Written by Michael Slomzenski.
What is freedom? Is it free healthcare? Is it what soldiers kill and die for? Free schooling? Freedom from hunger? These beliefs of what freedom is, are as foreign, scary and absurd to our ears as, “no government‘, “no taxes”, and the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) are to most other people today.
Most of us were statists from a very young age. The vast majority of people that I know are statists and they don’t even know what the word “statist” means. They have had a lifetime of indoctrination. Most would probably consider themselves to be good people. How can we convince these good people that freedom does not come from forcing other people to do your bidding?
I like to think of myself as a “Freedom Farmer”. I plant seeds of free thought whenever and wherever I can. As a voluntaryist/anarchist/abolitionist/libertarian, I find that most people that I know or meet, are ignorant to many libertarian ideas. I also find that it is almost impossible to change a persons mind about anything, let alone something so important and engrained into their very identity as “government”. If I can find a common ground, I try to get them to think about it from a libertarian perspective. The NAP, Bitcoin, police brutality and extortion, taxes, the drug war, the terror war and war in general are common themes that I often bring up or expand upon.
For instance, I might point out that police brutality has much more to do with statism and the existence of a police state, than it does with racism. Or how the war on drugs is all about money, and very little to do with drug use. Or that taxes are not voluntary and are a form of slavery and armed robbery. I find that if I give them too much information they get overwhelmed or become argumentative or just think that I’m crazy. I don’t hide anything or decieve people in any way. I just try to get them to think for themselves. It’s hard to do that if you overwhelm them, or in a confrontational setting. So I try to plant seeds of free thought.
I was having a casual conversation with a woman in a coffee shop last month. She seemed pretty open-minded so I showed her a video depicting police brutality, and asked her what she thought. We talked about the police and the drug war. I believe that she listened to me and she will see things differently in the future. Sometimes it’s just a small idea – a comment or a question. In the past I have stated things about voting or the so called 2-party system that we have in the USA to friends. Months later I found that their position had changed.
I often find it difficult to thoroughly process new information during a conversation. I doubt others can easily do so either. Sometimes it’s best to just present an idea and let the other person think about it at their own pace. Allow the idea to germinate and take root. Persuading someone to your point of view is good. Giving them the information and the time to come to conclusions on their own is more permanent, and will have a greater effect on them.
Everyone is different some people are hopeless statists and might not be worth talking to. But give them a small idea, maybe point out that the 2-party system is really just the lesser of two evils. It is hard to argue with the statement that “I believe all human interaction should be voluntary”. Others may be Voluntaryists at heart, but have no concept of what that means. They might be able to handle more truth.
The beautiful thing about liberty is that it makes sense. If a person is honest with themselves, and is exposed to a way of looking at things that they may not be familiar with they will often come to the same conclusions that I have. Getting someone to even think about something is half of the battle. Once that idea germinates and grows. Once it becomes their own idea. Then they may be able to continue on the path to rejecting the state and embracing libertarian ideals. If you want the world to be a freer place, this is one way that we can help bring about that change. So, get someone thinking, plant a seed, become a Freedom Farmer.
If you are interested in exchanging ideas about spreading the message of Liberty. Please consider joining the Freedom Farmers Facebook Group.
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