(Lew Rockwell)—Those of us who support a complete free market often have to face an objection. “Isn’t a Rothbardian program very unlikely to be put into effect soon? Convincing people it’s the right path will take a long time. Meanwhile, what do we do now, within the limits of our current American political system? The great Dr. Ron Paul has the answer to this, and it is an answer Murray Rothbard fully accepted. Our main enemy is the centralized state, now run by brain-dead Biden and his gang of neocon controllers, Because that is true, we should try to move decisions to the local level.
Dr. Paul gives an apt illustration of this point, applied to the difficult issue of abortion:
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“Former President Donald Trump infuriated many anti-abortion voters last week when he refused to commit to national abortion restrictions and seemed to blame them for Republican losses in the 2022 mid-term elections. Trump even criticized the six-week abortion ban signed by Florida Governor (and fellow Republican candidate) Ron DeSantis. So, not only is Trump balking at national restrictions but he is criticizing a state restriction. What are pro-life voters to do?
Politically, Trump may feel he does not need the pro-life vote as much as he did in his previous presidential runs. After all, he is so far ahead in all primary polls that absent an extremely unusual event he is all but the presumptive Republican nominee. He hasn’t even felt compelled to participate in any of the primary debates, skipping the first one to sit for a hugely popular interview with Tucker Carlson.
Trump has attempted to placate pro-life voters by repeating that he is the most pro-life president in American history and by touting that the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade on his watch and with his nominees. He is positioning himself as a moderator and dealmaker, promising to finally make peace on the abortion issue after 52 years of political warfare.
It is understandable that Trump may feel he has more wiggle room on the abortion issue this time. Pro-life voters are likely sufficiently angered by the rapid advance of Cultural Marxism and social chaos of the past three years under Biden that they are ready to jump at even the possibility of a return to more socially conservative values to the White House. If pro-life voters just stay home on election day, they may end up with something far worse than a generally friendly occupant in the White House.
But it doesn’t need to be this way. I strongly believe that the more difficult the issue is, the more local should be its solution. That is the real success of the Dobbs decision, because abortion should have never been a federal issue in the first place. Overturning Roe v Wade returned us to where we belonged, with state and local laws governing all issues not Constitutionally reserved for the Federal Government.
Bigger problems are best decided closest to home. Look for example at what happened when parents started going to school board meetings and demanding accountability on everything from Covid restrictions to transgenders in school bathrooms. Parents were extremely effective because they only had to travel to the local school board meeting to demand – and get – results. Does anyone think they would have been able to get the same results at the Department of Education in Washington DC?
Similarly, immigration is much better handled by those closer to the action. Ideally it would be a property rights issue, but at the least states like Texas should be taking an active role in preventing a foreign invasion into its borders rather than waiting for Washington to make a move.
The pro-life voters and a seemingly more moderate Trump are making a mistake drawing federal battle lines on the issue. The doors are wide open for state and local activism on the abortion issue. All in all, it is a win rather than a loss for power to be devolved from Washington to your local capital or city hall.”
One vital area in which we must oppose central control is education. Schools should be run locally, but one thing is even better: homeschooling. Ron Paul has for decades been a champion of homeschooling. He attacks centralized education tyranny and supports home schooling here:
“A 12-year-old Colorado boy became a victim of “woke” education when he was taken out of class and told he could not return unless he removed a Gadsden flag, or “Don’t Tread on Me,” patch from his backpack. The school backed down after a video went viral in which a school official told the boy and his mother that the problem with the patch is that the Gadsden flag’s origin is related to slavery and the slave trade. The school was criticized by individuals from across the political spectrum for seeming ignorance of the role the Gadsden flag played in the American Revolution. Among the critics was Colorado Governor Jared Polis, one of the few remaining Democrats willing to defend free speech from the woke mob.
This incident reminded me of a 2009 Department of Homeland Security “fusion center” report warning that individuals with Gadsden flag bumper stickers, or bumper stickers supporting my presidential campaign or the Libertarian or Constitution parties, were potentially dangerous extremists. After I and many other Americans objected, the offending report was withdrawn. But, the fact that it was issued in the first place, just like the fact the Colorado student was ever removed from class for his Gadsden flag patch, shows how the authoritarians view the “Don’t Tread on Me” symbol.
The reason the woke authoritarians hate the Gadsden flag has nothing to do with racism or extremism. It is because the flag represents a rejection of authoritarianism and an embrace of liberty. Benjamin Franklin originally used the rattlesnake to symbolize the rebellious American colonies. He chose the snake because the rattlesnake “never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders.” In other words, rattlesnakes follow the nonaggression principle that forbids the use of offensive force against another’s person or property, but allows the use of force to defend against any violations of one’s rights — including those committed by government officials.
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In contrast, authoritarianism is rooted in the notion that politicians, bureaucrats, and their favored special interests have the right to tread on everyone.
The smearing of the Gadsden flag as racist is just the latest example of how the woke left is using its power in American education and cultural institutions to discredit the symbols and ideals of limited government and free markets. The woke left views schools as a place to indoctrinate children into Cultural Marxism rather than a place where children can gain a good education.
The rise of woke education is leading many parents to consider homeschooling. Parents looking to provide their children a quality home-based education that promotes real learning that does not push a political agenda, but does instruct in the history and philosophy of liberty, should look into my homeschooling curriculum. My curriculum provides students with a well-rounded education that includes rigorous programs in history, mathematics, and the physical and natural sciences. The curriculum also provides instruction in personal finance. Students can develop superior communication skills via intensive writing and public speaking courses. Another feature of my curriculum is that it provides students the opportunity to create and run their own businesses.
The government and history sections of the curriculum emphasize free-market economics, libertarian political theory, and the history of liberty. I encourage all parents looking at alternatives to government schools — alternatives that provide children with a well-rounded education that introduces them to the history and ideas of liberty without sacrificing education for indoctrination — to go to RonPaulCurriculum.com for more information about my homeschooling program.”
Dr. Paul notes that we need to separate culture from the state:
“A Florida bill restricting classroom instruction regarding sexuality in kindergarten through third grade has become the latest culture war skirmish.
Supporters of the bill say government schools have no business being involved in this type of instruction with young students. They make a good point. The use of government power to indoctrinate children in certain political and social beliefs — regardless of the wishes of parents — is a major problem.
While the instruction at issue in Florida is associated with efforts of leftists, the temptation to seek to achieve ideological objectives through education policy can be strong among conservatives as well.
The Ohio legislature is considering a bill similar to the Florida bill. Because the Ohio bill applies to private schools participating in Ohio’s taxpayer-funded school voucher program in addition to government schools, conservative legislators supporting the Ohio bill are vindicating the warning of conservatives and libertarians that allowing government to subsidize private school tuition would lead to government control of private schools.
Other conservatives are trying to force schools to adopt a “patriotic” curriculum. This is just as pernicious as leftists’ efforts to force schools to teach critical race theory. Students indoctrinated in critical race theory will graduate believing that white male capitalists are the source of all evil. Students indoctrinated in “patriotism” will graduate believing every bit of propaganda sponsored by the war party and will smear all dissenters from the “party line” as unpatriotic spreaders of disinformation from Russia or whatever country replaces Russia as global enemy number one.
In a free society, parents — not politicians, bureaucrats, or teachers unions — would control education. Parents would decide whether and when their children’s education will include topics like sexuality, race theory, and the evidence for and against Darwinism.
Parents’ demand that their children receive a quality education reflecting the parents’ values could be met by a free market if the government got out of the way. A free-market education system would provide parents with a variety of options, including religious and secular private schools, community-based schools, and homeschooling.
People searching for a quality homeschooling program that incorporates libertarian ideas without ever sacrificing education for indoctrination should look into my homeschooling curriculum.
The Ron Paul Curriculum provides students with a well-rounded education that includes rigorous programs in history, mathematics, and the physical and natural sciences. The curriculum also provides instruction in personal finance. Students can develop superior communication skills via intensive writing and public speaking courses. Another feature of my curriculum is that it provides students the opportunity to create and run their own businesses.
The government and history sections of the curriculum emphasize Austrian economics, libertarian political theory, and the history of liberty. However, unlike government schools, my curriculum never puts ideological indoctrination ahead of education. Interactive forums provide students with the opportunity to interact with their peers outside of a formal setting.”
Let’s do everything we can to promote localism, homeschooling, and the great Ron Paul!
About the Author
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. [send him mail], former editorial assistant to Ludwig von Mises and congressional chief of staff to Ron Paul, is founder and chairman of the Mises Institute, executor for the estate of Murray N. Rothbard, and editor of LewRockwell.com. He is the author of Against the State and Against the Left. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.