Libertarians should buy local

Screen shot 2015-10-09 at 00.00.39I know half of libertarians will agree and probably already try to buy local; this is common in New Hampshire, where I reside. The other half will cite CATO, Skeptical Libertarian, and assorted memes, claiming that its actually better for costs and the environment to ship strawberries from California. In a sense, both views are correct. In fact, I am not really going to oppose buying from “abroad”, provided it is local to that place. This will make more sense in a few paragraphs.

Libertarians commonly claim that we are treated unfairly in the media, and on top of that the media is diametrically opposed to us, being both very statist and very anticapitalist. Yet, even if we stop watching and subscribing, they carry on. Indeed, most media are effectively free and based on ad revenue. That is how they stay alive. Thus, the way to reduce their power and influence is to hit their advertisers: a good old-fashioned boycott. We could try to contact the companies and tell them to stop supporting this, but it likely wont have much effect. We need to put our dollars elsewhere.

For many industries, there is an option to buy from a local provider. Whether restaurants or contractors or signmakers or hardware stores or banks, both national chains and locally-owned stores are available. Recently, many chain establishments have sought to ban guns because they listen to the whole nation and cater to cosmopolitans. Contrarily, local establishments tend to be more carry friendly. When you vote with your dollars locally, you support that view. It may cost a little more, but sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is.

Local establishments very rarely advertise in major media. They advertise locally, in media that reflects local thought (somewhat). They also are in tune with local issues. You have a better chance of getting the ear of Joe from Joes Burgers than the manager of the nearby McDonalds. Even local chains are an improvement over national chains, and there is nothing wrong with that, sometimes an owner is successful and wants to expand. By reorienting the economy towards local businesses slowly, we reduce the ability of national businesses and those they sponsor to spread their opposition message. Certainly, it wont add up to much, but it will contribute.

Buy local movements are also popular among liberals and some conservatives. If we get more involved, we can introduce them to our views and why we have decided to buy local like them. They are also often interested in reducing the power of national media and big businesses. Building that common connection first can help grow other bridges. I used to be the only rightwing member of a local co-op. I wasnt very involved, but occasionally it brought out an interesting discussion, and they at least listened.

Screen shot 2015-10-08 at 23.59.17It is not always possible to buy from a local business, but every dollar helps, just like how its important to use alternative currencies to weaken the Fed and government bit by bit. It is crucial to reduce the power of the media if there is to ever be much change. While we may not put much of a dent, we will be building new networks and strengthening businesses that are more likely to favor us.

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