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View Full Version : Long Time Libertarian, New Potential Activist




Bailly
11-01-2013, 06:30 PM
Hi, I'm new to the forums and am possibly looking at getting more involved with politics. I've followed Ron Paul's activities and views for some time now and agree with most of them. Recently, I've been more motivated to get involved, mostly because I am strongly concerned about health care 20-30 years down the road, when I'll actually need it. Although, I'm probably more focused on the economy, since by fixing that, it would solve not only the health care problem, but several others, as well. However, I am unsure how to start, even though I looked at the activist topics there.

Bailly
11-01-2013, 06:35 PM
I have a couple questions about that:

1) How can I learn more about how libertarianism works?

I suppose I'm thinking of how to get an education on the subject. While I have a college degree, my education on politics is very limited, so my knowledge of the libertarian philosophy is very general. I know what Ron Paul says, but don't always know the how and why of it. I do seem to have a skill for being persuasive and building a consensus. However, when I run into people who are far more educated than I am, I have a difficult time responding effectively, since I'm not as well-versed on the issues. I would guess they don't have classes for this sort of thing. What about books?

Here's an example of a conversation I had recently. Ron Paul's stance on health care is that the federal government should get out of the way and allow real competition to bring down prices. I share that sentiment. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Ron Paul said that the uninsured should get help from family, church, and charities. Now, I like Ron Paul, but that seems like a really bad answer, or at least a bad way of phrasing it. If you have cancer and need hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for these drugs or you will die, there's no way that you're going to get that kind of money for the rest of your life from the kindness of others.

Furthermore, this example specifically addresses the problem with the cost of drugs. If you are dying and sent to a hospital, they have to treat you (or at least, supposed to), whether you have the ability to repay them or not. Even at worst, you could at least go bankrupt. Yeah, that's really bad, but not nearly as bad as dying, of course. If you need a drug to survive, they don't have to give it to you, if you don't have the ability to pay. At that point, I didn't know how to respond, because I don't know of a good solution. I'm far more cynical that charities alone would cover this sort of thing.

2) What can I do to achieve my goals?

Honestly, I don't think it's possible, which is why I've designed my life to stay out of the way of the government, as much as possible. Look at everything Ron Paul has done in the past 30 years. He's basically accomplished nothing. Sure, he creates a lot of buzz, especially on the internet, but when it comes time for the real elections, he doesn't get anywhere. Even though he is a member of Congress, extremely few people actually listen to him. Even if he did get to become President, Congress would make him a lame duck. My efforts would pale in comparison to his. The people want their entitlements, and the wealthy will always have the power to do what they want. I find it extremely hard to believe that a few campaign signs, protests, and rallies are really going to make any impact.

If you have any suggestions for these two questions, please let me know. Thanks a lot. Glad to be here.

Barrex
11-01-2013, 07:03 PM
1) How can I learn more about how libertarianism works?
I would guess they don't have classes for this sort of thing. What about books?

1) HA HA ... You guessed wrong: www.libertyclassroom.com/‎ (http://www.libertyclassroom.com/‎)
Books? I would suggest that you start with:
-The Law by Frederic Bastiat;
-Economy in one lesson by Henry Hazlitt.

If you start with this soon you will discover other authors... some time later: You are anarchist... hopefully not in jail....

libertywanter
11-01-2013, 09:52 PM
Hello Bailly, I understand what you are saying here, you need to learn all the details in order to convey your message to others. You should be able to learn a lot just reading through this forum, and following discussions. I really think you should follow Rand Paul. He has many libertarian values but is not full fledged libertarian like his father Ron. Ron was too extreme in his ideas to gain traction in politics. However Rand has been gaining much traction and is showing good potential to be our next president.

My suggestion to you, if you really want to do your part to help this country get in the right direction, is continue to educate yourself on all the political subjects like you are here to do and follow Rand Paul closely and promote him to people you know or meet. If you get on board with Rand, your single vote may not count as much, but you convincing 100 people that Rand is the best choice for 2016, then them convincing there friends, multiplies fast, that is how you can really help.

Feeding the Abscess
11-01-2013, 11:34 PM
Hello Bailly, I understand what you are saying here, you need to learn all the details in order to convey your message to others. You should be able to learn a lot just reading through this forum, and following discussions. I really think you should follow Rand Paul. He has many libertarian values but is not full fledged libertarian like his father Ron. Ron was too extreme in his ideas to gain traction in politics. However Rand has been gaining much traction and is showing good potential to be our next president.

My suggestion to you, if you really want to do your part to help this country get in the right direction, is continue to educate yourself on all the political subjects like you are here to do and follow Rand Paul closely and promote him to people you know or meet. If you get on board with Rand, your single vote may not count as much, but you convincing 100 people that Rand is the best choice for 2016, then them convincing there friends, multiplies fast, that is how you can really help.

Or, what you could do is ignore this person entirely and actually learn the roots and philosophies underpinning libertarianism.

Barrex's two book recommendations are fantastic for beginners. Once you read and digest those, try Lysander Spooner's "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority," and see how radical you want to go. Tom Woods' "Rollback" and "Meltdown" are fantastic for modern, recent entries in the libertarian field. From there, Murray Rothbard should be investigated. He provides the framework for libertarian theory, from the social, political, and economic angles.

For resources on healthcare and any other economic issue, go to mises.org (http://mises.org/) and type whatever issue you're searching for in the search function.

angelatc
11-02-2013, 12:55 AM
Or, what you could do is ignore this person entirely and actually learn the roots and philosophies underpinning libertarianism.

Barrex's two book recommendations are fantastic for beginners. Once you read and digest those, try Lysander Spooner's "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority," and see how radical you want to go. Tom Woods' "Rollback" and "Meltdown" are fantastic for modern, recent entries in the libertarian field. From there, Murray Rothbard should be investigated. He provides the framework for libertarian theory, from the social, political, and economic angles.

For resources on healthcare and any other economic issue, go to mises.org (http://mises.org/) and type whatever issue you're searching for in the search function.

Or you coud ignore this person entirely and get involved locally. If you have a candidate that you like, call their campaign office and tell them you want to volunteer.

Natural Citizen
11-02-2013, 01:00 AM
If you have a candidate that you like, call their campaign office and tell them you want to volunteer.

This, right here.

Feeding the Abscess
11-02-2013, 01:11 AM
Or you coud ignore this person entirely and get involved locally. If you have a candidate that you like, call their campaign office and tell them you want to volunteer.

Yeah, fantastic! Jump into the political field and try to persuade people when you know nothing about libertarianism.

They should learn the basics first, then apply them to the political process, if they wish. You can't tailor a message if you don't understand it.

Bailly
11-02-2013, 01:17 AM
Thanks for the ideas, everyone. I'll look into those and any others you might have.

I don't know that I'd call myself an extremist or anarchist. More accurately, I consider myself a pragmatist. All I care about are results. If I thought that the government over-regulating the economy and health care were what would deliver results, I would totally back it. My opinion is that they don't deliver the results I want. I also don't really care about the Constitution. Just because something in written on it does not make it paramount, nor should something being unconstitutional be grounds for justifying why something is a bad law. I simply feel that the Constitution delivers the best results.

Feeding the Abscess
11-02-2013, 01:24 AM
Thanks for the ideas, everyone. I'll look into those and any others you might have.

I don't know that I'd call myself an extremist or anarchist. More accurately, I consider myself a pragmatist. All I care about are results. If I thought that the government over-regulating the economy and health care were what would deliver results, I would totally back it. My opinion is that they don't deliver the results I want. I also don't really care about the Constitution. Just because something in written on it does not make it paramount, nor should something being unconstitutional be grounds for justifying why something is a bad law. I simply feel that the Constitution delivers the best results.

If you want pragmatist material, you should read Milton Friedman, and for a more comprehensive view, his son, David. David takes the pragmatic argument all the way to anarchy (pragmatic anarchists exist, believe it or not), so feel free to follow him until you no longer feel comfortable doing so. Here's what his considered his best work, The Machinery of Freedom:

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/The_Machinery_of_Freedom_.pdf

Hayek's works are also essential for the pragmatist. Here's a collection of his works:

http://mises.org/literature/author/126

cajuncocoa
11-02-2013, 06:08 AM
They should learn the basics first, then apply them to the political process, if they wish. You can't tailor a message if you don't understand it.

Exactly. In addition to the many good books that have been suggested to you, here's a few good websites:

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/
http://mises.org/
http://www.lewrockwell.com/
http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/
http://www.zerohedge.com/

tod evans
11-02-2013, 06:19 AM
Read everything you can, learn at every opportunity but for heavens sake be slow to accept any doctrine.

Welcome!

(Big Lysander Spooner fan here)

Ronin Truth
11-02-2013, 06:44 AM
Statement of Purpose: Voluntaryists are advocates of non-political, non-violent strategies to achieve a free society. We reject electoral politics (http://voluntaryist.com/nonvoting/index.html), in theory and in practice, as incompatible with libertarian principles. Governments must cloak their actions in an aura of moral legitimacy in order to sustain their power, and political methods invariably strengthen that legitimacy. Voluntaryists seek instead to delegitimize the State through education (http://voluntaryist.com/articles/040.html), and we advocate withdrawal of the cooperation and tacit consent on which State power ultimately depends.

http://voluntaryist.com/

It's easier to turn an activist into a libertarian than it is to turn a libertarian into an activist.

"If one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself."

FSP-Rebel
11-02-2013, 01:16 PM
You can download a free audio book about libertarianism by Dr. Mary Ruwart named "Healing our World" @ http://freekeene.com/about/books/. It's a basic guide into libertarian ideology w/o the excessive scholarly mumbo jumbo. Also, being an activist doesn't mean you have to be a know-it-all kind of libertarian. Find a candidate(s) that you trust to be in a winnable race and either donate money to them and/or join the campaign to volunteer and they'll tell you how to brand their guy in terms of having you canvass neighborhoods and such. Typically, canvassing on behalf of a candidate means you're just lit dropping and not really even engaging locals if you don't want. 90% of winning is just showing up.

Ronin Truth
11-02-2013, 03:39 PM
You can download a free audio book about libertarianism by Dr. Mary Ruwart named "Healing our World" @ http://freekeene.com/about/books/. It's a basic guide into libertarian ideology w/o the excessive scholarly mumbo jumbo. Also, being an activist doesn't mean you have to be a know-it-all kind of libertarian. Find a candidate(s) that you trust to be in a winnable race and either donate money to them and/or join the campaign to volunteer and they'll tell you how to brand their guy in terms of having you canvass neighborhoods and such. Typically, canvassing on behalf of a candidate means you're just lit dropping and not really even engaging locals if you don't want. 90% of winning is just showing up.

Hey, thanks for the Free Keene link.:cool:
I hadn't run across it before.:)

Bailly
11-04-2013, 08:34 AM
I've been thinking about what I can do to get more involved. As aforementioned, I highly doubt that I can make any kind of difference on the national level. However, it was brought to my attention that it may be possible to influence the situation on a local level. I have a few questions about how to get involved. Note that I only moved to this state a year ago, in part, due to the insane property taxes back home, after living in my hometown for the first 30 years of my life, so I'm not nearly as familiar with anything here.

1) How do I learn about the local issues? Personally, I haven't noticed any local political issues that have affected my life. I suppose the local issues I would care about would be the state/city budget, healthcare, and education. To my knowledge, those all seem to be running just fine around here, though I have no intimate knowledge of them, so I don't know.

2) Which politicians do I care about locally, and how do I learn about them? Obviously, there's senators, representatives, the governor, and the mayor of my city. Is that all? I would think that more people than just those affect the way things are run around here. What would I be looking to learn about them? Their stance on the issues? Voting records? What about potentially better up and coming politicians?

3) How would I get involved locally? Is it as simple as contributing to campaigns? I would think that there is a lot more to it than just that.

4) How would any of this help? While I think it's far more feasible to create change on a local level, I don't know how it would work. Even if I got all the right politicians elected, I can't see how that would change much. Health care is a national problem. Even if I did everything I could to help lower costs locally, the drug companies are in other states. The government-maintained monopolies are on the federal level. I can't change that.

Education is another problem. In my hometown, my property taxes were increased nearly 50% every three years, mostly due to funding education and the teachers' pension plans. My understanding is that the property taxes are much better here, but still run under the same system. How can anyone campaign against something like that? The opposition would easily say that they don't care about teachers, education, family values, and children, and the people would buy it. It's easy to support someone who wants others to fund their children's education.

Thanks for your help.

FSP-Rebel
11-04-2013, 11:40 AM
I've been thinking about what I can do to get more involved.
3) How would I get involved locally? Is it as simple as contributing to campaigns? I would think that there is a lot more to it than just that.

4) How would any of this help?
There's many ways one can become an activist. Not sure what state you're in but I'm linked up my county's Campaign for Liberty here in Mich and there's a whole slew of us that grew up (became activists) during the 2 Paul campaigns and have become more seasoned and savvy as we've learned throughout experiences and activist workshops. We're all precinct delegates in our local area's GOP and usually it's easy to become one. Just fill out the form at your local city/township clerk's office and then your name will be on the November ballot along with maybe a few others. Most people get elected since most don't know about this unless you're in a heavily dominated GOP area but even then, it's still possible. You can campaign for yourself (hold a sign on election day) if it comes to that.

Once you become a precinct delegate, you can go to your county convention and get elected to go to the state convention where state party leadership is picked along with those on your district and state committee. Of course, this method is to leverage the GOP into a more libertarian direction. In essence, not only at this point are you more in tune w/ other local GOPers and can rub off on them but your one vote in an election for a candidate is amplified many thousands of times more by being able to vote on leadership which affects the direction of the state party. Having a solid group of conservatives/libertarians on your local district committee will allow for resolutions affecting state party policies and the ability to pull endorsements/donations for sitting politicians that aren't upholding their end of the bargain. So essentially, the district committee and local state cmte-persons are the top republicans in the area and typically held in high regard by politicians and thus listened too typically.

Usually people spend a term or two as a precinct delegate and by then if they're still involved, there's usually opportunities to make it on the district cmte and you'll have plenty of allies by then to help that cause. This is the main way of networking w/ local republicans esp if you're new to the area. Heck just showing up and being interested is a good first way to get involved and start to know people. We can't just flip a switch and boom, things get better for us all. If one believes this country is worth attempting to save this country/states/localities, then getting involved locally or volunteering/donating to different legitimate campaigns is a bonafide way of going about that. Even if you think there'll be an economic crash of some sort, having responsible and intelligent people in the lower rungs of party power could help revive on the flip of said crash. Who knows, the crash could be so bad that this country could break up into regions or some such thing.

And think about it like this, the time commitment is usually a couple of meetings a month and a couple of conventions a year. Your volunteer time can be what you want it to be as well as your financial assistance. So, this can pretty much be one of your hobbies which also allows you to get out and meet new people which is killing 2 birds with 1 stone in a new area. If every true conservative/libertarian did this, then there would be no state GOP being ran by establishment types and this would effect the makeup of the RNC as well.

Bailly
11-04-2013, 03:43 PM
That sounds like a great plan of action. Thanks. Out of curiosity, how are the precinct delegate elections handled? I have a lot of free time and solid speaking/persuasive skills. However, it wouldn't be that hard for someone to run a smear campaign against me, given my lack of children (no family values) and lack of religious affiliation (we don't know what he really believes). A simple internet search could find all sort of things they could use against me, even though I'm a harmless, law-abiding citizen.

Bastiat's The Law
11-04-2013, 04:17 PM
Liberty Classroom is a great place to start.