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Don’t be weird

March 14, 2017

I want to talk about network marketing…

Okay, not really. What I really want to talk about is liberty. More specifically, I want to talk about how to increase it or spread it to more people. To do that, however, I want to talk about a concept related to it. But first, a story.

I know a number of people who were, and are, successful network marketers. By “successful” I mean the following

  1. They work with real and legitimate companies
  2. They offer goods or services people would buy even if there were no business opportunity attached
  3. Through their work, they have had a real and positive impact on their lives and the lives of others
  4. They have all followed the same basic plan for achieving their success

One of these people always offers the same advice to those who choose to work with him:

“Don’t be weird”

That’s it. That’s his advice. Oh, he talks about other things, the “how to” part of running a legitimate and successful business like his, but this is the one he focuses on.

How does this relate to liberty?

Every single one of the people I mentioned above has built his or her business to the point of earning 6 figures a year by doing, broadly speaking, the same thing. They found somewhere between 3 and 5 people who saw things the same way they did and taught them how to “do the business,” and they started with the people they knew. Now, they would, even after finding those 3-5 people, continue to search for others who saw things the same way, but it was those 3-5 who ensured they would reach what most people would consider a significant income. Additional people simply meant more reach, more impact and, yes, more money. All of this is particularly true of those who were not possessed of an overwhelming or almost other worldly level of charisma.

Many of us in the various liberty/prepping/homesteading movements have wondered how we manage to  bring about change on a national level. How can we increase liberty? How do we help people become more prepared for some reasonably to be anticipated natural disaster? How do we show people the joy and freedom of homesteading? I submit the following is a valid way to proceed.

  1. We take care to live lives that don’t appear, to outsiders, to be one-dimensional
  2. While we don’t avoid talking about our lifestyle choices (homesteading, prepping, what have you), we also don’t talk about them every time we meet people. Instead, we let them come up as a normal part of a conversation in which they are appropriate topics. Then, as with all other topics, we avoid going off on some long-winded monologue about the joys of raising chickens or what we view as the coming _______(insert catastrophic event of your choice), or any of a thousand other things.
  3. When people tell us, in the course of the above-mentioned normal conversation, they just don’t see the necessity of having a pantry with “X” months of food, we do not
    1. Tell them they must not love their families or liberty
    2. Walk off obviously shaking our heads in disbelief
  4. We find, during the course of normal, everyday life and conversation, 3-5 people who see things the way we do. We help them get to the point they will do the same thing. By the way, the first 3-5 who say they agree with us will almost certainly not be the ones who actually stick with homesteading/prepping/spreading the word.Afterward, we continue to look for others, but the 3-5 is enough. More committed people just makes things change more quickly.*
  5. We stay in this thing “for the long haul.” That shouldn’t be a big challenge for us. After all, our homesteading and preparedness are lifestyles instead of mere fad following, right?
  6. We remember we will have our greatest effect if we remain a true grassroots movement. The grassroots progression, I submit, is local –> state –> regional –> national, not the other way around!
  7. We remain absolutely committed to a simple principle: Don’t be weird!

Liberty, I have decided, is a concept many people have not seriously considered. Oh, they like the general idea, but they haven’t really given it a lot of thought. If we dump everything we know and believe about liberty on people who aren’t ready to hear it, look at just some of what we’re likely telling them (well, at least it’s some of what I’d be telling them), what we are asking them to believe, much of which they may have never considered.

  • You can’t trust the government you’ve always been taught to trust
  • You can’t really trust the political party/ideology with which you likely identify
  • Freedom and liberty come from accepting absolute responsibility and accountability for your decisions and actions
  • The government has no legal obligation to ensure your safety as an individual
  • Everything you allow others, whether individually or collectively, to provide you, also provides them ever-increasing control over you and your life
  • Laws, all laws, are ultimately backed up by the threat of deadly force
  • None of us have any right to the fruit of another’s labor
  • The world owes us nothing
  • To be truly free, to truly exercise liberty, we must allow those with whom we have the strongest of disagreements to likewise be free

This is, I think, a lot for many people to wrap their heads around, especially in practical terms. It might sound fine when discussed in some theoretical or academic discussion. It can look a whole lot different when we are challenged to live it out in real life.

So, if you want to bring about change, if you want to help increase liberty, don’t be one-dimensional. Don’t let your enthusiasm for your lifestyle and message lead you into dominating conversations. Don’t be rude. And, above all, don’t be weird!

*NOTE: Finding “3-5 people who see things the way we do” is most emphatically not code for suggesting people start forming anti-government “cells.” That would be truly weird, very counterproductive and not conducive to the spread of liberty. So, I’m not asking you to be part of any such cell. If you give some hint you want me to be part of such a cell, I will likely give you a very special gift I and other veterans have reserved just for people like you. 

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