Ron Paul to form a Foreign Policy Institute

This is good news. There are very few institutional voices for non-interventionism. There are voices for neoconservatism. There are voices for internationalist realism. There are voices for liberal internationalism. But non-interventionism has very few voices outside general libertarian outfits.

Rumor has it that it is going to be called the Peace and Prosperity Institute. If so, this is an unfortunate choice of names. It sounds lefty. We need to convince conservatives that non-interventionism is the authentic expression of conservatism, not contribute to their bias that it is leftist.

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23 thoughts on “Ron Paul to form a Foreign Policy Institute

  1. Savrola

    I imagine it will be geared towards the left, as paleoconservatism is largely impotent, thanks to intrepid adherents, such as yourself, Red.

  2. Kirt Higdon

    “Peace and prosperity” sounds leftist? Peace and prosperity used to be what I called the default settings of the American electorate. In other words, they were the minimum requirements for any politician – you couldn’t get elected by promising war and impoverishment. Bush-Obama have changed the peace setting to one of permanent war and gradually people will come to accept permanent impoverishment if it doesn’t happen too suddenly. If conservatives are so convinced that peace and prosperity are bad things, then Ron Paul is right to try to appeal to people who at least consider them worthy goods, but just may not know how to get there. It’s easier to convince someone of the merits of non-intervention if he at least first considers peace a desirable goal and war undesirable.

  3. RedPhillips Post author

    Kirt, the left hijacked the word peace in the 60′s whether we like it or not. People hear the word peace and they think hippies. That’s why we need to grab hold of and own the word non-interventionism. Of course no one is opposed to prosperity, and in a better world no one would oppose peace, but we don’t live in a better world. IMO, the name should signal what an institute is about. You shouldn’t have to guess at their agenda based on a cryptic name.

    BTW, we are NEVER going to convince the left to pursue a generalized small government agenda, so self-identified conservatives are the audience for our message and people need to accept that. The goal is to change conservative minds. (If you don’t believe me go raise Constitutionalist (enumerated powers) objections at TAC. The commenters act like you have three heads.)

  4. HarrisonBergeron2


    Just because the left hijacked the term doesn’t mean we should not fight to reclaim it. Leftism is interventionism. They want to reconstruct the world. I think the term “peace” concisely represents our goals and differentiates us from the overt leftists and “big-government” Neocons.

  5. Joan Agnessini

    “peace” vs. “non-interventionism” – why not drop the platitudes and use the honest word “pacifism”?

  6. Kirt Higdon

    Red, the goal should be to convince people in general, not just conservatives. And if the average conservative thinks peace is a bad thing because the left has hijacked the term, then he is more stupid than the average person, who at least still considers peace a good thing even if he may have been convinced by the regime that it is an impossible dream because we will always have enemies. And whatever was the case in the 60s and 70s, the mainstream left no longer particularly even preaches peace, beginning with Obama who makes a point of saying he is not against wars, only “stupid wars”.

  7. Tucker


    Should conservatives stop referring to Christ as the Prince of Peace in order to sound like a bunch of bad asses who eat hippies for breakfast?

  8. RedPhillips Post author

    “as paleoconservatism is largely impotent, thanks to intrepid adherents, such as yourself, Red.”

    Sav, how is that new blog you’re working on coming along?

  9. RedPhillips Post author

    Kirt, sure we need to convince everyone that peace/non-interventionism is a good thing. My point is that leftists aren’t going to be converted to our project on the basis of peace alone. The leftist who supported or were friendly to Ron Paul generally didn’t understand the implications of his strict Constitutionalism. If they did, they would have been horrified. In fact, a lot of liberals thought Ron Paul was a moderate.

  10. RedPhillips Post author

    “peace” vs. “non-interventionism” – why not drop the platitudes and use the honest word “pacifism”?

    So Joan, all non-interventionists are Quakers or Mennonites or Brethren etc.? Why don’t YOU use honest definitions?

  11. C Bowen


    Do most libertarians understand that cutting off aid to Africa (welfare, direct and corporate) will likely cause a major amount of death?

    I am with you, actually, I think we should put a stronger face on it–not Fortress America exactly, but something updated like that.

    Nevertheless, Sav is actually giving the explanation–the future of non-interventionism is with the ‘new citizens’ who don’t give a lick about the Middle East or whether Stalin was about to invade Germany in the Summer of ’41–they don’t know what the f’ you are talking about.

  12. C Bowen

    Unless this organization does a little ‘discover the networks’ sort of thing, where anyone who makes a ‘interventionist case’ is rigorously detailed (associations, funding and so forth) it will be useless and never compete with the better muckrakers for attention.

  13. Sempronius

    I’m partially with Red on this one. Peace is a misnomer. We need to retrench so as to fight various wars here at home. That is an honest to goodness Right-wing policy.

    As far as all this interventionism/non-interventionism stuff is concerned I’ve already masterfully improved the conceptional framework for it’s discussion and analysis.

    At least I thought I did. (Shaking my head, Red.)

  14. RedPhillips Post author

    “I’ve already masterfully improved the conceptional framework for it’s discussion and analysis.

    At least I thought I did. (Shaking my head, Red.)”

    Semp, you’re about as humble as Sav, aren’t you?

    C Bowen, who is the the audience of something like CHT and people like us? Is it the masses? Or are we fighting an intellectual battle with the “thought leaders” of the other side?

    I guess you have probably figured this out, but I’m not good at subtlety. I’m a bit of an intellectual bull in a china shop.

  15. C Bowen


    I hope you guessed the youth– who already understand the scam or otherwise wouldn’t bother with a site like this. Otherwise it’s just therapy, better, assuaged guilt, towards the grave–the route the present north of 60 generation has chosen upon.

    When I write here, and I am awful at illustrating a point, I try to underline the inherent danger in going populist, or anti-populist for that matter, in working with those forces and such, as they play amongst the masses.

    But I am a populist–so I just work out the dangers, as I think it is the best defense for the handful of interests I guess I have.

    Dr. Paul has chosen to go the intellectual route (though my comment suggests I hope he keeps a populist component); that is well and good, but I don’t think it will do anything for us–save a populist arm.

    In that we agree.

  16. C Bowen

    Any poster like Joan must reveal whether they supported the invasion of Iraq–otherwise remove her comment in 48 hours.

  17. RedPhillips Post author

    C Bowen, wether I’m right about this or not, I see my audience as fellow Red Staters who identify as conservatives. Those are my people culturally, and I hate to see them being led astray. I want to salvage them.

  18. Kirt Higdon

    Peace is the objective both at home and abroad. I don’t agree that we should end intervention abroad just to be able to fight wars at home. Maybe what is meant is a metaphor for various conflicts, but the problem is people start taking the metaphors literally and treating every problem to be solved as a military problem. Thus the “war on drugs” ends up being fought by guns, tanks, armed planes and drones.

    As far as Africa is concerned, most aid and intervention are military and this is a major cause of death. The US is establishing bases all over Africa and libertarians are well aware of the results of this in increased warfare and want the intervention ended in Africa as elsewhere. It’s not of course that Africa would be entirely peaceful without foreign intervention but Africans would be less well armed and you wouldn’t have the ridiculous hypocrisy of the US condemning the use of child soldiers while financing the military of governments which make extensive use of child soldiers.

  19. C Bowen


    Plenty of aid, food/medicine, water infrastructure, basic practical education, has led to a population boom. The initial infrastructure investments from colonial times have fallen apart after decades of neglect and the current subsidies, if removed, would not last for decades. Remove those supports, it is unclear what would happen anymore then venturing a guess as to what would happen if the urban welfare ghettos had their funding cut off for homes and EBT cards.

    Things would work out eventually, I agree, but it might be a messy transition.


    Did you catch Walter Jones saying Dick Cheney will go to hell for the Iraq War?

    Walter Jones gets it.

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