Rand Paul: Libertarian or Just Another Milton Friedman Neocon in Disguise?

by Scott Creighton

Rand Paul’s “business first” philosophy is showing through… he said Barack Obama’s criticism of BP for its handling of the Gulf oil spill “sounded un-American”

‘I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business’Huffington Post

Rand Paul’s libertarian education (apparently shaped by the Lewis Powell memo ) is starting to show through…

(Rand) Paul said that leads to the thinking that tragic incidents are “always someone’s fault” and added, sometimes accidents just happenMSNBC

So, to Rand Paul, it’s “un-American” to find fault with a business that has been deliberately skirting their responsibilities and containment procedure costs and as a direct result of these cost saving practices,  their preventable oil spill promises to grow into the largest ecological disaster in our history.

An independent researcher investigating the Deepwater Horizon oil rig accident has released preliminary findings, based on accounts from rig employees and others, that the accident was the result of a series of mistakes and flawed decisions, which had compromised safety

…  “This disaster was preventable,” Bea writes, “had existing progressive guidelines and practices been followed.”

… Bea also says “drilling and well completion operations did not meet industry standards.”   NBC

Opps. Guess Rand was wrong about that one… someone should ask Rand if it’s “un-American” for someone to do an independent investigation and does the fact that BP stands for BRITISH Petroleum factor into Rand’s “un-American” comment at all? Does Rand Paul think it’s “un-American” to find fault (where it belongs) with a FOREIGN business?

You get that Rand? Maybe you should rethink that whole… “its un-American to criticise business” thing.  Or at least that “sometimes accidents just happen” line. You’re hemorrhaging credibility Rand and your “Friedman” side is showing.  Is it really possible to be an anti-establishment corporatist?

But I guess Rand Paul may have something there; perhaps our forefathers wouldn’t have given a shit if businesses all across America decimated our entire east coast for nothing more than the love of a few dollars and then put up “Whites Only” signs in their windows. Maybe that is what the Founding Fathers really wanted America to become. Maybe that really is “Liberty”.

Of course I come from a different school of thought as far as what I think our Founding Fathers had hoped for in America. I also think our moral structure as a society may have evolved a little since then. But that is just me and I am not looking to line my pockets with corporate “campaign contributions” either… so maybe that factors somehow.  Who knows. Personally, I kinda remember how ben Franklin and other Patriots were rebelling against the privately owed Bank of England when we first decided to part ways with the English. That would be a “business”, you know.

But what I find most odd is that a libertarian like Rand Paul is all about “personal responsiblity” when it comes to dismantling the social safety net – he feels that retirement savings should be left to the individual (privatizing social security) and that unemployment insurance and Medicare should pretty much be abolished because it is ultimately the responsibility of the individual to look out for themselves… but when it comes to big business Rand Paul and the libertarians (“neoliberals/neocons”?)seems to think that it’s “unAmerican” to even start to hold them responsible (not that Obama is doing ANYTHING OF THE SORT with BP)

(Rand Paul’s America “hold people responsible to the point where they can starve in the streets and leave big business alone to the point were they can destroy our beaches and wildlife”… does that about sum it up? He’ll fit right in congress won’t he?)

So is this latest quip of his just an out of context misquote or is it a glimpse into the melting down of another candidate who is pretending to be one thing, but he keeps letting his truer nature slip out? I suppose if Rand wants some big time donation money from BP, hell, he just got it.  But what about his anti-establishment facade that it took him and his daddy and Alex Jones so long to craft? Is that going bye-bye now that Rand is getting closer to sucking at the teet of his oligarchical birthright?

Who is Rand Paul? What does he really stand for?

Let’s see…

In the now infamous interview, Rand Paul couldn’t bring himself to say that Woolworth’s lunch counter shouldn’t have been segregated…

RACHEL MADDOW: Should—Woolworth lunch counters should have been allowed to stay segregated? Sir, just yes or no.

RAND PAUL: What I think would happen—what I’m saying is, is that I don’t believe in any discrimination. I don’t believe that any private property should discriminate either, and I wouldn’t attend, wouldn’t support, wouldn’t go to. But what you have to answer, when you answer this point of view, which is an abstract, obscure conversation from 1964 that you want to brind up, but if you want to answer, you have to say then that you decide the rules for all restaurants. And then, do you decide that you want to allow them to carry weapons into restaurants?  Democracy NOW!

(“Guns in Woolworths”?!  What the hell does that have to do with the question?  This interview was painful to watch… by the way, that “abstract, obscure converstation” he mentions just happens to be the Civil Rights Act of 1964.)

This latest set of Rand Paul pearls of libertarian wisdom are evident in his past as well. From a May 30, 2002, letter to the Bowling Green Daily News

“The Daily News ignores,” wrote (Rand) Paul, “as does the Fair Housing Act, the distinction between private and public property. Should it be prohibited for public, taxpayer-financed institutions such as schools to reject someone based on an individual’s beliefs or attributes? Most certainly. Should it be prohibited for private entities such as a church, bed and breakfast or retirement neighborhood that doesn’t want noisy children? Absolutely not.” 

… “A free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination,” wrote Paul, “even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin. It is unenlightened and ill-informed to promote discrimination against individuals based on the color of their skin. It is likewise unwise to forget the distinction between public (taxpayer-financed) and private entities.”   Washington Post

In a world of spiraling “public/private partnerships”, where the government (and therefore the role government plays in our everyday lives) is being consumed by the privately owned corporations, Rand (Ann Rand?) Paul’s libertarian ideology (where “freedom” is primarily focused on the “freedom” of completely deregulated business to do exactly as they wish to do; as the “market” dictates) is a dangerous and potentially explosively regressive concept.

The most obvious of these issues was brought up recently as Rand Paul seems poised to win a seat in the senate simply because he is Ron Paul’s son (can you say “Oligarchy“?  “is a form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, military might, or religious hegemony.”) and it deals primarily with his idea that private business should be allowed to discriminate against anyone they wish, as is evidenced by Rand Paul’s 2002 letter to the Bowling Green Daily News shown above.

Now, to be fair, Rand Paul’s spin doctors have come up with an answer to the growing criticism he is facing; he says he does not want to repeal the Civil Rights Act.

Aside from the fact that wasn’t the question, Rand Paul (like most lying politicians) decided to answer the question he would rather have been asked rather than dealing with the one in front of him. Yes, Rand Paul believes that in a “free society” business has the right to discriminate against anyone they choose.

Why is that so destructive in this day and age and especially when it comes from someone like Rand Paul?  Because, Rand Paul also believes in the privatization of most government services… like education.  Rand Paul has a very interesting view of education… he wants to eliminate the Department of Education in favor of homeschooling.

Rand Paul’s website has this up under his “education” position…

As the Federal Government has increased the size and budget of the Department of Education, test scores and scholastic performance have markedly dropped. More money, more bureaucracy, and more government intervention are eroding this nation’s educational standards. Meanwhile, home-schooled children continue to excel as evidenced by their test scores and rapidly growing admission rate into some of the nation’s most prestigious educational institutions.

Rand proposes to restore the parental right to be responsible in educating children. He supports reduced taxes so that parents can allocate more of their own funds to homeschooling, if they so desire. He seeks to prevent the Department of Education from regulating homeschooling and will fight to keep the Federal Government’s hands out of this promising alternative to conventional education. Rand recognizes the potential and scholarly prowess of homeschooling and will ensure that homeschoolers are allowed the freedom to compete alongside those who attend public and private schools.  Rand Paul

The debate surround homeschooling is too vast for me to jump into at this time. But effectively what homeschooling actually does is that it perpetuates the class system. Let’s face it; some parents are more qualified than some teachers to provide a real education to their children, and as far as I know, homeschooling is allowed in many states in this country already, were the parents to choose that route.  However, the flip side of that is a bit more grim; not ALL parents are better suited to educate young people. In fact, the vast majority of them are not. How many parents can teach trigonometry, algebra, world history, a foreign language… to their children?

Without a doubt, the children of the educated classes will certainly have an advantage over those born to lower and working class parents. This kind of advantage is exactly what one might expect to find a privileged son in a oligarchal system to advocate. Keep the ignorant… ignorant. Keep the privileged… privileged.

Now I can’t say much about Rand Paul’s philosophy on privatization other than I know he supports it.  If he supports a completely privatized education system run by privately owned businesses, does that mean he would support the idea of those institutions being able to discriminate at will?  That is the exact kind of answer people have been looking to get out of him since this whole thing started and he simply refuses to delve into it.

So in order to try to understand where he is coming from I decided to spend a little of my investigational energies looking into that thing called “Libertarianism”.  I had previously thought they were the epitome of the neoliberal agenda.

I was right.

You see, like when Obama pretended to be a “progressive” and a “liberal” running for the White House, I figured that Rand and his Daddy both decided that they would never win any seat of power running on the Libertarian ticket, so, like Obama, they pretended to be something else… republicans. That being the case, I figured I should take a look and see just what that Libertarian thing really stands for.  You’re gonna love this.

1.Right now the Libertarian Party (the party of “Principle”) is chaired by Bill Redpath… a man who got his MBA from… wait for it… the University of Chicago (home of the Milton Friedman neoliberal agenda)

2.Right now the Libertarian Party Secretary is Bill Sullentrup… a man who got his MBA from …  wait for it… the University of Chicago (home of the Milton Friedman neoliberal agenda)

3. Jim Powell is Senior Fellow at a libertarian the Cato Institute with which he has been associated since 1988 and he went to school at… the University of Chicago (home of the Milton Friedman neoliberal agenda)

(anybody see a pattern developing here?)

4. The CATO Institute is the libertarian (little “L”) think tank in Washington. It was founded in 1977 as a direct consequence of the Lewis Powell Memo (called “Attack of American Free Enterprise System”)  The memo itself laid out a surprisingly libertarian viewpoint about how American businesses were under attack…

The threat to the enterprise system is not merely a matter of economics. It also is a threat to individual freedom.

… Business must learn the lesson, long ago learned by labor and other self-interest groups. This is the lesson that political power is necessary; that such power must be assidously (sic) cultivated; and that when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination — without embarrassment and without the reluctance which has been so characteristic of American business. 

There should be no hesitation to attack the Naders, the Marcuses and others who openly seek destruction of the system. There should not be the slightest hesitation to press vigorously in all political arenas for support of the enterprise system. Nor should there be reluctance to penalize politically those who oppose it.

Powell, 1971

The memo influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academe, and other powerful organizations. Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration’s “hands-off business” philosophyReclaiming Democracy

The CATO Institute supported the Bush administration on these issues: “most notably health care , Social Security, global warming, tax policy, and immigration, Cato scholars had praised Bush administration initiatives” on these issues.

The Cato Institute established its Project on Social Security Privatization in 1995, renaming it the Project on Social Security Choice in 2002.

The libertarian CATO Institute was founded by Charles Koch who is the brother of the Libertarian Party’s 1980 vice presidential candidate, David Koch.  In 2008, Charles Koch was listed on the Forbes 400 as having a personal net worth of $17 billion.  His brother, David Koch, is even wealthier and “is New York’s second wealthiest resident, after Michael Bloomberg.”

The Koch’s of the libertarian CATO Institute and the Libertarian Party didn’t build their own fortunes; the inherited them from their oil baron father, Fred Koch. What they inherited was nothing short of the second largest privately own company in America, Koch Industries. “Koch Industries also is well-known for its long-time sponsorship of free-market foundations and causes”  …  no shit…

5. The libertarian movement itself…

“Additionally, various political parties and factions have worked to develop the goals of libertarianism, and numerous writers and intellectuals have become public figures within the American libertarian movement by laying out broad philosophical tenets underlying libertarianism, as well as specific strategies aimed at effecting practical changes toward libertarianism. Examples include:”

  • Ayn Rand, who rejected libertarianism herself, played a substantial role in libertarianism.
  • Milton Friedman, along with other Chicago school economists.
  • Murray Rothbard, along with other Austrian school economists.

You notice how they have Milton Friedman stuck in there? He’s the founder of the neoliberal IMF type “Shock therapy” style of economic “reforms” that we are facing right now. Isn’t it odd how he is so closely associated with the “libertarian” philosophy?  I thought he was a “neocon”?

“In the 1980s, pro-property libertarianism grew substantially more popular and gained considerable influence in Republican administrations, though at the national level the Libertarian Party still fared poorly.”

Also, George W. Bush‘s “personal accounts” for Social Security are modeled in part upon privatization proposals long supported by some pro-property libertarian groups like the Cato Institute…”

Many trade barriers have been lifted, (NAFTA, GATT, outsourcing jobs overseas) reducing what most libertarians argue are unneeded interferences with functioning markets and the right to use one’s property as one sees fit.

Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan have exerted considerable influence over monetary policy in favor of libertarian goals.

Ronald Reagan popularized libertarian economics and anti-statist rhetoric in the United States and passed some reforms, though many libertarians are ambivalent about his legacy

Conclusion

To say that libertarian philosophy is closely akin to that of the neoliberal/neoconservative movement is not only valid, its painfully obvious to anyone who has a little time to research it. In fact, modern libertarian philosophy was founded at pretty much the exact same time (and then apparently the leading libertarians were taught at the neocon founding university, the University of Chicago, where Leo Strauss put it all into motion)

From “How the Neocons Stole Freedom” – Ronald Reagan, and Ugly Truth

Ironically, it was Richard Nixon who fractured the Republican Party, driving out the Libertarian wing with his announcement of Wage and Price Controls on August 15, 1971. The Libertarian Party was officially founded on December 11, 1971, by David Nolan and a small group of former Republicans in the living room of activist Luke Zell in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

David Nolan had been an officer of three organizations at MIT which were working for the candidacy of Barry Goldwater. The three separate groups operating at MIT in 1963-64 were Young Republicans, Young Americans for Freedom (“YAF”), and Youth for Goldwater. The officers overlapped, making it possible for them to have more presence on the campus. Nolan came to the ideas on individual freedom, economics, and the Constitution from Barry Goldwater, Robert Heinlein, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,” and other fiction, and Ayn Rand’s “Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.”

Soon after this, the first wave of eager and ambitious Trotskyites, soon to re-label themselves as Neo-Conservatives (“NeoCons”), left the Democratic Party to become Republicans. The first of these were Irving Kristol, his wife and son, William Kristol. These were soon followed by the cadre that, at present, still comprises the main intellectual end of the NeoCon cabal.

These idea-mongers had found a flush living re-packaging the strategies of Leo Strauss for use on Republicans and Libertarians. These included posh weekend-seminars that helped them identify potential academics and intellectuals who could accept their ideas with a straight face, keeping a clear eye on the potential for self profit.

Soon, the need to suborn and redirect the nascent Libertarian Movement and Party would be turned over to Edward H. Crane, III, and other profit-minded people.  Melinda Foster

Rooted deep within Rand Paul is the same libertarian philosophies that drove Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, Margret Thatcher, Alan Greenspan, George Bush, David and Charles Koch, Lewis Powell, and all the other neocons and neoliberals who are currently busy ruining this nation.

It is not surprizing that Rand Paul tries as best he can to distance himself at this point from that obvious fact.

Having not really cared about Rand Paul in the past (I did think his Alex Jones “money bomb” was a bit over the top) I didn’t spend much time looking into his positions. I always knew that his father was just one little tiny step away from the worst neocon you can think of. Sure he says we shouldn’t be in Iraq, but what do Ron and Rand really do for the establishment that justifies them not kicking them out like they easily did with Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney?

Well, that is easy.

Ron and Rand’s jobs are to bring the neoliberal economic agenda to the young people and offer it up as an “alternative” to what is going on today. When in fact, it is actually the neoliberal/libertarian agenda that is behind every single problem we face.

Rand Paul is as “different” as Barack Obama is. During Obama’s candidacy I tried to warn people that voting for Barack was the same as voting for George W. Bush all over again. Not many listened. But they know it now.

On that note, I have to say that voting for Rand Paul would be the exact same thing as voting for Barack Obama and George W. Bush and for that matter, the neoliberal Hilary Clinton. He represents the same oligarchical power structure and the same corporatist and business first mentality.  He represents the globalist agenda but like Obama he just puts a more pleasant face on it.

Just like Obama’s campaign, Rand is pretending to be one thing while he is really something very different. If the neocons and the neolibs wanted him out, trust me, he would be out. But with very little exception, Rand Paul shares many of their core beliefs and pout as they might in their WWE style, the neocons don’t have any problem with another Milton Friedman economic theory supporter in office.

I said it before all this research and I will say it again… Rand Paul is a neoliberal scumbag… just like his daddy… and he doesn’t deserve your vote.

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8 Responses

  1. “Ron and Rand’s jobs are to bring the neoliberal economic agenda to the young people and offer it up as an “alternative” to what is going on today. When in fact, it is actually the neoliberal/libertarian agenda that is behind every single problem we face.”

    The Reagan revolution insisted on deregulation, and we’ve got it now in spades. They wanted privatization and for money to have its say. Well, they got what they wished for and now they have amnesia. I hear crap like the capitalism they brought wasn’t REAL capitalism, so just appoint some more Ayn Rand fantasists like Greenspan to fix what they broke in the first place.

    And if one sets aside the war on terror, it is easy to see the real war is still over globalization. Whether it is being fought in Iceland, Greece, Thailand or here, the misery and chaos created by money run amok is still the most important issue. Regulation might have been a poor solution, but it was not nearly as destructive has what we got post-Republican revolution.

    Alternatives? What alternatives do we have? Not only is Washington not talking about reform or change that could help the people of this country that it has so poorly served, all they talk about is attacking Iran. Nothing could be further from our interests, but apparently our self-interest can’t afford a candidate from any party.

  2. did you know Rand Paul supports placing sanctions on Iran?

    Its like you said, anyone that represents any real change is weeded out. Rand Paul is just a new face for an old illness. They’re trying like hell to rebrand the neoliberal/neocon ideology…

    for the Obamaites it was “CHANGE”

    for the “revolution” its “LIBERTY”…

    go to the Alex Jone site and check out how they are desperately trying to spin this whole thing up… trying to keep libertarianism from looking like the “business first” neocon agenda it really is.

  3. I think your insights are quite on the money more often than not willy. I wish I had more time to participate and contribute to these discussions.

    Anyhow, as always keep up the good work. I am constantly learning and often readjusting my thinking based on your great work.

    Take care.

    AJ

    PS and we will!! get a game going one of these days, I hope. Just need to settle in from some changing lliving arrangements….

  4. good to hear from you again AJ.

    Let’s just pick one of those Modern Warfare 2 type games and do it. I watch those kids playing on Justin TV and its just amazing… they have reflexes like cats on crack… man I’m old…

  5. Forgive my naivete,but im confused. Are neocon/neolibs totally interchangeable terms? Please explain. Also, is it not true that the obama Admins main agenda is REregulation? Thats what it seems like to me.are u saying its all for show? Are you also saying that the lib movement is the epitome/master minds of “Dems vs. Reps” divide and conquer phenomenon, while, ironically, bearing the guise of the anti-biggovernment movement (ie tea party)? If so, does not the progressive movement represent a more ideal political structure in your opinion,or is it again, two sides of the same coin? These questions are not sarcastic, im knew to your views and would to hear more. Neal Picco

  6. the libertarian party started getting a lot more conservative years ago.
    the thing I really have a problem with about the libertarian party is that they pose as a liberal party on one hand and preach conservative values on the other like how against corporate regulation they are.

    I personally watched the libertarian party mislead marijuana users on prop 19 into believing that it was just another attempt for government regulation to get their hands on it.. blah.. blah.. blah
    only a moron wouldn’t realize that when you’re a pothead, there’s a chance at legalization and someone tries to tell you it’s a bad idea..
    they are trying to trick you.

    Everybody in america is being convinced by the alex jones and glen becks that obama is this horrible leader while the republicans are the one blocking him on every damn good bill he tries to pass to fix anything.

    my god, you’re bombarded with propaganda constantly in the states and you can have my word that the libertarians have engaged in it just like the republicans.

    try listening to cbc radio 1 if you want to know the truth about your politics because you’re legally not allowed to mislead the public in canada (even if you don’t know you are)

    you’ll hear the truth.. and not a single thing but.
    journalistic integrity is something to be appreciated these days. it’s really refreshing to hear.

  7. Lol nice call whining about Capitalism when the fastest growing economies ever are capitalist and when Europe just got knocked the F out because they are so insolvent.

    Greece, Italy, Portugal, France, Germany, Britain, Japan. They are so stagnant and insolvent it is not funny. Socialism sucks, Ron Paul 2012.

  8. you are either blind or a troll, sup….
    none of the listed nations above are socialist,,,,,, neither is America… we had a combination of democracy and a few programs that helped some people… and how dare you call our pre-paid social security a socialist program….
    Ron Paul is a neo disinfo agent and he preaches corporate control of everything….
    Ron Paul sucks…

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