[This essay was first published on the author’s personal blog]
Mitt Romney was officially made the GOP’s nominee last week and now the Ron Paul revolution is over. After nearly thirty years in public office the good doctor is gracefully retiring from politics, and while it’s not following a term in the oval office, he’s no-less started what may be the greatest mental brushfire in American history. And now with millions of people inspired by the message of liberty, the obvious question is “what’s next” for the remnant?
A number of writers and activists have weighed in on this topic and below is a collection of these valuable essays and commentaries with some of my own thoughts for the Paulbots and revolutionaries.
Justin Raimondo, editorial director of the indispensable Antiwar.com, had this to say regarding the true nature of the republican party and their rules:
As for the rules governing the political process – they can be changed at a moment’s notice, and bent any which way, in order to facilitate this seizure. Ron Paul’s supporters in the GOP learned that the hard way, as the Romneyites used their control of the party bureaucracy at the state and national levels to retroactively change the rules in order to unseat duly elected Paul delegates. In Maine, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Oregon, Oklahoma, and elsewhere, the party bosses have disenfranchised Paul voters – closing down party caucuses, rejecting as delegates anyone under 50, and calling the cops when all else failed.
This description of how the convention was governed – and the primaries leading up to it – is precisely how the state works in general. It’s evil and corrupting, and ultimately founded upon violence and coercion. The GOP’s rules are in essence no different from the “Pirate’s code,” which is “more what you call guidelines than actual rules,” to borrow from the famous movie line.
Philip Giraldi, an expert in foreign affairs and vehement opponent of overseas intervention, asked “Where Do We Go Next?” His answer is that no matter which direction the revolutionaries take, if it’s not founded on a principled opposition to war and empire, it’s all for not. He chastises so-called liberty campaigns that eschew foreign policy discussions, either because they lack principle and are choosing pragmatism instead, or because the organizers secretly accept the warfare state. Any organization that claims to espouse liberty, and yet gives tacit approval of the military-industrial-congressional-complex, will one day take its rightful place in history’s dustbin.
From Jeffrey Tucker, editor of Laissez-Faire Books and former editorial vice president of Mises.org:
I hope the people who were inspired by [Ron Paul] now find productive things to do. They should start businesses, go to work in regular jobs, move abroad and do something wonderful, pursue graduate school, take up music or dance…anything but get involved in more political organizing. Politics leads to despair and does nothing to feed the soul. My fear is that the movement gave people a taste for politics and some will decide to make it their lives. Politics is a dirty business, a ruse, an ideological cul-de-sac, a vast looter of intellectual and financial resources, a lie that corrupts, a deceiver, a means of unleashing vast evil in the world of the most unexpected and undetected sort, and the greatest diverter of human productivity ever concocted by those who do not believe in authentic social and economic progress.
His point is that politics is such a dirty endeavor, so corrupting and morally bankrupt, that it can consume people and pervert their sense of right and wrong. The only means by which to inoculate ourselves against that evil power is to avoid it altogether, and pursue other goals. This of course by no means that we shouldn’t seek to free ourselves and live outside the “statist quo,” as Tucker would say.
And finally, from last night’s episode of Tenther Radio, here’s Tenth Amendment Center founder Michael Boldin:
Liberty isn’t going to come by trying to take over Washington DC, or the republican party, or the democratic party, or your state caucus or a national convention. There is no “lesser of two evils.” They’re all evil.
Liberty will only advance by rejecting these people and the entire criminal system they’ve foisted upon us.
I want the government people to get the hell out of my life, and the only way that’s going to happen is if we work together to nullify all of them into oblivion. The next step for Ron Paul revolutionaries? If you want liberty – it’s not another political campaign. It’s right here.
So now it seems there is a fork in the revolutionary road. Two options exist, two directions for the remnant to take. The first isn’t really much of an option, it’s been tried and has not worked; the second can work, though it’s no easy endeavor.
For there are alternatives to politics, which can only be a short-term solution anyway, that are both more satisfying and enriching, as well as infinitely more effective than political campaigns. The plain truth is that using the political system, to try and change the political system, is fundamentally the same failed policy of politely asking the government to restrain itself, or to release already-usurped power – it does not work. Not only is it flawed pragmatically, as history can amply demonstrate, but it’s immoral to boot.
Instead, proponents of liberty should reject the government’s foolish games and quit trying to beat them on their own terms. The kabuki theatre that passes for elections is an enormous drain on the efforts of those who would have a free society. Rather than recycling these ideas that aren’t working, let’s return to something we are comfortable with and know can work remarkably well. I mean nullification, peaceful non-compliance, and a root-and-branch withdrawal of consent.