Top positive review
292 people found this helpful
Paul's Most Daring Book Yet
on April 19, 2011
I purchased the kindle edition and finished the book in 3 hours with several re-readings of some chapters/paragraphs.
This book is intended for rapidly imploding contemporary America, and could serve as some sort of ideological foundation for next 10 years to organize a political revamping of GOP which is in its death throes. It deals with Paul's unique approach as a conservative libertarian.
Surprisingly, the word libertarian has been mentioned only 6 times, whereas the word moral appears a good 109 times.
The writing appears to be universal in its appeal so that an Asian or African can also relate to part of its contents. Its main focus is on freedom, which together with diversity and harmony, forms the three principles of humanity.
The book is tabulated in 50 chapters and covers 5 principal themes.
1. Individual vs State: Chapters on Capital Punishment, Civil Disobedience, Public Land, Surveillance and Slavery deal with Paul's view of Washington DC's crack-down on "personal" liberty. Paul claims that Washington DC is violating personal and property rights of American people. Matters are at the tipping point so that in near future Americans will lose all remaining freedoms. However, he does not provide any timeline.
2. Foreign policy: Chapters on Assassinations, CIA, Conscription, Empire, Foreign Aid, Patriotism, Security, Terrorism, Trade Policies and Zionism. Paul claims that Washington DC's foreign policy is costing Americans in blood and treasure. These policies are advanced by neoconservatives, whose founders were Leo Strauss and Irving Kristol. But its executive roots lay in Wilson's presidency, who preceded Strauss & Kristol! Paul's prescription for Arab-Israeli conflict is Intermarriage, not war. But if the Congress declares war, would a non-interventionist Paul execute it as President? Further, if America withdraws, will terrorists stop attacking? If I (America) burn my neighbor's (Iraq/Afg) house and then withdraw and say sorry, will my neighbor drop the idea of bloody revenge? Unlikely.
3. Welfarism/ State Socialism: Chapters on Bipartisanship, Executive Power, Four Freedoms, Gun Control, Immigration, Insurance, Lobbying, Medical Care, Moral Hazard, Morality in Government, Prohibition, Public Land, Statistics and Unions. These chapters deal with centralization of power over individuals, families, towns and States. These chapters offer a grave warning to reader that charity and philanthropy is being replaced with government programs. Regrettably, Paul is crying in the wilderness for the noble concept of Tithe, which used to be customary in a bygone era. A revival of Tithe is the humane alternative to State Welfarism, so that the bottom 10%, the ones who have been left behind, can be helped.
4. Monetary/Economic Policy: Taxes, Monetary Policy, Keynesianism, Business cycle and Austrian Economics deal with the economic policy, monetary policy and Paul's pet topic, the Federal Reserve. Paul claims that Keynesianism confiscates all wealth from the poor, middle class, and the "justly" rich - to what he pejoratively describes as the "Goldman Sachs Elite". According to Paul, the Federal Reserve is more powerful than the Presidency. But if central banking and Keynesianism is so bad, how come Japan, China, Korea became so rich so quickly? Japanese, Koreans enjoy the longest life spans, the largest middle class. Keynesian Japan is the largest international creditor, and its huge public debt is almost all held by Japanese people, not foreigners. How is US different than Japan, Korea, China?
5. Moral Decline: Chapters on Abortion, Demagogues, Discrimination, Education, Envy, Evolution, Global warming, hate crimes, marriage, political correctness, racism, religion and liberty. Paul claims that organized special interests claim wealth, territory and power at the expense of unorganized (libertarian?) groups. He decries government imposed affirmative action and claims that it harms American people. But in Japan, Korea, Israel that's not the case. The State enforces the ethnic interests of the majority.
Paul warns that the ultimate goal of State Socialism is to transform Americans into helpless, subservient and docile cattle in the name of equality so that the 99% masses will toil, while the Washington/Wall-Street elite will enjoy. The book has some personal anecdotes and the reader gets a glimpse of some events from Paul's life.
Throughout the book Paul tries to convince that Golden Rule is wonderful. He cites passages from Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity in support of Golden Rule. On paper its appeal is undeniable. But 2600 years of Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism did not make China, India more peaceful. Indians invaded Malaya in 11th CE, Central Asia in 8th CE. Lower caste and outcaste Indians are still brutally oppressed. China invaded Vietnam, Korea, Central Asia many times. Middle East has been a cesspool of war and invasions since the dawn of time. Just look at the history of Europe under North Africans, Arabs, Turks, Persians...
Paul invokes George Orwell's 1984 several times to assert that this is where America is now. Towards the end, this book calls for character and action to save the "Republic". Not "utter cynicism", "endless policy details" and resignation.
In the age of 24/7 TV, sexualized culture, pleasure seeking "me me me" individualism, the capacity to achieve political success required to rejuvenate or even save a Third World America is just not there. Since libertarians are at the one end of individualism/collectivism scale, how do they plan to stick together "collectively" for decades until their libertarian dreams come true? Isn't Libertarian party a kind of collective?