The Ron Paul R3volution is about to get a makeover, and it will be a radical policy shift for the Texas libertarian who has a fervent and growing following.
In late July, Ron Paul is expected to shift his political focus to digital issues, specifically maintaining a completely government-free internet, according to a new document titled “The Technology Revolution,” which was obtained by BuzzFeed. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Ron’s son, will spearhead the movement in Congress, especially after his father retires in November.
The new emphasis on digital privatization will be a strong move for both Pauls. Open and free internet usage has been a policy that receives near-universal appeal among young people in the United States and across the world.
The massive backlash which met internet censorship laws SOPA and PIPA proves internet freedom can be a major policy point for politicians. Moreover, the popularity of internet movements like hacktivist group Anonymous, open-content group Wikileaks, and the growing influence of internet freedom groups like Germany’s Pirate Party show that the Pauls could use this new platform to grow their following among the millennial generation.
Ron Paul — a consistent free market advocate — has for some time focused the brunt of his political advocacy on an “End the Fed” mission, seeking to remove the shackles of the Federal Reserve from the economy. Government manipulation of the markets is the No. 1 evil for many libertarians.
“The Technology Revolution” is a doomsday manifesto showing what will happen to the internet if government continues to impose heavy regulation on the internet, stressing the need to keep the government out of the World Wide Web.
"The revolution is occurring around the world," the manifesto reads. "It is occurring in the private sector, not the public sector. It is occurring despite wrongheaded attempts by governments to micromanage markets through disastrous industrial policy. And it is driven by the Internet, the single greatest catalyst in history for individual liberty and free markets."
The manifesto continues: “Technology revolutionaries succeed because of the decentralized nature of the internet, which defies government control.”
Interestingly, Rand Paul will be the standard bearer of the new libertarian campaign. Rand has been heavily criticized within the Ron Paul Liberty movement for his endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Many Paulites believe Romney is an untrue conservative who will only continue to expand the “American Empire” through a hawkish foreign policy, and will hinder capitalism through government interference of the free-markets. Rand has held a consistent internet freedom platform throughout his short tenure as a senator.
Of course, in true libertarian form, the manifesto quotes Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises and attacks not just big government, but also liberal groups that have called for similar free-internet measures: "Today, the road to tyranny is being paved by a collectivist-Industrial complex — a dangerous brew of wealthy, international NGO's, progressive do-gooders, corporate cronies and sympathetic political elites."
As BuzzFeed outlines, the manifesto lists five specific battlegrounds: The manifesto seeks to rein in anti-trust actions against companies in new industries; to stop attempts to impose net neutrality rules on broadband providers; to prevent government control of online infrastructure; to broaden private control of the wireless spectrum, and shore up "private property rights on the Internet;" and to take a stand for the growing industry known as "big data."
The manifesto is critical about the point that "private sector data collection practices [which] must be scrutinized and tightly regulated in the name of 'protecting consumers,'[while] at the same time as government’s warrantless surveillance and collection of private citizens’ internet data has dramatically increased."
This will likely be a great move for Rand Paul. The Kentucky Senator has sought to make a national name for himself but endorsing Romney and also continuing his father’s libertarian crusade in Congress. By latching on to a widely-popular policy agenda like open-internet, Rand will broaden his appeal among young people, and could be the voice for internet freedom, especially as the topic continues to be a hot political topic.
This will also be an excellent move for Ron Paul. The Texas congressman has failed in his bid for president, but still seeks to influence the Republican Party with his libertarian philosophy. Ron’s fervent libertarian following has grown rapidly, and he is seen as the figurehead of the libertarian movement. By focusing on a more digital platform, Ron will be able to continue to influence American policy after his retirement in November.
The big take-away? This will keep the Pauls at the forefront of American politics for some time. The R3volution will only continue to build steam.
The manifesto ends with an awesome one-liner, especially for tech-savvy young millennials: "This is our revolution — government needs to get out of the way."