Why do my friends snap-back to statist ideas when I’m not there?

One conversation won’t undo the “pull” of statism
Surely you’ve had this experience: You use evidence and logic to persuade a friend to drop some statist myth. But the next time you see them, you find that he or she has readopted the myth!
Are you discouraged? You shouldn’t be. Here’s what happened…
Your friend returned to a world flooded with statist propaganda. Your friend tried to explain what they had learned from talking to you. But they encountered objections they didn’t know how to answer. They started to second guess themselves. Your arguments were forgotten. Your friend reabsorbed old arguments and mental habits. This is…  red_rubber_band
The Rubber Band Effect
We’ve seen the Rubber Band Effect happen in as fast as three days. But the longer it’s been, since your last conversation with this friend, the more likely they are to snap back to the pull of statism.
The cure for the Rubber Band Effect is to have your voluntaryist values heard at greater frequency. Amazingly, we don’t even need to match the frequency of statist schemes! But one conversation, with just you, won’t be anywhere near enough — no matter how persuasive you seemed at the time. Time and repetition are the greatest persuaders, which is why we have a plan called…
Operation Everywhere
We want to recruit enough supporters and funders that we can afford to make our ideas seen and heard by everyone, everywhere, everyday. This will cure the Rubber Band Effect. If you want to be a part of this effort please subscribe to our free email newsletter below.

Perry Willis

About the Author

Perry Willis

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Perry Willis is the co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and Downsize DC. He was the National Director of the Libertarian National Committee on two occasions, and ran two Libertarian Party presidential campaigns. He has an extensive background in marketing and fundraising, and has ghost written direct mail appeals for numerous luminaries, including Karl Hess, Ron Paul, Charlton Heston and Harry Browne.

Jim Babka

About the Author

Jim Babka

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Jim Babka is co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and President of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. He’s an author and former talk show host.
Previously, he was the President of RealCampaignReform.org, Inc., defending free press rights all the way to the Supreme Court. He and Susie are the proud, home-schooling parents of three teenagers. He enjoys theology, UFC, target practice, and Tai Chi.

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Show Comments 4


  1. Friends, this is a kernel of truth packed in a small space; it is great that your mental levers are both succinct and expressive. Thanks.
    (Looking over this one sentence, I think you could better drop the comma after “been” in the second sentence.)
    Forge ahead.
    And, stretch my stay here on your site, let me add that in time things happen quickly, not “fast.” Happen as quickly as three days.
    “The Rubber Band Effect
    We’ve seen the Rubber Band Effect happen in as fast as three days. But the longer it’s been, since your last conversation with this friend, the more likely they are to snap back to the pull of statism.”

  2. Also, not to belabor the point, but “snap-back” requires no hyphen; they are two separate words.
    I hope we are still friends . . .

  3. I just finished Larken’s “Candles in the Dark” seminar at Anarchovegas. This is a different approach, a focus on the statist’s beliefs, not ours. It doesn’t preach or inform. It asks the statist questions about personal beliefs until a contradiction is found. Then your job as interviewer is over. The end is signaled when you see that look of “Oh wait, I can’t hold both these beliefs because they contradict.” STOP! Let that person struggle with the inner conflict for a few days, then reengage.

    This “Socratic Method” is based on the fact that the vast majority of statists are holding an ethical theory that contradicts their politics. If they choose to pursue the issues they will become voluntarists on their own. We are just the catalysts. A few (1-2%?) are hopelessly lost. Identify and abandon attempting to appeal to their “better angels”. They don’t have any so don’t waste your time. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

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