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August 29, 2012

Are You Getting Reactions or Inspiring Reflection?

Our last Dispatch said you can use “revolutionary conversations” to subvert statism.

Moral dialogue is the best way to create a “revolutionary conversation.”

Dialogue means you're willing to listen. It means you encourage give and take. Listening creates receptivity.

Receptivity avoids reaction. These words – reactive and reflective – are crucial. Absorb their meaning . . .

  • Reactive: Here, you have an opponent and egos are engaged. They debate, argue, and act defensive. Debating might be fun, but it rarely wins friends and influences people.
  • Reflective: In this case, you get reception. The person you're talking to listens, asks questions, and PONDERS. Even when this person disagrees, they often seek bridges of agreement.    

The reflective mode is what you want. But how to get it? First you must understand this . . .

Reflection and reaction are not exact opposites. You can cause reflection yet still get a shocked response that looks like reaction. This is because you’ve caused . . .

Cognitive dissonance: The emotional discomfort that results from holding conflicting ideas.

It might not look like it, but cognitive dissonance is reflective. When it appears, that's a signal. Your conversation partner needs extra time to ponder the ideas they're discovering.

So here's a second important tip for Post-Statists . . .

Avoid political policy matters (taxes, war, abortion, etc), UNLESS OR UNTIL, you've first created agreement on moral principles. And stay away from party politics completely.

People want to defend THEIR POLITICAL TRIBE. Partisan labels are tied with identity. EGO reappears! People also tend to assume that if you disagree with their policy prescriptions, you must be with THE OTHER TRIBE. In other words . . .

They are prone to REACT.

So how do you start a moral dialogue that leads to reflection? How do you generate a revolutionary conversation?

Ask POWER QUESTIONS like these

  • Is it okay to hurt people who disagree with you?
  • Would you go door-to-door threatening people with violence if they don’t fund your preferred causes?
  • Does wrong become right if you delegate the violence to others?
  • Does wrong become right if a majority agrees?
  • Can a majority vote make it okay to initiate violence against others?

All these questions are built off a central moral statement, called the Zero Aggression Principle…

No one should initiate harm against another.

And this works!

  • Virtually everyone will answer those questions the same way you would.
  • Your conversation partner is less prone to react! Fewer people are invested in a “philosophical tribe” because none of our partisan tribes are built on moral principles.
  • Vanishingly few normal people oppose the Zero Aggression Principle. They agree with the theory.

When you get to specific issues, they’ll try to carve exceptions. But if you’ve first established that initiated harm is wrong, it will be much easier for you to invite them to seek a better solution.

Perhaps you're wondering, “How do they know this?” Well, we've been trying these ideas, and…

We want to invite you to the test.

That's one of the reasons we're building the Zero Aggression Project. Do you want us to test innovative outreach ideas on a national scale?


I want to share my goal with you…

A November launch, right after the elections are over, of the new Zero Aggression Project.

To build it, I need to activate every member of my team and buy up their full capacity. That’s why we’re pushing the Zero Aggression Project with almost every Dispatch.



That is, we need to reach full capacity support. EVERYONE can help.

As we’ve said for the last three weeks, we will recognize your sponsorship. If you want to understand how the Co-Founders and Associate Founders lists work, then please visit  the Zero Aggression Project page.

Today, I want to tell you that a program of this immense importance needs two things.

1. Capital Investment: This innovative program should have both a $25,000 and $10,000 patron. Right now, a mere $2,000 would get your name listed at the top of the list. But at least three more major donors are necessary. If you prefer to wire those funds, send a message to for prompt response.

2.  A Strong Foundation: We love our monthly pledgers! They give us the stability necessary to plan ahead – to make progress. I’m seeking 400 of them by launch day. Right now, we have 113. We have pledgers investing $50 each month. But you can start a pledge for as little as $1.

There’s more to explain about the Zero Aggression Project. But I hope your enthusiasm is building. 

ZAP The State and Restore Proper Government,

Jim Babka, President
The Zero Aggression Project
An initiative of the Downsize DC Foundation

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