Raising Consciousness beyond the Political Means

Johnny Harrelson
Aug 16, 2013 at 5:59 PM

I propose in the following discussion to call one's own labor and the equivalent exchange of one's own labor for the labor of others, the "economic means" for the satisfaction of need while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the "political means."

— Franz Oppenheimer, The State

On a recent trip to Arlington, Virginia for the 5th Annual YAL National Convention a question was asked by one of the speakers: “How many of you are political science majors?”

The vast majority of the hands in the room went up.  I found this phenomenon exceedingly interesting.  As a matter of fact, one could certainly understand why Young Americans for Liberty, a group founded for the purpose of political activism in youth circles, would attract university students who also happen to be political science majors, and who also most likely have ambitions for professional life.

Yet what does this represent?  Is the goal of liberty a purely political goal?

Liberty certainly is the essence of what Oppenheimer termed the economic means.  Such as it is, can a political movement, based on the ‘economic means’ of voluntary exchange, property rights, self-defense, etc. achieve a goal which is antithetical to the very means which it has professed to abolish?

It is impossible not to come to the conclusion that, in order to make an allowance for the political means, that by degrees we must neglect the ultimate goal of the economic means, which is liberty.

This being said, it is crucial to understand the political means in terms of an overall strategy for liberty.  Pursing liberty via its antithetical political means could best be described as what Murray Rothbard termed ‘right opportunism;’ a strategy defined as activism pushed forward by a series of short run gains and compromises. As an overall strategy there is certainly room for the political means. The political means must be infiltrated. It must be delegitimized. It must be dismantled and it must be thrust out of the realm of human action in order for humanity to elevate to a more perfect, moral, and free state of being. Yet, to focus solely on the political means as an end towards the liberation of humanity is shortsighted and ultimately doomed to fail.

The use of political means by economic oriented activists, proto-libertarians, classical liberals, and principled statesmen of the past, did so initially as an earnest attempt to create a more just and free society, yet as fiction writer Frank Herbert aptly proclaimed “every revolutionary is a closet aristocrat.”

This comment, although flip and overtly cynical, does cautiously and succinctly point toward a history filled with several moral revolutions, rooted in the economic morality of voluntary exchange, property rights, and justice; which in time had grown only to be subdued by the seduction of political power.  From the Leveller Movement to the Reagan Revolution, history is filled with political movements that professed a vision grounded in the defense of the economic means against the political means, yet all too often, did more to perpetuate and grow the political means at the latter’s expense.

The point is all too clear.  For if the ultimate goal of Liberty, as a vision and as a code for a free and just society is the north star, the guiding light for a Liberty activist, it must be unequivocally understood that the State, the organization of the political means to accumulate wealth and power, ultimately will fail the test to live up to the principles of a free and voluntary society.

Yet, if the future of the Liberty movement is predominantly dominated by political scientists; either with ambitions to demonstrate their profession in practice, or to create and perpetuate a cadre of a new political elite, it must be understood that this fledgling cadre of vanguard professionals, if they are successful in the cause, at some point will have to make a choice between the political means and the economic means of sustaining themselves.

Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.

— Mao Zedong

In war, especially a just war, there must be designs for victory.  What are the terms, conditions, and desired outcomes?  When will an activist or a movement know that they’ve succeeded?  When Liberty is achieved?  When will the political vanguard make an exodus from the political realm and use their organizational skills for the benefit of a voluntary society?   It is the tendency of political classes to perpetuate the political means for as long as possible.  Prestige, wealth, and power; all the things which afflict the human condition, tend to aggrandize itself more potently in the realm of politics. 

What should be done to guard against this familiar matter of fact?  Will this incarnation of the Liberty movement have room for the apolitical?  Or will it assert itself by descending into doublespeak and self-aggrandizement?

I contend that the liberty movement and Young Americans for Liberty in particular, should devote more time and spread its reach into the realm of the apolitical. Entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, chemists, artists, and those devoted to the productive, economic means of procuring wealth.  It is here on the cutting edge of human development where the ‘disruptive’ advancement of our culture and our humanity progresses. As a matter of fact, great gains in liberty almost never come from the political sphere of human society.  The Gutenberg Press, the airplane, William Shakespeare, etc. — all of the riches of the free human soul be they material, intellectual, or spiritual have rarely came by way of the political means. 

Furthermore, I urge that more work be done to enlarge the cadre of Liberty activists beyond the insulated world of politics and make it a point to stretch and elevate the consciousness of humanity far beyond the self-induced limits of using the political means to an end.  Reaching out to engineering majors, technology majors, tradesmen, chemists, and scientists; those young men and women who are working in fields which can do more to disrupt the status quo than any political movement are vital to focus the cause of liberty and sharpen its effect on our local, national, and global communities.  These are the innovators who even now will inherit and further pioneer the way for such 'disruptive' technologies as 3D printing, information encryption, and alternative currencies.

The great men of liberty have understood this need and have offered several examples about the ways in which humanity is furthered by a just economic system and the ways in which political efforts as a sole means to an end usually ends badly.

Ludwig von Mises, in a letter written to F.A. Hayek, laid out the reasons for the failure of liberty-minded activists in their efforts to effectively stop the growth of fascism and national socialism before the second World War:

The cause of this lamentable failure was that the founders of these movements could not emancipate themselves from the sway of the very ideas of the foes of liberty. They did not realize that freedom is inextricably linked with the market economy. 

Again we see Franz Oppenheimer’s common sense dialectic between the economic means and the political means at work in this exchange. 

The greater point is this.  That while the political means does have a role to play in the greater strategy for the ultimate end towards liberty and a free society; every political scientist, every student who is banking on a long career in politics, be it on K Street or in a state house somewhere, if that person is to be honest with themselves and honest with the Liberty movement to which they profess a sincere and shared goal, must also understand that the state of political affairs are only temporary.   It must be understood that sooner or later, such a person will either work to break the hold the state has on society or they will succumb to it, justify their role in it, and may turn out like our favorite Goldwater girl, Hillary Clinton

Use politics, but use wisely.

Content published on the Young Americans for Liberty blog is only representative of the opinions and research of the individual authors. It does not necessarily reflect the views, goals, or membership of YAL. 

There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one’s own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others. Robbery! Forcible appropriation! These words convey to us ideas of crime and the penitentiary, since we are the contemporaries of a developed civilization, specifically based on the inviolability of property. And this tang is not lost when we are convinced that land and sea robbery is the primitive relation of life, just as the warriors’ trade—which also for a long time is only organized mass robbery—constitutes the most respected of occupations. Both because of this, and also on account of the need of having, in the further development of this study, terse, clear, sharply opposing terms for these very important contrasts, I propose in the following discussion to call one’s own labor and the equivalent exchange of one’s own labor for the labor of others, the “economic means” for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the “political means.”

Greetings,

Adam Gottbetter

adamg's picture

I’m happy I located this blog! From time to time, students want to cognitive the keys of productive literary essays composing. Your first-class knowledge about this good post can become a proper basis for such people. YouTube Repeat

jakdown's picture

The web site is lovingly serviced and saved as much as date. So it should be, thanks for sharing this with us. instructional design

jakdown's picture

I’m excited to uncover this page. amazing selling machine I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site

jakdown's picture

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing this great article! That is very interesting Smile I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this! forskolin

jakdown's picture

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing this great article! That is very interesting Smile I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this! amazing selling machine review

jakdown's picture

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated. voyance gratuite amour

jakdown's picture

Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site. best vitamin c serum for face

jakdown's picture

I also benefit from learning the assessments, but learn that alot of people ought to stay on essay to try and add worth in the direction of the authentic weblog release. conto corrente

jakdown's picture

We keep up with the latest techniques of building and have qualified tradesmen to ensure that your job/project is carried out safely. video company los angeles We also make sure that we keep to the highest standards on projects and everyone who works for us is health & safety trained.

jakdown's picture

it's nice to hear about the younger generation taking an interest in politics.

More Info Here

Balairat's picture

I was looking at my collection of books on one of my many teak bookcases and ended up thinking about this very thing. So now I'm here reading this and I must say, this is really well written. Nice job, Johnny.

MichelleV's picture

Thanks Johnny for great written. I just search about this field from Minnesota Design company. I really happy to get this post...hope to see more post about this topic from you in next time.

katiegray's picture

This article is best in my personal opinion. The details are offered with intelligent thought and also consideration. It is rather very nicely written and intriguing. Thank you for delivering this kind of useful information.

Visit me at Vinity Soft Inc. for best software development solution for business.

 
jerryshaw's picture

Hi Friend, My Name Is "Saman" I am Expert in blogcommenting and link building for the last 3 years in Marketing Agency Under. All the links will be powerful and on actual page. Any Questions For Me So Please Conversations High Quality DoFollow Blog Comment Service

alikhan_095's picture

I like viewing web sites which comprehend the price of delivering the excellent useful resource free of charge. I truly adored reading your posting. Thank you! instagram followers

alikhan_095's picture

I will return and review your article later on to explore the perfect landscapes you have mentioned. It is an informative article that I could really sink my teeth into.

Regards,

Jerry @ How to use no no

jerryshaw's picture

It has always been like that. Also, you can check the instagram followers free website. Isn't that cool?

Emilio's picture

The first version of the Girlfriend System was a 7-part video course that quickly gained a cult-like following from men looking for more than just casual flings with women. www.sgdatingweb.com/gfas-review-how-the-girlfriend-activation-system-attracts-women

leijon19's picture

The book examines many of the claims made about coconut oil, reviews the scientific evidence supporting and refuting these claims, and provides an in-depth overview of coconut oil and how to use it daily to improve health in a variety of ways.kusi.com

leijon19's picture

At the end of the day, I believe it's the consumer's responsibility to do their own due diligence before investing in any program, but I definitely want to share with you what I've discovered during my own research in case it helps.https://rebelmouse.com/thetruthaboutcellulitereview

leijon19's picture

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. Fort Myers Waterfront

jimmy121's picture

Best of all, the step-by-step, done-for-you system inside Garrett Branch's Skinny Protocol Program ebook works without strenuous exercise, pills, restrictive diets, calorie counting, or weird weight loss contraptions.....favorite program

leijon19's picture

Karate for families in Ashburn Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. Tae Kwon Do in Ashburn

jimmy121's picture

A private forum is also provided where members can ask questions and get more individualized help from a number of well-known dating and relationship experts.http://nbcrightnow.com/

leijon19's picture

Casa Xelaju school offers Spanish immersion with homestay in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala...Spanish school

leijon19's picture

On my website you'll see similar texts, write what you think.
amazing selling machine

jimmy121's picture

Old School New Body is a unique fitness program specifically designed for those that are 40 years or over to help them to achieve their fitness goals; optimal weight loss and well-toned physique. old school new body exercises

leijon19's picture

For many people this is important, so check out my profile: Tips to pick the best oil diffuser

jimmy121's picture

This is very interesting, but it is necessary to click on this link: dowager's hump

jimmy121's picture

Hmm… I read blogs on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites and i’ll be your constant reader.
obsession phrases review

jimmy121's picture

Profit primarily prime quality items -- you can understand them all within:
file archiving solution

jimmy121's picture

Interesting and interesting information can be found on this topic here made in sport profile worth to see it.

jimmy121's picture

This is a natural and efficient by a special formula , after years of study and draft . You Know these top treatment is directly related to the presence of unique natural ingredients.勃起功能障碍-如何选择最好的自然保健品

 
leijon19's picture

dr oz forskolin extract Much appreciated a whole lot for this extraordinary article;this is the stuff that keeps me experiencing out these day. pure garcinia cambogia extract

jimmy121's picture

The 3-step system focuses on making a woman feel a powerful, unconscious connection to you, triggering sexual desire, and making her feel like she's the one who chose you.https://www.rebelmouse.com/crackthegirlcodereviews/

leijon19's picture

It's powerful stuff and should not be used by guys who have a hidden agenda to harm women in any way..what can you do to get a girl turned on

leijon19's picture

This content is simply exciting and creative. I have been deciding on a institutional move and this has helped me with one aspect.
xtreme muscle pro

jimmy121's picture

During this website, you will see this shape, i highly recommend you learn this review. how to buy the pdf

jimmy121's picture

Fortsetzung auf der nächsten Seite At the end of the day, I believe it's the consumer's responsibility to do their own due diligence before investing in any program, but I definitely want to share with you what I've discovered during my own research in case it helpss..Fortsetzung auf der nächsten Seite

leijon19's picture

The easy to implement concepts and techniques taught in the Online Allure Formula system teach you the subtle signals in your pictures and profile that could be chasing great men away, and exactly how to "bait" your profile that opens the door for great guys to talk to you, romance you, and ask you out.visitas a esta pagina

leijon19's picture

This statement runs counter to all of the ‘be happy with your size’ marketing and advertising that is so prevalent in today’s magazines and television commercials, but it is true.www.rebelmouse.com/venusfactorsystemreview/

Asad Yousuf's picture

My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more!
Build a Solar Car

jimmy121's picture

I am always searching online for storys that can accommodate me. There is obviously a multiple to understand about this. I feel you made few salubrious points in Attributes moreover. Detain busy, awesome career!
kostenlos

jimmy121's picture

GoPerformance and Fitness is a 24-hour access performance based club. For those interested in Personal Training, we offer Personalized and Group Training with an emphasis in Strength and Conditioning. In addition to 24-Hr Membership and Personal Training services, we are unique in the fact that we are also an official CrossFit affiliate. Personal Training Nashville

jimmy121's picture

Wow! What an eye opener this post has been for me. Very much appreciated, bookmarked, I can’t wait for more! www.wcax.com/

jimmy121's picture

Strong encryption algorithms will prevent criminals from gaining access to your data, while automatic file synchronization by VIPole servers will keep your files safe and accessible on any device.messenger app on pc

Asad Yousuf's picture

Perfect Vision Today: Dr. Sen And Samantha Pearson Reveal A Breakthrough, Step-By-Step System To Achieve 20/20 Vision And Help Cure Myopia, Hyperopia, Presbyopia, And Most Other Visual Problems In As Little As 2 Weeks...Leonard

Asad Yousuf's picture

youtube views This content is simply exciting and creative. I have been deciding on a institutional move and this has helped me with one aspect. buy youtube likes

jimmy121's picture

its truly incredible blog . its realy informational moreover a such a salubrious employment. i want this
resep masakan tumis

jimmy121's picture