Ron Paul: Thank you very much, thank you, thank you. Looks like the revolution is alive and well. We may be just getting started, it’s a delight to see so many of you here today. That’s wonderful. Now this an important year for us, there’s an election coming up, I don’t know, did anybody notice there was, something going on in Tampa, a few weeks ago. Though, there is a lot of excitement right now because we are dealing with a lot of important issues and they’re especially important for young people to be thinking about because some of these things are falling on your shoulders, this is the reason I like so often to come to the universities, and did this a few times in the last couple of years, matter of fact in the last four years, so I am so pleased that when I get a chance, the response is so favorable, because I don’t come promising and saying that all we need to do is go to the government to solve the problem, what I would like to do is deliver back to you, your God given right to your life.
The whole questions is who is responsible, you know, for the economy, for your personal behavior and how the world is run and quite frankly I don’t think the government is responsible for your personal behavior nor for the economy, it’s your responsibility.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the fiscal cliff, the fiscal cliff is that event coming up at the beginning of the year, they’re terrified that there might be some cuts for the sequestering of funds, but the whole thing is that there aren’t any cuts in sequestered of funds there is only cuts on proposed increases, so there aren’t any actual cuts but both sides are hysterical that maybe the increases won’t be as big as they were planned to be, but also the taxes will go up significantly if they don’t do something in Washington before the end of the year, my prediction is they will, they’ll wait until the last minute, they will delay it, they’ll postpone it but it will be such a disaster to see the taxes dramatically increased on the first part of the year, but my suggestion is rather simple, it is not complicated at all, their so- called minor cuts, let the cuts come, don’t put the money back in and stop, you know, don’t cut, don’t raise any taxes, what we need are a lot less taxes and a lot less spending would solve most of our problems.
One of the problems that America faces up to and especially in the next generation, that is, Washington right now is in total denial, they’re in denial of the seriousness of the problem, and the problem is that we’re bankrupt, this country is bankrupt, $16 trillion dollars in debt and obligations, that’s minor, it’s $222 trillion dollars of obligations, you know, for our future pay outs, for the entitlement system, there’s not enough of you out there, there aren’t enough jobs, you can’t work hard enough, so, Washington is in denial. If they thought it was half as bad as I think it is, they’d cut some spending and that’s what they would have to do, but how do you cut spending if you endorse a system that nobody wants to give up on? Are they going to give up on the welfare state? Oh no, he can’t do that, they consider that immoral. I happen to think that the welfare system is immoral because it doesn’t work. The last thing in the welfare system is volunteerism, has not to do with volunteerism, I believe in volunteerism, I believe in charity, I believe in helping people but I don’t believe the government is capable of doing that without hurting people so therefore I reject that whole thing. The welfare system works on the notion that the government has this moral responsibility to take from one group to give to another group, and the argument is always for humanitarian reasons, there are poor people, there’re people falling through the cracks and they need some help and it’s a pretty powerful argument because too often conservatism and libertarianism have a hard time answering that, what do you do, you don’t care about people if you don’t steal from this group to give to the people who need or want something or people who don’t work? Well, you have to be able to answer that or we won’t be able to solve this problem because it is not only is it immoral to steal from one group, if poor people or people who are down on their luck need something and you have something, you don’t endorse the idea that they can march in your house and take something. Why should we be able to send the congressman there to march at the house with the IRS and take and transfer it over there? That’s not right!
Now, another argument that would make it tough, let’s say that the welfare system worked, that prosperity persisted forever, we’re all doing well and there were no poor, you say, “well, it’s pretty hard” you might argue this theoretical thing about using force and transferring money to help the poor, the whole thing is, you end up with more poor, just think of all the spending we have and then the economy turns down because their shortcomings and understand of economics, now we have 46 million people on bread lines, now they call it food stamps, but those are bread lines, it’s just totally out of control, so it doesn’t help the poor people, once you endorse the principle of welfareism, guess what? The poor get poorer and the rich get richer. So if you understand free market economics, understand the business cycle, we do know that there’s down turns and there are bubbles, we’ve gone through this and we’re in the middle of this right now, so the whole system was set to make sure that poor wouldn’t fall through the cracks, so the crisis come, which is predictable because of the deficits run up to try to satisfy all these special interests, so we get into the crisis so the commerce and the federal reserve just come rushing to the rescue and guess who receives the benefit? The big banks and the big corporations and foreign governments and foreign central banks, they get the bailouts and what happens to the poor people that we’re supposed to help in the middle class? Middle class individuals lose their jobs and they lose their houses so it’s a totally failed system and we can’t be intimidated by those who argue that if you don’t support the welfare transfer system, you’re not a humanitarian, if you’re a true humanitarian what you want to defend is liberty and responsibility and a limited government and balanced budgets and honest money.
There is something special happening today, and we’re in the time we recognize the end of a particular era, probably a 100 year era where we accepted the idea that government should expand, our government should be the policeman of the world, we should have an income tax, and we should have a federal reserve that print money when we need money, but guess what? It hasn’t worked and what this crisis is talking about right now is a failure of the Keynesian theory of economic policy and therefore we have an opportunity to replace Keynesian interventions, you know big government involved in economy, and replace it with free market, sound money and the gold standard, that’s what will solve the problem.
In 1913, of course, dramatic changes, Woodrow Wilson changed our foreign policy, you know, in a wonderful, you know, idealistic thought that we the people of the United States have this moral responsibility to make the world safe for democracy, just think of what’s happened since 1913, I mean we’ve been in a lot of wars and they’re pretty persistent but and he also knew in the progressive era ship knew that we can’t do that, we can’t usher in the welfare state, in the warfare state without a lot of money so they had to have the income tax, and of course that has grown, at the same time he had to have the backup, which is the federal reserve, and the printing of money, which means that a major two step policy that we could have if you really your freedoms back and a limited government: you get rid of the federal reserve, you get rid of the income tax! A lot of people, a lot of people say: “but that’s crazy talk, how could we live without the income tax, how are going to pay for the government?” Why don’t you become your own government, govern your own lives and let you keep your own money and let you spend it the way you want to spend it? That’s a good goal, was getting rid of the taxing system… but I’ll tell you what, taxes and the IRS and all the abuse, that’s a symptom, it’s a symptom of a changed attitude of the American people of what the role of the government ought to be, the founders had a precise role of what they thought of the government should be, it was very limited, read article 1 section 8, very little authority for the congress and the federal government to do the things that they’ve been doing, so what they have done though is they’ve changed their attitude, they changed their attitude about our responsibilities around the world, I believe very strongly in a strong national defense, but I don’t believe in preemptive war, I don’t believe in starting wars against countries that haven’t done anything to us. So in order to have a different monetary system, a different tax system, we as a people have to decide whether or not we should be doing it, now one thing is, even when I go to crowds that are less sympathetic than this crowd, I’ll say: “even if we disagree with me about changing our foreign policy”, I say, we win this argument because we’re going broke, this is how the soviet system collapsed, guess what, the soviets were so foolish, they got bogged down in Afghanistan, so I would say: “let say let’s get home from Afghanistan, and bring our troops home.”
If we can change our attitude about the foreign policy, we can have a strong national defense, change our attitude about a welfare system that has failed, change our attitude about free market economics and a sound monetary system and honest money, get rid of the business cycle under those conditions, we wouldn’t need all these collection agencies up in Washington, all this invasion of our privacy and into our lives, but if that would happen, believe me, this country would change, right now we’re still a pretty fortunate country, we’re pretty wealthy still, but the wealth is depended on debt and continuous inflation and trust in the currency that doesn’t deserve the trust and we now are seeing a dramatic change, after this 100 years there’s been a big change and now we’re facing this bankruptcy, we’re facing a crisis time which can change dramatically in a short period of time now because the foundations of our liberties have eroded, the foundations of our monetary system has eroded, the foundations of our economic system, the foundation of a sound foreign policy have eroded, so things can get out of control rather quickly, matter of fact I consider the most dangerous spot in the world right now is probably over the middle East with Syria, I mean, all these things going on over there and we’re continuing… look, just think of how much we the American people spent on propping up the Egyptians and having this artificial peace with Israel, “oh this was for the benefit of Israel, the benefit of us” who knows what… but it was like $45 billion dollars we gave to Egypt and it ended badly, the people turned against the government that we propped up, we prop up dictators around the world, so there’s a revolution going on over there, so we support the revolutionaries, and they happen to be a bunch of bad guys, and they have Al-Qaida now in these countries, Libya is the same thing, Libya is a mess now and we thru NATO, now through Congress… you know that would be one thing that we could do to slow things up, don’t let our government go to war without a declaration of war by the American people. We’ve been told, our presidents have told us that they can get the authority from NATO and the United Nations, they don’t have to come to the Congress, but it is up to us to change that, government is a reflection of the people, if we want a welfare war for our state and it happens, it’s our fault, if they’re doing things that you don’t like, it is up to us to do something about it, the individuals who participate in that, I don’t believe in preemptive war, I believe in you only declare war and you do it in defense of this country and not that we go in and change other governments around the world.
Not only are these wars very costly financially, think of the cost of life and limb, not only… you know, since then, for the last past 10 years over 8000 Americans have died, you know, counting the contractors and all, and 45000 come back severely injured or sick and requiring care, we have an epidemic of veterans coming back committing suicide, so this is a big cost, but the cost financially has been in at $4 trillion of dollars of debt to us in these past 10 years, and it hasn’t worked, the foreign policy doesn’t work any better than the welfare system works, so here we go in, yes we went into Iraq, still a bunch of Americans believe that we went into Iraq because Iraq had something to do with 9/11, absolutely false, it had nothing to do with 9/11, and guess what, the American people were told that Al-Qaida was there we had to go get them, Al-Qaida wasn’t there, weapons of mass destruction, nothing there, but then some people say, well the real reason is the oil, the real reason is we have to really build up so that we can go after the Iranians and overthrow their government as well but now the government is in charge of Iraq is now a closer ally to Iran than they are with us, it didn’t work, it backfired, the Kurds are very independent now and there is still a lot of chaos, a lot of killing going on over there, so there is no evidence what so ever that foreign policy has helped us, it makes us less secure, and we’re in a bigger threat, of course, that challenge us financially, so what we need, of course, is an re-assessment, you know a good place to start, whether is monetary policy, or whether is welfare system, or property rights or civil liberties or the foreign policy, you know, a good place to start, maybe even stop there to improve things, is why don’t we make sure that everybody in Washington actually reads the Constitution and obeys the Constitution.
A lot of people make that the problem up in Washington is that we don’t have anybody who want to compromise and work together, and I was on a TV program the other night and they asked me that question, I think that’s the wrong word, I think that for too long we’ve had too much compromise in Washington, they compromise in all their principles, whether is left or right, they get together because they, both sides… I mean, have you ever noticed that when we change administrations and one promises to cut, do we get the cuts? Do we get a balanced budget? Does the government shrink? No, there is always this compromise, “well, we’ll raise this for you if you raise this for us, raise this welfare over here, raise this for the corporate welfare over here” so it continues, I think the answer is more in building coalitions, because the freedom philosophy appeals to a lot of people, it isn’t like it’s a narrow group of conservatives within the Republican party and we have to take over the Republican party to show that we believe in certain things, no, there is a coalition, when you look at the Constitution, if you look at civil liberties, if you look at foreign policies, if you look at economic policies, all of the sudden you have people who consider themselves liberal, they’ll say: “you’re right about civil liberties, this is one of the things that happens under war”, essentially civil liberties are attacked, so you can appeal to liberals on civil liberties, you can appeal to liberals who say: “Yes, we’re fighting too many wars” and come together and have agreements, that I think is the way, I think that freedom brings people together, I think that is the best thing. Of course the freedom message on foreign policy is that, yes, there are a lot of problems around the world, is just that we don’t impose those on American citizens and tax the American citizens or send our children over there to be killed, trying to solve all those problems, but what we do is we recognize that, that we can at least work towards a more peaceful arrangement by following what our founders said, that is, you know, try diplomacy once in a while, try being friends, try trading with people, quit putting sanctions on everybody that we disapprove of, we’ve had sanctions on Cuba for 50 years and it hasn’t done any good, I say, it’s time we trade and visit with Cuba again!
But we certainly see how working across the political spectrum, how freedom for the individual brings people together and a lot of people think that if you endorse freedom for the individual, that they might do things that you don’t approve of, and quite frankly, they might, but is that our business, if they’re not hurting anybody, you know, it’s up to the individual, in a free society the responsibility for each and every one of us is on us, us the individual to make a decision for our personal lives, and our economic lives and, our family lives, and not give that responsibility to the government because they’ll mess that up too. So understanding civil liberties and most of us understand civil liberties rather well when it comes to religious liberty because there are a lot of different religions in this country and we even, you know, tolerate people who don’t want to have a religion and we shouldn’t be… we can be personally, you know, critical, or want to teach our children a certain way, but we don’t tell other people what they have to believe in, we recognize this, and intellectual freedom is pretty good, and that is we allow people to read books, even controversial books – that’s getting a little bit more difficult – but we generally have respected intellectual freedom and religious freedom, if we allow people to make their own decisions about their eternity and what they put into their brain, why is it that we have not adapted and accepted that same principle on what people do with their personal habits and with what they put into their bodies? There certainly are some bad habits that can hurt some people and they should assume a responsibility, if you want your freedoms and you want to abuse your freedoms, you should suffer the consequences, but think of history on how many people over the many centuries have suffered from bad intellectual ideas, authoritarianism and communism and all these things, millions and millions of people died from this, think of the abuse under religion, people take religions and distort religions and they do evil things in the name of religion but we don’t throw that out, but so often we throw out this responsibility of being individual, we got to the point now where our federal government tells us that you’re not allowed to drink raw milk if you want to, and of course as a physician, and as a father and grandfather I think that there is way too much abuse of drugs in this country, I think that the biggest problem with the drug abuse in this country are prescription drugs and when it comes what they call the illegal drugs, that’s a big problem too, but for me it’s the war on the illegal drugs that’s the big problem, it’s an excuse to violate civil liberties, it’s an excuse to spend trillions of dollars, since the early 1970’s since the war on drugs really got busy, since then trillions of dollars were spent… and once again, can we show success? Are there no drug addicts out there anymore? Is it just a wonderful, a wonderful thing that’s happened?
No, that responsibility, if we live in a moral and a virtuous society, you don’t need the government to tell us it’s dangerous to do certain things and that is the problem we’re living now with the law. This is one of the things that we were warned about this early on, Benjamin Franklin said that the Constitution freedom doesn’t work unless you have a virtuous society and John Adams said the similar thing, he said you have to have a moral society and a religious society for the Constitution and for freedom to work, so if we decide that if the people aren’t behaving like they should, just giving more power to the politicians to makes us moral and virtuous, it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work any better than making the economy work better or the wealth being redistributed or more peace throughout the world, it just compounds it, so what we have done over the many, many years is shift too much authority, the founders understood this, and they tried to prevent it, and said “look it should be a very limited government, if you want government, it should be local government” and yet I think right now, unfortunately, what you’re getting as a generation, is looking at it and a lot of people can come to the conclusion, the Constitution hasn’t worked that well, I mean, when you look at the votes, just go look at the votes, look at the last 100 votes that we’ve had in the House of Representatives, you’d probably say “Why are they voting on this stuff for? Why are they spending all this money?”, so the Constitution hasn’t worked, so that means it’s really up to the people, the politicians don’t sit back and think “Well, one more politician will make a difference”, it won’t, people have to change. Right now there’s an opportunity for that, the economic policies have failed, the foreign policies have failed, it’s not gonna work anymore, so we have the chance to offer something different, something better, it’s not brand new, we’ve talked about freedom and limited government for a long time, but it’s really pretty new, when you think about how much time we’ve really spent in a really free society, we probably have the best example in our early history, but most history is filled with totalitarians, and most of the countries in the world today are still run by totalitarians, so it’s been tested so little, what seems like such a shame is when we had the maximum amount of freedom we had the greatest amount of prosperity ever in the largest middle class and if we don’t do anything we’d be giving up on this, so the opportunity now is, since this is the key to continue, is when the time comes when we really have to change policy, let’s hope there is enough of us, enough of us there to influence intellectually, you know, what is happening in Washington, intellectual changes have to come before revolutionary changes come to a government, there was an intellectual ground work for our revolution in the early days and they set the standards that led to the revolution of the writing of the Constitution, but right now the most optimistic thing is what happening in the country, there truly is a revolution going on in this country and people’s attitudes are changing.
If you go get the record of mankind, they claim that recorded histories probably, you know, are about 5000 years, would you think how long the universe has been around and the world has been around and that’s a very short period of time, but it was very primitive, up until when, just in recent history, I mean, 1000 years ago, we were still very primitive, even 200 years ago, wasn’t society rather primitive before the event of the steam engine? And then 100 years ago, just think of what it was like, you know, I recall my dad tell me that the most dramatic thing in his life was seeing the gasoline engine come, he delivered milk, had a little dairy, and he delivered milk in a horse and buggy, he went to trucks, ended up with a small dairy with 20 trucks, what a dramatic difference! In my life time the thing that fascinated me most was the first time I saw a TV set and today though, with the ending of an era, we’re going to see a new era, now, the philosophy is there, the opportunity is there, you know what it’s available to us now? It’s the spreading of this information like never before because we live in the information age, we have an internet, and what we’re talking about here today is not something that is narrow in the Republican enclave, this is across the world, believe me, there are groups of people, even in these countries that you think “no, they’re terrible”…, there’s always a pocket there, starting to understand they’re different, so there is reason to be optimistic about what is happening today. Now, in this last 100 years or so, as technology improved, just think of the scientific improvements in the last 100 years, it’s fantastic, you know, all the conveniences, and yet what hasn’t progressed in that last 100 years? And that is, a peaceful solution to mankind’s problems, it seems that we’ve made no progress, the more that has been scientific advancement, they’ve used those advancements just to learn how to kill more people, it’s been 2 or 300 million people killed in the 20th century, so all this technology that give us all some wonderful things, so where has the progress, why has the progress not occurred outside of, you know, some materialist benefits and outside of knowing how to fight and kill each other at the same time we have made essentially no progress in knowing how to avoid war, I think that a new era is here, I think right now we can expect that this message is going to be new and different, because in the past, we only had little bits and pieces of it, but today is more available to all of us, it’s out there and we can communicate and it’s changing just rapidly in the last 4 or 5 years, it’s dramatically changed, and one great threat to hear is, once again, government. If government sees that the internet and communication as a threat is what they’ll wanna do, they’ll want to crack down on the internet. This is one reason why I have done my very best to always oppose any legislation that would curtail your freedom to use the internet.
We’re all on the verge of this new era, and it’s up to you, it’s up to you to participate, everybody has a personal responsibility, the personal responsibility is to educate oneself, sure, go to universities, do your best, but it’s really falls on own your shoulders, then your family and friends, you have both responsibilities. We have to be responsible for ourselves and to change ourselves, if each and every one of us would change ourselves and each and every one of us believed this, why would governments do the opposite? Franklin and Adams was right, if the country is immoral the government is going to be immoral. So it is… politics is very important but politics is secondary to this, what I’m talking about, the most important thing is for us to assume this responsibility, we have this free will, we have this moral agency, we’re concerned how we run our own lives, and we cannot deliver that to the government. We have to seek to try to make ourselves more virtuous and work for excellence. That should be the goal. If we turn that responsibility over to the government, to say “oh they’re going to make us virtuous”, you know, that lends itself to a Theocracy, you know, that they get involved in social and personal matters, so the only thing that counts is how we take care of ourselves and why I’m excited about what’s happening is the interest shown in this individual responsibility rather than collectivism, which saturated the 20th century, that it is the individual’s who then, as they improve themselves, that they can work together with other people. I think this is where we have seen so much progress, you know, it’s been said during the campaigns that I’ve had for the last several years, there’s a good response from young people, and I think that is wonderful, because I think this makes all the difference in the world, and a lot of people used to say, “well, what we need to do is quit the spending because we’re going to dump this debt on the next generation”, I don’t say that anymore, it’s dumped on us, right now, each and every one of us, we’re paying the bills right now that’s why we’re gonna be forced to do something about it. Sometimes it’s discouraging because people say but you’re talking about the individual, we need 51% of the people, have to be converted, not necessarily, it’s never happened that way, 51% of the people didn’t endorse our revolution against the British, but there was a small group of people, probably, 6,7, 8% who were determined, who were leaders, who were thought leaders and others came along. So that’s the way it’s been for a long time, the majority of people go along and they don’t worry too much and I bet you had people a day or two before the election “who are you going to vote for, I gotta decide what I am going to do”, they wait and yet anybody who would come to a meeting like this to listen to me, you have to be a little bit different.
It also means that if you’re in the 8% the responsibility that’s heavier on your shoulders and you have a lot more influence, you say “but that’s too much work for me”, but I’ll tell you what, if you do it because you have a moral responsibility, that’s one reason, you do it because it’s for your family, but you also can do it because it’s fun! Because we don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow or the next week or the next day, I mean, all kinds of things can happen in our lives, but you know, working together with like minded people, especially when we’re talking about something very important like liberty, that can be a lot of fun and that’s what should happen, you should have fun fighting for this cause. One thing that happened approximately 100 years ago, about the same time when we had the progressive era, they divided us, they divided the country, they wanted to talk about economic freedom and personal freedom, and freedom isn’t to be broken up, freedom is personal, is individual, is God given, is natural to you and you don’t have half of us sitting over here who have economic freedom, how to spend your money and somebody else has the other half and say “Well, at least I can do my thing, and go to the church I want to and I can practice the habits as I please and if I hurt myself I’ll take care of myself”, no, it’s one of the same! If you have economic freedom you should be able to have an incentive to work hard, keep what you earn, take care of yourself and your family. On the account on social liberty, you have the responsibility to enjoy yourself, if you take risks, just as in economics, if you take risks, and you fail you should suffer the consequences and rip the rewards.
People will say: “Well, there will still be too many poor people”, but guess what in a free and prosperous society, which we had a taste of, the generosity is going to be there. A lot of people worry a lot about that people wouldn’t be taken care of and when I finished medical school, I spent a couple of years practicing medicine before there was Medicare or Medicaid, and I worked at a county hospital and I was paid the astounding salary of $3 dollars an hour, and I was still learning and I was glad to do it and, but even then, back then, $3 dollars was a lot, you know, it was a lot more money than $3 dollars will get you today, that’s for sure, but nobody was turned away! Everybody had care, it wasn’t like people were lying up on the streets and dying without medical care, now, today, it seems to be more difficult, and will get more difficult as we get more and more government involved, so it is a system that I have trouble understanding why we haven’t done a better job, why haven’t we been able to convince the masses of people and the large majority and all the Congress to say “that makes sense, peace is better than war, free markets are better than socialism, balanced budgets are better than spending”, why do we lose this argument? Because it seems like it’s so attractive, I think they don’t understand liberty but they also, the people in this country have been tempted to think there was something as a free lunch and that’s what has changed, more and more people know now there is no such a thing as a free lunch and that the system is biased, even if you just look at the monetary system without looking at the welfare system biased toward the wealthy, it’s estimated the wealthy get twice as many benefits from government than the poor but if you just look at the monetary system, when you take money and debase the currency and you just print money and the value goes down, there is a natural tendency according to monetary history that you will undermine the middle class. When we had sound money and more freedom, we always bragged about our middle class, the largest and the richest middle class in the history of the world, but that not so true anymore, you know, we’re not the most capitalistic country in the world today. It’s pretty sad when we see countries like China become our banker, what’s the matter with us? When you have a system like the federal reserve printing money, they pass out the money, they bail out certain people versus the other, but money goes to governments and banks, money goes to banks, money goes to big corporations, they get to spend it early on and it has more value when the money circulates for 1, 2, 3 years the value of that money goes down and even if you don’t pay any income tax, you pay the inflation tax and the inflation tax is truly a tax, but if you want reassurance all you have to do is listen to our government, our bureau of labor statistics and our federal reserve say “Oh there is no inflation, prices last year went up 2% so you’re not suffering and the people on social security, they get just a little bit of increase because prices really aren’t going up”, but prices are going up! There is some private sources that measures the CPI according to the old method and they claim your prices, all prices are going up at the rate of 9%, also the private sources tell us that the unemployed rate is closer to 22%, so have you noticed in this last couple of weeks how great the statistics has been? Every government report that comes out, sounds like, “oh there is no problem in this country, houses are being build, the unemployment rate is going down, there is no inflation, it’s wonderful” let’s hope so but quite frankly I don’t think we should put our hand in the sand, we have to believe what is happening, we have to look at the real figures, what real inflation is, what the dangers are around the world, how our civil liberties are being undermined and then we should wake up and do something about it.
There are a few things that I would hope that would come with the change of the administration and I will continue to argue the case for these changes. For one I would like to see the repeal of the National Defense Authorization Act. This whole idea that not only we’ll have our presidents assume some of these responsibilities, or assume these powers, such as drawing up kill lists, assassinating American citizens. Congress is going along with this, Congress actually passed the National Defense Authorization Act, that gives the president the authority to use the military to arrest anybody they want to, including American citizens, put them in prisons, without even a trial and held indefinitely, but, you know their argument is “it hasn’t been used all that much”, but you know, like, welfare, starts a little bit, like the income tax, starts a little bit, but it’s the authority and the principle is 100% and someday it’s just liable to grow as conditions, you know, when economic conditions get worse, what’s happening in other countries as economic conditions deteriorate? There is a little bit of disturbance in the streets and we won’t be immune from that. That is why our job is so important because we do have some time, we do have the method, it is up to us to understand what freedom is all about, how to answer these questions and not be, you know, not succumb to this temptation to say, “oh you know, a little bit of government is ok to take care of so and so” but if it leads to what we have today we have to challenge it, so we have at least 2 tugs of war going on, one, those in charge probably know they’re in trouble but they’re also quite capable of using the National Defense Authorization Act and other things to suppress our civil liberties, to me, to fight this battle, the most important thing we protect is out civil liberties to speak out. You know the real hero in our society should be the whistle blowers, the people willing to tell us the truth, we passed laws to protect our whistle blowers but they generally aren’t protected, and they can get put in prison and abused, but what we need to know is what’s happening, what’s happening in our country though over these last several decades is that you lost your privacy and the government has become more secret and it should be the other way around, the government should be open and your privacy should be protected.
So we have this struggle going on with authoritarianism which in this country would probably look more like a fascist system if it continues to go this way or are going to promote our ideas and win this intellectual fight and it’s still up for grabs but I quite frankly am convinced that we live in a really great period of times, it’s a grand time to be alive, because I think the opportunities are different than ever before, so if you’re for peace, if you’re for prosperity and freedom and if you understand it and you have access, everybody now, you know, 5 years ago or so, I didn’t know exactly what, I only knew one type of viruses, it was a medical viruses then I found out what viruses were when things went viral on the internet, and send out notices that everyone of you have friends out there, so I can’t imagine how many people in this audience would reach, how many more people, you might even have 100 people in your list or 200 people in your list so it is, we now live in this wonderful era because we’re further along but I have to warn you, one thing, true freedom has never been tried, we just talked about it, off and on, it always seem that when we make some progress, we have this scientific progress but the interpersonal relationship of the human being hasn’t progressed, I am optimistic enough that us as human beings can make progress morally and spiritually as well, and we ought to apply this technology for that effort so it would be a grand thing to live in a society that is promoting peace and prosperity and I welcome you to the fight. Thank you very much.
Thanks to Aldo Tavares for the transcript!