“I can see how [these positions] come from the same underlying Libertarian principle. I think the world is often more complex and by taking a principled, but sometimes simplistic position, you can end up undermining the principle.” Julian Assange
(20:40-22:47) & (24:50-26:58)
At a Google Hangout hosted by Our Say and Deakin University, Julian Assange presented his thoughts on a number of issues. Among other things, he was asked what he thought about politician Rand Paul in the United States. His response is being misrepresented in social media and articles. Here's what actually happened:
Julian Assange declared himself an admirer of Rand and Ron Paul for their principled position on defending Wikileaks and himself to Congress, opposing drones and coming from a Libertarian tradition of non-violence. He stated that the position of non-violence produces interesting results, including "don't go invade a foreign country", "don't make people join the military", "don't extort taxes from people", and "similarly other aspects of non-violence in relation to abortion-that they hold".
Some people are choosing to interpret Assange's comments as blanket approval of all of Ron and Rand Paul's positions. Note What Assange actually said in the end of his comment:
"I think that some of these positions that are held by Rand Paul- I can see how they come from the same underlying Libertarian priniciple. I think the world is often more complex and by taking a principled, but sometimes simplistic position, you can end up undermining the principle. The short term visions for the principle and the long term visions for the principle- it's quite hard to meld these together."
Also note that Julian Assange did not declare his own position on abortion. He described Rand Paul's position in the context or as an outcome of the non-violence value of the Libertarian tradition.
24:50 Assange receives question on: How do you interpret swell in support for Libertarians in US- how does it pertain to our future?
Assange: "Nearly every Democrat in Congress has been co-opted by the Obama administration or DC social networks. The economically successful part of the Republican Party is often in bed with the war industry- completely in bed. So, there's now an extreme centre in the United States where the Democratic administration and a large chunk of the Republican Party have come together and are pushing forward very fast in a dangerous direction that compromises the future of US democracy. That is not a conservative movement.
A conservative movement says to hold on to what you've got, don't change what's working, be cautious about bold changes to society. So, the Republican Party, insofar as it is coupled together with the US war industry, is not a Conservative party at all and the Libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is presently the only useful political voice, really, in the US Congress. It will be the driver that shifts the United States around. It's not going to come from the Democrats. It's not going to come from Ralph Nader. It's not going to come from the co-opted parts of the Republican Party. The only hope as far as electoral politics is in the United States is presently the Libertarian section of the Republican Party."