Courage in Human Action

by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

"Human action is purposeful behavior." -Ludwig von Mises

Courage invokes us to take action.

For Aristotle, courage is the virtue that helps balance our instincts against recklessness and cowardice.

For Biblical teachings, courage is the opposite of fear, and courage is to face fear while remaining positive for Good reason(s).

For Thomas Jefferson, courage empowers the individual to become as an army of one; "one man with courage is a majority."

For Ayn Rand, "Courage is the practical form of being true to existence, of being true to truth" and living confidently within that courage.

For Ludwig von Mises, courage is thrusting one's self into the intellectual battle of the individual versus the collective, for the victory of truth and freedom for all.

Overall, having courage has more to do with the actions we take than merely having a thought. There are many people with brilliant ideas in the world, and there are fewer people who express those ideas, and even fewer are the number of people who take action with their ideas. It often takes courage to act on our ideas.

There are ways we can instill greater courage while building a growing network of like-minded, liberty-loving, individuals…

The first thing is to train your mind by reading more about each topic you are passionate about, and the ones that cause you the most frustration when discussing with others. Each person in the group should be learning.

Secondly, have in-depth conversations with your local chapters, to ensure you and others learn more about the topic. This is a technique like the division of labor for critical thinking. Include frequently holding presentations on these topics.

Third, actively invite new people to the meetings, even if it is simply for these discussions. By having new people, we encourage participation and growth for everyone involved. Create an environment where people feel welcome and comfortable to speak or voice their disagreements.

Fourth, give each person in the group a chance to speak, and give each individual an official title and a duty. These titles do not need to be lofty, and the duties do not need to be grand. Do not give big titles to people who do not have the time, energy, desire, or capacity to fulfill the role. Giving each person a title and a duty instills confidence, bolsters a sense of unity and shared responsibility, and encourages action. Our groups should not be strictly controlled or dominated by a central authority figure just because of their title or experience.

Fifth, work on a particular cause within your city together once the group agrees on the topic. When we practice working together as a group on a project, we can see how we as individuals can come together and accomplish great things. This further instills courage and confidence, while it works on practical applications for instilling Liberty in the world.

Sixth, coordinate with other local groups on projects for shared causes. By utilizing our networks for larger projects, we increase our chances of winning locally and regionally. These incremental wins reinforce courage, nourish confidence, and build up the number of active participants. We scale up our wins by branching out.

Seventh, whether we win or lose, throughout each step come back together as a group and as individuals to learn from one another and for our own sake. In chess, we learn that more can be learned from a lost game than from a game that is easily won.

The more we engage in action, the more we as individuals learn and grow. When we coordinate with others, and continue to spread those connections further and further, we grow this movement well beyond our regions, overcoming the current difficulties we face.

We each joined the Libertarian Party because we believe in Liberty and that it has an invaluable purpose in the world. Let us be outspoken in our regard to that value and become more than people of thoughts and words, let us take purposeful action for the cause of Liberty. It is far better that we take action and learn from failure than sitting passively in social groups complaining in circles about our constant frustrations and losses after doing nothing. Let our movement not be in vain. Take action. Be the change.

Joshua D. Glawson is a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (

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