Often times people are too quick to say others hate freedom but in the American political discussion everyone thinks they are for freedom and just believe certain conditions are necessary for freedom to survive.
A good summary of the American political discussion as I see it goes like this…
The left believes that a free society to exist and thrive needs the basics (healthcare, housing, education) so expects government to ensure the provision of these things.
The right believes that a free society to exist and thrive needs security and order which is done by aggressive proactive protection from everywhere else and strictly enforced laws which they expect government to ensure the provision of.
Libertarians believe that a free society to exist and thrive needs liberty and that people in a decentralized, voluntary and distributed manner can provide and improve the provision over time of education, healthcare, order, security and everything else.
What makes libertarians different is we see freedom and the knowledge creation of free exchange as the necessary condition for a sustainably free society.
I elaborate on this on the next episode of ”Nice Guys Finish Free”, my podcast on The Launchpad Media Network (subscribe to their podcast feed).
I see culture as a good like everything else. How it works, how it evolves is based on market dynamics which are shaped by changing realities and individual action.
When people talk about any culture I often don’t find myself saying “that’s enlightened” or “that’s barbaric” but asking myself what is this a response to. Often many things result in cultural changes…
– Economic realities, many trends reflect economic realities of that moment of time. Traditions that may revolve around growingly scarce resources may change to deal with them.
– Institutional realities, as institutions in society become obsolete or dysfunctional new ones begin to form and can create a market for its replacement. Think of the current deterioration of the political establishment and the growing market share for ideas that were marginalized in the past like libertarianism and socialism as American society seeks to replace the prior status quo that has failed to meet societal demands.
– Technological realities, new technology sometimes creates changes out the ability to do things you couldn’t before. Think of the changing in how we shop and the brutal death of retail stores to online shopping which brings all sorts of cultural and economic changes. Another example is electronic instruments and how music is produced and the complexity of production methods used to take a song from a rough recording to a hit song.
– deradicalization or deotherization, every generation some group that is seen as “outside” or practices that seem as “radical” becomes normalized into the cultural fabric mainly because the visibility of the consequences of that oppression becomesso wide spread or visible the next generation grows up with differing views towards these things. For example the LGBT community and Cannabis consumption were were drastically shifted in the cultural space this last generation. Prior generations it was racial integration, and many generations ago was between different Christian sects learning to coexist. Pluralism is great but it is a multi-generational process for its benefits to play out.
So when people scream “I can’t believe this is unacceptable” or “what is the world coming to” I just sit back reflect on the direction and momentum of cultural change from the perspective of an avid observer.
Cultural appropriation alarmism is based on the idea we can’t fully appreciate the experience of another so we shouldn’t perform, celebrate or consume it. Problem is, the only experience we can truly appreciate is our own individual experience, why should that preclude me from taking/giving what I can from/to everyone else?
At the end of the day the heart of this is truly economic protectionism, limiting the competition to satisfy consumers. This time instead of consumers of goods or services, consumers of culture. Like when guilds/unions would decry non guild members performing the service they perform. Like all protectionism it is sold as everything but.
Be courteous, respectful and decent. Also, feel free to celebrate and embrace each other’s differences and mix and match them into something new, unique and beautiful.
Set an example of peace with Non-Intervention
End prohibition of goods and services and the violence it brings
Reduce barriers to individuals cooperating in enterprise, charity and community
Reduce barriers and costs to opportunities for empowerment
Allow people to enter the contracts they wish with consenting adults
Reduce the cost of living by reducing the costs of intervention
Encourage voluntary aid through charity, insurance and family/community
Decentralize governance to allow all people to have a voice
Do we need to build the party identity/brand? Yes
Do we need to be bolder? Yes
Do we need more chapters and candidates to build out ground game? Yes
To be fair we have grown in many of these areas, but we need to keep doing so.
What I take away from this elections and the three runs I’ve made personally is the following.
– People vote out of loyalty, fear and hope and rarely out of ideology. I absolutely detest fear but I think we can do better on the other 2.
– You do need to be different, we do need to make the Libertarian brand distinct and disruptive, although this can be done without negativity and disruption doesn’t have to mean offensive. (This is a line I’m still trying figure out). People do need to feel that there is a tangibly different path that other parties don’t offer.
– The brand needs to be visible, we can’t control our media coverage but we can be out there in the community holding events that are FUN to build positive associations with the party and it’s boldest ideas regarding the things most people care about (education, healthcare, economy, sense of security)
– We need to take our ideas seriously but not take ourselves too seriously, I see many times people get turned off not by the candidate but by the supporters. This is minor as the greater issue is people even knowing that the candidate or party exists.
– Many people even at top of the ballot didn’t vote for the candidate but for the party, this is why community and membership building is key. We need to grow the base of people who believe in the party and what it represents and this can take a long time but like anything there are compound returns and as we grow we’ll grow faster. We ARE growing.