I realized yesterday that I committed one of the sins that I get so angry at the Libertarian / Tea Party group for: I railed on the problem and didn’t propose any solutions. So, if you read my post yesterday and were able to consider what I wrote without having a negative, gut reaction then this post is for you.
If folks of the LTP persuasion shouldn’t spend their time raging against the machine and figuring out the “right” people to vote into office (to fix the problem of having people in office), what should they do? In no particular order, here are some ideas:
- Do some hard thinking about you and your personal responsibility. You own you. Anything else is slavery. You probably get that much. The part that you may have not thought about as much is that everyone else on the planet can say the exact same thing. Think about what that means. Think about things (laws) and people (
politiciansrulers) that you have supported that don’t actually support this principle. Don’t make excuses either (it’s for the children, it’s for the common good, we know better than me) – it’s either a principle or its not. Gravity doesn’t work only on Tuesdays.
- If you haven’t been exposed to the basics of how to think then you may want to start with a study of the trivium. The basic tools of grammar, logic and reason will help you examine things for inconsistencies. I heard a great quote yesterday: “Freedom is what happens between stimulus and response. If there is no thinking, there is no freedom.” If you want to make sure you are using your freedom to its intended end, make sure your thinking is clear.
- Use your newfound critical thinking skills to look at the positions you have on issues to see if there are any inconsistencies of principle. Hate new gun laws, but want to go to two strikes you’re out for marijuana – you may want to look more closely at your reasoning. Want to put the teaching of Jesus back at the center of your life, but also want to make sure that illegal immigrants stay on their side of the imaginary line called a border – another area to do some thinking about.
- If you’re going to have all this thinking power, you might as well feed it with good input. That means spending some time sharpening up your 5 senses. After all, our senses are the only interface we have between the physical world and our consciousness (where we should be doing most of our thinking).
- Find a person that is a member of the group that you have the most disdain for and ask them to meet for coffee or a beer. If that’s too far out, maybe just sit down and think about an imaginary person that fits into that category and rather than listing all the things that are wrong with them, try to list at least 10 things you have in common.
- Study your history. Common core is easy to get angry at, but it’s only the latest round of something that has been going on for a long time. Recognize that everyone alive today was subjected to government schooling of one form or another. The victors write the history, so realize there may be more to the stories you think you know so well. (Hint: Alexander Hamilton was kind of an ass). There is also more recent history that
- As great as (some of) the founding fathers were (I’m a big Patrick Henry and Sam Adams fan myself), the development of the philosophy of liberty didn’t end with them. Read some Spooner, Mises, Rothbard or Rose. I’m not saying they had/have it all figured out, but the whole concept of liberty was fairly new a couple hundred years ago – there’s been a few things that some people have figured out since then. Hint: mises.org makes a lot of these available for free PDF download
- Learn about and maybe even practice agorism. So you want to “end the fed” or “outlaw crony capitalism”. I think that’s great! However, trying to get the same kind of folks that caused the problem to solve it (i.e. trying to find the right people to elect) is like letting prisoners be prison guards. If you’ve never heard of agorism, google is your friend, but the short version is that there are things you can do that aren’t breaking the law (per se) which weaken the fed and make big corporations less powerful while at the same time help your local community and build your network. You’ll be amazed at how different it feels to take an action that you can actually see the result of.
- Most importantly: Teach this stuff to children. Teach them about critical thinking, about examining positions and principles for inconsistencies and about gathering their own facts. Kids are pretty natural at most of this stuff – most of them have a natural HATE (or at least fear) authority, so telling them that its a myth will get you instant credibility. Use that to get them beyond the normal (and somewhat useless if not destructive) teenage rebellion and help them recognize the value of their own worth.
I’ll leave Number 10 to you – what else can you do to further liberty in your life?