Saturday Book Review: Ron Paul Liberty Defined: Four Freedoms

by wisdomhunt

If I can stomach it, I intend to review Liberty Defined chapter-by-chapter so that you never have to read it.

The idea of freedom from want and fear as a mandate of government opens up Pandora’s box. “Fear” is a nebulous term that can be subjectively defined and artificially created. Wants are endless and are unrelated to the definition of freedom. Under these conditions government is expected to provide for any need or desire. And since government never produces anything, its only option is to steal from one group and pass what it has stolen on to the next. One would expect that such a system would breed a corrupt political system of big money and lobbyists.

It is absurd to assume that government can legislate and devise a system where prosperity and all wants are fulfilled by destroying the basic premise underpinning a free society.

In the above passage, Ron Paul is attempting to attack two of the four freedoms outlined by FDR in a speech on January 6, 1941. All four freedoms are:

  1. Freedom of speech and expression
  2. Freedom of religion
  3. Freedom from want – everywhere in the world
  4. Freedom from fear

Sounds pretty good to me. What’s not to like? What more noble charge would there be for government than successfully providing these four freedoms to everyone, everywhere in the entire world.

The federal government of the United States has been working diligently towards these goals ever since (well probably well before this frankly, but nevertheless). Spreading these ideas has been used as the justification for the successful military endeavors in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Afghanistan, Iraq and currently a huge chunk of Africa. It will (hopefully) soon be used to liberate Syria and Iran as well.

There is no more noble cause of government than providing us freedom. Obviously, in order to do so the government must remove freedoms by drafting us into the military, personal income/business income/property/sales/capital gains/cigarette/inheritance/social security/gasoline/marriage license/pet/hunting license/vehicle registration taxing us, limiting our freedom of speech (via laws such as the inability to protest near government servants), spying on our online activities, spying on us via drones, etc.

But of course, we must sacrifice all for the noble cause of more freedom.

Previous chapters reviewed:
The Introduction
Austrian Economics

Business Cycle
Campaign Finance Reform
Capital Punishment
Central Intelligence Agency
Civil Disobedience

Evolution Versus Creation

Executive Power

Foreign Aid