Sunday, July 10, 2005

Selling liberty

James Leroy Wilson brainstormed on his blog last Thursday about methods of freeing yourself...and the country. His entire post is valuable and worth contemplating — even the stuff about political involvement — but his advice to libertarian bloggers is particularly good (and good for non-blogging libs, too):

“Give up on the idea of ‘persuasion.’ Gary North has a rule — I’m not sure where he got it or if it’s true, but it sounds accurate. If what you have to offer is any good, 20% will actually listen to you, and even like what you say. But only 20% of that, or 4% of the whole, will follow through. There is no ‘art’ in persuasion, especially in persuasion to the libertarian philosophy. Just tell the truth as you see it, or link to others with whom you agree.

“Don’t be discouraged, and don’t waste time on arguing with people. The real blessing of the libertarian philosophy is the moral and psychological benefit of how you treat others and how you view yourself. Freedom is really a state of mind, more than a political condition. Be happy that minds are opened, and that some minds are changed, don’t remain bitter, angry, and frustrated because great masses don’t listen. Read ‘Isaiah’s Job’ [by Albert Jay Nock]. Other people’s problems and character defects are not yours, and you — and no one else, let alone great masses of people — are responsible for your own happiness.”

Gary North’s “rule,” by the way, is an old rule of sales and marketing. And being an excellent direct marketer himself, Gary knows the rule better than most. If you “cast a wide net” to bring in buyers (converts) to your product (libertarianism), you can expect, at best, a 2-4% return. Focus on a smaller, niche market, and your numbers go up...sometimes WAY up.

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