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filc Posted: Fri, Oct 23 2009 4:31 PM

Hi guys,


A few recent posts has prompted me to request this. Has someone, or is someone, willing, to create a learning path tree for Austrian Economics/Libertarianism? This would be a tool to help make recommendations to people who come from different political and philosophical backgrounds. 

The concept is that reading material recommendations will change based on the audiance's prespectives and preferences and where their beliefs are coming from.

This tree would be used as a tool for us who want to propagate reading material out to our various flavored statist friends. The idea is to start at a basic level for each ideological viewpoint and build on top of it. Eventually as they work up the tree they can start adopting reading preferences that they wouldn't have otherwise when they started the venture into reading about freedom. The tree may look something like this.

 

(DOn't make fun, I made this in snagit in like 5 minutes...)

 

The advanced section will eventually cut off and it's assumed that at this point the person either accepts austrian economics/libertarianism or does not. 

Things like Anarchism vs Minarchism should be higher up on the tree. It should be safely assumed that most non-volunteerists will beleive in the existence of the state. The begginer sections should focus on flaws of the state that those individuals can relate to, then use economics, logic, and reason to reveal why the flaws exist. The begging section should not focus on offending the reader but definatley be thought provoking.

The whole Basic, Medium, Advanced idea in the broad scheme of things is merely an introduction to AE and Libertarianism. Many people on this forum would far exceed advanced. This tree isn't somtehing that should take someone 10 years to complete. It needs to be designed for effiency using the most well acknowledged titles to match peoples interests. 

Books which discuss the extreme details of philosophy and economics would be placed above advanced and be beyond the scope of this exercise. It will be assumed that at that point the reader can choose for himself where to bring his next level of reading to. 

At any rate I think you guys get the gist of what I am asking. Is anyone aware of anything like this?

 

EDIT:

Here is another example of how the paths could look

 

Also, I realized there may be more tree's besides "Conservative", "liberal" or right and left. A tree could be made from any viewpoint really. Even a religious one. Using one's religious concepts and beliefs and curb them back to the understandings of freedom. A tree could be made for any ideological viewpoint.

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Oct 23 2009 8:57 PM

filc:
Also, I realized there may be more tree's besides "Conservative", "liberal" or right and left. A tree could be made from any viewpoint really. Even a religious one. Using one's religious concepts and beliefs and curb them back to the understandings of freedom. A tree could be made for any ideological viewpoint.

Very nice. One was previously made: From Minarchism to Anarchism in 10 Easy Steps: A guide for Constitutionalists

I suggested we do one for Environmentalists, Conservatives, Social Democrats etc. as there are works that are better geared towards converting others.


I think a person has to first become interested in these topics, before they are obviously going to take them up. There are ways to do that, i.e see Ron Paul and become interested etc.

Alternatively, books from Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged are great at sparking that interest or moral outrage so to speak. From there, they can then flow into one of the trees. I'd suggest that this could be for the "apathetic" bunch. It's a story or novel.

 

For "economists", obviously it would be a focus on praxeology and methodology. If they can't get that right, then I don't think they'll follow on to the conclusions. Although, there may be a better path. When you tell someone you reject the scientific method and explain it to them, they don't exactly take to it easily... lol

 

For social democrats, you could use Mary Rewurts book. Egalitarianism as a revolt against nature, is probably too confronting... lol

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Sage replied on Sat, Oct 24 2009 12:00 AM

Excellent post.

I think another worthwhile project would be to gather all of the premises from which libertarianism follows and represent them in an argument tree/flow chart. This would be a great heuristic device, because it would show exactly how libertarian conclusions follow from our premises. This would help in debating other positions (e.g. Keynesians, Marxists, social democrats, minarchists) by focusing the debate to the disputes premise(s) that are the true source of the disagreement. Also, it could be adapted for educational purposes to reach out to different ideologies, as the OP proposes.

AnalyticalAnarchism.net - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

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filc replied on Sat, Oct 24 2009 2:31 AM

From Minarchism to Anarchy in 10 steps would more likely fit at the middle section of my model. Are there any other more introductory texts which would be better for introductions?  For example it's not likely that a minarchist will go read "The Public Sector, III: Police, Law, and the Courts - Murray Rothbard" as their first book and if you recomended that to a minarchist they will probably just roll their eyes and pretend to be interested. I need more introductory texts which can win the interests of minarchists first.

MY goal really is to swindle them into the anarchist mindset slowly over various texts. Each text should strike their interest into the next.

The general problem I come across however is which books to recommend for each tree. I think I can attempt this project but I need people to speak up explaining where they original came from and what path they took to discover freedom.

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Sage:

I think another worthwhile project would be to gather all of the premises from which libertarianism follows and represent them in an argument tree/flow chart. This would be a great heuristic device, because it would show exactly how libertarian conclusions follow from our premises. This would help in debating other positions (e.g. Keynesians, Marxists, social democrats, minarchists) by focusing the debate to the disputes premise(s) that are the true source of the disagreement. Also, it could be adapted for educational purposes to reach out to different ideologies, as the OP proposes.

Man, if someone could pull this off, it would be amazing. It'd be like Human Action got condensed into a graphic organizer.

Life and reality are neither logical nor illogical; they are simply given. But logic is the only tool available to man for the comprehension of both.Ludwig von Mises

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filc:

The general problem I come across however is which books to recommend for each tree. I think I can attempt this project but I need people to speak up explaining where they original came from and what path they took to discover freedom.

I first really became an individualist when I read The Satanic Bible—definitely a book that requires you to be an atheist beforehand, though. It wasn't until a friend of mine lent me an Ayn Rand novel that I really saw the economic side of things. Of course, Ayn Rand's refusal to even consider an opposing viewpoint became kind of a turn-off (not to the point where I dislike her, but enough for me to seek out alternative sources), and I stumbled across Human Action somehow and was hooked. Posts on this forum converted me from minarchism to anarcho-capitalism, although I can honestly say that I wanted to be convinced... I just had to hear the reasons.

Life and reality are neither logical nor illogical; they are simply given. But logic is the only tool available to man for the comprehension of both.Ludwig von Mises

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Conza88 replied on Sat, Oct 24 2009 9:51 AM

filc:

I need more introductory texts which can win the interests of minarchists first.

MY goal really is to swindle them into the anarchist mindset slowly over various texts. Each text should strike their interest into the next.

http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Tell me how to make those charts and I will construct one.

I still think that Sage's Minarchism to Anarchism is the definitive list for those individuals who believe in minarchism. However I can do the Left and Right since I have been on both sides.

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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filc replied on Sat, Oct 24 2009 11:40 AM

We can do them however you like. I used a crappy image editor. I have visio though and could make a better flow chart. If you can actually create the tree in text for me I could go back into visio and create a visual representation. Or if you like feel free to go at it. If there are any photoshop guru's out there they may be able to do even better!

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this might help, i just google search found it http://www.lucidchart.com/

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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filc replied on Sat, Oct 24 2009 11:55 AM

Sage:
I think another worthwhile project would be to gather all of the premises from which libertarianism follows and represent them in an argument tree/flow chart.

Yes I agree. This would be a nice asset

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Sage replied on Sat, Oct 24 2009 12:27 PM

filc:
Are there any other more introductory texts which would be better for introductions?  For example it's not likely that a minarchist will go read "The Public Sector, III: Police, Law, and the Courts - Murray Rothbard" as their first book and if you recomended that to a minarchist they will probably just roll their eyes and pretend to be interested. I need more introductory texts which can win the interests of minarchists first.

Exactly. In order to have a discussion with someone you need to approach them at some shared level, i.e. find common ground.

As Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote:

"What are the great faults of conversation?... I will tell you what I have found spoil more good talks than anything else: long arguments on special points between people who differ on fundamental principles upon which these points depend. No men can have satisfactory relations with each other until they have agreed on certain ultimata of belief not to be disturbed in ordinary conversation, and unless they have sense enough to trace the secondary questions depending upon these ultimate beliefs to their source."

For example, in debates between libertarians and Marxists you often find they just talk past each other. This is because the former holds the STV as a premise, while the latter holds the LTV. So in debating, e.g. whether profit is exploitation, the debate will often go nowhere, because while each side may be reasoning correctly from their premises, they hold different premises and so reach different conclusions. Hence most debates are a waste of time, because they focus only on secondary questions, without getting at the root disagreement.

On the other hand, it's easier to debate with minarchists because both groups share a lot of common ground; they know where the other stands.

(This explains why, when someone posts on a forum with radically different views, they will be accused of trolling: because they share very few fundamental principles they can hardly engage in discussion.)

I find it's very difficult to have discussions with laymen, just because a lot of work is required to establish common ground. I guess the best way to do that would be to have them read some introductory text that presents the libertarian worldview in its entirety. Perhaps Rothbard's For a New Liberty and Callahan's Economics for Real People (pdf) as a one-two punch.

AnalyticalAnarchism.net - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

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Oh I apparently have visio. I'll create a list this week.

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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filc replied on Sat, Oct 24 2009 2:04 PM

Sage:
I find it's very difficult to have discussions with laymen, just because a lot of work is required to establish common ground. I guess the best way to do that would be to have them read some introductory text that presents the libertarian worldview in its entirety. Perhaps Rothbard's For a New Liberty and Callahan's Economics for Real People (pdf) as a one-two punch.

The conclusion I have come to is that laymen are laymen becuase they have not found the reasonign why economics and liberty is important. I agree with someone's earlier post that ideological apathetic people can be approached by using inspiring story's like FoundtainHead ect...

 

Thanks LaughingMan. FYI I also have visio so feel free to eemploy in any way you think necessary. If I can just get some lists I can also make some of these charts.

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And presenting them with a 15,000 word Hasnas essay isn't going to appeal to them in the least.

One needs to be able to advance the argument simply and concisely.  I liked Sage's idea behind the reading list, but anyone who is already open to reading several thousand pages of books and essays, was a candidate for winning over on reason.  Such a list is only useful to a very narrow audience.  Where a list like that has value, is if we know the material, and can summarize the arguments in our own words, fit to the conversation and interests of the party we are trying to communicate with.

This idea of the logical progression of ideas from a starting point, IF KEPT SIMPLE AND CONCISE has the potential to be a great tool, like the Nolan Chart.

If it becomes convulted, self-indulgent, dogmatic, devotional, then it will be lost on many of the people it is shown to.

filc:
The conclusion I have come to is that laymen are laymen becuase they have not found the reasonign why economics and liberty is important.

Exactly.  One can only be successful in communication if they can find out what is important to the other party.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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filc:
Thanks LaughingMan. FYI I also have visio so feel free to eemploy in any way you think necessary. If I can just get some lists I can also make some of these charts.

That will work, I will write up a list

I think it will be centered around 'Philosophy' / 'History' / 'Economics' ranging from Basic / Medium / Advance / Expert. The first works are meant to deconstruct and critique their ideology, then move to basic tenets of free market anarchism, then medium, advance etc.

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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filc replied on Mon, Oct 26 2009 11:46 PM

Does this seem logical.

 

  1. It is more likely to persuade a minarchist to anarchy.
  2. It is more likely to persuade a statist to minarchy.

Therefore the flow should follow like this

Statism -> Minarchism -> Anarchy

Beginner -> Intermediate -> Advanced

 

Each beginers section will focus primariily on correcting indoctrinations of the state and more or less attempt to bring the person to a minarchist position. Once the person gives in to minarchy they will then have some of the foundational information to understand anarchy. If the chart fails we may at least persuade some statists to be minarchists and agree with the Austrian school and other economical aspects.

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That is what I was thinking. It is much easier to get someone from statist to minarchist. Getting a minarchist to radicalize is difficult.

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 12:14 AM

filc:
Does this seem logical.

It seems good to me.

Has anyone not gone through the phases:

"Government is good and necessary" -> "government is evil, but necessary" -> "government is evil & unnecessary".

If anything there may be different starting points for individuals, between the first two phases. And naturally there are differences in time each person takes to flow from one to the other, some take an instant, some take months, years, decades and some - never. I suspect that a lot of people might just have never questioned it, or been shown an alternative. So they didn't consider whether government was good or necessary, that it just 'was'.

I'm sure there are a lot of factors that influence a persons world view. This may not have everything to do with intelligence, but interest or the nature of the individuals upbringing and other factors.

Part of what was a draw card for a lot of people towards the Ron Paul revolution, was his principled stand and integrity. Calling out the military industrial complex in the national presidential debates surrounded by war mongers and a mainstream media, especially a war propaganda powerhouse called "Fox", which is essentially the default channel for every single Republican voter - that takes guts.

It's not just what he was saying, but in the context he was saying it - that was so powerful.

I'm wondering if there is a way to translate or replicate this into the model?

Laughing Man:
That is what I was thinking. It is much easier to get someone from statist to minarchist. Getting a minarchist to radicalize is difficult.

Yeah. And primarily out of the 3 options this is the only one that is logically inconsistent. I've eluded to earlier:

Conza88:

Just some of my observations. There are two types of minarchists;

  1. Those who are open minded & susceptible to anarcho-capitalism, they have just never read or been shown how it could work, or that it has in the past.  
  2. Those who worship the Constitution and State propaganda surrounding it. They have fallen for the "Hobbesian fear" and "We the people" are the government.

It is fairly easy to figure out if you are dealing with someone who is intellectually honest, or dishonest. It usually takes a few responses of back and forth. The approach helps a lot as well. If they are intellectually dishonest, then you are posting to change the lurkers minds - because the opposition has hit a brick wall of cognitive dissonance and quite likely will never get over it. They are usually a lost cause & nothing short of a miracle will move them to address the inner contradictions of their position.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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filc replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 12:40 AM

Conza88:

filc:

I need more introductory texts which can win the interests of minarchists first.

MY goal really is to swindle them into the anarchist mindset slowly over various texts. Each text should strike their interest into the next.

http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

I have to play dummy on this one. What topic tree would you place this under and in what section. Begginer, intermediate, advanced? I havn't read this so I don't know.

On another note, for LaughingMan and others, A quick 3 things

First

What method do you think would be best to decide the recommended order of literature? Obviously this is only meant as a guide and not as a concrete lesson plan.

One thought was to poll people that came from different backgrounds and grab the collection of books they read and in the order they read them. Then from the pool of likeminded individuals build a reading list from there.

Second

I think it may be somewhat important if we set a book limit. The tree's should not be lengthy and convoluted with various texts. We should attempt to find the most appropriate text or texts for each topic. We should be able to assume that after a tree is completed the reader would have enough knowledge to know where to go to find more reading material. I wonder if we could keep an entire tree limited to 10-15 books. Do you think thats too short?

Third

Conza88:
I suggested we do one for Environmentalists, Conservatives, Social Democrats etc. as there are works that are better geared towards converting others.

Do you feel these topics are too specific or are they just right for developing a tree from each group?

Regarding conservatives. Despite the fact they may believe in minarchy I feel that most conservatives have lost their or have never originally learned the significance of minarchism and why it works. I suspect most conservatives know little of economics, history, and philosophy. So on that note I wouldn't want the conservative tree being lacking. We should take the standpoint that they are just as much statists as liberals, which it seems lately they are. 

Fourth

Sage:
Excellent post.

I think another worthwhile project would be to gather all of the premises from which libertarianism follows and represent them in an argument tree/flow chart.

Started a new thread on this topic. I'd like to have this accomplished as well.

 

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Laughing Man:
Getting a minarchist to radicalize is difficult.

It's an ongoing project to come up with better arguments and to argue without being confrontational.

I've noticed that there are many people on this forum now who can strike at the root without being belligerent or verbose.  That is truly excellent.

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 1:16 AM

filc:

I have to play dummy on this one. What topic tree would you place this under and in what section. Begginer, intermediate, advanced? I havn't read this so I don't know.

I am yet to read it, although it is on my shelf. I have listened to the audio book, on and off, several times though.

The book was written for a mainstream publisher.

It has apparently been very effective at converting minarchists, because they read it and don't realise that it is about a stateless society. It starts with the American Revolution and Classical Liberalism, that which Constitutionalists and Classical Liberals, Republicans, small government folk can agree with - then it moves on to address the fundamental concepts of a free society and addresses consistently - what happened in the United States, even with the document that was supposed to limit the state. It shows how it failed and what was the result. It touches on what happened in history, and in practice. I sense this is what the "pragmatists" need to be given to be convinced and that is why it has been effective.

 

  1. The Libertarian Heritage:
    The American Revolution and Classical Liberalism 1

PART I: THE LIBERTARIAN CREED

  1. Property and Exchange 23
  2. The State 45

PART II: LIBERTARIAN APPLICATIONS TO CURRENT PROBLEMS

  1. The Problems 73
  2. Involuntary Servitude 79
  3. Personal Liberty 94
  4. Education 119
  5. Welfare and the Welfare State 142
  6. Inflation and the Business Cycle:
    The Collapse of the Keynesian Paradigm 171 [p. viii]
  7. The Public Sector, I: Government in Business 194
  8. The Public Sector, II: Streets and Roads 201
  9. The Public Sector, III: Police, Law, and the Courts 215
  10. Conservation, Ecology, and Growth 242
  11. War and Foreign Policy 263

PART III: EPILOGUE

  1. A Strategy for Liberty 297

As far as giving it to socialists, or marxists or those who are apathetic... I have no idea.

If I was to put it in a category, I would say intermediate. A perfect book to give to minarchists, because it manages to side step all the cognitive dissonance that arises when the word "anarchy" is used.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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I like to think that For A New Liberty is a nice beginners book for those already interested in libertarianism. Ethics of Liberty for advanced. I'm working on the Marxist reading list now though, there are just so many to choose from and I don't want to leave anything out

So for I have the basic reading material:

Basic economics:

Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt

Basic History:

A Letter to Socialists by Molinari

Basic Philosophy:

Requim for Marx edited by Yuri Maltsev

There are many other works  and I have yet to peruse the lectures. It will take some time.

 


'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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filc replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 2:00 AM

Perhaps each of us should choose a Tree. LaughinMan your working on Marxism at the moment, Conza could you pick up one of the topics you listed? And I can do modern liberalism.

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 2:15 AM

Laughing Man:
I like to think that For A New Liberty is a nice beginners book for those already interested in libertarianism. Ethics of Liberty for advanced.

Good point. For A New Liberty is 'intermediate' on the scale and perfect for those who are beginners and already interested in Libertarianism / reducing the size of the State. It is aimed at the Constitutionalists, Republicans, Limited Government, Conservatives crowd.

Ethics of Liberty is definitely advanced.

I recently gave a copy of this to a slightly neo-conish friend, who leans towards cost-benefit analyses & is into Hayek. We'll see how that goes.


Should there be another category?

Basic Law?

The Law by Frederic Bastiat

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Sage replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 2:17 AM

Laughing Man:
That is what I was thinking. It is much easier to get someone from statist to minarchist. Getting a minarchist to radicalize is difficult.

I think this is probably true for right-wingers. Since they already hold the ideal of small government, it's not much of a leap to smaller government. And of course they treat the Constitution as a sacred text with magic powers, so it's easy to push them toward applying it more consistently.

But I think it would be easier for leftists to go straight from statist to anarchist rather than statism-minarchism-anarchism. This is because leftists don't want to limit government: they want to keep their egalitarian social programs. But once you show that these functions could be better provided on the market, leftists, because they don't hold an irrational attachment to a "constitutionally limited republic," will be more likely to apply this argument to all industries, and hence end up at anarchism.

The key point is: know your audience. (So you could have a separate approach for any demographic.)

liberty student:
I liked Sage's idea behind the reading list, but anyone who is already open to reading several thousand pages of books and essays, was a candidate for winning over on reason.  Such a list is only useful to a very narrow audience.

I think we need to draw a distinction between promoting our ideas among academics on one hand, and raising awareness among the general public on the other. My project would count as the former; it's aimed at people who would try to refute anarchism (hah!). But the latter projects are important too. I suppose they would comprise spreading simplified ideas, slogans, getting people interested and inspired, etc. Basically propagandizing in the neutral sense.

And speaking of slogans, I think a good combination is "Other people are not your property" (the rights argument) and "Competition beats monopoly" (the information/incentives argument).

AnalyticalAnarchism.net - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

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filc replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 2:27 AM

Laughing Man:
That is what I was thinking. It is much easier to get someone from statist to minarchist. Getting a minarchist to radicalize is difficult.

These tree's are tools for us to use. We won't necessarily be handing out pamphlets of these to statists. They'll just toss it in the garbage. It's a guideline to be used to friends, family, and others. We use the these as an easy guideline to direct people to anarchy.

If the tree's are setup appropriately though all kinds of other types of material and content could be built on top of their design. Like complimentary video's and audio or basic educational guidelines for anarchy or whatev...

I think with having this we could do alot. I feel like many people have a marxist(statist, liberal, conservative, whatever) buddy who they want to introduce anarchism to but don't know where to start. These guides will be designed specifically for that.

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 2:40 AM

filc:

Conza88:
I suggested we do one for Environmentalists, Conservatives, Social Democrats etc. as there are works that are better geared towards converting others.

Do you feel these topics are too specific or are they just right for developing a tree from each group?

Regarding conservatives. Despite the fact they may believe in minarchy I feel that most conservatives have lost their or have never originally learned the significance of minarchism and why it works. I suspect most conservatives know little of economics, history, and philosophy. So on that note I wouldn't want the conservative tree being lacking. We should take the standpoint that they are just as much statists as liberals, which it seems lately they are. 

Hoppe would seem to be a great source to give to conservatives. Hahah. Big Smile

Democracy: The God that Failed has history, economy, philosophy all entwined.

I think the categories are adequate, it's just that someone who used to associate with them, who knows more about them, can hark back to their own experiences and understand why and how they converted. Then try replicate that for others.

filc:
Perhaps each of us should choose a Tree. LaughinMan your working on Marxism at the moment, Conza could you pick up one of the topics you listed? And I can do modern liberalism.

I could give one a go but I don't really have a specialty area. There was not a label or philosophy I was associated with before I converted. I was apathetic and had simply never been shown an alternative. So I don't have the insight of knowing what was fundamental to those beliefs, and what was the tipping point for some people who adhere to it, to then abandon it & convert.

If we are to contend this is as a position or label, in as of itself - which I guess it is. Then I surveyed the scene and I thought 'everyone' sucked. Politics was a joke. What got me interested, was the emotional / moral / ethical / natural rights argument. Good starters that put me on the path, were Ron Paul, but ideally - The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

Novels as interesting stories, that had a distinct individualist fiber. If I was to do an apathetic tree, The Fountainhead would be in the beginner section. In my experience, that lead onto limited government, and then anarcho-capitalism. So these apathetic folks, have now been turned into "intermediates" and are interested in Libertarianism, they can filter into the 'individualist' branch and can read For A New Liberty as their next book.

  • From memory, Krazy Kaju was an anarcho-syndicalist so he may be able to help out there?

    Additionally, for modern liberalism or social democracy.... "Democracy: The God that Failed" would be advanced, or it might be an idea not to use it at all for social democrats.

    Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature might be too affronting as well. For someone who believes equality is the be all end all, that might be a shock to the system. The issue is then, do you want to convert them to limited government?

    Because the easiest way to do that - would be to stipulate you believe in the same goals as them, equality etc  -  except you believe the market is a better mechanism to achieve that. Haha... at least they stop supporting calls for a growth in the state, and instead oppose it. Smile

    I know there are books out there, that are good at this - Ruwarts Healing the World for starters - although I haven't read it. Someone else might have to do that tree.
  • At the moment, I have two other projects that are being worked on. They'll take a while but I think they will do a lot to radicalize those who are passionate about freedom and liberty.
Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Conza88 replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 2:58 AM

Sage:

Laughing Man:
That is what I was thinking. It is much easier to get someone from statist to minarchist. Getting a minarchist to radicalize is difficult.

I think this is probably true for right-wingers. Since they already hold the ideal of small government, it's not much of a leap to smaller government. And of course they treat the Constitution as a sacred text with magic powers, so it's easy to push them toward applying it more consistently.

But I think it would be easier for leftists to go straight from statist to anarchist rather than statism-minarchism-anarchism. This is because leftists don't want to limit government: they want to keep their egalitarian social programs. But once you show that these functions could be better provided on the market, leftists, because they don't hold an irrational attachment to a "constitutionally limited republic," will be more likely to apply this argument to all industries, and hence end up at anarchism.

Yes. And many on the 'left' might not have that bad reaction to the label of "anarchy" since their more radical socialist brothers in arms use it so much. What becomes harder to address is the notion that, it would be a world of pure market capitalism. That is a hard sell. But I'm sure we can do it. Smile

 

I guess if we are to revise the branch, find out whether the person is prone to collectivism or individualism that could be helpful in addressing what will convince them to anarchism or at least reducing the size of the state.

If they are prone to individualism:

  • Government is evil, but necessary for protecting rights through courts & police --> Government is evil & unnecessary because it cannot protect rights, it violates them. The market can do a better job.

If they are prone to collectivism:

  • Government is good, and necessary because it can be used to promote & achieve equality --> Government is evil & unnecessary because it cannot achieve equality (rulers vs ruled). The market can do a better job.
Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Sage replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 12:32 PM

Conza88:
And many on the 'left' might not have that bad reaction to the label of "anarchy" since their more radical socialist brothers in arms use it so much.

That's a good point. Anarchism is part of the leftist tradition, so they'd be more open to it.

AnalyticalAnarchism.net - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

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In addition to a learning tree, you really need a full proof to the stated end.  The problem there is that von Mises and Rothbard were quite verbose in their terminology and descriptions.  So add to that a glossary of definitions and terms.  The alternative is hundreds or thousands of books that can and do contradict one another.

Because people will challenge each step of the way, you may not be able to convince them beyond the basic material without proof and supporting evidence to back it.  Some may not want to face reality, and stick to what "feels" good to them.

It also requires lessons on the false assumptions and conclusions of the commonly accepted economic positions.  You have to tear down those walls in order to build a solid foundation, especially for those who are well entrenched.  I think there are many in the community here that love this part of the effort.

Finally, we have to agree that there is no single, final position.  We have those who follow von Mises, those who follow Rothbard, and many with their own positions that are pretty broad.  It's much easier for positions that we all agree with, but we don't want to go as far as relying on concensus without the prerequisite proof.  So there must be room for debate even at the end state, and those positions need to be shown as advanced discussions where further research and participation is needed.

The intent of the tree is probably more limited that what I suggest, but I think it would be most effective if backed with strong, consistent reason.  There are gaps to be filled between a lot of the resources - gaps that may lead some to wander off in a different direction that what is intended.

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Marko replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 3:15 PM

 

Conza88:

filc:
Does this seem logical.

It seems good to me.

Has anyone not gone through the phases:

"Government is good and necessary" -> "government is evil, but necessary" -> "government is evil & unnecessary".

You can go from:

From "I hate the politicians and am apolitical" to "I hate the politicians and want to abolish their jobs".

From "I hate the oligarchs and want them dispossesed" to "I hate the oligarchs and want them dispossed and make sure no other oligarchs can ever rise in their place".

From "I hate our quisling government" to "If we had no government we couldn`t have a quisling goverment".

Instead of trying to convert people to minarchism and then to anarchism, maybe people who are already in arms about something (and there are many) should be sought out and then shown how at the root of their issue is the state, thus turning their already existing ire against the state. Then let them decide what form precisely their anti-statism is going to take. I think many would skipp the "minarchist phase". Minarchism can be a very underwhelming and subdued stance to take if you are already agitated about something.

 

filc:

I have to play dummy on this one. What topic tree would you place this under and in what section. Begginer, intermediate, advanced? I havn't read this so I don't know.



Begginer, simply because it is one of the first books any "target" should read. Devilishly radical without coming of as either academic/theorethical or angry/hysterical. Any chapter in it can rock somebodies world.

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filc replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 4:12 PM

You guys are expanding out the scope of this project beyond what I had wanted.

For all intensive purposes the ADvanced section of our tree's are really still at an introductory level in anarchy in general. The technical differences between Rothbard or MIses are entirely beyond the scope of this excersize. It needs to be assumed that if a person actually does follow a tree and completes it then they are capable on their own at deciding what their next series of reading will be.  They should at that point be able to decide for themselves who they want to read after that. Think of it like this, w hat you would consider still to be somewhat beginner or intermediate level reading would  more accurately fit in the advanced section of our tree.

I want to keep lists down a simple 10-15 books per tree. Perhaps 30 at most. 

We could change our format. Perhaps at each level we will have all the literature we can think of and assign them to a level. The problem then becomes because some books cover so much ground they could technically fit in several categories of the tree. Therefore I think just to keep it simple it may make more sense to recommend single essays or books regarding specific subjects in our tree.

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krazy kaju replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 11:06 PM

I'm stickying this for awesome.

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 11:45 PM

Marko:
You can go from:

I don't think you can. And who has? A person who is usually apathetic has no real understanding of economics, philosophy, ethics.. otherwise, they wouldn't be apolitical or apathetic. In hindsight, I think you look back and believe you could have. I dunno. I don't know anyone who has made that gigantic leap instantaneously.

Marko:
Instead of trying to convert people to minarchism and then to anarchism, maybe people who are already in arms about something (and there are many) should be sought out and then shown how at the root of their issue is the state, thus turning their already existing ire against the state. Then let them decide what form precisely their anti-statism is going to take. I think many would skipp the "minarchist phase". Minarchism can be a very underwhelming and subdued stance to take if you are already agitated about something.

Well, you promote abolition of government intervention in that area. Rothbard's caucus has these 10 points, Ron Paul followed this method. I think you will be incredibly hard pressed to find someone who has an issue, that you can successfully convince to get rid of government intervention, and then additionally  - abolition the state completely (getting rid of the monopoly on courts, police, defense etc.)

Not to say, don't go for it - if you think its possible. I'd also say that, as a general model for what we are going for - the apathetic -i.e no philosophy, history, economics knowledge - are not going to be impressed with the concept of anarchy. Especially, considering it pop culture and the mainstream it is derided and especially in the state school / education system.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Marko replied on Wed, Oct 28 2009 12:34 AM

Conza88:

I don't think you can. And who has? A person who is usually apathetic has no real understanding of economics, philosophy, ethics.. otherwise, they wouldn't be apolitical or apathetic. In hindsight, I think you look back and believe you could have. I dunno. I don't know anyone who has made that gigantic leap instantaneously.



Well I wasn`t a minarchist for a second. Apolitical is not the same as being apathetic. Apolitical is someone who does not think there is any hope in the political process. Someone who is sufficiently cynical to expect nothing from the politicians. I remember growing up my whole old neighbourhood was like that. I think barely anyone voted, and sure as hell nobody ever thought any good would come out of it if they did. All you could ever hear was how things are bad, how everyone in power is stealing and how it is bound to get worse jet. 

Conza88:


Well, you promote abolition of government intervention in that area. Rothbard's caucus has these 10 points, Ron Paul followed this method. I think you will be incredibly hard pressed to find someone who has an issue, that you can successfully convince to get rid of government intervention, and then additionally - abolition the state completely (getting rid of the monopoly on courts, police, defense etc.)

Not to say, don't go for it - if you think its possible. I'd also say that, as a general model for what we are going for - the apathetic -i.e no philosophy, history, economics knowledge - are not going to be impressed with the concept of anarchy. Especially, considering it pop culture and the mainstream it is derided and especially in the state school / education system.



Lack of any pre-existing knowledge is an insurmountable problem because it is a symptom of a mind that is not inquisitive and curious. Such a person is not going to be swayed by any belief system other than existing orthodoxies and home baked explanations (eg Obama is a Kenyan spy).

There are inquisitive people who are radicalised about something and have examined ideologies (other than libertarian ones) finding none of them satisfactory. Presenting them with minarchism is not going to have nearly the effect than presenting them the much more final, consistent and courageous anarchism. Nobody goes "heureka" after finding out about minarchism. It is much too apparent that it is a compromise ideology. It is not brilliantly simple.

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filc replied on Wed, Oct 28 2009 12:44 AM

Marko:

Lack of any pre-existing knowledge is an insurmountable problem because it is a symptom of a mind that is not inquisitive and curious. Such a person is not going to be swayed by any belief system other than existing orthodoxies and home baked explanations (eg Obama is a Kenyan spy).

There are inquisitive people who are radicalised about something and have examined ideologies (other than libertarian ones) finding none of them satisfactory. Presenting them with minarchism is not going to have nearly the effect than presenting them the much more final, consistent and courageous anarchism. Nobody goes "heureka" after finding out about minarchism. It is much too apparent that it is a compromise ideology. It is not brilliantly simple.

If these people can be stereotyped into some kind of similar ideological group then perhaps we can create a learning tree for them. OTherwise if they are just plain stubborn we should invest too much time in them anyways. Still I think people of that nature would be more inspired by fiction rather then delving into specific philosophical works.

Krazy Kaju:
I'm stickying this for awesome.

Thanks Krazy Kaju! It will all be worth it when we have some finalized products. Perhaps we can setup a wiki outling each tree with links to texts/books/videos/ect...  :)

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Definition in scope is essential.  One person's term for "advanced" will be different than others.

I do see a potential pitfall.  Human Action alone would be a challenge for beginners to grasp, but contains the central arguments that support our position.  Other than references, which are provided in other books, Human Action may be in the advanced category.  A lot of Rothbard's material probably fits in the same category, although his writing style is a bit easier for the beginner to pick up.  Where you place these books will tell us a lot on what the scope of the project should be.  Perhaps the entire point is to bring the novice from knowing nothing to the point where he can read Human Action and many of the good books out there.

The other option is to use the Study Guide for Human Action and the Study Guide for Man, Economy and State with Power and Market, but even these may be intermediate level books and not the first thing a novice should pick up.

Good basic beginner stuff is Economics in One Easy Lesson; I, Pencil; and An Introduction to Austrian Economics.  A good book on reasoning and logic would be nice too.

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filc replied on Sun, Nov 1 2009 1:35 PM

Update!

We finally have a rudimentary liberal reading list that needs to be hammered down over here.

However I am reluctant to move too far forward until we somewhat agree on a scope for this project. I think if we can get something more defined more people could participate and attempt to make their own tree specifically catered to an ideological viewpoint. 

Not wanting to keep the project too strict I think it's best if we just agree on a set of guidelines at tree can attempt to follow as best as possible.

So here is what I have so far.

3 Catagories

Introduction

 

  • 1-5 recomended books, articles, videos, seminars, lectures, ect.... (Fiction may serve well here at the beginning section)
  • Section 1 will more or less be addressing topics of interest that may correlate with the persons ideological viewpoint while still being thought provoking and challenging the reader in such ways.

The Introduction section should provide literature which will appeal to the reader but at the same time, in disguise, be introducing them to more minarchist/libertarian viewpoints. My thoughts on this are to in a way kind of trick them or slowly bring them towards freedom. With that said the introductory books may not necessarily be a clear representation of libertarianism, minarchism, or anarchy. We just need to find the best books to get the reader interested in philosophy and economics. The intermediate section is there for establishing foundational topics, it is our hope that if they progress past the introductory stage that they will be interested in that material.

 

Intermediate

  • History
    • 1-3 Historical relevant recomendations
  • Philosophy
    • Building on the Introduction 
    • Really establish the foundational philosophical viewpoints here. Stuff like the NAP, Private Property, ect...
  • Economics
    • Again this is an extension into detail from the Introduction section. Here we can explain some of the mechanics of Economics. We should hope that at this point the reader understands that Economics is both relevant but also has developed a level of interest because so.

The intermediate section may end up with several sub-categories or it may not, depending on the reading material you provide. Some books encompass all 3 sub-catagores. This is really just up to our digressions. We just want to design as best we can to really establish important foundational principles like the NAP, Private Property, ect. We may introduce concepts like the ABCT but not get too overly detailed. 

It may end up being that the intermediate section is the largest section. Thats fine as there is much ground to cover. 

Advanced

  • Advance topics I imagine can vary. Here we can really attack various forms of statism.
  • If a reader gets this far they need to comprehend our underlying principles otherwise as always they will shrug off anti-statism as a form of arbitrary nihilism. If the reader gets to this point and just thinks we are cranks than our Introduction and Intermediate section is lacking. 

The advanced section can really be an all out assault on various forms of minarchism. This is where you can introduce some fun stuff without fear of the reader missing the point. The advanced section really should be the most thought provoking at all finally tearing down the walls that the reader was raised on. If in this section we at least cannot convert someone to all out anti-statism than at least we may have created a minarchist or anarchist sympathizer. 

Scope

This project should not be designed or intended into punching out expert economists left and right. It's fundamental goal is to stear people in our direction and understanding of freedom. In the broad scope of things the ADvanced section for all intensive purposes can still be a begginers section in the broad scheme of things. The idea is that after they have read all of the topics they can choose for themselves where next to take their reading to. Some folks would rather read up on philosophy rather than economics. Past the advanced stage they can be left to do that on their own. 

This project should not be designed as a full blown lesson plan educating every detail of the anarchist point of view. So the scope needs to be limited. 

Material

While books are obviously of greatest value due to their immense amount of information some people need visual supplements so I encourage each tree to use things like video's and other material as augmentations to the tree.

 

 

comments please

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