Ron Paul was the natural icon for what we now know as The Revolution. His candidacy for president in 2007 was, for him, another opportunity to take the message of freedom to the people. It hit the bullseye for millions; providing a focus and goal to the growing unease and dissatisfaction of people everywhere. Events, technological developments, and ideas meshed.
Ron Paul had, for his entire life time, been the Champion of the Constitution. For most of that life he had felt that no one was listening. In 2007 that changed. His straight talk went right to the hearts of those who heard him, bringing hope where there was only fear and despair as people looked into the future.
As the wave of enthusiasm rose Ron received donations from across the world; people flew in at their own expense just to volunteer. The Ron Paul Revolution became a focus for millions of people around the world. Executives in Fortune 500 companies left their jobs to hit the road as full time Paulists.
The 'establishment,' comprising the confluence of corporations and government, began to shred. They became desperate to maintain power. No one alive today was there but we have all seen the images.
The people were making themselves heard. They redoubled their efforts. Moved by his record, his life, and by the ideas of freedom individuals began to discover their own power and take action. That power that each of us takes for granted today had been denied and legislated into nonexistence by those who placed themselves in control; the people had come to doubt its existence. They found it.
They came to the Ron Paul Revolution eager, ignorant of politics and organizing but they were prepared to learn and they did. Over and over again those who 'knew' told them it was impossible. Over and over they proved the experts wrong.
Ron Paulists came from every ideology, every viewpoint, every race, every segment of a society that had been divided to keep them silent. That movement, that we call The Revolution, changed the face of the world.
It started as a political campaign; it evolved to encompass every part of our lives.
Through the Ron Paul Revolution America realized the vision of a people who govern themselves. Local government returned to something closer to the original town model, familiar to the Colonial Period of New England. People found what worked for them depending on persuasion and consensus. Financial Institutions and the monetary system became tools of local economy, cooperating with others.
No one expected it. No one planned it. It happened, to be later explained by economists, historians and anthropologists as a demonstration of the Principle of Spontaneous Order because their need had met opportunity in the form of the Knowledge Commons, made accessible to nearly everyone through the Internet, though that was just the beginning. Everything became a tool in their hands. The components had been coming into existence for decades, of course.
The larger Freedom Movement of the early 20th Century had, at its foundation, the idea that knowledge belonged not to any one individual but to all people for all time, a common heritage for humanity. Now it is obvious; if the people know then they choose wisely, each for themselves.
The conflict between Linux and Microsoft, typified that conflict and its eventual resolution, lead to the open source world of today and to the focus on increased understanding and enriching art and insight instead of the previous focus on consumption and material possessions.
When people have access to knowledge and the tools they could do it themselves. By 2007 the conditions existed so that this could take place. Confronted by the need to elect Ron Paul as president, something he himself thought impossible, activists looked about them and innovated, using the information available and the tools provided by the Internet. In a shorter time than anyone believed possible they changed how the world perceived politics, government, media and corporations.
Today we live in the world of their making.
Instead of experiencing the future they faced, bound together against their will in one global village, they freed themselves using the Knowledge Commons and the Internet.
In their innocence they refused to accept that change was not possible; therefore they ignored conventional wisdom. The multitude of approaches to the problems they faced, including that of the honest ballot, how to return control to the local level, feeding themselves when the dollar died, how to power their homes, how to provide transportation without oil, and how to rebuild their local economy, how to restore the Earth, each of these problems were solved using the same open source tools and minds that did not accept limitations imposed from the past.
In that way we became a globe of villages, linked through knowing each other and knowing where and in whom we could invest trust. They reestablished our understanding of community, something anthropologists now explain in terms of our inherent, cognitive capacities.
They freed us. Today we take the richness of our lives for granted. Each of us enjoys a diversity of interests that occupy our time that was impossible to our grandparents. Only the wealthy could have been so occupied then.
The steady implosion of organizations constructed to create wealth for those in control through limiting access to knowledge continued into the second decade of the 21st Century. Now the idea that anyone can limit access to knowledge is strange, then it was simply accepted.
The Age of the Authority ended with the Age of Collectivism. Today's recognition of excellence is based strictly on demonstrated accomplishment. Fewer of us use formal institutions of learning; nearly all of us keep learning all of our lives.
Collectivism, in its many forms, was displaced, freeing us to actualize unlimited personal horizons within the security of our communities.
As it turned out, it was also a spiritual revolution. We came together, realizing in an unexpected form, the Christian vision of becoming One through Christ. Seeing past our differences we found each other. For this, we should remember to thank those Revolutionaries. The world was very different for them.
When you understand the future that confronted them you understand their desperation and the real sacrifices they made so willingly. Everything that mattered to them hung in the balance.
The projections of starvation enforced by policy by those who ruled them, drawn from the least ethical, had used their own wealth to enslave them. They had little; they did it anyway, setting themselves, and us, free.
Today we remember them and thank Ron Paul for being that point of hope on the horizon that inspired those many, many revolutionaries to fight that battle against impossible odds to set us free.