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Why the Free State Project Expelled Christopher Cantwell

This past week the Free State Project (FSP) made the news again and, as usual, not in the best way. The FSP board of trustees voted to expel a member – blogger and activist Christopher Cantwell – from the organization for violating the policy against promoting violence.

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love 11 Reasons to Draft-Dodge the Libertarian Guerrilla Army.

This past week the Free State Project (FSP) made the news again and, as usual, not in the best way. The FSP board of trustees voted to expel a member – blogger and activist Christopher Cantwell – from the organization for violating the policy against promoting violence.

In late July of this year, it came to light that the Concord, NH police department represented Free State Project members as domestic terrorists in order to bolster its application to receive funding for an armored “Bearcat” vehicle from the federal government. Since then, FSP members have been hard at work to counter this government propaganda and, in fact, to obtain a retraction and apology from the Concord police.

Just a few days after this news broke, Chris wrote a blog post in which he said that “the answer [to things like the Bearcat issue], 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.”

His statements generated this communication from Jody Gevins Underwood, a member of the FSP board of trustees:

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

This has generated considerable anger towards the Free State Project. Facebook status updates have been running against them by a huge margin, for what that might be worth. But I have seen no public statement by the FSP board nor any interview with a member of the board – until now. This afternoon I interviewed Jody Gevins Underwood, the board member who signed the expulsion announcement. See the 17-minute interview above.

I was on Mike Shanklin’s Voluntary Virtues Roundtable discussion this past Tuesday and debated this issue with Chris. My first question to him was:

“Chris, you knew that the Concord police there had named the FSP as domestic terrorists. And then you wrote an article, you as an FSP member, saying that perhaps we need to start killing government agents — which is what domestic terrorists do. So I’m just kinda wondering, ‘What was going through your head?’ Because, me looking at this from outside, it looks almost like you were trying to sabotage all the great work that people in NH have been doing.”

You can listen to our conversation here: George Donnelly & Chris Cantwell Debate Defense, Non Violence, and Strategies For Combating Statism

I have been repeatedly and severely critical of the FSP in the past but in this situation, I don’t think that Chris left them with any other choice. Chris set up the playing board and the pieces. He made his move at the wrong time on the wrong issue. Whatever his personal motivations may have been, his action threatened perhaps the most important FSP (as an organization, not a community) project since its founding – to resoundingly disprove this propaganda that we are domestic terrorists.

His statements also went beyond what is apparently the very limited view of legitimate defensive violence held by a number of FSP trustees. According to Jody, only violence in immediate defense of life or limb actually counts as self-defense.

Bottom line, Chris should be admonished across the board for being so clumsy and thoughtless as to suggest domestic terrorism while the organization he is a member of is waging a campaign to get the government to retract its claim that the organization is a group of domestic terrorists. But most of the people who are speaking out in support of Chris, by my unscientific appraisal, don’t have the experience in founding or administering organizations required to understand that.

Why did the FSP expel Christopher Cantwell? (1) Talk of killing government agents absent any immediate threat to life or limb exceeds the board’s view of what is legitimate self-defense; and (2) He carelessly suggested people engage in domestic terrorism at precisely the moment when the organization he is a member of is waging a campaign to get the government to retract its claim that the organization is a group of domestic terrorists. That’s my sense of it after speaking with Jody Gevins Underwood, an FSP trustee.

Clarification: It never has been and is not currently my intention to accuse Chris Cantwell of being a terrorist.

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love 11 Reasons to Draft-Dodge the Libertarian Guerrilla Army.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

147 replies on “Why the Free State Project Expelled Christopher Cantwell”

Except, killing govt agents who are initiating violence and coercion on a daily basis is not “domestic terrorism” nor “terrorism” of any kind, period. It is simply morally-justified self-defense from a continuous pattern of immense govt aggression and violence. The FSP is knuckling under to the real terrorists, the establishment, for PR purposes only, not based on real morality and justice. So FSP is discrediting themselves. They might win points with CNN though — and eventually FSP will probably buy CNN air time when FSP has taken over the state — and is itself committing violence and aggression against innocent minorities and victims like Chris Cantwell, AS the state. Once you begin down the road of pandering to establishment definitions of “terrorism”…you JOIN the terrorists.

I don’t know about that. I think a very significant segment of world population sympathizes with violent resistance to violent statism.

You disagree that a substantial portion of the world population sympathizes with armed resistance to tyranny and oppressors?

Well, I don’t follow such things, but I think it’s safe to say resistance groups enjoy much popular sympathy.

How can make such a claim if you don’t follow such things? Colombia’s FARC and ELN are not widely popular. Nor are the AUC/Bacrim. The Tamil Tigers sunk themselves when they decided to use political violence. Likewise, the IRA plateaued due to their use of violence. And when armed resistance groups manage to win power, for whatever reason, they inevitably turn into a new state. See Cuba for example.

Fair points. My point however is that a large percentage despisethe states and their terrorism, and admire principled resistance. Even Ghandi said that armed violent resistance is moral.

No. He flatly stated that violent resistance to evil and oppression was perfectly acceptable and even meritorious, for people who chose the violent path.

No. He said his choice was nonviolence, but that nonviolence was not best for all people, and armed resistance by those who freely choose it is equally as meritorious.

I tried to find it. I cannot. But I remember reading his positionquite clearly on Wikipedia years ago. He also stated support for gun ownership and arming the Indian country for self-defense.

Btw, Gandhi also supposedly organized violent attacks against capitalist factories, yet avoidedthe fighting himself and asked governors not to physically harm him.

I saw this info on Yahoo Answers 20 minutesago, but now iI can’t find it. Sorry. I am not sure the info is genuine, because this is the first time I ever read that.

This statement is question begging. You’ve in no way shown that the satyagrahi possessed “additional courage” as opposed to the violent Indian revolutionaries. Gandhi had great respect for Bhagat Singh, and he would never have insulted him by implying that he lacked the moral courage to deploy the tactic of satyagraha. Singh — a violent revolutionay — carried popular support of the people, particularly the youth. That was crucial in the Indian independence struggle, and always overlooked when Gandhi’s tactics are invoked.
Also, your comments on the IRA are ahistorical. Michael Collins enjoyed many successes, and he also had wide support of his people. Armed irregulars don’t have to “win” necessarily, they only have to give off the perception of not losing.
Every struggle against oppression is different, therefore it’s hard to compare them to each other. Gandhi is lucky in that he was fighting against a western power, however. Had the Japanese invaded his country, his headless body would have been floating down the Ganges.

You’re doing both, but Gandhi’s words are enough. They make the argument necessary, because Nick referenced him, and his (implied, and actual) success as an argument.

FWIW, you should probably read the WIKIpedia article on Timothy McVeigh. After reading the novel “Unintended Consequences,” he stated that he believed that he should have waged a war of attrition specifically against the government agents responsible for Waco and the gulf war, rather than use a bomb, which wound up killing innocent people. He cited HIroshima and Nagasaki as two instances of WMD usage, as well as his anti-war views as the reason he attacked the Murrah building.

Did the American public sympathize with McVeigh? Not too many of them. Moreover, it doesn’t matter worldwide what people might sympathize with, it matters what people in New Hampshire sympathize with.

From what I know, most people in New Hampshire are servile, sheep-like, and un-American. The FSP, knowing very little about political organization, has only enjoyed limited success there. (However, they enjoy a little more success there than in most other states, except Alaska from 1978-1982 which had far more big and small-L libertarian political success.)

The choice of NH as the FSP state doomed the FSP to being a wet firecracker. Yet again indicating that an uninformed majority is not the best way to take positive action, but is rather a good way to moderate the very worst of damage. (And that’s true. NH was probably the second to fourth-best choice of state, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.)

Nick wrote: “I don’t know about that. I think a very significant segment of world
population sympathizes with violent resistance to violent statism.”

What percentage of the world sympathizes with shooting your mouth off about “violent resistance to violent statism,” to the extent that the people around you have very good reason to wonder if you’re a government agent provocateur setting them up for a raid? Probably the same percentage that can’t do simple math.

I think you are right. Political violence is not going to help us achieve liberty. Even if one feels comfortable with the idea and is actually prepared to do it, as opposed to being just a keyboard warrior, we simply don’t have the numbers for it. Even if we did, I still don’t like it as I think it will inevitably turn people against us. We need to be reaching out and making friends.

Which is why, rather than expelling him, FSP could have just issued a public Resolution disavowing all non-essential “violence”. Instead, they pander to statists, and discredit their own moral authority, by condemning legitimate self-defense as immoral.

They don’t want to draw any more attention to things that don’t move people to the Shire than they absolutely need to. Putting out a resolution gets in the way of that goal. Also, keeping someone who advocates domestic terrorism as a member is going to be used by real opponents to harm them, sooner or later.

How would a Resolution disavowing unnecessary violencediscourage people from joining FSP, but expelling Cantwell doesn’t?

Merely making a philosophical/moral assertion about self-defenseagainst state terrorists should not be grounds for expulsion.

I already acknowledged FSP’s self-ownership. That their choice to expel also discredits their principles is the result they apparently don’t care about much. Which tells you how much they value principles suchas the NAP and self-defenserights.

I think the FSP board has a very adept understanding of precisely how much respect for logic, philosophy, and English grammar 51% of every vote in the USA possesses. That said, OF COURSE they regularly make stupid decisions. They’re a board of MOSHs.

Big thick books have been written on the subject, and the theory has been well-explored. I don’t take “a side” because both sides are full of thresholds and “lines in the sand.” If the USA experienced a kristallnacht type of event, then almost everyone in the general public (in the west, anyway) would favor open violent rebellion / regime change. Of course, nobody would favor “terrorism.”

See: http://www.kurzweilai.net/what-price-freedom-2

–If the geniuses at KAI are debating the merits of violent rebellion, then it’s debatable. …But you just have to be _smart_ about it.

I’m no expert but it seems to me that our government is so massive, not only with government employees but also those dependent on government handouts that any sort of armed rebellion would result in mass killing on a scale that would make Stalin look reasonable. A far better solution is to resist the temptation to use the tools of the government to take down the government. If you take up arms against them, how are you any different from them? From their perspective you are the one initiating violence against them and they are justified in fighting back.

Instead of fighting fire with fire build something new that people WANT, that they are willingly joining, instead of joining because they don’t want to die in your rebellion. Let this new thing replace the old government through primarily voluntary means, let the government collapse under its own weight and help those who are crushed under its collapse. The government may be your enemy but the people in the government are not your enemies, they’re just people who are trying to make a living to feed their families. They don’t believe in your philosophy because they can’t believe it can possibly work. SHOW THEM THAT IT DOES and then you will win.

You use some very fallacious “reasoning” in some of your statements.

Retaliatory force =/= initiated force. This is an elemental axiomatic statement which you must understand to call yourself a libertarian. You wrote:
” If you take up arms against them, how are you any different from them?”

Let’s reduce this to commonly-accepted norms. “If you take up arms against nazis looking for Anne Frank, then you’re no better than the nazis.” If you believe this, then you have zero comprehension of individual liberty, natural law, or libertarianism, and we’re at an impasse. The ONLY thing the Frank example does is give us the benefit of a hindsight accepted by mainstream conformists. However, our government does things every bit as reprehensible as the murder of Anne Frank every day. For one, shooting Vickie Weaver in the neck.

Are you telling me that if Randy had had the ability to defend his family, using force of arms, that he would have been in the wrong? You’re have to be anti-libertarian to believe that. Are you telling me the same thing of Donald Scott? Again: you’d have to be anti-libertarian to believe that.

Now, I don’t advocate preemptive strikes against the government, for the same reason I don’t advocate an unarmed woman trying follow the person who just raped her, and kill him, bare-handed. IT’S NOT LIKELY TO WORK, SHE IS TOO WEAK TO PREVAIL.

That is an entirely different argument than taking a cold look at the situation and concluding that she’d be in the wrong if she was capable of defense (even pre-emptive defense against someone who has stated their intention of raping and killing her) and killing them.

You also wrote:
“From their perspective you are the one initiating violence against them
and they are justified in fighting back.”
Yeah, from their perspective as nazi stormtroopers, that’s true. If you give a crap about the INCORRECT perspective of murderers, then your mind is as corrupted as theirs.

You go on to mix several arguments in a very self-contradictory and annoying manner:
“Instead of fighting fire with fire build something new that people WANT,
that they are willingly joining, instead of joining because they don’t
want to die in your rebellion.”
First of all, I don’t have a rebellion, because like the rest of the American public (with a few exceptions like Manning and Snowden) I’m a coward. I’m afraid of the government’s ability to project force, and it’s complete lack of reason, logic, or common sense. I’m afraid of belligerent sociopaths. I’m also aware that computer science is getting smarter, and that the smartest brains on the planet absolutely do not allow themselves to be dominated. Intelligence ultimately prevails. So in terms of strategy, YES, THAT POINT WAS NOT UNDER ANY SERIOUS DEBATE, AND OBVIOUSLY I AM A MAINSTREAM VOLUNTARYIST, AS IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT WANT TO BE TREATED LIKE RANDY WEAVER. Get that through your very thick skull.

Then, you said: “Let this new thing replace the old
government through primarily voluntary means, let the government
collapse under its own weight and help those who are crushed under its
collapse.”
Well, part of that statement was addressed by the last sentence of mine before your quote. OBVIOUSLY, WE ARE ALL NONVIOLENT COWARDS SHRINKING FROM GOVERNMENT FORCE. OBVIOUSLY, WE ARE NOT GOING TO STAND UP AND DEFEND OURSELVES, PRIMARILY (a) because we’d lose. and (b) because it’s a waiting game, and (c)there are peaceful avenues that are strategically strong. That said, you seem to be very confused about the nature of reality.

You wrote:
“The government may be your enemy but the people in the
government are not your enemies, they’re just people who are trying to
make a living to feed their families.”
This is an abjectly stupid statement. It is so stupid it makes me believe that the reason we don’t have liberty is that the libertarian movement is full of people who are this stupid. To the extent this statement is valid and applicable, it was also valid and applicable to totalitarian mass murderers like Eichmann, Stangl, and Stalin. Should their murdering have been interrupted by their deaths? Yes. Would their assassins have been totally justified? Yes. Would their assassins have been guilty of initiating force? No.

These are unbelievably simple things to understand.

“They don’t believe in your
philosophy because they can’t believe it can possibly work.”
Actually, this isn’t true, and even if it were true, it would be irrelevant to this argument. I’ve spoken with hundreds of people per day about their political beliefs, and most thieves know that they are thieves at some level, and if you try to show this true fact to them, they will cover their ears and run away, because they are morally evil. It is morally evil to abnegate your personal responsibility for thought, to delegate that responsibility to the sociopaths who claim it. The people who looked away from the cattle cars in the distance were equally as morally culpable as the Hitlers and Eichmanns who made them run on time.

“SHOW THEM
THAT IT DOES and then you will win.”
Sure, but this is a strategic approach, not a moral statement. The strategic approach is impacted by widespread human stupidity and conformity. The moral comprehension is not.

It is perfectly moral to understand that it is viable and legitimate to say “If morality prevailed, you’d be suddenly reduced to ashes, because you have reduced so many others to ashes.” This is true even if you completely lack the ability to make it so (as we all currently do).

Now, for your personal information, I don’t think that a superhuman force should kill all of these sociopaths. I think that the superhuman forces that will soon blanket the surface of the earth will have a far, far, far better means of dealing with power-seeking sociopaths than exterminating them all. I believe that they can be retaliated against to the precise extent of their aggression, as the aggression unfolds.

I believe this has a high likelihood of happening, and that’s one of the reasons I retain hope.

But I am also not delusional, and I don’t like it when people criticize others in the libertarian movement for speaking the truth, as Vin Suprynowicz INTELLIGENTLY STATED IT in “Send in the Waco Killers”

Nobody has yet refuted his arguments.

This is similar to my experience in the Manhattan Libertarian Party (which I was eventually kicked out of unjustly by Stalinists), and proves again why hierarchical organizational structures are inadequate for advancing the Liberty movement. Hierarchical institutions always become sclerotic, out of touch, and corrupted by the lust for more power, at which point they begin to sacrifice their original principles. Small free market business solutions such as Shield Mutual offer more hope, because their business structure will respond to real market forces, and not the political ambitions and power greed of bureaucrats, such as the bureaucrats of the Free State Project.

How is it “legitimate” to expel a member simply for being consistent with the NAP, and advocating defending himself? (libertarianism, as ANY civilized political philosophy would do, permits the use of force and “violence” defensively, against violent aggressors. As the u.S. and state govts are engaged in a continuous campaign of coercion, aggression, and violence against Americans, attacking them ABSOLUTELY qualifies as self-defense.)

I disagree. They have a mission to fulfill and they intend to fulfill it. Just one problem on the horizon is that the SPLC has them on their radar for consideration as a hate group (acc to the SPLC). This would be very detrimental to the FSP if the SPLC came out and named them a hate group. They have to defend the integrity of the project.

Whether or not an individual justified act of self-defense is a “net benefit” to the liberty cause in general says nothing to diminish its legitimate status as a proper and justified response to organized state violence.

True. But attacking violent state terrorists and criminals is justified by the self-defense principle. Therefore, it was illegitimate, unjust, cowardly and corrupt for the FSP to expel Cantwell simply for writing that self-defense is moral and justified.

I already acknowledged that FSP has self-ownership. That does not, however, make all their policy choicesmorally admirable or morall legitimate.

FSP purports to be a libertarian org, yet they are expelling a membermerely for philosophicallyapllyingthe NAP. They are rank hypocrites.

No. If u disassociate from someone simply because they are black, Christian, or Asian, you are a bigot. If you dissociate from a libertarian because he is asserting the NAP, then you are not a true libertarian org, and you have lost moral legitimacy. And if u claim to be libertarian and do this, it is hypocrisy. You have prerogative to do so. But you discredit your claim to the NAP and libertarianism.

There are a lot of small-L “libertarians” (and FBI informants) (and government “agents provocateurs”) who threaten the government with violence. There are also a lot of high-school punks who do this. Some of them also build home-made bombs. I don’t think it’s smart to associate with such people in any way.

I also don’t think it’s smart to stand next to them in churches that could credibly be labeled as “compounds.” For very obvious reasons: the government actually is a murderous organization. It’s dangerous to threaten willing and capable murderers.

Negotiation and de-escalation (political organization) is a better strategy, so long as it yields any results at all.

Threats make political organization impossible and add a large element of unnecessary extra risk to such attempts at political organization. The same is true no matter which “side” makes the threats.

Also, making threats is especially stupid if you think violence is likely. Have you ever seen a person start a life-or-death physical fight with lots of trash-talking? It’s often the case that the person talking isn’t used to fighting. While such big mouths were talking, I’ve occasionally seen them get their heads caved in.

I strongly suspect that, even per capita, the state has caved in far more heads than Cantwell has.

Cantwell said morally justifiable. So far as I can tell, he did not advocate for specific action. Rather, he explained a fundamentally consistent principle.

I can see how people can read “morally justifiable” as “A-ok to do” but that’s a misinterpretation and shows a very superficial sort of critical thinking at work.

“At some point”

Look, according to the NAP, it could be called morally justifiable to refuse to open your door for someone who is freezing outside who had come to your door after walking a lonely road and had nowhere else to go facing certain death. Thats morally justifiable. Would it be right? Probably not.

That’s the lax critical thinking at work here. Cantwell has suffered some minor rebuke here for honestly and unapologetically fleshing out a philosophical idea and entirely because the FSP is too frightened of honest discussion because it might “look bad” or some such rot.

Very superficial critical thinking at work here. Very very superficial.

It is morally justifiable to kill a person for stepping uninvited onto your property.

Now if you read that as “you should kill people who step onto your property even if they aren’t aware that they aren’t welcome and the killer should not suffer some consequence” then you’re suffering from an inability to discuss things in an honest and logically consistent fashion.

From what I can tell, this is the problem that FSP board members are suffering from.

So I re-read Chris’ bearcat article and at no time did I read any advocating for the initiation of force. Even with what could be construed as advocating for the use of self defence against state aggressors, there was no specific call to action, only a detailing of the moral justification at work.

Nor did I. The issue at stake is, is he advocating for the use of violence beyond defense of life and limb from immediate credible threats. But, again, “the answer is … to kill government agents.” is clear for me.

It’s very simple. Just like you wouldn’t walk into a bar and say “the only way to get rid of that huge, violent biker over there is to stab him in the eye with a pool cue” …you probably shouldn’t let the words “kill government agents” come out of your mouth in any kind of positive manner, unless you’d like them to pay you (and your friends, and the political philosophy clubs you belong to) a visit. This seems pretty obvious to me.

Moreover: Let’s say that Chris Cantwell told the truth, and that killing government agents was the appropriate next step. Well, then he’d really be an idiot to say it, given the success record of those who have been similarly-inclined.

There’s simply no way that what he said was smart, well-planned, or defensible.

That there are libertarians out there who have a hard time understanding this is somewhat baffling to me.

Do such libertarians have a secret desire to be treated like David Koresh’s daughter, Randy Weaver’s wife, or Leonard Peltier? The fact that this even needs explaining indicates just how far the libertarian movement is from being a credible, _peaceful_ political threat to the establishment’s political dominance.

Of course, I guess most libertarians were (mostly) “educated” by government schools, so I can’t say I’m surprised.

Do you believe, Ethan, that the state, even if it was smart enough to understand Chris Cantwell’s words, wouldn’t love to “misinterpret” them, in the service of its own already-stated goal of destroying the FSP? And what of state agents who are simply not smart enough to understand the idea of a “qualified statement”? (Would that be a good reason for getting everyone you associate with attacked by the government?)

If you do believe this, you’re politically naive. If you don’t believe that the state is capable of this, you can then understand why the FSP did what it did. It doesn’t mean what the FSP did was optimal, it means that they were presented, by one of their own members, with a politically bad, untenable situation, and decided to react in a certain (not unjustifiable) manner.

The best way to not get accused of screwing everything up is to
1) Assume that everyone is what they say they are. Assume the FSP will never use violence, because the second it tried, it would be reported and caught, since all public groups are assumed to be infiltrated. Assume it’s just a libertarian political organization without the capacity or discipline for successful asymmetric violent revolution.
2) Assume that the government is willing to initiate force. It regularly does so, and acts as a belligerent and philosophically indefensible bully.

In what pairing of those two “givens” does it make sense to spout off about violent rebellion? On the one hand, you have nothing to gain. On the other hand, you have everything to lose.

If you believe this, then explain the purpose of the sentence immediately following “kill government agents.”

Taking Chris’s quote in context, your interpretation results in this reading: Govt agents aggress almost daily and this is sure to increase in the future. So we should kill govt agents. They know this and that is why they want a tank.

This makes no sense. How can the police be preemptively seeking a tank to defend against a call to violence that you say just occurred in that article?

If, however, you read it in the given context of future escalation of force by govt agents, the unpopular answer to which is likely to be violence, the last comment makes perfect sense. It makes sense that if the police anticipate future violence directed towards them, that they would want a tank to protect against this.

“Freak,” (no insult intended) you should investigate Chris Cantwell. That article was by no means the first he called for violence against state agents and by no means is he any kind of innovator in that field. Many have not only called for it before him but actually engaged in it.

From the police’s point of view, they encounter violence daily. Perhaps I don’t understand your point because this is unremarkable.

Police encounter violence daily, because (1) their job consists of enforcing government violence on a daily basis, and (2) the amount of daily violence and crime in America is appalling — and largely a creation of the government violence.

Thanks for that, Nick. You really cleared the air.

Wait. Did anyone say the lawless law enforcement of the USA was in the right?

Feeling sorry for police because they have to deal with violence every day is somewhat akin to feeling sorry for a murderer-cannibal because he has to clean up after eating his victims.

Noone here is “siding with the police.” Don’t be stupid in making that assumption, for which there is no evidence at all. Although we’re not siding with the police, we’re also very aware that making belligerent statements toward them is a very good way to die by being burned alive, etc. It’s also a good way to give them another very useful (to them) excuse to kill everyone you’re currently hanging out with. This is the reason why it makes sense to dissociate yourself with people who speak in this manner.

Another very good reason to dissociate yourself with people who talk like this is that many of them have proven to be government agents in the past:
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/brandon-darby-anarchist-fbi-terrorism

See also:
http://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/flatview?cuecard=36293

http://www.amazon.com/Under-Alone-Undercover-Infiltrated-Motorcycle/dp/0345487524 (According to John Douglas of the FBI, in “Mindhunter” the FBI has agents in every gang that doesn’t require a murder to be committed in front of multiple live witnesses. –Even one that requires the agent to have sex with a great dane dog. Go FBI! LOL)

I guess if he qualified the statement, it was strategically stupid, but it wasn’t an “against the rules” normative statement. I somewhat think that it was bad form for the FSP to kick him out, but I also think that they potentially saved themselves a world of hurt. Who knows? I don’t know if he said the comments in public, to a limited number of people, etc. It is, of course, not that smart to say things you don’t want repeated in court. These days, nobody knows who’s a KGB agent, or where there’s a microphone.

Also, if what you’re saying is true, then the Supreme Court of the USA (circa 1900) also has advocating for the specific action of killing government agents. It’s called “John Bad Elk v. USA” (1900).

It is one answer. He did not say he had active plans to do it. He defended the concept as justifiable self-defense.

In a very poorly-worded manner, while acting in concert with a group that has very clearly stated their opinion about such statements. No brainer: Chris Cantwell might be right, and he might not want to follow the path the FSP has chosen. OK, then fine. He and the FSP are right to part ways. That doesn’t mean that Chris is not correct, and it doesn’t mean that the FSP is not correct. It means that their two strategies are not compatible. If Chris believes he’s right, maybe he should start the Freer State Project, where everyone is free to make any statement they wish, even if such statements might be poorly-conceived and destined to draw pre-emptive government attacks against the leadership of the group.

Go ahead. Make such a policy clear, make it known that you’re loosely-connected group of people, and nobody speaks for anyone else. That’s more than fine, but any group that chooses to engage in electoral politics with such a unifying structure probably won’t be unified enough to win any elections.

But who knows? Maybe it would be.

I personally see what I believe is a better way than what both of the two groups are doing.

The FSP has wasted years on meaningless gestures like asking for statements to be recanted–all because of a pervasive delusion that we can mold the universe merely by wishing, of which pacifism is just one symptom.
The authoritarians know what nonsense that is, and are happy to toy with us like a cat releasing and recapturing its prey for as long as it remains amusing. They’ll eventually strike in the vicious, conscienceless manner characteristic of psychopaths, and when they do, we’d better be ready to protect ourselves in a manner they understand. Hugs and shaming language won’t work.
Cantwell’s “crime” was exposing the truth behind the long-held, deeply cherished delusion, and the resulting discussion will, I hope, save some lives.

He’s not talking “like a domestic terrorist”. He’s pointing out that you and FSP are completely delusional on the relevant points.

I know you not to be generally delusional. I was referencing the delusion that Richard Onley described.

No, the strikes are already planned or intended options. Anyone who is working actively for Liberty and free markets is almost certainly on their lists. Therefore it would be the same delusion and self-deception not to prepare for self-defense or to consider ways to fight back against the government’s on-going terrorism.

Doing so vocally and publicly under the auspices of a group that is likely to be raided by the government is asinine and incautious. I hesitate to criticize Cantwell, but I also wouldn’t want to criticize the people who voted him out. They are probably acting in a rational way: It’s rational to not want to be raided by armed federal agents with ~80 I.Q.s and itchy trigger fingers.

There’s a big difference between blathering about something in public, and considering it in your own mind. Blathering about something in public that should never be associated with a political group is only discrediting to that political group. The art of cybernetics and politics is working with networks of brains, many of which are less intelligent than the average libertarian –as a means of avoiding or diminishing violence. Publicly clamoring for the violent alternative is simply stupid in such a context.

If Cantwell or any other libertarian had the asymmetric ability to defend themselves, we wouldn’t hear them talking about doing so. Force doesn’t talk, it acts.

The only thing that publicly advocating force does is gets the hammer dropped on those who lack the intent or ability to act. Would Cantwell have wanted to repeat his statements to a jury after the government raided him and his friends, Waco style? If not, then he shouldn’t have said them, because it was strategically stupid.

Now, maybe he simply screwed up, maybe he got overconfident, whatever. We’ve all said stupid things in our lives at some point. Was the reaction to him overly harsh? I don’t know. Did they offer him the ability to retract his statement? I don’t know.

I’m not close enough to this internecine squabble (the only thing libertarians excel at, likely because most of the big-L “Libertarian” leadership are agents provocateurs) to know.

Even so, Donnelly’s words have the ring of truth, so I side with Donnelly on this one. Also, I side with him because for a long time, he’s been the only person capable of comprehending any portion of the strategy I favor.

The rest of the Libertarian movement is, quite honestly, more strategically ignorant than the average apolitical “Democrat.”

What do u mean, “most of the LP/Big-L are agents provocateurs? Are you being literal, figurative, or what?

The people who control the money of the LP are agents provocateurs, or terminally stupid in areas of strategy. Those are the only two options consistent with my experience.

You’re going to need to learn how to copy and paste entire phrases in quotes if you want to ask a question about a quote. Anything less is so infantile it can’t really be responded to. Here, I’ll copy and paste my own quote to show you how easy it is:

“I’m not close enough to this internecine squabble (the only thing
libertarians excel at, likely because most of the big-L “Libertarian”
leadership are agents provocateurs) to know.”

That wasn’t that hard! I stand by what I said. Either Bill Redpath knows nothing about politics, or he’s an agent provocateur. It’s one of the two, and there is nobody else in any leadership position in the LP who could possibly cause the LP to threaten the powers that be.

Watch the guy who controls the money. If he uses it to fight the system, he’s an enemy of the system and friend of freedom. If not…

How do we talk? One man speaks with only his own mouth. “Domestic terrorist” is an anti-concept, meaning whatever Humpty Dumpty says it does. I hope your committee is disbanded and your minutes are all burned. FSP has no need for prissy parliamentary prancers like yourself.

Okay, thanks for your sense of humor. You actually have a lot more to complain about than I. What that fucktard Varrin Swearingen pulled on you on Facebook.

In the free snake project, some snakes are freer than others.
Varrin is a looting mooching Ayn Rand Villian, you’re a righteous creator, architect, and demolitionist who retains your self-respect.

“Self-sacrifice for fSp? But it is precisely the self that I cannot and will not sacrifice for you and that poisonous den of snakes!”

Cuntwell goes beyond being just a self-professed asshole. He is also a self-professed alcoholic with a gun who appears to be trending toward a very unstable mindset with each new video he posts on YouTube. Making video threats with a loaded gun, bullying petite female meter readers, yelling at cops with a bull horn is clearly dickish behavior and unacceptable by any social standard. He claims his actions are part civil disobedience and part moral high grounding. It is neither. He is just being a dick for the sake of being a dick. His act crossed a line and he is now suffering the consequences.

Maybe not, maybe so, but doing so accomplishes some interesting things.
1) It makes him seem less aligned with electoral politics, unless the entire electoral political group he’s aligned with has taken the stance that that’s an intelligent thing to be doing (and develops follow-up strategies to make it more effective on investigation).
2) It makes him seem more morally committed to his opposition to what’s going on, and thereby increases his chances of being seen as (a) very committed or (b) an agent provocateur.

In the Libertarian Party, I tend to think that the strategical ineptitude is mostly agent provocateur party infiltration. It seems to me like Cantwell is not an agent provocateur, but also hasn’t read much about electoral political participation. If he had, he could have gotten elected to office on a jury rights platform, put the ideas out before the public with a very friendly face on them, and then put himself out there as an “expert witness” for “mala prohibita” defendants.

Of course, if he wants to go “V for Vendetta,” that’s his choice, but I hope he has a secret underground lair and a few million dollars, because otherwise he won’t get very far. Also, letting everyone know his name probably wasn’t the smartest…

I don’t know about the rest of your comments, but bullying meter maids (bullying terror fundraisers) and yelling at cops/terrorists with amplification is the epitome of courage, and admirable in my estimation. If many Americans did such in-their-face activism, we’d all be a lot better off.

And with that comment, you just confirmed why the misguided grunts at FreeKeene and FSP will collapse under their own ignorance. Only pussies yell at meter maids. See you on Mugshots.com.

Terror-fundraising meter maids deserveno sympathy. Have fun on your milk farm. I voted with my feet and simply said goodbye to the entire rotten u.S. The u.S. terror regime is not worth my energy. Nevertheless, I am grateful to all harrassers of “petite female meter maid” terroristcollaborators. Just as ANY establishment collaborators deserveto be harassed and harried.

State your accusations/libels, provide proof (good luck, since I’m a totally genuineperson),or shut the fuck up.

Look at Ben Harper’s other comments. He’s a marginally libertarian guy on gun rights and weed, but otherwise he thinks Obama is great. He’s also not smart enough to see that Obama is pushing as aggressively as possible against gun rights, and is totally inconsistent on them, and basically supports the unconstitutional Chicago ban. He just stumbled onto this conversation online, but hasn’t ever read or thought seriously about any of the issues under discussion here. Let his comments/farts blend into the wind without response.

To each their own. I often worked for the LP before they betrayed my trust. Shame on them! If I trusted them again, it would be “shame on me!” Harry Browne’s rules work quite well.

Wow… I’m so happy this happened before I moved out there. Cold winters and speech crimes, no thank you. Believe me when I say I’m not the only person who will not support an organization that polices the speech of it’s members. I hope it was all well worth the costs FSP/SM.

Also, George… I think you’ve intentionally ignored that the discussion was always about self defense, and that says way more about you than it does Chris Cantwell or Larken Rose.

Everything I do speaks plenty about me. I stand behind everything I say, with pride. I have ignored nothing. As I mentioned in the article, the FSP board’s definition of legitimate self-defense is more limited than that of Cantwell or Rose.

Don’t worry, based on their logic the citizens of NH should have no problem expelling the whole FSP next.

The board has provided no such definition, which is the problem. There is no standard by which participants can judge where the line falls, other than “not Cantwell.” And as this line is not defined, it can change at any point, on the whims of this or some future board. The policy is buried in an faq and is not contained in the statement of intent that participants sign. But would this not be handled by that very SOI, in which participants agree to “exert the fullest PRACTICAL effort…”? I seems obvious that killing cops, even if one felt it was morally justifiable, would not be remotely practical.

Actually, in the 17-min interview video, Jody (a board member) says that only defense of life and limb from immediate attack is valid in her opinion, in so many words.

In this article I am only saying that I think they made the only decision they could.

I have been severely critical of the FSP board and officers in the past:

http://morelibertynow.com/t/free-state-project

So much so that I am not on speaking terms with the current president, the former president, the founder or half a dozen other people involved in FSP administration.

And I am sure that I will have withering criticism for them again in the future. I call ’em like I see ’em.

This is the best point in defense of Cantwell available. Nonetheless, shooting your mouth off about violent rebellion is a good way to get yourself kicked out of ANY political organization in the USA that intends to get people elected to office. So long as that (getting elected) remains a goal, you need to keep your ideas about “when violence becomes legitimate” to yourself.

Do I think Cantwell should have been kicked out? Not really, depending on the moderating context (which I haven’t fully investigated). I’m a free speech absolutist. …But I understand it.

If you’re trying to engage in violent rebellion then why associate with those who are attempting peaceful electoral rebellion? Clearly, it’s a bad match for both parties. (The answer to this is likely to be “Some people want to partially violently rebel, but also stay comfortable and around trusted friends.” Sorry! That’s not possible in this reality. At least the US military teaches soldiers that much!)

Move to Alaska, they have a richer libertarian movement than any other state, just because of their history. Also, the best firearm laws in the nation, especially for reciprocity.

My point exactly… They can just throw us out, because they have policies that say you can not question the state. Sounds fair right?

Check your premises. The only “agreement” one signs to become a participant in the Free State Project is as follows:

“I hereby state my solemn intent to move to the State of New Hampshire within 5 years after 20,000 Participants have signed up. Once there, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of individuals’ life, liberty, and property.”

The “board” appears to have constituted itself without consulting the FSP’s actual participants, to have usurped the power to dictate who may or may not be party to the agreement, and to have created its own rules outside the FSP participant agreement. Its claim to “represent” FSP is highly questionable.

Everyone in this discussion should watch the following video, where John Hospers discusses the novel “Unintended Consequences” and compares its realism to the lack of realism in “Atlas Shrugged” …as a fan of both. The reason such “hypotheticals” were written was to allow for reasonable people to discuss what happens when reason definitively fails, and force becomes the only viable option (if such a thing is ever true).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hePo59YUMHI

“perhaps we need to start killing government agents — which is what domestic terrorists do.”

This is incorrect. Terrorists kill innocents. Terrorists kill indiscriminantly. Terrorists bomb places where lots of people will be gathered, and don’t care who they are.

Don’t make any normative statements in the first person. That is stupid.

Everything else is in the realm of “intellectual debate.”

So, where does it stop? Should Larken Rose be “investigated” at all? If he is “expunged,” would it then be proper for the FSP board to publicly denounce Ademo Freeman for “allowing” When Should You Shoot a Cop? to remain on “his” website for over two years? How about forcibly ejecting Pete Eyre from the FSP because he edited the video version of When Should You Shoot a Cop? What about all the several thousand people online who gave a thumbs up on several of Larken’s speeches about self-defense, or the live audience at Porcfest X who applauded Larken? Is the FSP board also going to begin demonizing libertarian novels, such as The Probability Broach or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, since those fictional stories, in their belief, “advocate violence?” Most importantly, is there any limit to the FSP board’s self-granted “authority?” – SOURCE: http://tinyurl.com/mvqja6z

“Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.” – http://www.nh.gov/constitution/billofrights.html

In summation, I think the following can be learned from this debacle:

– The Board, which meets behind closed doors, is the only relevant source of authority within the FSP.

– The Board refuses to discuss matters publicly with their membership, as their minds are already made up.

– The Board provides no means for an individual to argue his case before them.

– The Board is arbitrary and capricious in their decisions.

– The Board appears to be comfortable with censorship.

– The Board makes their own rules in secrecy, given that they are not made available to the membership of the FSP.

– The Board is not representative, as they have no provision for input from members of the FSP, although they act as if they had implied police powers.

– The Board fails to recognize the Constitution of New Hampshire.

How are these not the elements of a wannabe oligarchy?

The Free State Project Censorship Debacle – http://tinyurl.com/mvqja6z

All reasonable criticisms, some of which I wholeheartedly agree with. At the same time, it is a private organization and can do as it pleases. Also, the range of its power to enforce its decisions is strictly limited. In the end, it’s just not that important. I think we have so few viable organizations in this community that we pay those few that survive undue amounts of attention.

Is the interviewer a male or female? Kind of makes one understand why so many people in the ‘liberty movement’ hate free speech and association and the suggestion that people have the right to defend themselves.

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