25 July 2007

Libertarianism 101 by Ron Paul

note: video is 65 minutes long.

People have told me that I'm a Libertarian. After watching this, I suppose I am, at least when it comes to social issues; one of my life creeds is "So long as it harms no one, do as you will," which appears to be the underlying philosophy behind Libertarianism as well.

However, I'm not sure I'd go quite so far as to extend the concept to businesses. Businesses don't have the same motivations and goals that individuals do. Free markets sound great on paper, but if we had that originally and now we don't, the first question on my mind is "why not? what went wrong with it to cause it to shift away from that?" Also, for every example Dr. Paul gave of a spectacular success of the free market approach, I could think of an equally spectacular failure that he didn't mention.

I'm not sure I'd go to quite the decentralization extremes that Ron Paul advocates either. Some things really are much better left in the hands of the national government, and not individual smaller communities.

Overall his ideas intrigued me, and will leave me with much food for thought for some time to come.

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