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Previously published via Topica, Feb. 2, 2003:

Give Me Liberty

Volume 1/Issue No. 1 February 2003

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In This Issue:

Welcome

“Persuasion For The Cause of Liberty” by Bob Burg

“Speaking In The Libertarian Spirit” by Donnell King

Referring This Ezine

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Welcome to Give Me Liberty! We are thrilled to have you reading our

first liberty-oriented news ezine that hopefully will become one of your

favorite monthly reads. For the inaugural issue we are honored to have

two gentlemen who have been involved in freedom, liberty and

Libertarian/libertarian thought for a number of years. Both Bob and

Donnell have a passion for sharing this philosophy with not only those

of you who have been followers but especially those of you that desire

to learn more about reclaiming our country’s heritage of freedom and

liberty.

We are especially interested in having your input and feedback since

this is YOUR ezine. We want to know what you want to see in future

issues. We are going to working on a web site in the future at

www.givemelibertynow.com and at that time we will be moving the ezine

from Topica. In the mean time you can contact Cort McCadden, Managing

Editor, at cort-@hotmail.com for your input and feedback.

Finally we ask you to spread the word about Give Me Liberty! If each of

you would invite just five others to subscribe then we could begin to

grow this ezine into the thousands very rapidly. Just ask them to send

an email to givemelibert-@topica.com !

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Persuasion For The Cause of Liberty by Bob Burg

The extreme losses of liberty suffered at the hands of our government

over the past 75 years have affected us greatly as both a nation and a

people. We’ve gone from a people proud of our independence to willing

wards of a “Nanny State” which has assumed the right to tell us how to

best live our lives.

The America we love is based on a Constitution and Bill of Rights that

now is virtually ignored by those in political power, be they republican

or democrat. This is made clearer to me every time I see one of them

swearing, with their right hand raised, to protect and defend said

Constitution while about to take office.

Individual liberty and personal responsibility has all but been replaced

with collectivism and frivolous lawsuits. Charity has practically been

subsumed by government aggression in the form of extreme taxation and

endless bureaucracy. A policy of peace and non-intervention has been

taken over by a virtual replica of the Roman Empire, with our troops

stationed in well over 100 foreign countries, stirring up resentment for

those of our great land and putting our brave sons and daughters in

danger without just cause (the common defense – see Article 4 – Section

4 of Constitution).

Each of us who considers ourselves to be advocates of a free America;

one in which people are free to live their lives as they see fit (not as

politicians and bureaucrats see fit), take to heart these changes, and

are committed to turning things back around. Yes, we desire an America

that is once again free!

The good news is: there is plenty of evidence as to why Americans will

prosper more than ever before when this happens. And, more and more

people are ready to hear the message.

The bad news is, because we are so emotionally involved in this battle,

we can sometimes turn off the very people who are willing to hear our

message. To paraphrase former Libertarian Presidential Candidate and

founder of the American Liberty Foundation

(http://www.americanlibertyfoundation.org), Harry Brown, “We must sell

liberty.”

In other words, we must be able to persuasively explain our cause, to

explain why liberty is always the answer and government aggression and

intervention the problem. And, yes, to explain why the “one government

program” (outside of its legitimate Constitutional functions) they feel

cannot be done away with will in fact serve everyone much better if IS

done away with.

And, we have to do this with patience, tact and kindness. There’s a big

difference between convincing and persuading. Dale Carnegie said, “A

person convinced against their will, is of the same opinion still.”

On the other hand, persuade him or her, and you cause them to take

action.

With that in mind, I’d like this first article for Give Me Liberty to

highlight one of the master persuaders in America’s history.

March 1775, the Virginia Convention in Richmond, Virginia, featured a

speech so persuasive it would play a key role in the direction of a

soon-to-be-nation. Patrick Henry, newly distraught after the death of

his beloved wife, Sarah, made a plea that Virginia – at once – be

“immediately put into a posture of defense.” This, in order to protect

itself from the alleged “necessity” of the mother country’s standing

army, and taxes charged the colonies under that false pretense. After

all, it was an unwelcome standing army in the first place. And besides,

with the bad feelings and general climate as it was, the commonwealth

was, according to Henry, “Too insecure in this time of danger and

distress…”

But, as eloquent as that speech may have been, it was not persuasive

enough.

Although Patrick Henry was one of the first of the “freedom fighters” to

take a leadership role in the quest for independence, what he proclaimed

just then would not have the desired effect. Immediately after his

motion was seconded, Edmund Pendleton and many others rejected it in

attendance. It was suggested that his proposal “went too far” and that,

instead, “fortitude would be the best defense.”

But, as author David J. Vaughan tells us in his book, “Give Me Liberty”

(http://www.toolscart.com), Henry’s “fortitude” had run out. He

returned to the lectern to defend his motion and, as Vaughan points out,

“gave what is now recognized as perhaps the greatest political speech in

American History.”

His speech would be fiery and passionate, rousing the emotions of the

120 delegates and the couple dozen spectators in attendance. The final

paragraph, including the last seven words, would provide the inspiration

that would persuade his detractors to make a decision that would change

the course of history. But that famous last paragraph does not contain

the “positive persuasion” lesson. So why am I writing this?

Because of his “opening” words. They are as follows:

“No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as the

abilities, of the very honorable gentlemen who have just addressed the

House. But different men often see the same subject in different

lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to

those gentlemen if, entertaining, as I do, opinions of a character very

opposite to theirs, I should speak forth my sentiments freely, and

without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the

House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I

consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or

slavery…Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of

giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my

country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of Heaven,

which I revere above all earthly kings.”

Review the above paragraph and look at how Patrick Henry, about to make

a speech that would totally and unabashedly contradict his opposers (but

whose support he desperately needed) sets up his speech in true

“positive persuasion” form.

First, he complimented them abundantly on their patriotism (a high value

of everyone in attendance), as well as their abilities, and referred to

them as being honorable. He then pointed out that good, honest people

can see things differently, and he assured them there was absolutely no

disrespect in his disagreement with their views. He asked for

“permission” to speak freely. (Internally, they gave him the permission

he asked for, which automatically makes them more agreeable to

persuasion.) Having successfully received their emotional permission,

he used some “chilling” words that would set up his speech of possibly

unequalled passion.

Mr. Henry’s wonderful set-up of his landmark speech includes many

lessons from which we all can benefit, and use anytime we need to

persuade others to a beneficial outcome.

Always remember; until (and unless) a person first buys into YOU, they

will most likely not buy into your message.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, the final paragraph of his historic speech

was the following:

“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry ‘peace,

peace’, but there is no peace. The war is actually begun. The next gale

that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of

resounding arms. Our brethren are already in the field. Why stand we

here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is

life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of

chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty G-d! I know not what course

others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

Bob Burg (www.burg.com) is an internationally-known speaker, and author

of the highly-acclaimed books, “Endless Referrals” (McGraw-Hill) and

“Winning Without Intimidation: How to Master the Art of Positive

Persuasion” (Samark). You can subscribe to his free weekly ezine

newsletter by visiting

REF=”http://www.burg.com/newsletter.html”>http://www.burg.com/newsletter.html

As you might imagine, Bob also enjoys speaking on the topics of Liberty

and Freedom. You may contact him at bo-@burg.com .

Speaking In The Libertarian Spirit by Donnell King

I grew up in a religiously conservative household. We thought Southern

Baptists were liberals! We learned that having sex standing up was wrong

because it might lead to dancing.

This has several things to do with Libertarianism.

* Although I’m in a very different place religiously, spirituality

continues to be important to me. (The nature of the change is such that

I will never, ever say you are hell bound, even if you disagree with

me.) Libertarianism has spiritual effects, and seems to me grounded in

spiritual principles.

* It’s useful to be able to discuss my current beliefs with old friends

within the context of the old approach. If I can explain what I believe

now in a way that springs from what I used to believe, I am more likely

to get the other person to listen.

* Though my former religious group claimed to be based on the Bible

alone and (theoretically) allowed each person to decide for

himself/herself what the Bible taught (very libertarian, actually), in

practice things worked differently. Within this relatively small group

that pleaded for Christian unity based on the Bible alone, at least 42

identifiable subgroups existed, many of which did not consider the

others to be “true Christians.” I sometimes see the same infighting

amongst libertarians, who spend time and energy identifying “true

libertarians.” That energy would be better spent communicating with the

“unconverted.”

In this column we will focus on two basic aspects of human experience

and how they relate to libertarian ideas and ideals: spirituality (not

religion) and communication.

SPIRITUALITY? YOU MUST BE KIDDING!

I use the terms “spirituality” and “religion” differently.

“Spirituality” is a universal human need. It doesn’t require a belief in

a personal god or a unique individual undying soul. Atheists and

agnostics address spiritual needs through social action, transpersonal

psychology, or any number of avenues outside religion. Equate it with

the human need to identify with something larger than your individual

self. That “something larger” may be an idea or a philosophy, which the

most individualistic of libertarians still need and can embrace.

“Religion” is a system, a set of ideas, and a practice. It is a means to

an end, the end being spiritual development. You can be spiritual

without being religious, and can also be religious (in the sense of

following the system) without being particularly spiritual. Religion is

the way that many, if not most, people seek to satisfy their spiritual

needs, but there is no necessary relationship between the two.

When libertarians think about human relationships, nonaggression,

ethics, and even economics, many or all of them deal with spiritual

questions.

I intend no slur on traditional religion. It can be a quite effective

tool for spiritual development. But some libertarians view religion as

restricting human liberty as much as government. I’m asking them to keep

an open mind, since many other libertarians see religion AND

spirituality as supportive of liberty.

There is no necessary conflict between traditional religion and

libertarianism. One of my close former friends easily combined his very

conservative religious ideas (he was a minister in my former fellowship)

and libertarian ideals.

For instance, though he believed prostitution immoral, he still believed

the government should legalize it. He didn’t want people obeying what he

saw as God’s will simply because a government used its coercive power to

enforce it. He wanted it to be the individual’s choice (and he would

also know to whom to preach).

OK, SO WHAT ABOUT THIS COMMUNICATION STUFF?

The connection to libertarian ideas is easy to see. Michael Cloud, after

all, has been writing and speaking for years about effective advocacy of

libertarian ideas. We won’t repeat what he does, but rather approach it

from a slightly different angle–one he probably wouldn’t quarrel with.

My focus for a long time has been “to help others remember and express

who they really are through effective communication” (from my own

mission statement at http://www.soapboxorations.com/). That’s obviously

broader than libertarianism. I would help anyone communicate more

effectively. I’m committed to an old-fashioned idea: when we communicate

with each other openly, freely, and effectively, the best ideas become

obvious. I don’t want to “win” an argument just because the other person

can’t formulate and communicate his ideas. It will be an ineffective and

ephemeral win that will soon swing back the other way.

Neither passive nor aggressive communication is effective, except for

achieving the goals of placating or dominating the other person. When

the goal is genuine persuasion, assertive communication works best. It

can’t guarantee you will change someone’s mind or life–but neither can

the other two modes. Even aggressive communication can only bring

compliance, not agreement, and then only until the one aggressed upon

develops a counterattack.

The best we can hope for is what assertive communication can give us:

clear sharing of understanding. When you can make yourself understood,

you have the greatest chance of changing minds. Achieving such is a

spiritual process of getting outside yourself and seeing things from

another viewpoint. “Communicate” has as its root “commune”–not

communism or communalism, but finding that place within each of us that

we have in common, the place we can meet.

If that sounds too “new agey” for you, consider that it is the core of

the “Ransberger Pivot,” a persuasion strategy advocated by Dr. Mary

Ruwart, Michael Cloud, and others, used to establish common ground with

a questioner. (Example: “Like you, I want to see children receive the

best education for the real world.”) It is verbal aikido, in which you

see things from the other’s viewpoint without giving up your own. That’s

as practical as it gets, and it’s also very spiritual.

Here’s why it matters. A frequent customer of my photo shop (years ago)

invited me to address his Lion’s Club, the first time anyone had asked

me to speak. It was a great opportunity, which I solidly blew. I spent

the whole time telling them that when government forcibly collects

taxes, it’s the same as what a thief does, even if the thief leaves us

something “in return.” Although I believed that (and still do), I failed

to look at it from the listener’s viewpoint. They needed warming up

first!

The man who invited me was a prominent state senator–a member of the

government. Do you think he was able to hear what I had to say? In my

naiveté, I offered to speak to the group again. He politely replied,

“No, thanks, I think you’ve done enough.” He was embarrassed, frankly,

and I don’t blame him.

I shouldn’t have lied to the group, but I would have been more likely to

get them to hear me had I started where they were instead of where I

was. That’s not deception; that’s sensitivity. Probably none of them

would have seen the light that very day, but they might have eventually

because I got the ball rolling that day. Instead, I just mashed the

ball.

This, then, gives us the underpinnings for the innately, fundamentally

practical discussion of spirituality, communication, and libertarianism.

Now, go commit an act of communication!



Donnell King works with individuals and groups who want to become more

effective communicators. He is an associate professor of speech and

journalism at Pellissippi State Technical Community College and a

recipient of an Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff

and Organizational Development. He is available for consulting and

training. He has recently co-authored a textbook on communication, and

he is getting ready to release his first ebook. You can find out more

about his work at http://www.soapboxorations.com, or contact Donnell at

by e-mail at z2dhauk02@sneakemail.com.

Referring This Ezine – YES, by all means we encourage you to pass on

this newsletter to as many people as possible! We would only ask that

you make no changes to its content without written permission.

Written by Donnell

February 2nd, 2003 at 10:17 pm

Posted in General