Ron Paul Explains Libertarianism

by | Feb 18, 2016

Prominent libertarian communicator and former United States presidential candidate Ron Paul presented on Wednesday a short explanation of libertarianism in response to a question from host Anand Naidoo on the CCTV show The Heat.

Asked by Naidoo “What is a libertarian?” Paul responds with an examination of the principles that individuals should fulfill their contractual obligations and refrain from aggressing against others:

A libertarian is somebody who believes, of course, in personal liberty. And liberty is a personal thing; it is not collective. You don’t gain liberty because you belong to a group. So we don’t talk about women’s rights or gay rights or anything else. Everybody has an absolute equal right as an individual, and it comes to them naturally.

There are two rules you have to follow if you are a libertarian, and this is a job for a lot of people. One, you can’t ever initiate force against somebody else. You can’t be an aggressor. You can’t steal from your neighbor. Most people recognize that, but nobody wants to consider the fact, “well, if I send the government — the IRS agent — I can steal all I want from my neighbor.”

No, no aggression. We can’t aggress against each other; we can’t use the government to aggress against each other. We have to live up to our promises. And this works in foreign policy as well. We can’t have preemptive war where our government decides, “Well, we’ve got to attack them and kill them because some day they might come here and do us harm.” That’s aggression, and the libertarian says “no initiation of aggression.”

If you have a contract, which is so key in a free society, … then you agree to something, and you have to follow through. You can’t lie, cheat, or steal — or kill.

Paul’s CCTV interview is focused largely on Paul’s thoughts concerning US presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Paul notes that “we are entering an era that we are recognizing that the system that we have in the United States isn’t working well.” But, Paul also says he sees, for the most part, “the current crop of politicians offering only more government — not less government, which is what I was offering over the many years.”

Paul further expresses in the interview little hope of a candidate from an alternative party doing well against the Republican and Democratic Parties that are essentially “one party” that endorses the “financial system, the Federal Reserve System, the foreign policy, the attack on civil liberties, the welfare state.” An alternative party candidate does not “get a fair shake,” says Paul, who in 1988 was the Libertarian Party presidential nominee in addition to his 2008 and 2012 presidential runs as a Republican. “The process is in many ways rigged,” concludes Paul, including via excluding Libertarian, Green, and other alternative candidates from debates and making it hard for them to even be listed on election ballots.

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:

Paul is chairman and founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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