Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Notable & Reprehensible: Liberty Is Not for All, Says Ron Paul

Libertarian Candidate for President

"Let's stop the hysterics about the freedom of Cubans – which is not our government's responsibility – and consider freedom of the American people, which is. Americans want the freedom to travel and trade with their Cuban neighbors, as they are free to travel and trade with Vietnam and China. Those Americans who do not wish to interact with a country whose model of governance they oppose are free to boycott." Ron Paul, Libertarian candidate for president and mountebank, quoted approvingly on Stuck on the Palmetto by Rick, October 29, 2007

Quite a few Cuban bloggers are self-avowed libertarians. I suppose many regard it as some kind of compromise between being a Democrat and Republican, which it is not. "Libertarianism" is derived from the word "liberty" and that fact may have fooled others into believing that liberty in the collective is what libertarians want. It is not. They are interested only in their own personal liberty, not their neighbor's across the street or across an ocean except where it impacts their own. Therefore, it should surprise no one that Ron Paul doesn't care if Cubans are free so long as they are available for his diversion. Slavery doesn't concern the libertarian unless it infrinches on his own personal freedom. A libertarian may complain about seeing a man whipped because it causes him stress not because it pains the man. This is why libertarianism will always be a fad with no practical applications. Where there is no fellow feeling for others there can be no fellowship, and without fellowship you can't found a church or a party, much less a state. Communism is itself a more restricted variant of libertarianism. In Communist society, the libertarians are the party elite, who enjoy rights and privileges in a vaccum and at the expense of those not as favorably situated. Ultimately, a libertarian government — were such a thing possible — would also tend towards tyranny, since the maximum freedom for some will always mean a minimum of freedom for most.


Cari said...

If the Freedom of Cubans is not the responsibility of the American Government...neither is the protection of the tyrant...yet they continue to protect him. Thereby tacitly denying Cubans their freedom.

The USA should just get out of the way!

Julio Rey said...

Touche, Manuel!

I'm interested in knowing more of your impressions of Libertarianism. How much have you researched the subject?

What you call "a fad with no practical applications" is what gave birth to the US of A. The cornerstone of Libertarianism is individual freedom ... for all.

I'd like every government to become Libertarian. But of their own choosing, not because my government decides to dictate how their country should be run under the threat of deadly force.

The time for the US to be the police force for the world needs to stop. Wilson's entry into WW I was the root of all wars that came afterwards.

We'll never get a pure Libertarian government. But I'll fight the small battles along the way to try to get the country closer to that ideal.

Including voting for Ron Paul.

His words do hurt me a bit, but the fact of the matter is that the liberals and NAFTA types that want to open up trading with Cuba want to do the trading in conjunction with the US Government, so that their asses would be covered when whichever Castro is in power screws them over. This type of corporate welfare would be nonexistent with the smaller government that we advocate.

Charlie Bravo said...

So, the freedom of Cuba is not the responsibility of the US Government.... I get the image.... Kennedy apparently had that same thought in mind in 1961. And all the others, when they have stopped short of stopping castro short.
Actually, all American presidents have -till today- demonstrated a great zeal in keeping the status quo of Cuba.
Of course, some say it without any kind of remorse, like candidate Paul. Other confer medals to Cuban fighters with the right hand and with the left hand keep the dry foot wet foot alive.
Isn't this interesting?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Small government is only better than big government if small government is doing the right things and big government is not. Neither is inherently better than the other.

Julio Rey said...

We all know that Kennedy promised one thing and then went back on his promise. Not a fair comparison, in my opinion.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


That is the problem: the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing in respect to Cuba, and never have the two worked in concert towards the same end.

Julio Rey said...

Manuel: No one wants their government to do the wrong thing. But I ask you: who defines what is "right" and "wrong"?

CorgiGuy said...


Julio gets it. The congressman is adovaticating a policy of non-intervention. He wants us to stop being the policeman of the world, we should learn that from the iraq-debacle.

Ron Paul is a true republican conservative, small goverment, personal responsability, free trade, non-intervention.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Free trade promotes the health of nations, but free human beings promote it more. I would not impose any restrictions on trade between free nations; no tariffs or duties; no penalties on so-called illegal migrants; nothing that impedes or hinders trade in any way, except when human rights are being violated to make a buck. This includes sweatshops here or abroad; the exploitation of workers, whether by communists or capitalists, and even if the workers themselves consent to be exploited, is never acceptable.

Every man should be free to be just to others, but never free to be unjust.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


It is one thing to be the policeman of the world and quite another to be indifferent to the suffering of those who live under a tyrannical regime. Ron Paul is the latter.

CorgiGuy said...

Do you want the USA to tell cuba what type of goverment they should have and create a mess like IRAQ?

I thought you advocate independence for Cuba.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


No, I don't want the U.S. to tell Cuba what kind of government it should have. I want the U.S. to take constructive steps to bring about democracy in Cuba. This does not the same thing as advocating an invasion of Cuba.

When you use the word "Cuba," whom do you mean? Certainly not the Cuban people, who have never elected Castro their leader. So, then, by "Cuba" you must mean the Castro regime itself. What you are actually saying is that you don't want the U.S. to challenge Fidel Castro's "right" to tyrannize Cuba. This is also what your hero Ron Paul is saying, and it is equally contemptible whether you say or he says it.

Vana said...

Which is not our goverment's responsibility? this country has surely made it it's business to interfere with Cuba's freedom for 48 years, they keep tightening the noose on the Island, every president tightens it a little more, do they trully believe this will lead to freedom? but obviously as Ron Paul has expressed, they don't give a shit if we are free or not, as long as Americans are.

CorgiGuy said...

Non Intervention means, don't intervene in other countries affairs, that was the vision of the founding fathers of this country. No Foreign Entaglements.

Show me where in the constitution where is says otherwise.

Julio Rey said...

Manuel: It's dangerous to presume to know what's best for other people, whether those people want it or not (the workers you mention which "consent to be exploited").

Again I ask: who defines what is "exploitation" and "justice"?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


"Give me liberty, and give the rest of mankind tyranny!" Is that the noble concept enshrined in the U.S. Constitution? Well, it is. The "Founding Fathers" did sanction slavery in the Constitution, didn't they? America eventually outgrew and purged in its bloodiest war that historic crime. When will you and Ron Paul outgrew it?

Julio Rey said...

Ron Paul's point was not so much about not wanting Cuba to be free so much as restoring freedoms to Americans that have been slowly curtailed for the last 100 years or so, and which go way beyond travel restrictions.

And one of the laws that needs to be repealed is the US Neutrality Act, which prevents US civilians from engaging in armed conflict for another country. Without laws like this, Cuba's independence could be won in a way similar to how it was won in the first place.

Jose Marti would have been put in jail in Tampa in the 1880s if today's laws had been in force back then.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

"Again I ask: who defines what is "exploitation" and "justice?" — Julio Rey

You do. I do. Ron Paul does. Everybody does.

And who prevails?

In a democracy the majority does.

Does that mean that the majority is always and inevitably right?


But until God establishes his kingdom on earth, majority rule is the best means to insure justice, though it does not always insure it.

CorgiGuy said...


I get it let's throw away out the constitution and all our civil liberties. Bring on the next king or queen!


Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Cubans were arrested thousands of times because they violated U.S. neutrality laws during Cuba's War of Independence (1895-98). These so-called "Neutrality Laws" allowed U.S. companies to sell arms to the Spaniards but not to the Cuban rebels because the U.S. refused to accord them belligerant rights. So, in effect, the U.S. was not neutral. It sided with the Spaniards until it was ready to betray them and make their own grab for Cuba.

None of the Cubans arrested for violating the U.S. neutrality laws was ever convicted by an American jury. The American people knew then if their government didn't that Cubans were fighting for the same thing that their own forebears had fought for in 1776.

Credit must go also to Horatio Rubens, the counsel of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, selected personally by Martí, who never lost a case. When Cuba was free its Congress would bestow on him the title of "Great Friend of the Cuban People."

Who would be deserving of that title now?

Certainly not Ron Paul.

Julio Rey said...

Thanks for the education on US neutrality laws. The US Neutrality Acts were passed in the late Thirties, so there must have been something passed earlier on. I defer to you on that one, as I'm a (fake) musician, not a scholar. All I can add is that a Libertarian government wouldn't have arrested those Cubans in the late 1890s either.

I agree with you about the majority not always being right. I think a constitional republic like we're supposed to be having right now is better than a simple majority rule.

And you're right about Paul not getting any "great friend of the Cuban people" titles bestowed upon him. But that's not what I want from a president or any other politician. You're the one that deserves it (te estoy guataqueando)...