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Strategies for Change

Making Meaningful Change

Moving Beyond Protest

While diagnosing problems with our modern world is pretty commonplace — in fact it's a major industry, especially in think-tank land — devising practical techniques for effecting solutions to these problems is much harder, and therefore more rare. It's frankly astonishing how many people never move past a mentality of political action and protest, despite the fact that the state is complicit in the creation of most of the problems they seek to solve.

For example, as this is being written there are large protests underway in the New York financial district, as angry citizens camp out in Wall Street's pocket in retaliation for Wall Street having repeatedly and thoroughly picked their pockets. The irony is that the same government they're petitioning to do something was responsible for enabling the profits, and then socializing the losses, of the very same huge corporate firms they're demonstrating against. The corporations are the beneficiaries of the abuse of the people, not the source. That source is the state. The fact that the Solidarity movement's peaceful demonstrations have been met with a measure of brutality from agents of the state (the police) adds a further layer of irony. Philosopher and commentator Stefan Molyneux deconstructs the obtuseness of their misguided demands for yet more state power and intervention here(external link).

Non-Violent Resistance

Albert Einstein Institution
The folks at the Albert Einstein Institution have given non-violent methods of agitating for change a good deal of thought, and have compiled a lengthy list(external link) of suggestions. Interestingly, while the focus remains on politically related demonstration and intervention, there are also substantial sections on economic non-cooperation.

Economic dissidence appears to us to have vastly greater potential than political dissidence. If you tend to agree, you might be an Agorist(external link) and not even know it. If this describes you, then check out our page on alternative economics.

Alternatives to the Modern State

But if we're not going to rely on the state to effect change, and indeed would like to see the state reduced, circumvented, or even eliminated, then what would we use instead? Where would necessary rules and their enforcement come from if there were no state? A group of people called the Trans-National Vanguard(external link) has pondered this and come up with a substantive but simple solution, which they call a RuleScape(external link). RuleScaping involves replacing top-down monolithic legal systems with flexible networked systems entered (or departed) voluntarily.

file photo of the Stefbot
Stefan Molyneux (above), one of our favorite philosophers because he's so very rational, has written a book called Universally Preferable Behaviour (UPB): A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics(external link), which explores the topic of how good behavior would be encouraged and bad behavior punished in a society without laws or a state to enforce them.

A Post-Political World

Ben Godwin and Harold Gray have created a site called PostPolitical.us(external link), which tracks political campaign donations to major USA Presidential candidates and displays the enormous opportunity cost in things not done, which could have been done if that money had been put to better use. As the site says, we need to "help each other... not politicians."

Think about that next time you're considering donating to a political campaign. Wouldn't you rather just JoinTheRevolution instead, and then get on with improving your own life?

Get SMART!

Sovereign Mutual Aid Response Team emblem
Our friends at the Individual Sovereign Univeristy(external link) have put together a special University Association called the Sovereign Mutual Aid Response Team. Its purpose is to deploy social networking to provide emergency legal and other assistance to members, especially for problems caused by police or the state. You're not alone, so you don't have to stand alone.

Designer Country, Anyone?

Concept example from seasteading.org
And if that's still not good enough for you, perhaps you could consider Seasteading. Why bother to reform or struggle to live free inside some huge existing country when you can create your own on a floating platform in the open ocean? This is what the Seasteading Institute(external link) is all about, and it's not nearly the pipe dream it might seem at first blush.

Morality and Ideology

Whatever you choose to do to un-enslave yourself, please understand that as a productive person you will be acting both rationally and morally. As productive people, we are morally superior to plunderers, permanent dependents, and those who would use guilt to manipulate us. It is right for us to produce, and to keep our production(external link). Since our obligation to other humans stops at "do no harm," anything we do beyond that to help others is purely out of the goodness of our hearts, and unlike the hypocritical promoters of charity-at-gunpoint, we deserve full credit for that goodness.

As former slave and anti-slavery activist Frederick Douglass put it in 1857:
portrait of the famous abolitionist
"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

The Revolution is for those who have reached the limit of their endurance, have given up on words spoken to tyrants, and do not intend to be forced to resort to blows.

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