Paul’s arguments for Noogacentrism


President Reagan is admired by conservatives, though he vastly increased the size of the federal government. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, however, has consistently fought unconstitutional programs and growth of the national power.

We would like to publish a daily report about the effort of Ron Paul to draw the hearts of Americans to concepts of liberty, free markets, noninflationary money, decentralization and domestic demilitarization.But we’ve arrived on the scene too late in the campaign season and haven’t the manpower to fill the gap left among local readers by the Times Free Press, the Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, Fox, local TV and other important outlets. We’d like to publish a daily Noogacentric update about Dr. Paul because he is always making intelligent remarks and is discussing ideas. He often mentions authors we favor such as Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises or libertarian economist Murray Rothbard.

I say that Dr. Paul makes a Noogacentric argument. How so? Has he mentioned the city in any recent speeches or position papers?

He favors localism not by ever needing to mention Chattanooga, Hamilton County or any of its neighboring counties and towns. He argues for Noogacentrism indirectly. By inference he is Noogacentric. By inference he’s also Dalton-centric and Dayton-centric, Cleveland-centric and any-other-town-name-centric because his arguments favor self-determination among people in every locale in each of the 50 states.

He is lococentric by default in that his narrative is about states and locales doing more in having liberty, and the federal power doing progressively less. His proposed actions are largely about the feds reducing their scope of control, funding, influence and “dictation” (as Lee Anderson at the TFP is wont to put it) and seeing solutions coming from the states. Dr. Paul is a true federalist, whereas Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and President Obama are not.

They are defenders of national and unitary power, of centralized authority, of the seeing eye atop the pyramid on the back of the F$1 bill (just look at one, if you haven’t lately). True federalism envisions divided powers, yes, weakened powers, **  better enabling a free people to maintain their prosperity and liberty in locales across the fruited plain and in state capitols.

THE LOCAL PAPER OF RECORD is helpless to provide you with news about Dr. Paul’s campaign. It subscribes to the AP, McClatchy Newspapers and the New York Times news service, none of which take an interest in Dr. Paul’s great success among disaffected young voters nor his ideas. At best, they offer token coverage and dismiss Dr. Paul with offhand comments.

If you go to the creaking TFP website and type in “Ron Paul,” you cannot find anything about Rick Santorum’s dropping out of the campaign. At this hour, you will get:

➤ “Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul urges supporters in Idaho to caucus for him,” a month and 11 days old

➤ “GOP outsider Ron Paul gaining traction in Iowa,” from November 2011

➤ “Ron Paul places third in Iowa, looks to New Hampshire,” Jan. 4 (yes, this year)

If one has time to wait, one can design a search for “more stories,” select the last 24 hours, and find the latest AP story. These pitiful results are perhaps more about website design than media bias. But they typify the approach of the old guard to Dr. Paul’s campaign.

The wire service narrative about Santorum’s departure Tuesday makes it easy for the reading public to maintain its seeming prejudice against Dr. Paul simply because he has fewer delegates and lower numbers in some polls. “Bowing to the inevitable, Rick Santorum quit the presidential campaign **** ” in paragraph No. 1. “Still in the race, but not considered a factor: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul,” in graph No. 4.

In Hamilton County, Romney pulled about 9,000 votes, or 29 percent; Santorum about 10,000 votes, or 31 percent, Gingrich roughly 9,000 votes, or 28 percent, and Paul about 3,000 votes, or 10 percent, according to the Hamilton County Election Commission results on the TFP website. Statewide, Santorum won 37 percent, Romney 28 percent, Gingrich 24 percent and Paul, 9 percent, according to the TFP.

RON PAUL IS THE THINKING MAN’S candidate who is not afraid to address structural problems, whether from the foreign war mentality or the nation’s cherished central bank, the Federal Reserve System. Dr. Paul is a man who doesn’t issue policy papers so much as publish essays to help people to think more clearly about their destinies apart from that envisioned by Uncle Sam.

Here is his latest, “In Praise of Private Charity”:

“One of the great fallacies of our time is that if government doesn’t do something, no one will. Its corollary is that if you are opposed to the government doing something, that you are opposed to anyone performing that function at all. These disastrous fallacies color much of our national debate concerning health care, education, poverty, housing, and disaster relief, and other issues.

This Easter season, I would like to applaud an organization that proves just how much private charity can accomplish without government mandates or intrusion. Convoy of Hope, based in Springfield, Missouri is equal parts grocer, clothier, health care provider, first responder, educator, and logistics expert. It works with communities across America and around the world, bringing together other local charities, businesses, churches, and government agencies to alleviate poverty and help people in the wake of disasters. The tremendous scope of its activities serves as a reminder that government is neither the sole, nor the best, provider of goods and services to people in need.

“I recently had the privilege of touring Convoy of Hope’s headquarters and distribution center. It was a humbling but encouraging experience. Frankly, I’ve never seen an organization so focused, efficient, and poised to do so much good for so many people.

“Convoy of Hope was founded by Hal and David Donaldson in 1994, who, as young boys suffered the death of their father and subsequent poverty. Both men were struck by the outpouring of support their family received during that time from local churches and the community. As a result, the two brothers developed a deep sense of responsibility to helping others in need. Convoy of Hope has since helped more than 50 million individuals in more than 100 countries — giving away nearly $300 million worth of food and supplies in the process.”

NOOGACENTRISM FOCUSES on local action by local people, and its ideas are user-friendly wherever you might live. The provincialism we espouse has roots deep in the soil of political and economic liberty, whether in confederacies such as Switzerland’s, that of the early American colonies or that of the 13 states in their war for Southern independence in 1861. Its origins are in protestant Christianity as rediscovered during the Reformation of the 16th century. A love of liberty is for a particular form of blessing that God grants or God withholds pursuant to his revealed standards of conduct. Most Americans don’t want liberty; most despise self-determination, often out of a sense of civic duty to the poor or to recipients of the federal dole. Liberty is too lacking in security.

Still, Fr. Santorum’s departure from the race gives us a sense of hope about the federal republic, a feeling that Obama/Romney is not inevitable, a sense that though Americans are not deserving of liberty of the kind for which Dr. Paul argues, circumstances seem to be shifting to give greater say to its most stalwart defender on the national political scene.


* * See a tally of the latest count of people on the government payroll, quoting Dr. Paul Light at New York University: “When we add up the true size of the federal workforce — civil servants, postal workers, military personnel, contractors, grantees, and bailed-out businesses — and add in state- and local-government employees — civil servants, teachers, firefighters, and police officers — we reach the astonishing figure of nearly 40 million Americans employed in some way by government. That means that about 17 percent of the American labor pool — one in every six workers — owes its living to the taxpayer.”