Quote of the Day: Jordan Page On Life, Liberty, And Effective Communication

My understanding of the world as it is now is so vastly different than what it was in 2006, 10 years ago. So, I can’t put anything past the the-powers-that-be as far as deception about reality. So, I question everything. And my default position is skepticism now. My default position is I don’t believe the offical story. When I watch the news, I’m picking apart what the actual agenda is. Why am I being show this? What is this covering up? Why am I being distracted by this? Something else is going on. Let me go find what that is. Thats how my mind works now, because I understand that I am the recipient of a lifetime of propaganda and lies, and my worldview was destroyed when I was 29 years old, through the process of learning whats really going on in the world. And I built it back up with facts, rather than tradition, and with reason and logic and research, rather than emotions and bias and prejudice.”

Jordan Page was recently on the “School Sucks Podcast” with Brett Veinotte.  The above and the following quotes are of Jordan from that show.  Jordan Page is a well-known name in the liberty movement.  He’s a musician, activist, and as we see from this podcast, a homeschooling father of six, and an all-around great guy. See the end of the article for the podcast link and additional resources.

I wanted to lead with the quote above because I think that resonates with a lot of people once you “wake up.” The questioning, inquisitive, critical thinking skills get turned on high, and we are able to analyze, for ourselves, what is going on in the world.  I can definitely relate to Jordan’s sentiment.  In my life, there was a point when I started to think like that.  Instead of, by default, hearing a “news” story and accepting it as fact, I now take an active role in absorbing information. Just like Jordan describes, I hear a story, and my first reaction is, “ok, what is actually going on here?” Sure, sometimes it turns out to be just like they report it, but often not. He’s also describing the process of shedding years of government propaganda from the schools and media.  We are brought up in America being given the acceptable thing to think about everything. But, as most people who have gone through this process can attest to, there is always a gateway drug.  In other words, once you discover one bogus narrative, you have the drive and skills to continue on, dispelling one propaganda story after another. The big test though, is what to replace it with.  It can be all too easy to replace one set of propaganda stories for another.  The real goal is to reach a place of critical thinking, reason, evidence, love, and understanding. Then, hopefully, we can embark on the continual quest for knowledge, with the understanding that there is always more to learn, and that we never have it all figured out.

Absolutely, I alienated members of my family. I alienated friends, people I went to college with. And I’m not convinced that was necessarily a tremendous loss, because a lot of those people, based on their reactions to information, or based on their public positions that they take, we’re on very, very different sides of a line.  I am interested in moving society in the opposite direction of tyranny, which is where we are headed down. And a lot of people that I have lost during the last 10 years, in becoming an activist and a liberty person, a truth person, they want more of the same; just everyone wants control of the machine apparatus. They want control of the violence to impose their will on other people. And as an anarchist, I don’t believe in that. I don’t have the right to initiate force against you. It’s not inherent in my humanity. I wasn’t given that right by nature to impose violence against you to get what I want. So I don’t have that right in order to transfer that right to so someone else, to a third party, in order to do it for me. But that’s essentially what government is. It’s a violence apparatus that extorts wealth from us and imposes violence upon us, and all over the world, in order to pursue its own ends. And I’m just not interested in that. And it seems like everyone just wants control of “slavery incorporated.” And I’m somewhere completely different.”

I think anyone can relate to this, regardless of what we’re into or where we’re at in life.  We all go our separate ways, learn, and become different versions of ourselves than we used to be.  We fall out of relationships and into new ones.  If it is for philosophical reasons, as Jordan is describing, it could end up being a good thing.  Every change, every lost friend, is an opportunity to connect with a new person, to form a new bond, to have a shared understanding that you didn’t have with former acquaintances. In the 21st century, this can happen in the digital world, or in real life as we grow as individuals and expand our personal tribes.

Here, he also explains the difference between the mentality of an aggressionist (statist) and non-aggressionists (voluntaryists).  The aggressionist is someone (sadly most people) who see only one solution to any problem: have a government “do something” about it.  In other words, this always involves the use of force; groups of people getting together and getting another group of people to enforce their will on all the people.  The voluntaryist says non-aggression should be a universal principle. Every aspect of life between human beings should be voluntary, i.e. with full consent, a full understanding of the situation, no force involved, and so on. Governments, and their inevitable sidekicks like state-capitalism, continual warfare, arbitrary truth, and the constant involuntary relationship between everything they do and us, obviously and always contradicts non-aggression. It’s sad that is seen as extreme, but prohibition, taxation, mandatory state-run indoctrination camps, total corruption, and war are seen as normal, respectable, and even moral.

I try to just answer questions in as calm and rational a way as possible. And if I don’t have an answer, I’ll say, I don’t have an answer for that. It’s not important for me to be right. A lot of folks that argue with me; it seems to me they want to be right, and they don’t want to be perceived as being wrong. They want to win the argument. I’m not interested in winning the argument. I’m interested in normalizing some terminology that has been demonized by the state. There’s a great quote that I love where it says, “The true measure of the state’s success is that the word ‘anarchy’ scares people, and the word ‘state’ does not. And I’m trying to normalize this word for folks and have it not be a scary word.”

This last quote will resonate with anyone who has spent 5 minutes on Facebook attempting to have a rational conversation with someone. What he describes is exactly why I try to steer clear of debating or arguing online. It simply never works. It’s just not how a person learns.  No person who has woken up to the truth of anything got there because someone yelled the truth into them.  They get there through reading, thinking, watching, and questioning their own ideas.  So when you think you’re entering into a constructive dialogue with someone, you probably aren’t. Whenever another person is involved, emotions become involved. The desire to be right gets thrown in. And a situation of mutual learning becomes impossible. It is hard to show vulnerability and say in front of another person “I don’t know” or “I’m unsure” or to admit their own views could have had some gaps and contradictions.  People would rather act as if they have it all figured out already.

When I do try to talk with someone about political, philosophical, or economic ideas, I try to rationally lay out my views in a simple way, then provide resources to where the person could go to learn on their own. I don’t need to win, and don’t even need a bit of agreement. In fact, I’d love to see people just say “you know I don’t agree with you, but I’ll take a look at what you posted and see what I think.  And here’s a resource that explains my views. Maybe we could discuss both of these sometime.” We don’t have to argue.  We don’t have to solve the world’s problems in a Facebook comment.  We can share some information and take our time to analyze and absorb the other person’s point of view.

But that often doesn’t happen. Even when I do try a respectful, peaceful approach, people tend to fall into an angry or defensive stance by default. Before you know it, you’re getting called names,  anything you bring up is quickly dismissed, and you’ll begin to notice a lot of deflection and rerouting of the conversation to a new point to argue about, rather than learning anything from points already made.  It’s really very odd, and you can see the same thing, whether in person or online.  There could be an otherwise intelligent, rational, friendly person, but if the conversation veers into a place they’re not comfortable with, you can sense a subtle change, and it’s oddly like you’re all of a sudden just speaking with a shell of that person.  Anger, dismissiveness, and defensiveness take over. Critical thinking skills take a back seat and arguing takes center stage.

So, personally, I try to avoid these “conversations.”  I’m keen on the idea of laying information out there and letting people absorb it in their own way. We’re talking about big ideas; complex topics, that to fully consider, could take years of reading, reflecting, and examining.  I think Facebook and other social media platforms are fit for sharing information but just aren’t that great for productive discussions. So I’m a big fan of sharing resources, pointing people towards good websites, free education resources, free books, good documentaries, and so on. And I love when people do the same for me, even if it is a source that is contrary to my current views.  Then we can all be learning something instead of wasting our time trying to beat one another in a comment battle.

For all these same reasons, I’m very excited about Larken Rose’s new project, “The Mirror.” He’s creating an app, that you use on your own, and at your own pace. It will ask non-judgemental questions, and leads you on a self-guided discovery of new ideas. It’s a great idea, and will hopefully be a game changer for opening peoples’ minds to new ways of thinking.

Give the full podcast a listen.  It was a good talk.  In addition to the quotes I had here, they also get into parenting, education, the “liberty movement” and more.

 

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