A major trait among libertarians, including yours truly, that I’d like to see end is the squabbling over the rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic that is the political environment in the United State of America and elsewhere.
By this I mean the endless discussions of unimportant and counterproductive topics. Debating whether or not some vague, hypothetical situation that will never happen violates the NAP is as pointless as arguing over whether or not Ted Cruz or Trump is the best candidate to support. Will the argument itself make a difference?
Believe me, I love the dank memes that come out, but being of Prussian descent sometimes it feels like an inefficient use of time.
If the libertarians needed a prayer, it’s the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
Libertarians need to move beyond merely talking about events we have no control over and more toward taking specific actions that enable us to live our lives as we see fit and mitigate state involvement or meddling irrespective of what happens to our external environment. I have and will continue to do this and possibly write about it here.
Here are five things that libertarians can do instead of our usual routine.
1. Become self-reliant
I cannot think of any reason for someone not to do this. What this means is you should look for areas in your life where you rely on other people, or the state, to do something you can’t. Is it something you can learn to do?
For example, basic car maintenance is a great area to start at. Learn to change oil, sparkplugs, brake fluid, light bulbs, etc.
Figure out basic house maintenance. Learn to handle, fire, and clean a gun. Toy around with new software. Always have a new skill or ability on your list of things to learn. It may not come right away, but it means you don’t have to get someone else to do it. Instead of eating prepared food that has God knows what in it, learn to cook your own. You’d be surprised by how much fulfillment you get from being able to take ingredients and put them together to create a meal.
Basically, you should learn to take care of yourself. Imagine all the comforts of modern civilization ended tomorrow. How would you respond? What practical, applicable skills would you have?
Additionally, the state cannot steal your knowledge. It cannot regulate or charge a fee for self-educating. It can’t tax you for changing your own oil or fixing a leaky faucet. You don’t have to get a state license to cook or to brew your own beer and gluhwein.
Yes, railing against the state and mocking its adherents is fun. But it’s also like throwing rocks at the moon. It may feel good, but neither of them are going anywhere anytime soon.
2. Reduce and mitigate liabilities, especially to the state
Debt is the greatest liabilities of all. If you can get rid of them, do. If you can’t figure out how to pay them off as quickly as possible, starting with credit card debts. I don’t have to worry about any of this, so I have no personal advice on how to go about it, but I do know focusing on this is better than stressing out over the latest gun control proposal.
There are other liabilities. Do you own things that you don’t need that might end up costing you a lot of money if they break? Sell them.
Relationships that might bring you harm or trouble? End them. Easier said than done, of course, but know that a lot of trouble in your life can be caused simply by associating with the wrong types of people. How many are sitting in prison or jail right now not because they’re criminals but because they stuck with the wrong crowd?
Bad companions bring bad luck.
For a man, marriage and children are the greatest liabilities you’ll ever have. This isn’t an argument on why you shouldn’t get married or have children, but if you’re going to do either you have to understand that the state and the state-controlled corporate masters exercise the most coercive influences over men from what they say to how they donate their money using these two things. Everything is done out of fear of divorce court or losing their job (and then ending up in divorce court). Reduce the amount of liability in both as best you can.
Another area is reducing tax liabilities. Just as learning to be self-reliant helps you avoid taxes, you can reduce tax liabilities by figuring out what changes you can make in your life so that come April you are paying the state less and less in taxes.
Again, learning to take advantage of the tax code is more productive than arguing with a troll on Facebook.
By getting rid of liabilities, you’re reducing the things the state can take from you or control you with.
3. Master the art of minimalism
After reading them, I proceeded to minimize myself, and the benefits are immense. You don’t have to stress out about paying for things you don’t own, caring for them, storing them, and moving them. You have greater mobility and sense of freedom. You aren’t tied down to one area or feel restrained by owning so many things. You have less to maintain, less to keep up, and less to worry about losing.
I currently live in a 220 square foot residence because I have reduced my material possessions to the point where I don’t need even a one bedroom apartment. Although it could be cheaper to live in a packed-house, this conflicts with my desire to avoid liabilities when it comes to people. My cell phone plans provides for my Internet wherever I go. My Kindle helped replace 400 books I got rid of.
Yet, I am still continually looking for things to get rid of that have no real purpose. By doing this, you’re removing possible state control over your life. If all you have is what you need, there’s very, very few things that they can either take or threaten to take away.
4. Create a network of like-minded people
One of the reasons I do what I do on this blog and elsewhere is to discover like-minded people. People who share my values and culture. Not only do they provide much-desired conversation on topics that otherwise would be delegated to internal dialogues because there is no one else to talk to, but eventually you discover people who live in your area.
A good way to network with like-minded people is to talk about common interests. Hiking, cars, guns, art, films, and what not. Look for positive similarities. If things go sour, can you rely on them?
I’ve advocated adopting a tribal mentality because it’s the most pragmatic approach for libertarians when creating communities. Our loyalty should not be to the government, the society, the culture, or institutions. You own nothing to those who don’t owe you anything. You should be loyal to those whom you have mutually agreed objectives and goals, as well as reciprocity. Put your interests first, because no one else will. Be loyal to those who are loyal to you.
5. Be prepared for the future, whatever it’s good or bad
All of the above should be done for no other reason than to prepare for what is coming, whether it is a fashist regime or an actual civil war or just a new dark age. I certainly anticipate a total cultural collapse which is underway, but despite a proclivity to doom and gloom, there is no way to tell how long the current setup will continue.
We could see things get worse and worse for the next 20 years, or we could see things get really bad really fast. There are always unforeseen events that alter the course of things.
Being self-reliant, mobile, adaptable and having a strong tribal community, means that you are confident in your capacity to be proactive. Unlike the rest of the world, you aren’t responding as things occur. You can zig when everyone else zags. You can avoid the same pitfalls.
In one speech, Doug Casey discussed how men who escaped tyrannical governments came to America and had to start all over; all that they had was the skills with their hands and the knowledge in their minds.
You and I may have to do the same thing.