I’m a voluntaryist. I believe all human relationships should be freely and mutually chosen. I think violence should only be used defensively. Amazingly, some people find this scary. So…
How can I best allay their fears and address their concerns? Should I give a speech or write a book? No one wants to be orated at, and few people have time to read all the books that get pushed at them. There has to be a better way.
That’s why we built our Mental Levers collections at the Zero Aggression Project.
Our aim was very simple — provide bite-sized answers to commonly asked questions, and then link those answers together in a chain for those who want to follow the whole train of thought.
These units are better than chapters in a book. They’re more like a vocabulary, helping you to define and explain the terminology you use.
Few (if any) of these Levers are designed to stand by themselves. Like vocabulary (and better than a book), they’re supposed to be such discrete bits that you can re-arrange the material or use only the parts that suit you or your circumstances.
Here’s an example of how you might use a string of Mental Levers…
YOU: I don’t think that policy is correct because it violates the Zero Aggression Principle.
Them: What is the Zero Aggression Principle?
Them: That sounds like pacifism to me.
Them: Oh, so you’re an anarchist!
Them: But wouldn’t that mean we’d have no government?
Them: What do you mean, The State? I’m not sure I understand the difference.
Them: It’s a rough world. How else is The State, as you put it, going to get things done?
Them: How do we get this non-state governance?
Them: Wait, are you trying to say there’d be enough money to fund this government?
And so on and so forth. The conversation goes on.
There you have it. Every answer prepared for you to have the greatest online conversations ever. In fact, this approach has one additional, huge benefit, IF your goal is to be understood.
When someone is conversing, they’re easily distracted. They’re often thinking about what clever thing they’ll say in response, instead of listening. This is called “reactive” listening. But real listening — true understanding — comes when the hearer is reflecting on what you say, rather than reacting to it. That’s why…
Our persuasive power is enhanced by using mediums that…
…spark reflection rather than reaction.
Conversations tend to cause ego driven reaction, while reading small mini-articles (our Mental Levers) is more conducive to reflective thought.
And in our experience, people who receive one or two of our Mental Levers tend to read even more of them. That is, they click through to read the next mini-article in the chain, and then the next. And, get this…
They start asking questions. This is a sign of reflective thinking. In other words, our Mental Levers work! Now, the question is, how can we share these Levers with more people?
We’ve shown you 53 Mental Levers. We have a list of close to 90 more planned.
Your support for the Zero Aggression Project (an initiative of the Downsize DC Foundation) makes possible the building and sharing of these Mental Levers.
Please consider starting a monthly, credit-card pledge, however modest. Pledges start at $2. Our largest pledger gives $400 each month. Choose a level that’s right for you, and help us build a sustainable base that keeps this Mental Lever collection growing.
If a pledge isn’t right for you, please make a generous, tax-deductible contribution.
And whether you have the financial resources to help or not, we hope you’ll read these Mental Levers and then choose to share them far and wide.
Zero Aggression Project