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The Revolution: Morality and Law

I finished reading Ron Paul's manifesto just now. I am impressed, though frankly it is a more basic primer than I personally would have liked. It explains to the average American (without financial knowledge or political interest) what is going on in our country, and what the Constitution was designed to do. It is plainly written and provides the reader with concrete examples and historical context for our national financial situation, our foreign empire and the decline of our currency. Perhaps I will now begin to be able to articulate better why I think we need to bring home the vast majority of our troops from around the world, eliminate the Federal Reserve and a lot of federal departments, and reverse the trend of imbalance that has led to complete disregard for our constitution. This document was written by men who had already seen and understood the workings of governments, the problematic logic of paper money, and the disaster that comes from empire. We need to listen to them more carefully now, before our nation is destroyed by the same mistakes that England and other nations have made before us.

This one is from his section on the war on drugs:

"...the law cannot make a wicked person virtuous. According to Aquinas, God's grace alone can accomplish such a thing. The law is simply incompetent here. What the law can do is provide the peace and order within which men can conduct their affairs. But so much of what is important in human life takes place far removed from law, and in the domain of civil society, families and communities. These salutary influences, apart from the state, have a responsibility to improve the moral conduct of individuals. We ought not to shirk our own responsibility by looking to politicians--who are not exactly known for living beyond moral reproach themselves--to carry out so important a function." [pages 126-127 in the hard cover version published 4/08]

It occurs to me that part of the challenge in the return to a civil society that does not expect legislation of morality lies in the fact that our institutions are decrepit, our families are scattered, and our communities are spider web thin. That is why it is scary to think about giving up governmental programs to protect us. We feel exposed already.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 22nd, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
I agree that friendship and communities should be stronger, but I'm not sure the old model was very good either. Old families used to be stronger, but they were based on a lot of culture which was backward and barbaric, like women being submissive and staying home taking care of children and intolerance of different races and all that. So I'd prefer a new form of community to form, rather than a return to the old ways. The particular form that would take would be interesting to approach through fiction -- a lot of sci-fi deals with how technology will be like in the future, but doesn't often deal with how families and communities and friendship will change in the future.
Jul. 22nd, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, "we need a new religion"!!! Have you read The Guru Papers by Kramer & Alstad? A great book on authoritarianism. Made me think long and hard about how you have a community in the modern age. It definitely won't be like the one we came from, it is time for a leap forward. Oddly enough, LJ is one of the more supportive communities that I have in my life these days. That is kind of sad to me.....but hey, I'll take what I can get in the way of intelligent open discourse about the stuff that matters to all of us.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
I reading it for the second time. It is really nothing new for those of use who have been following him for a while, but does put it all together in one place and it is so nice to imagine what could be.

I feel positively subversive reading it on the train into DC each morning.

If you haven't read them I'd suggest Andrew Napolitano's Constitution Trilogy. He doesn't have Ron Paul's gentle demeanor, but he does an outstanding job of cataloging "A Long Train of Abuses."
Jul. 23rd, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
Thanks for the book rec, I put it on my list.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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