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September 3, 2012

Are Your Conversations Doing More Harm than Good?

Quote of the Day: “Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction in stolen goods.” – H.L. Mencken

Last week, we shared with you POWER QUESTIONS that inspire REFLECTION instead of REACTION.

What I’m going to say next might offend you.

Most attempts to “sell” our post-statist message…

  • Don't inspire, they turn people off.
  • Are full of abstractions that fail to speak to people emotionally.
  • Use hi-fallutin language.
  • Often insult and offend.
  • Quote dead economists that no one ever heard of.
  • Frequently sound uncompassionate.

Anti-statists are darn good at debate. We usually win the argument, but…

We fail to persuade.

Frankly, it's scary to advise people who most deeply understand the fiery pit of statism, “Go have more conversations.” It’s like telling a golfer, whose form is wrong, to “practice harder.”

Even if one follows our advice to inspire REFLECTION rather than REACTION, one could still turn people off. Why? Because…

Partisan politics creeps in.

Don't just be anti-state; be anti-partisan! Most Americans know both parties stink. Many of your neighbors and friends hate them both!

Remember, start with Zero Aggression Principle based Power Questions.

That principle is…

              No one should initiate harm against another.

Then, as you get into the minefield of issues, steer clear of taking “pragmatic” positions that sound too much like one party or the other. Why?

Most people think of governing as a partisan affair. Their goal is to figure out which side you’re on. If they can pigeonhole you in one of the parties, you’ll get REACTION rather than REFLECTION.

Your persuasion opportunity will be lost.

Your goal is to encourage your conversation partner to…

Imagine a world in which persuasion replaces violence.

This is quite different from the typical political conversation. Those always seem to offer a choice between two bad options. Ayatollahs, environmental regulation, immigrants, Obama’s re-election, and unemployment benefits are NOT persuasion opportunities; they’re debating grounds.

UNTIL you have the moral imagination working, policy debates are a trap. They can make you sound partisan.

Instead, get your dialogue partner to ponder question like this…
Is anyone really so wise that they know what’s best for others?

Did George Bush have this wisdom? Does Obama? Will Romney?

And why would it be criminal to threaten your neighbor with violence but NOT criminal if Bush, Obama, or Romney do it for you?

Remember, you're anti-partisan. Don't get sucked in. You have the moral high ground. It's your advantage.

What if we stopped forsaking the moral high ground? What if we started having “revolutionary conversations” that actually persuaded people?

This approach is so important — the Zero Aggression Principle is so central to creating a world where persuasion replaces violence — that it deserves its own website.


The Zero Aggression Project will help you…

  • Introduce family and friends to the ZAP.
  • Spread the ZAP to the rest of the country.

But first, it must be built. And we can’t do that without your help.

Our goal is to have 300 monthly, credit card pledgers before our November launch. As of now, the Zero Aggression Project has 126 pledgers, making tax-deductible contributions.

And we’re memorializing everyone who joins to launch this project on the website. There will be a perpetual page, visible for years to come on the website, for those who’ve given to this launch.

Pledges are annualized. That means whatever you’re pledging, we multiply by twelve and rank accordingly. Pledges are a high leverage way to move up the list.

Will you be one of the First 300 pledgers?  

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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