Tag: radical

A Wikileaks for Everything?

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

The entrepreneurs among us tend to really like Uber. Those that want to revolutionize an aspect of the everyday lives of Americans want to “Uberize” one thing or another. Airbnb became the Uber for hotels. Some have created “Ubers” for anything from dog walking to alcohol delivery (even police, but that’s another future article). All we want to do is make the on-demand version of an aspect of daily life. And it is improving the quality of life in developed countries.

The more “Ubers of things” there are, there more time we can save and allocate towards either leisure or more effective endeavors. But when it comes to politics, Uber did not mark a shift. Sure, there has been political controversy over the legality of Uber in different cities, but that is not altering the political landscape.

But there was an Uber of the political space. There was an organization that truly changed the game and set a new standard for strong political change. That organization was Wikileaks. Julian Assange’s whistleblower outlet was guarded behind layers of code and digital securitizations, ensuring that the political sovereign could not take down the site. Wikileaks was responsible for publishing the Bradley Manning leak – a contemporary iteration of the Pentagon Papers. Its guarantee as a way for whistleblowers to get out their information has proven to be extremely helpful to those who wish to watch the watchers.

So politically, instead of wishing to create an “Uber for X” in the political space, what we should aim to do is create a “Wikileaks for X.” The two organizations parallel one another. They both took the tools of the evolving digital world and applied them to issues that they saw. They shortened the distance between an end and a means to a very high degree. Uber took us from “you will wait around to get a cab and you will get frustrated” to “you will wait for your Uber driver that the community has approved to pick you up.” Wikileaks took us from “the Whistleblower will leak if they think they can avoid the powers” to “the Whistleblower will leak because they can now avoid the powers.” Politics was permanently changed.

So that is the political change we must work to see in the world. Instead of hoping, praying, and cold calling so that Gary Johnson might get 5% of the presidential poll, we need to twist the arm of the political and make them hurt. The fact of the matter is that if real radical change – a transition to a world where status-quo biopolitical control – was possible through conventional political means, it would be illegal. Democracy itself to uphold itself. And under the guise of “equality” and mantras such as “we are the government” it ensures that its rule continues.

The French philosopher Jean Baudrillard tells us:

The liberating practices respond to one of the aspects of the system, to the constant ultimatum we are given to constitute ourselves as pure objects, but they do not respond at all to the other demand, that of constituting ourselves as subjects, of liberating ourselves, expressing ourselves at whatever cost, of voting, producing, deciding, speaking, participating, playing the game-a form of blackmail and ultimatum just as serious as the other, even more serious today. To a system whose argument is oppression and repression, the strategic resistance is the liberating claim of subjecthood. But this strategy is more reflective of the earlier phase of the system, and even if we are still confronted with it, it is no longer the strategic terrain: the current argument of the system is to maximize speech, the maximum production of meaning. (Simulacra and Simulation p.84)

Baudrillard tells us that the political system is designed to absorb the blows of radical change. It will absorb the type of libertarian philosophy wants to throw at it. This leaves the party politics of libertarianism two options – they can go the route of Sharpe and Petersen, staying true to their ideas but falling victim to low polling numbers. This guarantees a loss for the self-declared libertarians (party or not). Or it could leave the core of the philosophy behind, nominating people like Johnson, Weld, and even Romney. Either way, the libertarian ideas lose. Even if the party wins.

Party politics will not work because those who wish to change a system from within will ultimately be co-opted by the system itself. Many think that this is not as much of a problem with the system or electoral politics, but rather a problem of the people. Ludwig von Mises told us that a state cannot exist without public opinion generally supporting it. Libertarians such as Larry Sharpe see this as a reason to go after the “hearts and minds” as a means to gain political support.

This supposes, though, that we can change everyone’s political disposition toward strong libertarianism. The American consciousness has made up its mind. The proverbial American We has made up its mind. It is in favor of the democracy that gradually whittles away at our freedoms. This attitude spawned the recent NPC meme; Americans will go along with whatever the greater consensus is. The NPC’s are essentially Nietzsche’s herd, and many may despair at this thought. But it may instead be a good sign.

It means that we do not need to reach a political “critical mass” as libertarians to take down the state. We only need a few that are able to proliferate in a post-political manner. But more on that later.

The system (both social and political) is capable of absorbing criticism. Direct attacks will not harm the state – rather, they will strengthen it. Baudrillard continues later (technically earlier):

All the powers, all the institutions speak of themselves through denial, in order to attempt, by simulating death, to escape their real death throes. Power can stage its own murder to rediscover a glimmer of existence and legitimacy Such was the case with some American presidents: the Kennedys were murdered because they still had a political dimension. (Simulacra and Simulation p.18)

If libertarians were to do the most explicitly and normatively radical thing, they would get guns and attack the state. They would take up rifles and invade local IRS offices. This would create a catalyst, though, for the state to further its biopolitical control. Unless a critical mass of bodies are thrown at the state apparatus (as Lenin did in 1917) this will prove inneffective and only result in more state control. And if we do look to Lenin’s example, the result of that revolution was not freedom, either.

So how does this tie back into Wikileaks? Neither a radical direct opposition nor a politics of speech and elections will bring forth a libertarian future. But Wikileaks couldn’t be stopped. Even though Julian Assange lives cooped up in the Ecuadorian embassy the site lives on, and just as effectively. Wikileaks still gives whistleblowers a safe haven.

Wikileaks manages to not be a hopeless method of political change as I have described. This is because rather than choosing to look at authority as it commits the act, it commits the act regardless of the authority. The whistleblower chooses to speak the truth in spite of the social authority. They move forward with the act because they can. They do it not in direct opposition of the state – not as an attack per se. Instead, they expose the state, ignoring the authority it has. This attitude of “I will move forward with the act regardless of the state’s existence and what they say about the act.”

This is the Wikileaks attitude that will bring forth political change. Creation of more “Wikileaks of X” is what is going to lay out the blueprints for anarchy that the state cannot take down. Wikileaks is not the only example of this attitude. Two of the other shining examples of anarchism in action are the 3D-printable gun and Bitcoin.

The ghost gun and the liberator are weapons that exist not physically but digitally. Sure, there is the gun itself that can shoot and kill living things, but the more dangerous weapon is the digital file. Because of the nature of information on the internet, these blueprints for 3D-printable weapons will exist for a very very long time. If there is still a need for them, they may outlive anyone reading this article. That is real political change – the politics of guns will never be the same. The idea of “gun control” is now analogous to the idea of “gravity control.” You can regulate and legislate all that you would like, but it will still exist. It is an irreversible fact of political life.

Bitcoin may be even more revolutionary. Although the coin itself is facing a tough time right now, they are far from dead. This is because Bitcoin provides a function that we need desperately – a system of trustable payment outside of the state. Bitcoin meets every standard of a “good money.” The blockchain that Bitcoin is built around guarantees that we can trust any bitcoins we have. Even though the price of bitcoin is slowly declining and will end the year lower than it started (which has happened before, no worries), its ideological value is still strong. To exist, there needs to be demand for it. And as long as there is skepticism over state-produced money and that state’s ability to fund itself period, there will be demand for Bitcoin.

These are the “Wikileaks of X” that are changing the world. I said that I would get back to NPCs, so here I am. The majority of the population will just sit there and live in the world that they choose to live in. Not everyone is going to be a Hoppe or a Rothbard or a Satoshi Nakamoto. Very very few will be. Almost nobody. But we don’t need everyone to be a diehard libertarian radical. Less than 5% of the population carried forth the United States’s incepting revolutionary war.

To end the political world as we know it and create a freer future, we need to build more “Wikileaks for X.” These are going to permanently alter political reality in ways that the status quo deems impossible. But we shall not fear the impossible, because Bastiat told us of that which is unseen.

It is far easier said than done, obviously. It requires a very serious visionary to create the politically impossible, but that doesn’t mean that we should give up. Engaging in what seems hopeless may be the only way to a better future. We as radical libertarians must put our full-fledged support behind these visionaries whenever we find one. In addition, none of us should take up the attitude of “someone else may do it.” We should all become Satoshi Nakamoto’s in our own way because the political transformation does not come forth until each of us takes responsibility.


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Michigan at a Crossroads – John Tatar for Governor

By John Keller | United States
John Tatar is a libertarian campaigning to be the next governor of Michigan.
Keller: Running for governor is no easy task. What inspired you to run for office and pursue a political career?

Tatar: I am tired of the Democrats and Republicans promising everything and delivering NOTHING!  Each “public functionary” has no clue about our Republic and has no clue about the US Constitution and the MI Constitution.  These “public functionaries” have no idea that their power to govern comes from the people who delegate power to them to rule.  If we don’t delegate it,  they do not that the authority to do it.  Yet their responsibilities to take care of the infrastructure has been seriously neglected,  They claim they have no money so they must raise taxes,  yet they have enough money to purchase a 17 million dollar building for 48 Million, and they get away with it.  The “public functionaries”  are over paid and under worked while the people they represent are over worked and under paid,  This REPUBLIC is upside down.  The Candidates that are presently running are ALL part of the SAME ilk.  I could go on and on about what is wrong, but complaining will not fix the problem RUNNING for governor will..

I have always been involved with politics, I have tried to correct some of the problems as a citizen but educating the masses is very difficult.

Keller: When entering politics, what drew you to the Libertarian Party over the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?
Tatar: The Libertarian party has not been compromised at this time.  If you haven”t been a delegate to either of the other two parties that is a true eye opener,  They are corrupt and compromised as the candidates who are running.  I was a delegate at one time to the Republican party, during the Ron Paul run for president.  When Ron Paul met the criteria for speaking at the convention, that is getting 3 states that supported him, then he would get a chance to speak at the Republican Convention.  Well, at the Republican Convention, in front of everyone that was watching on TV saw the chairman of the republicans change the rules to 10 states.  What a criminal behavior! 
Keller: In Michigan’s history, since 1842, there has been 17 democratic and 28 republican governors – no third party governors. Why is the time for a libertarian governor now
Tatar: I believe that many of the Citizens who are involved with the electoral process is fed up with the present political graft and corruption system.  Many have given up, and so when I was out personally gathering the 18,800 signatures, many people who signed for me signed for me because I am running on the libertarian ticket.  I think it is time for a change,  The candidates presently running are running for an office they have no idea what that office is about.  They trample on the Constitution and the peoples rights without any consequences.  Lansing has become totally cloaked in darkness.  We need to change this.
Keller: Libertarians commonly follow the motto, “Less government is better government.” What is one area in which you think more government would actually be better?

Tatar: Less government more liberty.  This government is much too large and too many rules, ordinances, and enforcement officers,  Consequently too many fines, and too many people incarcerated for non violent crime.  Much to much government. Have you been to Lansing lately?  This is a mega city.

Keller: In continuation of the last question, what is one area of government you want to see cut or even erased?

Tatar: Dept of education, Dept of transportation cut, Dept of State cut, Eliminate the Senate, part time legislature on and on.

Keller: What would a libertarian governorship look like in Michigan? In other words, what policies would you want to see enacted?

Tatar: Follow the US Constitution, Follow the Michigan Constitution, re write the oath of office to include if anyone in the legislature, executive or judicial takes a bribe or promises anything that is a felony.

Seriously cut back the size and scope of government. More liberty to the people.  Also eliminate the state income tax and cut back on many other taxes if not eliminate them.  Concentrate on fixing the MI infrastructure.  See my website: johnjtatar.com

Keller: The “Flint, Michigan” story was national news for sometime. How do you view the handling of this issue, and what would you change, if anything?

Tatar: Flint is in the national news because the government was caught “usurping” authority.  All of Michigan water is polluted. That is a sin.  The infrastructure in MI has not been kept up.  All citizens must do house keeping from time to time and so the government needs to do house keeping also.  Instead, the “public functionaries” line their pockets and walk away laughing at the people in MI.

Keller: As Governor, what would be more important to you: following federal mandates from Washington D.C. or serving the state of Michigan?

Tatar: All federal mandates if unconstitutional are “null and void”!!!  Michigan is its own country, we are not a colony of Washington.

Keller: If someone was interested in your campaign, how could they get involved?

Tatar: Go to my website johnjtatar.com and there are ways of contacting me.

Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the audience?

Tatar: We are on the very edge of losing our Republic and sliding back to a Democracy where the Oligarchs will become kings and we will become slaves to those in charge.  What way do you want to go?
I would like to thank John Tatar for his time. Be sure to visit his website to learn more.


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It’s Time for the Libertarian Party to Give up on Elections

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

The perpetual war between liberty and state control rages on day-by-day, year-by-year, and era-by-era. The United States of America was founded with the intention of creating a government that would limit itself and yet here we are with the largest centralized governance in the history of our nation.

Spoiler: this creation was a failure. Even with a constitution built to reign in how far a government can expand, the United States has become a state expansionist frenzy. The hope of Lockean liberalism turned into neoliberal interventionism run amok.

We spend insurmountable sums on military, welfare, social security, and other entitlements. At the same time, the government sees the solution to every bit of its own malpractice as adding more money to the pile.

Yeah, the U.S. Constitution hasn’t worked very well. Alas, this is the system we are in. Radical departure from the status quo does not seem to be on the horizon. We must play into the electoral system of our republic at the present. The United States Federal Government is a powerful entity, so we are going to have to play by its rules as we beat it back down.

This sounds counter-intuitive, but it is possible. There are two ways to do this: replacing the state with entrepreneurship (a method that will get its article at a later date) and the Libertarian Party.

Historically, the LP has been more of a flop than the Constitution. Prior to the 2016 presidential election, the Party of Principle only gained over 1% of the national vote once, in 1980.

2016 saw a 2.3% increase in votes since 2012, but in turn, we ended up with Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Towards the end of the race (but still prior to Trump’s election), Weld all but endorsed Hilary Clinton. Gary Johnson had his own fair share of incidents.

You get the point.

These guys were wrong for the party. They were the wrong guys for garnering votes. They were the wrong guys for beating Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. But that is not the extent of the problem. The fact that our goal was (and still is) “get votes, maybe get elected” was and is the crux of the issue.

The Libertarian Party has become obsessed with figuring out how to run a good campaign. This is because its only goal has become getting votes and getting into office. Liberty seems to be less of an end than being in the proper position. Although there are exceptions, the LP has historically fit this trend.

The Johnson campaign became “get 5%,” rather than “reduce taxes, reduce spending, reduce government.” The Libertarian Party needs to shift its focus away from getting votes to getting converts.

The issue with election-priority campaigns is that the campaign will have to go one of two routes. The first is that they have to appeal to voters, which begins to make small regulations incrementally be added to a “Libertarian” candidate’s platform. Next thing we know, the forerunner Libertarian candidate in any given race is a barely watered-down Republican.

The other is don’t roll over for the other parties. This is the more admirable and principled route to take, yet still lacking. Holding talks, rallies, speeches, moneybombs, and cookouts with the local voters seems like the way to run a proper campaign. At the end of the day, though, voters will vote on a central two or three issues, meaning the LP ends up in last place anyway.

The Allison Foxall campaign was a prime example of this phenomenon. The campaign was excellently tun, yet Ms. Foxall did not garner the Florida voters everyone expected her to achieve.

This is because getting elected, along with the existence of any government in general, requires one thing: popular support. The masses need to be libertarian before we can win libertarian.

This is why I believe that the Libertarian Party should shift from a “get decent candidates elected using campaign gimmicks” focus to a “disseminate libertarian ideals” focus.

The Libertarian Party will have seen victory not once it has the White House, but rather it will see victory when the Republican and Democrats have to change their platforms to keep their voters. A Republican who enters office hoping to end the Fed, slash corporate taxes, and privatize social security is a Libertarian Party victory.

The success of the party is not our end. Seeing Congressmen have (L)’s in front of their name is not what we should be striving for. What we should be striving for is the creation of people who will vote for candidates that want to reduce government.

I know what you’re thinking: Republican victory is not Libertarian victory.

It is if the Republican label has transitioned to mean limiting and reducing government while promoting individual rights and free markets.

This is how most parties have had to change throughout American history, too. Eugene V. Debs, the icon of early 20th century American Socialism, topped out at 6% of the national vote for president in 1912. He did not become President of the United States, and the Socialist Party did not become a long-lasting American political entity.

The numbers show the Socialist Party itself did not become wildly successful. Regardless, their ideas turned the tide of American history. The Democratic Party took up the torch of worker protection and fighting for the “little guy.” Because of this, over time we got policies like Social Security, minimum wage laws, Anti-Trust laws, high taxes on the “1%”, high corporate taxes, and various worker protection laws.

The Socialist Party lost, but their ideas came out on top. The Libertarian Party needs to take a similar approach. Rather than political leaders, we must become ideological revolutionary radicals. We need intelligent and charismatic speakers to inspire the hearts and minds of people of all races, parties, and ages.

And yes, I am talking multiple. We need to give a platform to new Ron Pauls, and Jordan Peterson-like individuals who grip the hearts of individuals that yearn for freedom. We need to transform the masses ideologically so the Republicans and Democrats are left no choice but to make freedom a priority.

We need thought leaders and intellectuals, not druggy former-governors. That is the direction the party should turn in. Let’s stop seeing how moderate we can get and still be considered “libertarian.” Let’s stop making people icons of our movement because they have political backgrounds.

Let’s start putting charismatic intellectuals at the forefront of this movement. Let’s make libertarianism win, even if the Libertarian Party loses in the process. A crash course towards political self-destruction is a worthy aim if we reap the benefits of ideological victory.


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Radicalization and Terrorism are Mostly Useless Words

By Glenn Verasco | United States

Note: This article was initially published on HowToCureYourLiberalism.com in October, 2017 after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. I am publishing it again with some edits in lieu of the YouTube HQ shooting and new revelations about the Pulse nightclub shooting.

I’ve wanted to write about the abuse of the word terrorism for quite a while. The horrible shooting in Las Vegas provides another opportunity to do so.

Whenever an individual strikes a crowd with a vehicle or mows people down with a gun, I, and I assume many other people, become somewhat preoccupied with the individual’s identity. Is he a Muslim? Is he a reclusive older white man? Is he an immigrant? Is he a young Black man? Is he a sexually-frustrated teen?

Reactions by people and the media seem to depend on the answer to these questions. If he turns out to be Muslim, many assume he is a Radical Islamic Terrorist. If he turns out to be an older white man, many assume he is a right-wing extremist. If he turns out to be an immigrant, many assume he exemplifies rampant criminal activity abroad. If he turns out to be Black, many assume he is an anti-police activist or a gang-banger. If he turns out to be a young man, many assume he used psychotropic drugs, has daddy issues, or was rejected by the opposite sex.

No matter the identity, some blame the World Wide Web and other mediums for being breeding grounds for radicalization. This can lead to the dangerous suggestions that governments ought to police the internet and censor so-called hate speech, having confidence that doing so would prevent future mass murders from taking place.

The idea that someone can become radicalized is silly. Radical simply means ideologically extreme. Someone who believes that all people are equal is a radical. How can you get more extreme than all or equal? Someone who believes in the flat tax is radical. How can you get more extreme than flat? Someone who believes in single-payer healthcare is radical. How can you get more extreme than single? Someone who believes in God is radical. How can you get more extreme than God?

The only way to avoid being radical is to contradict yourself or to waffle between opinions constantly without ever taking a principled stand. And I don’t mean to deride all people who are politically or ideologically inconsistent. Perhaps there are reasons to apply certain principles in certain instances while discounting them in others. Perhaps taking a principled stance across the board is impossible, so attempting to do so is a futile effort. But the fact remains: if you’re not radical, you’re bound to be hypocritical.

What I would like to propose is an end to concerns about motive when a violent act is committed.

Of course, I do not mean that intention should be ignored. If I intend to hit a baseball, and I unintentionally injure a passerby, accusing me of assault would be ridiculous. And motive is also useful when defining the degree of an intolerable act like murder. If one plots for months to take his uncle’s life as a means of inheriting his wealth, he is more sinister than one who lashes out in a moment of rage, such as a husband coming home to his wife in bed with another man.

What I mean is that one’s overall political, religious, or social views should be ignored when one violates the rights of others. By ignoring these views, we will find that radical and terrorism are not useful words, but in fact dangerous words when courts and governments acknowledge them.

So-called Radical Islamic Terrorism is the obvious example to analyze. Outside the incredibly rare, clear instances of calculated mass murder by an established, political organization, most notably the 9/11 attacks by Al Qaeda, murders committed by “Muslims” in the name of “Islam” are not terrorism. Terrorism is rational (which is not synonymous with good or correct). That means developed ideologies and long-term plans play a central role in its orchestration.

An individual who read something on the internet and decided to commit mass murder does not deserve the presumption of rationality. It is unimaginable for any moderately rational person to conclude that spraying bullets into a crowd without a tremendous deal of support has any chance of winding up in something other than hasty death or imprisonment via law enforcement. Individuals who make these choices are unlikely to consider the consequences of their actions with enough depth to even reach the point of asking these questions.

In short, how can one who is so incompetent as to fail to realize or even care about the inevitable result of their violence be considered radical? They aren’t thoughtful enough to be considered terrorists, let alone radical.

What’s more, at what point does one formally qualify as a Muslim? Or a Conservative? Or an Environmentalist? Or a Communist? Can one speak his political identity into existence? Does some supreme authority govern the criteria one must meet to be legitimately part of a social or ideological movement?

Or is it utterly subjective? And is it wholly possible that two self-proclaimed or linguistically-defined members of the same sociopolitical or religious group have little in common in terms of underlying philosophy and agenda?

Over the past few years, due to the success of populist politics and a handful of small, mainstream-media-hyped demonstrations, a popular question has been posed: is it okay to punch a Nazi?

Nazism and other forms of identity-driven Authoritarianism are certainly radical, and horrible acts of terror and violence have been committed in their names. But what makes a Nazi a Nazi? Auto-designation?

The problem with the German Nazis was not that they believed Aryans were a superior race. That’s silly and annoying, but it’s not that big of a deal. The real problem was that they murdered 6 million Jews (and millions of others) and invaded sovereign nations. Had they committed the same crimes via another ideology, for purely practical reasons, or out of sheer boredom, the death toll and destruction would remain equally abhorrent.

If a Nazi is a person who is preparing to annihilate an ethnic (or random) group of individuals (i.e., an actual Nazi), attempting to physically apprehend him is not only just, but possibly obligatory. An attack on him is an attack on terror.

But if his beliefs and words are extreme, and he has yet to harm a fly, aggression against him is an attack on free thought and free expression, not terrorism. Physically attacking an actual Nazi is not just combatting the ideas of Nazism; it is violence. There is no difference between murdering for the preservation of the White Race and murdering for the preservation of the environment. Murder is murder.

All in all, condemning and combating radicalization accomplishes nothing aside from putting all of our rights to free speech in jeopardy. What says your sincerely-held and innocuous beliefs won’t be deemed radical and unacceptable next?

We’re very lucky to live amongst other human beings, the vast majority of whom are too preoccupied with survival and finding happiness to consider extreme acts of violence. Don’t let rarities like actual terrorism drive our existence further away from perfection.

***

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There And Back Again: My Journey From Marxism To Libertarianism, And Back To The Radical Center

By Jason Thompson | United States

Political opinions are like assholes – we all have one – and for the most part, nobody wants to see or hear yours expressed if it does not validate their own preconceived notions and particular worldview. It just seems so impossible that a person on the “left” could have anything at all in common with somebody on the “right. ” Aside from tremendous failures in communication, there tends to be, and I am speaking from my own personal experiences, an apparent inability to see somebody on the other side of the supposed “spectrum” as truly human. I would go so far as to say that American political culture is diseased.

Echo chambers and political tribalism abound.

I would like to introduce myself. In articles to come, I will do my best to focus on objective reporting of facts and happenings, albeit from a libertarian standpoint, but this right here, folks, is an opinion piece.  It is the story of my own personal experiences and how they have come to shape and define the beliefs and principles that set the stage for a political bildungsroman twenty-five years in the making.

I was born into a working class, mostly Irish family of eight children in the small town of Mount Airy, Maryland. My father is a roofer and a farmer from Southern Virginia. His people were old-school Southern Democrats, and my mother’s people were liberals from Maryland, Western Pennsylvania, and Missouri.  This familial political history has been integral in shaping my own conceptions of identity and the principles and values I hold dear.  Over the years, my principles have largely held steadfast, but the manner in which they have been expressed politically and ideologically has transformed radically.

I used to be a filthy commie.  A God-damned Marxist inspired radical who raged against what I saw as a system which forced my father to grind his bones into the dirt to feed eight children and to scrape by in a world which that crushed the poor while enriching the elite. Little did I know, my father was the ultimate rebel.  He was agorist in every sense of the word.

And I am his son.

I was angry.  I wanted vengeance. And as the saying goes, I was certainly born with a plastic spoon in my mouth.

How could somebody work so hard and find themselves constantly scraping by just to survive? My family members were Democrats. My great grandmother’s sister was the second woman to travel to the USSR after WWII and was on an FBI blacklist during the McCarthy era. How could I not do my forefathers justice by believing what I truly thought would raise the poor out of impoverished misery? My heart was in the right place, but I was trying to build a foundation and ideological home with a hammer and a sickle.

And I wondered why the house I had built kept crashing down under the weight of objective scrutiny.

Marx, Trotsky, democratic socialism, mutualism, George Orwell – these were my political fodder.  I ate it up at the expense of intellectual honesty.  I blogged about it.  I towed the party line. But from a young age, the seeds of entrepreneurship and personal responsibility had been planted, and those two things were crucial in my journey towards libertarianism. The election cycles of 2012 and 2016 pushed me away from the extremes and helped me find a new home in a libertarian-inspired radical center.

Going to a small liberal arts school, I find it amazing that I was not further indoctrinated into the cult of social justice and Marxist lunacy.  Perhaps it was because I was surrounded by truly leftist professors – useful idiots the whole lot of them – that I raged against what I was coming to see more and more for what it truly was – rhetoric and faux outrage not truly grounded in historical or economic analysis.

I started to gravitate towards right-libertarianism and men like Larry Sharpe, Lew Rockwell, and Ron Paul. Gary Johnson’s 2012 presidential run was fundamental in bringing me to what I saw as my new truth. I started delving down the rabbit hole further and further and recognized the myth of true freedom from a tyrannical state in the modern age. I could see that our society had strayed far from the spirit and text of the US Constitution.

I felt vindicated. Here was truth. I was more right than God, but man, did I still have a lot to learn. Fast forward to the 2016 election cycle and I was hooked.  I was a full blown political junkie and I jumped right into the firefight.

I was an ideological soldier fighting my own personal jihad against the system of leftist professors who had lied to impressionable college kids and corporate stooges who had misled the American public. Boy did I alienate a lot of people. Vitriol and political hatred were in the air.  People who I had used to agree with politically at one point, and whom I had considered good people (they were, I was being a pretentious prick), became my ideological enemies in a battle waged on social media.

Slacktivist, Supreme. That was me.

I lost a lot of friends over what I now see was inane bullshit and a failure on my own part to adequately communicate my ideas.  I drove off the people most in need of hearing what I still believe is the truth.

That is when I discovered radical centrism, and began to see that libertarianism may be much more of a centrist ideology than I had presupposed and that a lot of the hatred and vitriol could be extinguished through communication and approaching the issues facing American society from an open-minded pursuit of outreach beyond our base. We accomplish this, as a team, not by abandoning our principles, but by focusing on pragmatism and effective marketing.

Somebody I was in a discussion with last night said “you can be more right than God, but if you don’t communicate effectively than you have nothing.” Our movement is so consumed with ideological infighting by keyboard warriors that the voting public cannot take us seriously.  We argue incessantly over drivel the average American neither has the background nor the luxury to care about, and in doing so push ourselves into smaller and smaller sub-groups to the point that we can’t even compete with the duopoly on major issues facing ALL Americans. We’re all on the same ship piloted by a political elite which perpetuates this false dichotomy between left and right. Even the filthy internet commies.

Divide and conquer.

We are playing right into their hand. We have tightened the yoke around our own necks by failing to see each other as Americans and to effectively communicate our ideas to the wider public.

Someone once said that getting libertarians to agree and to organize coherently is like herding cats. It can’t be done.

Well, I grew up herding pigs, cows, sheep, and goats. I’m good at it.

Now I am going to try to herd cats.

I could go on and on, and my editor is probably going to grill me for writing such a long piece.  But this is my story, and am I being detained?