Libertarianism and Austrian Economics are lost on most people.

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Libertarianism and Austrian Economics are lost on most people.

  • Ricky Peter Newins

    This is clear at election time and manifest in voting choices.

    So, where are we going wrong?

     

     

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    • Brad Moore

      There’s virtually no representation of either in the mainstream media. The brainwashing that people receive in public education institutions is reinforced into adulthood.
      This is the biggest problem.

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        Ricky Peter Newins

        The public school indoctrination is indeed thorough and deep rooted in the DNA Brad.

        Here in Europe when you criticise sacred cow like state provided services such as health care and education you come up against an emotionally charged knee jerk reaction from most people. It is as if you were slagging off their mums.

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      James Smith

      I’m not so sure about this. I feel Ron Paul proved that there’s a mass of people ready to receive these ideas, not just the concept that the government kinda sucks, but things like Austrian business cycle theory.

       

      Brad is right, exposure is massive. But if delivered in a non-patronising way, it will sink in.  Yes, that is a difficult task and I guess the purpose of websites like this is to figure out how best to do it.

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        Ricky Peter Newins

        Hi James,

        Indeed there is a mass, albeit a small percentage of the adult population and over the pond here in Europe forget it, dire situation.

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          James Smith

          Yes Peter, I was going to talk about Europe. There is a historical precedent for libertarian ideas in the US whereas most Europeans have never even heard of the concept, and with comprehensive state schooling indoctrination we are at a disadvantage. But it doesn’t follow that it is totally our fault for not being persuasive enough – forgive me if I am strawmanning you but this is what your original post seems to imply.

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          • Ricky Peter Newins

            Hi James,

            It has very little to do with our persuasiveness or the rational and empirical/factual arguments we make.

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      Jorge Trucco

      I agree, James Smith, that there is more historical precedent for the ideas of liberty in the US than there is in Europe. Even in Argentina there is a tradition of classical liberalism based on individual rights that led to the independence from the tyranny of Spain first and to constitution of 1853 later on.

      Like the US, Argentina became a very rich society in the late 19th century; and prosperity lasted well into the 1940s. Then came the ideas of statism (Perón) , socialism, collectivism, etc., and the Argentine society has not yet been able to recover from that cancer.

      But, in my understanding, both classical liberalism and libertarian-ism are based on the same principles: individual rights. That’s why we are seeing a libertarian movement en Argentina and in South America.

      Europe had the French Revolution, and the French Revolution (Rousseau, the Social Contract, etc.) led Europe to statism and/or social-democracy and/or socialism, in my understanding. I don’t think Europe (the “Old World”, like Rose Wilder Lane would call it…) ever understood the meaning of liberty. They’ve never had liberty.

      So… yes, it may be harder to spread the message of liberty across Europe. (i.e: the EU is now centralizing instead of decentralizing).

      But the one thing I’m convinced of is that libertarians are not wrong. That the evidences are there and that eventually humanity will be able to discover liberty. Like it was able to find out that the world was not flat and that the earth spun around the sun.

      The libertarian movement is growing like I did not expect it would grow 10 years ago. And I don’t think the growth will stop…. even in Europe.

      I am seeing many Spanish libertarians that come from a different origin, their old anarchism, which was a sort of socialist anarchism, but since there is no such thing as anarcho-socialism or anarcho-communism (socialism or communism need a state, and anarchy is about not having a state: therefore anarcho-socialism is impossible to conceive even theoretically), they are realizing that the only possible liberty is free market anarchy (property: the great problem solver).

      This said, bear in mind that Europe has produced Bastiat, Tolstoy, Mises, Hayek, Hoppe, Huerta de Soto, the Austrian school, etc, etc. Now we have communities like Liberty.me, we have the internet, we have bitcoin, we have access to knowledge.

      Liberty is a good. And fighting for liberty is fighting the good fight. I personally do not care if I myself don’t get to see a free world (or even a free society) but maybe my grandchildren will. There is hope.

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      starrychloe

      It’s genetic.

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      David Ottinger

      I discovered where I was going wrong when I came upon agorism.  Though, its brilliance didn’t hit me at first.  I only realized the potential of agorism after venturing into crypto-currencies because it allowed me to discover the imperatives of building peer-to-peer networks, and then those networks connecting with one another thereby inadvertently leading to the *emergence* of new economical ecosystems.  By embracing agorism, we move towards emergence rather than design,  i.e. emerging economies built on voluntary exchange, rather than by forced associations by those arrogant enough to think they can design, i.e. socially engineer, an economy.

       

      And that’s when I also realized that people will continue to hold onto the current system regardless of how flawed it is so long as they do not have a valid alternative within their reach.  In short, trying to change the current heading of the masses by arguing with statists head on is like trying to change the flow of the ocean one drop at a time because they will insist on designing an economy, and their vehicle for achieving this is the state.  What other option do they know?  Hell, as a libertarian/anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist, I was still entertaining the idea of a state — a monopoly on governance — being the vehicle for change, although I didn’t realize I was thinking that way.

       

      Basically, why try to change the way people vote?  “Voting” is not my currency.  My avenue for change is the market.  Thus, my currency must be a market currency.  Granted, until Gresham’s Law is reversed by cryptos, we’re still reliant on trade being nominated in fiat, but as that shift changes from fiat to a market currency, we will also begin to see people adopting a more entrepreneurial mentality thereby leading to an abandonment of the current monopoly on governance for a more decentralized network.  But, I don’t think people will realize this is what’s happening.  They’ll just go with the flow due to the economical incentives.

       

      Essentially, guys like Cornelius Vanderbilt and James J. Hill have shown us the answer, and today we can communicate with others much easier than they ever could. So, communities like this one, Liberty.me, is where we change things.  In my opinion, the only reason to engage the politics would be to pull the curtains down and reveal the tricks behind the madness, i.e. point out the propaganda.

       

      Also, John D. Rockefeller showed us how creativity can sidestep many flawed edicts in legal ways, albeit the sophistication of the legal system has also developed since then, so new strategies are necessary.    It’s unfortunate that resources have to be wasted for such matters, but we do not live in a vacuum.

       

      All in all, once there is a self-adaptive, decentralized infrastructure in place, people will be forced to make comparisons because the empirical evidence will be in their face.  And, if they don’t get in on it, they will fear missing out.

       

      And, that’s another reason why people continue with the statist system.  If they don’t vote, they fear they will miss out on having their voice heard.  They perceive any attempt to argue against their ideals is an attempt to shout them down.

       

      So, the greatest threat to the statist paradigm is a growing decentralized network that people can see functioning without government.  Then many statists asleep at the wheel will realize they’re simply trading all their wealth for a single vote while those engaging in the market openly and voluntarily are trading in a more abundant currency.

       

      On a side note: Essentially, all this discussion amounts to is realizing the importance of one’s own right of contract as well as the risks of turning such a basic human right over to a select few who call themselves the state.

       

      /rant

       

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      Michael Bunch

      We cannot change people and we cannot expect people to change their beliefs over night. The internet is our greatest tool in getting more information and more convincing ideas out there. I think it is working, though slowly.

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