A Libertarian's New Year's Resolutions
by Harry Browne
1. I resolve to *sell* liberty by appealing to the self-interest of each
prospect, rather than *preaching* to people and expecting them to suddenly
adopt my ideas of right and wrong.
2. I resolve to keep from being drawn into arguments or debates. My purpose is
to inspire people to want liberty -- not to prove that they're wrong.
3. I resolve to *listen* when people tell me of their wants and needs, so I can
help them see how a free society will satisfy those needs.
4. I resolve to identify myself, when appropriate, with the social goals
someone may seek -- a cleaner environment, more help for the poor, a less
divisive society -- and try to show him that those goals can never be achieved
by government, but will be well served in a free society.
5. I resolve to be compassionate and respectful of the beliefs and needs that
lead people to seek government help. I don't have to approve of their subsidies
or policies -- but if I don't acknowledge their needs, I have no hope of
helping them find a better way to solve their problems.
6. No matter what the issue, I resolve to keep returning to the central point:
how much better off the individual will be in a free society.
7. I resolve to acknowledge my good fortune in having been born an American.
Any plan for improvement must begin with a recognition of the good things we
have. To speak only of America's defects will make me a tiresome crank.
8. I resolve to focus on the ways America could be so much better with a very
small government -- not to dwell on all the wrongs that exist today.
9. I resolve to cleanse myself of hate, resentment, and bitterness. Such things
steal time and attention from the work that must be done.
10. I resolve to speak, dress, and act in a respectable manner. I may be the
first libertarian someone has encountered, and it's important that he get a
good first impression. No one will hear the message if the messenger is
11. I resolve to remind myself that someone's "stupid" opinion may be an
opinion I once held. If *I* can grow, why can't I help *him* grow?
12. I resolve not to raise my voice in any discussion. In a shouting match, no
one wins, no one changes his mind, and no one will be inspired to join our
quest for a free society.
13. I resolve not to adopt the tactics of Republicans and Democrats. They use
character assassination, evasions, and intimidation because they have no real
benefits to offer Americans. We, on the other hand, are offering to set people
free -- and so we can win simply by focusing on the better life our proposals
14. I resolve to be civil to my opponents and treat them with respect. However
anyone chooses to treat me, it's important that I be a better person than my
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