Advancing Liberty in 2013: Ten Rules of Thumb
FEBRUARY 01, 2013 by LAWRENCE W. REED
“A New Year’s resolution,” the old wisecrack goes, “is something that goes in one year and out the other.” True enough for most of us, most of the time. So when 2013 got underway, I decided to skip the resolution ritual. Instead, I planned to work harder, longer, and smarter this year on behalf of something I can’t imagine life without—liberty.
As indispensable as liberty is to the progress of humanity, its future is never assured. Indeed, on most fronts, freedom has been in retreat for years—its light flickering against the winds of ignorance, irresponsibility, short-term gratification, and power lust. That’s why it’s all the more important that those of us who believe in liberty become more effective spokespersons.
The Rules of Thumb
Toward that end, I offer the well-worn “top ten” list. These rules of thumb do not appear in any particular order. So I leave it to you, Dear Reader, to decide which ones are more important. (Because it’s not meant to be a final word on the matter, I also invite readers to add to the list.)
1. Get motivated. Liberty is more than a happy circumstance. It’s a moral imperative, worthy of every ounce of passion that good people can muster. It’s not just about getting keyed up in an election year, or responding to some issue of the day. It’s always the difference between choice and coercion, between living your life or others living it for you (and at your expense). If liberty is lost, it may never be restored in your time or in that of your children and grandchildren. For solving problems, avoiding conflict, and bringing people together, there’s no worse course than politics and force, and no better path than liberty for peaceful exchange and cooperation to flourish.
2. Learn. More precisely, never stop learning! To be an effective persuader, there’s no good substitute for commanding the facts and the foundations. Know our ideas backwards and forwards. You can never read or listen to too much economics, history, or philosophy to be the best persuader in your neighborhood. Let the other side talk in bumper stickers. Come armed with substance as opposed to slogans.
3. Be optimistic. It’s tiring and disheartening to hear the defeatists talk like this: “It’s over. The Republic is lost. There’s no turning back. Our goose is cooked. I’m leaving the country.” What’s the point of such talk? It certainly can’t be to inspire. Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Pessimists only disarm themselves and dispirit others; there’s nothing to be won by it. If you truly believe all is lost, the best thing to do is defer to the possibility that you may be wrong and let the optimists lead the way. (That means leaving pessimism at the door.)
4. Use humor. Even serious business needs moments of levity. Seasoning your case with humor can make it more appealing, more human. If you can’t smile when you’re making the case for liberty—if you can’t evoke a smile or a chuckle from the person you’re talking to—then you’re on the way to losing the battle. Humor breaks the ice.
5. Raise questions. You don’t have to lecture every potential convert. Learn to deploy the Socratic method, especially when you’re conversing with a rigid statist ideologue. Most of the time, such people hold the views they do not because they’re well acquainted with libertarian thought and have rejected it, but because they just don’t know our side. A skilled line of questioning can often prompt a person to think about their premises in ways they never have before.
6. Show you care. It’s been said that people don’t care what you know if they don’t know that you care. Focus on real people when you argue for liberty. Laws and policies inimical to liberty produce so much more than bad numbers; they crush the dreams of real people who want to improve their lives and the lives of those they love. Cite examples of people and what happened to them when government got in the way of their progress. That said, don’t dwell on the negative. Be just as generous in citing examples of what specific people have accomplished when they’ve been given the freedom to try.
7. Seize the moral high ground. Liberty is the one socioeconomic arrangement that demands high standards of moral character. It cannot survive if people are widely dishonest, impatient, arrogant, irresponsible, short-term focused, and disrespectful of the lives, rights and property of others. This truth speaks volumes about the moral superiority of liberty over all other “systems.” Humanity is composed of unique individuals; it is not an amorphous, collective lump to be pushed around by elitists who fancy themselves our masters and planners. Any arrangement that purées our distinct lives in a collectivist blender is a moral offense. Use this argument to strike at the very heart of any opponent’s case.
8. Develop an appealing persona. A libertarian who knows all the facts and theories can still be repulsive and ineffective if he’s condescending, vengeful, coarse or crude, self-righteous, or often in “attack” mode. This is why Dale Carnegie’s classic, How To Win Friends And Influence People, should be on every libertarian’s “must-read” list. Do you want to change the world or just beat your breast? Talk to others or talk to yourself?
And slow down on the negativity! Some libertarians only talk about bad news. These are the folks who see nothing good happening anywhere. This attitude comes across as if they’re telling you, “Stop having fun. The only good news is that there isn’t any. If you think there is good news, we’ll tell you why it isn’t.” This attitude wears badly and rarely wins converts. Heroes and heroic stories are all around us; don’t ignore them by dwelling on the scoundrels and the disappointments.
9. Don’t demand total and immediate acceptance. Have you ever run into a libertarian who lets you know that unless you fully confess all your intellectual sins and repent on the spot, you’re a pariah? The history of progress in ideas provides few examples of wrong-on-everything transforming into right-on-everything in a momentary leap. We must be patient, inviting, and understanding. Know when the cracks are appearing in an opponent’s wall and give him room to tear it down himself. Remember that all of us hold views today that we didn’t accept in our past. None of us came out of the womb with a copy of The Road to Serfdom in our hands.
10. Make allies, not enemies. A handful of cloistered, ineffective—but noisy—libertarians fancy themselves keepers of the faith. They behave as though the greater enemy is not those who embrace no libertarian precepts at all, but rather those who embrace many, but not all, libertarian precepts. So when they find a fellow libertarian who once held different views, or departs from orthodoxy on an issue or two, they start to vilify him. It makes them feel good, but works against the larger cause. If we say we want to make the world a better, more libertarian place, we can’t make it painful for anyone to move in the right direction.
ABOUT LAWRENCE W. REED
Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008. Prior to that, he was a founder and president for twenty years of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. He also taught Economics full-time and chaired the Department of Economics at Northwood University in Michigan from 1977 to 1984.
Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/advancing-liberty-in-2013-ten-rules-of-thumb#ixzz2JfUHxdYB
The dangers of N.S.A. domestic spying
William Binney is among a group of N.S.A. whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything — their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships — to warn Americans about the dangers of N.S.A. domestic spying; A top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.
Read more about N.S.A. domestic spying: http://invisibler.com/the-program-interview-with-william-binney/
This is a very disturbing video about how our governmenthas been spying on US citizens.
As reported by Wired Magazine in March 2012, CIA Director/General Petraeus said we’ll spy on you through your dishwasher. See http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/petraeus-tv-remote/. This is how the new smart meter technology will be utilized. It’s a gateway to communicate with your smart appliances.
In addition, the FBI will be spending $1 Billion on face recognition technology which can be enhanced with images from Facebook and other social media see article here: http://rt.com/usa/news/fbi-recognition-system-ngi-640/.
The Patriot Act allows government agents to write their own search warrants without review by a judge and it’s illegal for you to even discuss with your attorney. And again, under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, the provisions of the NDAA allow the federal government to arrest and detain U.S. citizens without ‘due process’ until the ‘end of hostilities’ on the order of the Executive Branch. Without due process means, no judge, no jury, no lawyer.
When you combine the above you will see that we are losing our God given rights under natural law and under the Constitutional protections of the Bill of Rights. Specifically, the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments. The right to freedom of speech and thought; the right to privacy and to be secure in our persons, houses, and papers; and the right to due process. We are losing our system of checks and balances. We are moving away from the rule of law to the rule by men.
So, considering all of the above, there are two approaches. We can either retreat and allow the controllers to continue
to implement a surveillance/police state tyranny. Or, we can make a stand for liberty and use their own social media tools against them to make more people aware of what’s happening. I for one will do the latter. If we don’t stand up for our rights and freedoms, we will lose them.
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
Natural Rights and The Patriot Act: Judge Napolitano
Georgia Tea Party Board Member Removed
Now that I’m over the shock and awe of my removal from the Georgia Tea Party, I’d like to go over the charges by the Board of Directors for my removal. These charges challenge my integrity and reputation and for that reason, I cannot let them go unanswered. The following is my rebuttal and links to corroborating sources of information. For the last 3 years I have been an active participant in the tea party movement. I was one of the co-founders and served on the board of directors for the Georgia Tea Party up till April 15, 2012. Fitting day, as it was 3 years ago exactly that I along with approximately 20,000 Georgia citizens attended one of the largest Tax Day Tea Party rallies in the country in Atlanta.
On April 15, 2012, I was removed from that Board for a number of charges which can be seen on this original resolution:
GTPI Resolution – Field Searcy. I did manage to get the Board to strike certain clauses but even if you include those charges, most all appear to be an attempt to censure free thought, stifle honest debate and control the sharing of information. The GTPI Board indicated that my activities “are not overt, easily identifiable, or readily observable”. Further, the Board said such actions “were subversive to Georgia Tea Party’s principles and mission” and “have tarnished the reputation we have worked hard to build and discouraged some volunteers from participating in the activities of the Georgia Tea Party”. Just what is the board saying here? Is this based on rumor, guessing, or just a feeling? They have not produced any volunteers that say they were discouraged from participating. Charges should be based on fact, not some vague innuendo of what might be happening.
This really boils down to prestige, power, and control. Let’s not ruffle any feathers versus challenging ourselves over what are acceptable established sources of information. I would challenge anyone to document that I have acted in a manner that was inappropriate or subversive. I believe the highest law is following the Golden Rule. I have tried to address each person with a level of dignity and respect. Just because I listen to both mainstream and alternative news sources and share this information is not cause for termination. The whole process of scientific inquiry is to stretch the boundaries of knowledge. To even insinuate that I’ve done anything to embarrass the board is an atrocity. I have to defend my integrity against an organization that I love and was a co-founding member of. It seems that even the Georgia Tea Party Board only believes in individual freedom as long as it falls within their thoughts and desires.
Let’s get into the details of the allegations brought against me:
1) “Discussing topics during volunteer meetings not generally agreed upon by the Board such as so-called “birther” and “truther” theories.” Some of our more controversial conversations occurred at the Marietta Diner after the tea party meetings had adjourned. Meeting at the diner has been a practice since the founding of our group as a place to fellowship, share, discuss, and debate any topics that might be on our mind. I was able to get the Board to strike this allegation but it stems from the following which have received scant or non-existent coverage from the establishment media:
- Regarding the “birther” comments, this was after I played the CSPAN video of Senator Sessions and Department of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta where the Obama Admin cites ‘Int’l Permission,’ Not Congress, As ‘Legal Basis’ For Action in Syria. Subsequently, House Concurrent Resolution 107 was read which expresses the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution. This was in response to military action in Libya last year where the Obama Admin sent a letter to Speaker Boehner that it had authority for the action from the U.N. A discussion ensued among the volunteers about impeachment and reasons why it could be undertaken. One of the points brought up by another Board member was the Georgia Ballot Challenge case brought by David Welden regarding “Natural Born Citizenship” and I mentioned that Sheriff Arpaio’s forensic team had recently determined that the birth certificate posted on the White House website was a forgery. Since then, an Obama Lawyer Admits Forgery but disregards “image” as Indication of Obama’s Ineligibility Damage Control.
- Regarding the “truther” comments, I am sure that this was never discussed to the volunteer body as a whole but may have been discussed privately with individual volunteers. I don’t remember specific details of any discussions or incident/s but more than likely it centered around uncertainties about the official story and questions about the collapse of a third WTC Building 7, which was not hit by a plane but fell at free fall speed supposedly from fires. There are also questions about foreknowledge of this collapse as BBC Reported Building 7 Collapse 20 Minutes Before It Fell.
2) “Offering for sale publications and/or merchandise not approved by the Board alongside official Georgia Tea Party merchandise, creating an impression of acceptance and approval on the part of the Board.” This was the result of some extra copies of Whistleblower and Republic magazines which we made available to the volunteers. An announcement was made to the volunteers with permission that these materials were not GTP approved but that we felt they would be educational to the volunteers.
3) “The use of official Georgia Tea Party email communications to promote events and topics not discussed or approved by the Board, sometimes in substitution for regular Georgia Tea Party communications.” I have been sending the weekly email communications for GTP for the last 3 years, not always getting one out every week. You can see all of the emails sent over the last 3 years here. In any case, most all of the content sent in those 3 years was never approved by the Board. There was an incident in March where I sent a dedicated email promoting a gathering of other tea party groups and concerned citizens working on challenging the Georgia Transportation Investment Act Referendum coming up July 31st. This transportation act will have major taxation and spending implications for Metro Atlanta citizens for decades to come which is one of the key areas of focus for the Georgia Tea Party, see the mission statement, statement of purposes, and operating standards. The main objection here is that the GTPI Board does not want to work with other tea party coalitions.
4) “Attempting to gain Board approval for the distribution of documents which upon even the most cursory inspection clearly advocate for selecting candidates for public office to the detriment of all others.” This charge results from a Presidential Voter Guide produced by a tea party in New England. The guide had extensive links, sources and references on a number of candidate issues. I had not deeply reviewed the guide but thought it was worth bringing to the attention of the Board to see if we could make it available to our volunteers. This proposal was rejected by the Board, but in no way was it suggested by me in a ‘subversive’ manner. The Board agreed to strike this from the Resolution of charges against me.
5) “Advocating for policies and procedures not only in Board meetings, but directly to volunteers, that would subject Georgia Tea Party to mob rule and eventual takeover from outside forces that do not share Georgia Tea Party’s philosophy or mission.” Well, this statement is partially true. I did advocate for more control of the Board by volunteers by having open Board positions as well as an Advisory Board filled by persons voted on by the volunteers. However, I disagree that this would result in mob rule. My aim with this policy was to give the volunteers a bigger voice in the direction of the Georgia Tea Party. I have been repeatedly reminded by other board members that volunteers are NOT members of GTP and that GTP is NOT a democracy. How does that make you feel?
6) “Actively promoting issues and beliefs derived from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. It is the opinion of the board that Mr. Jones is not a creditable source, and that he deceives listeners for the purpose of selling his wares. Field’s activities in this regard include distributing Mr. Jones’ materials as well as linking to his websites through the Georgia Tea Party Facebook account.” First of all, I’d like to clarify that Mr. Jones makes all of his audio and video content available for free over the Internet. He’s doing nothing more than Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh when they promote their wares. There is no shame in free market capitalism. The InfoWars website is a news aggregator with content from many alternative and traditional sourcres. In addition, the Alex Jones Show has daily guests from all across the political spectrum with many varying points of view. The only GTP Facebook post that I know of that linked to the www.infowars.com website was the article Virginia House Passes NDAA Nullification 94-6-4. If you are not familiar with H.R. 1540 National Defense Authorization Act, this act was signed into law by the Administration on New Year’s Eve. Many legal scholars have concluded that the provisions of the law allow the federal government to arrest and detain U.S. citizens without ‘due process’ until the ‘end of hostilities’ on the order of the Executive Branch. This article detailed a move by the Virginia House of Delegates that was completely ignored by the establishment media. That particular post has since been removed from Facebook. The only Alex Jones material that I distributed were copies of Fall of the Republic and Don’t Tread on Me, which I have been making available for about 2 years. In fact, the Don’t Tread on Me documentary was previewed in my home with several board members and subsquently shown to the all volunteers at one of the GTP meetings. Now suddenly, there are issues with this activity?
Up until being removed from the board, at no time did any board member or volunteer approach me with concerns or reasons not to openly discuss or share any information. So, what here has discouraged the volunteers? What has damaged the reputation and good name of the Georgia Tea Party? What here is subversive or tarnishes the reputation of the Georgia Tea Party? Is there anything here that you have not thought about, considered or questioned? I make it a point to listen to a variety of sources of information such as Alex Jones, Glen Beck, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and George Noori. In addition, I try to read a variety of mainstream and alternative news sources to seek the truth. So many of the constitutional violations and egregious actions by government are being completely ignored by the mainstream establishment media. It is incumbant upon all of us to seek out alternative sources of information through independent investigation and decide for ourselves what is true and what is not. We must highlight the corruption and deceit either by commission or ommission, if we are ever going to be able to hold government accountable.
This action by the Board cannot take away the pride I feel for all of the good things the Georgia Tea Party has been able to accomplish over the last 3 years. The mission of the GTP is “to impact public policy by teaching all who seek to learn the principles and spirit of individual liberty and constitutionally limited self-government”. We’ve encouraged citizens to be actively involved in their local, state and federal government. From holding weekly volunteer meetings, to rallies, to special sessions with their elected representatives, the Georgia Tea Party is one of the more organized and stronger tea party groups in the country.
GTPI has been at the forefront of educating citizens about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. In fact, recently, one of the most exciting initiatives has been The Marietta Declaration, which seeks to enumerate government abuses of authority that have incrementally diminished the very principles upon which our nation was founded.
The Marietta Declaration “calls on all candidates for the office of President of the United States to support the constitutional role of the Executive as envisioned by our Founding Fathers, and to swear to uphold the Constitution while in office,…”. Surprisingly, but not unexpected, Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate to sign the document to date.
I will continue to promote liberty, research and seek truth, and provide information to help others learn about current issues facing humanity. I do believe there is a bright future for mankind if we can become aware of the tyranny that is increasingly being implemented around us. You can visit my video blog at www.indefenseofliberty.tv for more information on U.N. Agenda 21, the Education System, the Money System, State Sovereignty and Global Governance.
Much appreciation to all the volunteers. I welcome your comments below.
The Philosophy of Liberty
History of False Flag Terrorism and the Hegelian Dialectic
Darrin McBreen exposes the history of government sponsored terrorism known as false flag operations.
InfoWars writer/producer Jonathan Bowne Covers The Hegelian Dialectic. The Critical Process by which the ruling elite create a problem, anticipating in advance the reaction that the population will have to the given crisis, and thus conditioning the people that a change is needed. When the population is properly conditioned, the desired agenda of the ruling elite is presented as the solution. The solution isn’t intended to solve the problem, but rather to serve as the basis for a new problem or exacerbate the existing one.
The Five Basic Forms of Government
There are 5 basic forms of government which are Monarchy(Rule by one person), Oligarchy(Rule by a small handful of people), Democracy(Rule by majority of the citizens), Republic(Rule by law), and Anarchy(No Government). This video relates these basic forms of government to our American government to clarify that we are in fact not a democracy but rather a Republic since democracies lead to anarchy and ultimately the tyranny of oligarchy.
America Is In Jeopardy
A message to the Tea Party
I woke up this morning from an ominous dream compelling me to write this message. The voice I heard said “America is in jeopardy”! There is a nascent movement in this country, even around the world calling for change. They have “Occupied” cities in the U.S. and over 80 countries. But, do they really know what they want to change to? I don’t believe this movement is going to go away, nor should it. It’s seems to be expanding worldwide.
The Tea Party has been protesting for over two years now. We have actively pursued a redress for our grievances from our elected officials, somewhat to no avail. Only after the 2010 election was the juggernaut of collectivism slowed down, but in no way has it been stopped.
We have been calling for a return to our founding principles as defined in the Constitution including the Bill of Rights and other amendments. Hopefully, we have been studying those principles and know the reason why our Constitution is special. Many countries have a constitution. What makes ours special is that it protects the rights of the smallest minority, the individual. It sets up the checks and balances between the branches of government so that we can never be under the tyranny of a dictatorship. And, it lays the power of this government in the hands of the citizens, the people.
Our founding fathers believed “The power under the Constitution will always be in the people”. Maybe that’s why the Preamble to the Constitution starts with “We The People” in an extra large font.
For over two years, we have started our Tea Party meetings with a prayer that God will protect our country. We recite the Pledge of Allegiance to our Republic which ends, “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”, a pledge that is no longer a cherished activity in our schools. We have studied the Declaration of Independence which proclaims “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. These are foundational principles that we can all agree on.
America is in jeopardy in many respects because this young group of participants in the “Occupy Movement” have not been taught the fundamental principles of individual liberty and limited government. They don’t know the difference between a democracy and a republic.
If you believe America has been protected by Providence and has a special role in the world, now is the time to share that knowledge. Else, why are we learning these principles. We are the foot soldiers of God. Not in a military sense, but as standard bearers of these foundational principles. We should arm ourselves with these truths. We should reach out to the Occupy participants.
NOT to be confrontational.
NOT to get into an argument and be divisive.
But with a spirit of love for freedom and a love for mankind as God has commanded us to have.
We need to find that common ground and unify on those purposes as we continue to engage with them in the arena of ideas. I think you will find that the number one unifying principle that we can agree on is individual liberty. We could also probably agree to an end to corporate and government corruption at all levels, an end to the backroom deals of crony capitalism, and an end to our enslavement by an over burdening government debt caused by unending war and unsound monetary and fiscal policies.
We continually ask in our meetings, where are the young people? We have a few but not like the crowds of younger people that are participating in the Occupy Movement. Whether we like it or not, they are the next generation. Soon we will be gone and it’s up to us to pass the torch of liberty.
The Tea Party is the defender of the Constitution, if we don’t teach them, who will? If not now, when? Will we allow radical elements to influence them and fundamentally end the Republic? America is in jeopardy, nay our whole world is in jeopardy. If liberty dies here where will we go?
In defense of liberty,
Co-founder and Board Member of the Georgia Tea Party
“It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority , keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams