By: Shane Radliff
November 12th, 2015
In part 1 of this article, I laid out some concerns that I have with the libertarian community today. To briefly summarize, for one to be a libertarian, they must uphold the non-aggression principle and the self-ownership axiom; if they don’t, they aren’t a libertarian. I’ve been hard-pressed to find people who live those principles consistently, and with integrity, and that is the intention of this series: to provide good and bad examples of libertarian role-modeling, and to inform others on how they can consistently apply this peaceful philosophy in their own lives.
In this article, I will expand upon positive role-models and provide some clarification in my reasoning for one that I’ve previously discussed.
Bad Role-Models in Part 1
- Tom Woods
- Christopher Cantwell
- Walter Block
- Ian Bernard
Good Role-Models in Part 1
- Kal Molinet
- Carlos Morales
- Brett Veinotte
- Larken Rose
My Reasoning for Dr. Tom Woods
Before I move forward, I’d like to discuss Dr. Tom Woods for a moment. As I mentioned in the first edition, Woods has some terrific things to offer. He is an intelligent Austrian economist, a prolific speaker, and has covered a lot of important subjects. Through his podcast, The Tom Woods Show, he has secured a large audience and has surely brought many to libertarianism.
Unfortunately, Woods is a huge advocate of state nullification, which is the process of using one of the various state governments to “nullify” unconstitutional federal laws. As you can probably imagine, this method requires the use of multiple means of reformism; namely, running for public office, voting, and grassroots lobbying.
There are a couple of problems that need to be addressed in regards to his advocacy for this supposed “remedy”. First off, participating in the political system gives the State legitimacy and has the potential to prolong the belief in the most dangerous superstition. Additionally, the folks that he brings into libertarianism may incorrectly and inconsistently believe that it’s okay for libertarians to be involved in the political process. Lastly, there is the issue of opportunity costs. The time, effort, and money being spent in attempting to “nullify” federal laws, is time not being spent on the economic means; things like agorism, homeschooling, cancelling your voter registration, or going on political field trips.
To paraphrase Sam Konkin, there must be ends means consistency, and at least in this regard, Woods is being extremely inconsistent. Hence, my reasoning for putting him on the list of bad libertarian role-models.
Note: Michael Boldin, the founder of the 10th Amendment Center, takes the method of state nullification that has been promoted by Woods, and tries to directly apply it. Any successes of state nullification, are within this document, and is a subject for another time.
Additional Examples of Good Libertarian Role-Modeling
The first example is Kyle Rearden from The Last Bastille blog. He is a colleague and has been on Liberty Under Attack Radio on numerous occasions. He has been involved in many efforts over the years to restore freedom, and even while still clinging onto limited government, he lived his principles more consistently than most libertarians. He has also coined a number of terms and discovered a variety of direct action tactics that are finally beginning to be utilized.
First off, Kyle coined the term “internal balkanization”, which is another way of describing in-fighting within Patriot groups. Additionally, he discovered the legal remedies of cancelling the voter registration and reclaiming unclaimed property from the government, as well as developing the method of political field trips.
He has also written on a number of subjects, including civil asset forfeiture, guerilla warfare (and use of force issues, more generally), homeschooling, and has even dabbled in some fiction. Lastly, he does a lot of work behind the scenes; namely, his work in proofreading and editing the articles that are put up on the LUA site, Outpost of Freedom, and elsewhere.
Kyle’s example is surely one to be emulated; for his consistency in living libertarian principles, and also for the great information and solutions he has provided for both the libertarian and Patriot communities.
(Note: For the purposes of this article, Kyle has given me permission to mention the fact that he has been tempted a few times to violate his principles, but he always remained consistent, and even experienced ostracism because he chose integrity over friendship.)
Next, is a kid named Nick Hazelton. He is the host of the Anarcho-Yakitalism podcast and co-host on the Freedom Feens, who has already contributed a lot to the libertarian community. At the mere age of 17, he is already deeply interested in philosophy, anarchism, and self-sufficiency. As you can probably tell by the name of his podcast, he is a yak and pig farmer, and plans to expand his operation in the near future.
He dropped out of high school this year and began his self-directed education. I can safely say that I am deeply impressed by his knowledge and am excited to see what he has to offer in the future.
If you’re looking for an example worth emulating, Nick’s would surely be beneficial. He is already putting his principles into action, by utilizing a number of tactics that are the economic means of making money. If “we” had more kids like Nick, this libertarian culture would emerge rapidly, and the State would collapse quickly.
Next on the list, is Dr. Stephanie Murphy, an entrepreneur and host of the Let’s Talk Bitcoin! and PorcTherapy podcasts. Stephanie resides in New Hampshire, but she is no longer a member of the Free State Project. In “our” interview with her, she outright repudiated the FSP and instead advocated the economic means.
In regards to the economic means, she is a yoga instructor and is knowledgeable about psychotherapy and journaling, all of which fall under the Freedom Umbrella of Direct Action. She also started an entrepreneurial venture called Stephanie Murphy Voice, in which she provides her voice professionally for audiobooks, show introductions, and more.
Stephanie’s work in the libertarian community is quite extensive and there is sure to be more in the future. Her example is certainly one worth emulating.
Next, is Derrick Broze, the founder of The Conscious Resistance Network. He is very well-known in the libertarian community and has put his principles into action, especially considering all of his counter-economic and agoric activities. He is also the founder of The Houston Free Thinkers, a group which focuses on building up the community in which they live; the goal being, to escape as much State intervention as possible. His investigative journalist work is also important, as he provided unique insight into the Ross Ulbricht trial earlier this year.
He can also be found at freedom festivals and conferences, where he speaks to further progress the cause of Liberty. Lastly, his work in spirituality provides an alternative to the organized statist religions. When it comes to putting consistent libertarian principles into action, Broze is your man; an example worthy of emulation.
Another example of positive libertarian role-modeling, is Davi Barker, who is also known as The Muslim Agorist. He is the editor of the Daily Anarchist, the author of the Survival Max series, the founder of the Shiny Badges store, as well as Bitcoin Not Bombs, which promotes outlets that accept the digital currency. His work in Bitcoin entrepreneurship is quite extensive, and you would be hard-pressed to find someone more involved in the technology.
One final thing worth noting, is his work with Muslims 4 Liberty, which promotes libertarian principles and their connection to Islam. I will say, I’m not convinced that the two are compatible, but nonetheless, it is refreshing to see a group like M4L that is willing to answer the hard questions, especially considering the current political climate, such as the antipathy expressed by the American Patriots towards Islam.
Davi’s work is surely admirable and he truly lives his principles; another example of great libertarian role-modeling, worthy of emulation.
The last example for right now, is Marc Wood, a programmer and developer. His knowledge on Bitcoin and encryption is something that LUA has been looking for, for quite some time. He also developed the METAmarket program; the goal being the creation of a free market within the shell of the centrally planned economy that is in place today. Additionally, he is an advocate of the economic means and sees agorism as the best strategy for restoring Liberty.
Lastly, I had the pleasure of meeting Marc at the Midwest Peace and Liberty Fest, and also interviewed him from the event. His work in the libertarian community is low-key, but nonetheless, it is important work. If you’re one that is keen on technology, Bitcoin, or encryption, his example is worthy of emulation.
Consistent libertarian role-modeling is crucial if “we” are going to be successful in “our” goal of restoring Liberty. As you can clearly tell, all of the positive role-models mentioned in both editions, advocate for the economic means and remain grounded in their philosophical principles. If “we” are going to be successful, it is going to be due to the consistent application of libertarianism by way of the economic means, rather than the wasted time, money, and effort that is inconsistently applied within the realm of the political means.
My goal for this series is to reiterate the importance of positive libertarian role-modeling, as well as point out those who are hindering success, due to their focus or advocacy of the political means. It is never too late to begin living your principles consistently in your day to day lives.
To conclude, this quote from Larken Rose sums up the sheer lunacy of begging the masters for more freedom, rather than taking back your own freedom without permission:
“When, in the history of the world, anywhere on the planet, has ‘working within the system’ achieved freedom? To put it another way, when has a slave ever achieved freedom by whining to his master, or by getting a new master?”
So, what’s it going to be? Are you going to violate your principles by subjugating yourself before those that claim to be “our” rulers, or are you going to take the initiative in restoring freedom in your own life? The choice is yours. Choose wisely.