Will the Liberty Movement Prevail in the 21st Century?

The first seventeen years of the 21st century, have been ones of expeditious and unprecedented technological advancements: from social media interconnectedness, and text message marketing, to the digitization of our lifestyles and the conducting of commerce via the Internet (instead of physical, interpersonal, interactions).

This is the millennium of the digital revolution.

On the other hand, within the political landscape, we saw President Obama capitalize on the sophistication of social media, which played a pivotal role in his victory in the 2008 election, and again in his re-election in 2012. We’ve seen the creation of viral sensations via the Internet and various people like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and many others, from multiple sectors of society, generate billions from their computers, software, phones, and tablets.

Additionally, we have noticed the politicization of a lot of millennials through the utilization of the internet; where progressive outlets like Vice inculcate and propagate their liberal oriented ideals of fairness, government regulation, redistribution, socialism and other ideals that are paradoxical to freedom for the masses.

The age of the hash tag has lead to the augmentation of liberal and leftist ideologies which, in actuality, are deprivations to freedom globally.

The cliché is that libertarians lack the skill of marketing. However, libertarianism has been around since the Enlightenment era three centuries ago, only under the designation of classical liberalism.
It was the guerilla marketing of socialism, Marxism, communism, populism and progressivism that caused the popularity and acceptability of these ideologies throughout out the United States.

If libertarianism is going to prevail in this century, then libertarians will have to maintain the ideal of individualism as an ideology, as well as add the concomitant factors of synergy and cohesion to enhance the marketability so others will be drawn to this way of thinking.

A lot of people believe that government regulations and interventions are altruistic and deregulation and economic freedom are unjust.

So, libertarians need to promote the benefits and incentives of embracing this perspective and show how this will benefit all individuals, when compared to progressivism, in creating opportunities of freedom and fairness.

Libertarians may have to affiliate themselves with celebrities, like how Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama did during their campaigns, because the laws of association and affiliation are extremely important if the liberty movement wants to proselytize more people towards our ideals.  In order for the libertarian movement to grow globally we will need to reevaluate ourselves. We need to not be as condescending and degrading to the ideologies of progressivism, socialism, and even welfare statism, and move strategically so that various influential figures, throughout society, can help promote the doctrines of libertarianism.

The end of this century could look promising for the posterity of the world.  The liberty movement has a lot of potentiality to grow immensely, but it is time to not just focus on scholarship and exclusivity, but to focus on marketing so that liberty can prevail; both in the middle, and later parts of this century, and beyond.

Liberty matters.

This post was written by Baruti Libre.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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Baruti Libre

Baruti Kafele, who is affectionately known as ‘Baruti Libre’, is an intellectual entrepreneur, social scientist, proud libertarian, and real estate broker who ensures quality and superiority from his enterprises to his scholarship. Baruti Libre is the chief executive of the successful fashion and multimedia firm called LiBRE BRAND-Freedom of Flyness which is a globally-recognized and viable brand based on the ideals of liberty and freedom. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @BarutiLibre and visit his websites for literature and apparel.
  • jmillsintacoma

    Libertarians have done remarkably well considering a fundamental problem they have that other political ideologies don’t – their core constituency are people who don’t care about politics and have other interests that capture their attention and imagination. No other party has this problem. All the other political parties all have activists who are pressing for an agenda they want to enact. Libertarians don’t have an agenda they want to push on others.

    Since the founding of the LP, Libertarians (big L) have spent vast sums and countless hours engaged politically. That means they spend a lot of time and energy talking to voters. Voters are targeted by Libertarian activists because voters vote, non-voters don’t.

    But, the pool of voters is not a random cross-section of Americans. The pool of registered voters is comprised almost exclusively of committed Ds and Rs because the Ds and Rs have, for 150 years, 1) gone into the community and identified like-minded people, 2) organized those people into a political party, and 3) worked to turn their constituency out at the polls. Libertarians aren’t likely to persuade many of those voters to vote Libertarian or even change voters’ minds about how to think politically. That’s so because people come to their political beliefs after years, often decades, of interaction with friends and family and co-workers. Those beliefs are what bring voters into politics in the first place; they aren’t going to be easily changed.

    Libertarians (big L) are political junkies, but libertarians (small l), who are the natural constituents of the LP, don’t care about politics. And, they don’t for a very rational reason – their vote won’t matter. Small l “libertarians” know, with near certainty, that no matter what they do this election cycle, a D or an R will win, Libertarians won’t win. That means, no matter whether libertarians participate or not, their preferred public policies won’t become the law of the land. Accordingly, rational (small l) libertarians mostly decide to do something that will actually change their lives for the better – mow the law, paint the house, take their kid to a ball game, or go to work.

    One can see this in action if you follow Libertarians at cocktail parties. Those parties break up into small groups. There is a group discussing football. Libertarians sidle up to that group, but eventually aren’t that interested and move on. Then, they sidle up to a group discussing home remodeling. Same thing happens; the Libertarian listens politely, then moves on. That happens until the Libertarian finds a group in animated discussion about politics. It’s that group that commands the attention of Libertarian activists, who generally have a wonderful time discussing all kinds of issues with gusto. The Libertarian goes home thinking: “Wow, what a great party.” But, truth be told, that’s just a discussion with a bunch of committed Ds and Rs. Their minds aren’t going to change. And, the Libertarian has missed out on interacting with all the people likely to be receptive to libertarianism – all those other groups gathered to discuss something other than politics.

    To win, Libertarians don’t need a marketing scheme or some trick association with celebrity. Libertarians need to go reach out to the non-voting members of society and bring them back into politics.

    Simple math shows this to be true.

    Right now, about 48% of Americans don’t vote. About 24% vote R and 24% vote D. The remaining 3-6% vote L, Green, Constitution, whatever.

    Now, if the non-voting block stays constant at 48%, to win, the breakdown of votes has to become 17% R, 17% D, and 18% L. Think about that – moving the Ds and Rs from 24% to 17% means that fully 1/3 of the Ds and Rs defect and vote L.

    We all know that’s impossible.

    But, Libertarians can win if 23% vote D, 23% vote R, 25% vote L and 29% don’t vote. Under this scenario, the Ls have to convert about 5-10% of the Ds and Rs, plus have to bring 1/3 (more or less) of the non-voters back into politics. That is possible, but converting 1/3 of the Ds and Rs to change their vote is impossible.

    History has shown this to be true, and where voter turn-out can be ratcheted up to around 70% of the eligible voters, Libertarians do pretty well – often even win.

    It’s rational for small-l libertarians to exit politics because it’s true that this year, their vote won’t matter; but those people can be educated to the long-term process of building a political party. Yes, you won’t win this year, but only by building a party year-after-year, election-by-election, can you win eventually. Moreover, since non-voters don’t vote, they have nothing to lose by throwing their vote to the Libertarian.

    Libertarians just need to get more active in going into the community, identifying like-minded people, organizing those like-minded people, and turning them out at the polls. That’s hard work, and we are too often distracted by trying to participate in politics as if all we have to do is persuade the voters to vote for us. Even the best marketing in the world won’t persuade committed Ds and Rs to vote L.

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