By Chris Rossini
Ideas rule the world. Whether those ideas are helpful or harmful, true or false, there is no escaping that our outer world is a mirror reflection of what's going on in people's minds.
Libertarians believe in the idea (or principle) of non-aggression. That is, no individual or group of individuals have the right to use aggressive force against others. Only the use of defensive force (against an aggressor) is justified.
Belief in the idea of non-aggression necessarily leaves libertarians with only one way to convey such a view: by communicating it to others who voluntarily choose to hear it. Libertarians cannot use force to "make others believe" in non-aggression. That would be contradictory.
The only viable path available for the spread of libertarian ideas is voluntary communication. That is, inform everyone that you're able to reach, and that has an open mind about the non-aggression principle.
There are great challenges and obstacles that libertarians must face. It's not as easy as it sounds.
First, most people do not have open minds. Herd mentality and a desire for safety in numbers is a default human trait. People naturally resist change, and prefer homeostasis.
People resist change even if they are bound up in chains. After all, the Declaration of Independence stated so eloquently: "all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." Only when a person deems it safe to hold an opinion will he ultimately come around (if at all).
So the first thing that a libertarian must deal with is massive resistance. Such resistance breaks the will of many libertarians. They determine that the hill is much too high for them to climb. They look at the size of the entire hill, instead of staying focused on the single (and easy) step that's right in front of them. These libertarians become what Thomas Paine called the "sunshine patriot," who buckles to the resistance and gives up. Then, as a sign of total defeat, these libertarians convince themselves that aggression is OK, and discard the idea of peace.
Along with a non-stop stream of massive resistance, the libertarian must also deal with opponents who do use force to spread their ideas and get what they want. These individuals use government force to achieve their ends. The political correctness crowd falls into this camp. The military-industrial-complex does the same on an international scale. They seek to force "those people" who are "over there" to live as they are told.
You can also add the nefarious Federal Reserve into the mix. After all, gold has been money for thousands of years. It did not become so by dictate, but by market interactions. Yet here comes The Fed to tell us: 'You are forced to use dollars as money and you're obligated to accept it as payment. We can and will create as many trillions of these dollars as we wish. Deal with the consequences.'
So libertarians face massive resistance and opponents who attack with government barrels blazing.
Despite these very challenging obstacles, the libertarian has two supremely powerful tools that are always working in his favor. First, the libertarian has truth on his side. And in addition to that, the libertarian has time. The combination of truth and time are unbeatable. That's why you've no doubt heard the expression that "truth always wins in the end".
Those who live by force inhale and exhale lies, and are always battling the clock. They are constantly scheming, plotting, and looking for just one more rabbit to pull out of their hats.
Aggression is never permanent. You wouldn't be reading this, and I wouldn't be writing this if it was. We're here today because every hair-brained government scheme always ends, no matter how much damage it creates while it exists.
Ultimately, the military-industrial-complex will reach into their hat and find no more rabbits to pull out. The same definitely applies to the Federal Reserve, the political correctness crowd, and all the other legions that gravitate to force.
Libertarians never have to worry about time. There's no rush. The truth will be true in the year 2016, 3016, 5016 and beyond....It never expires.
So how should a libertarian approach the world as it is? How do you deal with one government intervention that is always followed by another....one empire that's always replaced with another...one welfare state that's followed by another....
How does the libertarian deal with this merry-go-round?
Plant the ideas of liberty.
Plant the idea of non-aggression as often as you can, and to as many people as you can.
Picture a farmer with a bucket of seeds. He reaches in, grabs a handful and tosses the seeds far and wide. The farmer doesn't stress out over each individual seed. He knows that many of them won't make it. The birds will eat some. Rain will wash others away. But the farmer knows very well that enough of the seeds will make it. Enough will take root and spring forth.
So does the libertarian adopt the same attitude. He conveys the message of liberty without worry of who believes him and who doesn't. Many won't and never will as long as they live.
But the libertarian knows that you don't need everyone to believe in non-aggression. You don't even need a majority. Like the farmer and his seeds, you just need enough.
How much is enough? One million people? Ten million? Thirty million?
Will enough people believe in non-aggression in our lifetime? In our kids lifetimes? Our grandkids?
Again, nobody knows.
The "not knowing" is enough to cause most people to give up and just join the herd. It's so much easier. There's so little resistance.
But these questions of 'how many people do we need' or 'how long will this take' is of no significance to the big picture. We're here on this Earth for such a short time anyway. The big picture is too big for any individual to grasp, so why not just have some fun and do the right thing? Why not do the right thing regardless of our wants having to show up when we want them to?
What if doing the right thing carries its own reward?
Plant the ideas of liberty seems like a good philosophy. Let everything else unfold as it should, and on its own time.
We've got the right seeds.
"If you would plant for days, plant flowers
If you would plant for years, plant trees
If you would plant for eternity, plant ideas!"