Book review: Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion

Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion is a book about communication of libertarian ideas written by Michael Cloud. The book is a sequel to Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion.

Mr. Cloud’s approach is to begin with insights about the nature of libertarianism as well as libertarian positions on various issues. He then tells stories and parables to illustrate points about libertarian communication, and finishes by discussing a number of persuasion techniques.

The book goes into more detail about specific issues than the first book, and is better for it. The discussions on health care, the nature of credit, and the effect of minimum wage laws are especially enlightening, and the essays about the need to define terms correctly touches on an issue that is of paramount importance for anyone who wishes to have a rational discussion. But like the first book, the focus on political libertarianism rather than philosophical libertarianism remains, along with the minarchist stance of Mr. Cloud’s writing throughout the book.

While Mr. Cloud’s libertarianism may not be 100% philosophically pure, his book is still very useful for those who seek to convince others of the benefits of individual liberty and limited (or no) government.

Rating: 4/5

Book review: Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion

Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion is a book about communication of libertarian ideas written by Michael Cloud. Mr. Cloud’s approach is to begin with stories that illustrate libertarian positions on issues as well as some lessons about communicating libertarian positions. He then discusses a number of persuasion techniques, and finishes by analyzing the psychology of some failed approaches to libertarian persuasion.

The persuasion techniques outlined in the book are useful not just for libertarians seeking new converts to their political philosophy, but for anyone who wishes to persuade someone else to do almost anything. With interest in libertarianism rising, the book is sure to help libertarians increase the number of people who will join the libertarian movement.

The book contains a serious flaw, however. Mr. Cloud’s view of anarchism and its position within the libertarian movement is certainly not welcoming to anarchist libertarians. On page 77, Mr. Cloud says quite plainly that “libertarians are not anarchists.” This is only true of the more political types of libertarians. Those who have a philosophical understanding of libertarianism from first principles are necessarily anarchists, because such an approach leaves no room for a state to function, as it cannot do so without violating absolute moral principles. He also says in multiple places in the book that “libertarians advocate small government,” which again is only true of political libertarians, or those who do not apply libertarian philosophy consistently and from first principles.

Despite the flaw of his treatment of anarchism, Mr. Cloud has still written a useful book, and Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion is still worth a read.

Rating: 4/5