The Revolution: A Manifesto

The Revolution: A Manifesto (2008) by Ron Paul is Paul, a regular US presidential candidate’s book outlining his ideas. It’s a clear, interesting view of how America could be altered.

Paul is a long term congressman and was a Doctor before entering politics. Paul’s views are Libertarian. Paul sees the growth of the US federal government since 1945 as being detrimental. He’s also firmly anti-interventionist and reflects the old style Conservative view that wars that are not clearly defensive are a terrible waste.

The Revolution is a really interesting book. Paul describes political debate in the US as being merely about details with the two parties largely agreeing on most things. It’s a point made by both people on the Left and the Right and it isn’t without merit. It’s worth remembering for all the regular rancour the major parties agreed on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, agree on fiat money, agree on having a historically large federal government and agree that the president should have more powers than were clearly intended in the US constitution.

Paul is against the various rent seeking subsidies that the US currently follows. He is also against the large US defence budget. He’s also against abortion and medicare. His view is that the Social Security trust fund should really be that, rather than something the federal government can raid.

Paul’s support for specie backed currency is interesting. Whether specie backed currency could handle huge modern growing economies is an interesting question. Paul is also a strong follower of the Austrian School of Economics and has read much of Hayek and von Mises and so on.

The Revolution: A Manifesto is well worth a read for anyone interested in US politics. It’s probably a book that would only be written by a US politician and it reflects the healthy US view that the answer to every problem is not more government. The ideas contained within would be disagreed with by most people, but given that they are fairly close to the views that saw the US grow from a small frontier state to the greatest power in the world they are well worth considering. Unlike the ideas of The Communist Manifesto they have resulted in prosperity and not starvation. It’s arguable that larger government that post WWII developed countries have had has led to more prosperity but it clearly also has serious problems. Paul’s honest, open, clear exposition of his ideas is a welcome contribution to the debate and it is heartening that the book was a best seller in the US. Well worth a read.

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