Despite publicly defaming me, spreading lies and rumors, and banning me from her institution, Free State Project President, Carla Gericke, has been kind enough not to block/unfriend me on facebook. So when I logged in this morning, I found this little diatribe in my news feed. Apparently Gericke has stooped to using statistics to justify her board’s bad behavior, saying that since they have only banned “.031%” of their participants, they are doing a good job. Especially considering the fact that so many of them are “assholes and opinionated jerks”.
It certainly seems understandable that Carla Gericke is fed up with the FSP participants. Repeatedly they have had to set their facebook group settings to only allow admin approved posts, as the decisions to ban myself and others have been extraordinarily unpopular. Group members demand accountability for the board, but since it elects itself and has no means by which to be held accountable, this is impossible. If you don’t like what the FSP does, you really have no means of redress other than to stop helping them accomplish their goals.
What Gericke, the 41 people who have already “liked” this status update, including Ian Freeman of Free Talk Live, and others, fail to take notice of, or perhaps they’re fully aware of it and just don’t mention it, is that the Free State Project Inc. had a role to play and it is failing to play that role.
We’re all free to have our own personal preferences and associate freely and all of that, I’ve never denied this. I have repeatedly attempted to correct supporters who try to make this a “free speech” issue, because that’s not what it is. I don’t even want to be a “participant” of the Free State Project anymore, because anything that decries defensive force is less than libertarian, and I don’t want to add to its numbers.
If you don’t want to invite me to “your party” that’s quite alright. Unfortunately for the FSP however, you can’t hold what many consider to be the signature event of the libertarian movement, and ban popular libertarians for the crime of being popular libertarians. Even Ian Freeman, a pacifist who has not been shy about criticizing my work, has been forced to acknowledge that nothing I’ve advocated is a violation of the non-aggression principle. If the role of your institution is to build a society based around that concept, then barring people from attending an event, that for many of us is the only time of year we get to see each other, just for being adherents to that concept, goes contrary to your stated purpose. The problem is not that I’m “not invited” to your party, the problem is that you are failing to do your job.
And perhaps that’s no accident. Like so many other institutions that use percentages to justify their failures, the FSP board will cease to exist once its mission is completed. It is my understanding, that upon 20,000 people signing the pledge to move, the FSP board will be dissolved. It would seem then, that like so many other institutions that use percentages to justify their failures, the FSP rewards failure and punishes success, by firing the people who accomplish their goals.
But whether this is about gross incompetence, malice, or as I suspect, outside influence from non-libertarian donors, the outcome is the same. Decreased participation in the Free State Movement, which I will from here on in, separate from the Free State Project Inc.
Banning me for “advocating violence”, failing to invite back the ever popular Larken Rose for the same reason, and barring Alt Expo from hosting use of force discussions, is part of the same problem as Cathy Reisenwitz calling Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul, & Murray Rothbard racists. It’s an infestation of leftist ideals, perverting the message of liberty, slandering its thought leaders, and thereby decreasing participation, at least by people who actually understand it.
I still encourage my supporters to move to New Hampshire. I would even encourage them to go to PorcFest this year, in fact, make certain that you go this year even if you hadn’t planned to. Then make this the last time you give money or credibility to the FSP Inc. Because experience shows that once an organization jumps the shark like this, they don’t generally tend to come back on message. Trying to fix the Free State Project Inc. right now would be like trying to fix the Cato Institute, or Reason Magazine, it just plain isn’t going to happen. These people are comfortable with unprincipled action, they have people willing to pay them for it, and there exists no method by which to replace them in their roles. We can expect this type of thing to get worse with time, not better.
That’s a really sad thing to see happen, because I’d like to believe that like the other institutions mentioned, the FSP stood for something good once. Unfortunately, that time has passed, and we can throw them in the same mass intellectual grave as Cato, Reason, Jeffrey Tucker, and other once good folks who gave up principle for an illusory promise of popularity, that has tempted every radical movement, but never comes.
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