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on 5 May 2008
As a Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul is understandably a man concerned primarily with the United States, rather than with England or the rest of Europe. However, the ideas expressed in his book, The Revolution: A Manifesto, can be globally applied given a preliminary understanding of the original American revolution and the later construction of the US constitution. The world is suffering from a surfeit of statism, posits the Good Doctor; we have exploding financial bubbles, endless wars, dissolving currencies, and diminishing civil liberties, racing like the four horsemen of the apocalypse across the entire world. With astonishing clarity, Ron Paul exposes how these inter-linked beasts are related and how they can be tamed via the use of a simple ingredient the United States once used to believe in; freedom. The Republicrats of America must hate him for exposing their carefully spun fallacies behind central banking, foreign policy, fiat currency, and the welfare/warfare state. So, if you want to understand what is going wrong in the world and how it can get fixed then you must read this book, especially if you want to know what America should do to become the beacon of hope it once used to be, rather than the imperial aggressor it has unfortunately become. Personally speaking as a Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist, and a follower of Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe, I feel that the Good Doctor places a little too much reliance on the ability of any constitution to restrain any government. However, he has written a beautifully crafted piece of work which it is possible to read in one sitting, despite its comprehensive coverage of the entire remit of western world government. The text will also help you understand the basic tenets of Austrian economics, a political philosophy based upon peace, prosperity, and freedom, which may help you remove any scales of state indoctrination from your eyes, if you feel inflicted with the fuzzy feeling that somebody has been hiding the truth from you, for most of your life, about how governments really work. In brief, I believe this book could help save the world as we know it. I hope it does and I hope this review has done it the truly magnificent justice it deserves. Go Ron Paul.
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VINE VOICEon 15 June 2008
Ron Paul's argument is a simple one. The US is suffering from economic and diplomatic problems because it is ignoring its Constitution and the traditions of its founding fathers in both domestic and international dealings. The US has abandoned its traditional principles of small government, and is instead spending ever more on larger and more intrusive and bureaucratic government departments and schemes. It has also abandoned its non-interventionist foreign policy in favour of pre-emptive war.

Ron Paul is known as a non-consensus politician. He explains in the book this is not because of a desire to seek attention or be contrary for its own sake. Rather, he charges the Republicans and Democrats as being carbon copies of each other and therefore someone has to break the mould, and that might as well be him.

To solve this Paul suggests two things. Firstly, he argues the foreign policy can be changed quickly, so he proposes an end to the war in Iraq, and a strategic withdrawal of US troops stationed in Cold War bases that are no longer threatened. This would save billions of dollars, and would repair America's diplomatic standing in the world.

He rejects this is isolationism. He has no particular problem with military action overseas, providing the full facts of the threat are debated, and the war is properly declared by Congress, not by Presidential executive order. Indeed, the reader will learn the last time Congress declared war was in 1941. Every war since was by Presidential decree. Paul believes this smacks of dictatorship.

He concedes that the elaborate social security schemes in America cannot suddenly be stopped overnight because too many people depend on them. So, he argues a phased reduction in their scope, using money saved from troop withdrawals to fund this transitionary phase. Long term, he envisages dramatically scaling back US central government, and returning power and decision making to individual states.

Ron Paul also talks about his belief that the war on drugs is a waste, and makes the case that soft drugs should be de-criminalised. He also argues that Americans should be allowed to use precious metals like gold and silver in financial transfers, as these commodities are more secure than paper currency which can dramatically change in value.

The book is not without its weaknesses. For a British reader, there are many terms and issues he brings up which are not particularly relevant or easy to understand. As a former doctor, he write extensively on plans to reform the US health care system, yet this is so complicated, no one outside the US would properly understand it. His chapter on the Federal Reserve and monetary policy was also rather confusing to anyone not well versed in the jargon of economics.

All in all, Paul is a rebel figure in American politics, and his book is well worth a read. It is a little inaccurate to describe anything in this book as revolutionary, but it is certainly thought provoking.
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VINE VOICEon 23 June 2011
Being from the UK has its ups and its downs. Its ups include the fact that our political scene isn't as insane and dramatic as the American; its downs include the fact that we in Britain essentially have no rights stemming from a written Constitution so we British are, in a nutshell, f***ed. Just because I'm British, however, doesn't mean that this book didn't speak to me in as much volume as I'm sure it spoke to many Americans. The ideas proposed by Ron Paul are, to be frank (and I'm sure this makes him quite proud), radical to say the least. Before reading this I was actually in favour of military interventionism and an income tax, but Ron Paul's arguments put forward throughout are very well argued. He is a man who, at 75 years of age, has clearly spent many years thinking about and refining his ideas which focus on the core principle of individual freedom. He may represent the Republican party, a party which isn't really a party looked upon very favourably by most British people aware of the American political scene, yet he is a man of his own right and in a lot of ways represents the way the Republican party should be and not what it stands for today.

Throughout the book it would be expected that Paul would be "Republicans do this and that right" "Democrats are bad" etc. But he is actually critical of politicians as a whole and it is clear that the man is not only a Constitutionalist, but a true Libertarian. In this he doesn't seek to programme your mind to think in a particular way, he simply argues in a way so as to allow the reader to think on their own about the issues he is presenting, making it clear time and time again that the arguments put forth are his perspectives. It opens minds and gives you a truly alternative perspective on which to look at certain important issues. If you decide contrary to Paul's view, then I can imagine he would accept that as your choice as a free individual. He is clearly critical of the way the Constitution is 'abused' by Washington in order to pass a particular unconstitutional Bill, and scoffs at the idea that the Constitution is a living document. Perhaps he's right, perhaps there is abuse in Washington and something needs to change before it's too late.

Although relative mainly to American politics, the ideas of individual freedom, military interventionism and a free economy put forward by Paul can easily be applied to any country around the world. It is not a book, and Paul is not a politician to simply be sneered at as a typical right wing nut job that we so frequently see paraded on the screens of American news stations, but he is a true idealist, a visionary with something important to say and everyone needs to wake up and start listening, before what he says is no longer permitted by those in power who disagree with his perspectives. I am a UK Conservative, but I have been curious about Libertarianism and what it really can offer the peoples of any nation. I will simply state that this book has opened my eyes making me think more strongly about the subject. As a result of that, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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on 1 December 2009
Ron Paul, is a great man, this book can cure you apathy towards US and World Politics, what comes across so eloquently is that he has great integrity and honesty in all his political views. Politics can easily make people switch off, but this book is easily understood and different in that it is quite revolutionary in so much as telling the truth is. Too many politicians have egos to match their bank balances, Ron Paul does not fit into this type. Ron Paul is a seeker of truth and knows it and wants to act on it, when ever given the chance!!

If Ron Paul had a larger backing from the media there is no doubt in my mind that he would be President of the USA today.
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on 28 April 2009
Here in the UK, we could learn a lot from the sentiments of Mr Paul. At a time when politics has become a profession rather than a vocation, self interest is the politician's only concern. This book argues for less government intervention in our lives. He quotes George Washington to the effect that "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence, it is force".

The author is a devotee of the Austrian School of economics with its liberal belief in the healthy instincts of the capitalist society uncluttered by the meddling of government agencies. All the evils of our society arise from such meddling he says, whether it be intervention in the politics of foreign countries, foreign aid and at home the banning of drugs and the spending on welfare and medical aid. He even argues against the levying of income tax.

The pandering to special interest groups always distorts the economy and leads to waste and bureaucracy. He opposed the bailout of the banks for this reason (welfare for the rich) which we have slavishly followed over here in the UK. The UK has a lot to learn from Mr Paul. Only yesterday the UK Government took drastic powers of "snooping" into electronic communications in the alleged fight against terror. Yet the Government's own activities are shrouded in secret.

Somehow the public must stem and then turn the tide of this undemocratic way of government. In ancient Greece each citizen was required to serve one year in the administration and was obliged to follow the Constitutional laws in every particular. Any irregular behaviour was heavily punished. I recommend this book for those who have wanted a system of politics unpolluted by false sentiment and framed for democratic people with fellow feeling and humane intelligence.
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on 27 December 2008
I bought Ron Paul's book to find out more about American politics.

Instead what I purchased was a true eye opener. Immensely readable Paul provides a clear strategy to solve the problems in America today, both those which are often portrayed in the media and those which are unspoken-such as international debt. These policies, which are well thought out, are written clearly and simply without the usual tendency in political books to over complicate.

Paul also avoids a regular problem of ignoring the opposing views and his critics. Too often the writers opponents are seen as unworthy of comment by the writer. Instead Paul gives answers the problems critics have with his policy standpoint.

A final worthwhile comment is that the book is not simply relevant to Americans. Though strong emphasis is placed on the American system the policies presented are sensible and realistic wherever the reader is in the world.

I recommend this to anyone who feels there is nothing new or different in politics. Here is proof that there is.
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VINE VOICEon 11 October 2008
Warning this book is the equivalent of waking from "The Matrix" (1999), and seeing the true nature of reality. From the prolog forward to the very end Ron Paul holds nothing back and for those few folk being introduced to this reality and how we have strayed from the constitution, can be a real eye opener.

The message is simple but it is the implantation that can get a bit complex as there are no two sides to this story as those that manufacture politics today.

The real strength of the book is that even though one day the details may be dated that we go beyond theory and point to real situations and existing people instead of just theories and what ifs.

I bought the book; I also bought the CD's as they help enforce the book during my daily commute. We also use them for discussions at work.

This book has many truths that are not just for the radical or inspired and will be a useful reference for your library in the years to come.

A few related and complimentary ideas can be found in:

The Constitution of the United States of America, with the Bill of Rights and all of the Amendments; The Declaration of Independence; and the Articles of Confederation by Thomas Jefferson, Second Continental Congress, and Constitutional Convention

For a New Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard

The Capitalist Manifesto by Louis O. Kelso and Mortimer J. Adler

The Constitution of the United States of America, with the Bill of Rights and all of the Amendments; The Declaration of Independence; and the Articles of Confederation

For a New Liberty

The Capitalist Manifesto
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on 29 May 2009
Ron Paul outlines what has happened to our country and what will happen if we don't revert back to the Constitutional ideals of our founding fathers. It is a simple, easy-to-read book that details why socialism and big government are bad ideas, and why they were guarded against in the founding of the U.S. Therefore I would suggest this to anyone intrigued by Dr. Paul's ideas or by politics in general.
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on 6 December 2010
I loved this book so much that I am thinking about buying it again.

Good read, common sense. You'll find yourself wishing that Paul was involved in UK politics.
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on 14 June 2008
The fundamental arguments contained within this book by Ron Paul are sound. Some of the comments with regard to the policies pursued by former administration in respect of WW1 and WW2, etc., are debate to the extent that a diversity of opinion exists by the likes of A. J. P. Taylor, Hans Herman Hoppe and Erik von Kühnelt-Leddihn, for example. But such writings can be added to the suggested reading list for consideration and discussion, as opposed to being a contradiction of Ron Paul's arguments.

It occurred to me, at least, that a successful and peaceful revolution greatly depends on encouraging the armed forces and bureaucrats with guns to get on side. For without their unquestioning support--as we see in Zimbabwe--the administration will have to resort to reasoned argument to justify and defend their policies. With that in mind, it is interesting to note that the top contributors to Ron Paul's campaign were armed forces' members, in service, or retired. As Lt.Col. Tim Collins is cited as saying to his troops before entering Iraq (and I paraphrase): 'Remember this, your mum has to queue at the supermarket. So be mindful abut who and why you open fire.'

Hilary Clinton chose to spice up her campaign by claiming that she had to dodge sniper fire, but it is improbable, in the extreme, that she and/or her colleagues will be taking up the sniper's rifle with which to conduct a counter-revolution :-)
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