From: Gordon Worley (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Jun 10 2005 - 09:58:46 MDT
I read this today and it reminded me all too much of some Singularity
activists. Just replace "libertarianism" with "the Singularity"
below and you'll see what I mean. Even though we like to think about
the Singularity as a very academic issue (with apologies to Eliezer
for saying the Singularity is academic), most people don't want a lot
of theory. They just want to know "what does this mean to me" and
"why should I care", not "why, theoretically, this is important to
Begin forwarded message:
> PERSUASION POWER POINT # 182
> Are Some People Too Dumb to Understand Libertarianism?
> by Michael Cloud
> "Most of the people I talk with are too stupid to understand
> libertarianism," said Robert X (a real person). "I explain the Non-
> Aggression Axiom, show why it is and must be the starting point of
> all political discussions, then rationally and logically derive the
> proper principles of politics, and then..."
> This libertarian held his note longer than Pavarotti. He spoke in
> high-level abstractions -- and talked in paragraphs.
> But he was smart, thoughtful, and knowledgeable.
> He wasn't the first libertarian to make this complaint.
> Are some people too dumb to grasp libertarianism? Of course. Some
> people are too dumb to grasp calculus, quantum physics, Austrian
> economics, computer programming, engineering, epistemology, and
> formal logic. Others are too dumb to master carpentry, management,
> football strategy, gourmet cooking, Nascar racing,
> entrepreneurship, small business, or bartending.
> Each of us is bright in a few areas, average or dim in many, and in
> total darkness in more than a few.
> Take calculus. Maybe you can't grasp it. But you do understand
> addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. If you're not
> familiar with algebra or geometry, you could learn them. And even
> if you never learn calculus or trigonometry, you probably have more
> than enough mathematics knowledge for your life decisions.
> It's the same way with libertarianism. Tom Paine, Frederic Bastiat,
> and Henry Hazlitt are engaging and readable -- and easy to
> understand. So are Leonard Read, Harry Browne, and -- Michael
> Cloud. Popularizers.
> Just as there is higher math, there is higher libertarianism.
> "Anarchy, State, and Utopia" by Robert Nozick, "The Libertarian
> Idea" by Jan Narveson, or "Crisis and Leviathan" by Robert Higgs.
> Some libertarians try to communicate academic libertarianism before
> offering popular libertarianism. They fail. And blame it on the
> I suggested that Robert X expose his friends to shirtsleeves
> libertarianism. To engaging and readable freedom books and essays.
> To the Advocates for Self-Government Web sites:
> <http://www.libertarianism.com/>http://www.libertarianism.com .
> To the Center for Small Government Web site:
> Robert X has the soul of an academic. He loves the higher realms of
> libertarian thought and theory. But he immediately saw the value of
> sending curious questioners to books and web sites that appeal to
> normal, everyday Americans.
> Each person's intelligence, knowledge, or interest varies, but the
> libertarian movement has something for everyone.
> Michael Cloud was voted the Most Persuasive Libertarian
> Communicator in America and honored with the Thomas Paine Award at
> the Libertarian Party national convention in July 2000.
> Michael is author of the acclaimed new book "Secrets of Libertarian
> Persuasion" available exclusively from the Advocates:
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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