There are three individuals that I credit with the meaningful advancement of libertarian thought and principled thinking regarding governance that we have witnessed in the last decade. These three have done God’s work in this regard, and have done far more than any hundred of us writing a few paragraphs a day based on ideas stolen from and better explained by others.
Not in any particular order, these three are Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell and Judge Andrew Napolitano.
It cannot be argued that Ron Paul’s run eight years ago sparked everything we now see as American society’s revolt against the stakeholders – whether those doing the revolting understand this or not. Dr. Paul would not have been successful in this had it not been for his principled approach and consistent record on issues of government, freedom and peace.
Lew Rockwell is clearly the most successful entrepreneur for ideas regarding Austrian Economics, freedom and peace. He is the founder of two institutions that stand at the forefront of educating the public on all things associated with libertarianism.
Judge Napolitano has been a consistent and principled voice in an environment where consistency and principle usually result in being shown the door. He has survived and thrived on the mainstream stage, always interpreting events through the lens of the strictest interpretation of the US Constitution.
If some semblance of a more free and decentralized society becomes reality in the next century, the story of this renaissance cannot be told without the first three chapters covering these individuals.
With this said, I have a nit to pick with the judge:
To my friends who have rejoiced in James Comey’s letter, please take warning that, as [Sir Thomas] More accurately predicted [in Robert Bolt’s play “A Man for All Seasons”], the tables can be turned.
- J. Edgar Comey, by Andrew P. Napolitano
Judge – assuming the infighting at the FBI is real, which I do believe to be the case – this event is the turning of the tables.
The only endeavor in which the federal government even comes close to being successful (other than aggrandizing itself) is the federal prosecution of defendants. From my examination of the success rates of various government departments at their assigned tasks, where every single department except one was somewhere between total and abysmal failure to well below average, I offer:
To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
For 2012, the US Department of Justice reported a 97% conviction rate. In an environment defined by mediocrity at best, and failure most often, this is exemplary performance.
I wonder how they do it.
I do not fear that somehow this action by Comey will unleash the FBI and the Department of (In)Justice on me or the average citizen. I do not fear this because that has been the reality for virtually all of us for decades.
Government bureaucracies are hotbeds for infighting and backstabbing. This is inherent in the system as it is the only way to demonstrate performance and gain advancement. We are witnessing events that normally occur behind the scenes, events that normally happen only to us mundanes. The inherent contradictions in the beast known as the US government are causing it to consume itself.
Returning to the commentary by the Judge:
In his play “A Man for All Seasons,” Robert Bolt shows Sir Thomas More arguing with William Roper, a colleague, who suggests that government lawbreaking can be justified for the greater good, particularly if the target is the devil (which Trump has called Clinton). More demolishes that argument in a few now iconic lines: “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.”
It is not me, or the average citizen, that needs to fear this as something new. Sir Thomas More isn’t lecturing me. He is lecturing the Hillary Clintons of the world. Once people like her have made criminals of the rest of us – which they have most certainly done – where will the machine turn next for victims?
Let them consume themselves. Let them occupy themselves with concern for the knives pointed at their backs. Let them see how it is to live like this every day, how the rest of us live every day.