[Originally published in the Front Range Voluntaryist, article by Non Facies Furtum]
Voluntaryism is still a new ideology to many, even though its principles are simple and already nearly universally valued in many ways. It is important work to spread the word about its immense value and moral correctness, but this will not be sufficient to bring about a truly free society. When the people who do not change things and who just go through life living at the level of the least common denominator or an average life see new styles of life that work better than others, they will gradually change their ways. Until then, they will live a “path of least resistance” lifestyle. It is important for those of us who have arrived at the objective moral truth of voluntaryism to set an example of just how much freedom and respect for property rights and self-ownership can lead to a successful and joyful life.
What many voluntaryists spend most of their time doing is spreading knowledge of the arguments, reason, and evidence that support voluntaryism, non-aggression, and liberty as the most useful and morally correct principles. This is incredibly important and necessary work, but often it is not enough to get most people to change their ways, or even consider accepting the arguments. Living by example opens those around you up to new ideas, and inspires many people more than do valid logic and clear evidence.
One important aspect of living a voluntaryist lifestyle is remembering that non-aggression is not synonymous with tolerance. One of the most powerful moral tools that one has is their ability to decide with whom one spends their time. By this I mean that in the same way shop-owners can refuse to do business with people who are known to have been thieves or people who have aggressive tendencies, every individual can and ought to shun those who have harmful ideas or act immorally. Make it uncomfortable to be evil, and to support evil. This can manifest itself in ways such as telling a companion that you’re going to stop spending time with him if doesn’t stop watching CNN, arguing diligently and impolitely with your cousin who always says “I’m just a centrist, bro.” and “ Obamacare saves lives!”. If some attractive woman asks you out on a date wearing a “thin blue line” t-shirt, deny her.
Of course this ability to shun people with foolish or unhelpful ideologies does not preclude one from also doing positive work to support those who are actively changing things for the better in the world. If you know someone who is passionate about liberty and could inspire people with their talent for writing, speaking, or organization, encourage them to create something. Donate or volunteer with people at some sort of local charity event which would decrease dependence on the state for some people. In general, I encourage everyone reading this to make a credible difference in their social circle by living in a way that sets an example. Inspire people with your positivity and passion for valuable social change, and do not waste your time on people who will work against you and will not listen to the reason of your arguments. Be clear with your arguments, accurate with your evidence, passionate about your lifestyle, and deliberate with how you spend your time. This will help us secure a free future.