Free State Project Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 ... 6   Go Down

Author Topic: We're being way too negative  (Read 21286 times)

penguinsscareme

  • FSP Participant
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 336
  • Ain't nobody's business but mine
    • Free State Project/self-sufficiency living liaison
We're being way too negative
« on: March 11, 2004, 08:19:58 pm »

I've noticed lately that almost every thread on this forum starts out as "hey, I have a question about this or that," or "hey, I like this about you but not that, could you clarify some stuff."  But in almost every case it ends up descending into a war of words, and soon people start saying stuff like, well, if you think we should arrest people because someone might get hurt, then you don't belong in the fsp.
This stuff is killing us.  We draw lines, put up walls, build defenses, and then dare someone to challenge so we can unload on them.
It's all worded in such a way as to create standoffs and impasses, not meeting, understanding and accepting.

We have such lovely principles, such pure ideals.  Heaven forbid someone sully them with suggestions that our perfect philosophies might not so easily make the transaction from abstract idea to real world application.

I have seen, time and again, a person of sincere intent come to this forum with a carefully considered (if, in some cases, honestly misguided) opinion only to be beaten about the head and shoulders because it wasn't strict libertarian dogma.

I'm a little sensitive to the problem myself because I've been through it, and it's tough.
I've been accused outright of not being a libertarian, I've been called a communist, I've been...other stuff.  Ridiculous stuff.  Now, I have my own vision of freedom, and no I'm not a libertarian, but I've been all over the fsp homepage, the statement of intent (which I solemnly agreed to and intend to honor), the participation guidelines and the faq, and I tell you this, that nowhere does it say that I have to be a libertarian.

I have a pretty casual, informal, loosely thrown together set of ideas about what I think freedom is, what it all means, all that stuff.  I haven't read Nietsche, or Ayn Rand, or Karl Marx or what have you.  Frankly I'm not much into theory.  I'm more into practice, I guess.  And that's why I have dedicated a significant part of my own free time to trying to build up this project, increase the breadth of our appeal, increase our exposure to mass audiences, and whatever else I can think of to attract new members and build momentum for the cause.  So what if I can't sit on a damned stump all day and explain the theory of liberty; I can bloody well get off my rear end and show you how to live it!

But there are those (I think you know who you are) who just love to throw shite and cause a stir, who place higher value on their own opinions than on what is best for the success of the fsp.

When well-intentioned people come here who don't agree with a certain aspect of our endeavor, we need to welcome them, welcome their input and ideas (I'm not saying we need to compromise ouselves in order to do this), and give them information and encouragement.  We need to give them every chance.

We get visitors on this forum who agree with 90% of our ideas, so of course we have to show them the door.  I mean, they're either absolutists or they're not, right?
Sh_t, horsesh_t and bullsh_t!!!

I tried recently to introduce a little throttling-back to the rawbones pitch of the rhetoric on a particular thread (which when I got there had already long since ceased to be an attempt to answer the question of a prospective member), and I got almost completely stonewalled.

In other posts I have cited how fiery-eyed radical extremism can kill an issue that might have been winnable, and how it's better to have something that's pretty good and actually works than to have something perfect that doesn't work.  I can give actual examples.  But some among us just won't hear any dissent.
And it's just killing us.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2004, 08:23:27 pm by penguinsscareme »
Logged
Stamp freestateproject.org on your cash!  Stamp & inkpad run less than $10 & it's the single most effective and easy thing you can do for the fsp.  And it's legal, just don't obscure the serial #.  www.currentlabels.com

Morpheus

  • Guest
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2004, 08:29:45 pm »

Provide some solid examples, besides that stupid thread about drugs in the FSP.
Logged

penguinsscareme

  • FSP Participant
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 336
  • Ain't nobody's business but mine
    • Free State Project/self-sufficiency living liaison
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2004, 08:39:55 pm »

You just did.  Thanks.
Logged
Stamp freestateproject.org on your cash!  Stamp & inkpad run less than $10 & it's the single most effective and easy thing you can do for the fsp.  And it's legal, just don't obscure the serial #.  www.currentlabels.com

atr

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 858
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2004, 08:57:37 pm »

I have seen, time and again, a person of sincere intent come to this forum with a carefully considered (if, in some cases, honestly misguided) opinion only to be beaten about the head and shoulders because it wasn't strict libertarian dogma.

We get visitors on this forum who agree with 90% of our ideas, so of course we have to show them the door.  I mean, they're either absolutists or they're not, right?
Sh_t, horsesh_t and bullsh_t!!!

The thread you mention is not a good example of us scaring away prospective members. The prospective member who started the thread was actually testing us to make sure we supported real liberty.

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=12;action=display;threadid=4032;start=msg60049#msg60049

Quote
I apologize for being misleading.  If the moderators see this as trolling or a reason to warn me or ban me from the site, so be it.  I only wish more people had responded.  My true reason for the question was to find out what the FSP really believed in.  Kater, ATR, Reaper, Zack, forgive me if you can, but thank you for standing up.  You are the type of people this project will need to succeed.
Logged

Morpheus

  • Guest
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2004, 09:02:31 pm »

Quote
You just did.  Thanks.


I make a simple request.. and you get pissed.

Get over yourself.
Logged

penguinsscareme

  • FSP Participant
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 336
  • Ain't nobody's business but mine
    • Free State Project/self-sufficiency living liaison
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2004, 09:26:45 pm »

Dude, you can take your pick around here.  Most people would prefer to go to a church where they are warmly greeted and shown genuine interest, rather than one where the preacher gets up on his fundamentalist lectern every week and shouts about how corrupt and unworthy you are.

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=12;action=display;threadid=5852

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=12;action=display;threadid=5939;start=45

You can just watch it happen.
Get over your own self!  A good start would be not jumping in with the hostility right off the bat!  Do you ever actually solve a problem or just keep perpetuating them everywhere you go?
Stop treating me like I'm your enemy.  Apparently we differ on some stuff.  It's a whole lot more important to you than it is to me, evidently.  I don't really care.  I'd rather work towards our common goal.
I just don't know what the hell you're trying to do here.
Logged
Stamp freestateproject.org on your cash!  Stamp & inkpad run less than $10 & it's the single most effective and easy thing you can do for the fsp.  And it's legal, just don't obscure the serial #.  www.currentlabels.com

LeRuineur6

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1634
  • Act decisively. Without reserve!
    • Liberty Scholarship Fund
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2004, 09:27:23 pm »

Let's try this:

Let's spend less time worrying about each other and attacking each other and more time recruiting.

If you think the FSP should be mostly atheists, then go recruit atheists.
If you think the FSP should be mostly constitutionalists, then go recruit constitutionalists.
Whatever you think the FSP should be, recruit toward that goal.

This is far more effective than the victim mentality of arguing amongst ourselves, whining, complaining, and spreading defeatism.

Whoever gets the most recruits determines what the FSP becomes.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2004, 09:29:09 pm by LeRuineur6 »
Logged
Please donate $5 to $10 per month to the Liberty Scholarship Fund!
"Noncooperation is intended to pave the way to real, honorable, and voluntary cooperation based on mutual respect and trust." -Gandhi

Kelton Baker

  • Former FSP President
  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 757
  • Freedom is Free, it's tyranny that costs us dearly
    • Kelton Baker
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2004, 09:31:57 pm »

I noticed that in the last two issues of the LP News, this point about the negativity from extreme hardline orthodox libertarians was identified as being a great concern for the Libertarian Party.
I witnessed an example recently at an LP meeting:  a local minor celebrity and well-known multi-millionaire entrepreneur and former Republican announced that he wanted to run for a statewide office on the LP.  He stood before the crowd and gave a speech about the reasons why he felt that running as a Libertarian was better than running under the Republican party.  He then outlined his plan as to what he was going to do to win, including spending over $100,000 on his campaign (he'd already spent $5,000 that afternoon paying a political consultant).  Wow!  Super-awesome, I thought,  this guy actually has a chance of winning!
He went on and expressed his heartfelt desire to win as a Libertarian and work for freedom and bringing the party and its principles to prominence in Utah.  He signed the membership statement and brought applause from everyone there. . . then. . . then . . . oh no!!!  gasp!!!  he did the unthinkable. . . aaaaaaahhhh!  he expressed his feelings that pornography on freeway billboards was a violation of the rights of passer-bys,  he also presented a novel way of routing pornography on the internet to an .XXX designation instead of .com as a way of assisting people to block porno. . .
a couple of people nearly fell out of their chairs,  somebody left the room,  some others started shouting him down and contending against this new LP hopeful.  "you're seeking to initiate force!"  someone shouted at him.  "That's not libertarian!" another shouted.  "As a purveyor of pornography, I'm offended that you would try to control my actions"  another commented.    This candidate was not deferred, he went on to explain his rationale and defend his position,  then admitted that he was open to suggestions.  Slowly, he regained the naysayers in the audience,  but the positive energy was gone and the candidate looked a little puzzled and confused over what he had said to cause the disruption. . .

These hard-liners were not seeking to teach or instruct this new LP member and hopeful candidate about their views on the subject, they just wanted to be disagreeable and offensively enforce their rigid orthodoxy, without regard for tact or respectful disagreement, I think.  
Losertarians is what I call them and they will someday deserve their chains of slavery for refusing to work towards liberty by demanding a fantasyworld or nothing.

I don't think it is a matter of asking people to compromise their internal principles,  I think that it is a matter of demanding that everyone adhere to a rigid conformity.  People can all agree with a generalized principle,  even hold the same principle, but have different ideas about how that principle can be expressed.

The key is,  we need to work towards more liberty, not destroy ourselves with endless internal debate and strife about genuine differences of the expression of a common principle in a defeatist manner.
Logged
Give me some men who are stout-hearted men Who will fight for the right they adore. Start me with ten, who are stout-hearted men And I'll soon give you ten thousand more...--O. Hammerstein

penguinsscareme

  • FSP Participant
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 336
  • Ain't nobody's business but mine
    • Free State Project/self-sufficiency living liaison
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2004, 09:37:53 pm »

Kelton, I don't think I can put it any better.
Ditto, LeRuineur6.
But I do disagree with you about one thing... ;) (kidding!  Okay, not funny)
Logged
Stamp freestateproject.org on your cash!  Stamp & inkpad run less than $10 & it's the single most effective and easy thing you can do for the fsp.  And it's legal, just don't obscure the serial #.  www.currentlabels.com

LeRuineur6

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1634
  • Act decisively. Without reserve!
    • Liberty Scholarship Fund
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2004, 10:05:39 pm »

Exactly, Kelton.  Well said.

People join the FSP because they agree with many of our principles, not all of them.  Extreme libertarians promoting their strict principles in a positive way can win over more and more people.

Extreme libertarians, like myself, are often disgusted at the sight of non-libertarian, non-ZAP views.  There's nothing wrong with this, it's our instinct to defend our ideals within our own mind if we believe they are right and true.

When we bring these thoughts into the open in a negative and destructive way, the consequences can only be negative and destructive.

When we bring these thoughts into the open in a positive and constructive way, the consequences can only be positive and constructive!
Logged
Please donate $5 to $10 per month to the Liberty Scholarship Fund!
"Noncooperation is intended to pave the way to real, honorable, and voluntary cooperation based on mutual respect and trust." -Gandhi

Stumpy

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 996
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2004, 10:33:56 pm »

Libertarianitis - A disease where one, having defended their positions for so long, is incapable of doing anything other than debate. The sufferer is rendered totally incapable of being constructive and constantly marginalizes him or herself by displays of extreme negativity, bitterness and intransigence.

Logged
Libertarianitis - A disease where one is incapable of doing anything other than debate. The sufferer is rendered totally incapable of being constructive and constantly marginalizes him or herself by displays of extreme negativity, bitterness and intransigence.

George Reich

  • FSP Participant
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 546
  • I just *love* it when Hank and Dagny brainstorm!
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2004, 10:52:01 pm »

Libertarianitis - A disease where one, having defended their positions for so long, is incapable of doing anything other than debate. The sufferer is rendered totally incapable of being constructive and constantly marginalizes him or herself by displays of extreme negativity, bitterness and intransigence.

ROTFL! Doug, that is the funniest thing I have read all day...  ;D Man, I needed a good laugh...
Logged
If everyone were rich there would be no need for government assistance. If everyone were rich all children could attend private schools. If everyone were rich, government would become superfluous. Read the free e-book at this site:

http://www.scienceofgettingrich.net

penguinsscareme

  • FSP Participant
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 336
  • Ain't nobody's business but mine
    • Free State Project/self-sufficiency living liaison
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2004, 02:48:55 pm »

People join the FSP because they agree with many of our principles, not all of them.  Extreme libertarians promoting their strict principles in a positive way can win over more and more people.

Extreme libertarians, like myself, are often disgusted at the sight of non-libertarian, non-ZAP views.  There's nothing wrong with this, it's our instinct to defend our ideals within our own mind if we believe they are right and true.

When we bring these thoughts into the open in a negative and destructive way, the consequences can only be negative and destructive.

When we bring these thoughts into the open in a positive and constructive way, the consequences can only be positive and constructive!

I can appreciate your point.
I have noticed, and I don't mean this to be at all pejorative, that libertarians are a lot like liberal democrats in that they tend to be way too intellectual and not nearly practical enough.
I think almost any ideal, taken to its extreme, is useless to humanity.  I don't view extremism as the path to liberty but the path to defeat.
We will do well to consider what is practical for us and what we can do to attract a wide audience.
Stamp your money, for starters.
Logged
Stamp freestateproject.org on your cash!  Stamp & inkpad run less than $10 & it's the single most effective and easy thing you can do for the fsp.  And it's legal, just don't obscure the serial #.  www.currentlabels.com

Jhogun

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 140
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2004, 09:23:06 am »

Libertarianitis - A disease where one, having defended their positions for so long, is incapable of doing anything other than debate. The sufferer is rendered totally incapable of being constructive and constantly marginalizes him or herself by displays of extreme negativity, bitterness and intransigence.



Sometimes I think I have it. I get so frustrated when people I talk with say they believe in something (like that its wrong to take something that belongs to someone else) but then hold positions on individual issues that contradict their belief, and worse, when they won't even admit or can't see the contradiction.  And I get so tired sometimes of making the same arguments over and over to different people when it should be common sense.

I'm not always like that, but it hits me every now and then.
Logged
Diligentia Vis Celeritas

Stumpy

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 996
Re:We're being way too negative
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2004, 10:15:03 am »

Libertarianitis - A disease where one, having defended their positions for so long, is incapable of doing anything other than debate. The sufferer is rendered totally incapable of being constructive and constantly marginalizes him or herself by displays of extreme negativity, bitterness and intransigence.



Sometimes I think I have it. I get so frustrated when people I talk with say they believe in something (like that its wrong to take something that belongs to someone else) but then hold positions on individual issues that contradict their belief, and worse, when they won't even admit or can't see the contradiction.  And I get so tired sometimes of making the same arguments over and over to different people when it should be common sense.

I'm not always like that, but it hits me every now and then.

The first step to recovery from Libertarianitis is acknowledging that you have a problem.  :D

Seriously, for us to attain real freedom, we must train ourselves to be constructive.
Logged
Libertarianitis - A disease where one is incapable of doing anything other than debate. The sufferer is rendered totally incapable of being constructive and constantly marginalizes him or herself by displays of extreme negativity, bitterness and intransigence.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 ... 6   Go Up