All Commentary
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Playing to Win

My friend Dave Gerber asked a good question recently over at Spark Good: “Are you playing to win? Or are you playing not to lose?”

Are we who care about freedom working to expand it to new audiences and environments? Or are we only trying to preserve our current liberties?

Here at FEE, we are playing to win:


  • We shifted our focus last fall to an age group that few others were reaching.
  • Our program’s staff is expanding our seminars and reaching new groups of students.
  • The Freeman staff is rolling out new online features over the next month, experimenting with poetry, exploring more ideas, and bringing in new authors.
  • We just released the second video in our “The Truth About . . .” animation series, focused on teaching the fundamentals of economics in an easy-to-understand way.
  • We are reaching more international students with our webinars.
  • We are integrating the importance of character into all of our programs.
  • We are expanding our education modules so students can learn about economics and the freedom philosophy at their own pace.
  • Behind the scenes, our staff is finding faster and cheaper ways to run the organization, making us more efficient and better leveraging our resources.
  • We are partnering with more organizations to spread our message in big-tent fashion.

Even in their personal lives, our staff members are playing to win. From starting film festivals and radical social entrepreneurship events to writing novels and making videos, our staff is moving the needle.

We understand that not all of these initiatives may work out. But if we fail, we will identify why, pivot, and try a new approach. There isn’t one set path to advancing liberty. Doing the same thing that has worked for the past 20 years will only get us the same results. The way to get around leviathan is to outcompete it. That is why I celebrate innovations like Bitcoin, seasteading, startup cities, and disruptive education.

Don’t be afraid to experiment to reach new groups with the ideas of liberty. If you fail, learn from the experience and try again. Iterate and innovate. Our future depends on it. 

You don’t have to be in a think tank or policy organization to make a difference for liberty. Magatte Wade and my friends Brandon Maxwell and Michael Malice are great examples.

So, friend of liberty, are you playing to win? Or playing not to lose?