Isolationist vs. Non-Interventionist [was: Re: HB 139]

Charles Curley charlescurley at
Thu Jan 24 18:29:46 MST 2008

On Thu, Jan 24, 2008 at 10:38:29AM -0700, Nathan Blackham wrote:
> On Jan 24, 2008 10:08 AM, Charles Curley <charlescurley at>
> wrote:

> I agree that we shouldn't force democracy on everybody.  That isn't the part
> that I call isolationist.  It is that Ron Paul ( at least from his
> presidential bid website) thinks that all the international organizations
> are bad :
> "So called free trade deals and world governmental organizations like the
> International Criminal Court (ICC), NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and CAFTA are a threat
> to our independence as a nation."

An odd phrasing, since the WTO is the successor organization to the GATT.

> "We must withdraw from any organizations and trade deals that infringe upon
> the freedom and independence of the United States of America."
> He also includes the UN as part of those organizations.  I would call this
> an isolationist.  I feel that we need to work within some of these
> organizations to resolve conflicts peacefully.

OK. I don't think that being in the UN, e.g., is required to be
non-isolationist. The US was effective diplomatically between the two
world wars even though it was not in the League of Nations. 

I think the objection to the UN stems in part from social engineering
schemes the UN engages in, such as gun control.

As others have pointed out, you can have free trade without being in
the WTO. You simply have free trade, unilaterally, as Switzerland has
done for centuries without being in the EU or any of its predecessors.

> I do understand that not everyone views him as an isolationist.  From my
> reading on his website, it has led me to this conclusion.  I understand that
> he still wants to trade with the rest of the world, he just doesn't want to
> do it in a framework that has been built to promote fair trade.

I can understand that. Free trade != "fair trade". "Fair trade" is a
euphemism for massive government intervention into international (and
hence domestic) trade, which a free trader would oppose. As The
Economist has pointed out for over a century, you are better off
dropping your own trade barriers whether your trading partners do so
or not.


Charles Curley                  /"\    ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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