Dave Ridley – star of The Ridley Report and Free State Project early mover – makes a passionate plea for less concern with self-defense and more non-violent activism in the above video. Anti-government violence just strengthens the government, he says, so instead of preparing for violent conflict we should instead use media to seek more allies. Civil disobedience, producing our own media and calling in to talk radio shows are some of the strategies he mentions.
Self-Defense Against Government Not Best Strategy Now
I think he’s right. Violence against the government is not a winning strategy right now, no matter that it is morally defensible. It would be misunderstood. It would scare people. It would work against us. And I, for one, am just uncomfortable with violence of any sort. Violence against the government is morally correct self-defense, but we still have other cards to play.
Still, Got to Develop Self-Defense Skills
That said, I still think we need to get our guns ready. As author Boston T Party said at last month’s Liberty Forum, the war on guns is likely ramp up. Ammunition prices are going up and availability is going down due to government initiations of force. They’ll be coming for our rifles soon. This may be our last year to gracefully train on battle rifles at a reasonable price. Guns – and especially battle rifles such as the M1A, AR-15 and AK-47 – may be scary but they’re a liberty insurance policy. Liberty lovers need to be prepared for the worst while fighting for the best.
Risking Conflict is Stressful
But we need more allies. Many libertarians complain that people don’t listen to the liberty message but I also think many times we don’t try hard enough or take the right tack. Risking conflict with others via debate, protest and civil disobedience is stressful and time-consuming. It’s not easy to challenge someone on their beliefs or disobey orders from an authoritative voice in a strange or public place. Also, many of us don’t know how to enunciate the liberty message in an accessible and consistent way.
Is Being Attacked Good Publicity?
Dave says that being attacked is to your advantage. But that can backfire if it looks like you did anything to invite or justify the aggression. For example, Ian Freeman was jailed because he hesitated to sit down in court. While some reacted with outrage and support, others didn’t take it seriously because Mr Freeman chose to do battle over what many perceive to be a minor issue. In order for a government attack to make effective publicity, it has to either be entirely unprovoked or at least over something substantial. Not many people take interest in the right to wear hats in court but they will be motivated by violations of their liberty that affect them daily.
My Plan: Guns AND Honey
I’m moving up to New Hampshire this year and my plan is for not only self-defense training but also public outreach and other less conventional strategies for achieving greater liberty, including:
- Reach out to those who feel government’s thumb on them and work with them to roll back the police-revenue state. For example, cabbies are under attack in Manchester over customers who smoke and/or sit in the front passenger seat.
- Get as much training and practice on firearms as feasible. Become a marksman.
- Continue talking about liberty online.
- Join Toastmasters, become a better public speaker and seek out opportunities to speak in public, including soapboxing in public areas.
- Start, participate in and/or publicize clubs for exploring the philosophy of liberty and its implications, including for reading and discussing books, debating, self-improvement and anything else related to, consistent with or made possible by liberty.
- Publish a free newspaper to assist the public in securing the blessings of liberty: self-realization, prosperity, physical and mental health, happiness, etc.
- Use honest money – precious metal coins such as the Liberty Dollar – as much as possible. Open new markets for real money by persuading more merchants to accept the coins and more consumers to exchange their Federal Reserve Notes for real money.
- Study and implement agorism and other strategies for bringing about complete liberty, especially counter-economics.
- Write letters to the local newspapers and call in to local talk radio shows to enunciate a voluntaryist voice. Maybe even do a local cable TV show with other liberty-lovers.
See You in New Hampshire
If you’re already in New Hampshire or are moving, I’d love to work with you on these projects. See you there!
This Article on Video
Here’s my torturous reading of this article on video. Don’t watch it!