In all of human history, there may be no greater conditioning system than our modern government schools (including all the private schools that follow the same pattern). From infancy to adulthood, it affects most human minds in the West. And I dare guess that 98% of my readers bear its scars…
…understand that we are heretics to the majority culture, to the brainwashed culture. We cannot expect them to simply come along at our first statement of truth. Agreeing with us is far more than an act of reason; it is an act of courage… and people require time to work up to that.
I usually recommend that they read Rothbard (who explains it much better than I can), then come back and we will discuss it. If someone doesn’t care enough to spend a little of his/her time reading, then she/he has no claim to my time. — jtl, 419
by Paul Rosenberg at FREEMANSPERSPECTIVE
Last week, I posted an article entitled “Man Is Not Always Blind.” And quite understandably, I received comments from readers who disagreed. After all, when you are surrounded by people who wish to not see – who hate you for trying to make them see – it is natural to take that opinion.
(And since the word is so often fitting, I will go with “brainwashed” to describe those who wish not to see.)
So, since there is something of an art to speaking to the brainwashed, I will direct the rest of this article to that art.
Let’s start by removing the divide: You and I have made the same mistakes these people are making. We may be a few steps ahead of them in leaving the swamp, but we started in the same swamp with them.
In all of human history, there may be no greater conditioning system than our modern government schools (including all the private schools that follow the same pattern). From infancy to adulthood, it affects most human minds in the West. And I dare guess that 98% of my readers bear its scars.
So, you must start by understanding that these “brainwashed” people have spent a huge portion of their lives inside a massive mind-warp. Don’t be too quick to toss them aside. Learn patience. Breaking out of their mold is scary, and it takes time.
The very existence of the state requires you to be brainwashed.
Every state (communist, fascist, theocratic, whatever) rests on the concept of legitimacy:
It is right that they punish or kill anyone who doesn’t obey them.
It is right that they send your children to die fighting their competitors.
Why, then, is this same idea holy and glorious when applied to brigands and deceivers, as it has been for some 6,000 years?
The usual response to such a question, by the way, is this:
<sound of crickets>
Sometimes it will work, and a seed will be planted. Other times, they’ll hate your guts for forcing them into punishable thoughts.
The One-Size-Fits-All Answer
I don’t care how trite this may sound, but the right way to get through to the brainwashed is simply to love them.
Loving them means that you have to get over the need to win, to prove yourself right. Get clear on the facts: If you are promoting personal liberty, true free will, true free speech, and so on, you are already right. You don’t have to prove anything. When you try to “prove” your rightness, you get dragged into their “winning” game, and you slide into their pit.
The people who fight you are trying to keep their mental universes free of contradiction. They haven’t the courage to see past their fences; they are defending their dogma from your heresy.
Your job is to speak the truth, to take their shots, and to smile. It doesn’t matter that they are flat wrong; so were you at one time.
Love them. Help them see. Don’t rush them. Let them come to you.
And when the loudmouth plays his game, tell him he’s an attack artist, substituting gorilla-style dominance for human understanding. Then smile and walk away.
We Are the Heretics
I dedicated a full issue of my monthly newsletter (FMP #58) to the subject of successful heresy, and I certainly can’t go through much of it here, but I would like you to understand that we are heretics to the majority culture, to the brainwashed culture. We cannot expect them to simply come along at our first statement of truth. Agreeing with us is far more than an act of reason; it is an act of courage… and people require time to work up to that.
So, don’t get sucked into heated debates. You’re the outsider, and you shouldn’t argue inside their frameworks. When they hit you with a barrage or with a “gotcha” question, step back, slow down, and examine what they’re actually saying. You don’t have to respond in 14 milliseconds. That’s a trap.
As the outsider, you should be addressing their root premises, not the political argument de jour. Such arguments seldom accomplish anything. Let them jump into their political furors while you keep addressing deep principles and things that “are not to be questioned.”
In other words, go ahead and be the heretic – they’re going to punish you for it anyway.
In the End…
In the end, we don’t speak to other people so we can convert them, and certainly not to prove we’re right, or (God forbid) to assemble a movement.
And, honestly, talking to people isn’t even about freeing life to flourish on this planet, as right a goal as that may be. When we talk to people, we are already expressing life… presently… now… not “after we win.”
When you speak to people with love – in honest concern for their wellbeing – you are directly creating a better world, right now, word by word.
The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic. This is the volume that pulls it all together. With reference to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s description of Murray Rothbard’s work, it is a “unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.” Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.
You might be interested in the other two volumes of this three volume set: The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History and The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty