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Community Commentary: Libertarianism is crony capitalism's nightmare

December 21, 2011|By Chriss Street

With the rise of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) in the presidential primary polls, America may be ready to crush crony capitalists by embracing "libertarianism."

As the founding philosophy that once unified our nation, today libertarianism represents the true existential threat to the crony capitalism that has flourished for decades in both established political parties. But with both political parties in decay and independents positioned to determine the outcome of next year's presidential and congressional elections, voters seem ready to embrace a political philosophy that puts strict limits on all government activity in order to maximize individual liberty and economic freedom.

Libertarianism is defined as "any political position that advocates a radical redistribution of power from the coercive state to voluntary associations of free individuals." To the political party establishments who fund their existence on the ability to attain this power and rent it back to their crony capitalist fellow travelers, libertarianism was dismissed as a "popular, dogmatic political cult in the vein of Marxism-Leninism."

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The political elites have been comforted that "libertarians would never get hold of true power, for unlike their Marxist-Leninist brethren, they are a political cult without a broad base of support; they have no proletariat and no peasantry!" But in the age of social networking's viral formation of voluntary associations at virtually no cost, libertarianism has found its broad base of support online and now can compete favorably versus paid advertising that drives the "peasant" support of the established parties.

Over the last 12 months, there has been an unreported groundswell of support for Paul's libertarian philosophy that virally self-organized through social media. Paul never captured as much media attention as other Republican presidential candidates, even after placing second in the early Iowa Ames Straw Poll. When his name came up on the cable news shows, his libertarian ideas were dismissed as the fringe ramblings of an un-electable candidate.

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