What Is To Be Done? Burning Questions for our Movement

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"While
the State exists there can be no freedom; when there is freedom
there will be no State."

Socialism
is intellectually dead. However, it remains in power everywhere.
Why? Because libertarians, who claim to be for the market, try to
oppose Socialism with socialist theory and practices. Without the
Internet Protocol, there can be no Internet; without a revolutionary
theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement. Libertarian
memes can only win by libertarian means.

Libertarians
have put too much of their efforts into the empty forms of democracy,
forgetting that Democracy is indispensable to socialism.
We have blown our limited money on wasted third-party efforts and
even-more-wasted attempts to "influence" major-party politicians
by helping them into power over us. Socialists, on the other hand,
have used the market effectively at every step.

Even
at the lowest levels of local government, Socialists set up self-replicating
and self-generating systems. They campaign for "economic development"
sales taxes. When the tax passes, they take the money and use it
to subsidize their "capitalist" supporters. Then the supporters
give them more money for future campaigns.

The
same principle is applied all the way up the parasitic food chain.
Those who control HUD profit from their knowledge of future government
real estate purchases. Those who control the military profit from
arms contracts and from market swings caused by military operations.
Those who control the Federal Reserve have foreknowledge of interest
rates… but considering that the Fed is never audited, this sort
of indirect profiteering may be superfluous. In any case, socialists
today are never at a loss for funds.

Capitalists
are no more capable of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of lifting
himself up by his own bootstraps. The same is true of any group
in the long term; those who sacrifice their own resources to subsidize
others without recompense will eventually be displaced by those
who build self-financing organizations.

While
libertarians may win an occasional ballot initiative against a specific
tax or regulation, they weaken themselves with each direct battle.
Libertarians are using up their own privately produced resources
in each election, while the pro-government side is using… other
people's privately produced resources. When the libertarians win,
they strengthen the whole economy, including the tax-supported part.
When politicians win, they weaken the whole economy but strengthen
their faction relative to everyone else.

So
engaging in conventional party politics is self-destructive for
libertarians (at least until the libertarian memes are so dominant
that mainstream political candidates are forced to adopt not only
libertarian rhetoric, but action as well). Libertarian strategy
cannot be based on capturing political office and rewarding supporters
with the loot; to win the zero-sum game of politics would require
that the libertarians loot more than their opponents.

Instead,
libertarians must engage in asymmetrical meme warfare. Spreading
memes in the age of the Internet is easy, but the noise problem
is severe. Our enemies' meme motto is: A lie told often enough
becomes the truth. This is only true if the lies are kept isolated
from the truths that would destroy them. But the lies are kept safely
isolated indeed. America's public schools serve as the walls between
Socialism-inoculated minds and libertarian memes.

Give
me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will
never be uprooted.

Of
course Socialists have a lot more than four years to sow their seeds
in the minds of public-schooled American children; they have a minimum
of 13. These years are spent in two ways; first, crippling the ability
to learn and take individual action. This is accomplished through
u2018Look-Say' anti-reading training, various schemes of anti-math training,
avoidance of intensive language courses, and fanatic opposition
to any other techniques that might transfer actual skills or knowledge
of any kind.

Second,
as much as is possible today, schools implant the bitter-ender remains
of the Socialist memes. While Socialism can no longer claim to be
the bright hope of the future, it now claims the primitive past
as the moral ideal. "Green" ideology is taught in every
public school; its message is that humans are evil, our works are
evil, and that only government control can restrain them from destroying
the fragile living world (which otherwise would continue forever
in perfect harmony). Asteroids, Ice Ages, supernovae, and the other
natural destroyers of life are not prominently featured in today's
curricula.

Public-school
mental deconditioning is our main enemy, not the quality or quantity
of opposing memes. But it is also a tactical opportunity.

America's
public schools are filled with intelligent students who are bored
out of their minds. They are sick of Green death-worship, sick of
staring at chalkboards in the age of the Internet, and sick of being
u2018taught' by dull education majors. This is the demographic where
libertarian memes can spread cost-effectively. The only limitation
is the required patience; an investment in high school students
will take ten years to pay off. It's well worth it.

When
should we try to first inject the libertarian memes? When the student
is in college, struggling to overcome his terrible lack of math
and science knowledge, probably working at the same time? Or should
we wait until she has a job, and is trying to work and start a family?
Maybe we should emulate the Cato Institute, and only talk to 50-year-old
incumbents, hoping to get them to repudiate an entire life spent
looting the public?

No.
If libertarians are to win the Meme War, the time to start fighting
is at the beginning. If libertarian think tanks and activist groups
hope to compete against the subsidized legions of socialism, we
have to stop talking to ourselves.

And
we have to stop talking to people who are already too ossified to
change. We have to aim at the long-term goal, of reaching the very
young.

There
are a few cost-effective programs already in place. The National
Center for Policy Analysis maintains a webbed
database for high school debate teams
, updated each year for
the major debate contests. This site reaches thousands of intelligent,
viciously competitive protolawyers and protobusinessmen every year.

Other
web sites should be constructed to spread market-oriented environmental
solutions, together with info on nuclear power, genetic engineering,
and just plain economics, aimed at the high-school level. The Foundation
for Economic Education has recently webbed Hazlitt's Economics in
One Lesson; a good start, but not updated or optimized for students.
This is a gap that should be filled. Economics memes will spread
themselves; people are interested in money!

It
is a huge failure of the libertarian movement that we have not made
more use of the space-colonization meme. The Soviets captured the
imagination of youth all over the world with Sputnik, Vostok, and
their other space spectaculars. For them it was all a lie; socialist
economies can't even maintain themselves on Earth without foreign
aid. But free markets and private property really can spread life
to other worlds; this is the proper antidote to the "Deep-Green"
death-to-humans meme.

And
even in the age of DSL lines, there is something to be said for
just going into the educational gulags and talking to the zeks.
As an unpolished and unprepossessing Libertarian candidate a few
years ago, I spoke to many high school government classes and a
few assemblies. The reaction was always very enthusiastic; I was
the most interesting thing the students (and teachers) had seen
in school for months. A professional PowerPoint or video-augmented
presentation given by a well-dressed think-tank employee would be
very effective.

I
am sure that other people have better ideas along these lines. Anyone
who does, please feel free to email me. On to victory, comrades!
~ V. I. Walker

April
26, 2005

Bill
Walker [send him mail]
works as a Research Associate in telomere biology at an undisclosed
(thanks to legal threats from his tax-financed employer) location.

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