Home > Ron Paul > The King’s Indian Defense of Ron Paul

The King’s Indian Defense of Ron Paul


If you listen to the commentariat you’d probably get the impression that supporting Ron Paul is foolish because he “can’t possibly win”. I don’t know whether Paul himself thinks it’s impossible to win a presidential election, but it appears that electoral results have always been of secondary importance to Paul. Moving policy ideas forward and changing the tactics of the political class motivate the Paul’s candidacy. While studying up on some of chess games and history I came across a fitting parallel.

David Bronstein is a player to whom results have always been of secondary importance; he considers himself a chess artist, to whom originality and beauty are the real goals in chess. Nevertheless, he did achieve some outstanding results, and came within a whisker of winning the world championship.

Bronstein had different levels of success with his novelties. The queen sacrifice in the above image was stunning at the time. As the chess grandmaster explains in his book, Bronstein on the King’s Indian, many considered Nxg3 on move 9 “virtually the move of the century,” yet Bronstein lost the game. But the legacy of the queen sacrifice in the King’s Indian endured and “remains viable to this day.”

Not all chess or policy aberrations work out. Ron Paul’s goldbuggery might be misdirected, but he properly understands monetary policy’s severely undervalued importance.  If Paul’s focus on monetary policy, military anti-interventionism, and the drug reform lead to mainstream acceptance, he’s done his job. Bronstein’s work on the King’s Indian, for example, is the reason the opening eventually enjoyed mainstream popularity.

[One] of the reasons why David Bronstein is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of the King’s Indian Defense was the fact that when he extensively played this opening in 1940-1950-ies, it was practically unknown territory.  [Thanks to the games of Bronstein] it became one of the most popular openings.

The similarities aren’t perfect, of course, Bronstein takes full responsibility for his columns.

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  1. January 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    What a wonderful quote: “originality and beauty”, rather than victory. Yes, that would be a way to live.

    Since we got into this (in that long, circuitous route) via a point about tactics vs strategy:

    Paul may be acting more strategically than most of us realize. As Hannibal FORGOT, as Clausewitz REMEMBERED, as Truman KNEW but MacArthur did NOT, strategy is first about identifying the ultimate, not the ostensible, goal. And Paul has probably identified his goal as spreading the ideas of Mises and Hayek. His chose tactics — running for president again and again, without much hope of ever being nominated — are thus perfectly aligned. The White House is not the goal. The idea is.

    • January 14, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Sometimes the long circuitous route is necessary.

      Yes, it seems Paul isn’t as daft as many in the media want to believe. Oh, and thanks, I loved that quote when I saw it too!

  2. Dave
    January 15, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Paul has taken the Imperial March as his theme song for the campaign. I think that makes him a little daft.

  3. Dave
    February 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I’ve been listening to The History of Rome podcast lately, and now that I’ve gotten through the Second Punic War, the comment about Hannibal makes a lot more sense.

  4. Drew
    April 18, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    This is a great post! Spreading Rons messages to a larger audience is far more important to me than his chances of winning. These issues make us think about things far more important than economic growth and jobs, which most seem to be obsessed with these days. These issues make question whether we are promoting an ethos we can be proud of.

    • April 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the post Drew. I hope you’ll continue to read and comment.

  5. Drew
    April 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    This is a great clip of Ron calling out a dim witted member of main stream media misrepresenting his views.

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