I watched Ron Paul and Barney Frank argue for cutting military spending on CNN last night. From a radical libertarian perspective, there is an argument for politics to an extent the purpose is to break the legs, or at least crack a few bones, of monopolies, in particular the Military Industrial Complex. Of course, this is very rare when it actually happens, noting, of course, the State is the ultimate monopoly that incentivizes the formation and continuation of State Capitalist monopolies. The United States, in large part, has forged an economic model that depends on it being the “lynchpin” of global collective security. The Military Industrial Complex won’t even begin to be dismembered by the political class until the economic surplus runs dry, which is now beginning to happen to some degree. Hence, once marginal figures like Paul are no longer so marginal. However, the economy is going to have to get much worse before any effort like this has any hope of bearing fruit.
I have written my opinion of Ron Paul on many previous occasions. Concerning Frank, while there is some substantial disagreements I may have with him on a number of issues(noting, of course, that I am going to have a substantial number of disagreements with any politician), Frank is one of the few actual liberals in congress. I don’t get bogged down over debating “modern liberalism” vs “classical liberalism.” Whatever version of liberalism you may think is valid, a key aspect of any version of it is that there is no role in government or governance to “protect or defend” the individual from himself. If you don’t subscribe to that, then you are not a liberal, period. Most do not, so I actually think it’s a good thing that the term “liberal,” as a self-identification political term, has been superseded by the more accurate term, “Progressive.” Progressive and Liberal can be complimentary terms(just as Liberal and Libertarian can be), but they are not identical.