Matt Stoller on Ron Paul and Economic History

From Naked Capitalism, Matt Stoller on Why Ron Paul Challenges Liberals. I filed this under economics rather than politics because it focuses on US economic history in relation to libertarians. I don’t agree with all of Matt Stoller’s positions: for instance that Lincoln was an explicitly anti-racist President. Howard Zinn presents evidence that Lincoln was forced to be an abolitionist in order to defend the same Union that had protected the institution of slavery in the Constitution (prompting Northern secession movements against the Fugitive Slave Act.) Stoller also states that the reasons Ron Paul will work with anyone to roll back American Empire, audit the Fed or end the drug war has “nothing to do with creating a more socially just and equitable society.” Since he doesn’t bother to qualify this, I have to assume that the nefarious newsletter notes outweigh 20 years in Congress, 30 years as a doctor, 50 years as a husband and father, and 80 years as an individual. Ron Paul has a rich history of contributions to a more socially just and equitable society, for a secret white supremacist. If only all white supremacists did such a good job of playing the double agent. But Stoller’s article is great background for those who don’t know the history of US economics and for those who do:

“The most perplexing character in Congress, ideologically speaking, is Ron Paul. This is a guy who exists in the Republican Party as a staunch opponent of American empire and big finance. His ideas on the Federal Reserve have taken some hold recently, and he has taken powerful runs at the Presidency on the obscure topic of monetary policy. He doesn’t play by standard political rules, so while old newsletters bearing his name showcase obvious white supremacy, he is also the only prominent politician, let alone Presidential candidate, saying that the drug war has racist origins. You cannot honestly look at this figure without acknowledging both elements, as well as his opposition to war, the Federal government, and the Federal Reserve. And as I’ve drilled into Paul’s ideas, his ideas forced me to acknowledge some deep contradictions in American liberalism (pointed out years ago by Christopher Laesch) and what is a long-standing, disturbing, and unacknowledged affinity liberals have with centralized war financing. So while I have my views of Ron Paul, I believe that the anger he inspires comes not from his positions, but from the tensions that modern American liberals bear within their own worldview.”

Read more here…

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