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“One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” is an original column appearing most Mondays at Everything-Voluntary.com, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OVP-only RSS feed available here.
We voluntaryists have a problem. We value liberty and hate the state. We want to see the former grow and the latter abolished. But what can we do? How can we promote liberty? Here are a few answers.
Before you can spread knowledge and wisdom you must first obtain it. There are hundreds of books and thousands of articles on liberty. You must study these, continually. Your knowledge of logic, philosophy, ethics, economics, history, and more must always be expanding. You should even study ideas contrary to liberty in order to better understand both the ideas themselves and how they relate to liberty. Don’t be afraid to entertain any idea, no matter how seemingly absurd or illogical it is. Entertaining an idea does not mean that you accept it. And remember, always remain unconvinced of even the most convincing of arguments. This will help you keep an open mind and a healthy level of both humility and skepticism.
Reject the State’s Authority, Carefully
Those who call themselves “the state” have a legitimacy problem. They claim authority over others, but lack any proof of it. For that, we should reject the state. Once rejected, we should view it for what it is, a very dangerous criminal gang, and approach it as such. This means that we obey its laws not out of obligation, but as a matter of risk mitigation, of safety. The state has the power to take us from our families, cage us, and kill us. If you value your family, your freedom, and your life, do what you can to stay out of the state’s grasp. Liberty doesn’t require martyrs, and you’ll have an easier time doing what I’m recommending in this article to promote liberty.
Start a blog and publish on it as often as possible. Write a regular column and publish it any place you can. Start a podcast and talk about all things liberty. Talking and writing about liberty is the one of the best ways to get others thinking about liberty. Get in friendly debates. Practice both direct and Socratic argumentation. Challenge others and challenge yourself. Facebook, reddit, and many other places can one find others always up for discussing or debating ideas. Start local meet ups and meet others face-to-face, converse, and get to know other voluntaryists or those not quite there. Remember to be friendly and respectful, or you probably won’t be taken seriously.
Support Educational Institutions
There are dozens of great liberty-minded institutions out there that publish books and articles, and put on seminars and conferences, to educate the masses on liberty, that are always looking for donations to help them in their efforts. The institutions that I value the most are the Mises Institute, the Foundation for Economic Education, the Future of Freedom Foundation, the Libertas Institute (Utah), the Center for a Stateless Society, the Natural Child Project, Freedomain Radio, Voluntaryist.com, Tom Woods Radio, the Independent Institute, and of course, Everything-Voluntary.com.
Promote Subversive Technologies
The printing press allowed the masses to get their hands on otherwise privileged information. Firearms gave society power at least equal to the state. Computers have made storing and finding information easier than ever. Telephones created instant communication all across the world. The Internet’s made that communication cheaper, as well as making information more easily accessible, from anywhere. Cell phones have put telecommunication, the Internet, and photo- and videography in everybody’s pockets, easily accessible to both capture and broadcast the state’s nefarious activities. Technology will continue to either equalize or enhance social power over state power. Bitcoin is making central banking obsolete. What future technologies will make the rest of the state obsolete? Support these technologies in any way you can. Get a bitcoin address, buy some bitcoins, and pay somebody across the world to touch up your photos or design the website where you’ll be writing about liberty.
Engage the Counter-Economy
The counter-economy is the economy the state either ignores or doesn’t know about. Trading in black and gray markets is a great way to starve the state of tax and licensing revenues. One must be careful, but every time you pay a neighbor kid to mow your lawn, a friend to clear a clogged pipe, or a day laborer to dig a hole, you’re growing the counter-economy and helping the market fight back against state encroachments.
Be a Radical Unschooling Parent
Every single voluntaryist parent should be a radical unschooler. What is that? Unschooling is the educational philosophy that says that kids should have complete freedom over their minds, their time, their whole lives. Whatever your kids are interested in, help them explore it, but let them lead. Never send your kids to school, and especially never send them to government schools. Unschooling is something everyone can do, now. Raise your children in liberty and they will learn to value their liberty, making it that much harder for the state to subjugate them. Radical unschooling also means raising your kids in peace and love. Never hit or punish your kids. Help them understand the consequences of their actions. Be an effective parent, not an authoritarian tyrant, in your home.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Not only should you never hit your kids, you should never hit anyone else. Defend yourself from harm as effectively as you can, but never initiate aggression against others. Be a practical pacifist in your everyday life. Learn the art of nonviolent communication to better understand the needs of others, in order to help create peace in the lives of everyone you meet. Avoid calling the police as much as you can. Sometimes we’re contractually obligated to do so, such as when we want to file an auto insurance claim, but otherwise try to deal with those who inconvenience you without inviting force into the situation, and the police are nothing but an instrument of force.
I personally practice each of the above strategies to varying degrees. I write as much as I can. I talk with others about liberty both in person and through a podcast. I’ve used bitcoin and frequently use every other technology the state would rather take away from society. I donate time and money to several organizations that promote liberty. I’m raising my kids in peace and have given them what is rightfully theirs, freedom. I don’t get in fights, and I don’t call the police if I can help it. And I trade in the counter-economy as much as is prudent right now in my life. I wholeheartedly reject the state’s claim of authority over me. They’re liars, thieves, and murderers. I’ll watch my back and stay out of their hands, but I won’t give them the dignity of my trust or respect. They’re criminals. I’m hopeful for a future free of the shackles of the state, if not in my lifetimes, in the lifetimes of my children or grandchildren. Like monarchy and slavery, the day will come when the masses have both the will and the means to push out the state from society. That day cannot come soon enough. Please, consider doing all of the above, and more. Godspeed.
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