ALLy outreach in Vegas: help me out here

Dear LazyWeb,

I am interested in establishing an Alliance of the Libertarian Left chapter in Las Vegas.

My idea is largely to meet a small working group which would be partly about meeting and hanging out with like-minded anarchist types in the neighborhood (potlucks, movie nights, blah blah blah), partly about distributing left libertarian agitprop (for example, William Gillis’s excellent Market Anarchy zine series), and partly a source of contacts and a springboard for affinity groups and new local projects. At least, that’s how I see it; of course I’m just one dude, and I’m also interested to hear more about what other people in the area might be interested in getting set up.

If you’re in the area and you’re interested, feel free to get in touch and I’d be glad to talk some shop via e-mail or over coffee. I live near the UNLV campus, so there are lots of convenient meeting places.

My immediate question, though, is a bit off to one side. One of the things that I hope to do to help make contacts is print up some sheets of business cards that can be clipped in to dropped literature, tacked on bulletin boards, slipped into books, etc. The idea would be to have a card that gives a quick overview of what the Vegas ALL is about, which would be attractive to left-libertarian and black flag types, and then to provide a link they can use to get more information and get in touch with the group. What I’m picturing is a two-sided card, with a logo, Vegas Alliance of the Libertarian Left (or whatever less-boring name we might adopt), and contact information on one side, with a short tagline or paragraph on the other side of the card. My question to you, gentle reader, is what that tagline or paragraph should be.

The ALL website offers the following self-description:

The Alliance of the Libertarian Left is a multi-tendency coalition of mutualists, agorists, voluntaryists, geolibertarians, left-Rothbardians, green libertarians, dialectical anarchists, radical minarchists, and others on the libertarian left, united by an opposition to statism and militarism, to cultural intolerance (including sexism, racism, and homophobia), and to the prevailing corporatist capitalism falsely called a free market; as well as by an emphasis on education, direct action, and building alternative institutions, rather than on electoral politics, as our chief strategy for achieving liberation.

Which is true enough, as far as it goes, but ridiculously long to put on a business card and not much of a hook for getting an interested new contact involved.

After thinking about it for a while, I shortened and spiced it up a bit into something that I’d be glad to use on the local working group’s website, or on a printed flyer, but which is still too long for the back of a business card. (I can, at least, physically fit this on one side, but only with a hard-to-read font and at the cost of making that side of the card look very busy.)

We are individualists, agorists, market anarchists, mutualists, voluntary socialists, and others on the libertarian left. We oppose statism, militarism, sexism, racism, and the prevailing state capitalism fraudulently labeled the free market. We are for peace, individual freedom, truly freed markets, solidarity, voluntary cooperation, and mutual aid. We fight for liberation in Las Vegas through education, nonviolent direct action, and cooperative counter-institutions—not petitions, symbolic protests or electoral politics. We are working to build a new society within the shell of the old.

Given a group that could be accurately described using long descriptions like these, what do you think would make a good fractional, one, two, or (possibly) three sentence slogan, tagline, or introduction for Vegas ALL, to be printed on the back of a business card, with the aim of directing interested sympathizers (who are likely to be heretofore isolated anarchists, or possibly anti-statists currently embedded in other local activist groups) to our website and/or local contact person?

10 replies to ALLy outreach in Vegas: help me out here Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. David Houser

    I think that flyers would be preferable to business cards overall, and there are plenty of places for them to be left around town. I’d be willing to thrown in for the cost of these to be printed. And it should be Southern Nevada Alliance of the Libertarian Left.

    As for the wording, I just coincidentally came across this pithy bit in Any Time Now:

    “If you are for liberty, non-violence, mutual aid, decentralism, communities and regionalism, please check out the Voluntary Cooperation Movement.” I think that could be adapted pretty well.

    And we should print up a bunch of Gillis’s zines and hit the LP meeting next month.

  2. Anon72

    Las Vegas huh? That’s interesting, I wouldn’t have pegged you to be living in the same neighborhood as Hoppe. :)

  3. Rad Geek

    David,

    I definitely agree with you about flyers. (Back in college, I was a regular flyering fool.) My idea with the business cards was not to replace flyers, but just to provide something extra, mainly for tucking/staple into the literature we distribute, so that interested parties get the local contact as well as the edifying discourse.

    The Voluntary Cooperation Movement pitch is good. I’d like to include something that pitches to the anti-war movement in particular. Maybe something like: Are you against authoritarianism, government privilege for plutocrats, and the warfare state? For voluntary co-operation, decentralism, truly freed markets, solidarity, and grassroots mutual aid? Please check out …. Or somesuch?

    Southern Nevada ALL works for me. My one worry is that I currently own libertarianleft.org, and vegas.libertarianleft.org makes a decent domain name, whereas southernnevada.libertarianleft.org unfortunately doesn’t. Maybe sonv.libertarianleft.org would work. Or middleofthefuckingdesert.libertarianleft.org. Or something. I dunno.

    I’m definitely down with doing a literature drop at the LP meeting. I wish it weren’t quite so late in the game for me to be thinking of this, but do you know if the local LP (or anybody else) is planning any kind of Tax Day protest? (I don’t see anything on the LP-CC website, but that seems to be pretty generally useless for finding out anything.) If so, that would make a great place for us to show up and pass out some pamphlets.

    If not, it’s no doubt too late to organize one, but maybe we could put up some tax-themed flyers in honor of the occasion. Taxes Pay For Torture, Your Money Or Your Life, that kind of thing. What do you think?

    Anon72,

    Well, I don’t think that I do, actually. Last I heard, Hoppe’s off somewhere in Turkey right now. I think he took off a while before I arrived from southeast Michigan; I’ve only been here a little more than half a year. Such a shame that I never had the chance to invite him over for tea and crumpets.

  4. Anon72

    Such a shame that I never had the chance to invite him over for tea and crumpets.

    Yes, he would probably look upon you with distrust, you being an immigrant to Las Vegas and all. :)

  5. labyrus

    Try to avoid ten-dollar words on the flyer. Trust me, you’ll draw more people if you can work things into more everyday language, connecting it to current issues:

    “Want to fight war, poverty and exploitation? Want to meet likeminded people? Check out the Alliance of the Libertarian Left.”

    Put a website on the flyer, and have a website that has more information and looks good.

    Also, I’d consider hitting up Vegas Food Not Bombs, I hear it’s pretty big there.

  6. Aster

    Labyrus-

    Forgive me if I must intensely disagree with you.

    Our cultural aversion to $10 words has been one of the crucial factors contributing to the contemporary collapse of American civilisation, including the self-destruction of its political system. We should be bringing our fellow wo/man up to more syllables, no down to less. And it is the kind of people who want a more active intellectual atmosphere who are most important to a cause.

    The difference between New Zealand and America can be measured out precisely by the difference in the level of public intellectual discussion. If you value liberty in America please appeal to all the lonely, starving minds who see walls covered with advertisements for Spongebob Squarepants (instead of murals alluding to classical European cultural motifs, as are painted in many of the stores in Wellington). I know that if i saw a public flyer written on an intellectually serious level, I would desire to check out the group associated with it if their social and formal politics were anything short of hideous. Surely many others feel the same.

    Why should it discredit a group that it seeks membership at a high intellectual level? I think America is collapsing into a dictatorship largely because several generations have simply not been taught how to think. Please increase our standard of living in words!

  7. John Markley

    I’m inclined to agree with Aster. I suspect that there may be a trade-off in either direction; use of a lot of ten-dollar words may turn off some people, but on the other hand, giving the impression of “dumbing down” may turn off some folks, too. And, as Aster remarked, writing the flyer with a more expansive vocabulary might make it more intriguing to some.

  8. Laura J.

    Of course, depending on the number of flyers and cards one is planning on printing out, one could well have the best of both worlds by producing multiple versions and distributing all. A “Ten-Dollar Word” version would probably be most useful for attracting the attention of anyone who already describes themselves by any of those terms, while a “Spongebob Squarepants” version might be useful for attracting the attention of those who are not yet familiar with those terms, but are intrigued by the concepts they represent.

  9. Aster

    I think you should invite Hoppe over for tea, acid, and a one-night stand.

    I’d wager that the dude would call the cops.

  10. labyrus

    I’m not for dumbing down, but I essentially think all writing should follow the rules proposed by George Orwell in his “Politics and the English Language”, which is something anyone doing political writing should read, in my opinion.

    Sorry if it came across as a plea to “dumb things down”, that wasn’t really my intention.

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