This article was originally published by Ron Paul at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
A recent Washington Post/University of Maryland poll found that 34 percent of Americans think violent action against the government can be justifiable. This view is held by 40 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Democrats.
The result may seem surprising since leftists have been responsible for much of the recent politically-motivated violence, and many Democrats have called for violence against Trump supporters. However, the cultural Marxists appear to have (temporarily) ceased using violence as a tactic—although had President Trump won reelection, it may well have been ANTIFA members inside the Capitol on January 6 trying to “stop the steal.”
The rising support for violence against government is rooted in the growing (and justified) belief that the people’s liberties are being taken by a ruling class that is indifferent at best, and hostile at worst, to their values and concerns.
The devastation wrought by the lockdowns, as well as the conflict over the promotion of masks, vaccines, critical race theory, and transgenderism, heighten these social tensions.
Another major contributor to the social unrest is the economy. Rising prices combined with supply shortages and the increasing national debt are all signs that we may be witnessing the final days of the Keynesian welfare-warfare state. Unless Congress immediately begins to cut spending and transition to a free-market monetary system, America will soon face a major economic crisis. The crisis will likely be caused by a collapse of the dollar’s value. This will likely lead to increased violence. The violence will start when those who believe they are entitled to live off the stolen property of their fellow citizens decide to take matters into their own hands because the government can no longer do the looting for them.
The only way to avoid this fate is by a revolution. I am not speaking of a violent revolution that replaces one form of authoritarianism with another, but a peaceful revolution of ideas. This revolution aims to replace the authoritarian interventionist ideology that dominates both the left and right wings of the ruling class with the ideas of liberty. Such a revolution would restore respect for individual liberty, constitutional government, free markets, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and sound money.
The revolution of ideas would resolve social conflicts by getting the government out of social issues and instead allowing private property owners to, for example, decide who can and cannot use which restroom on their property. It would also restore control over education to parents. The goal is to respect the rights of each individual to live their lives as they choose as long as they do not violate the rights of others to do the same.
A free market with a sound currency would release lower-income Americans from the Federal Reserve’s inflation tax as well as provide them with expanded economic opportunities. The growing economy would reduce tensions between races and lead Americans to view immigrants as an asset rather than a burden.
A free and peaceful society cannot be brought about by a violent revolution. Instead, it must occur via peaceful conversation of a critical mass of citizens. When that critical mass is reached, even many authoritarian politicians will endorse liberty and limited government out of fear of losing reelection if they do not. Therefore, the best thing those of us who know the truth can do to restore a free society is to convert as many people as possible to the movement for liberty, peace, and prosperity.