Is this the best way to sell libertarian ideas?

Is this the best way to sell libertarian ideas? Retweet
By Perry Willis

Here’s a three-step process for presenting libertarian ideas, without having to be an expert on anything.

Step One: Stand on the right foundation

Many political discussions are a war of competing studies. One side has a study showing one thing, the other side has a study demonstrating the opposite. But ask yourself…

Could a scientific study make you favor State aggression? Or do you think the moral cost of using aggression, to impose things on others, exceeds any alleged benefit?

If your true bottom-line is moral opposition to aggression, then why not just say that? Why try to find a libertarian study to refute the statist study? After all, doesn’t the tactic of fighting one study with another study assume that….

Instead, isn’t it true that no amount of evidence can…

In reality…

  • You can’t conduct controlled experiments on whole cultures, so no social science study can ever really prove anything
  • No mere mortal can become an expert on how other people should live

So why not drop the pretense and the complications? If your real position is a moral principle – the Zero Aggression Principle – then why don’t you just say that?

The moment you make your stand on moral principles, things become easier….

  • You no longer need to master every subject or pretend to an expertise that no human being can possibly have.
  • You no longer need to be intimidated when someone else poses as an expert.
  • You can retire from the war of competing studies

Instead, your case rests on rules that everyone already follows in their personal lives. It’s just that you also apply those rules to The State.

So the first step in sharing and discussing libertarian ideas is to make your stand on these moral foundations…

Step Two: Don’t lose sight of step one

It’s easy to slip back into the war of competing studies. Don’t do it. Constantly repeat the key points…

  • Evidence can neither establish nor overturn moral principles. They are self-evident, like 2+2=4.
  • We cannot conduct controlled experiments on whole cultures, so no social science study can truly prove anything.
  • It’s impossible for mere mortals to become experts on how other people should live.

Drive home that last point by doing one more thing. Treat the studies that support you the same way you treat the studies that oppose you. Constantly remind others that…

“I will not use studies that favor my position as justification for making you obey my preferences.”

For instance…

“I will not force you to own a gun just because I have studies showing that more gun ownership leads to less crime.”

Notice the connection to the Golden Rule. You’re treating yourself the same way you treat others. You’re not privileging your own studies over your opponents’ studies. Which brings us to…

Step Three: Constantly apply The Golden Rule of Ideas

Treat your own ideas the same way you treat opposing concepts. Make your opponent do the same.

Statists will try to refute your moral principles using outlandish scenarios. But statists always fail to subject their own proposals to the same standards. They want the net down when they’re serving and the net up while you’re serving.

Don’t let this happen. Point it out. Show how they’re violating the “Golden Rule of Ideas” when they judge your beliefs by a harsh standard, but their own ideas by a weaker or perhaps even non-existent standard. Doing this will dissolve nearly every scenario intended to justify state aggression. Now…

Do these ideas intrigue you?

Would you like to see other libertarians use this approach? If so, please forward this article to your libertarian friends. Or share it on Facebook.

If you received this article from a friend, and you’re not yet a member of the Zero Aggression Project, please consider joining us. It’s free! Here’s why you should join…

Our mission:
Create a libertarian society based on the Zero Aggression Principle.

The Zero Aggression Principle is the key libertarian idea. It says, “Don’t aggress against others personally or politically.” It means that libertarians solve social problems using peaceful persuasion and voluntary cooperation instead of State aggression. We have a 5-part strategy to achieve our goal…

  1. Discover the roughly 64-million Americans who currently self-describe as libertarian or who hold mostly libertarian views.
  2. Recruit and mobilize roughly 13 million of those people into active, contributing libertarians.
  3. Use that support to achieve visibility parity with the Left and the Right.
  4. Use that increased visibility to share the Zero Aggression Principle (and other key libertarian ideas) with every person on planet Earth.
  5. Slowly move the country and the world in a voluntaryist direction by creating a social consensus in favor of zero aggression.

If you’re a libertarian who agrees with this mission, please join us!

Show Comments 1


  1. I’m a self described libertarian. However, I have not become a member of the LP: partly because I held out hope for Ron Paul when he ran for President in 2008, and partly because Harry Browne was the last consistent Libertarian who has received the LP nomination for President of the United States.With two left statists running in the DNC, and a volatile RNC candidate, I thought perhaps I could vote for the LP candidate. Alas and alack, one virtually unknown (Austin Petersen), one quirky (John McAfee) and (sorry to say) one left statist masquerading as a libertarian (Gary Johnson) were the top three ( for this remark which I heard with my own ears) .http://independentpoliticalreport.com/2016/04/gary-johnson-jewish-bakers-should-be-forced-to-bake-nazi-cakes/ ) When Johnson was nominated, I frankly was deeply disappointed, and when he chose Bill Weld as his running mate,(after he praised members of one of the most corrupt administrations’ we have ever had-Obama and Clinton) I couldn’t even hold my nose and vote for them. I soon realized if I’m not going to switch parties, I can’t complain. I plan on potentially switching parties, but if I do, my husband will be either ahead of me or right behind me.

Leave a Comment:

Fields marked with * are required