A principle of local economy is nonintervention. Nonintervention makes its first claim on behalf of the free market by opposing taxation and the corralling of businesspeople in the enterprise of collections.
A second broadside by noninterventionism is against the long-unchallenged claim in Tennessee that the legislature has carte blanche to deny callings of common right and to implicitly forbid their exercise by a regime of licensure.
Local economy gains as the state is thrown back on these and other points in its conflict against liberty and the free market. If we believe the libertarian press and authors such as Martin van Creveld in The Rise and Decline of the State, the state is losing its way and is in process of being replaced by alternate forms of government. For government and the state are not the same. Local economy in my city and yours counts on alternative forms of organization to replace the state, whose services are often not desired, are of poor quality and performed to the exclusion of duties required of it (justice and restitution, for example).
We’ve just been celebrating the Fourth of July, which many people seem to inject with a line of celebration that seems more suitable for Memorial Day, when soldiers and their deeds are recalled. The focus seems to have shifted slightly away from American independence to American political/military intervention in foreign countries and the glory of soldiers “who fought and died for our freedoms” and “paid the ultimate sacrifice for our liberties,” etc.
Local economy has a view on “foreign policy,” which is Washington’s business, just as Washington has a view on “local economy,” which is ours. Local economy ignores foreign affairs as irrelevant. I believe that the average man in the street is more sympathetic to my analysis than to President Obama’s. I talk to the thinking public 10 hours a week on talk radio, and I have the impression that they care more about lococentrism, small farmers and small business operators I interview than what happened in Benghazi or, this week, in Cairo.
Inherent in local economy is suspicion of force, of bureaucracies, of national government, of national debts, lawless taxation, inflation and its assault on the ignorant and on savers, of standing armies. Local economy is suspicious of the state per se. It is suspicious of Tennessee government and its interventions in the marketplace, as evidenced in the Beacon Center’s latest porkbarrel projects in the state.
Local economy doesn’t speak French, German, Dutch or Arabic. It doesn’t converse well with anyone speaking the Hebrew heard on the streets of Tel Aviv. In Chattanooga, local economy speaks Tennessean and various forms of Southron dialect as one moves further away from the city.
Peace institute founded on local economy concept
Perhaps the most important national figure to defend the main ideas inherent in local economy is former federal congressman, Dr. Ron Paul, who earlier this year founded the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. I highly recommend this talented group of people exploring the concept of noninterventionism and arguing for the benefits of it.
Here, without further ado, I will let Dr. Paul tell about his ideas. All text below this point is from him.
By Ron Paul
As we see each new administration, regardless of claimed ideological or political differences, pursuing the same destructive policies abroad and trampling our civil liberties at home, we must now face the key issues of our time. The issues of war or peace, republic or empire, liberty at home or the encroaching police state, can no longer be ignored. We find ourselves at the edge of a precipice, where it is obvious that the failed policies of the past cannot be repackaged under a new name to solve our crisis today.
Many still believe each four years that if only their candidate – with the newly minted and freshly printed slogans – is elected, we will finally be led to a new springtime in America, to peaceful and prosperous days ahead. But regardless of party, with only cosmetic differences the same policies are being pursued.
Those disgusted by the wars pursued by the Bush Administration, based on lies and manipulation, eagerly waved signs welcoming “change” and voted for new management. But the new manager turned out to be just as bad as the previous one, and in many cases even worse.
The festering wound called Guantanamo Bay has not been closed even as most of its dehumanized prisoners have been cleared for release. Those left there, most of whom not found guilty of anything, are resorting to secret hunger strikes in the hopes of perishing in peace rather than being forced to endure the misery.
4,000 slain in Pakistan — by drones
The current administration has taken its predecessor’s flirtation with the use of drones to kill anonymously anywhere it chooses and turned it into the cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy.
In Pakistan alone, this administration has killed nearly 4,000 people, many of them civilians, with drone strikes. By some estimates, including a recent study by Stanford University, as many as 50 civilians are killed by drones for every terrorist. The administration uses “signatures” to determine who to kill, but these behavior patterns are not at all defined and most often encompass the normal day-to-day activities of farmers and others in Pakistan and elsewhere.
When the administration was forced recently to answer the question of whether it believed it had the legal right to kill Americans on American soil by drone strike, it did not, contrary to press coverage, deny that “right.” Instead, it merely reassured us that it would not kill any American at home by drone who was not considered a “combatant.” And who determines that? Under the precedent set by the previous Bush Administration, it is claimed the president has that imperial privilege.
Just a couple of years ago, Congress passed and the president signed a military spending authorization bill, the NDAA for 2012, which told the president that he has the right to indefinitely detain anyone, even Americans on U.S. soil, indefinitely and without trial if he determines they have provided any sort of material support for terrorist groups or associated forces. What does “material” and “associated” mean? They won’t tell us.
Congress has allowed itself to be made irrelevant, behaving like children while deferring to the president the important decisions it is required to make by the Constitution. On Iraq, Congress left it to the president to decide what to do. On Libya, when in 2011 the president launched an illegal war under false pretenses, Congress did not bother to make a sound. As the president commits the U.S. military to acts of war — covert and overt — against Iran, Syria, Mali, and so on, Congress watches meekly on the sidelines.
There are exceptions, of course, including many Members I have worked closely with over the years in attempt to win our colleagues back over to the side of the Constitution. Many of these friends and former colleagues continue this struggle from inside and they should be commended and supported. I am afraid they are at present still a small minority, largely ignored by House leadership of both parties. But their ranks are growing.
The framers of the Constitution viewed Congress not only as a co-equal branch, but as the first among equals — the people’s branch of government. The people’s branch has nearly lost all relevance today. No wonder poll after poll shows that the American people are disgusted with the whole process. According to the most recent Rasmussen survey, only eight percent of Americans believe Congress is doing a good job, and 53 percent of those surveyed do not believe either party really represents the American people.
We need something new.
We need a hard look at the key issues of our time: the future of freedom, the future of the human race, and of the United States. Neither the Republican nor the Democrat party are pro-peace. They are merely partisan. How many of our pro-peace allies during the Bush administration have disappeared now that a Democrat is in office pursuing the same policies? Also, see how many of the Bush-era hawks have questioned “Obama’s wars” only for petty partisan reasons. It is about political advantage rather than principle. But this is all coming to an end. It cannot be sustained. Every day more and more come over to our camp, the non-interventionists.
At the hands of the warmongers millions have died for nothing. Iraq, Korea, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mali, Venezuela, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and so on. How can we even know the full extent?
According to the U.S. Special Operations Forces commander, Adm. William H. McRaven, testifying before the Senate Armed Services emerging threats subcommittee earlier this month, “On any day of the year you will find special operations forces [in] somewhere between 70 and 90 countries around the world.”
Let’s end our imperial ambitions
Why? To what end? And most importantly, where is the authorization? On whose permission does the U.S. Special Forces Command conduct war in 70 to 90 countries at any given time? Are there stacks of hidden declarations of war somewhere that no American knows about?
The constitution gives the president no power at all to make war on any given day in 70 to 90 countries, to use secret forces to undermine domestic political currents in favor of movements and politicians that the U.S. elites judge to be “in line” with their interests. Again it is the sign of a nation that has lost its way.
It is time for us to stand up for peace, a peace that is intricately connected to justice, shared human values, and prosperity. A peace that leaves us safer than the empty lies of the warmongers. A peace that leaves our economic future with some glimmer of hope, that leaves our next generations with some glimmer of hope. A peace that frees up the economic resources that can prevent our children from being slaves to the impoverishing imperial ambitions of those directing our current foreign policy.
We are the real patriots. We believe in the United States. We believe the time is now to advance our issues as they have never been advanced before. Above all, we are the optimists. We believe in a brighter future.
The Cold War, as we now know, was itself largely hyped up by beneficiaries of the military build-up, but at the very least we should have expected at the end of the thousands of missiles pointed at us some sort of peace dividend. Instead, thanks to those whose careers and fortunes depended in some manner on the military industrial complex, we stumbled from the end of the war on communism to the war to control the world. This war has failed.
This is the agenda that we are going to advance. This is why I have decided to found my own peace institute that seeks friends and allies beyond all political, party, and ideological lines. We have a great battle of ideas ahead of us. It is time for all like-minded individuals, regardless of political, ideological, or other orientation to join this battle of ideas. We are ready to provide guidance.
I feel so strongly about this issue, the issue of war and peace at home and abroad, that I have for the first time given my name to an institute.
Neoconservatives will wreck country unless blocked
We do not have to agree on every single issue. We should tolerate those views that we may otherwise find objectionable — as long as they do not contradict our main shared values: an end to the American empire overseas and the assault on our civil liberties at home. At the end of my 2008 presidential run I gathered together the candidates of the “minor” political parties to see whether we could find some common ground, to see whether there might be some momentum to push forward a new kind of program beyond the domination of the two major parties. The joint statement we came up with then can very well serve as a guideline for our shared mission to restore peace and liberty to this country. To secure a better future for coming generations. ***
This is an historic moment. The era of the neo-conservative control over our foreign policy is passing. Those pushing authoritarianism at home are being challenged and rejected. The American people are turning away from a foreign policy of empire because they understand that they cannot afford it, that it does not make us safer but rather the opposite; that the price of empire abroad is a police state at home, and that throughout history all empires fall and fall in a catastrophic way. We can avoid this terrible fate if we stand up together.