Liberty lovers need a pro-freedom strategy to win over others to our beliefs. I have seen flame wars break out over this topic among libertarians (and others of course) for decades. I hope to present a plan that many of my friends would find useful.
I once read that Murray Rothbard had four main planks in his strategy for advancing liberty. Since in his lifetime we went from a handful of libertarians in the US to millions, I think he was on to something good.
The first plank in the Rothbardian strategy was that the victory of liberty is the highest political end. Many radical libertarians believe that electoral politics is evil and I agree, but to convince others to reduce the size and scope of the US Empire is politics even if you don’t vote. So, this plank says to convince others in any way you can that we need to downsize government now.
The second plank is that we must have a moral passion for justice to inform our political actions. We will never let the ends justify our means. Every place we see injustice should offend our senses just like it happened to us; or to our our own loved ones. We have empathy for those who have been wronged by the State and its minions.
The third plank of the Rothbardian strategy is that we need to pursue our political ends with all the speed that we can. We are not taking the long road of hoping that centuries from now we will be free; we want freedom now.
The final plank is that the means taken must never contradict the goal. We will never advocate aggression against anyone or fail to grab whatever opportunities that may come our way in pursuit of our ultimate goal. We will never advocate strengthening the federal government at the expense of local government or any other “pragmatic” actions of that nature.
What does all this mean? We now have millions of young people who are discovering the ideas of liberty for the first time. I recommend that they steer clear of any “beltway” type of job. Going into the belly of the beast to help liberty is not a productive strategy for most of us. Instead, pursue your love of liberty through arts, commerce, the press, education, or the ministry. These fields allow one to effect the minds of millions and hence to advance our passion for liberty. We need to never compromising the long-run goal for short-term gain through the political process. We need more libertarian professors, pro-liberty journalists, business owners, religious leaders, and entrepreneurs. We need more libertarian parents.
Are there politicians who do some good? Sure, Ron Paul drew millions of young people world wide to the pursuit of liberty. But he never got one bill passed by congress in his entire career. He was an educator using his political office as a platform for teaching. Every time Ron Paul voted “no” against all the minions of the empire he sent a message of liberty. We could use more like Ron Paul but most of us would end up compromising our principles for short term gain.
Whatever you do; keep your eye on the goal. We want liberty now. We want to advance our ideas now. We need to always stick to our principles.