Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute wrote an article with this title: “Four ways to Build a Free Society.”
I like the idea of building. It is positive. His four ways: the political option (minimal involvement), strategic withdrawal (non-participation/separation), hearts and minds (education/social media), and resistance (gumming up the government). So, it’s a mixture of separation and rebuilding.
I offer a similar approach, but mine is based on covenant theology. I have written a mini-book on this. Download it here. I begin with five covenants: dominion, individuals, family, church, and state.
The dominion covenant is the idea of exercising authority in every area of life. This means worldview. It means that you must systematically and self-consciously approach your areas of responsibility in life as a challenge: good vs. evil. Promote good. Avoid evil. Life is a battleground of ideas, and these ideas are fundamentally and inescapably ethical.
Do not imitate Lord Ronald in Stephen Leacock’s humorous story, “Gertrude the Governess” (1911). “Lord Ronald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.”
The individual covenant means that you are responsible for your thoughts and actions. You are responsible in terms of all five covenants. This responsibility is comprehensive.
The other three covenants are institutional. Begin here to exercise influence.
With this as background, I offer these four steps, paralleling Deist’s. I offer them in terms of the degree of your personal responsibility.
1. RE-THINK YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
In ever area of life, you must re-think your responsibility. What are you responsible for? What are others responsible for? You need to take responsibility. You must also delegate responsibility. This is basic to the division of labor. You cannot do everything. You cannot do much of anything. You must specialize. You must also find sympathetic and reliable people to cooperate with. You cannot do it alone.
2. REPLACEMENT STRATEGY
I begin with this slogan: “You can’t beat something with nothing.” If you see that something is inherently corrupt, try to avoid it. But do not try to reform it. Replace it. This is a two-fold strategy: withdrawal and replacement. It is negative and positive. You must develop a critique of what is wrong. You must develop a blueprint of what is right. Then you must work to implement your small share of the blueprint.
(For the rest of my article, click the link.)