Freedom is for Everyone: Why Fife?
Why FIFE? What is the reason for such an organization to exist?
Most people are libertarians at heart. FIFE can introduce them gently to libertarianism without the hard political edge of the Libertarian Party.
FIFE can act as a clearinghouse organization for libertarian groups of all kinds. The "Sound of the FIFE" newsletter can publish ads for and articles about many different libertarian groups thus showing the diversity within the libertarian movement. Freedom socials hosted by local FIFE representatives can distribute literature from various organizations.
Few people are now or will soon be hard core libertarians. Many people already believe that the path to a better world is generally the path of less government. FIFE can reach out to these people the hand of friendship. The Libertarian Party is rightly seen as hard core, far removed from "mainstream" society. Unless the LP changes a great deal, which is unlikely, this creates a niche. This is the organization for people who like the ideas of the libertarians but think the Libertarian Party is too extreme. People who feel this way can wear a feather and come to FIFE meetings expecting to find some agreement.
Many hard core libertarians are never seen by the Libertarian Party because they have no belief in politics. FIFE is beyond politics, it is culture. People who despise all things political can wear a feather and go to FIFE meetings expecting to find some agreement.
People who just want to be left alone can wear a feather.
Ideas for activities:
I have been holding Libertarian Party meetings at my home for over a year now on the 8th of every month at 8:00 pm. Just recently I changed the name to "Freedom Social" and now consider the event to be cosponsored by LP and FIFE. The loose party atmosphere is intended to encourage lots of individual conversations. People generally like to eat and drink and talk. If the regulars bring drinks and snacks and others can be convinced to contribute to a kitty it need not be expensive. I try to have as much literature out as there is room for. I take contributions but the literature is generally free; it's better off in the hands of someone who wants to read it than going back in the box. Literature from all different groups is available to best match the interests of the partiers. The hardest part is encouraging the emergence of leadership from chaos. The less leadership is present (or at least visible) the quicker new leaders will emerge. There have been successes with this method but the results are generally disappointing.
I have written elsewhere (Vision of a feather) about the ideology of wearing a feather, what are the mechanics? Start with yourself wearing a feather. Someone asks why. What you say and what you do may be the main propagation tool of FIFE. Suppose you say the feather stands for freedom and give them a business card. The light blue card has the same logo as the t-shirts: "Freedom is for Everyone. Russell Means" and a picture of a feather. At the bottom is the national phone number for FIFE. Local organizations could put their own stuff on the backs of the cards such as some nonthreatening libertarian saying and a phone number of a local contact. The cards could be printed in large numbers by the main office and distributed nationally to get lower printing costs and better appearance.
Just as we have different reasons for wearing feathers, we have different answers when people ask us why.
Think of a little leaflet explaining FIFE as a loose organization of people who believe in freedom. The leaflet has a feather and a tiny safety pin attached inside. If the reader believes in freedom, please wear the feather. If not, pass the leaflet on to a friend. It also mentions the monthly freedom socials.
The issue has been raised concerning the deliberate killing of birds for their feathers. The feathers in the leaflets should of course all be shed naturally. Otherwise this is a task for group spirit rather than rules. As long as the spirit of nonviolence is strong in us this will never be a problem. Feathers are easy to collect in large numbers for free.
I would like to see the background color behind the feather be sky blue. The sky is a natural place for a feather. It suggests looking up. The color of the Libertarian Party is (generally) dark blue. FIFE carries the same message with more light, let us choose the same color with more light. Sky blue is also the only color "invisible" to copying machines.