Adam Kokesh: The New Libertarian Strategy

36 thoughts on “Adam Kokesh: The New Libertarian Strategy

  1. Andy

    Interesting things in this interview. Adam Kokesh admits that he thinks that a lot of people will probably never be libertarians, so, he wants to sell people on the concept of decentralization. This was the same point that Jeff Deist was driving at in that speech that some ridiculously referred to as being a “Nazi speech” because he used the phrase “blood and soil” in the last sentence of the speech, never mind the fact that real Nazis opposed decentralization of power.

    Kokesh even talks about private property communities, and he gives a positive shout out, so to speak, to Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

    I posted the video of Jeff Berwick interviewing Adam Kokesh on Anarchast where they talked about the situation with Christopher Cantwell, and some other stuff, and during that video, Adam mentioned that he attended the Corax Conference in Malta and saw Hans-Hermann Hoppe speak, and he made a positive comment about the Hoppean concept of covenant communities.

    Oh my, I wonder if all of the lefties and cosmotarians are going to freak out over this!

  2. Andy

    One more thing. Adam is running for President, or not-President as he puts it, on a “push the anarchy button” platform. He is calling for an orderly shut down of the federal government, and he is working on a plan for this. His plan does not include shutting down state and local governments, since as President, he would not have the authority to do this, but he is hoping that people would follow his lead at the state and local level.

    Darryl W. Perry also ran on a “push the anarchy button” platform, but I expect Adam to have a better organized campaign than Perry.

    Adam is currently doing speaking engagements around the country on what he is calling the Taxation Is Theft Tour. I am going to try to make it to one of his events soon, so maybe I will try to get an interview with him and I could record it and post it online. I met Adam last year at the Libertarian National Convention in Orlando, and then a few months after this I met him again when he spoke at an event in Philadelphia, PA. I got a chance to talk to him for a awhile. He seemed like a good fellow.

    So if anyone out there has any questions for Adam Kokesh, post them here, and if I get the opportunity to interview him when I go to his event, I will try to get your question in the interview.

  3. Darryl W. Perry

    I expect Adam to have a better organized campaign than Perry.
    From what I’ve heard, his campaign staff has turned over numerous times, and he’s run off many volunteers – including some people who worked on my campaign.

  4. paulie

    . This was the same point that Jeff Deist was driving at in that speech that some ridiculously referred to as being a “Nazi speech” because he used the phrase “blood and soil” in the last sentence of the speech,

    Properly so, just as if he plopped down and took a shit on stage at the end of his speech it would forever be known as “that speech where he took a shit” regardless of what else he said.

    “he gives a positive shout out, so to speak, to Hans-Hermann Hoppe.”

    That’s just stupid. If he actually did that he just lost merit points.

    I wonder if all of the lefties and cosmotarians are going to freak out over this

    Freak out? No. Just less likely to support.

  5. paulie

    One more thing. Adam is running for President, or not-President as he puts it, on a “push the anarchy button” platform. He is calling for an orderly shut down of the federal government, and he is working on a plan for this. His plan does not include shutting down state and local governments, since as President, he would not have the authority to do this, but he is hoping that people would follow his lead at the state and local level.

    He would not have the unilateral authority to shut down the federal government either.

  6. paulie

    From what I’ve heard, his campaign staff has turned over numerous times, and he’s run off many volunteers – including some people who worked on my campaign.

    I know there was at least one incident with multiple people resigning but I’m not surprised to hear there were others.

  7. Tony From Long Island

    Almost every video Andy posts on here is blocked by the Restricted Mode on You Tube that this computer has – and I can’t seem to change . . . .Windows 10 is frustrating . . . . however, just judging by the background on the screen shot, I am not encouraged . . . It looks like the bathroom in a rock club I used to play at in the 90’s. Very Presidential!

    Part of me is thankful I can ignore most of the videos he posts 🙂

  8. paulie

    never mind the fact that real Nazis opposed decentralization of power.

    Already posted this on a bunch of other threads but since you keep repeating it as if it had not already been addressed, real nazis have a situational like or dislike of decentralism, just like free speech or freedom of assembly. When they are out of power they claim to like all these things. When they get control of a country, not so much.

    Thus, when Hitler led the Beer Hall Putsch, had it succeeded, Bavaria would have seceded from Germany. When he was Fuehrer of the third reich Hitler had no use for decentralism or free speech etc. When the CSA wants to secede from the union or their successors want to defend segregation they are for decentralism. But when counties wanted to secede from CSA states, or slaves wanted to secede from slaveowners, not so much. When counties and cities in Alabama today want home rule, or did during segregation days, the conservative elite who were the slaveowners and the defenders of segregation are against it. When they have the power to pass DOMA at the national level they are not for decentralism, but when the shoe got on the other foot they were for decentralism again. When cities and counties want to remove confederate statues they are for having the state governments stop it.

    There are a bunch of white supremacists now who say they are for decentralism. But if they ever have enough power to take over a country my bet is they will no longer be for that.

    The bottom line is that racists and the reactionary right care about outcomes, not process. If decentralism or free speech or free assembly or freedom of the press serve their ends they support these things. When they assume power at anything above a very local level, not so much.

  9. dL

    I see that earlier this year, AK had a friendly debate with Cantwell. CC said they are friends.

    yeah, that’s a problem for kokesh…

  10. Andy

    “robert capozzi
    September 7, 2017 at 14:33
    I see that earlier this year, AK had a friendly debate with Cantwell. CC said they are friends.

    Could we see a Kokesh/Cantwell ticket? If so, I may well have to drop the L label for something TBD.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEtWZacnvFA

    Cantwell would have to do a lot of apologizing to a lot of people in order for this to have any chance of happening.

  11. Andy

    “Tony From Long Island
    September 7, 2017 at 10:51
    Almost every video Andy posts on here is blocked by the Restricted Mode on You Tube that this computer has – and I can’t seem to change . . . .Windows 10 is frustrating . . . . however, just judging by the background on the screen shot, I am not encouraged . . . It looks like the bathroom in a rock club I used to play at in the 90’s. Very Presidential!”

    It is the inside of Adam’s camper that he is towing behind his truck on his Taxation is Theft Tour. He sleeps in the camper a lot in order to not have to spend a lot more money than the trip would otherwise cost on motel rooms.

    The writing on the wall is from various supporters and people he has met on his various tours over the last few years. My name is on there somewhere.

  12. robert capozzi

    ADR, AJ, but CC is permanently radioactive in this lifetime. There really should be nothing he could say to redeem himself, other than maybe living a retiring life in a small town as a farm hand or something.

    David Duke would be the other model for CC. Notably, Duke also claimed the L label, too. I’m not sure whether Duke pledged allegiance to the NAP, as CC did and perhaps still does.

  13. Andy

    “robert capozzi
    September 7, 2017 at 14:58
    ADR, AJ, but CC is permanently radioactive in this lifetime. There really should be nothing he could say to redeem himself, other than maybe living a retiring life in a small town as a farm hand or something.”

    You are probably right, but what if he did a big mea culpa and went around on the talk show circuit apologizing to people, and admitting that he’s got anger management issues, and that he let himself get out of control? I am not indicating that I think that this is going to happen, or that he should be a candidate for anything, I’m just painting a hypothetical scenario since you brought this up.

    I think that he may not be quite as racist as he has acted recently. The reason that I’m saying this is because post-Charlottesville, he was still speaking highly of Walter Block, Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises, and Ayn Rand, all of whom are (in the case of Block), or were, in the case of the others, Jewish. He said something to the effect of that he’d like to have them as friends and neighbors. He also had recently appeared on podcasts with Jewish libertarian comedian, Dave Smith, and appeared to be on friendly terms with him. The same goes with black libertarian activist, That Guy T, aka-Taleed Brown. He also continues to speak highly of black economists/authors Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. Also, in a recent interview, he said that he still talks to a long time black friend of his in New York City, and a former girlfriend of his who is black in New York City.

    This does not seem like consistent behavior for somebody who is a hardcore racist. So maybe he’s a guy who has problems controlling his anger (he has admitted to past alcohol and drug problems), and who takes things to extremes.

  14. robert capozzi

    AJ,

    Redemption is always available, but he’s not viable as a politician or public intellectual, IMO. He is the David Duke of this generation.

    Personally, I view Haters as severely mentally ill, so his erratic behavior does not surprise me. Indeed, it’s quite predictable. While I find the NAP to be right-on from a sentiment basis, the NAPsterism that CC seems to be holding on to (at least in part) is a thought system that likely contributed to his apparent mental illness, if I may be so bold. NAPsterism tends to amp up an underlying insecurity and it manifests as a severe defense mechanism, which CC acts out in a most extreme manner.

  15. Andy

    robert cappozi said: “He is the David Duke of this generation.”

    I would think that this role would go to somebody else. Perhaps Richard Spencer.

  16. V for Vagina

    I see that earlier this year, AK had a friendly debate with Cantwell. CC said they are friends.

    yeah, that’s a problem for kokesh…

    Yep. Big league.

  17. V for Vagina

    “I think that he may not be quite as racist as he has acted recently. The reason that I’m saying this is because post-Charlottesville, he was still speaking highly of Walter Block, Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises, and Ayn Rand, all of whom are (in the case of Block), or were, in the case of the others, Jewish. He said something to the effect of that he’d like to have them as friends and neighbors. He also had recently appeared on podcasts with Jewish libertarian comedian, Dave Smith, and appeared to be on friendly terms with him. The same goes with black libertarian activist, That Guy T, aka-Taleed Brown. He also continues to speak highly of black economists/authors Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. Also, in a recent interview, he said that he still talks to a long time black friend of his in New York City, and a former girlfriend of his who is black in New York City.”

    Lots of racists make individual exceptions. You really still haven’t figured this out?

  18. V for Vagina

    “Personally, I view Haters as severely mentally ill, so his erratic behavior does not surprise me. Indeed, it’s quite predictable.”

    Yes, it is.

  19. George Dance

    Robert Carpzzi: “Notably, Duke also claimed the L label, too. I’m not sure whether Duke pledged allegiance to the NAP, as CC did and perhaps still does.”

    David Duke claimed to be a libertarian? I ‘m sorry, but I need a cite for that. I tried my own search, and couldn’t find anything.

  20. V for Vagina

    “David Duke claimed to be a libertarian? ”

    I’ve seen this somewhere, but couldn’t find it just now. I don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for it.

  21. robert capozzi

    GD,

    Admittedly, this was told to me by Bill Redpath…I didn’t see a news account. He was on a flight and happened to be seated next to DD. IIRC, they chatted on this flight to DC in the 90s or possibly 80s. Apparently, they discussed politics. Redpath recalls that DD told a reporter in the next week that he considered himself to be L.

  22. Gene Berkman

    Paulie said “when Hitler led the Beer Hall Putsch, had it succeeded, Bavaria would have seceded from Germany.”
    Actually, Adolf Hitler was an outspoken opponent of Bavarian secession. He never deviated from his centralized state nationalism. When he led the march after the meeting at the Beer hall (Braukeller) Gen. Ludendorff walked next to him, and Ludendorff also favored a strong centralized state and opposed secession.

    But it is true that other self-described Nazis have spoken in favor of decentralization or “state’s rights” in order to recruit neo-confederates to their cause. In the 1950s and 1960s there was an outright Nazi group called “The National States’ Rights Party” – a name picked to appeal to southern voters.

    Communists are more explicit, referring to a dialectal approach; when out of power, demand civil liberties for dissidents; when holding power, the purpose of the state is to suppress class enemies of the Communist Party. Nazis are just less philosophical.

  23. paulie

    So what would have happened if the putsch succeeded? Hitler would have had control of Bavaria and would have been considered a criminal by the national government, correct?

  24. Gene Berkman

    Actually, Hitler expected the military high command to join him and Gen. Ludendorff – his goal was seizure of power throughout Germany.

    In 1923 Bavaria was led by State Commissioner Gustav von Kahr, who defied the authority of the central government in several ways. In “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” William Shirer notes that von Kahr defied a central government order to suppress the Nazi Party newspaper, but that was the only help he gave the Nazi Party.

    As Shirer notes on page 67, von Kahr was holding a meeting at the beer hall, and Hitler was afraid von Kahr would use the meeting to proclaim Bavarian independence. Hitler pushed ahead with his attempted Putsch in order to stop Bavarian independence, beginning his uprising before his forces were prepared.

    In addition to his agitation in Bavaria, Hitler and the Nazis supported violent uprisings in northern Germany as well. The Nazi goal from the beginning was a nation-wide nationalist uprising.

  25. dL

    I’m not sure whether Duke pledged allegiance to the NAP

    David Duke has never claimed to be a libertarian. However, there were those in the paleo-libertarian brigade who cited Duke as an template for a political cadre movement.

  26. Andy

    V for Vagina said: “Lots of racists make individual exceptions. You really still haven’t figured this out?”

    It appears that Cantwell is making a lot of individual exceptions.

  27. Andy

    “Darryl W. Perry
    September 7, 2017 at 08:15
    ‘I expect Adam to have a better organized campaign than Perry.’
    From what I’ve heard, his campaign staff has turned over numerous times, and he’s run off many volunteers – including some people who worked on my campaign.”

    Darryl, I’m not sure if you took my comment as a personal attack, but if so, it was not meant as a personal attack. I actually voted for you on both ballots to be the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President in Orlando last year, and I still think that out of the list of available choices for the nomination, that you should have gotten it. I also think that McAfee, Petersen, or the late Dr. Feldman, would have been better than Gary Johnson.

    I know that running for office, particularly for President, is not easy, and I do appreciate the effort that you put into the campaign. Unfortunately, your campaign never really took off, and you only ended up with around 6% of the vote at the convention. I think that you would have done better if you had been better known. You are a radio host, but Free Talk Live is not your show (it is Ian Freeman and Mark Edge’s show), you are a co-host. If Free Talk Live was The Darryl W. Perry Show, and was on the same number of stations, you’d be a lot more well known. I know that you do a couple of other shows, but I don’t think as many people know about them. I know that you are running for the state legislature in New Hampshire right now. If you had run for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination as an elected Libertarian in New Hampshire, say a sitting state legislator, or as the Mayor of Keene, or the Sheriff of Cheshire County, this would have also increased your odds of winning the presidential nomination.

    I think that another part of the problem is with Libertarians themselves. A lot of Libertarians are too lazy to do the hard work that it takes to build a political party and movement, and they want a “savior” to come in and do all of the work for them. This is part of what leads to the “shiny badge” syndrome, which is what led to the nominations of Bob Barr and Gary Johnson (well this, and probable infiltration and stacking of the convention floors with people who weren’t really libertarians). So rather than helping to build up fellow Libertarians, they look outside the Libertarian Party for people that they can latch onto with the hope that said person will come and “save” them by impressing the general public with their “shiny badge” credentials. It would be great if all of these “shiny badge” candidates could actually pass a reasonable libertarian litmus test, but unfortunately, the people who go “gaga” over the “shiny badge” candidates are willing to sacrifice principles for “shiny badge” credentials.

    Adam Kokesh is not exactly a mainstream celebrity either, but he has become relatively well known on YouTube (he’s got a lot of videos, and a lot of hits), and on the libertarian conference/convention circuit. Adam is currently on his second national speaking tour since he announced that he was interested in seeking the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, and he is compiling lists of supporters. He has also already shown that he has the ability to raise money, and his book, Freedom, makes a great campaign book, as it is a good introduction to the libertarian philosophy and movement.

    Is this enough to propel Adam to win the LP’s presidential nomination in 2020? I don’t know. A lot can happen between now and then, and we don’t know who all else is going to enter the race.

    I know about what happened last year with his girlfriend breaking up with him and trash talking him online, and the one or two other people (or not much more than that), who were part of his campaign quitting. His ex-girlfriend has since posted a video online apologizing for trashing him and she has wished him good luck. I don’t think that this personal issue rose to the level that it should have anything to do with his campaign.

    Whatever happens at the 2020 Libertarian National Convention, I just hope that the party can break its streak of not nominating anyone that could pass what I’d call a reasonable libertarian litmus test to be on its presidential ticket. The party needs to start nominating actual libertarians to be on its presidential ticket again, or it might as well shut down.

  28. Andy

    Another interesting thing from this video is that Adam said that he’s in the process of organizing a debate between Nicholas Sawark and Arvin Vohra and two people from the Ludwig von Mises Institute, probably Jeff Deist and Murray Sabrin. No offense to Mr. Sabrin, but I’d much rather see Tom Woods fill that spot.

  29. V for Vagina

    “David Duke has never claimed to be a libertarian.”

    According to at least some sources he has. I’ll grant you that I can’t find them with a quick internet search and don’t want to spend a lot of time on it but I have seen reports of him saying that before.

    “It appears that Cantwell is making a lot of individual exceptions.”

    And it also appears that he is a hardcore racist. So. as I said, there is no contradiction. Racists claiming not to be racists because they have black friends is not a new thing. If your friends introduce you as “she’s one of the good ones…”

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    “what if [Cantwell] did a big mea culpa and went around on the talk show circuit apologizing to people, and admitting that he’s got anger management issues, and that he let himself get out of control?”

    Yes, because blaming his actions on anger management issues and on letting himself get out of control would certainly dispel the perception that he’s not candidate material.

  31. Anthony Dlugos

    “You are probably right, but what if he did a big mea culpa and went around on the talk show circuit apologizing to people, and admitting that he’s got anger management issues, and that he let himself get out of control? ”

    Are you insane?

    Oh, wait. Andy wrote that.

  32. Anthony Dlugos

    “Another interesting thing from this video is that Adam said that he’s in the process of organizing a debate between Nicholas Sawark and Arvin Vohra and two people from the Ludwig von Mises Institute, probably Jeff Deist and Murray Sabrin.”

    Dream on.

  33. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    Libertarianism and radical decentralism are not either/or choices but should work in sync. I’ve been writing about how that can work since the mid1980s in my newsletter DECENTRALIZE! and in articles in NOMOS, and since 2000 on my site Secession.net (which now is undergoing radical updating), as well as blog entries and other writings.

    Throughout it’s history Secession.Net has started with the following:
    “At least 5,000 racial, ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups are lumped together into only 189 nation states. Most of the world’s violent conflicts are related to struggles for dominance within or independence from some large, multi-national nation state. A large percentage of the world’s people (especially in populous India, China, Indonesia and Africa) would choose to secede from their respective nation states if given the opportunity.
    “Millions of activists worldwide are committed to national, ethnic, religious and regional secessionist movements described variously as: self-determination, independence, autonomy, sub-national, micro-national, separatist, sovereignty, indigenous, homeland, Fourth World. Ideological movements explicitly or implicitly promoting individual, community or regional rights to secession include: libertarian, anarchist, anti-authoritarian, decentralist, devolutionist, cantonal, green, bioregional, “small is beautiful,” communal, survivalist, radical pacifist or futurist. While these latter movements may promote differing social and economic goals, their commitment to individual liberty is strong.”

    I will continue to make that point. But see I now will have to stress even more adamantly what I also wrote at the site:
    “Communities may create whatever economic, social or cultural systems they choose. However, we believe that in order to prevent communities from abusing individual rights and liberties and re-creating warring nation states, they must follow five principles of political process, which are both libertarian and decentralist:” (Which I called then A Bill of Rights, Polycentric law, Consensus-Oriented processes, Direct Democracy, Sunset Provisions). With an insufficiently libertarian version of libertarian decentralism now catching on, I’ll have to tweak these to emphasize even more libertarian principles.

    In criticizing Deist, I’ve already repeatedly said that there’s a difference between the right to be “parochial” in your self-determining community or networks/confederations of such and the delusion that the primary libertarian strategy should be to appeal to parochial interests, making them the “new libertarian.” Worse, Deist IMPLIES that the existing racial/ethnic/cultural values of any group override any libertarian concept of liberty or property. “Blood and soil” has meant essentially that “our blood” will own some specific land and we don’t have to respect rights of people NOT our blood who happen to be on that soil! Hopefully after seeing the chanters at Charlottesville Deist has realized his error and will no long use that phrase!

    I think Kokesh is enough of a libertarian that he won’t be drawn to that extreme an interpretation of libertarian decentralism and have more my view: “Wow, all these ethnic and ideological groups seeking freedom from an oppressive state who just have to realize that adopting more libertarian principles will help them get and keep that liberty!” Of course, I also promote heavily the full range of nonviolent strategies to discourage libertarian decentralists from grabbing their guns, with the Libertarian Veterans Caucus leading the charge! (UGH YUK ICKY)

    For an outline and text of of Gene Sharp’s book “The Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion” see http://www.aeinstein.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/How-Nonviolent-Struggle-Works.pdf

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