Thursday, 20 December 2012

Thoughts on Stefan Molyneux and FDR

Originally posted on

Molyneux is an excellent communicator of libertarian ideas; there can be little doubt about that, with great videos like this and this.  I check in at the FDR forums occasionally to see what's going on there.  It used to be more academic and focussed on philosophy and law and anarchy theories and so on, but discussion has shifted towards mainly threads on parenting, personal relationships, and people seeking advice about recovering from the effects of having had "abusive" (in the extremely broad sense used on FDR) parents.  There is a strong sense of community at FDR, especially since this shift took place.

Whether they are a cult depends on your definition of the word, but I do see Molyneux and the Freedomainers sharing many similarities to Rand and the Randians.  I think some of what Murray Rothbard said about the latter applies to them.  In addition to the Molyneux Revealed site, there is also FDR Liberated if you want to read more about the cult angle.

With regard to Ron Paul, I disagree with Molyneux.  Most of his criticisms of Paul fade away when you realise that Paul's primary goal is spreading the libertarian message, and being in office and running for President was for him purely a means or strategy for doing that effectively - for better or worse.  Molyneux is wrong to conflate Paul's strategy (i.e. Rothbard and Rockwell's strategy) with the flawed strategy of 'dismantling the state from the inside', which is what basically all so-called "libertarian" politicians that aren't Ron Paul are trying to do.  Whether Paul's strategy or Molyneux' strategy has been or is going to be more effective at spreading the message of liberty is an interesting debate to have, but Molyneux never really gets round to that debate, because he never addresses Paul's actual strategy, just a strawman version of it.

Walter Block made some negative and entirely unjustified remarks about Molyneux recently.  And David Gordon critiqued Molyneux' UPB, quite reasonably.  I expect these events left some Freedomainers with a dislike of (see threads here and here).  But I think it's extremely unlikely you were not allowed to join the FDR forum just because you mentioned  The knowledgable posters there link to quite often.  Have you tried joining again or emailing for an explanation?