But I'll take his 50yr+ record of practicing and living Philosophical Voluntaryism, over any current Post-RP libertarian youth demanding that Ron Paul be MORE voluntaryist than...er...Ron Paul!
God dang, our fave Septuagenerian Homie's set the bar up so high, if he were to run today (setting aside our qualms with politics as a state-sanctioned mechanism, but speaking strictly as a platform to amplify good ideas), I guaran-friggin'-tee you, there will be internet libertarians biotching that Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul, ain't 'Ron Paul libertarian enough!'
Oy veh, he's unleashed a monster, alright!
Also, I observe that even here the term "you're a statist!" gets thrown around too broadly.
For definitional purposes, I believe we have to be clear: a "statist" is someone who is first and foremost a collectivist. It just happens their delusional source, where their power is perceived to derive from, is the State. As opposed to other type of groups (whatever that may encompass), commune, etc.
NEVER has Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul ever advocated, preached, or, as publicly observable, ever practiced or promoted any form of collectivism.
Also, I side with Walter Block's clarification that there's nothing wrong with a "collective," per-se.
In fact, The R3VOLution is a "collective."
We just don't presume that by the mere virtue of sharing a range of ideas, that we derive 'special powers' because we believe in those set of ideas.
If there were a voluntarily associated AnCap commune, that would be a collective. Of course, unlike a socialist's you'll be able to LEAVE, unless contractually obligated for a given duration. A key distinction.
As you know, the difference between a collective vs. a collectivist, is the latter presumes to derive their 'power' from a nebulous abstract construct known as whatever entity they claim will bring about a 'greater good,' and presumes it is a morally superior position to advocate for that collective's 'greater good,' when in reality, all they're really saying is, 'I want this done, but if I invoke 'it's for the group,' it gives me and my position and advocacy more sense of populous legitimacy, so it'll seem like others want what I want, as well! Suckers!'
Dr. Paul has never been a statist collectivist; the opposite of an Anarchist maybe arguably, in narrative semantics extremes one can posit, is a "statist," like "hot" is to "cold." But, in philosophical context, it's not 'wrong' to weigh degrees of variations.
It'd be logically impossible to 100% pin down and assert that X is an exact opposite philosophy, of Y.
As, a philosophy, I'd submit, encompasses a RANGE of ideas and beliefs while driven by a single or more set of core constant(s). Thus, one is always left debating how close to, or far from that purported ideological core, each little 'component' idea comports TO that core, or not.
Philosophy is, as classically defined in Greek, a love of wisdom/ideas.
And, its fundamental dialectic nature is such that it is continually rationally argued, to get AT the truth.
It doesn't necessarily start out with a specific, concrete, immutable set of perfect components that would bolster a core idea. As everything philosophical must be argued, to get TO where we want, as problems arise.
Yup, it's another one of those 'subjective' beings (humans) attempting to establish and define something "objectively." Like mathematical limits, we'll get close to... but not really.
It's like, geesh, who decided that it'd be hilarious to make such a ridiculous, constantly paradoxical, biological mish-mash! LOL.
It literally is as if we were created by someone or something, with a never resolvable, built-in psychological impossibility 'drama'-button.
It's like humans were intentionally designed TO BE schizophrenic!
So to me, arguing philosophical opposites, particularly in arguably similar arena, is like claiming an Audi is the opposite of a BMW.
Sure, one may subjectively make the case, aside from obvious the physical differences, that they're the "opposites." But are they?
Sure, they're both German, they both have heavy Nazi lineages.
Sure, they're both unnecessarily expensive, inflation, tariffs, currency exchange rates aside.
Sure, they're both car brands, with similar range of lineups.
But take an Audi S4 or even RS4 vs BMW M3. Setting aside the obvious difference in looks, chasis design, and engine, as far as actual internals go, they actually do share many components that function similarly (Bosch electronics and fuel injection, etc), but the combination of parts and components Audi uses, however similar, yield a different subjective outcome, be it different symphonics of the manifold, headers and exhaust, or the variation in the form of how an air-intake design can affect the actual sound entering and leaving the engine at various RPM. Then, all the quirks of the variances each car's combination yield different animal altogether.
So strictly in terms of philosophy, not sure within the specific areas of dispute many AnCaps do have, be it over transitioning out, parallel econ, agorist models, roads, homesteading, IP, private law, judicial systems, arbitration models, if one leaning any more in one way or another necessarily 'revokes' their 'AnCap-ness.'
To me, all this is akin to those arguing, 'Is Audi S4, as, or more 'German GT,' than a BMW M3?'
Personally speaking, as long as philosophically people agree to NAP and apply and live it, beyond that, as long as they seek voluntary solutions, I really don't see the 'Audi vs. BMW' divide, that much.
Plus, even as an AnCap, it'd be delusional of me to assume that even IF in the post-currency collapse, if diverse pockets of various types of political 'communes' were to pop up all around America (from libertarian, communist, to whatever) that each denizen of those each respective voluntarily associated communes would philosophically automatically consider themselves "voluntaryists." Even though, more than likely, that's exactly what they're doing.
I mean even now, most Americans don't even know of, or follow/uphold/defend/protect, or let alone comprehend/understand possibly the best minarchist document ever humanly devised, The Constitution FOR the United StateS of America...and look where that got us. So, invoking "anarchism" before these same lost souls, when they can't even agree on or understand arguably THE best written minarchist document ever, that we already have, it's gonna be like trying to surf a tsunami to introduce to them what is perceived to be an un-written abstract philosophy called "anarchism" (even if we were to put a happy smiley face on it and call it "voluntaryism"); it may be a long road for a societal mind-wave change, to a fundamental critical mass-shift toward a more voluntaryist direction, IMHO.
But you know, here's been my daily bemusement that I never get tired of constantly observing: the biggest paradox is, even now, I'd posit that 99% of the world live by voluntaryism, DAILY, without even knowing.
It's whenever people want to do something outside of their individual spheres, an act they individually perceive to make them part of a larger act, is when people begin to delusionally rationalize that it'd be okay to use the monopoly of the force of govt/State/Leviathan, to 'achieve good things, for the greater good.'
I'd guarantee, if one were to inquire someone born into a socialist commune or a co-op, whether they ARE there, voluntarily, they'd more than likely answer: YES.
Actually, that may in fact BE true.
But where the problem occurs is when they decide their model community 'worked' so well, that they want it 'nationwide,' and actually believe others too would want it, as well. But of course, the unspoken proviso to the unsuspecting, is always that in order for them to do so, they'll need to tax and use the force of the State to achieve their ends.
Most people, in my observation, even the well meaning ones, never think about that difference: their own socialist commune maybe a voluntary co-op, but once they decide to impose their model, no matter how 'good,' it's simply a tyranny of good intentions.
And, unfortunately, observing some exchanges even among liberarian community, I see way too much confusion over the term "voluntar(y)ist," collective, "collectivist/collectivism"/"statist/statism" and often erroneously used interchangeably, most notably between: collective vs. collectivist/collectivism, without applying the 'Walter Blockian' distinction, as I alluded to, previously.
Be that as it may, as for Dr. Paul's response at Oberlin College, I thought he clearly identified his philosophical leanings.
Not that I'm rooting for him to 'convert' to a 100% Anarcho-Capitalist for the mere sake of him being one, I always see these things in terms of a journey, a trajectory.
So him saying "not yet" is fine by me.
Not that I dare need to be a judge of his philosophical process; it'd be obnoxious for a student to judge someone whom I consider a philosophical mentor (however much progress made within, or beyond a student may become over time). Men are beings of their time. So if he can be who he is, growing up in the shadow of tyrannical 'Progressivism' and neoCon statism, and be on this utterly beautiful philosophical path, with voluntaryism as a philosophical goal, I care not how close or far he gets to be a voluntaryist, in his life time.
A path toward that direction, and as long as one lives his/her daily life as voluntary, as humanly possible? I can think of no higher virtue. And the Gray Champ, he has done it, lived it, and lives it, to the fullest. And hey, he inspired MILLIONS worldwide to pursue their own individual paths, with that in mind. How cool is that?
Predictions in due Time...
"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul
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