The importance of institutions

Michael writes with reference to the strategy workshop, to suggest the following video. The piece argues that creating institutions to support activism and draw people together is key to the effectiveness of principled intellectual activism, particularly where self-interested gains or losses are diffuse, as they are for libertarians.

When he posted this I thought that perhaps Michael is suggesting that we should spend some time at the workshop discussing what institution to create. I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t, but I would rather we didn’t focus on it at this event, and here’s why:

Over the past few months I’ve seen a lot of talk about what kind of institution we should be setting up to replace LPUK and how that institution might be funded etc. I’ve also heard a lot of talk about what issues people would most like to address. Pavel’s question “what is the easiest thing to change” is a route to a more productive line of conversation which starts with specific ideas about what we want to do, and then talks about the institutions we need to support those specific things. Such an approach allows us to design the minimum viable institution that we need to achieve our specific aims and helps us to minimise the waste caused by setting up institutional features that we do not require.

The later issues of designing the institutions can be addressed whenever we want, but for now I would prefer to keep the focus on planning the activism first. Ultimately though, I want to provide a (slightly) more sober environment for us to get to the bottom of all of these issues, and we’ll have the regular drinks on December 1st as well, so there are plenty of opportunities to address everything needed.

Simon Gibbs

Simon is a London based IT contractor and the proprietor of Libertarian Home. Working with logic and cause-and-effect each day he was naturally attracted to nerdy libertarianism and later to the benevolent logic of Objectivism. Find him on Google+