Reply To: Contracts have same problems as Constitutions?


After a week, I suspect that you will be disappointed by the results of my thinking!

I agree that some personality types are more susceptible to libertarian ideas than others. The implication of this, for the purposes of libertarian persuasion, is that some audiences are essentially unconvertible, others have to be moved emotionally before reason can get some traction on their minds. I have a great interest in the classical art of rhetoric which consists of finding the available means of persuasion. If ‘location, location, location’ is the war cry of real estate agents, then ‘audience, audience, audience’ is the battle cry of the rhetorician. Persuasion must be tailored to one’s audience. It’s no good expecting them to be where you are or to have read what you’ve read or to share your concerns to the same degree that you do – you’re task is to find whatever it is that will move them and speak to that.

You wrote, “My proposal is to find solutions that get to the root cause of the vicious cycles — namely, solutions that leverage economic motivations — and try to focus individual and political action in that direction. Educational efforts can be a strong support here, but are not enough on their own to create the sustained behavioral changes that will break the vicious cycles.”

I also agree with your more fundamental point that the discovery of economic motivations can be a (if not the) significant inducement to listen to reason. James Harrington was, I believe, the first thinker to make this point, many years ago.