No More Kings

No More Kings

I like Ron Paul better than all the other candidates, and yet I don’t want to play a part in making him a master over others and myself. The ring cannot be used for good.

Stefan Molyneux has been a significant influence on my progress in the area of understanding the nature of the state. Today’s comic is actually a very succinct way of saying what he says in a bit more long-winded manner in the video linked below.

I am following his lead in so far as I don’t really expect to convince Ron Paul’s enthusiastic supporters to stop campaigning for him this close to the first primary. However, perhaps once the campaign is over, and assuming Stefan is right about the futility of this campaign for shrinking the state, then people will be closer to understanding his point of view, a point of view that I share. If we’re wrong on this prediction, well I agree with him that that would be wonderful! I’ll gladly accept the embarrassment of being wrong if this endeavor actually manages to shrink the state to any significant degree. For instance, if the IRS actually gets abolished, I’ll have to give kudos to the Ron Paul supporters and eat my words.

Good luck!

Update 1/12/08: The Power to Get Away With It is an excellent article that attempts to express the idea behind this cartoon in words.

Cartoon Text (Why is this here?)
Ron Paul: Give me the ring, Frodo! With its power, I can lead the forces of liberty to victory!

Discussion (27)¬

  1. Lex says:

    What if all of the anit-Paul folks manage to make an impact in Ron Pauls channces of being elected? How will you then know if he would have been a success or not?

    What is gained from actively trying to discredit Ron Paul?

  2. Dale says:

    My cartoon isn’t aimed at Ron Paul personally. It is meant to point out the violence of the state and points out the irrationality of trying to shrink the state by becoming part of it. Tolkien’s ring of power was capable of corrupting the purest of beings, even angelic figures like Gandalf. That’s how I see the state. I’m quite confident that no good can come of the attempt even if he wins, and that he may actually do harm to the liberty movement by justifying the existence of such a violent institution with his campaign. I’m not a Constitutionalist. I’m a voluntaryist. Constutionalism failed.

    If Ron Paul were to actually succeed in winning, something I seriously doubt, I would predict two steps forward and three steps back in the liberty movement as the beneficiaries of the state* and the mainstream media spin every negative thing that happens as a result of Ron Paul’s actions.

    *I don’t consider the average citizen to be a beneficiary of the state. We’re it’s slaves. The beneficiaries are those pulling all the levers- the central banks, fat corporations, unions, and other large and wealthy institutions lobbying for a piece of the power that allows them to use force for their personal gain.

  3. Lex says:

    Are you suggesting that we can get rid of the state without the special interests or the media complaining about it?

  4. Dale says:

    Not at all. I’m not trying to play the political game and rally people behind me to take control of the state and impose my will on others. I’m just doing my small part to dissolve the illusion of legitimacy of the state in enough people that the tyranny of the state becomes too burdensome to maintain. Who can be the convenient target of such media criticisms if many separate individuals withdraw their support for this violent institution? My case is stronger when I point out the immorality of such action and also avoid the hypocrisy of engaging in the very behavior that infringes on our liberties in the first place, i.e. the political process.

    We have a herculean task before us to change a culture of violence. Politics and the media will always follow the culture. Trying to do it the other way around is putting the cart before the horse. I don’t claim to know exactly what it will take to accomplish the huge task of such a culture shift. I can only start my little brushfires in the minds of a tireless minority and hope they are inspired to pass on the message. However, I can confidently say that justifying and promoting the violent state while trying to shrink the state is counter-productive.

  5. Puke says:

    Brilliant! I still support Paul though.
    I suspect he will be the last liberty candidate to make any real progress. If he does not win the rules will be changed yet again to prevent any liberty minded candidate.

  6. Porcupine says:

    Ron Paul **IS** Frodo. He’s the one bearing the burden of taking the ring to be destroyed.

  7. The One Ring is a powerful metaphor for a reason: it’s completely true. If the power can’t manage to corrupt you, it’ll pass itself around into the hands of your enemies so it can be wielded. The problem isn’t who is holding the ring, but that it exists and that people want it.

    Thanks for posting in the context of that video by Stefan Molyneux. I have found this one: to be extremely helpful in laying bare his arguments for how we can rationally achieve personal, ACTUAL freedom from the power of all the “One Rings” in the world.

  8. Vitruvian says:

    Lord Acton would be proud.

    Ron Paul supporters, noble though their motives may be, are attempting to buy their own freedom with the freedom of their children and grandchildren. Setting aside any concerns regarding the morality of political action (totally immoral, in my opinion), from a purely pragmatic perspective the Ron Paul “Revolution” is doomed to failure, a fate it will share with every other effort to wield the political means to achieve some end. It cannot be so wielded, as the record of history clearly shows, and as Ron Paul supporters would do well to learn.

  9. Sunni says:

    RP is Frodo? *laughs* More like Boromir, in my view.

    Excellent cartoon.

  10. Eli says:


    I love your cartoon, even if I disagree with the premise. After the RP campaign, for good or ill, (and I believe a win, even a single primary win would be good) there will be a massively connected and invigorated (or angry) network of liberty lovers. Your message will be valuable in helping activate some of them to a different world view.

    As usual I disagree with V. Doomed to failure depends on the goals of the movement. The goal of the movement is liberty and changing the debate. RP may force republicans to be a party for liberty. By changing the debate (as Howard Dean did in forcing Democrats toward ‘progressivism’) the movement will have fought a rearguard action to give you apoliticals a chance to pull of your social revolution. Try pulling that off in a tru police state.

    I’m not even remotely convinced by Stefan’s diatribe, aside from the fact that he says (in other casts) that he wouldn’t defend himself with force, I think he’s set up a strawman. Teachers rioting. Those punks can hardly get up the energy to teach, much less riot.

  11. RidleyReport says:

    The Ridley Report has picked this up … a story about the cartoon airs tonight.

  12. Caleb says:

    I like it!

  13. Eli says:

    It just occurred to me, as I was reading Russell’s potluck thread at NHUndergroung, what I think is wrong with the metaphor in your cartoon.

    Someone had to carry the damn ring to the fire. Someone who doesn’t want the power of the ring but just wants to be free of it. This to me, sums up my differences with the apoliticals. Someone has to carry the ring to the fire. Ron Paul may not be our Frodo, but eventually someone will have to be.

  14. Great comic.
    The ring as a metaphor for the state is a perfect way to express my views on it.
    “the ring can not be used for good. It must be destroyed.”

  15. jason says:

    Or maybe …. Ron Paul was Gandalf. Ron Paul knew he wouldn’t win. But he took it on to further the cause of liberty. He is prepping Frodo (us) to take the ring and destroy it.

  16. Quietfellow says:

    And yet, can we all exist without the ring? Can every person on this planet exist without delegating some form of responsibility to another or deferring to another that is more experienced or more capable of performing a task?

    That’s what power is: giving another entity the capacity to act on your behalf. We do it all the time on a smaller scale. Paying someone to fix something we couldn’t otherwise fix ourselves. Asking someone to teach us how to do something that we are currently ignorant about, usually because we really don’t want to lose a finger or something equally valuable while trying to teach ourselves. Electing someone to deal with people half way round the world because, really, who has time to monitor all those other countries and their nuclear aspirations.

    Burn the structure down and someone will build it up again. Usually with themselves at the top of the pile and a note to keep an eye on the guys who set the first fires.

  17. […] that matter, anyone doing anti-Ron Paul cartoons really isn’t taking any […]

  18. Sarah says:

    I am with you on this matter, but I think there is good to the campaigning for ron paul that goes unstated. We all know\knew in our hearts that there was no way he would win the crown – campaigning for him is campaigning for a starting point.
    You can’t tell people off the bat “no good will come of any president…” – they are scared to death of the major change that a truly Free society would mean.
    But if you can start them on a path away from the same old song and dance – the feeling of having a choice can be quite addictive.

    I don’t think Ron Paul ever intended to win the seat – I don’t think that was ever the point: it was about taking an opportunity to reveal to the masses – even if it totalled a few minutes, a truly “new” set of ideas.

  19. Dale says:

    “I don’t think Ron Paul ever intended to win the seat – I don’t think that was ever the point: it was about taking an opportunity to reveal to the masses – even if it totalled a few minutes, a truly “new” set of ideas.”

    Fair enough, Sarah.

  20. Truth-er says:

    You assume that government is like some sort of magical ring?

    Ron Paul is probably better than most of them and if he isnt given support then liberty will never win. Im from the UK and thats the main problem; the liberals cannot be active enough and their polecy of there shouldnt be a government; vote for us is self defeating.

    With out some level of sentralisation there will never be anything as good as the national health service; in the UK. Have you thought about that?

  21. Bob Robertson says:

    Well drawn. I agree with the sentiment whole heartedly.

    If only the Ring could remain UNUSED!

    But this isn’t about something unused, it’s about an office that will be used by someone. Given a choice, I would prefer that Paul won that election, since that election was going to be held anyway.

    I’m pretty sure that Dr. Paul would fully understand, and maybe even endorse, “None Of The Above”, if that were an option.

  22. David says:

    Ron Paul has hands down the most anti government and pro liberty voting record of anyone in congress. Ron Paul wants to end the fed and IRS and abolish the income tax, the department of education, social security along with most of the rest of the federal government. His message of free markets, individual liberty, non interventionist foreign policy, constitutional government, and sound/free market money has caught on with a massive new generation of young libertarians. Listen to all those children spouting off lew rockwell talking points and going on about “austrian economics.”
    How could we support a man like that for president? Wouldn’t be right after all, us being anarchists. You’re right, we’d be hypocrites to support him or any candidate, were not minarchists after all! All or nothing baby. And hed probably turn Keynesian on us and become a full fledged fascist anyway; all those speeches and essays he’s been writing all these years- merely empty rhetoric.
    Hes probably just been hiding his crush on Israel and imperialistic war. As President he would be behind Israel in a second if they attacked Iran and and he’d probably go against his word and keep us in Iraq indefinitely and also attack Pakistan. He would probably continue and expand executive branch secrecy policies. Maybe he might shut down Guantanamo, but he’d probably keep open plenty of other hidden CIA torture camps around the world while continuing the same policy for rights of detainees. He would have probably gotten behind the the bailouts and the second New Deal. You name it, he’d probably nationalize it. I bet hes really been hankering to raise taxes, ban guns, and institute a national health care program.
    But this sick Benedict Arnold Judas goat fascist probably had much more in mind. Mandatory government service, an even more massive police state ready to put the boot down on us in case of any domestic emergency. I’m sure he’d like to institute a national sales tax, cap and trade policies, and commit us to an international banking system and one world currency to to stop global warming and save the economy.
    The possibilities are nightmarish. Thank god I didnt vote.

  23. gibson042 says:

    I just saw an article expounding the ideas behind this comic, and thought you might be interested.

  24. […] of the government would and did prevent him from laying down even one small part of its power. The power of the ring cannot be used for good. Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and […]

  25. Dinnerboi says:

    But isn’t he already a part of the State?