Decentralizing, Centralizing, and Expanding - It beginsSubmitted by ReasonAndLiberty on Thu, 06/14/2012 - 11:21
I'll ask you to kindly read this to the end.
I will not breach the issue of whether Ron Paul can win the nomination, and I will not speak about Rand Paul. Opinions differ, but in the end, it doesn't matter:
What we all know is that we're here for a reason: we believe in liberty. We believe in free markets, we believe in a non-interventionist foreign policy, and we believe in honesty in politics.
We're a diverse group. We have disillusioned Republicans, fresh college students, hopeful foreigners, minarchists, anarchists, and even some sympathetic leftists. We have people who have been around for just one day and people who have withstood the decades.
Regardless of what the future holds for Ron Paul, who has been hands-down the most prominent advocate of our more-or-less shared ideas, this movement - our movement - needs to grow. We all must remember - We're liberty advocates first and foremost.
After these presidential elections, we need to regroup. We can't afford to die down. We have the momentum right now. We need to translate this from a political movement to a cultural one to keep the momentum. If we remain a political group, we will surely fade as the elections move on. Yet if we become a greater cause for change, we will live on.
I propose three goals for us in the immediate future, not necessarily in order:
1 - Decentralize - Again, Ron Paul has been our leader. He has been pretty great. He has known many of the most prominent libertarians and has had the chance to work with them. He is very well-read in economics and history.
There are two issues at stake:
- Ron Paul will not live forever. Yes, our man of gold will at some point move on to whatever realm of existence you believe is out there.
- On the off-chance he discovers some fountain of youth, he still cannot be in two places at once. Yes, he could give maybe 100 speeches per year. But that's not enough. And they sure enough wear him out.
Considering this, we need to *decentralize* our leadership. We need new leaders of the cause. If we can get national recognition for 4 or 5 guys, it would be amazing. Consider how awesome it would be if 5 guys could tour the US changing minds to liberty. It would be even better if under these 5 guys we could get another level of great speakers to work with them and branch out.
Hence, the need for us to decentralize.
2- Centralize - This time is crucial to keep all the liberty advocates together and not lose steam. For this purpose we really need to migrate to a better web interface to connect us all and allow us to work together.
For example, looking at the recent thread for translating Ron Paul speeches, it seems like there is work we can crowdsource. The contributions of each individual add up in the end and we can get lots of work done.
This website, however, doesn't provide an easy way of doing that. It has been great as a news feed and as a source of links, but to face the truth, it has not been the best-looking website ever. It also has no obvious repository for categorized information and articles.
I envision a website that serves multiple functions:
- News feed for national liberty activism (sort of like the DP right now)
- News feed for political, economic, and military events
- Activism page for organizing local rallies, speeches, clean-up efforts, etc (clean-up and community service work could be great to show people that libertarianism is also about cooperation and keep a nice environment through voluntary effort)
- Activism page for contributing through the internet (like the translation effort we have going)
- "National Events Near You!"
- Forum for discussing political theory, economics, and strategies
- Links to external sites like Mises, Free Domain Radio, and others you can suggest
- Possibly links to foreign sister efforts to bring the cause to other countries (I see a lot of demand for liberty material in Spanish, for example)
- Suggestions box for ways to improve the website and add features
- Centralized article base regarding markets, economics, history, etc.
Centralizing, hence, will help to focus our efforts and increase our impact. A good-looking website also would help to legitimize us by giving us a more clean-building look that the DP simply doesn't provide.
3- Expand - as we expand our leadership and solidify our base (the website), we can then begin working on expanding our support base. We can decide what sort of events we want to hold, how we can bring people over to the cause, and how we can further educate our own base. There is so much out there that we can learn that can make us stronger. After a year of being a pretty actively-learning libertarian, I know I've only scraped the tip of the iceberg.
Yes, this plan is difficult to achieve. I'd like to make this a base of operations for the liberty movement, through which we can organize and expand.
However, I'm willing to put in the time. This could be something great and something growing. If this is truly a grassroots movement, we need to get all these strands together so their roots can grow stronger together.