Ron Paul as a Stooge for Adolph Hitler
by Walter Block
Recently by Walter Block: Ron Paul and the Environment
Believe it or not, Congressman Paul's critics are now claiming he is a Neville Chamberlain, who would have, were he president at the outset of World War II, have given Adolph Hitler a free ride (see here). With Dr. Paul at the helm, the last century would have been the beginning of a Nazi Reich.
First of all, a President Paul would never have foisted an oil embargo on Japan. So, there would have been no attack on Pearl Harbor, and no fighting with the Japanese military would have been necessary. This consideration alone means that hundreds of thousands of innocent people would not have perished. And, also, it would not have been the case that the U.S. would have been the only country in history to have actually used atomic weapons. (Is it not a bit hypocritical for the U.S. to object to Iran having a nuclear weapon on this ground alone?)
Second, Congress did indeed declare war on Germany; this is compatible with the U.S. Constitution, which Ron Paul, if no other candidate for President in 2012, fervently supports.
Third, and most important, it is unlikely that Hitler would have ever risen to power in Germany without U.S. entry into World War I, in 1917. Although contrary to fact history can only be speculative, consider the following points.
Before the U.S. poked its nose into a war that was none of its business (neither side threatened us), the war was fought on a roughly equal basis. Thousands of soldiers, on both sides, perished in fighting over a few acres of trenches. Likely, this war would have petered out before too long, if only due to the fact that both sides were running out of material, human and otherwise, necessary to carry on. But, our ruling class had more bonds with the British than with the Germans, so our way ahead was clear, with no President Paul to save us from our folly.
As a result, the Allies beat the Axis powers. Following up on this, the punitive Treaty of Versailles was imposed upon the losers, who were declared solely responsible for the hostilities. This lead to the German hyper-inflation of 1923, which, along with the aforementioned Treaty of Versailles, reduced the German society and economy to a rubble. It was only in the aftermath of these body blows to the German people that a scoundrel such as Hitler could have arisen.
A Paul presidency in 1940 would have meant a war with Germany, but not Japan. However, a President Paul in 1917 would not have encouraged U.S. entry into that conflagration. If he was successful, there would have been no need for any declaration of war against Germany, as there would have been no Adolph Hitler and his Nazis in charge. He would have been, instead, an unknown house painter. With a President Paul at the helm, there would have been no holocaust; no 50 million people perishing during this war; no dropping of atomic bombs on innocent civilians, women and children, to our eternal shame.
Speaking of this "war" nomenclature, the historians have got it all wrong. There were not two separate wars, so-called World War I, and then so-called World War II. There was only one World War. It started in 1914 and ended in 1946; yes, yes, there was a slight cessation of hostilities between 1919 and 1939, but the so-called "interwar period" consisted of the Allies taking steps that brought Hitler front and center, in effect created him, and thus assured the continuation of this one World War. (In like manner, the historians who claim there was a "Civil War" in the U.S. between 1861 and 1865 are similarly mistaken. A civil war takes place between two parties each of which desires to rule the territory occupied by the both of them. The Spanish Civil War qualifies in this regard, because the Communists and the Fascists both wanted to rule over that entire country. But in 1861, while the North wanted control over the entire U.S. both North and South, the South only desired to secede. So, a more proper name for this conflagration would be, The War to Prevent Southern Secession, or the U.S. War of Secession.)
Can we be sure of any such alternative history of the sort I am assuming with Ron Paul as President during these earlier epochs? Of course not. But, it is more likely, far more likely, than the scenarios painted by the enemies of Ron Paul in their feverish attempt to deny him the presidency, and to deny the rest of us the peace and prosperity we all want. Contrary to fact history can only be a guess-timate. The critics of Congressman Paul maintain he would have been a pushover for Hitler. I maintain, to the contrary, that he would not have created a Hitler as did actually occur, and, had he taken office only in 1940, he would have presided as commander in chief over a war declared by congress. He would have won it more quickly, since he would have only had to fight Germany and Italy, not Japan too. Yes, Germany only declared war against America because of the U.S. declaration of war against Japan. But, as long as Congress declared war on Germany, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces Paul would have acted in a Constitutional manner in pursuing this war. Dr. Paul does not oppose war per se, only offensive wars not declared by Congress, as he has stated over and over again. Ron Paul is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force; he has served his country in a military capacity, unlike the hordes of chicken hawks now calling for unconstitutional imperialist wars but who sought deferments when they were young men.
The racism and anti-Semitism charges have failed. This Hitler criticism is just plain silly. They can't call him a flip-flopper. They have already attacked his suits and his eye-brows. Yes, his eye-brows. I guess they are not sufficiently presidential. What smears are next for Dr. Paul, as he sweeps his way into the White House? We can only speculate. How about, Ron's love child? Children? Or, his 15 mistresses? No, wait; here is a better one: Ron as child abuser. Remember those 4,000 babies he delivered? Well, he molested them all. This just in: they are now criticizing his investment portfolio. More fast breaking news: Ron is "indifferent to throwing people out of work." Will wonders never cease? It's really hard to keep up with all the attacks. I mean, the man is a real ogre. Maybe we Paulians shouldn't support him? Nah. He's the best man to clean out the Augean stables. Congressman Paul might have some difficulty winning the Republican nomination, but when it comes to his face off with President Obama next year, he's going to kick butt. Obomba's supporters will desert him for his imperialist militarism, for his bailouts, for his opposition to drug legalization. Independents, and even Democrats, will prove Dr. Paul's margin of victory.
Dr. Block [send him mail] is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Defending the Undefendable and Labor Economics From A Free Market Perspective. His latest book is The Privatization of Roads and Highways.