Ready to Create Lasting Change with Effective Peaceful Protests?
With everything going on in the world you might be asking yourself, what can I do? How can I prepare for the future? How do I make the most of my time on this planet for myself, for my family, and for my community? To answer these questions, Voluntaryists have been bucking the system and doing things a little differently for a long time. Many have found peaceful solutions to the problems of government overreach. If taking to the streets and protesting isn’t your thing, I’d like to share some of the best wisdom of the voluntaryist community for you to implement in your own lives.
- Grow your own food
- DIY Become a capable human being
- Agorism/ Barter
- Peaceful Parenting and the Conscious Schooling Movement
- Non Violent Communication as Self Defense
The general theme of these wisdoms will be independence. The more capable you are, the less likely you will be to look toward the government for solutions. The more capable you are, the more you can share your skills and aid your community.
Grow your own food:
Food chain supply is in the public’s awareness more than ever. Only a few weeks ago, supermarket shelves were bare and we were all bracing for a worst-case scenario, with few of us having the skills necessary to feed ourselves in the event of an economic collapse. So naturally, we all started googling “how to start a garden.” With things seemingly getting back to normal, it might not seem as important. However, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that no one knows what the future holds. Be prepared. Don’t be complacent.
Start growing plant foods and medicines. Even if you start with one potted plant, you’re taking steps toward learning incredibly useful skills. Download and print out an almanac so that you have the information available to you in the event that you lose access to technology and information as a result. Teach your kids about the value of plant and animal husbandry. Get some chickens!
As someone with an interest in economics, I understand the value of the division of labor. We can’t all be educated in everything. Specialization allows us to focus on developing expertise in specific skills and allows for greater output from us in those skills.
However, becoming hyper-specialized humans means that we can lose sight of how to take care of ourselves at the most fundamental level. And if society as it is structured breaks down, it’ll be those who have created a more well-rounded knowledge base that thrives.
Those who don’t develop skills may find themselves feeling vulnerable and willing to give up their power and rights to the government for a false sense of security.
Learn how to build. Buy a sewing machine. Learn to grow food and find it in nature. Be perceptive of the world around you so that when a problem arises you can use the resources at your disposal to come up with solutions. And the product of your solutions can be shared with your community in this next peaceful act of protest.
Agorism: You Have a Right to Engage in Voluntary Exchanges
Agorism is a great way to peacefully protest government violence.
“Agorism is a social philosophy that advocates creating a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges by means of counter-economics, engaging with aspects of peaceful revolution.”
What this means is that trade, otherwise called economy, takes place between consenting parties who voluntarily agree to terms. There are no middlemen taking part in the exchange, setting the terms of that exchange, or demanding a cut of the profits.
The great thing about this form of peaceful protest is that you’re probably already engaging in it. If you’re making purchases by coordinating with people through sites like Craigslist, Next Door, or even the Facebook Marketplace, you’re engaged in Agorism. And by being engaged in agorism, negotiating peaceful trades, and exchanging value for value, you are also withholding your monetary support from the government.
Seek out other individuals and businesses willing to partake in these kinds of exchanges. Seek out those who are willing to ignore and circumvent government demands altogether. Grow an agorist network. You’ve taught yourself to build furniture? Build and sell directly to your neighbors. So you’ve started a garden? Sell or trade your surplus harvest with your neighbors in exchange for the things they have to offer. Feed your community while starving the beast.
Peaceful Parenting and the Conscious Schooling Movement
To me, this may be one of the most important peaceful protests you can engage in. As Whitney Houston sang “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.”
One of the uncomfortable realities of government schooling is that a large part of what is taught in those classrooms is obeisance to the state. Equally troubling is how limiting the classroom experience can be of the human experience, especially in the wake of standardized testing. Creativity and discovery take a back seat to the rote memorization of facts so that school administrators can protect their budgets.
As happens with all government programs, something that is born of our good intentions becomes only the semblance of the thing and loses all the essence. Our defensive protective force became the enforcers of laws meant to generate revenue as another case in point. But I digress. In many respects, there is a growing sentiment that schools are no longer serving the purpose for which we are told they were intended.
Fortunately, that spreading awareness doesn’t have everyone wringing their hands and looking for the government to fix itself. Many parents are reengaging with their kids in thoughtful ways. From Self-Directed Learning to homeschooling, to new and innovative private and charter school opportunities. There is a myriad of ways you can remove your children from the traditional schooling environment.
At the core of these growing movements is a desire to really meet the needs of our children in thoughtful and peaceful ways. To engage with them in ways that acknowledge their individuality, their motivations, and to create an environment to grow healthy, happy, engaged, individuals. Read more about the Peaceful Parenting movement and figure out how you can incorporate this philosophy into your and your children’s lives.
Non-Violent Communication as Self Defense
From the Old Paradigm
If you are watching the news media right now, you can’t help being concerned about the propensity of human beings to engage in violent behavior when emotions are high and avenues for change are limited. Our fear and frustration can frequently bring out the worst in us. When the worst in us comes out, the government uses it as an opportunity to seize and consolidate more power. And then all of us suffer the consequences. Violent and non-violent alike.
That is particularly grating when one considers that government brutality (against peoples of all colors…google police brutality videos) was the source of the problem. They create a problem with too much violence and solve the problem with more violence. And what will come of that? I’m willing to bet more violence.
What can you do? Learn to defend yourself against all violent actors whether they call themselves police officers or protesters. Start thinking about the skills you can acquire that allow you to feel confident in meeting violent confrontation.
That can range from securing your property to purchasing a firearm to learning a combat modality, to creating a defensive network so you don’t have to confront violence alone.
To Creating a New Peaceful Paradigm
An often-overlooked form of self-defense is the development of good communication skills.
So much of conflict is about high emotions and misunderstandings. Becoming a better communicator can help you to defuse violent situations and keep everyone safe.
A good start is looking into Non-Violent Communication or NVC. There is a myriad of resources online. This system of exploring our thoughts, and empathizing with ourselves and others has personally given me the ability to remain more grounded in conflict. To address conflict from a place of love, and to build deeper connections with people who have entirely different perspectives. NVC is useful in all aspects of our lives and all of your relationships will benefit from learning more about it.
The result is that really listening to each other, and talking to each other without invalidating another’s perspective can be the foundation of collaboration rather than hostility. When we realize that conversation is about taking the best parts of the ideas of another and integrating them to strengthen our own perspectives, we can work together in creative pursuits. Violence on the individual level will be reduced. And on the grander scale, we will no longer look to the government to force our ideas on others.
Just do it! Incorporate these five peaceful protests into your daily life. Do you have a friend who is feeling overwhelmed and needs a shift in perspective? Share this post and let’s create a new narrative.
Don’t give the media control of your narrative. No matter how dire things seem when you turn on the television, or you’re scrolling through the news feed, step outside your door and find a way to connect with other human beings. This will ground you, and help you to feel more empowered. You’ll note that almost nothing being propagated in the mainstream media is communicated to empower you.
Build your community. All of the peaceful protest suggestions listed here will enable you to be the strength in your community, to share that strength, and to inspire it in others. You should also seek out opportunities to connect with people who share your passion for peace. Freedom conferences like AnarchoVegas, where I’ll be speaking this July, are a good start.
Voluntary collaboration is a powerful peaceful protest against the use of state power.
“As you think, so you become.” Live Free.