What Action Next?

Now what? In effect, that question was posed by a member of a Dallas liberty group.

The Campaign for Liberty, Tea Party, and 9/12 movements have organized around the idea gaining back our freedom and nation by getting the right people elected to national, state, a local positions.

My question is: As long as the unelected global elites control the power, wealth, and the system, how is electing or unelecting anyone going to make a difference? We’ve been playing this game for decades with nothing but loss after loss of liberty. … Suppose we actually did get Ron Paul as President, and had numerous victories in local elections, how much power will they really have within the global elite’s system? How many of our new representatives will be easily turned with bribes, black mail, and threats? How effective could they be against the onslaught of media propaganda against them?

Instead of blaming the messenger, I think the concern is genuine, though I don’t know anything about a “global elite.” The people who support violence against me live in my neighborhood. In any case, I responded.

I feel that voting for people to represent your interests is one of the least effective means of achieving political success. It is always a lagging indicator of political opinion. The voting myth states that to have political influence, you must delegate it away. The alternative, I think, is to represent yourself and your interests.

Some refer to it as “direct action.” Taking direct action, rather than relying on a middleman to solve problems, has many advantages. You become familiar with the resources around you, building de facto institutions and learning your own capabilities or strengths.

Some specific examples of direct action are passing out flyers about issues that concern you rather than waiting on the media to give it attention. When someone raises money for a charity instead of asking a politician for tax dollars, that is direct action. When someone starts a book club rather than attending a government classroom for an education, that is taking action. One method of direct action, agorism, seeks to build alternative institutions that deligitimize the state’s interference in that area of the marketplace.

Direct action does not spend time fighting over platforms or building a consensus, wasting time and money. Different groups can operate independently without the need for confrontation, unless their goals really are diametrically opposed. Direct action can be taken whenever you see fit.

These two methods of activism can be applied together. Think of all the hours wasted debating on who to vote for, what platform proposal to adopt, which bylaw to strike. Yet, voting itself takes just a few minutes.

We can spend an hour a year voting and the rest of our time taking action. If you’re interested, you might want to check out DFW ALL for other ideas.