"Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, an old-fashioned conservative with a strong libertarian streak, inspires a small but growing base of fervent admirers with his strict interpretation of Congress' powers." ~Baltimore Sun
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Old-fashioned conservative with a strong libertarian streak? Such a description could describe Mitt Romney (See Mitt Romney: An American Hero). Ron Paul is better described as a consistently common sense libertarian, as differentiated from many modern fellow-traveller libertarians who have intellectualized themselves into fools' paradise.
"Conservative" merely refers to preserving what has in the past proven to be good and valuable, workable and heroic ... not addicted to making changes for the sake of change, or for the sake of intellectual theories.
A libertarian, on the other hand, feels a deep and burning inner desire for liberty. In America's present context, this dedication might appear conservative. In other times and places, the same dedication could as easily seem revolutionary. However, there is confusion because some modern libertarians have painted in the public mind a negative picture of "libertarian" as "ego-gratifying." Some clarification is necessary.
"Libertarian" cannot be defined intellectually. Many attempts have been made but all attempts must fall short. Yet a very simple definition is available for those who are willing to look. A "libertarian" is one who recognizes that his or her spirit is free and societal conditions must not squelch the freedom of spirit. Not freedom of ego, but freedom of spirit. It's as simple as that.
If one listens to one's spirit and follows the guidance of one's spirit, one enjoys great success and prosperity. If an entire society learns the habit of listening to spirit and following the guidance of spirit, then everybody in such a society enjoys the fruits of success and prosperity. There is nothing intellectual about it and, indeed, highly active intellectualism is a mechanism used to avoid experiencing one's spirit.
If a person does not listen to spirit and follow the guidance of spirit, opportunities to learn the lesson are created. Any attempt by others to "soften the blow" or "make things easier" blocks the learning process and does not serve anyone. If an entire society forgoes listening to spirit and following the guidance of spirit, then such a society is creating great lessons with enormous pain, suffering, and death (think leftist countries).
The ultimate libertarian was portrayed by Ayn Rand in her novel The Fountainhead, and any admirer of Ron Paul who has not read this novel should do so immediately. Rand's hero, Howard Roark, is not an intellectual. He is simply a man supremely in touch with his spirit, with his true inner certainty and joy ... and he refuses to sell out. Only Socrates and Jesus Christ offer as fine a role model.
The device which prepares libertarians for success, A Course in Miracles, has this to say about spirit vs. ego:
“In this illusory state, the concept of an 'individual mind' seems to be meaningful. It is therefore described in the course as if it has two parts; spirit and ego. In this world the only remaining freedom is the freedom of choice; always between two choices or two voices.
The term mind is used to represent the activating agent of spirit, supplying its creative energy. The mind can be right or wrong, depending on the voice to which it listens. Wrong-mindedness listens to the ego and makes illusions; perceiving sin and justifying anger, and seeing guilt, disease and death as real.”
Available free of charge online:
Course in Political Miracles
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