Libertarian infighting is generally diametrically opposed to the advancement of libertarianism. But I find this to especially be the case with fellow AnCaps.
We agree in the idea that we do not want the State to exist, but we disagree in the methodology of getting to that point. For example, voting or participating in the political process seems to be a huge subject matter in which AnCaps disagree. Some believe that it is an act of aggression and others believe that it is practical to support politicians which have every intention of scaling back on government. I’ve seen AnCaps call others “statists” simply because they somewhat believe that there are advancements to be had in utilizing the political process.
With that being said, there seems to be two kinds of AnCaps:
1. The AnCap that wants to truly educate people on the alignment, with hopes they will eventually adopt it.
2. The AnCap that thinks everybody that doesn’t think like them, are statists. Educating people is not their goal. Their actual goal is to simply get into ego measuring contests with other anarchists.
No matter what it is (an idea or something tangible), it takes solid marketing to attract and introduce people to it. Alienating people and making them feel unwelcome (especially if they are on the same team as you) is really bad marketing. Let’s think about it in terms of capitalism:
Bob, the Store Owner: He has the intentions of you consistently shopping with him. So he greets you at the door, shows you around the store, and tells you to ask him any kinds of questions if you have any.
John, the Store Owner: He does not greet you at the door, nor does he make you feel welcomed. He notices that you’re having issues locating goods within his store, and he still does not assist you. He simply sits at the front, ready to collect your money, but really doesn’t show that he cares if you leave or buy.
Let’s assume these 2 have the same exact products. Generally speaking, you’re going to be inclined to continue to shop with Bob.
The problem is, AnCaps have a bunch of Johns walking around. To be fair, not everybody has the goal to educate. But then you have those who want the results of Bob, but are presenting their product as John.
This is why I do not engage in constant silly and circular arguments with fellow AnCaps about controversial topics such as voting; I will not get in constant arguments pertaining to who is more AnCap than the other. I hate to keep using these analogies, but let’s look at this like the NBA. There’s at total of 30 teams and the Top 8 of each conference make it to the playoffs. The socialists, leftists, conservatives and etc. are of Top 8. They have made their alignment attractive and are in the conversation of winning it all. In 30th place are the AnCaps. And the players on the AnCap team are constantly arguing with each other about who the better player is… as if they aren’t 30th in the league. I’m not saying that we can’t have little discussions and debates, but we are already on the same team. Elitism and purity contests aren’t winning people over.
Maybe people don’t realize that we are 30th in the league, but that’s the harsh reality. We are a huge minority. My goal has always been to plant the seed and get people thinking; get them to at least think about it or want to learn about it. I get a bunch of messages on all of my social networking and emails daily from people that are libertarian or conservative-leaning who want to just know more about it (I have befriended them). This is far more important to me than ego measuring contests with people are who are on supposedly the same team as me.
I only make enemies of people that have made an enemy of me. But my main purpose is to advance Anarcho-Capitalism. I do not have to be an elitist to do this. I do not have to COMPLETELY abandon principles. I do not have to butter it up. But I do have to market the product. There’s a million different avenues that libertarians can utilize to educate people. Personally I feel as if we do not have much representation in entertainment, which is the avenue I have decided to travel down. I will not knock anybody’s avenue, as long as it does not interfere with mine and I will not call you a statist and make you out to be an enemy just because you do not travel down the same road. Lew Rockwell, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Murray Rothbard (the founder) and plenty others are all statists by the elitist definition because they taught in state-funded universities or believed in utilizing the political process. And these guys have done more to advance Anarcho-Capitalism than just about anybody. They have also befriended plenty of minarchists along the way, and didn’t have abandon principles to do so. Yet we have so much infighting when these subjects come about.
Libetarianism is not heavily adopted, and anarchism is especially not. But even as an insider, I can truly see how it could be unattractive to an outsider.
However, there are people who are making great strides in attracting people to the liberty movement.
But fellow AnCaps, we have got to do better at marketing.
This post was written by Eric July.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.
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