Chris Cantwell and the Free State Project

Libertarian/anarchist Chris Cantwell wrote this brilliant article about his expulsion from the Free State Project.
—-

Porcupine Non Grata

Jody Gevins Underwood emailed me today concerning last nights board meeting of the Free State Project, and the motion to kick me out of the organization. Below is the exact text of that email, and then I will give you my thoughts on the matter.

Dear Chris,

The FSP Board met last night to discuss your situation and what to do. Our decision is stated below, which includes our reasoning.

Whereas Chris Cantwell has made the following public statements, been offered the opportunity to retract, and has refused to do so: “It’s a terribly unpopular thing to say, but the answer, at some point, is to kill government agents,” and “any level of force necessary for anyone to stop any government agent from furthering said coercion [tax collection in the context of funding the salaries of all government employees] is morally justifiable…”

Whereas the FSP Board believes this view exceeds the right of self-defense

Whereas the Policy and Procedure for Removing Participants (passed 7/11/04) states:

Participants may be removed for promoting violence, racial hatred, or bigotry. Participants who are deemed detrimental to the accomplishment of the Free State Project’s goals may also be removed.

Therefore, according to the Policy and Procedure for Removing Participants, the FSP Board removes Chris Cantwell as a participant and declares him unwelcome to attend FSP-organized events.

In peace and liberty,

Jody

for the FSP Board

What this means is, I’ve been removed from the list of FSP participants, and I’m not welcome at events like PorcFest. It means the FSP has chosen to alienate not only me, but thousands of other people who agree with me, or even disagree with me but want to continue the conversation. It means that rather than write a coherent response to my blog, they would rather cut off communication and discourage others from having philosophical and tactical discussions (two different things) about the proper application of force.

What this doesn’t mean is, you shouldn’t move to New Hampshire, the Free State Project is fascist or doesn’t believe in free speech, or any number of other negative things people have said about the FSP in an effort to support me. This sort of rhetoric is counter productive. The FSP is voluntary, they can associate with whom they see fit. I believe in freedom of association, if the FSP doesn’t want me, who the hell am I to impose myself upon them? I’m still free to say whatever I want, I just can’t come to their party. I’m still free to live within the arbitrary geopolitical boundary commonly known as New Hampshire, I’m just not a member of this particular organization. I’m not ostracized by every member of the Free State Project, in fact I’m still facebook friends with the president thereof, this is a PR stunt to avoid unwanted attention. New Hampshire is a great place to live, and the FSP board is only 5 people.

Now, there’s quite a bit to say about this. Not the least of which is, I knew it was going to happen when I wrote “Concord Police, Go and Get Your Bearcat“. I alluded to that in the article when I said “the inevitable outrage that this article will invoke from libertarians may serve as further proof” [of their aversion to violence]. If anything, I’m surprised it took so long. When I moved to New Hampshire last year I found myself in a similar mess, but with a much lower profile and much tamer rhetoric, and it made me realize that there’s very little hope for the cause of liberty because there’s almost nobody willing to actually fight for it. I sought to change that, and my strategy is working.

Think of it as private sector civil disobedience. Other people go to prison for their beliefs, I think it’s quite a small sacrifice for me to miss PorcFest for mine. People are afraid to even discuss the use of force as a moral concept, much less a useful tactic in the fight for freedom. Since force is inevitable, as evidenced by our friends in cages and caskets, somebody has to talk about these things. I’d prefer it wasn’t me. Saying the things I say puts my life in danger and causes me a great deal of trouble in my interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately, there is only one other voice in the voluntarist community I can think of willing to talk about it, and that’s Larken Rose. Seems unfair to let one man shoulder all that burden. I hope that others will join the discussion, that’s part of why I’m saying the things I’m saying, and again, my strategy is working.

By threatening to kick me out over a blog, the FSP helped me draw light to this subject and made a lot of people talk about it. Yesterday, social media was buzzing with philosophical and tactical conversations over the use of force, and most of what I saw acknowledged that a line exists where force was necessary and proper. There’s still a lot of difference over where exactly that line is, and that’s a personal decision for each individual to make on their own. I think it’s important for people to discuss that more often, because as we’ve seen, things are getting worse out there, and the rate of change is picking up.

The IRS is targeting political enemies, the NSA monitors nearly all of our communications, the Nobel Peace Prize winning president who was elected as an antiwar candidate is preparing to launch yet another unprovoked attack on a foreign country while several such conflicts already exist, Boston fell to martial law on the day the first shots of the American Revolution were fired, Adam Kokesh is held in solitary confinement over a YouTube video, and by the way we still have high taxes, inflation, over-regulation, the war on drugs, a complete disregard for the bill of rights, and all the other things libertarians have been complaining about since before the coining of the term libertarian. If that line has not been crossed yet, it’s time to have a serious discussion over just where that line is. If not now, then when? If not you, then who? Decide now, because if you decide after you’ve been disarmed, things are going to become much more complicated.

I think the predominant line of thinking within the voluntarist community can be attributed largely to Stefan Molyneux, a brilliant man who I enjoy listening to. The strategy is a multigenerational solution, which means we allow this madness to continue for another 200 years or more. We leave this struggle for future generations to suffer through, we all die as slaves, we raise our children as slaves, and we hope against all evidence that reason will win out over force and irrationality, and eventually mankind will live in a world where the good guys always win. While this is a fine thing to desire, my study of history leads me to believe otherwise.

Larken said it best, ironically enough as a paid speaker at PorcFest, when he said “might does not make right, but it does make outcomes”. Ultimately, good will win out over evil when the good guys are better at using force, and more willing to use force, than the bad guys. It is an inescapable fact that people who will use force will always defeat people who are not willing to use force, and if violence is to be the exception rather than the rule, then those with the greatest aversion to violence are going to have to come to terms with its necessity and inevitability.

Extreme Examples

I find it really funny how things get taken out of context, and how people can’t seem to draw a line between philosophical and tactical discussions. Last year it was paperclips. This year it’s killing the mailman. As if I’m actually advocating you shoot a little girl in the face for stepping on your flowers. People will always jump to these absurd fictitious scenarios when they want to find something to disagree with you about. Every anarchist should know this by now, how many times have you been accused by some sheep of wanting to legalize slavery or child pornography? I mean, you could beat around the bush, or you could just run with it.

The paperclip incident, comes from a discussion about a burglar being shot by the Keene Police Department last year while trying to escape. A faction of activists from Keene claimed this was murder, and my contention was that the property owner would have been justified in shooting the burglar, so while I disagree with the existence of a compulsory police department, as things stand the KPD was justified in acting on behalf of the property owner when they shot the burglar. If the property owner took issue with their actions, that of course, would be a different story.

This lead to a philosophical discussion on the use of force to protect property, where it was posed to me by Jason Talley “Do you have the right to shoot someone over a paperclip?”. Sure, why not? It’s my paperclip, he stole it, I have the right to defend and retrieve my property using whatever level of force is necessary. Now, shooting someone over a paperclip seems like a waste of a bullet, and the cleaning costs would surely be astronomical especially if we were on a carpeted floor. I also think that people would look at you funny and think twice about associating with you if you did that, but if you ask a silly question, expect a silly answer.

Jody saw fit to take out of context in her response, my mention of justification for killing any government agent from the more recent controversy. In case you haven’t read the transcript of my email discussion with her, after the initial threat to kick me out of the FSP, Jody responded,

I’ve read your blog post again, and I’m not actually clear about what you’re advocating. Are you suggesting that people defend themselves in the moment, for example, when they are threatened with being kidnapped? Or to preemptively kill a government agent who has not personally interacted with them? I’m not sure the FSP board would agree with either, but there’s a huge difference in my mind.

I responded

More than anything, I want to put the question of force back into the larger discussion of tactics. What answers are reached in that discussion remain to be seen.

For me personally, all government agents are paid through coercive means, so from a purely philosophical angle, any level of force necessary for anyone to stop any government agent from furthering said coercion is morally justifiable.

The question then necessarily moves to efficacy, and opening fire on the mailman seems like a rather senseless use of ammunition, not to mention the loss of life and public relations problems. To ask whether or not a person would be justified in shooting a cop to avoid arrest on the other hand is also a no brainer, of course they would be justified.

I say we have the discussion on where to draw the line between the two examples, that’s impossible to do if I’m worrying about who’s going to get pissed off or threaten me over my writings, so I’m not going to take such things into consideration.

So, to be clear, I’m saying that a person is absolutely justified in shooting a cop in self defense. If you disagree with me on that, then sleep well, slave. But I’m most certainly not saying you should shoot the mailman. The mailman is a thief, because he knowingly receives stolen money. The State obfuscates responsibility so that nobody is ever really responsible for their crimes, the elected officials operate on a demand from the people, the tax collector and the police officer are just following orders, the mailman is just doing his job, etc, etc… Does that excuse them of their crimes? No. Does that mean we should kill them? No.

Perhaps we should just arrest the mailman, we’ll get a man in a robe to write on a piece of paper that the mailman is subject to arrest for suspicion of conspiracy to commit grand larceny, then we will steal some money and pay two guys to take him into custody, and we’ll coerce 12 people into a court room to judge his guilt and if he is guilty then another man in a robe will decide how long we should hold him in Jody Underwoods basement. Now, there’s quite a bit of violence being advocated in this example too, but people don’t freak out as much because they’ve been conditioned to accept this as justice. Let’s think this through though, if you arrest the mailman, his family will call the police, the police will investigate his disappearance, and whether or not they are successful, they will at least try to track him to Jody’s basement at which point they will use any level of force necessary to break him out, up to and including burning down the house, killing everyone inside the home including the mailman, and delivering his bones to his family for burial. If all these people are going to die, then it makes a lot more sense and causes a lot less violence if we just shoot the mailman where he stands and drop the gun and run away.

If I point out that it makes a lot more sense to leave the mailman alone, am I still advocating violence by painting this picture? Apparently.

But if it is justified to shoot a cop in self defense, is it not justified to shoot the politician who wrote the law that orders the cop to kidnap you? Is it not justified to shoot the tax collector who sends the letter that is inevitably followed by cops coming to kidnap you? The judge who writes the warrant? The mailman who delivers the threatening letter? Philosophical questions all, and I think it a shame that so many people say we can’t even discuss it.

Tactically speaking, I got a speeding ticket in New Hampshire last week, I had a gun, and surprisingly enough, I’m not on the run for murder. I’m probably not even going to fight the ticket in court, I’ll probably have the mailman deliver my payment.

What Should You Do?

You should do, whatever you want to do. That’s sort of the whole point, isn’t it? I plan on living my life in New Hampshire whether the FSP wants to acknowledge my presence or not. I think it would be cool if you joined me there. Unless the FSP sees the error they made and decides to reverse their decision, I won’t be attending PorcFest or Liberty Forum, but if you haven’t been to these events, you owe it to yourself to go at least once. Aside from that, there’s really no other implication to the decision of the FSP, so I’m really not that concerned about this decision, and you shouldn’t be either. It’s just a silly symbolic gesture by 5 people who take themselves too seriously. Being kicked out of the FSP for being an advocate of forceful resistance, is like being kicked out the Libertarian Party for being an anarchist as far as I’m concerned, only less significant. (No, I haven’t been kicked out of the LP, I left on my own because I got bored.)

If I could offer the FSP some advice, perhaps changing your guidelines to something like “credible threat of violence” would help preserve some of your credibility, because this is all really silly. Everybody who knows me, knows that I’m a threat to no voluntarist, and banning me from PorcFest was out of line. Especially after I rocked Soap Box Idol, not once, but twice.

Whatever you do, don’t ban Larken Rose. His talks at PorcFest are really important, it won’t help preserve your consistency any, and the last thing you need to do is alienate more philosophically sound non-aggressionists.

60 thoughts on “Chris Cantwell and the Free State Project

  1. Kris McKinster

    When a person attaches a no-holds-barred value to self-defense and liberty and attaches zero value to human life, he has made a dangerous error.

    Jason Talley asked a legitimate question. We do not have the right to shoot someone over a paperclip.

    Repeat after me.

    We do not have the right to shoot someone over a paperclip 🙂

  2. Dave Terry

    #1; “We do not have the right to shoot someone over a paperclip”

    So, WHEN, and over WHAT, do we have the right
    to shoot someone????

    #8; “Montana was probably a much better choice then NH. for the free state.”

    I recall a number of years ago when we were voting over WHICH state should be selected; I voted for Montana then; but mostly because I’m from the west cost and wouldn’t have to move so far and disorganize by life

    On the the other, New Hampshire is the ONLY state in the running that actually has access to the sea and is not landlocked by other, perhaps, not so friendly states.

    NOT, as it turns out, has separation and independence ever been part of the Free State Project. Too bad.

    In after sight, I glad I didn’t waste any money or energy of the the FSP!

    Dave Terry

  3. Andy

    “On the the other, New Hampshire is the ONLY state in the running that actually has access to the sea and is not landlocked by other, perhaps, not so friendly states.”

    Alaska was one of the top choices for the Free State Project, and it has access to the ocean and it does not border any states.

  4. Dave Terry

    #10; “Alaska was one of the top choices for the Free State Project, and it has access to the ocean and it does not border any states.”

    You are, of course, correct about the access to the ocean, but in the poll I saw, Alaska had been already eliminated from contention due to all the negatives; extreme distance from anywhere, weather, the remoteness of locations within the state, economy (access to external markets, etc.)

  5. Robert Capozzi

    cc: So, to be clear, I’m saying that a person is absolutely justified in shooting a cop in self defense. If you disagree with me on that, then sleep well, slave.

    me: Alrighty, then. Sleeping well, thank you.

    Pleased to be a TAAAList.!

  6. DSZ

    See, this is where some libertarians’ personal philosophy crumbles.

    You can’t inject your morals into the state and view every one of the state’s actions as carrying a moral judgment, as Democrats and especially Republicans often do. Governments ideally operate based on rights rather than morals (ie, operating based on consensus and only using coercion to carry out justice by due process). In a large polity you can’t use it to implement your own moral vision successfully.

    Conversely, human beings can’t act like their ideal image of the state, and operate solely based on rights with no moral compass. A state that does not enforce morals (ie, a non-ecclesiastical state) only functions properly when people carry personal moral responsibility for their actions. This means feeling something more than simply self-justification for shooting someone who violates your property rights. Shooting people over petty matters and only feeling bad about it because of collateral damage or how messy it is, indicates the suppression of the soul and any empathy one has for the family of the victim (or in the shooter’s view, the aggressor), or that person individually. Yes, there’s a point at which self-defense is justified, and it’s moderated by a strong moral compass. However, it’s also effective and certainly justified to follow St. Augustine’s advice for the just man living in an unjust city, or to borrow the tactics of the Civil Rights movement or Ghandi’s non-cooperation movement. At some point some governments just won’t respond to those tactics, but we haven’t even reach the point where we’ve tried them, and certainly there is a difference between personal self-defense and this sort of general self-defense Cantwell is arguing for. Employing it, in fact, would probably have the effect of creating a greater burden for taxpayers via the families of the victims/police involvement, and would extend state control. So Cantwell and his ilk are the very reason people distrust libertarians and write them off as crazies, and the very reason police and defense budgets would balloon further, if there were more of them.

  7. DSZ

    Also if you’re being arrested by a policeman, sometimes it’s actually because you did a bad thing, rather than oppression.

  8. Dave Terry

    Haven’t a clue what a TAAAList is, but clearly, the ignorant and feeble minded don’t know enough to worry, so they CAN sleep soundly….until…….

    To paraphrase Cardinal Martin-Niemöller;
    > First they came for the communists, but I
    > wasn’t a communist, so I slept. Then they > came for the trade-unionists, but I wasn’t a > trade-unionist, so I slept. Then they came for > the Jews, but I wasn’t a Jew, so I slept. Then > they came from me, but no one was awake to > warn me

  9. Mike Kane

    I think the FL Keys would have been the best place for the FSP to have chosen.

    I disagree with the author’s premise although I understand his viewpoints.

    I utterly despise preemptive violence and feel that moving towards a free society will not be done through violent means.

  10. David Colborne

    Regarding the paperclip question, do you have the right to kill someone because they stole X, regardless of what X is (paperclip, car, whatever)?

    In my opinion, no. Human life is priceless and is inherently worth more than any material possession.

    However, if someone violently attacks you to steal X, for any value of X, or threatens to attack you to steal X, for any value of X, do you have the right to kill the person, regardless of how menial X might be?

    In my opinion, yes, broadly speaking, and it has nothing to do with theft. It has to do with appropriate responses to threats of violence against the body. When someone threatens your body over X, they have already declared that they view X in higher worth than human life. In their mind, the price has already been negotiated. You’re just agreeing to their terms.

    Now, regarding the issue of “self-defense” as outlined above, I think there is a certain moral, intellectual, and philosophical simplicity to it that makes it attractive. If anything the government does is inherently a violation of the NAP because the existence of government is inherently a violation of the NAP, and if all violations of the NAP are morally and philosophically answerable with violent force, then yes, I suppose you could justify shooting police officers and mailmen.

    But those are some big ifs, and they rest on a lot of assumptions that most people, myself included, don’t agree with. Starting backwards, are all violations of the NAP answerable with violent, deadly force? In my opinion, no – if a non-violent method of resolving an NAP dispute is available, it should be pursued and exhausted. If we don’t believe this, then I can be “morally justified” for shooting a neighboring camper because their campfire “aggressed” against my personal property (my yard, or maybe just my nose). No statistically significant collection of humans would last long under those conditions – they’d either kill each other over the slightest infractions or live in deathly dear of being killed over said infractions until the stress of day-to-day life killed them first.

    Now, is the existence of government or a State a violation of the NAP? Not necessarily – most anarchist societies assume that there would be various organizations and methods responsible for adjudicating contract disputes and the like. Presumably, there would also be methods of dealing with when these voluntary organizations disagree with each other’s conclusions regarding such matters. If we define a government or state as an organization bound by rules that govern how the constituent organizations and people therein relate to each other and to the government, there’s no reason a group of voluntary organizations and heir members can’t create a larger organization that meets said criteria and thus forms a “government”. Granted, it would look and behave substantially different than our current one, but it would still be a government.

    Finally, there’s the issue of whether the NAP belongs as the philosophical cornerstone of any serious movement. The fine folks at BHL have dug into that matter with far more rigor than I can muster and I generally agree with their overall conclusion, which can be basically summed up as, “No”.

  11. Dave Terry

    DSZ @ 15

    Also if you’re being arrested by a policeman, sometimes it’s actually because you did a bad thing, rather than oppression.

    What kind of inane gibberish is this? First of all,
    doing something “illegal” isn’t the same as doing something “bad”. Secondly, we aren’t talking about when we do something “bad” – it goes without saying that we are only concerned here with behavior that the “state” finds “bad” and is using the force of law compel conformity.

    Finally, there cannot BE a serious philosophical
    movement WITHOUT the NAP.

  12. Dave Terry

    MK @ 17; “I utterly despise preemptive violence and feel that moving towards a free society will not be done through violent means.

    Pure platitude and no room for reason. IF by “preemptive violence”, you mean the ‘initiation’ of violence, that’s ONE thing, If on the other hand there is a consistent pattern of aggression than there is no reason to arbitrarily insist on allowing the aggressor to have the first shot!

  13. David Colborne

    @19: The NAP is a wonderful shorthand of what the libertarian movement stands for. It is not, however, a shortcut, and this is where a lot of libertarians get confused. We can no more divine a comprehensive, coherent political philosophy out of the NAP than we can divine the Grand Unified Theory out of E=mc^2. The NAP is incredibly useful in its domain, but it’s a conclusion, not a foundation, and consequently breaks down when you start to seriously examine what “aggression” really is, how deeply it relies on a strong theory of property rights (and how strong that theory must be for it to work), and so on.

  14. Kris McKinster

    @7 The LPNevada state convention is postponed pursuant to LPNevada Bylaws Article IV, Sections 2 & 3. Keep an eye on lpnevada.org for updates.

  15. Nicholas Sarwark

    If an organization’s rules say that you can be kicked out for promoting violence and you promote violence, you get kicked out. Freedom of speech lets you be an asshole, freedom of association let’s people kick assholes out of their club.

  16. Kris McKinster

    @9 “So, WHEN, and over WHAT, do we have the right
    to shoot someone????”

    If not than over a paperclip???? … I think it’s best you just keep your finger away from the trigger for now and keep those guns in the closet.

  17. Dave Terry

    KM #24:

    Mr. McKinster; At #9 I responded to your, out of context remark that one has no right to shoot someone over a paper clip, to wit; WHEN and under WHAT circumstance does one have the right to shoot someone.

    Rather than respond with a forthright & honest answer, you continue to present bromides and
    sophomoric responses.

    Is it possible to get an actual ‘answer’ to my question, OR must we assume that you do NOT
    believe that there are ANY circumstances that might justify deadly force.

    BTW, I never put my finger on the trigger, unless and until I plan on firing………AND, If I
    do NOT keep my guns in the closet, do you plan on having someone come to my house to take them away?

  18. Dave Terry

    DC @ 21: “The NAP is a wonderful shorthand of what the libertarian movement stands for. It is not, however, a shortcut, and this is where a lot of libertarians get confused.

    Please define “shorthand” and “shortcut” and show
    the differences.

    > “The NAP is incredibly useful in its domain, but it’s a conclusion, not a foundation, and consequently breaks down when you start to seriously examine what “aggression” really is, how deeply it relies on a strong theory of property rights (and how strong that theory must be for it to work), and so on.”

    More verbiage?
    NO ONE has claimed that the NAP is the sole foundation of a free society. The FACT is it is derivative of the law of self-ownership.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    NS @ 23,

    I have not read every scrap of Cantwell’s writings, but the particular passages which were cited as “promoting violence” do not, on my reading in context, promote violence.

    Cantwell states that some particular instances of violence would be “morally justifiable,” but then gives reasons why resorting to violence might not be a good idea.

    FSP had a vague policy. Its board appears to have unjustifiably invoked that policy, and to have done so in a weaselly way (e.g. stating that Cantwell would “not be welcome” at FSP events rather than invoking an organizational property claim to forbid him to visit those events).

    From outside, it looks like either someone on FSP’s board decided to use that board to grind a personal ax, and the rest of the board went along, or else FSP is going through one of those nasty organizational “gentrification” episodes in which its board suddenly decides that now that people are building brick houses, the trailers have to go.

    Either way, a sad thing and not something with which I’m willing to continue even nominally associating.

  20. Nicholas Sarwark

    @28: A mealy-mouthed aside that shooting mailmen would be bad tactics and a waste of ammunition right after saying that it’s philosophically okay is not backing off the promotion of violence. At best, it’s sufficient to get one out of inciting imminent violence, but it’s still promoting violence generally.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    NS @ 29,

    I don’t think he said that shooting mailmen is “philosophically okay.”

    I think he said that it’s “morally justifiable.”

    I think lots of things are morally justifiable, and I don’t consider arguing that those things are morally justifiable is the same thing as “promoting” actually doing those things.

    Just as an example, Ayn Rand held that the US would be justified in invading and freeing a slave regime — and opposed every US military adventure from her arrival here until her death.

  22. Nicholas Sarwark

    For me personally, all government agents are paid through coercive means, so from a purely philosophical angle, any level of force necessary for anyone to stop any government agent from furthering said coercion is morally justifiable.

    The question then necessarily moves to efficacy, and opening fire on the mailman seems like a rather senseless use of ammunition, not to mention the loss of life and public relations problems. To ask whether or not a person would be justified in shooting a cop to avoid arrest on the other hand is also a no brainer, of course they would be justified.

    I read that as you can shoot anyone who accepts a government paycheck, but it’s a waste of ammo and otherwise a bad idea.

  23. Thomas L. Knapp

    NS @ 32,

    “I read that as you can shoot anyone who accepts a government paycheck, but it’s a waste of ammo and otherwise a bad idea.”

    And I read it the same way.

    If you consider that “promotion,” I disagree.

  24. George Phillies

    Groups that think it is appropriate to propose “any level of force necessary for anyone to stop any government agent from furthering said coercion [tax collection in the context of funding the salaries of all government employees] is morally justifiable…” are pathological, not attached to any reality in our world. By rejecting the assertion the Free Sate Project showed a way in which it was not simply pathological.

  25. DSZ

    @19 – Clearly, and I meant what I said, with “bad” meaning anything the individual in question would objectively find reprehensible if someone else were committing the same action. There are some cases in which you could be in violation of an unjust law, and you would be justified in resisting arrest under that law. However, it’s not always the case that you’re being oppressed when arrested; if you were arrested for murder, or even drunk driving, and you know you committed said action, then you’re endangering other people, and pretty much throwing rocks from a glass house if you try to forcibly resist. We can argue over how these laws are derived, what their content and punishments are, other mechanisms for preventing such behavior etc, but there is no sense in defending oneself over one’s ability to deny others’ their rights. Cantwell basically argues that you can violently resist arrest anytime, but should be advised not to if it is tactically disadvantageous. This is completely absurd and assuming personal moral perfection.

  26. Andy

    David Terry said: “You are of course correct about the access to the ocean, but in the poll I saw, Alaska had been already eliminated from contention due to all the negatives; extreme distance from anywhere, weather, the remoteness of locations within the state, economy (access to external markets, etc.)”

    I recall that Alaska was one of the top choices for the Free State Project. I think I came in 3rd or 4th place in the final vote.

  27. Dave Terry

    According to the Boston Globe of 10/9/2003, Wyoming came in second. no other data was avail.

  28. Wes Wagner

    Just because something is morally justifiable does not mean it is prudent … and it would take a fool to commit an act as absurd as what is being described here.

    Nothwithstanding the cost v benefit analysis, history tends to indicate that changes that come about as a result of violence seem to often be net negative.

    I can understand thoroughly why the FSP would like to have the policies they do.

  29. Andy

    “Dave Terry // Sep 4, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    According to the Boston Globe of 10/9/2003, Wyoming came in second. no other data was avail.”

    I know that Wyoming came in 2nd place. I’m pretty sure that Alaska came in 3rd or 4th place. I remember some people I know were pissed that Alaska did not win.

  30. Kris McKinster

    DT #26

    Mr. Terry; At #1, my remark was in context.

    At #24, I presented responses in kind to your question. It is possible to get an actual answer to your question, as follows:

    One has the right to shoot someone who would otherwise shoot someone over a paperclip. As so eloquently stated in “The Law” by Frederic Bastiat, each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property.

    Finally, I hope you wouldn’t plan on firing without knowing WHEN and under WHAT circumstance does one have the right to shoot someone.

    I don’t plan to have someone take your guns, but there are others who do. It would be best for all to not give them occasion and keep your guns in the closet unless you are prepared to use them without error.

  31. Starchild

    Saying something is morally justifiable isn’t the same thing as saying people ought to do it.

    Chris Cantwell was clearly drawing a distinction between the two.

    If we can’t say that advocating a violent uprising is at some point morally justifiable, then we can’t even say the first American War of Secession (aka American Revolution) was justifiable.

    It is a shame that anyone would be disinvited from attending PorcFest when there has been no violation of the Non-Aggression Principle.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    GP @ 34,

    The validity or non-validity of your claim aside — I’d say it’s very debatable — Chris Cantwell was not speaking for, nor did he claim to be speaking for, nor was he any sort of public representative of, the FSP.

    Therefore, the FSP board’s action was pathological, not only because Cantwell’s statements didn’t promote violence, but because it reveals that the FSP board suffers from the delusion that what Chris Cantwell says or writes is any of its fucking business.

  33. Nicholas Sarwark

    @42: If you look at Cantwell’s blog posts detailing the conversation between himself and the FSP board, it’s clear that the FSP had and has no intention of telling him what he can say, merely that he can either retract those things and be an FSP member or not retract them and not be an FSP member.

    Straight freedom of association.

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    NS @ 43,

    “Straight freedom of association.”

    Only if one assumes that the board’s claim to legitimacy in the exercise of such powers on alleged behalf of FSP’s members is valid.

  35. Dave Terry

    KM @ 40: “Mr. Terry; At #1, my remark was in context.

    Mr. McKinster is still being dishonest. This discussion has NEVER been about “paper clips”.
    A fact you would acknowledge if you actually read what Mr. Cantwell WROTE, not what Mr.
    Talley illegitimately suggested he MEANT!

    “The paperclip incident, comes from discussion about a burglar being shot by the Keene Police Department last year while trying to escape.

    1, Did the burglar ONLY steal a paperclip?
    2. Did the police officer who shot him KNOW he only stole a paperclip, or did he believe he may have stolen much more or EVEN possibly injured someone in the commission of that crime?
    3. Did the police officer shoot with the intent to KILL the burglar or simply to disable him?
    4. Did the police officer have MORE right to shoot the fleeing burglar that a private citizen would under the same circumstance.

    5. Don’t you think that we should be able to address these questions BEFORE we go on a diatribe accusing people of vigilantism.

  36. Dave Terry

    KM #40; “Finally, I hope you wouldn’t plan on firing without knowing WHEN and under WHAT circumstance does one have the right to shoot someone.”

    Clearly, you don’t know me, so I will explain;
    As a Vietnam veteran, I CLEARLY understand WHEN it is proper to kill and not to kill.

    If it is “proper” to kill men in their homeland, thousands of miles from MY home, it is without
    doubt, absolutely righteous to kill invaders and
    dictators on my own door step.

  37. Kris McKinster

    DT #45

    I am not being dishonest. I am discussing the answer to the philosophical question purportedly posed by Jason Talley to demonstrate an error in reasoning, to which the author of the article gave a disturbingly incorrect answer to.

    There is not enough information presented in the article for me to take a position on the actions of the Keene police department in the aforementioned event.

    Indeed, I don’t know you, and I’ve meant no offense especially to a fellow freedom lover, so please take none.

  38. Andy

    “Starchild // Sep 5, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Saying something is morally justifiable isn’t the same thing as saying people ought to do it.”

    BINGO!

    “Chris Cantwell was clearly drawing a distinction between the two.”

    That’s the way I interpeted it.

    “If we can’t say that advocating a violent uprising is at some point morally justifiable, then we can’t even say the first American War of Secession (aka American Revolution) was justifiable.”

    Yeah. Back in the days of the American Revolution a popular phrase was “DEATH TO KING GEORGE!” Whatever happened to that spirit?

    “It is a shame that anyone would be disinvited from attending PorcFest when there has been no violation of the Non-Aggression Principle.”

    I agree. It seemed to me that he was just making a point and was not provacatuering.

  39. Dave Terry

    “Starchild // Sep 5, 2013 at 5:26 am; “Saying that something is morally justifiable isn’t the same as saying people ought to do it.”

    DUH! I can’t believe we’ve been reduced to this!

    Andy; “Yeah. Back in the days of the American Revolution a popular phrase was “DEATH TO KING GEORGE!” Whatever happened to that spirit?

    How about; Would someone take the Nobel Prize that Obama won and choke the SOB to death with it?

  40. Pingback: 0409 pc344 Bigger Than Cantwell and the FSP | Bad Quaker Dot Com

  41. Pingback: Chris Cantwell and the Free State Project | Independent Political Report: Third Party News | Jesse Talks Back

  42. Pingback: Chris Cantwell and the Free State Project | Reblogged from original source | Jesse Talks Back

  43. Scott Carroll

    True libertarians are thrilled to hear that their beliefs don’t toe a party line, even if that party line is the Libertarians. Cheers to free thought!

  44. Dave Terry

    SC @ #56

    One must question the sincerity of one who is “thrilled” that not even a small group of individuals
    reflect his views. This is NOT to say that it is an equally dysfunctional individual who expects
    large numbers of individuals to agree with every tacit of his beliefs.

    The FACT is there are NO parties, including the “Libertarian Party” whose so-called “party-line is so rigid that it doesn’t allow for variations.
    If anything, THAT FACT is the principle reason we have not received any responsible leadership
    from the “red tribe” or the “blue tribe” in years.

    One must FIRST, differentiate, the small (l) libertarians and the large (L) Libertarians; there
    IS a difference. I would consider both to be true
    (L or l) ibertarians, although the criterion is NOT the same for both.

    This issue ONLY becomes contentious when the
    small l-libertarians begin to speak as if they are actually big L-Libertarians.

    Please remember, the Libertarian PARTY exists
    to contend for power and influence in the POLITICAL realm, not to argue minutia. In order to present an intelligible and consistent
    picture of what a Libertarian “political” policy
    entails, there must be a general consensus.

    Those who would rather debate trivialities need
    not join the LP, where they are more divisive than constructive. This is NOT to say that this discussion is not important and I, for one, find myself debating these issue regularly.

    But there is a time and PLACE for everything!

  45. Andy

    Larken Rose weighs in on the Chris Cantwell / Free State Project controversy.

    FSP: Organized Cowardice?

  46. Stephen Kent Gray

    This reminds me that people do have alternatives in the Free West Alliance and Free State Wyoming.

    Wyoming is part of both. Idaho and Montana are part of the former, but not the latter. There is a list of recommend end counties on the website to optimize political impact. The 13 smallest counties are all analyzed. Crook, Johnson, Sublette, Weston, Converse, and Hot Springs are recommended as the best by the website.

    http://www.freestatewyoming.org/support/detailed-analysis.html

    Also, counties that are next to a listed county are also noted for easy transportation between them, if you want more options than just one county.

    It also seems to be way more pro self defense. Gun ownership is highly recommended.

    I haven’t signed up with the Free State Project, because I haven’t decided which state I prefer best. New Hampshire is a forced unionization state, unlike Idaho and Wyoming. Montana has medical marijuana just like New Hampshire, as well as Delaware. Alaska, Maine, and Vermont have both decriminalization and medical marijuana. Montana and homing are more popular than Idaho in the Free West Alliance, with Wyoming being most popular.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *