Talking to ourselves


Michael Winning

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know nobody round here who reads this blog, or any other libertarian or liberal blog. Not one. My nearest reader is DD I think, and Fred Bloggs who live about 40 miles away. I hear that Freds gone to 6th form college somewhere in Leicestershire so he wan’t be doing much here for a while.

yes there are maybe lots of libertarians out there. Some of them blog, some blog regularly, some get high traffic, like The Devil, Guido and Legiron and so on. The LA here even runs a famous conference, which I guess I won’t be able to go to as it’s busy pigs time. Got a breeding run set to go about then.

Ok so what to do? DD and Sean say that the Enemy Class has got hold of all the media outlets and more or less controls what is said and even thought by “the masses”. yes its true, you just ask my farmhands and their families. They can’t even get their heads round the idea of a smaller state, let alone none, they just shake their heads sadly and look at the ground and think I’m a [paranoid wingnut. Go to the Post Office 3 miles down the hill and the woman there who runs it says “but who’ll pay all the Girocheques if there’s no government?” Talk to the schoolmums at the local primary about free dinners and they’ll ask you “but what about those too poor to pay for their kids dinners?”

This bloggin lark is all very well. We can keep each other’s spirits up I suppose, while the world darkens. But there isn’t much time left, we have to get this out either before we are all stopped, likely if Labour got back in, or the damage has gone too far to be repaired whether they do or not. I tend to agree that all this what we complain and whinge about was deliberate. the socialists aways knoew what they were doing, on what plan and what would happen to what by when. Som of them even pretended to be stupid tearful welsh windbags like Neil Kinnock, and threw an election on purpose, now there’s a thought! Clever guy to end up rich like he did now. Some pretended to be sceptical about the USSR like Wislon, while coying up to it in private. One even pretended to be an autistic psychotic, there’s Brown for you!

The time for talking to ourselves is past. Time to get back to something like we remember this place to be is running out. The LPUK appears to be dying on its feet, sorry chaps, I don’t think it’ll recover from the pasting Andrew Neil gace the Devil a while ago.

I’d advocate civil disobedience if I didn’t think the State was now so powerful we’d all get rounded up. Does anybody of you have any ideas?

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22 responses to “Talking to ourselves

  1. Get information out.
    If that is being done, that is great.
    If it is not reaching at least some of the farm hands and ladies who run post offices then it is not being done effectively.
    And doing that is not difficult but it has to be done accurately.
    Not condescending intellectual I am very intelligent and went to university and can use all sorts of long words and handle obtuse concepts, stuff.
    Neither talking down nor debasing the intelligent approach. In fact one needs a highly intelligent approach to the situation.
    Use of the word intelligent. Must put in my favourite AJ Nock quote which I think is what is needed:
    ” . . . An equally useful distinction comes out in M. Renan’s use of the word “intelligence.” To most of us, I think, that word does not mean the same thing that it means to a Frenchman, or that the word Intelligenz means to a German. To a Frenchman like M. Renan, intelligence does not mean a quickness of wit, a ready dexterity in handling ideas, or even a ready accessibility to ideas. It implies those, of course, but it does not mean them; and one should perhaps say in passing that it does not mean the pert and ignorant cleverness that current vulgar usage has associated with the word. Again it is our common day-to-day experience that gives us the best possible assistance in establishing the necessary differentiations. We have all seen men who were quick witted, accessible to ideas and handy with their management of them, whom we should yet hesitate to call intelligent; we are conscious that the term does not quite fit. The word sends us back to a phrase of Plato. The person of intelligence is the one who always tends to “see things as they are,” the one who never permits his view of them to be directed by convention, by the hope of advantage, or by an irrational and arbitrary authoritarianism. He allows the current of his consciousness to flow in perfect freedom over any object that may be presented to it, uncontrolled by prejudice, prepossession or formula; and thus we may say that there are certain integrities at the root of intelligence which give it somewhat the aspect of a moral as well as an intellectual attribute.”

    Effective communication is simple and to the point, does not fudge issues or blur them with one’s own hang ups, and reaches people at the point where they can hear you, without compromising the truth.

    It is happening to an extent and so that is also good. Do not despair Michael!

  2. Well thank God someone is actually thinking seriously about making an actual practical difference.

    I think considering how small the Libertarian movement currently is that working within other organisations such as, dare i say it, the Conservative Party, is one strategy. Another is to develop some media savvy. Find a public friendly issue such as , for instance, the European Arrest Warrant, and give the media a story. A personable victim and a series of juicy titbits released over several days to keep the story alive.

    Concentrating the efforts on a small number of issues rather than diffusing over a broader front and playing to peoples emotions rather than just appealing to dry intellectual logic. People think more with instinct and emotion rather than reason.

  3. @C H Ingoldby
    “People think more with instinct and emotion rather than reason”

    Indeed they do. But efficient free markets require putative rational economic actors to operate. Oh, wait…

  4. cuffleyburgers

    Yes the devil’s abject performance on Andrew Neill must have set back the cause by decades.

    Still, however bad it may seem in England, think of me stuck in Italy!

  5. Present people with good, clear, logical thinking and that does it. You do not, repeat not, have to manipulate them with emotion. That is the way the enemy of truth works. You do not need his sad tactics that will only defeat you in the end as they will him.
    People love the truth when it is clearly and logically presented.
    There is a moral attribute to logic/reason/truth that people love.
    I have done it.
    It works.

  6. People will only love the truth, presented logically or otherwise, if you can show them what’s in it for them! This usually means you have to make some sort of emotional appeal.

    People buy what they want, and justify it on the grounds of need – not the other way round. To get people to “buy” a libertarian argument, they have to be shown that it is in their interest to do so, and this is something the “other” side are much better at selling. Of course, they also have the BBC and the entire MSM at their disposal.

  7. You are not selling motor cars or 4x4s.
    You are selling the reality within which people live their lives.
    They are grateful when they realise all the rubbish they were supposed to go along with is actually control orientated deception (unless they are dependency addicts.)
    You could, of course show them what is in it for them, in that it is the only system that actually works, because it does deal with reality. The way things are. But it is not a political system for one group of individuals to get other individuals to what they want. It is not about personal aggrandisement through political (coercive) means.
    Libertarians are concerned with the truth/reality, as I have come to see it. It is not a dogma to be believed.
    It is not about controlling other people.

  8. And that sells itself.

  9. People make their decisions and form their opinions more on emotion than logic. If you restrict your arguments to logic and reason you are never going to have any impact whatsoever.

  10. You are incorrect regarding the need to emotionally manipulate .
    Give people facts and they respond well.
    I have done it.
    The massive expense that goes into maintaining the deceits, through MSM, academia, and all the machinery, can be fairly simply circumvented.
    It does take some work and a willingness to not compromise with one´s own emotional garbage where it may significantly get in the way.
    Sean does some very good stuff, such as Cultural Revolution, Culture War.
    I also think that well thought, accurate leaflets that touch people´s awareness, that make the light bulb switch on in their minds, are extremely effective when distributed in their 10s and 100s of thousands.
    Somebody has to do it, though.

  11. “They are grateful when they realise all the rubbish they were supposed to go along with is actually control orientated deception (unless they are dependency addicts.)”

    If that were the case, I suggest that we wouldn’t have just had 13 years of NuLabour.

    “You could, of course show them what is in it for them, in that it is the only system that actually works, because it does deal with reality.”

    I agree, but you have to hit the right emotional “hot” button, or your explanation will most likely be quickly forgotten. Why do you think that the ruling class domination of the BBC and other MSM is so successful? Because the storylines and characters in these soap operas (“Eastenders”, “Coronation Street”) provoke an emotional response from the viewer. They suggest (subliminally) that such and such a character is the “salt of the earth”, and that another such character is “a villain”, whose “repugnant” views epitomise the “evils” in our society, such as sexism, racism, and any other ism that the “progressives” deem beyond the pail.

    “Libertarians are concerned with the truth/reality, as I have come to see it. It is not a dogma to be believed.
    It is not about controlling other people.”

    Again, I agree. But you have to tell your story in the correct way to get it a) believed, and b) remembered and internalized. If you are charged with a crime, you would engage a barrister, an advocate, to tell your story for you, and to put it in the most favourable light. Quite often, he will tell your story in such a way that the “emotions” of the jury are appealed to. Why? Because it’s more effective than simple logic. It shouldn’t be, but I’m afraid it is.

    “You are incorrect regarding the need to emotionally manipulate.”

    I am not saying that emotional manipulation is the aim (although our progressive opponents have no such scruples), but you still have to tell your story in the most favourable way, and this involves engaging with your potential converts emotions on some level. If you are not enthused by your message, why should anyone else be?

    John, you are rather like me as recently as 10 years ago. I don’t really do “excitement” and “bubbling enthusiasm” either. But I’ve come to realise that the way you tell is far more important than what you sell!

    To get any message “out there”, will certainly need a logical argument that is persuasive in itself, but to make a real impact, it must connect with people on an emotional level. Dry, academic leaflets just won’t cut it – sadly.

  12. The dry academic leaflet is what you believe the simple presentation of facts produces?
    I think we have a misunderstanding.

    You had 13 years of Nu Labour because the people were seduced, emotionally, and there was no-one there to present the facts.
    The Conservatives were very effectively destroyed from within, and very simply Tony Blair´s team were more credible. In 1997.
    The deception worked (and works) because it has had big bucks to throw into its agenda, because its protagonists are primarily in the field of making (faking?) money. Their agenda is to control. Not to present the system that will work best.

    It´s the logic (truth) button that hits the light bulb connection.
    If you need EastEnders mind manipulation tactics you are not communicating the truth.
    Reality sells itself if you present it accurately.
    I have done it.

  13. John B, you are wrong. Appealing to peoples emotions is neither ‘manipulative’ or dishonest. It is a simple fact that people form their decisions on emotion rather than reason. People generally invent rationalistions for their emotionally based decisions.

    To spread the Libertarian message relying on simple appears to logic and reason will achieve almost precisely nothing. The way to convince people is to appeal to matters with an emotional resonance and then develop the intellectual side of the argument.

    That’s the reality of human nature.

  14. “The dry academic leaflet is what you believe the simple presentation of facts produces?
    I think we have a misunderstanding.”

    John, I’m sorry, but I don’t think we are misunderstanding each other. You think a logical, rational, reasoned argument is all that’s required, and I say it needs the considerable boost it gets from connecting emotionally with the listener/reader.

    “People generally invent rationalistions for their emotionally based decisions.”

    Absolutely correct.

    ” The way to convince people is to appeal to matters with an emotional resonance and then develop the intellectual side of the argument.

    That’s the reality of human nature.”

    Far better put than I could have managed.

    People convince themselves of the rationality of an argument (or a purchase) only if they want to. If an argument doesn’t appear to apply personally, they may listen politely, but it’ll go “in one ear, and out the other”. They’ll only bother convincing themselves if they already believe what they’re being told, or if they have been excited or enthused or enthralled by what they’re being told. Sadly, that’s just the way it is.

  15. P Robinson, whatever it is that you believe, (is it something along the lines that people have to be persuaded emotionally to accept rational facts/arguments?) it does not sound like what I have come to understand as libertarianism.
    But whatever you believe to be true, I can assure you should not despise the ability of the rational human mind, and that it is perfectly possible to reach people simply by making sense and being logical.
    I know that people use their minds to justify positions they wish to adopt for emotional reasons, or reasons of unease that they need to alleviate. Yes, that is how brainwashing works. By creating unease and then setting out steps by which the unease may be relieved.
    However, it is possible, and vastly more honourable, and ultimately more successful, to proceed in the opposite direction and win hearts and minds with the truth. With facts. With reality.
    That is my successful experience.

  16. “P Robinson, whatever it is that you believe, (is it something along the lines that people have to be persuaded emotionally to accept rational facts/arguments?)”

    No, for the umpteenth time, MOST people are not swayed by a logical and rational argument alone. For MOST people, unless they are somehow moved by an argument, it is merely something else they will forget, and get on with their lives.

    “I know that people use their minds to justify positions they wish to adopt for emotional reasons, or reasons of unease that they need to alleviate.”

    Yes.

    “I can assure you should not despise the ability of the rational human mind”

    I don’t, I am merely saying that for MOST people, an emotional response is stronger, and therefore more memorable and lasting, than a totally logical one.

    “However, it is possible, and vastly more honourable, and ultimately more successful, to proceed in the opposite direction and win hearts and minds with the truth.”

    And to win hearts and minds, you have to make a connection based on more than logic alone.

  17. PR: Perhaps just get on and do it.

  18. John B, this is a discussion about the different methods of spreading the Libertarianmessage so comments like ‘Perhaps just get on and do it’ are completely missing the point, although they do indicate that you have nothing useful to say.

  19. The LA does have a “Strategy and Tactics” document, written by David Ramsay Steele with Chris Tame, and published initially in “Free Life Volume 2 No. 2″ then in the LA’s Political Notes series. It sets out Steele’s vision of a libertarian “Church” promulgating propaganda to an eclectic audience. It’s worth reading, though I disagree with it at a number of points.

    Probably the most influential work of political and moral philosophy of the past thirty years is Harvard Professor John Rawls’ lovely book “A Theory of Justice.” His colleague Robert Nozick wrote “Anarchy, State and Utopia” in response to it, a sparkling tour de force advancing the libertarian case(s) while meeting objections squarely.

    Rawls advances the following schema for formulating the ideally just society. First, imagine yourself in an “Original position” where you don’t know what your attributes, advantages, disadvantages and so forth are. Then imagine what society you would choose for yourself and others without special pleading. Then picture yourself in that society with your particular attributes. You chose that position included in your formulation.

    Rawls describes himself as a Natural Rights libertarian. The society he advocates is a just society, with justice defined as fairness. He’s not popular with dogmatic propertarian libertarians because he doesn’t take existing property distributions for granted, and because he values positive and negative rights. His vision of the Good Society is necessarily complex. Read with Nozick’s book, you can achieve a clarity of thought which deepens understanding in so many ways. And you can tailor your presentation of the libertarian case to meet almost any objections. Philosophy can be hard work: you may as well enjoy it.

    Tony

  20. Ingoldby your refusal to look at facts is appalling.

    That is what this whole little “discussion” has been about.
    It has now descended into designing the outfits for the angels on the pin so my suggestion is to get on and spread the message according to your wisdom and where you come short you will learn by experience.
    Perhaps you are a troll. Whatever the case, this exchange of words without intelligence is pointless.

  21. John B, your bizarre refusal to accept the reality of human nature renders your opinions on spreading Libertarian ideas completely sterile. If you bother to actually check the facts you would see that it is scientifically established that humans make the majority of their decisions on the basis of emotions. Neuroscientists, psychologists, advertisers, businessmen and politicians all know this, but you persist in repeating the canard that simply ‘presenting the facts’ will suffice.

    You need to follow your own advice and look at the facts.

    http://demo.webcubecms.com/news/2009/09/25/emotional-response-marketing/

    ”One of the world’s leading neuroscientists, Dr. Vilayanur S. Ramachandran rationalizes the stronghold emotions have on us:

    Our mental life is governed mainly by a cauldron of emotions, motives, and desires which we are barely conscious of, and what we call our conscious life is usually an elaborate post hoc rationalization of things we really do for other reasons.”

    http://blogs.mccombs.utexas.edu/mccombs-today/2010/04/do-you-make-buying-decisions-based-on-logic-or-emotion-a-tale-of-two-chickens/

    ”Marketing professor Raj Raghunathan [pictured right] and Ph.D. student Szu-Chi Huang of the McCombs School of Business point to their research study that shows comparative features are important, but mostly as justification after a buyer makes a decision based on emotional response.”

  22. Dear CH,
    I will put it down to misunderstanding. However your attitude leaves somewhat to be desired.
    The misunderstanding as follows:

    A man is on a beach and I know that a tsunami is on the way.
    I shout at him (the sea is somewhat loud): “A a tsunami is expected in 5 minutes , if you stay where you are you will die!”

    You might call that an emotional appeal.
    I call it a statement of reality, logic.