling argument. My interpretation would be that Ron Paul has considered the anarchist position and is perhaps open to it, but sees the Constitution as the best hope (practically speaking) for an unfree nation on the brink of totalitarianism.

Videos such as this one provide great food for thought. My only concern is that they will put words in Dr. Paul’s mouth that he really didn’t say, and leave him open to political attack.

Of course Ron Paul has no “objection” to the philosophy of “voluntarism” and “self-government.” I’m sure he would love to see a world in which nobody, including the State, had to use violence. But there’s a difference between that general sentiment and supporting “anarchy” in practice.

That would be my only critique of an otherwise very insightful analysis of Dr. Paul’s political leanings.

— November 26, 2011

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