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How Do You Change The World?


Ok AdSavvyites, it’s time for some audience participation.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, David Friedman’s Ideas, and he had an interesting topic: Ways to promote your political ideology. Let’s say you’re a moderately wealthy and talented individual with a strong desire to promote a certain political viewpoint. How do you go about doing it? What’s the most effective, efficient way to get it done? You want the most amount of change for the least amount of money and effort. I want to hear your ideas.

First, let’s consider some of the more common methods:

1. Political – You can try to work within the existing political framework. Find a candidate who agrees with your views, and work to get that candidate elected by donating and buying advertising for that candidate. You may even try to run for office yourself, although that has a pretty low chance of success relative to the amount of money you need to spend.

The thing is, when they make it to office, most politicians don’t do what they say they will on the campaign trail. Barack Obama is a good example of that. Many of his supporters are starting to realize that his policies won’t be as radical as they seemed to be, and he will end up just another American President, doing exactly what McCain would do, although for different reasons. So, judging from history and what you can see even today, the political route is the least effective way to spend time and money if you really want to political change.

2. Intellectual – You can work outside the political framework and try to use advertising or media. You can write a book, or in a blog, a newspaper, or magazine; or try to spread your ideas to people who are more influential than you are, so they can reach a wider audience.

Traditionally, this is the easiest way one person can make a change in the world. David Friedman wrote “The Machinery of Freedom“, which is one of the most influential books in the history of the whole anarcho-capitalist movement. He’s done more with that book than he ever could have with donations or political advertisements.

Ideas are powerful things.

3. Indirect – Instead of trying to spread an idea or working within the political framework, you can actually do something that may encourage changes in the world. An example of this is, founded by Matt and Jessica Flannery back in 2005. is a microfinance institution that allows regular people to lend money via the Internet to other regular people in developing countries.

An example that David Friedman uses in his blog post is the invention of the birth control pill. Apparently, the development of the pill was funded by a donor who thought a safe, reliable form of female contraception would have the social benefits that she wanted. Another great example is the Seasteading project, initiated by Patri Friedman.

The idea behind seasteading is to develop fairly inexpensive technology for floating housing and eventually small cities. The theory is that it would make citizens more mobile, and that would make governments more competitive. When the cost of switching governments decreases, governments start to operate more like businesses, since there is more competition, and that increases the quality of governments.

Now, my question to you is, what else is there? Are there any other ways that one man can promote his politics and change the world? Let’s hear them, AdSavvyites.