Sunday, April 11, 2021

Should Libertarians Be Pessimistic About the Future?

Target Liberty reader JA emails a follow-up to my posts: 
How to Choke the Woke and Does an Anti-Mask Flash Mob at a Grocery Store Make Any Sense?

Subject: Woke resistant tactics

I'd love to hear more about these in addition to the two you've shared publicly on TL:

1. keep your head down

2. don't break the law

Thanks for all you do!

RW response:

The attack on liberty is extremely aggressive right now.

Doug Casey recently commented:

Wokeness, diversity hiring, PC, and the rest of it are working to destroy capital. The destruction won’t be immediate, of course. But Americans who think it’s a good idea now will regret it soon enough and for the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about it except try to insulate yourself from its worst aspects and raise hell when you hear people talking nonsense—which won’t make you any friends in the days of Cancel Culture.
It’s important to speak out about these things actively as opposed to just grumbling and allowing the bad guys the moral high ground. You’ve got to challenge these things wherever possible.
Right now, you can still challenge these things, but it’s increasingly risky. People are now getting fired from their jobs if they hold non-PC views—and it’s likely to get much worse for the foreseeable future.
We’re actually moving—devolving—into the same kind of world that existed in the Soviet Union.
I think it’s too late to try and change the trend. In a way, resistance is futile. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t resist, simply because you have to live with yourself.

It is difficult to not agree with Casey's pessimistic take. 

That said, there are two points I want to make that hint at a possible chance (maybe 10%) that we come out on the other side of current madness relatively unharmed and with more liberty.

The first point is that Austrian school economists know full well that the world is very complex so it is very difficult to predict the future with anything close to a complete degree of accuracy, so there is the possibility that there will come a twist where the direction changes toward liberty. I admit this is a very thin reed of hope, all the visible facts point to big-time trouble ahead.

The second point is that I fully believe a concerted effort to advance liberty is possible and that it could be successful. But it would have to be a well-thought-out plan.

As for the details of a campaign to bring back liberty, it really does not make sense to detail the program in a public forum like this.

Suffice to say, in one sense, it is not as daunting as it appears. You don't have to flip most people that are woke. They are sheep. They can be flipped if you can flip the super-viral spreaders of ideas.

Many of the super-viral spreaders are weak and can be flipped pretty easily. I am talking about woke CEOs and media types. These aren't grand thinkers. They are opportunists and posers. The right approach can stop them from promoting nonsense. Above them are the real power-hungry people who understand what they are doing. It is a little more difficult but I think they can be neutralized also.

Again, it makes no sense to discuss details on a forum like this but the idea that the entire woke movement, which is massive right now, needs to all be flipped is a mistake in thinking. That is where the heavy pessimism comes in. You have to target the nuclear spreaders so to speak. But it has to be done with precision and smarts. We are outnumbered and not in control of things right now.

What we need is a hardcore libertarian(s) with great organizing skills to step forward, if you are one of these people, email me.

As for the idea of keeping one's head down, it is about not doing reckless things that are just going to make life more difficult for yourself and not accomplish a lot to advance liberty.

If you work at a firm where a lot of woke stuff is going on and the job is important to you then a lot of anti-woke agitation at work doesn't make much sense. If on the other hand, the job isn't important to you and there is not a lot of downside to going counterrevolutionary anti-woke at your job, then let it rip.

The idea is that you need to understand your personal position in terms of the big picture and when to display your counterrevolutionary spirit. Sometimes it makes sense to do so, other times it makes sense to remain a sleeper.

The left understands this, indeed the inner circle of hardcore left protesters adjust for this even during street-level protests. When they know they are going up against police, they set up three rings of protesters. Those that are willing to be super aggressive against the police (or opposing protesters) and are not afraid of getting arrested are put on the front line, a second row of protesters behind the first group aren't afraid of getting arrested but are not super agitators, the third row, the last row behind the scenes, consists of protesters that have outstanding warrants or for other reasons don't want to be arrested under any conditions.

Keep your head down, means understand where you are, your personality, what the risk is and what you are willing to tolerate.

As far as committing crimes, I really don't think it makes much sense. Even the lefty radical Saul Alinsky understood this.

Alinsky was a very skilled major league lefty rabble-rouser, who influenced both President Obama and Hillary Clinton. In his book, Rules for Radicals, he was always calculating, even when it came to protests that could put you in jail. He wrote:

At the same time, the revolutionary leaders should make certain their publicized violations of are  so selected that their jail terms are relatively brief, from one day to two months. The trouble with a long sentence is that (a) a revolutionary is removed from action for such an extended period of time that he loses touch, and (b) if you are gone long enough everybody forgets about you.

I think he is correct, though I would advance the point further and say that any time in jail because of a protest is wasted time.
Be careful out there. Don't take yourself out of the game. The idea is to make things difficult for the evil ones, not the other way around.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment. Very well stated. My own intuition says that trying to preserve liberty is like trying to hold back a tidal wave with a cardboard sign. When I look at events around the world I think to myself "My God, the entire world has accepted economic fascism and authoritarianism as the default way to organize society." I often wonder if it is not the natural state of mankind and the bell curve average of human's mental capacities. At best, it seems to me that we are living through a cyclical regression away from liberty based societies with a centuries length timescale. We desperately need a black swan event.

  2. It is over. People won’t change their behavior until the Fed is unable to finance “woke” Culture. The LP and Republican parties have blocked off new entries. You only put yourself and family at risk by standing in front of a train that’s not stopping.