In our line of work here, we face off against some of the most difficult odds possible. Taking on the NSA, gun control, obamacare, drone proliferation, the war on drugs, unconstitutional foreign policy, and more – how can a little organization with a few thousand dollar monthly budget take on the empire?
Well, we can. And we must.
Edmund Burke put it this way, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”
We recognize every effort as educational, as a way to build stronger coalitions in support – and even have a potential of working in the short term. In some instances, that potential is great, like fields of industrial hemp growing in Colorado today, effectively nullifying a federal ban. In other instances, the short term potential is a very long shot, like turning off water at the Maryland or Utah NSA data centers.
We don’t set our expectations too high, and if neither succeed in 2014, we will give it another go in 2015, and 2016, and on. In Illinois, for example, it took medical marijuana activists TEN YEARS to get a very narrow victory on an effort that was signed into law in 2013. Ten years from today, we don’t want people looking back and saying, “wow, if only someone had laid the foundation, maybe this data center wouldn’t be here anymore.”
Some people tend to focus only on the negative side, saying that there’s no chance, essentially telling people to give up. These mostly come from the government, which wants us to give up, and the most hard-core libertarians, anarcho-capitalists (ancaps)
An-caps are the worst when it comes to negativity, I believe. I think it’s easy to get there, because they see the barrel of the gun at the end of all government actions. So they quickly fall prey to – “well, they’ll just do _____ or _____”
For example, this comment on a report about the Utah bill attempting to shut off water to the NSA:
Awesome. But even if it passed, it just means that we will end up paying 100x the cost to have the water trucked in – escorted by helicopters and tanks.
You see that? It’s basically the same message as the government people. “No point trying, we have defeated you.”
Ancaps who do this outsmart themselves into total and complete ineffectiveness.
This problem of negativity is like a cancer, and has been pervasive for many years. Murray Rothbard himself warned about it:
“For the libertarian, the main task of the present epoch is to cast off his needless and debilitating pessimism, to set his sights on long-run victory and to set about the road to its attainment.”
No good effort for liberty – in history – was based off a rallying cry of “But if we do this, they’ll just find another way to crush us.”
Libertarians should be on the FRONT lines, not just talking about how evil government is in comments sections. Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Thoreau – they provided the path. People who believe in liberty should simply learn from it, drop the negativity, and push on for liberty with concrete actions of resistance.