In our daily lives, we hear thousands of voices. They come from TV, the internet, our family, our friends, our churches, and every other place where we have interaction with others. Everyone has their opinion on how we should think or what we should believe. Who do we listen to?
You may come across a few different types of people in your day to day interactions. There are those who basically parrot whatever their preferred source for opinion is. Whether they get their opinion from Bill O’Reilly, John Stewart, or even a good source it is obvious they just repeat what they are told to think without much critical thought. Buzz words are usually a generous portion of their argument, and logical fallacies are contained in their comebacks (for more on logical fallacies click here). Strive to not be one of those people. Spend some time on introspection to determine whether you have any depth or originality to your opinions.
Next are the people who watch Fox News and MSNBC and think they are “non-partisan” for watching “both sides” of the issue. As Tom Woods would say, if you allow your range of opinion to be dictated by the allowable 3×5 card between Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney you are probably not expanding your thought horizon. These people usually try to form some sort of moderate opinion that is between these two, which usually involves little brainpower or originality. Please, don’t be this person either.
Last, there are the true thinkers. These people gather information from multiple sources and use logic and reason to weave it into their own argument. They don’t always choose sources from their own ideology, but they do choose sources who don’t engage is massive logical fallacies and propaganda. Reading books like “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” by John Maynard Keynes or the “Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx may be painful, but is certainly better for developing a complex understanding of the world than listening to Bill O’Reilly or Rachael Maddow. Of course, you must supplement those readings with “Human Action” by Mises and “Liberty Defined” by Ron Paul, but the point is that you are getting diverse information to form YOUR OWN opinion rather than have talking heads telling you what to think and repeat.
How do we get to this point? First, it requires a pause in digesting the massive amount of propaganda distributed in the information age. Turn it (most of it) off for a while. Then, we start with ensuring you have the basic tools of a logical mind. Here is a quick primer:
Some may need more on this topic, so I encourage you to keep learning in this “pause from the talking heads.” Second, move on to ensuring you have a foundation in reason, but not overly so that it makes you unable to connect with others.Here is a primer to that dichotomy by Stefan Molyneux:
Try and ignore the biases you will feel with the original caller, especially if you have a strong faith, as it will allow you to pull the nuggets of wisdom from the discussion. These tools will help you become a better critical thinker. Dig deeper into the subjects of logic, reason, and critical thinking and allow yourself to become a more complete purveyor of ideas in your daily life. Also, ensure you understand how people think and are able to connect with ideas they can relate to. Do those things, and you will be an unstoppable force in leading people to believe in the ideas of liberty and conservatism.
We as liberty conservatives are a growing minority, but we are still a minority. We need to be people that can come up with original, concise, and convincing arguments with the tools we learn about liberty and conservatism. We need to be able to tailor our thoughts to the subject at hand and truly be able to present a message that is powerful. Make this one of your goals. Embrace logic and reason, and don’t be a repeater for the voices of public opinion or you will become a tool of groups that is leading you down the path of evil and collectivism, even if they falsely claim to be messengers of liberty.