Ron Paul is not the presidential candidate most likely to succeed. But he is easily the most unique, most consistent, and most interesting. He views an expanding Federal government as the greatest danger of our times. "The choice we now face: further steps toward authoritarianism or a renewed effort in promoting the cause of liberty. There is no third option."
Paul presents his own views of the proper role of government in our lives. The book reads like a libertarian encyclopedia, with alphabetized chapters from Abortion to Zionism. Here are quotes from five of the more interesting ones:
BIPARTISANSHIP - "If two parties with two sets of bad ideas cooperate, the result is not good policy, but policy that is extremely bad. What we really need are correct economic and political ideas, regardless of the party that pushes them... When the ideas of both parties are bad, there is really only one hope: that they will continue fighting and not pass any new legislation."
DEMOCRACY - "People should not be able to vote to take away the rights of others. And yet this is what the slogan democracy has come to mean domestically. It does not mean that the people prevail over the government; it means that the government prevails over the people by claiming the blessing of mass opinion. This form of government has no limit. Tyranny is not ruled out. Nothing is ruled out."
ENVY - "Envy is the painful awareness of another's good fortune. Policies driven by envy, such as the progressive income tax and the inheritance tax, do not help society. They... discourage the accumulation of wealth, punish success, and cause people to pull back from doing great things."
PUBLIC LAND - "Our biggest current battle is to restrain the eminent domain enthusiasts at all levels of government. The Fifth Amendment was written more to assure that land taken by the government was adequately paid for than it was to give the right to government to confiscate property at will."
SECURITY - "The assumption that government can rescue us from all problems, and it's not the individual's responsibility to plan for unforeseen circumstances, causes behavior changes that magnify all crises through a constant erosion of liberty."
Whether or not you agree with Ron Paul's politics and perspective, this book is worth reading. He states his positions clearly and concisely, cites sources for his facts, and doesn't shrink from directness about those with whom he disagrees. He will continue to be a respected and influential voice. Everyone should listen at least once.
on April 19, 2011
"Liberty Defined" is just another magnificent book in the long line of thought-provoking books and essays by Mr. Paul extraordinaire. Having always been fascinated by Mr. Ron Paul's comments, views and written essays, I decided to pre-order this book (A first in my life).
The book consists of 50 (loosely) interrelated essays about core topics of liberty. Covering broad areas such as surveillance, taxation and abortion, Dr. Paul's well-written essays approach the (often contradicting) topic of freedom. Each essay/topic can be read separately without having to read the preceding essays leading to it- in case one issue concerns you more than another.
Overall, the book is thought-provoking, informative, prophetic and frank. Dr. Paul's obsession with truth, freedom, life and liberty in this book is truly inspiring. Much like Dr. Paul himself, the book manifests integrity, honesty, and credibility. I strongly recommend anyone out there to buy this book and read it a few times.
Warning: once you pick it up and start reading, it's hard to put it down.
on August 3, 2012
Ron Paul again brings us a thoughtful, dispassionate, and common-sense based treatise on what he sees as the biggest issues facing our country today, and by extension the world.
Dr. Paul takes a close look at those 50 subjects (from Abortion to Zionism) that most heavily effect our liberty (or lack there of). As usual with Paul's writings and speeches, he offers no political motivation for his thinking, and offers no grand designs for "fixing" the problems. He simply explains the issue, and then proposes common-sense, Constitutional approaches to mending the situation, based on the ideals of Liberty itself - not the Republican, Libertarian, or Democratic parties.
Ron Paul should be, and will be, ranked among the heaviest hitters in Western political thought. He will be included on lists with Friedman, Mises, Nopalitano, and Bastiat.
You owe it to yourself to read this book. 6 stars.