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Ron Paul and Private Courts

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We have conclusive evidence that Ron Paul advocates the private production of all defense services. See:

Quote Originally Posted by Liberty Defined, page 288
The government is incapable of doing what it's supposed to do. A job like the provision of security is something best left to private institutions.
Quote Originally Posted by Liberty Defined, page 255
If we reflect on how security works in the real world, we discover a huge and important role for private enterprise, and we find that the vast government apparatus of "national security" does not keep us safe so much as threaten our liberties by regarding the entire citizenry as a threat. Private security does not threaten our civil liberties, but government-provided security does.
In regards to what makes governance legitimate we have:

Quote Originally Posted by Liberty Defined, page 70
Lysander Spooner carried this argument further. He believed that only a "few" consented (to the constitution). Therefore, the Constitution should not apply to those who did not give their personal consent to cede any personal liberty (power) to the state. This is an interesting argument, but it's not likely to make much headway at this stage in our history. Enforcing the Tenth Amendment is a big enough challenge to us for now.

All of Spooner's writings are worthy of study.
Ron Paul puts Let's Abolish Government at the end of this chapter as recommended work to study.

This work of Spooner's includes No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, which debunks the social contract theory of government, it makes a strong case that the constitution has no legitimate authority. When Ron says "enforcing the Tenth Amendment is a big enough challenge to us for now." He advocates enforcing the Tenth Amendment when applied to the government now, as a stepping stone, but he purposefully says "for now", it is implying that he would eventually like to make Spooner's case. This is the "learning liberty is a marathon, not a sprint" theory applied.

But maybe this still does not convince you. Maybe Ron Paul disagrees with Spooner, and recommends reading his very persuasive work just as a challenge to see if you can get through with out it changing your mind. I doubt it, though.

So is there any proof, from Ron Paul himself, that he agrees with the case Spooner makes? Actually, there is!

Quote Originally Posted by Liberty Defined, page 126
That authority (of government), gained by explicit consent of the people, should be strictly limited. Consenting to a greater role for government violates the moral defense of freedom.
This is exactly what Spooner argues in No Treason. Government can only be legitimate if it has the explicit consent of those governed. This proves that Ron Paul does not advocate the social contract theory of government (implicit consent theory), and that he uses the Constitution only as a tool (he has said he prefers Voluntaryism compared to the Constitution). He advocates the Constitution as opposed to what we have now (just like all Voluntaryists), but he has clearly shown that he advocates explicit consent (the Constitution does not meet this standard) for any governance to be legitimate.

Also see: In reality, the Constitution itself is incapable of achieving what we would like in limiting government power, no matter how well written. - Ron Paul, End the Fed

Ron Paul has publicly said on TV that all taxes are theft, plus: "If we as a nation continue to believe that that paying for civilization through taxation is a wise purchase and the only way to achieve civilization, we are doomed." in Liberty Defined. Taxes are usually justified with the social contract type arguments, etc. And it has been shown that Ron Paul rejects this position.

Without a doubt, he has explicitly advocated positions that are in stark contrast to the minarchist position (private defense and private national defense). These positions alone are strong evidence that he is a pure Voluntaryist. The only possible claim one could make that he is not a Voluntaryist is that he wants a coercive monopoly for the court system. Even if this were true, he would be 2/3 Voluntaryist (voluntary personal defense and voluntary national defense), 1/3 minarchist (involuntary production of courts).

Given the facts above, however, there is no basis to conclude that he advocates a coercive monopoly on the judicial system. It would not be logically consistent at all. Given his positions on private personal defense, private national defense, taxes, and his position that only explicit consent is justifiable criterion for governance, it does not follow that the courts are an exception to privatization. To conclude Ron Paul advocates the coercive production of the courts is to conclude that he is philosophically hypocritical (he would have to abandon his beliefs to advocate violence for court production).

However, my evidence goes beyond just stating "because he advocates the private production of everything else he must advocates private courts as well". I can demonstrate why this conclusion is true.

This is what I found in Liberty Defined on courts:

Quote Originally Posted by Liberty Defined, page 127
A free people do not use force to mold person moral behavoir, but a free people do entrust the management of social norms to the courts of taste and manners that arise spontaneously within civilization.
Add this to what he said about explicit consent of the governed, and we have already shattered any notion that he might advocate an involuntary monopoly on courts. This is still does not conclude my case, however.

There is one last final and most profound fact to consider. It goes back to the undeniable fact that Ron Paul advocates private personal and national defense. Once you accept the fact Ron Paul advocates private personal and national defense, it is impossible to advocate an involuntary monopoly on courts.

The reason why this is impossible is because the monopolistic courts must rely on the equally monopolistic defense services to enforce their laws, their decisions, their jurisdiction, forcibly extract the funds necessary to function, etc. Without a legally enforced monopoly on defense, the courts automatically become voluntary because any decision they make must be voluntarily enforced by the private defense. Without the courts being under the same entity that provides defense, they have no way to collect the taxes necessary to function.

If people voluntarily pay for the defense services to enforce the courts decision, the courts are by an extension of this act being funded voluntarily. The same market principles would apply. If consumers are not happy with particular courts, they would not provide the funding necessary to enforce their decisions because the enforcers are themselves funded privately.

1. Ron Paul explicitly advocates private personal defense
2. Ron Paul explicitly advocates private national defense
3. Ron Paul explicitly views all taxation as theft (proven by 1. and 2. plus his agreements with Spooner)
4. It is impossible to advocate the private production of all defense services while simultaneously advocating an involuntary monopoly on courts
5.The strongest argument the minarchists had against Ron Paul being a Voluntaryist was the courts (for some reason they never used it?), but has been debunked.

Therefore, any claim that Ron Paul is not a Voluntaryist is completely inconsistent given the facts available.

Updated 08-20-2011 at 01:09 PM by Wesker1982



  1. Wesker1982's Avatar
    The defense function is the one reserved most jealously by the State. It is vital to the State’s existence, for its monopoly of force depends on its ability to exact taxes from the citizens. - Murray Rothbard