So­cial Me­dia Ad­vice

Public News (Houston) - - NEWS -

Many of you see that my ar­ti­cles about shut­ting down pub­lic schools, end­ing wel­fare, or pulling out of NATO get plenty of neg­a­tive com­ments. You may think, “Hell, if Arvin’s get­ting that kind of blow­back, there is no way I’m go­ing to speak the truth. I’ll just fo­cus on end­ing the drug war, or em­i­nent domain, or the other easy ar­eas. Or maybe I’ll fo­cus on pol­icy ideas so ob­scure that no one has an opin­ion on

them.”

But here’s what you don’t see. First, those posts that get 20 neg­a­tive com­ments get 40 friend re­quests. Many peo­ple agree with the real Lib­er­tar­ian po­si­tions. Right now, my friend re­quest list is hun­dreds of peo­ple past Face­book’s max limit.

The neg­a­tive com­ments mostly come from the same few peo­ple, and I could block them. How­ever, their com­ments drive up the vis­i­bil­ity of the post. The more com­ments a post gets, even neg­a­tive ones, the more the post is seen. And the neg­a­tive com­ments show the post to the friends of the com­menter, which al­lows the ideas to spread into groups of peo­ple not nor­mally ex­posed to them. When I see a neg­a­tive com­ment, I just think, “Thanks for the share”, since neg­a­tive com­ment­ing has ba­si­cally the same ef­fect as shar­ing or lik­ing.

My ad­vice: don’t look for com­mon ground with loud statists. They aren’t your al­lies. Those peo­ple are in a cul­ture where they feel totally fine mouthing off op­pres­sive non­sense.

In­stead, strike at the heart of statism. Find mes­sages that do not fit in­side the cult of the om­nipo­tent state. Look for un­com­mon ground. Your real al­lies are the silent Lib­er­tar­i­ans, the ones who do not feel com­fort­able speak­ing out yet.

Re­mem­ber: the sin­gle largest vot­ing block is non­vot­ers. Many non­vot­ers (in­clud­ing my­self in the past) don’t vote be­cause they don’t like any­thing the gov­ern­ment does, and see no dif­fer­ence be­tween Democrats and Repub­li­cans. Show them some­thing dif­fer­ent. Show them there are peo­ple who are will­ing to say what they al­ready think.

When Democrats are #Lit­er­al­lyCry­ing at you or old Repub­li­cans tell you your views aren’t #Re­spectableE­nough, ig­nore them. You don’t need to play along in the fan­tasy world in which teach­ers’ unions are “heroic”, sign­ing up to fight an id­i­otic war is con­sid­ered clever, tax­a­tion isn’t theft, speed­ing tick­ets are le­git­i­mate, or vice is an ac­tual crime. Break out of that men­tal prison. Re­ject the cult of statism. Speak out against pub­lic schools, NATO, polic­ing the world, vic­tim­less crimes, need­less mil­i­tary bud­gets, the FDA. You’ll have a lot more al­lies than you’d ex­pect.

In Lib­erty, Re­spect­fully, Arvin Vohra

Arvin Vohra

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