Herding Cats: It’s All About Relationships

This subject will be covered during the talk “Herding Cats: How to Organize a Liberty Activist Army” at Liberty Forum in Manchester, New Hampshire. Event details are here.

So few movements get off the ground because of a lack of volunteer activism. To get anything done you need to put in hours of work multiplied by the number of people you have involved. Companies make this work by making money and then paying employees as they expand. Nonprofits use a similar model by asking big donors for funding, and then using that to pay their own employees, but their growth is limited because such organizations don’t inherently make money.

To really make a difference you need a vibrant grassroots movement of volunteers, and in order to build one you need to be a superior community organizer. But how can you make that work? How do you get good at getting lots of people to work very hard for free? In two words: building relationships.

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How to Herd Cats: Organizing Libertarian Activism

This subject will be covered during the talk “Herding Cats: How to Organize a Liberty Activist Army” at Liberty Forum in Manchester, New Hampshire. Event details are here.

Leading libertarians can be like herding cats. They’re solitary, stubborn individualists who do precisely what they want and nothing else, and therefore take directions poorly. Leading an organized and efficient liberty activist army is supposed to be next to impossible.

Yet it can be done, and done well, just as cats can be effectively herded. The Moscow Cats Theatre bases its entire act around getting house cats to perform tricks. Director Dmitry Kuklachyov explained that the key to training cats is that you can’t force them to do anything, but instead must nurture what they already want to do:

“You can’t force a cat. My job is to see the specialty, the spark that is inside it and develop that. You see, I already can see that this one can roll a little barrel”

The same goes for libertarians. Here’s how to get the staunchest of individualists to go along with your activism:

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The Principled Libertarian’s Guide to Using Food Stamps

Taxation is theft. Living off of tax money is leeching from productive workers. So, naturally, I’m going to teach you how to use food stamps and still keep all your libertarian cred.

No, this isn’t some convoluted rationalization for people looking to be parasites while pretending they’re not. This is how taking government assistance can actually help preserve, and expand, liberty. Think about it: if taxation is theft, and tax money is stolen from the people, taking it from the government is okay as long as it’s returned to its rightful owners. Just using it for your own benefit doesn’t cut it, though. There’s a process to make sure you use funds reclaimed from the state in a moral and responsible way.

So if you’re going to go on food stamps, but don’t want to lose your libertarian soul, here’s what to do: [Read more…]

One Aspect of UK Politics America Should Adopt

Vince Perfetto is an American liberty activist travelling abroad. He shares his insights gained from experiencing other cultures at VincePerfetto.com

If America imported this one particular thing from the UK, it would change presidential politics forever. I’m certainly not one to care who the current American Ceasar is or who the next one will be. Although I proudly supported and voted for Dr. Paul in the 2012 primary, I haven’t voted in the general election for president since 2008, and I don’t plan on ever voting for any federal politician again for the rest of my life. The less attention we all pay to Washington DC, the better.

Even though I won’t be bothered to check a box next to the lesser of two evils to elect the new Narcissist-in-Chief, I have to admit, while living in the UK for the past couple of months, there’s one feature that I really wish the United States would import from their former rulers, if only for its entertainment value: Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQs). Members of Parliament (“MPs”, similar to Congressman in the US) get to ask the Prime Minister (“PM”, similar to the US president) questions for at least 30 minutes every Wednesday that Parliament is in session. [Read more…]

London: Communists, Vandalism, and Diversity

One of the things I wanted to do while I visited London was to go to a show. This isn’t the best time of year for tours, so the best I could find was a tribute band show: OutRage Against The Machine – UK’s Premier Rage Against the…, Nirvana UK, and FAKE NO MORE. By the time the second band took the stage, The Underworld Camden – a respected, below-ground music venue – was packed and everybody was having a great time.

I’m usually not into cover/tribute bands, but I have to admit, these guys were pretty impressive. Their hair, clothes, instruments, and of course, the music were very close to authentic.

They even subscribed to communism, just like the real-life Rage Against The Machine, as evidenced by the Che Guevara poster that you can see in the pre-show pic above. During their set, the singer said something that got a slight cheer from the crowd: “This next song goes out to anybody who supports Trump and Brexit. Ya’ll need to wake the [expletive] up!” [Read more…]

Armistice Day in the UK

As an American, there are things about other countries that you can read about, then there are things you can only truly understand while in those countries.

When was the last time a large war with a foreign State (not including the Confederate States of America) was fought on American soil for a prolonged period of time? I’d say the War of 1812. It’s been a while. Not many Americans can honestly understand what Europe and so many other parts of the world have gone through in the last 100 years.

I’ve been aware of this dynamic before today, but this moment… today… it really humbles me.

While I’m, absolutely, going to continue my journey by listening to locals and getting to know them and hearing their thoughts, I really hope that I never stop being thankful for the life that awaits me back home in NH, and its peaceful history for over 200 years.