This is a thought I was toying with concerning anti-state philosophy and its prospects. Feel free to say whatever in response:
To put the idea as bluntly as possible, I think at times we talk over folks heads, to the detriment of the long term goal. This is not to say that deeper philosophical concepts should be abandoned, no. After all, even the most surface level person lives by some sort of code, as action with no reason is a mark of insanity. What I mean is that while keeping our eyes firmly on the ball, as I see it there is room for a tactic bent more towards direct meat-and-potatoes issues.
What triggered me to mention this was a thought I had in response to one of the many political ads flittering about on TV. One of the ads in circulation is about health insurance — specifically, advocating a nationalized form of it — and I ended up saying to myself “wait a minute…the fight over that is government takeover vs the status quo? WTF, what about anti-state, anti-centralization views? What do we have to say about this?”. While there have been mentions of issues like this by the anti-state Left (for example: this Roderick Long piece, albeit from 1993), it seems like there isn’t much in the way of hitting home on them. In effect, we’re ceding ground on these to statists.
I recall a past argument I had with one of the more open elitists out there. His view was that I was somehow unrealistic, in that I was arguing for freedom while most people only cared about where their next meal was coming from or the roof over their head — security, in other words. Obviously this is a false choice, but how many people know that?
Now, before anyone starts warming up their rock-throwing arms, I am not — I repeat, NOT!!! — saying that this should in any way subordinate the big picture, or that ethical principle should be bumped out in favor of utilitarianism. This is more about positioning to ease skepticism, and introduce localized, non-state solutions for typical concerns. To more explicitly show where my head is at, take my response to Brad Spangler when he asked about whether to cover the mortgage crisis on his blog (emphasis added):
If only because a larger point about statism can be made through it.
I actually agree with Niccolo on this. People are already skeptical & pissed off, they’re open to new ideas*. The degree of political involvement behind the current messes in housing & finance would shock most people, point it out in a way they can internalize and the status quo discredits itself.
(* – new to them I mean.)
It is inherently easier to undermine statism when its negative effects are more obvious. Explain the problem, and encourage people to avoid the snap appeal to central authority. Think of it as a recruiting method.