Is there One, True Path to Liberty™? Is there only one valid strategy that, if diligently followed, will lead us to a stateless society? Just one, perfect path, perhaps handed down from on high, expertly cultured in the gardens of Valhalla and approved by the wise, if laughing, Buddha?
Many libertarians, plurally-minded people that we are, say no. And then flash our middle fingers.
Where these folks go wrong is when they use this idea as an excuse to not consciously and consistently pursue any strategy whatsoever.
“Although I am a committed anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist/agorist/market anarchist,” they say, “I practice no specific strategy because I don’t believe there is One, True Strategy™.”
Here’s why this is nonsense.
This idea of One, True Path to Liberty™ is a strawman. No one is claiming such a thing exists. It’s a distraction meant to avoid a choice. It’s an intellectual pain pill to numb the ache of wanting something but not believing you can achieve it. It’s smug procrastination.
Selecting a strategy and testing it does not require you to believe it is the only possible one. It doesn’t even imply that.
The “There is no One, True Path to Liberty™” idea is like going to college and not picking a major because you see value in all fields of study.
It’s going to the supermarket and not buying any milk because you don’t believe in choosing one brand over the other.
It’s like saying there is not just one road to Rome, so I don’t believe in using roads. At all.
It’s like saying I’m going to be a scientist but I reject the scientific method because there is no one, true, all-encompassing hypothesis.
It’s like saying that there is no, single best way for people to live their lives, so I won’t even try to find a good way for me to live mine right now.
Every man builds his world in his own image,” he said. “He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice. If he abdicates his power, he abdicates the status of man, and the grinding chaos of the irrational is what he achieves as his sphere of existence – by his own choice.” (from Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand)
I challenge you to pick a strategy, one of your own making or someone else’s. Write it down. Define your tactics, your habits, your practices. Commit to this strategy for a fixed amount of time, be that 1 month, 1 year or 5 years. Follow it. Document your experiences. Share your results.
Ross Ulbricht chose a similar strategy and went in even deeper.
For Ron Paul, it’s running for office and writing books.
For Murray Rothbard, it was writing books and the Libertarian Party.
For Ayn Rand, it was fiction and teaching.
For Adam Kokesh, it’s confrontation.
For Christopher Cantwell, it’s lone-wolf shooting cops.
For Stefan Molyneux, it’s teaching his philosophy using extra long videos and strong-arm argumentation tactics.
For Tom Woods, it’s his podcast.
I’ve been building and practicing my strategy of individual power since 1999. I’m reporting on it every Friday.
This is the scientific method, or a rough approximation. Take a hypothesis, test it, report your results and repeat.
What about you? What’s your strategy for achieving your goals? What results have you documented? How have you honed your strategy over time?
We have a shared project: the replacement of the obsolete nation-state by a polycentric, market anarchist order. Do you expect to achieve it by luck? By coincidence? To sit back on the couch, potato chips in hand, and watch someone else do it on Netflix?
“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” – William James
Photo Credit: David Howard CC-BY