Feb 8, 2017
I like to find other libertarians, and to explain libertarianism to statists, so I sometimes seek out social groups that might be amenable to liberty. One obvious candidate would be freethinker groups. Logically, that would seem to be the case. People that claim to reject any authority over the mind of man would seem to be almost anarchist already. They reject all gods. Their motto is “No gods, no masters.” One would think that such people would provide a fertile source of new anarchists.
No, that is not the case. Even though most anarchists are atheist, most atheists are statist. At least this century. (In the 19th century, anarchists and atheists were largely the same people. I think Ingersoll screwed things up.) After several tries at outreach, I reluctantly conclude that “freethinkers” are as dogmatic and rigid as any other group - maybe more.
What brought this on? I found out that the NWA Freethought group had blocked me from their Facebook page. Someone from West Virginia(!) complained about a post I made which was, in his slavish mind, beyond the pale. What did I write that was so awful? I wrote that it is permissible to kill a serial kidnapper who is above the law. And his bosses and enablers. My exact words were:
“If he [some politician] ever voted for a drug prohibition law, then it is morally permissible to slit his throat. Just sayin’.”
So some asshole from West Virginia objected and threatened to quit the group. The proper freethinker answer would be, “No; we are tolerant of a broad range of ideas here.” But instead, others fell all over themselves to deny any moral culpability for a drug nazi, i.e. DEA agent, or his enablers, elected officials who voted to kidnap non-aggressive people and put them in rape cages.
Someone could have engaged in a discussion about moral culpability, but instead they collectively stuck their heads in the statist sand. They didn’t bother to engage or think or say anything intelligent. They just blocked me. Needless to say, that is quite lame for people who portray themselves as freethinkers. Instead of evaluating the evidence, they chose fingers-in-ears ignorance. Bizarre! (To me.)
It turns out that the complainer from West Virginia is a former member of a different freethinker group (Fayetteville Freethinkers) who has a bug up his ass about me, so much so that he tries to harass me all the way from back east. We have a history. He used to be the Fayetteville Freethinker forum administrator, and he banned me from that site for no good reason. He has claimed that I hijacked threads, but when I called him on that, he could not produce a single instance of hijacking! But evidence didn’t matter; he lied repeated about it. Even worse, he destroyed evidence that he lied - deleting an email which was a smoking gun. So the NWA Freethought group is catering to a lying scumbag that doesn’t even live in Arkansas!
By chance, I found out that they were having a meeting at a café in Rogers to discuss the situation, which sounded to me like the block was open to discussion. So I went there prepared to discuss moral culpability. I had decided, inspired by Robert Nozick’s “Tale of the Slave,” to start with something I thought everyone would agree with: That it was permissible for Jews in Nazi Germany to kill SS agents trying to kidnap them and send them to concentration camps. How could anyone assert that Anne Frank had no right of self-defense?
Once someone agrees that badges don’t give someone the right to kidnap, and self defense - even lethal - was permissible, then all I had to do was argue against parochial nationalism - statist exceptionalism - the notion that if their State kidnaps people it is very bad, but if my State does it, it is just fine. You know, like drone murders and dropping atomic bombs. Certainly by the universal axiom of ethics (categorical imperative, golden rule) I could convince them that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
When I arrived at the café, there was only one person from Freethought there, a guy named Brian. I decided to try out my conversion plan on him. So I said, “Do you agree that Jews in Nazi Germany had a right to shoot brownshirts coming to haul them away?” By golly, I could not get a straight answer out of him. He immediately diverted, and started talking about whether the Nazi regime was socialist or capitalist, and whether people used the word “Nazi” correctly. I repeatedly tried to get him back on subject, but he refused adamantly to address the culpability issue, and accused me of changing the subject!
He was getting angry, so I decided to switch tack. Some people that are too rigid or emotional to understand a point by rational discussion are able to “get” it from a song or poem. So I said, “Listen to this,” and began singing my song “Every Dead Narc is One Small Step for Freedom.” The song makes the same analogy between drug nazis and German nazis. It didn’t help. He stalked away angry, and when I approached the NWA Freethought table where several people had gathered, they moved to a different table. (Shunning! I love it; a non-violent method of which I approve.) So the “freethinkers” were too closed minded even to discuss it. Too bad.
Freethinker groups are a good place to find other libertarians, usually a few quiet folks in the back, staying ‘under the radar’ and avoiding the kind of shit I get. The people who are not already libertarian are almost all very hard core slavethinkers when it comes to State authority. Despite a philosophy that is logically very conducive to liberty, the “no authority over the mind of man” thing goes out the window when it comes to rulers and the State. What a shame!