I’m a frequent reader of the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus Facebook page. There is a lot good going on there with updates from various state parties and their successes, note from Michael Heise or Dave Smith, and tons of good comments on liberty related issues. And then there are those “other” posts. I know you’ve all seen them because they usually have the most comments:
All those screen shots of the arguments that LPMC people are getting into on Facebook.
Those posts are calling our names to come out and help smash them. I get how fun and easy it is to join in the beatings. Then there are the intra-party knife fights, which seem to only be increasing as the LPMC gains more and more ground.
The problem is that these things are a huge waste of time and energy.
No matter how you slice it, Facebook fighting is a huge drain. There is only so much time and energy we can dedicate each day. Are these fights are the most efficient way to spend your energy? Are they the most effective way to communicate your ideals?
Let’s liken this to an actual fight. If you ask a group of self-defense experts what is the best way to win a street fight the unequivocal answer is going to be: don’t get into one. They’re a dangerous and risky proposition in the best of times. Thankfully Facebook fights don’t present a physical danger, but they still offer plenty of negatives that are best avoided.
I’ve personally burned hours of my time doing research so I could smash simpering lefties and their emotionally driven whining. I’ve taken on multiple opponents in threads trying to defend the undefendable (as Walter Block puts it). I’ve dropped hilarious liberty memes on my social democrat friends just to pick a fight.
All that time and energy spent and what did it buy me? Effectively nothing.
I didn’t change any minds. I didn’t bring anyone new to the LPMC. No one is reconsidering their opinion of crucial topics and thinking about how liberty could be the solution.
Imagine if I took all of that time and found a better outlet than Facebook fights. I could’ve posted on my Facebook page and started a conversation. That could be turned into an op-ed for a local newspaper. Then turned into a presentation and given to my city council or state representative. The point is that I could’ve done so much more with the information, time, and energy I had to spend.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t fight. This doesn’t mean that you don’t defend yourself, Libertarian ideals, or the Mises Caucus platform. What this means is that YOU pick the grounds and methods on which you will fight. YOU choose the most effective message to persuade the people that you intend to persuade. We all can and should take the offensive, and that doesn’t mean that you need be offensive to do so.
I’m committing to no more wasted time and effort. Commit with me.
The question we need to answer is what impact are we having? What is the purpose behind what we’re doing?
Let’s take to heart what Dave Smith and Tom Woods have been preaching to us: pick a few problems where you know liberty is the solution, and show those around you how a Libertarian fixes the issues.
The war on drugs. Police Oversight. Forever wars in the Middle East.
These are problems where we clearly have the best solutions, and they are easy to swallow for those that don’t even know what a Libertarian is. These are problems where we can make an impact and get more people thinking about how liberty can help them.
I know everyone is eager to jump into the fight. We’re energized right now. Let’s funnel that energy into the places where we can make an impact. I don’t want to see anymore screenshots of the last Facebook fight you won.
Show me a screenshot of the last person that you convinced to be a Libertarian.