Ilya Somin over at The Volokh Conspiracy, it seems, is no more a fan of Ron Paul now than he was four years ago. His criticisms remain about the same. This time around, though, he’s got a candidate to contrast Paul with in Gary Johnson. His conclusion? Johnson is a better libertarian than Paul. My first response to this was laughter. This is my second response:
To start, Somin nearly lost me in his first sentence when he suggested that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was even on the radar for libertarians considering voting. If anyone thinks a hypocritical drug warrior, who might be most charitably described as untested on foreign policy issues (and much less charitably described as a propagandist for the Empire), should even be in the running, then they should probably be disqualified from commenting on the question of who the most libertarian candidate is. All that said, we’ll give him the benefit of his doubts about Daniels for now and move onto his criticisms.
Ron Paul’s Unlibertarian Positions?
Somin claims that Ron Paul “has very nonlibertarian positions on free trade, school choice, and especially immigration.” He goes on to criticize Paul’s views on the Fourteenth Amendment. He doesn’t spell these criticisms out in this piece, but rather directs us to an older article from 2007. We’ll take each one by one.
In a recent post, Akiva claimed that people (in general) get the government they deserve. The US is an imperial-warfare state and a growing surveillance-police state, not to mention a nanny-welfare state. Boston Legal’s left-liberal attorney Alan Shore echoes Akiva’s sentiments in a closing argument in defense of, oddly enough, a tax protester (video below). He points out many of the evils of the US governments and their infringements on our liberties and concludes that Americans must be okay with it all.
Libertarians may especially enjoy Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, which is now playing in second-run theaters and coming to DVD in August.
I wish I could tell you more about why, but it’s the sort of movie that’s best entered with minimal knowledge. The plot involves a man (Ewan McGregor) assigned to write the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan) who has recently been charged with war crimes for torture. An earlier ghost writer who worked on the book was found washed up on the beach at Martha’s Vineyard, and McGregor’s unnamed character tries to solve the mystery and avoid the same fate.
It was delightful to see the movie not only call attention to the Blair/Bush/Obama war crimes but also depict the CIA as nothing other than a force for evil in the world.
Above all, though, it’s a great, old-fashioned suspense thriller — written for intelligent adults, not teenagers — which is refreshing at a time when it seems that most movies are little more than a series of special effects, brutal killings, and/or dirty jokes.
I recall that Murray Rothbard referred to a certain type of film as a “movie movie.” I’m not sure what that means, but I’m pretty sure this is one.