Dear Dirty America

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Loveless R’utionaries

May 13
22:06 2012
Dan Rudy
 
PORTLAND, OR

A new set of signs is appearing all over town, emblazoned with the message Ron Paul Revolution.  This would suggest either that Paul puts the love into revolution, or is in the process of taking said love out from the word entirely.  As Paul’s proposed r’ution (as it would be known) follows an ironclad sort of libertarianism – which to my mind relies on the socially Darwinian concepts of bootstraps and tough luck – the latter interpretation seems more appropriate.

Being somewhat curious by nature, I decided to try and dig up the origin of these signs.  According to Wikipedia (a reliable enough source, in this instance) the slogan was first developed during the Paul ‘08 campaign, to be brought back again for the current primary race.  The allusion to love is supposed to convey peace and goodwill, which have been hallmarks of the several-decade Paul movement.  What prompted me to research and write this article was actually seeing the slogan in its sticker form, affixed to a pickup truck’s bumper alongside a mirthful and not at all aggressive “Infidel – كافر” decal.  So on the topic of revolution I hunted down one of Paul’s more prominent speeches, delivered 28 February 2012:

I guess the revolution has arrived in Virginia, and I am delighted that I was here. It’s very appropriate that the state of Virginia be involved in our revolution that’s going on. Of course, our revolution is the American Revolution. We had a pretty good start in this country a few years back, but we drifted away and for many years now, for nearly a hundred years, I think there’s been a lot of forgetting of what the original intent of the constitution was, they have forgotten what a true republic is all about. That is our goal, to restore the American republic to the American people. You know, they keep asking about winning particular states in this campaign, but guess what, we’re still winning a lot of delegates, and that’s what counts. And, every once in a while, they include my name in the polling, and that is always helpful. And just recently there was a pretty good poll out, just yesterday and the day before, and it says that we do the best against Obama. Now, winning the primary, of course, is very, very important, but, winning the general election also is very, very important, and it is our message that appeals to the independents, the democrats, and to the Republican base. Because, very simply, it’s the message of liberty, and the message of liberty is what we are all about. That means we have individual liberty, we’re allowed to lead our lives as we so choose. But if we have a natural right to our life and our liberties, as Jefferson argued and we agree with, shouldn’t we have the natural right to keep the fruits of our labor? Now, there’re a couple of ways in which they undermine and take the fruits of our labor from us. One is direct taxation and, of course, the founders didn’t like that; they didn’t give us an income tax. So that’s why we have to start thinking about 1913 again, that’s why we need to repeal the 16th Amendment for sure.

Despite the movement’s heartfelt appeals to liberalism, the blunt truth (weighty word, that) of the matter is that libertarianism benefits only the wealthy.  In a countrywhere nearly half the population does not even make enough money to warrant income taxation, where the topmost 1% control 42 percent of the world’s most wealthy nation’s finances/property/et al, where 27 million are either un- or under- employed; the only group to whom laissez-faire privatization of most everything might appeal to are those who either already own the most or are in a fine position to acquire more, filling the proposed vacuum left by a truncated federal government.  To wit, take the present state of our deregulated power networks into consideration.
What they (insidious they) wish to do is remove the, albeit, at times Big Brotherly love from government, to socio-economically orphan the average and oft-ignored below-average American.  To cut apart what scanty nets our society has spread to soften the inevitable falls that a healthy, cut-throat market brings.  (Ad infinitum, function-word something metaphorically heinous.)  Never mind the history Paul pretends to adhere to; the defunct Articles of Confederation were replaced by a more utilitarian, adaptable Federalist constitution that has served reasonably well to the present.  The libertarians often quote the anti-Federalist forefathers, men who definitively opposed the Constitution’s drafting and ratification, and the government it sought to create.  People who, if they argued the doing away with of such things today, would be deemed un-American and drone-worthy traitors to the flag.
It’s not a perfect edifice, to be sure.  But for all its faults it serves the needs of a larger swath of citizenry than the r’utionary market alternative might do.  The movement rhetorically harkens back to dark days, when slavery (both the wage- and bioproprietary varieties) and discrimination terrorized the populace, when only a fraction of America could vote and where the rights of the worker were entirely beholden to the vicious bottom-line whims of the employer.  Our Constitution has been an evolutionary process for a reason – I’d say for the better.  In its own way the experience has been a gradual victory for those founding principles to which Paul  pays lip service, and a sort of liberty not found in the capitalist jungle he espouses.
Dan Rudy keeps a blog at sluffabout.com, though the writing has seen a bit of a dry spell lately.  Trouble at home, you ken, tempered by late nights at the office and the odd midday bender.  Happily, he still finds the time to occasionally piss upon the goals and contrivances of others.  Still, at least it’s sunny out, eh?

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