Back in 2008 I was excited about Ron Paul’s candidacy in the then forthcoming presidential elections.
His formula appealed to my individualism and my loathing for the system of fiscal predation and debt slavery. I also liked his rejection of neo-conservative foreign policy and his apparent rejection of America’s colonisation by Third World peoples.
I did not think he would fix everything, but he seemed a step forward.
Things look different in 2012.
I now think a Ron Paul presidency would accelerate existing trends, even if he successfully reformed the monetary system and ended America’s foreign wars.
Abolishing the Federal Reserve, rebasing the dollar, and ending wasteful wars, and government programmes would be a good step towards putting the American economy on a sounder footing.
To truly achieve this, however, he would have to decree a debt amnesty and institute a neo-mercantilist economy based on savings, investment, manufacturing, and exports.
And this, whether because of ideology or because of its impracticability, I doubt he would be able to do. At least within his allocated four years.
Yet this is not the main problem.
The main problem is the fact that, as a rationalist believer in free markets and sovereign individualism, he represents not fundamental change, but rather a more pure expression of the worldview that led the United States to its present predicament.
Americans suffer today not because they abandoned these values, but because they pursued them like no one else.
Ron Paul has grass-roots support because in American terms he is traditional. On the surface, his outlook is materialistic and secular, and the latter would appear untraditional; but this is not so, for his is a materialist theology, and in this sense he is consistent with both the English ethic of capitalism and Karl Marx, with whom he shares a common ideological origin.
Moreover, we can also conceive his campaigning brand of economism as a form of evangelical puritanism.
Ron Paul’s quantitative conception of life relies on rational arguments and empirical evidence, not on transcendent authority or spirituality, or millenarian tradition.
The modern secular bias may see this as a strength, but it is a weakness: arguments can be defeated with other arguments, data with other data. It is always possible to produce both abundantly in support of any point of view, irrespective of their relationship with the empirical world.
The radical Left has been doing this successfully for decades and having the data against has made no difference to the reigning intellectual paradigm.
Many think Ron Paul is anti-establishment because he attacks the Federal Reserve and wants to reduce the size of government. This is to ignore that the establishment has multiple facets, and his represents one that looks like change simply because it has not been dominant for a while and the popular imagination associates it with a time of prosperity.
And I say imagination, rather than memory, because many of Paul’s supporters are young and they were not around when government was small, money was sound, and taxes were low.
Many have turned to Ron Paul because, believing him to be anti-establishment, he is appealing in a time of instability, when it is clear the dominant paradigm has failed.
Yet, like Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, Ron Paul’s quantitative, rationalist, individualist outlook makes sense only in prosperous, stable, racially homogeneous societies.
In times of austerity, instability, and racial heterogeneity it poses an existential threat because the collectivism and authoritarian bias of competing non-White groups enable them better to exploit the opportunities opened to them by crises and uncertainty.
The White man wants to have a civilised reasoned debate, but neither Blacks nor Hispanics are interested in that.
As Jared Taylor amply illustrated in White Identity, Blacks want and practice Black Power, Hispanics want and practice Brown Power—legal or illegal, logical or illogical, whatever advances their cause, rationality, civility, equality, constitutionality, history, or logical consistency be damned.
What is more, the Anglo-American White is an island, fiercely concerned with his independence. He resists group memberships and when he does accept them they are always loose, distant, contingent, expedient relationships based on legal, contractual, or philosophical abstractions. In contrast, the coloured man from everywhere else is much more ready to combine with others of his kin, and the relationship is nearly always essential, biological, inescapable, not soluble through argumentation.
In times of crisis and uncertainty, Whites argue with each other, while the 'wretched of the Earth' unite against them.
Worse still, in times of crisis and uncertainty, people have demonstrated quite willing and capable of sacrificing freedom in exchange for security.
Thus, crises and uncertainty benefit whoever is more rigid, harsh, and intolerant, since authority and strength, or at least its appearance, provide a sense of security, and security is always preferable to uncertainty even when that security is unpleasant.
With his grandfatherly manner, open, free-for-all proposition, Ron Paul’s ideological purity would be no match for the brutal disturbances ahead.
In fact, since the crisis we face already means every White man for himself, squared, Paul would sanction the very condition that opens the way for a more frank and ruthless level of racial and economic predation.
It would be every White man for himself, cubed.
And every coloured man for his collective, also cubed.
In some ways, the Ron Paul phenomenon represents an act of denial: the tacit wish that things are not as far gone as they seem and that by electing the right Republican candidate, a return to traditional American values of small government, sound money, free markets, and sovereign individualism will put America back on course. It also represents the erroneous belief that America has ended up where it is because it went off course, when in reality it is where it is because it is exactly on course.
What we are witnessing is not a deviation, but a fulfillment of potentialities that go back even before the founding of the Republic.
Having said this, Americans desiring change would do well not to ignore Ron Paul or the tactical value of his campaign, for with his grass-roots support he offers an opportunity to attack the system from within, even if he represents a puritanical expression of the system.
The attacks on him by establishment opponents amount to more than a squabble between two Leftist factions, even if that is what it is, for they imply a recognition by the reigning establishment faction that he represents the thin end of a wedge able to operate on an area of shared discontent between an ill-informed public and the non-authorised, alternative Right.
The Ron Paul campagin against the Fed, war on Iran, neo-conservatism, big government, and the nanny state provide popular, socially acceptable critiques that contribute to weaken and discredit the dominant faction. In turn, he provides a popular but weak alternative made inappropriate by the ever-worsening crisis.
The reigning faction both fails to understand how Ron Paul could benefit them in the long run and fears, correctly, that a free-for-all opens the way for fundamental change in our direction. After all, free-for-all conditions, laissez faire competition, also opens the way for non-authorised factions to act without restriction.
From this standpoint Ron Paul offers both denial and possibility.