Lately, I’ve been getting tired of the same old scams coming from the same old people in the libertarian “movement”. Many OG libertarians I’ve spoken with agree, so I thought I’d compile a list of popular but parasitic libertarians. It turns out libertarians and ancaps are some of the worst capitalists ever. Despite raging against tax payer supported “welfare queens” there seems to be quite a lot of libertarians fighting for the ever depleting capital flowing from the chapped teats of other libertarians.
Libertarians employ a variety of tactics to spread their message, but a tactic I must disagree with is begging for money from people in your movement for stunts that are utopian at best and ineffective or dangerous at worst.
Libertarians also have an aversion to critiquing fellow libertarians because of the small scope and influence the philosophy currently has and because many of them feel it would harm the movement. Any movement worth its salt can stand criticism of its members, and if it can’t then it’s not worth being a part of to begin with.
I’ve been distancing myself from the label libertarian for some time now because I hate echo chambers and increasingly felt being pulled into one. My news feed has slowly but surely become filled with the same slogans, the same news stories, the same solutions, the same begging, even the same fake names! Criticism is shot down with paranoid accusations of concern trolling or even of being a Fed. Yawn. Dissidence is not allowed and any half-assed attempt at activism by a “celebritarian” is venerated as groundbreaking. Thousands of dollars get thrown at “activists” who have disappeared other thousands with little explanation. Critiques of thought leaders are brushed away with the weak argument, “But such and such did sooooo much for liberty in the past!!!” as if it matters.
Redirecting capital to effective, peaceful, free market solutions could do wonders for human progress and I support a diversity of tactics approach to solving social problems. That doesn’t mean I believe all tactics are equally effective. It’s important to ask hard questions of charismatic leaders and press even harder when they evade. Living off of the charity of people in your own movement while arguing for capitalism seems oxymoronic especially when you keep ignoring market responses to your work.
I am not a part of the “liberty movement” though people still try to get me to add it to my work description on the Facebook. Do I promote the ideas of liberty? Sure–I’ve done several podcasts and am even a co-host on a libertarian themed radio show. But it’s because I want liberty for myself; I have no illusions about achieving freedom for mankind and sacrificing myself for the greater cause of liberty to the point of financial hardship. News flash: you can be an activist and have a job. And you can even be an effective full time activist. I like the idea of free markets but ultimately I’m an individualist anarchist if you must label it. The religiosity of some libertarians is off-putting. They criticize nonbelievers for being “brainwashed sheep” as they parrot the words of their own deities who unfortunately range from the scholarly to the deranged. They also cry a lot about not having the capital of other movements as if it’s a mystery where it’s going.
Sorry, but you guys wasted it on libertarian welfare queens.
A libertarian welfare queen is a prominent libertarian who lives off the donations of other libertarians but produces content that is factually incorrect, manipulative, embarrassing, threatening, and oftentimes ineffective or counterproductive. They are the leeches who are somehow able to keep raising money despite questionable practices in their activism and whose serious ethical breaches are ignored or forgiven despite no attempt at restitution. The people named here are not the only ones in libertarianism I consider counterproductive, either.
But enough bitching, I’m gonna name a few libertarian welfare queens because I am so tired of this particular problem robbing well intentioned people who have jobs of their well-earned money. It’s also important to be able to laugh at the strange humans that try to lead you when you’re more than capable of leading yourself. I generally like libertarians, but there are a few bad apples, and I want to let others know so they don’t support jobless swindlers. Libertarian Welfare Queenism is a problem, but the solution is simple and voluntary.
(In no particular order)
First up is His Holiness Stefan Molyneux.
h/t Bitcoin Not Bombs comrade Davi Barker for this gem
Known as Holy Moly by his detractors, this guy makes his money off of repackaging old philosophy and bad touching donor brains. I tried to like him, I really did, but he reminded me of my mother. His audience is mostly young men and women who, if true believers, have separated from their families on his advice (that is not to make light of child abuse, I do believe separation is appropriate in certain circumstances). The same advice that got his actual therapist wife fined and threatened with suspension. He also creeps on her clients which I’m pretty sure by any standard is a violation of privacy. Molyneux bullies listeners in precarious financial situations to send him money. And when I say bully, I mean he berates broke college kids over $1 donations. Like all good authoritarian figures, he’s blatantly hypocritical in applying his own philosophy. He caused some ruckus lately when he filed a DMCA take down claim on a critic despite claiming to be virulently anti-IP for years. His older videos provide simple, easily accessible arguments for anarcho-capitalism but his recent ones are riddled with misogyny and cop apologia. And I’m not one to throw the term misogyny around irresponsibly, but he likes to call women “estrogen based parasites” which is ironic given that his wife is the one with a real job and his living is subsidized by young people in an unstable economy.
He also uses classic manipulation techniques to lure listeners in such as immediately asking about their childhoods. This approach builds a façade of false trust and closeness. It’s disturbing to say the least and I’m genuinely pissed he does it to people I care about. This is in between bizarre outbursts about black kids who dare to smoke blunts and other black kids that have miraculously figured out how to make “lean” from tea and skittles. Who knew Trayvon was an alchemist?! Even worse is his belief that he is singlehandedly saving the world (“I am the ring of fire protecting the fragile tree of virtue” is an exact quote). His followers appear to be much smarter than him and it’s unfortunate he’s such an arse because I can agree that peaceful parenting is a great thing.
Also, despite complaints of donation decreases and claims his website takes “tens of thousands of dollars” to operate, dude is sitting pretty on a stack of bitcoin. Weird that the documentary he was hyping a few years ago still hasn’t been made…and no doubt his Paypal donations greatly exceed his bitcoin ones. He’s gonna need them for the lawsuit filed by his critic for shutting down her Youtube channel, so if you feel moved please find it in your heart to send him a few bits. Or you’re a thief.
The second offender would probably be proud to be called that, say hello to Christopher Cantwell.
Cantwell showing that piece of fabric who’s boss.
Cantwell can’t do much well other than bloviate on his blog and beg for donations while doing everything in his power to offend people, which would be hilarious if he were funny but his career is a bad joke. (hyuckhyuckhyuck!) He calls himself a comedian but I’m pretty sure living in your mother’s basement well into your thirties is only funny as a libertarian stereotype not a reality. I wish I was lying about that last part, but it’s entirely true. Since he moved out of his mom’s, he likes long walks in downtown Keene harassing meter maids and bragging about how cool it is to kill cops. He’d be infinitely more interesting if he followed through but he never will because he is a huge coward. I’m usually the first one to say attack the argument not the man, but he’s called better people worse things and I assume (often to my surprise) if people can dish it they can take it.
He also likes to talk about how any publicity is good publicity as a coping mechanism to his humiliating appearance on The Colbert Report and generally pathetic existence. Finally, libertarians get that juicy mainstream coverage, but *spoiler alert* it’s an ogre with atrocious gun safety practices. Oh yeah, he wields guns like a giant retarded baby. Other sources say he knows his shit IRL but he somehow managed to appear in at least two videos violating basic gun safety rules so I remain skeptical. He’s one of those sacrificial full time activists which I assume means being an internet tough guy. You mean to tell me an able bodied middle aged man with what I assume is years of job experience can’t go get a job like the productive libertarians? Ok. This 3edgy5me welfare queen also helped Adam Kokesh organize a failed armed march on Washington, D.C. because getting a bunch of your supporters massacred sounded like a good idea at the time. Cantwell is that bully in school that talks a lot of shit but acts on none of it. Honestly, I don’t even think he’s siphoned that much money off of libertarians, but he’s embarrassing enough to make the list with his bitching about how he “desperately” needs donations. Get a job, Cantwell, the market has spoken.
Last on the list is everyone’s favorite freedom fighter, Adam Kokesh.
Nothing could possibly go wrong here.
If there’s one person libertarians should stop sending any money to immediately, it’s this guy. Please, I implore you; stop sending money to him. For your own sake, for the sake of future generations, please just STAHP. Sure, the butthurt among you will say, “look at all he has done!!!1!11!!!” but the butthurt among you don’t realize homeboy is a trust fund kid. Maybe back in 2010, Kokesh had some good ideas if you ignore that he stole them from other activists. I know some of them personally, but I won’t name names because I respect them and know they don’t wish to start any trouble within libertarianism. He also has a nasty habit of not paying people who work for him which is pretty messed up considering how good he is at raising money.
Kokesh is a man notorious for raising large sums of money that disappears without a trace if not squandered on useless activism. This guy riled up a bunch of mentally unstable people to march on Washington D.C. with weapons—quite possibly the dumbest stunt I’ve ever heard of—then cancelled it. He followed it up by an even more half-baked stunt: literally standing in front of the White House and Capitol racking a shotgun. Kokesh, with thousands of dollars in film and effects equipment, chose to do that instead of using a fucking green screen and then goaded libertarians into supporting his defense team after he was unsurprisingly raided. He then bailed on a legit mutual defense agency while his close team members slandered George Donnelly’s good name despite George’s meticulous records proving shenanigans. Then, and this is rich, he blamed his buddies for the missing funds! That’s 50 grand down the memory hole, mind you. Donors whined and he got his poor girlfriend to give some half-assed explanation. Everyone promptly forgot and no lawsuit was filed. Then, as if that wasn’t enough for libertarians to at least question his judgment, he goes on a book tour to spread the good word of liberty! I can understand needing to hustle when you get out of jail, but dude got another $30,000 from people for this tour. After he and/or his team disappeared over $50,000. Re-read that last sentence until it really sinks in.
So it seems libertarians and their money are easily departed, but what stings worse is that this asshole doesn’t need their money. His father is a venture capitalist who memholed $45 million and according to confidential sources his mother still helps him out. If you think he doesn’t have a trust fund, you are out of your goddamned mind. This is on top of a paycheck he gets from the government every month for disability as a result of his PTSD diagnosis, which like the other assistance wouldn’t be an issue if he wasn’t still begging for money. I give him props for being the best ancap on this list because that’s kind of impressive that he can squeeze so much money out of broke people over and over again.
**Dishonorable mention: Ron Paul. Paul was originally on the list and I removed him because he did make his money except when he was campaigning and being a congressman. All I will say is don’t be surprised when the millions people donate to a failed political campaign are wasted on bribes. And that he’ll be shilling on behalf of his son Rand soon, so just remember this time around you’re dealing with even more permissive principles. Did you really think politics was fair? Bless your heart.
Libertarian welfare queens are a drain on libertarianism and I think libertarians can do better. How can libertarian welfare queens ever hope to change the world if they can’t get past their entitled mindsets? How can libertarians ever inspire others to lead themselves if they’re still following these vermin?
Now there are still some scammers about that don’t quite make the list and activist methods I find are a waste of money even with the best of intentions, so here’s a litmus test if that money is burning a hole in your pocket. If any of the people on this list ask for money, don’t give it to them; if someone tells you there’s a Randian utopia waiting for you in Chile, don’t give them money (even if they have a team of cryptoanarchists ready to pounce); if someone says they are going to tour America spreading the good word of liberty, don’t give them money; if someone threatens to quit the “movement” because they’re not able to pay their bills as an activist, don’t give them money; if someone says they’re running for office, you know better than to give them money; if someone asks you to fund their anarcho-hippie commune, don’t give them money; if you’re a broke college kid, don’t give your money to anybody. If it sounds too good to be true it is and if it’s coming from a libertarian welfare queen it will probably be ham-fistedly executed.
Good ideas spread organically and now virally thanks to the internet, and despite a rough economy you can make money if you produce something valuable to others. There is no need to resort to older, more time consuming and expensive methods. Put your money where it matters and lead yourself. Or at the very least, do your due diligence on activists asking for money—there are some excellent projects out there by trustworthy people, but there are a lot of scammers too.