Ron Paul Curriculum Launched by Reconstructionist Gary North and Neo-Confederate Thomas Woods
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 12:44:34 PM EST
Christian Post and other media sources have announced the April 6 launch of the Ron Paul Curriculum for home schoolers.  Fox News described the program as "libertarian-edged" but Paul's curriculum is being produced by Gary North, a leading Christian Reconstructionist, and  Thomas Woods, Jr., a self-described founder of The League of the South. This launch demonstrates Ron Paul's ongoing commitment to a worldview that is dramatically different from that of the libertarian label Paul usually receives, a worldview that has been described by Talk2action contributors as theocratic libertarianism. Those embracing this ideology prefer to call themselves "Constitutional conservatives."
The plan for a Ron Paul Curriculum has been in the works for several years.  American Vision, Gary DeMar's Reconstructionist ministry, was soliciting readers in 2010 to contact Ron Paul and encourage him to support North's curriculum plan.  North also wrote about the planned curriculum in 2010 on the blog of Lew Rockwell, founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

[Author's note: Thanks to a comment from Talk2action reader James E. Scaminaci, I'm adding this link showing that the plan for the curriculum dates back to at least 2008, and is part of a larger agenda described by North. The page includes North's statement, "The blinder the mainstream media are to what is really going on here, the better."]

The curriculum is going to be released beginning on September 2, 2013, followed by the publication of Ron Paul's new book The School Revolution on September 17, 2013.

Ron Paul is one of the signers of the proclamation of the Alliance for Separation of School and State to "end government involvement in education."  According to C. Jay Engel at Reformed Libertarian, Gary North has "given educrats their fatal blow," adding,

This is a planned, blueprinted, and excellently marketed revolution.

North is  advertising the program as home schooling curriculum and also as a way to start a profitable K-12 private school.  The curriculum is self-taught, requiring minimal teacher guidance, and North is not charging for K-5 participation.  The 6 -12 grade curriculum is marketed for $250 dollars per student per year, plus $50 dollars per course.  North describes the coursework as teaching the "Biblical principle of self-government and personal responsibility."

North is one of the leading thinkers and writers of Christian Reconstructionism, or the belief that the nation must be "reconstructed" according to biblical law.  He advocates the use of the "doctrine of religious liberty" in order to advance theocracy.  

"So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government.  Then they will get busy constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.  Murder, abortion, and pornography will be illegal.  God's law will be enforced.  It will take time.  A minority religion cannot do this.  Theocracy must flow from the heart of a majority of citizens, just as compulsory education came only after most people had their children in schools of some sort."

This quote is from a 1982 Christian Reconstructionist publication, quoted at length in my article, "Theocratic Libertarianism: Quotes from Gary North, Ludwig von Mises Institute Scholar." Like his father-in-law and founder of modern Christian Reconstructionism - Rousas J. Rushdoony - North teaches "Biblical Economics" and blends extreme free market economics with Christian Dominionism, or the belief that Christians must take control over society and government. Both North and Thomas Woods are affiliated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, the flagship of the Austrian School of Economics.

Woods is from Massachusetts with degrees from Harvard and Columbia, but he has described himself as one of "the founders of the League of the South." He is also affiliated with the Abbeville Institute,  described by the Chronicle of Higher Education as a group of 64 scholars nostalgic for the Old South and Secession.   Time Magazine described the institute, founded by Emory University professor Donald Livingston, as a group of "Lincoln loathers." The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed the Abbeville Institute founder as one of the leaders in the modern neo-Confederate movement and, as described in a  Chronicle of Higher Education article, pointed out the following quote in its mission statement.

"Rarely these days, even on Southern campuses, is it possible to acknowledge the achievements of white people in the South."

Woods is a convert to Catholicism and credited as one of the intellectual leaders in promoting Austrian School economics to Catholics. He is the author of  The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy.  In the The Poisoned Spring of Economic Libertarianism, Catholic author Angus Sibley writes about the incompatibility of "Catholic Social Teaching" with the Austrian School of Economics.  A chapter titled "Libertarian Catholicism?" focuses on Woods, Michael Novak (American Enterprise Institute) and Thomas Sirico (Acton Institute) as leading the shift in Catholicism to "market idolatry."

Woods current bio does not mention his role with the League of the South, and he has apparently tried to purge the internet of much of his history with publications like the Southern Partisan. For example, the current link to a 1997 Southern Partisan article by Woods titled "Christendom's Last Stand" states, "Removed by request of the author."   In this article Woods wrote,

"But the growth of the Southern League and the continuing popularity of Southern Partisan reminds us that many Southerners are prepared to defend their civilization, and a people that still possesses even a spark of resistance, a sense of history and tradition, an attachment to the locality, and a strong Christian faith -- is a potential threat to the Left's new order.

Indeed, Southerners have had too many strange philosophies shoved down their throats already to go quietly in the face of this one. As former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan explained, speaking not of Southerners in particular but of his supporters in general: "We love the old republic, and when we hear phrases like 'New World Order,' we release the safety catches on our revolvers." Make no mistake: the persecutors of the South hate her today for the same masons [sic] they hated her in 1860. An 1868 article in the pro-South periodical The Land We Love summed them up quite well:

"Her conservatism, her love of the Constitution; her attachment to the old usages of society, her devotion to principles, her faith in Bible truth -- all these involved her in a long and bloody war with that radicalism which seeks to overthrow all that is venerable, respectable and of good repute."

So the War Between the States, far from a conflict over mere material interests, was for the South a struggle against an atheistic individualism and an unrelenting rationalism in politics and religion, in favor of a Christian understanding of authority, social order and theology itself. The intelligent Left knows this, and even the incurably stupid, like Carol Moseley-Braun, must at least sense it. For all their ignorant blather about slavery and civil rights, what truly enrages most liberals about the Confederate Battle Flag is its message of defiance. They see in it the remnants of a traditional society determined to resist cultural and political homogenization, and refusing to be steamrolled by the forces of progress.

I have been a Northerner for my entire 24 years. But when we reflect on what was really at stake in the "late unpleasantness," we can join with Alexander Stephens in observing that "the cause of the South is the cause of us all."

Below the article is a brief bio.
Thomas E. Woods Jr., a founding member of the League of the South, is a doctoral candidate in history at Columbia University in New York City.
Woods' 2005 book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History was reviewed by Cathy Young of Reason Magazine who also managed to access Woods' 1997 article for Southern Partisan. Young wrote in the review,  
In a 1997 essay, he writes that the Confederacy's defeat was the ''real watershed from which we can trace many of the destructive trends" in modern America. He vilifies abolitionists and endorses a Southern theologian's description of slavery's defenders as ''friends of order and regulated freedom."

Woods' 2005 bestseller was also reviewed by Max Boot, who remarked that the New York Times describes Woods book as a "neocon retelling of this nation's back story."  Max Boot review, written for the flagship publication of neoconservatism- the Weekly Standard, - is titled "Incorrect History" and states,

Soon enough, however, the guide starts to slip from conventional history into a Bizarro world where every state has the right to disregard any piece of federal legislation it doesn't like or even to secede. "There is, obviously, no provision in the Constitution that explicitly authorizes nullification," the author concedes, but Woods nevertheless is convinced that this right exists. His source? Mainly the writings of the Southern pro-slavery politician John C. Calhoun.

There is no love lost between Ron Paulites and the neoconservatives of the Weekly Standard.  This is perhaps one of the reasons that young people across the nation who are opposed to America's ongoing wars have found Paul appealing.  However, the enemy of one's enemy is not always a friend, and in this case the Paulites' opposition to neoconservatives does not make them friends of progressivism or even classical libertarianism for that matter.  

Hopefully Paul's latest venture will help young Paulites across the nation to understand that their hero's anti-war stance is indeed rooted in a theocratic and neo-Confederate worldview.

Also see:

-An explanation of Ron Paul's brand of libertarianism.
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2012/1/4/234938/0298

-Frederick Clarkson's series on Reconstructionism in The Public Eye of Political Research Associates.
http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v08n1/chrisre1.html

-An explanation of the "Theocratic Libertarian" view of slavery.
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2010/7/13/115425/990

-An example of an existing textbook from a similar worldview titled America's Providential History.
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2013/3/14/11144/4794

-Examples of Rushdoony's theocratic libertarianism at work in the nation's statehouses.
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/3/15/142615/800




Display:
Some libertarians are already concerned about the damage that this curriculum could do to the "libertarian brand."  For example, see
http://blog.skepticallibertarian.com/2013/04/08/gary-north-the-li bertarian-taliban/

by Rachel Tabachnick on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 03:14:22 PM EST

Rachel, You are correct about the particulars, but North's first mention of the Ron Paul Curriculum came on North's website in January 2008. The url is http://www.garynorth.com/public/2928.cfm. In that article, he was discussing Phase II of Ron Paul's strategy. Phase I was gaining national name recognition and raising $28 million in funds, much of which was not spent on the presidential campaign. Phase II was turning all those email addresses and small donors into a virtual movement and then a real-world movement. In a November 2007 article he called this as not yet formed movement a vanguard of the revolution, borrowing from Lenin. The movement's campaign slogan would be "Fed Up?" What eventually emerged, as we all know, was the Campaign for Liberty and myriad offshoots of the presidential campaign I will cover in my book. But, in that January 2008 article he also called for a homeschooling curriculum called the "Ron Paul Freedom Curriculum." It would be about the "hijacking of America" by forces left unstated and the ruinous policies of the Federal Reserve System. It would also involve learning how to organize and operate politically at the local level. The goal would be to contest the federal government's policies and legitimacy at the local level. The tactics would be to oppose any expenditure of any kind for whatever reason. This is part of a long-term strategy. The North-Paul-Phillips strategy is based upon the premise that the Federal Reserve System will lead the United States into a massive economic catastrophe that will allow them to come to power a al the Weimar Republic. But, while I state in the title it began in 2008, North and Phillips have been talking about this scenario for decades going back to at least the early 1980s.

by James Estrada Scaminaci on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 05:11:46 PM EST

I was going to snark about Woods sending his kids to prep schools, but I find that he has four daughters, so maybe he isn't so concerned that they have an education that gives them employable skills.

I have the feeling that most right wing educational reforms are proposed by people who have been educated in conventional schools or who have been home schooled by highly educated mothers until high school. I can't imagine that the right wing pundits would be satisfied to have their sons use the same low level curriculum as they sell to the masses.

by NancyP on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 05:19:55 PM EST


Viguerie's Conservative HQ on the Ron Paul Curriculum,

"The very thought of thousands of young people, armed with the intellectual ammunition of studying the primary documents of the Austrian School economists, the Constitution, the history of western civilization and who have been taught how to defend and communicate their ideas effectively must already be causing the left to lie awake at night."

http://www.conservativehq.com/article/12949-ron-paul-launches-no- cost-home-school-curriculum

by Rachel Tabachnick on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 07:32:46 PM EST


I admire former Rep. Paul and his followers for their sincerity and willingness to question.  However, Rep. Paul has sometimes let really questionable people and organizations use his name.  I find it hard to think that the kind of "live and let live" "Tristam Shandy" libertarianism I associates with the Paulists would fit in well with Theocrats

by John Minehan on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 12:56:05 PM EST

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