Tags: assagne | ron | paul | liberty

Ron Paul: Assange 'Fighting for the Cause of Liberty'

Image: Ron Paul: Assange 'Fighting for the Cause of Liberty'

Thursday, 05 Sep 2013 08:33 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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Former Rep. Ron Paul on Thursday thanked WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for "fighting to increase transparency in our government" and fighting "for the cause of liberty."

Paul's praise came during the third and final installment of an interview with Assange on the Ron Paul Channel -- www.ronpaulchannel.com-- the subscription-based Internet channel launched last month by the Texas Republican.

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Paul concluded the interview with Assange – confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London -- by directing viewers to the WikiLeaks site where they could donate to Assange's cause.

The day after Assange told Paul in the second part of the interview that the United States was taking advantage of the humanitarian crisis in Syria to justify a military strike, Paul took a more personal approach in the final installment, asking about Assange's personal philosophy.

The Australian described his political philosophy as a blend of "California libertarianism," Greek political theory, along with thoughts from the Federalist Paper and some naturalist views.

"I freely admit to borrowing from parts of my political education from different schools of thought and one of those is, roughly speaking, Californian libertarianism and from your Federalist Papers," Assange said.

His political and philosophical diversity is reflected in the political party he founded this year and on whose platform he is campaigning in this weekend's Australian elections.

The WikiLeaks party "is already the fourth most popular party in Australia and we have a wide variety of people from what are classically known as the right and the left within the party. There are tensions about that and I have to try and resolve those tensions and explain the commonality," Assange said.

Born in Australia to a mother who was the daughter of academics and a father who was the son of engineers, Assange says political philosophy was not something which his parents imposed on him.

"My mother was the daughter of academics. My grandfather left school at age 14 and worked his way up through the Christian education system and to become a very young military intelligence officer in World War II, but my mother was very careful not to bias me," he told Paul. He acknowledged that his family environment was influential, including the divorce of his parents when he was 9.

According to Assange, he developed his feelings about the world during a "burst of maturity in adolescence" and by exposing himself to a myriad of political philosophies.

Assange said he is hesitant to assign a concrete definition to his beliefs.

"I have been very careful not to define my political philosophy because those terms tend to trap you into one camp and then opponents of that particular camp try to use it against you," he said.

As a consequence of the recent NSA disclosures by Edward Snowden and during the Bradley Manning trial, Assange said that a unique political phenomenon is developing.

Assange sees an "extreme center" emerging in the establishment from both sides of the political spectrum that is comprised of people "more concerned about self-promotion, political networking, and creating political dynasties, doing favors for mates" than the issues.

"They are just working the system," Assange said. "They don't really have any ideas they believe in. The extreme center, which is pushing forward aggressively in a particular direction to promote itself, has led to others feeling like that is not what they want to be involved in. There is now a magnetic force between those on the right and those on the left," Assange said.

What unites the two sides is the sense of injustice, he said, adding that the libertarian right views injustice in terms of a lack of freedom.

"Your liberty can't be deprived from you unless someone else has more power, so there is a commonality between these two sides," Assange said.

The WikiLeaks Party was registered in 2013 and is running in three of the five states in Australia. Their political chances in Saturday's election are difficult to quantify due to the complicated nature of Australia's electoral system, but Assange believes the party will garner between 2 percent and 6 percent of the vote. Australians will have 1,717 candidates and more than 50 parties to choose from when they vote on Saturday.


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