Saturday, February 6, 2021

Planting Libertarian Intellectual Landmines

I continue to see a failure to understand strategy and tactics in some of the comments here at TL.

The view seems to be that unless some method immediately converts everyone to libertarianism the effort is not worth it.

At the post, Rep. Nancy Mace Takes On AOC, a commenter writes:
Taking on AOC may increase press coverage, but will facts and logic win the battle over public perception?
At the post A Comment on Weakening the Enemy, a commenter writes:
Two words unfortunately negate your well put cogent points:

The Idiocracy. .. Sorry

Once again, the idea is not to attempt to convert the masses to libertarianism in any deep sense. In fact, I believe such a goal is absurd. I believe it would be easier to get the masses to understand quantum mechanics.

The goal should only be to get the masses to accept simple slogans that support and direct toward liberty.

Things like: censorship is bad, minimum wages cause unemployment, private property should be respected.

We should not expect the masses to even be able to wage strong defenses of the above but merely that they are generally accepted by them as true.

The conversion of the masses to such concepts is done by what F.A. Hayek called second-hand dealers in ideas and what I have started to call, in this age of COVID-19 panic, superspreaders of ideas.

This should be the target for libertarians. And I believe a very valuable method in reaching such superspreaders is by what I call the placement of intellectual landmines.

Now, conventional landmines are interesting weapons. They can linger and be a threat long after a formal war is over.

But intellectual landmines are even more unique. They can linger for decades like conventional landmines but they will only hurt the enemy, wake up the sleepy and encourage fellow travelers. They are beautiful landmines. 

They should be planted everywhere we can, via books, essays, blogs, letters to the editor, podcasts and in one on one conversations.

The more planted, the more superspreaders we reach. It is heroic work.

Comments such as "will facts and logic win the battle over public perception?" and "The Idiocracy," fail to understand the nature of the battle. It is confused defeatist talk.

The landmines need to be planted everywhere.

Of course, I hasten to add that this is not the only tactic to be used. Alliances with mass movements that can be directed toward a libertarian, if only on a given policy, can also be important, especially at a time like the present when liberty is under major attack.



  1. Trolling liberal youtube videos is a fun way of doing this. It's our generation's prank phone call.

  2. I don't think you understand "the masses."

  3. When a libertarian landmind goes off the result is either ridicule, name calling, rationalization, or some combination thereof.

    I go into spaces where most people consider themselves progressives where they complain about "capitalism" and evils of wealth concentration, the medical cartel, the warfare state, etc and so on that they blame on "capitalism". I point out how what they complain about was started by progressives. I usually don't get replies.

    When I do get a reply they will argue that things like the medical cartel, the military industrial complex and all the various ways cronies steal using the government is part of capitalism. They argue the free market doesn't exist. And then I respond then why it's blamed for these horrible things when it doesn't exist? This is where the name calling tends to start if not before.

    I really don't think they learn anything. They are just rationalizing that the bad things that happen because of government being bought and paid for is just part of capitalism. Socialist magic will make that go away in their minds.

    But I'll keep planting these mental landminds anyway. Maybe they'll figure out what progressives really are and they aren't one. Who knows.

  4. Nock wrote it simply in “Isaiah’s job”. Time to dust it off and read it again.

  5. I made one of these comments RW mentions. With more context to pull back from efforts to directly convert or otherwise tilt at windmills. Seed planting is much less arduous and if the landmine explodes and a new mindset takes hold win win.

    Though my experiences are a lot like Jimmy's it is increasingly difficult to not be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stupidity in America.

  6. Last I heard, there's to be a bunch of West Virginia former coal miners working against you.

  7. Several years ago I was listening to the local morning call-in talk show on a radio station that reaches into a 4 state area here in flyover country. I was complaining to the Lord about the intellectual level of the conversation--all petty gossip stuff--movie stars, socialist media and the like--topics of no consequence in the long run. "Why can't they talk about things that matter?" I whined. God instantly spoke to my heart and said "What are you waiting for?"
    So I started calling in, armed with the His word and the intellectual principles of freedom gleaned from Target Liberty, Economic Policy Journal, Lew Rockwell and others, planting those "libertarian intellectual landmines" in the minds of men and women. It is amazing what has has transpired in just a few short years, especially during COVID 1984. More and more callers are getting informed and engaged; as the "landmines" blast through the facade of the latest government fear porn, they are speaking up and standing up. Many callers mention how much they enjoy my comments. Numerous neighbors have come up to me when I go to town to tell me they recognize my voice on the radio and they agree with my comments. Courage is catching.

    But it is not enough to just engage in iconoclastic mine planting. We must also build up with the vision of what life can be like if true freedom in every area of life is embraced, fought for and lived in. We must also encourage---courage within. I once looked up the word "encouragement" to better understand it. It comes from the word "courage" which comes from an old English word, which comes from an old French word from the 1200s which comes from the original Latin word "cor" which literally means "heart". When you share your heart in any media--spoken or written--it literally gives heart--courage to others and that can change everything. How can you tell if someone needs encouragement? Watch or listen to them closely for just a moment...if they are still breathing they need encouragement.

  8. Like capital, "the masses" are not homogeneous. There are individuals at every point along the libertarian-authoritarian spectrum. There are those totally unable to think a non-collectivist thought and those with sound minds, a degree of curiosity, and the notion that "something is wrong" in society. We can reach these latter folks, but you don't know who they are until you try. More land mines!