Is this the best way to sell libertarian ideas? Retweet
By Perry Willis
Here’s a three-step process for presenting libertarian ideas, without having to be an expert on anything.
Step One: Stand on the right foundation
Many political discussions are a war of competing studies. One side has a study showing one thing, the other side has a study demonstrating the opposite. But ask yourself…
If your true bottom-line is moral opposition to aggression, then why not just say that? Why try to find a libertarian study to refute the statist study? After all, doesn’t the tactic of fighting one study with another study assume that….
- Evidence can establish or overturn moral principles?
- We can subject society to scientific testing?
- We can become experts about how other people should live their lives?
Instead, isn’t it true that no amount of evidence can…
- Make 2 + 2 = 5?
- Turn murder or theft into moral actions?
- Overturn the Golden Rule or the Zero Aggression Principle?
- You can’t conduct controlled experiments on whole cultures, so no social science study can ever really prove anything
- No mere mortal can become an expert on how other people should live
So why not drop the pretense and the complications? If your real position is a moral principle – the Zero Aggression Principle – then why don’t you just say that?
The moment you make your stand on moral principles, things become easier….
- You no longer need to master every subject or pretend to an expertise that no human being can possibly have.
- You no longer need to be intimidated when someone else poses as an expert.
- You can retire from the war of competing studies
Instead, your case rests on rules that everyone already follows in their personal lives. It’s just that you also apply those rules to The State.
So the first step in sharing and discussing libertarian ideas is to make your stand on these moral foundations…
- The Golden Rule: Learn how others want to be treated, or not treated, then behave accordingly.
- The Zero Aggression Principle: Don’t aggress against others, personally or politically. If something is wrong for you to do, then it’s also wrong for a group to do it, and a democratically-elected government is merely a group.
Step Two: Don’t lose sight of step one
It’s easy to slip back into the war of competing studies. Don’t do it. Constantly repeat the key points…
- Evidence can neither establish nor overturn moral principles. They are self-evident, like 2+2=4.
- We cannot conduct controlled experiments on whole cultures, so no social science study can truly prove anything.
- It’s impossible for mere mortals to become experts on how other people should live.
Drive home that last point by doing one more thing. Treat the studies that support you the same way you treat the studies that oppose you. Constantly remind others that…
“I will not use studies that favor my position as justification for making you obey my preferences.”
“I will not force you to own a gun just because I have studies showing that more gun ownership leads to less crime.”
Notice the connection to the Golden Rule. You’re treating yourself the same way you treat others. You’re not privileging your own studies over your opponents’ studies. Which brings us to…
Step Three: Constantly apply The Golden Rule of Ideas
Treat your own ideas the same way you treat opposing concepts. Make your opponent do the same.
Statists will try to refute your moral principles using outlandish scenarios. But statists always fail to subject their own proposals to the same standards. They want the net down when they’re serving and the net up while you’re serving.
Don’t let this happen. Point it out. Show how they’re violating the “Golden Rule of Ideas” when they judge your beliefs by a harsh standard, but their own ideas by a weaker or perhaps even non-existent standard. Doing this will dissolve nearly every scenario intended to justify state aggression. Now…
Do these ideas intrigue you?
Would you like to see other libertarians use this approach? If so, please forward this article to your libertarian friends. Or share it on Facebook.
Create a libertarian society based on the Zero Aggression Principle.
The Zero Aggression Principle is the key libertarian idea. It says, “Don’t aggress against others personally or politically.” It means that libertarians solve social problems using peaceful persuasion and voluntary cooperation instead of State aggression. We have a 5-part strategy to achieve our goal…
- Discover the roughly 64-million Americans who currently self-describe as libertarian or who hold mostly libertarian views.
- Recruit and mobilize roughly 13 million of those people into active, contributing libertarians.
- Use that support to achieve visibility parity with the Left and the Right.
- Use that increased visibility to share the Zero Aggression Principle (and other key libertarian ideas) with every person on planet Earth.
- Slowly move the country and the world in a voluntaryist direction by creating a social consensus in favor of zero aggression.
If you’re a libertarian who agrees with this mission, please join us!