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Stuff we can do

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liberty student Posted: Sun, Feb 22 2009 3:17 PM

Here is some stuff we can do.

  • Promote Mises.org books and the bookstore.
  • Promote liberty oriented web sites.
  • Increase our own knowledge of Austrian Economics and liberty oriented philosophy
  • Present a positive image of libertarianism
  • Spread articles and flyers.
  • Spread ebooks, youtubes and audio
  • Raise money for libertarian causes, through fund raising or your own direct charity
  • Live as free as possible.  Not confront the state necessarily, but given choices, choose libertarian oriented activities, including but not limited to,
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Education
    • Charity
    • provide and use services the state fails at (raw milk, natural medicine, home schooling,data security)

Without going into too much detail, the propaganda corps always needs help.  People with money could help pay libertarian students during summers and between semesters to write content, to create analysis.  To make appropriate edits to Wikipedia to keep Austrian Econ pages up to date and accurate.  To comment daily on Paul Krugman's blog.  To create YouTube videos, to hand out lit on campus.

Feel free to add on.

But the gist is, there is a lot you can do, with little or no money, with little or no free time, on your own, without waiting for a plan, orders from a leader or collaborators.  The hardest thing is getting started.  People are slow to take the initial step.  Once you start walking, it's easier to break into a run.

"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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liberty student:
  • Spread articles and flyers.
  •  

    Apparently people attending public schools cannot do this due to Morse v. Frederick court case, I learned that one the hard way.

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    Luis Buenaventura:

    liberty student:

  • Spread articles and flyers.
  •  

    Apparently people attending public schools cannot do this due to Morse v. Frederick court case, I learned that one the hard way.

    That's when one clandestinely tapes fliers to the walls. Wink

    Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found.

              - Edmund Burke

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    Luis Buenaventura:
    Apparently people attending public schools cannot do this due to Morse v. Frederick court case, I learned that one the hard way.

    Do it before and after school off school property.

    Invite your classmates to visit your website, get a free wordpress.com blog, and jot down some ideas or link to some relevant materials.  Don't get on Blogger if you can help it, it's not a very good platform.

    Find ways to succeed within their rules.  The reason why the rules are ineffective, is that there is no way to stop a creative mind.

    Also, don't be afraid to go after modest goals.  If you get one person a year into libertarianism, for 20 years of your life, and a few thousand of us do it, and those people also pay it forward, the coercive criminal state is toast within a couple generations, and you will see the fruits of that movement in your lifetime.

     

     

    "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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    How can people like Rockwell, Raico and Higgs say that voting is completely useless, meaningless, etc because your vote will not make a difference, and then go on to advocate such actions as listed in the first pots of this thread. It seems to me that either that argument stands and this is a waste of time or, they are being pretty hypocritical.

    Don't get me wrong, i'll shed many  a tear when it's Raico's time but still, this does seem a little bit inconsistent.

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    Actually I've already gotten hold of three people.

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    alansmithee:

    How can people like Rockwell, Raico and Higgs say that voting is completely useless, meaningless, etc because your vote will not make a difference, and then go on to advocate such actions as listed in the first pots of this thread. It seems to me that either that argument stands and this is a waste of time or, they are being pretty hypocritical.

    Don't get me wrong, i'll shed many  a tear when it's Raico's time but still, this does seem a little bit inconsistent.

    I don't understand your threadjack.

    I'm talking about libertarian/anarchist activism at the individual level.  I do happen to agree that voting is a waste of time, as is much of politics.  There will be no political change until there is a change in attitudes, and attitudes will change with non-political activism.

    "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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    Luis Buenaventura:

    Actually I've already gotten hold of three people.

    Well, then now it's part of your job to stay in touch with them, and encourage them to also grow the knowledge out.

     

    "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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    liberty student:

    I'm talking about libertarian/anarchist activism at the individual level.  I do happen to agree that voting is a waste of time, as is much of politics.  There will be no political change until there is a change in attitudes, and attitudes will change with non-political activism.

    About the one area I disagree with the non voting is with local referendums.  There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the state whine that the voters in my area reject the school levies year after year. 

    /threadjack

    That said, I still say the most effective means of spreading libertarianism yet was Ron Paul's campaign.  That he was able to convert some of my blue collar co-workers, without any intervention from me, was nothing short of amazing.  In the end, the political aspect of it was a waste of time of course, but the coverage by the mass media was a great help to our cause.

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    I have such a strong urge to "do something" and it comes from the anger of realizing how fooled I've been by this "system" until recently.

    I'd like to add to your list to argue for liberty on the internet! It only costs time and everyone posting here seems quite capable of doing it very well. Mises needs to be heard. The virus of liberty has all opportunity to go epidemic. Actually, government is nothing but the absence of us giving other people the opportunity to consider liberty!

    Of your bullet points, I'd like to emphasize Entrepreneurship! It is a valuable experience and it efficiently illustrates much of what Mises has refered to. Of course his work can be very well understood academically, since he has codified it all so well in his writings. But actually being an entrepreneur adds another dimension to it. The uncertainties and changes, the constant formation and reformation of prices and how everything depends on what other humans choose to do. Well, it's quite an experience! And it is the ostensive death of "parametric" or "matehmatic" economics overall. And it is amazing to me how a "dry academic" such as Mises has been able to describe the essence of this process.

    Choice of industry is of course important. I've become entrepreneur in an industry about which I know nothing at all. And I recommend it! Don't put your last dime at stake, but do start any kind of business activity after work. Just buying and selling stuff on ebay might be enough of a kick. I'm into some difficult service offering in the midst of depression, and the only thing of value I get out of it is the rollercoaster ride. But that experience is actually worth more to me than the money profit I initially hoped to get. I do strongly recommend you "going entrepreneurial" in any way you can: Try your wings. You can do it!

    It's not fascism when the government does it.

    “We must spend now as an investment for the future.” - President Obama

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    Bank Run replied on Sun, Feb 22 2009 7:22 PM

    To understand the non-voting point of view, please read None of the Above by Sy Leon. Voting gives people no real choice unless they can vote 'none of the above is acceptable'.

    Individualism Rocks

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    Shawn77 replied on Sun, Feb 22 2009 7:56 PM

    alansmithee:

     

    How can people like Rockwell, Raico and Higgs say that voting is completely useless, meaningless, etc because your vote will not make a difference, and then go on to advocate such actions as listed in the first pots of this thread. It seems to me that either that argument stands and this is a waste of time or, they are being pretty hypocritical.

    Don't get me wrong, i'll shed many  a tear when it's Raico's time but still, this does seem a little bit inconsistent.

     

    The nonvoting sentiment is to illustrate that there will be no change regardless of which party gets elected.  With Bush as president a giant stimulus package is signed into law.  Obama gets elected promising change and lo and behold  he signs an even bigger package.  However I don't believe it is intended to promote apathy towards the entire political process. 

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    Can anyone post links to the flyers they use?

     

    And as an addition hows about challenging the president of the socialist club to a public debate? The local Progressive Democrat campus chair? Whoever else?

    Leters to the editor are also great.

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    Shawn77:
      However I don't believe it is intended to promote apathy towards the entire political process.

    I'm pretty sure I've heard Rockwell describe himself as a political athiest before...

    liberty student:

    I don't understand your threadjack.

    I'm talking about libertarian/anarchist activism at the individual level.

    With all due respect, I don't think it was a 'threadjack' as you call it. I'm also talking about the individual level. If individual voting can't work for the stated reasons then individual activism falls under the same argument.

    As with voting, unless you are the deciding activist, the one who topples the empire for example, then it is a pointless endeavor according to the voting argument. I should say though that I'm not trying to upset anyone and I'm all for your activism, etc. It just seems to me that there is an inconsistencyu there which is not being admitted.

    Personally I think it is the anti-voting argument that is at fault (even though I'm a long-term non-voter myself). I just thought I'd try and address this seeming inconsistency.

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    alansmithee:
    \

    liberty student:

    I don't understand your threadjack.

    I'm talking about libertarian/anarchist activism at the individual level.

    With all due respect, I don't think it was a 'threadjack' as you call it. I'm also talking about the individual level. If individual voting can't work for the stated reasons then individual activism falls under the same argument.

    As with voting, unless you are the deciding activist, the one who topples the empire for example, then it is a pointless endeavor according to the voting argument. I should say though that I'm not trying to upset anyone and I'm all for your activism, etc. It just seems to me that there is an inconsistencyu there which is not being admitted.

    Personally I think it is the anti-voting argument that is at fault (even though I'm a long-term non-voter myself). I just thought I'd try and address this seeming inconsistency.

    Why do you feel that activism must be aimed towards the goal of voting? Can't you be an activist with the goal of spreading libertarianism not with the goal of getting people to vote for X?

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    Nerditarian:

    alansmithee:
    \

    liberty student:

    I don't understand your threadjack.

    I'm talking about libertarian/anarchist activism at the individual level.

    With all due respect, I don't think it was a 'threadjack' as you call it. I'm also talking about the individual level. If individual voting can't work for the stated reasons then individual activism falls under the same argument.

    As with voting, unless you are the deciding activist, the one who topples the empire for example, then it is a pointless endeavor according to the voting argument. I should say though that I'm not trying to upset anyone and I'm all for your activism, etc. It just seems to me that there is an inconsistencyu there which is not being admitted.

    Personally I think it is the anti-voting argument that is at fault (even though I'm a long-term non-voter myself). I just thought I'd try and address this seeming inconsistency.

    Why do you feel that activism must be aimed towards the goal of voting? Can't you be an activist with the goal of spreading libertarianism not with the goal of getting people to vote for X?

    This is not what I'm saying. I'm just making a comparison between the argument against voting and the argument for activism. It seems there is a certain symmetry between them in form but a completely asymmetrical approach to them in actual practice (with regards to libertarians pronouncing one and denouncing the other for seemingly the same reason).

     

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    The argument for activism is an argument where we don't have to do the least of two or three or four evils. We have the freedom to do whatever we want, more or less. Also, what is arugment but intellectual battle? And if you are unwilling to do intellectual battle than what is the point of having an intellect?

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    Nerditarian:

    The argument for activism is an argument where we don't have to do the least of two or three or four evils. We have the freedom to do whatever we want, more or less. Also, what is arugment but intellectual battle? And if you are unwilling to do intellectual battle than what is the point of having an intellect?

    Okay. So please let me clarify my earlier point. One argument for not voting (see L.Rockwell, etc) is that your individual contribution makes no difference to the overall outcome regardless of the parties involved, hence it is a waste of time. My point was that this argument could as easily apply to the area of activism, namely that your individual contributions make no difference so it is a waste of time in that narrow respect.

    Now, I'm not saying that activism is a waste of time and I'm also not saying that everyone should run out and vote. What I am saying is merely that given that even here seems to believe at some extent in activism, maybe people (in particular the leaders of this movemenet) should drop that particular argument against voting as it seems dangerously reflective and generally undermining. It is used against the charge of being apathetic yet breeds the apathy it seeks to disuade by belittling the importance of the individual.

    As far as im concerned there is only the individual, and when many of these individuals get together they can change the world. It's just that arguments like that anti-voting argument (put forward by people like Rockwell) move us away from that ideal of individualist being the wellspring of change..

    ps: Now this really is a threadjack as someone called it yesterday. I'm sorry about that! Just wanted to be clear.

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    Nerditarian:
    Can anyone post links to the flyers they use?

    Just visit isil.org. They have a few dated but very good flyers.

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    One idea I had regarding flyers was that maybe we should pass out flyers AND local advertisements at the same time. This would allow us to pay for the flyers more easily.

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    krazy kaju:

    Nerditarian:
    Can anyone post links to the flyers they use?

    Just visit isil.org. They have a few dated but very good flyers.

    Thanks for getting this back on track :) My apologies.

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    alansmithee:
    Thanks for getting this back on track :) My apologies.

    It's fine.  But if you do it again, there will be trouble.  I might have to hurt a bunny rabbit.   And you don't want that on your conscience.  Wink

    Seriously though, this thread is not for collective activism via voting or any other stuff like that.  People have asked many times "what can I do?" or newbies post, "where do we get started?"

    The answer is, it starts with you, by yourself, as an individual making the decision to influence people around you.  You have to do it.  No one will hold your hand or lead you.  If you claim to be a libertarian, then try to live like one.  That means being entrepreneurial, supporting other entrepreneurs, engaging people voluntarily, honouring your voluntary contracts, respecting property rights, etc.

    You have to be the change you want to see in the world.  And you have to engage statists.  Many of them are not very strong in their belief or understanding of the state, so you can approach them and gain ground if you are patient, and you are non-confrontational.  As belligerent as I can be online, I am a real sweetheart in real life.  And I'm willing to sow a seed in one conversation knowing I can come back to it 6 months later, once it has had time to grow.

    There is not going to be some magical watershed political moment.  This has to be done at the grassroots, with tens of thousands of people working towards human liberty every day.  It will take time, and it will not be easy.  It might be so slow, that you won't be able to measure your progress.  But we all have to engage if we want to do something about our condition.

    Personally, I am tired of being a slave.  I don't want anything from anyone, except my free will.

    If you have ideas about things individuals can do, or post your own successes and failures, please share them.  If you want to organize or debate, start a new thread please.

    "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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    krazy kaju:

    One idea I had regarding flyers was that maybe we should pass out flyers AND local advertisements at the same time. This would allow us to pay for the flyers more easily.

    This is a great idea.  While charity is important, there is no reason we can't try to monetize the message.  Getting libertarian firms or groups to sponsor the print costs, which means that distribution would be the main overhead.

    I think a really great thing the Alex Jones people do, is they burn stacks of his DVDs and distribute them.  The Mises Institute has some video.  I don't know a lot about  taking stuff from the web and burning it, but I'm fairly confident Jeffrey Tucker would entertain the idea, and it can't be that hard to do.  What if we slipped every local high school a copy of the Mises video on the history of Banking...  keep a few copies in our cars and stuff. Leave them lying around at the library.

    It sounds so ad hoc and arts&crafts, but if you had 1,000 people doing this, you could generate a lot of activity and interest.  The RPForum folks know what a small and active group can accomplish with little more than desire to make a difference.

     

    "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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    Nick. B replied on Mon, Feb 23 2009 4:57 AM

    liberty student:
    I think a really great thing the Alex Jones people do, is they burn stacks of his DVDs and distribute them.  The Mises Institute has some video.  I don't know a lot about  taking stuff from the web and burning it, but I'm fairly confident Jeffrey Tucker would entertain the idea, and it can't be that hard to do.  What if we slipped every local high school a copy of the Mises video on the history of Banking...  keep a few copies in our cars and stuff. Leave them lying around at the library.

     

    I think that is an excellent idea. However before we get into banking and other matters of economic substance, we should first and foremost dive into the arguement of why the state is evil, and why the alternative of market anarchy is more desirable and moral, and show videos discussing historic examples of market anarchy in action.

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    sirmonty replied on Mon, Feb 23 2009 5:02 AM

    laminustacitus:
    That's when one clandestinely tapes fliers to the walls. Wink

    That is what I used to do.  Not only that, I used the school's resources to print large amounts of them off so it didn't cost me anything. Stick out tongue

    Ahh the perks of being in high school journalism....

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    Start helping your friends and family start to understand the bad times that are coming - and why.

    Prepare your own family and finances.

    The truth is an amazingly powerful thing.  It resonates in people when they hear it.  Our position (generalizing, of course) also has the advantage of being logically consistent (and right, in my understanding).  I plan on working on a series of presentations that go through my take on the progression of Austrian concepts and their application to our times.  What money is, why we need it, and how it has been perverted by bankers and the State to steal its power from the consumer and/or the market.

    As much as it seems we argue in here, in a conversation with someone who does not understand the Austrian position we would be on the same side probably 90% of the way. 

    Keep fighting the ideological fight, and pray however you do that we don't have to fight the violent one.

    One hundred trillion Zimbabwe dollar note

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    krazy kaju replied on Mon, Feb 23 2009 10:14 AM

    liberty student:
    This is a great idea.  While charity is important, there is no reason we can't try to monetize the message.  Getting libertarian firms or groups to sponsor the print costs, which means that distribution would be the main overhead.

    You don't even need libertarian businesses to sponsor you. Order your local community's newspaper and see which businesses advertise in it. Then go to those businesses and see if they'd like some help advertising from you.

    I think a really great thing the Alex Jones people do, is they burn stacks of his DVDs and distribute them.  The Mises Institute has some video.  I don't know a lot about  taking stuff from the web and burning it, but I'm fairly confident Jeffrey Tucker would entertain the idea, and it can't be that hard to do.  What if we slipped every local high school a copy of the Mises video on the history of Banking...  keep a few copies in our cars and stuff. Leave them lying around at the library.

    It sounds so ad hoc and arts&crafts, but if you had 1,000 people doing this, you could generate a lot of activity and interest.  The RPForum folks know what a small and active group can accomplish with little more than desire to make a difference.

    I think that the only DVDs that would interest people would be ones that directly explain the current financial crisis.

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    As far as the DVD thing goes, this site might work.

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    krazy kaju:
    I think that the only DVDs that would interest people would be ones that directly explain the current financial crisis.

    Well, that's a big starting point.  But even the DVDs are just one of dozens of tactics we haven't even creatively brain-stormed yet.

    I thought about bundling some more obscure torrents with information against IP.  If we had 7 or 8 people who could seed, we could start to spread information virally.

    It's not our job to spread the message to each individual, but to locate those individuals who will amplify the message for us.  We just have to keep striking matches until some become brushfires.

    "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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    Nick. B:
    However before we get into banking and other matters of economic substance, we should first and foremost dive into the arguement of why the state is evil, and why the alternative of market anarchy is more desirable and moral, and show videos discussing historic examples of market anarchy in action.

    From my experience, this is backwards.  People are not ready to hear about anarchy and it's history until they have realized their self-interest, and the state is not evil to many, because it redistributes wealth to them.

    What we can do is start to sow the seeds of rational economics, so when the state stops serving them, they turn away from it, and towards liberty, instead of demanding even more from the state.

    I've made a lot of progress lately with explaining the consequences and irrational design of many of the bills coming through Congress.  How you can't solve debt with debt, or spending with more spending.  Just about everyone can grasp that.  You can build from there.

    It's just my opinion, but trying to hit home runs is not a winning strategy.  We need to keep spreading the message so people can get it, in the smallest possible denomination if that is what it takes.

    This is a message I got when I woke up today,

    Hey xxxxxxx,

    Just a quick thanks for your posts in the economy threads. They make me realize how ignorant I am.

    Prompted by your links, I've bookmarked X's archive at mises.org as well as XXX's blog. Great stuff!

    I didn't post that to stoke my ego, but how if you can establish some credibility (not fanaticism or tin foil hattedness) and then lead people to the right material, boom, they are off on their own and you can move on.  This individual in particular is a good one, because he is very vocal, and produces a lot of online content.  I guess you could say he was a high value target, and I wasn't even targeting him specifically.

    I remember in the precinct leader Ron Paul videos, if you go to someone's door, you have a couple minutes to make an impact.  Anyone who wants to sit around with you for an hour and discuss your topic is a dead end.  They either already know their stuff, or they are committed to another ideology.  They will only prevent you from reaching more people.

    So even if you know someone who would be a great asset to libertarianism if they could see your point of view, if you are spending 2 or more hours discussing with them, they are just undermining your ability to reach people.

    "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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    Steve replied on Mon, Feb 23 2009 1:42 PM

    I've been planning out a few YouTube videos for quite some time. I'm a graphics designer and I plan on making the videos visually appealing and attention keeping while still delivering a short and understandable message on the particular subjects. Face it, the information is boring to the vast majority of people out there. However, once you strike that chord and it begins to resonate within them, then you have a chance to get them think and question. The key is getting them to pay attention, even to a short three minute video. You have to spruce it up a little, and that's what I'm going to attempt at least. Who knows if it will work.

    I also plan on putting together some fliers and giving speeches at my campus.

    I find one of the most difficult subjects to tackle is democracy. Does anyone have a good way to go about this without sounding crazy to most people?

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    Nerditarian:

    As far as the DVD thing goes, this site might work.

    I meant this state: http://www.vixy.net

     

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    Steve replied on Mon, Feb 23 2009 2:12 PM

    Nerditarian:

    Nerditarian:

    As far as the DVD thing goes, this site might work.

    I meant this state: http://www.vixy.net

    Note to anyone trying to follow the link, you have to take the www off or it will not work.

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    Steve:
    You have to spruce it up a little, and that's what I'm going to attempt at least. Who knows if it will work.

    Testing, testing, testing.  It's always the key to making anything successful.  You give your customer 2 choices, then drop the least successful.  Then you test again.  Then drop the least successful.  That's how to optimize advertising.  "Split testing".

    Steve:
    I find one of the most difficult subjects to tackle is democracy. Does anyone have a good way to go about this without sounding crazy to most people?

    I'm always met with silence when I bring it up.  I tend to equate it to all of the mob rule injustices (genocide in germany, iraq war, electing Bush for dems, electing Obama for republicans).  I don't have a good tactic for it yet.

     

    "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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    One idea I had was to distribute cheap, basic books along with the flyers, which would greatly reduce the cost of purchasing the books.

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    Marko replied on Mon, Feb 23 2009 6:52 PM

    Steve:

    I find one of the most difficult subjects to tackle is democracy. Does anyone have a good way to go about this without sounding crazy to most people?



    Use "collectivist" rhetorics. Don`t sound like you hate "the people". Sound like you hate the state for messing with "the people". Show that democracy was not implemented to transfer the power to ordinary people. That it was instead implemented to placate them and give them an illusion of control. Explain this by contrasting actual lack of influence of ordinary persons even when they are united in a fairly massive grassroots movement, to actual influence of miniscule groups and interests within the power elite. Name examples where democratic governments have passed decision that were deeply unpopular with the people like the bailout and the poll tax. Explain that the people in democracy really only have minimal input since they can not put forth policy but can only choose between the policy choices on the menu. Demonstrate this by naming policies which would be extremely popular with the people, but which the establishement will never adopt and therefore never bring forth to people for consideration such as immigration bann, abandonment of military bases in Romania, or immediate pullout from Iraq. Finally do not call democracy democracy, call it an elected representatives system or some such. Explain that democratic government is actually an oxymoron, since the people can not at the same time rule and be be ruled itself. Explain no government can be one with the people but is instead a seperate entity with its own seperate interests. Say that around one half of the population which does not vote is already instinctively aware of futility of elections and illusionary nature of democracy. Then just apply coup de grace to say that in any case even if a wast mayority agreed on something it would not have to mean it is the correct choice, or even the moral one.

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    Shawn77 replied on Mon, Feb 23 2009 7:15 PM

    Marko, the last part of your post is what has always bothered me about the democratic process.  MAJORITY RULES!   The issue only need be voted on, the government does not limit the scope of its involvement.  There are no longer rights than cannot be voted away.

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    Marko replied on Mon, Feb 23 2009 7:20 PM

    Shawn77:

    Marko, the last part of your post is what has always bothered me about the democratic process.  MAJORITY RULES!   The issue only need be voted on, the government does not limit the scope of its involvement.  There are no longer rights than cannot be voted away.



    Actually that is not even true. In reality the power elite rules. But lets not derail the topic further. Else we will hear it...

     

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    Nerditarian:

    Nerditarian:

    As far as the DVD thing goes, this site might work.

    I meant this state: http://www.vixy.net

    I found a better site for converting the file from a youtube: http://www.clipnabber.com

    I don't have any discs on me, but if you take one of the mises media videos and use this site to download it you should be able to burn the video in question to a DVD with a basic burner. I would do it myself, but I don't have any discs around and I don't have a car. I also don't know if clipnabber will work for this big of a fire. However, once you download it you're golden. You can then burn it as many times as you want.

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    liberty student:
    From my experience, this is backwards.  People are not ready to hear about anarchy and it's history until they have realized their self-interest, and the state is not evil to many, because it redistributes wealth to them.

    This.

    Tell a poor person that the free market will make poverty less severe. Tell a conservative it will conserve his family values. Tell a liberal he can smoke as many drugs as he wishes to in the free market.

    In other words, pander.

    "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

    Bob Dylan

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