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How to Run a Voluntaryist Meetup

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After last night’s Delaware Valley Voluntaryists meetup – which was spectacular but not as goal-oriented as I wanted – I became aware of the need to explain my concept of how (I think) a voluntaryist society should function. So here goes, and keep in mind that it’s very simple.

It’s a Marketplace

It’s a marketplace. A voluntaryist society is a place for people to buy and sell opportunities to live in alignment with their principles and self-replicate; i.e., find or make more voluntaryists. So if, for example, you want to see a voluntaryist vs objectivist debate, you should prepare a plan and recruit people to work on it with you. If you want to hand out literature to people, ditto. It’s up to you to make your idea happen.

What It’s Not

It’s definitely not a club where you elect leaders and set priorities and plans and the leaders carry them out or set up committees and such. It’s a free market federation of individuals. I’m advocating a kind of organization in line with agorism here. In other words, leadership is bottom-up, not top-down. There is no society-wide voting, things happen or not depending on who or how many people are interested.

Mistakes to Avoid

Some things happened at the meeting that really shouldn’t have. I don’t want to criticize any one person. I probably broke all my own rules. Live and learn.

  • Don’t talk about philosophy until reality forces you to. (Talk about tactics instead.) It will only create division. Real world meetups are for bringing people together. Any event that is specifically labeled as a debate is an exception.
  • Keep it orderly. Have a process for recognizing speakers. Otherwise, boisterous people will own the meeting.
  • Make sure every person gets to speak and we aren’t constantly hearing from the same people over and over.
  • State the purpose at the beginning of the meeting. This may be the most important rule.
  • Keep a running note of the current topic in order to avoid getting lost in tangents.
  • Wrap it up with homework; i.e., what everyone’s next actions can or should be.

Some Op Ideas

In line with my suggestion that people come up with op ideas and sell them to the members, here are some ideas I’d like to do. I’ll be fleshing them out more soon.

  • Come out tomorrow in support of the AEC6/7, anti-war folks who were arrested while committing civil disobedience in front of an army recruiting station at Franklin Mills Mall. Here’s the Facebook event.
  • Alliance of the Libertarian Left literature drops. Quick distributions of left libertarian literature (or other voluntaryist-compatible lit) to whomever.
  • Attend selected meetups together (en masse) of groups like Truth, Freedom and Prosperity, the Libertarian Party, Valley Forge Revolutionaries, Food Not Bombs, etc. Befriend and subvert with the truth.
  • Have a party and bring friends we want exposed to the voluntaryist message. Ply them with opportunities for evolution. ??? Profit!

Off to a Great Start

Just the fact that 16 voluntaryists came together last night in Philadelphia looks like a miracle to me. We’re off to a great start and I look forward to growing from the experience and doing great things. Kudos to those who made it happen; you know who you are. :)

Photo credit: ron1478. Photo license.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

15 replies on “How to Run a Voluntaryist Meetup”

I like what you have to say here. I have employed the tactic of going to meetings of people I agree with, to befriend and inform. This was largely my purpose for getting involved with Ron Paul’s campaign.

Great ideas!! It’s a pleasure reading your site and looking forward to implementing some of your memes in San Diego!! We just started a Complete Liberty Meetup, with our first meeting last month, and hopefully it’ll lead to bigger and better things.

Hi Furb, thanks for commenting. My problem with getting involved in stuff like the Campaign for Liberty or electoral campaigns is when the involvement changes from informing and subverting to helping and joining. My mission in such things is to spark evolutions in minds, not to modify my actions or thoughts to fit their incorrect paradigm.

For sure!! I noticed you have Wes Bertrand’s “Complete Liberty” on the blog roll. He’s got some great ideas and is actually what got me thinking straight. I’ll be sure to keep posting!!

Hi George. I’m glad Robby informed me of this smart post. You’re welcome to check out the format of the meetup group I’ve set up here in SD. Anyone interested in setting one up in their area is of course free to copy and paste (IP is nonsensical). I’ve just posted the second major meeting, which will likely draw over a dozen members.
http://www.meetup.com/Complete-Liberty/

Cheers,
W

p.s., I’ve posted a list of scholarly resources too:
http://www.meetup.com/Complete-Liberty/about/

I doubt the onions are meeting up voluntarily though. :- ) Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Thanks for writing this up, George!

There was definitely one not-really-anarchist guy there, but I’m going to go all naive on y’all and say that I don’t believe there were any cops there. ;- )

BTW, George: After a few “normal” meets, put a question to the group like this:

“If any of you would like to join a secret, anarchist society, with me, please contact me after the meeting.”

Guaranteed interesting results. Especially when you insist that it’s important.

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