July 19, 2013 by Liberty
I wrote an article on the libertarian habit of trying to save the world in every situation. It seems that, no matter what the situation might be, there is a libertarian screaming “I have a solution!” and millions of people completely ignoring it as they cause more of the problem. Sadly, it’s usually completely senseless for a libertarian to try and change anything through discussion and logic. That leads to many a sorely disappointed libertarian.
For those that are curious, here is the article.
I received a message from a friend after that article that I had to think about for a while. It was as follows:
I know it’s probably useless trying to change their minds but I figure it’s the only thing I can do to cope with it. Just watching and keeping my mouth shut just makes me feel worse. It’s frustrating but I can’t just ignore them.
Ignoring statists is the last thing in the world I would ask someone to do. It’s a life that I imagine someone could only live by moving into the woods and ignoring society but I know that’s not what most people want. You have to learn to live with the statists. I’ve actually grown fairly comfortable dealing with any statist situation. I can’t say that I have the best solution but I’ve found a three part strategy that works for me.
I always start my conversations by trying to help. My goal is usually just to get them to budge an inch on their “principles.” I try to avoid providing a complete statectomy. People don’t usually want the red pill. I’m comfortable in just giving them a hint and hoping someone can budge them more in the future. If they’re receptive then I’ll take it a little farther in the philosophy. If they’re not then I let them go.
As you teach them more and more about the dangers of the state, the resistance usually gets harder and harder to break. It’s easy to accept the state shouldn’t be in our sex life but it’s a lot harder to get it out of law enforcement. Eventually, I almost always hit an unbreakable wall.
All the logic in the world doesn’t matter when you hit the wall.
When the wall comes is when the frustration hits. It’s when I believe in moving to the next step.
Laugh At It
Yes… If you’re not slightly off-put by this suggestion then you’re probably not paying attention.
I am not saying to be cruel. I’m certainly not saying to be aggressive with your humor. Most of all, I’m not saying to directly point and laugh at someone that’s being unreceptive. Throughout this step you need to be lighthearted towards the statist or not be around the statist.
Think about it for a minute. It’s hilarious when people do illogical things. When a hypnotist hypnotizes a person to talk into their shoe like it’s a phone, it’s funny. It’s okay to respond to people being illogical with humor.
When a statist uses some ridiculous circular logic on you… laugh. Don’t explode with laughter but don’t be afraid to enjoy the situation. In Libertopia this kind of comedy would cost $10 a ticket. Isn’t it the slightest bit amusing? When people hit the wall they say the darnest things.
If you’re still hanging out with the statist and you start laughing they might get offended.
Is that a bad thing? Maybe for a friendship. In that case you might want to just leave to laugh.
If you genuinely are trying to help the person then don’t be bothered offending them. Ostracism is one of the most powerful forces in the free market. Use it appropriately.
One of two things will happen:
1. They will go deeper into their statist shell by ignoring you or laughing back at your logic.
If your logic isn’t solid then you probably deserve to be laughed at. If they laugh and your logic is solid then they’re just making the situation more amusing. Eventually you can count these statists as a lost case and move to step 3. That is, after you’ve both had your fun with the jabs.
2. They will feel hurt and might actually learn a lesson.
I know this happens because it happened to me. I was a hard headed statist. Eventually a libertarian made me feel like a complete idiot. I was angry at the time but that got me rethinking everything.
If you’ve left the statist situation then you should still find the humor in it. I believe libertarian’s tend to contemplate their failure too much. Certainly, try to learn something but don’t be afraid to find statists funny because it takes a whole lot of ridiculousness to justify the things they do.
There is no reason that you should have to carry the burden of saving every statist by being extra polite. These are violent people. Staying upset will just make you more violent. I cope with all this by seeing the humor in the situations.
Profit Off Them
The “free” market is always a wonderful mechanism for dealing with illogical people. (Even when the freedoms are severely limited in the market.)
I don’t like having to deal with statists but it always comforts me to know that I can benefit from just about every stupid thing that they do. When the Keynesian economists want to print more of the dollar, it doesn’t make me happy but since I’ve prepared appropriately, I profit.
That’s a more powerful system than most people realize.
If the dollar is not printed. I’m happy my money is worth the same and there is less suffering in the world overall.
If the dollar is printed. I’m happy because I profited off it and my life got a little better.
It doesn’t matter what happens with the dollar. I go home reasonably happy at the end of the day.
(Laughing is actually just another form of profiting off statists. When you enjoy yourself, it makes the disagreement significantly more enjoyable.)
There are a million ways to profit off statists. You can milk the system. You can bet against the system. You can laugh at the system. You can find individual statists and create your own system using their logic to profit off them. I have personal objections to some strategies but there are plenty of options to find something you enjoy.
Unfortunately, libertarians aren’t super heroes. We’re not capable of changing everyone’s mind (we aren’t responsible for it either.) At some point you have to be willing to stop trying to force self-ownership and live it. When you force self-ownership you’re just breaking the non-aggression principle. Accept responsibility and stop trying to take other people’s responsibility from them. (There is always the chance that you’re wrong. Then the jokes on you.)
Try to save them. Enjoy the process when you can. Hedge your bets by profiting no matter what they do. That’s how you deal with a statist.
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