Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’
Posted on January 3, 2013 at 2.51 pm
A. I know Julie (the girl in the video) in real life, but hadn’t watched the clip before today. Julie is great, but in this case I have to disagree with her.
Like some conservatives, some libertarians (Julie apparently included) make the case that women are naturally more inclined to lean left — usually it’s some combo of their apparent greater desire to fit in or their maternal instinct producing a love of social programs. Some go so far as to say that women make their political decisions according to their feelings, not logic (like men), and indeed women “are natural socialists.” Others say we’re inherently collectivist consequentialists who just want to keep those the love safe and well-cared for — “communal utilitarians.”
It’s intriguing to note that both of the examples I just cited come, like Julie’s video, from self-described female libertarians.
Now, we could have a very lengthy discussion about whether or not there is truth in these claims and, if so, if such habits of behavior are truly innate or if they’re simply the product of social conditioning. That may indeed be a valuable discussion for the libertarian community to have, but it’s also a bit beyond the range of this particular post.
(For my purposes here, suffice it to say that I’m not in that camp. This analysis strikes me as antiquated, off-putting, and wrong — not to mention, it’s an ironically sweeping collectivization coming from supposedly individualist libertarians.)
Instead, the suggestion I’d like to make is that even if the most extreme of these claims are true — if women are by nature mandated by their emotion-addled brains to focus only on pragmatic, often collective ways to take care of others — that should not be a barrier to equal representation of women within the liberty movement.
If it is a barrier, then we, not women at large, are the ones doing something wrong. The onus remains on the liberty movement to get women into the fold. (And if I’m right and this analysis is not true, we have the same responsibility, but presumably a less daunting task.)
In short: This is a marketing problem.
We have (I certainly think) great philosophy, noble goals, and fresh ideas for how to achieve those goals. We should be able to communicate that vision to others in an attractive manner.
This isn’t to say that women are less intelligent than men or more easily manipulated by a nice logo design. It is to say that the liberty movement as a whole must get rid of the kind of belittling arguments I mentioned above and learn to present our ideas to women (and indeed all kinds of people) in a persuasive manner:
I once read a forum that posed the question: “Why doesn’t [liberty-inclined candidate] have a larger female base?” The sexist, condescending responses that followed were alienating, even to me, so it isn’t too difficult to deduce how a woman mildly sympathetic to our ideas might feel about the movement once they read something like that.
Not only is the lack of libertarian women a marketing problem, but a big part of the problem can be found in the very speculations about this issue.
We understand that foreign countries won’t like our country if we bomb them. Why can’t we understand that individual women won’t like our movement if we insult them? This is just another kind of blowback.
Posted on December 18, 2012 at 11.25 am
A friend of mine likes to track campaign emails and stuff for professional purposes, and so he signed up for updates from all the 2012 candidates. Romney’s list has now been transferred to the RNC proper, and this is the kind of stuff they’re sending out.
As he put it, “All they do is try to sell crappy merchandise. There’s not a single message about strategy or building the party or anything. It’s all about poorly designed clothes for old people.”
It’s so bizarre. And the text is so awkward: “We have got you covered.” “Share your Republican and holiday spirit this season.”
The GOP establishment is clearly confused about more than foreign policy.
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 12.41 pm
Q. What is the most effective way to frame dissent? I hear often that ‘dissent is patriotic’ but I am no fan of the state…– oneeyesun, from tumblr.
A. The best way to frame any dissent is, most basically, going to depend on the subject of your dissent — that said, I can provide some general guidelines.
First, since you mention it, let’s discuss patriotism and dissent. You’re thinking of the quote from Howard Zinn about dissent being the “highest form of patriotism.” Personally, I’m not really patriotic. The more I know about the U.S. government, the food in other countries, and — frankly — God as revealed in Jesus, the less I can be loyal to any one country. I don’t say the Pledge of Allegiance and I plan to spend significant time living and/or traveling overseas in the future.
Most people, however, do not share this sentiment, and in most conversations (and most instances of dissent) changing that mindset is not my goal — and it should not be yours. In fact, it may even be advantageous to allow your dissent to be perceived as patriotic if it helps those doing the perceiving join your cause. In most instances, that will be a matter of marketing more than principle. In this regard, I think occasional use of this quote from G.K. Chesterton is never amiss: ”My country, right or wrong is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying My mother, drunk or sober.”
I mentioned marketing, and that’s really the overall theme here. When dissenting, consider what you’re trying to accomplish. Consider your intended audience. Consider how your opponents will respond. Consider how you would respond if the same dissent was directed at something you support. The answers to these and other questions you’ll consider will, as I’ve mentioned, differ for each issue.
My preference, however, is to go for broad-based support. If you’re dissenting on Issue A, there is probably no need to mention Issue B. There are probably a lot of people who can be persuaded to join your protest of Issue A, but if you mention Issue B, they’re out. If Issues A and B are not vitally related, don’t connect them. Make friends in weird places. Be friendly and diplomatic. Never compromise your principles, but be aware that you’ll be more persuasive with a smile than an attack.
This is what’s so great about health food stores, for instance, which are their own sort of dissent by virtue of existence. In health food stores, you will find homeschooling mothers who are in church five days a week and vote straight ticket Republican. You will also find, at the other extreme, vegan, communo-anarchist, animal rights activists. But, in the health food store, they are delighted to see each other and share gluten-free cookie recipes. It is a common ground.
Whenever possible, model your dissent with common ground in mind. You don’t need to find 100 million people with the same opinion as you on every issue; you need to find 100 million people willing to join this specific project of dissent. As a very experienced dissenter I know likes to say, build a movement, not an empire.