I was watching Stefan Molyneaux deliver a speech at the NH Liberty Forum, and I thought he did an important exercise with the audience.  First, the sources:

Part I:

Part II:

The argument is entitled “Against Me”.  Molyneaux manages to summarize the issues with getting into debates with statists is not to fall into the traps where you pit charts, statistics, and endless data against them justifying why it is wrong to support a pro-State point of view.    The statist will simply pull out their charts, statistics, and endless data and use ad-hominem attacks against your sources.   Using the “Against Me” approach, you don’t have to recite a single fact, just simply reveal the violence/coercion inherent in the statist position.   You can stop banging your head against the table and spend endless hours collecting data to refute the Statist argument, wasting your time, effort, and energy to no avail anyway.

His theory is to bring the “gun in the room” in a statist debate to light.  Once the gun is pointed out, it shows the statist position in a debate, no matter what it is, is *ALWAYS* backed by the barrel of a gun.   Once the gun is seen, there is no intelligent debate anymore.  It is simply violence and coercion.  If you debate a statist in front of others and the gun is seen, others (ironically including the statist him/herself) get extremely uncomfortable as they see the lack of morality and evil inherent in the Statist point of view.

Let’s apply the theory in a synthetic, but all too often common argument:

Statist) “I support Obamacare!  Not supporting it is evil!”

You) “I totally support your right to believe in Obamacare.  Furthermore, I would never dream of using violence and coercion against you believing in Obamacare, nor *ACT* on supporting your beliefs.  If you wish to support Obamacare, open up your check book and write a check to the government to support it!  And I would never advocate that people show up in clown suits to haul you in jail for acting on your belief.”

(You could point out that food is more important than healthcare to the vast majority of people, yet the production and distribution of food is a free market activity, should we not nationalize that as well?)

“Now, will you accord me me the same courtesy and respect ?  Do you support my right not to support Obamacare?  Furthermore, do you support my right to *ACT* on my belief?  Am I free to disagree with you?  Will you accord me the same respect I am according you?”

Statist) “Well…yes.” (What else is he/she going to say? If they say “No.” then the gun in the room is immediately seen.)

You) “So if I wanted to tally up my share/cost of Obamacare (insert any government boondoggle, scams, corruption, wars etc here), and I *ACTED* on my belief to withhold those portions of my taxes from the government, you would support me in my right to have, hold, and act on my belief?

Statist) Silence – Cognitive dissonance rising..

You) “I’m not free to do that, am I?  What would your level of support for Obamacare be if a large number of people withheld their tax dollars (I am deliberately leaving the central bank government monetary printing press out of the discussion as most do not understand how that operates) from supporting it, thus driving up the cost of *YOUR* personal share to enable it?”

The Statist might argue that they advocate the use of violence/force/coercion to ensure you pay tribute to the “Social Contract”.    You don’t have go there.  The gun in the room has just been revealed.  You’ve done your job.  You can’t reason with the barrel of a gun.  The debate is over.  The Statist’s final argument is violence.  The Statist’s has shown people in the room that he/she supports the gun to be pointed at you.  When (not if) will the Statist point (or support the pointing) the gun at everyone else?

Isn’t it nice that you have made the Statist feel uncomfortable for a change?

There was a funny bit in the presentation.   A (clearly) Ron Paul supporter has an exchange that goes something like this:

RP Supporter – “In a democracy, people make decisions about government policy directly.  In a Republic, we choose people to make those decisions for us.” (Ed’s note: She’s wrong.  I live in a so-called democracy.  I don’t remember when I could decide government couldn’t tax me, and we also are deflected into the voting scam by electing “representatives” into the Mafia.)

Molyneaux – pauses, and then states, “Well my first response would be the difference between a democracy and a republic is the illusory paperwork.” 😉

Big applause from the audience.  Perhaps they are beginning to realize the concept of controllable government, under any form, is uncontrollable and corrupt.

Molyneaux has a good speaking style.  He provokes a great deal of laughs from the audience and keeps them entertained yet thinking it through.