Saturday, November 17, 2012

liberty activist strategy

When I was first exposed to libertarian ideas, I thought that the US government was in good shape but could be greatly improved. I had a naive belief that I could persuade others as easily as I persuaded myself. I was mistaken.

People complain about the government, but they do not want to change much. Also, as imperfect as the status quo is, people don't like the idea of repealing a lot of stuff without knowing what will take its place. People are skeptical about radical solutions to things they don't see as problems. Voluntary, decentralized solutions have many advantages over coercive, centralized approaches, but they must grow organically, and we face a difficult task in getting started. If we wait around for political solutions, we will be waiting a long time. We need concrete demo projects, things when we can accomplish something and build.

On the other hand, the Internet, cell phones, etc. have changed us. I hope that things like Wikipedia, kickstarter, Facebook, and twitter are just the beginning of a new civil society.

As a result, I want to cultivate alternatives to government, provide proofs of concept for giving jobs to civil society that currently depend on tax finance. This may be no less difficult, but at least one will have something to show for one's efforts at the end of the day, whereas in a political fight, the winner takes all and the losers' efforts are mostly wasted.

The objectives: expose the coercion in the current system, delegitimize it. Offer non-coercive alternatives. We should not depend on political success, but should not reject it, either. I have trouble imagining any positive use of politics, other than repeal of defective legislation. I'm biased, so we may find unexpected opportunities.

Here are some projects worth looking at: Fr33aid (, porc411 (, liberty engineers, freedom box (

I want everything to be transparent, though this can be a challenge. Morale boosting in reach can tend toward us-them enemy imagery, which is lots of fun but looks bad to outsiders. I want to avoid that vice. I should want anything I write to end up on the front page of the NYT. I hope I am up to the challenge.

Opportunities: activist groups learn and accomplish. DIY self-knowledge. List government services, try to compete.
Outrages: photocrime, TSA, botched drug raids, DMCA abuse, Patriot act, NDAA, stop and frisk
Outreach for protolibertarians
Outreach for anti libertarians
Product or social activity that competes with, supplements, or supplants the status quo
Tactics: false positive DOS, fragility, delegitimize, infiltrate, compete, go viral, persuade the public
Who is the intended audience?
How will other audiences respond?
What is the objective? Will your dance partner follow your lead?
bitcoin Emule BitTorrent TOR FLOSS SSL/TLS
Gandhi, MLK, Allinsky, Gene Sharp