The Libertarians Who Cried Wolf – A True Fable

Once upon a time, in a magical land called New Hampshire, there lived a society of people who called themselves libertarians. In most ways, they were just like any other people. They had jobs, families, and friends. They cared about the world they lived in, and wanted to make it better. They didn’t like the use of violence or deception.

What set these people apart from others however, was that they did not make exceptions to the rules for a class of people who called themselves “the government”. In most places, New Hampshire included, evil kings and queens claimed to rule over the society and would use violence and deception to maintain their control. The libertarians of New Hampshire had come together in this magical place from around the world to build a society without kings and queens, evil or otherwise. This made them the target of some very ruthless people who rather enjoyed the benefits bestowed upon them by the kings and queens of the world.

The libertarians dealt with such problems by way of reputation. They were master communicators, and had fully mastered the technology of the day in order to spread messages very quickly. Whenever somebody was a threat to their way of life, they would quickly warn everyone in the society about the threat in order to prevent and mitigate damage. For a time, this worked very well and the libertarians of New Hampshire seemed almost invincible.

But as things got better and better in New Hampshire, as more people heard about the success of their political migration, more and more people decided to join the libertarians of New Hampshire. The society grew rapidly, and with it, the number of people echoing messages over their communications networks. As their numbers grew, so did the number of people echoing messages over their lines of communication, there were personality conflicts that had nothing to do with the rules, and not all of them entirely understood or respected the rules of the society.

Some people decided to begin sending warnings about people who were not in fact threats to their way of life. Some would even send out warning messages about the staunchest defenders of that way of life. An ever increasing number of people who joined them, were actually ideologically opposed to their way of life, preferring instead the toxic scourge of egalitarianism, a plague which had ruined countless societies before them.

Before long, this influx of charismatic rival propagandists had ostracized or otherwise treated badly a number of libertarians. Almost all of whom, it is worth mentioning, were white male heterosexuals, a group which the egalitarians viewed as being the enemy of the human race. Those who had received this poor treatment, and those who saw it and disagreed with it, stayed with the New Hampshire libertarians, but distrusted the reputation network that had previously been their defense as a result. For quite some time, that reputation network helped to chase out threats, but once that network was used against people who were not threats, its warnings lost their meaning.

Ashley_DamonMeanwhile, in a land far away, Ashley and Damon, two followers of the prophet Molyneux became disheartened. They had been expelled from an online community of like minded people, and set out to destroy the lives of him and his followers. They started a website to defame them and publish their personal information, in a practice called “doxxing”.

The pair came to New Hampshire intent on inflicting suffering on the New Hampshire libertarians. A hospitable people, the New Hampshire libertarians welcomed Ashley and Damon into their community, but it wasn’t long before people began to question their motives. They attended a conference, and later a night club, largely inhabited by those who had previously used the reputation system against wrongly. They stole, instigated fights, and were expelled from the conference and the night club.

Attendees took to the communications networks to warn others of their behaviors, as they had done countless times prior. Some took the messages as gospel and turned away from the new visitors. Others however, had become wary of previous abuses of the reputation system, and were not so quick to ostracize the pair. They asked questions, found inconsistencies, and defended the reputations of the two, suspicious that this was yet another abuse of the reputation system.

This allowed the malicious duo to stay embeded longer than usual. They were allowed inside the homes and businesses of several New Hampshire libertarians. They gathered information, committed fraud, and disrupted other social gatherings before the other libertarians realized that these warnings were legitimate and ostracized them. At this time, the extent of the damage inflicted is still unclear.

What is clear, is that due to the abuses of libertarians who cried wolf, the reputation system that had long defended the society had been rendered meaningless. Future infiltrators will surely enjoy similar comforts, and if only slightly more strategic in their attacks on the society, will likely have far greater success in their attempts to inflict damage.

I put this story together this way in order to convey an important lesson. While not aggression per se, the slanderers who abuse the reputation system make the society weaker and invite damage upon their peers. Those who come here with the intent of undermining our way of life are powerless against a functional reputation system. Those who damage the reputation system however, be it for personal vendettas, or extra libertarian ideological agendas, provide aid and comfort to the enemy. It is they, not the enemy, who will ultimately be our undoing.

To find out more details on the actual infiltrators, check out Ian Freeman’s piece at FreeKeene.com, and DamonDOX.com.

 

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  • kaspa84

    How can fraud not be agression per se?

    • Karl Schipul

      I think this is a good objection. I would place fraud under the category of ‘verbal aggression’ instead of physical aggression.

    • Christopher Cantwell

      Fraud is the taking of property without consent by way of trick. Saying something that is not true about a person takes nothing, it only deceives. There is the delineation.

      • kaspa84

        Since the value of property is subjective, purposefuly saying lies about someone can take property away from them. Thus, the line should be drawn between opinions (all of them not fraud) and any malicious lies.

        • Dr. Weezil

          Since the value of property is subjective, purposefuly [sic] saying lies about someone can take property away from them.

          No, no, and no. Try again, potato.

          • kaspa84

            Omg someone called me a potato, I must therefore be wrong.

          • I would put this in the category of vandalism. When there is fraud, I’ve taken some property from someone. In the context of this discussion, slander/libel doesn’t take someones reputation. It damages it. Vandalism is, of course, a subcategory of theft. If I purposely crack the face of your ipod, even though I haven’t taken it from you, I’ve reduced its value for you. (resale/enjoyment). I’ve stolen your property. Iibel/slander damages your reputation and is therefore theft by means of vandalism. Of course proving the amount of damages is another story. That may be impossible to quantify.

        • If you are talking about slander, how do you prove that a lie caused anyone to act in a way that inflicted monetary damage on anyone else? It is easy to suggest, but how do you prove it? Hurt feelings?

          • I’ll answer for you. If fraud is taking by deceit or trickery, then slander and libel (slander via mass communication) deprives (by way of reduced sales,presumably) of property they might have obtained. That is purely speculative, like ‘damages’ from pain and suffering.

          • kaspa84

            You prove the lie, and that the reputation of the agrieved party is connected to the value of his property. It’s not that hard, you see. The fact that this very article is one of such cases and you dont see the connectionis strange.

          • Are we talking general morality or legal concepts? If we are talking legal concepts, then it is self evident that it is impossible to ever know in truth the extent of any speculative damages. Besides, it would be very easy for a victim of slander to use the legal system to do the opposite of his duty to mitigate damage in order to increase his claim. So, don’t put on absurd airs of superiority when you can not even distinguish a legal term such as slander from a moral term such as truth.

          • kaspa84

            Of course i was thinking in terms of a private law society, as Hoppe calls it. so, no it would nobbe easy for the slandered to use the legal system to his favor.
            And you saying that i use “airs of superiority” when you used childish irony (“hurt feeling?”) in the first place is bizarre. If you want a 100% polite conversation, dont lower its level on the first place.

          • You have yet to give a single example of how you prove damage by slander or libel. So far it is a purely imaginary form of damage.

          • kaspa84

            It seems you did not read the article.

          • No, you should save me the trouble, there by showing us that you have at least a simple understanding of what you think.

          • But, as usual, it seems I have to do everyone else’s thinking for them. Here is an example: Ancaps and Chris Cantwell fans now think that kaspa84, whoever in hell that really is, is a statist because he believes slander is a valid cause of action. As a result one of his friends rescinds a contract saying “Steve has persuaded me! You are a statist jerk!” As a result you our out what ever money you put into the project and the contracted for potential gain. You sue the former friend for damages by breading the contract and me for slander for causing him to break the contract. My defense is that he has free will and my opinions do not control his actions.

        • Murray Roodbaard

          Lies cannot “take property” away from anyone (and even if it “can”, that something “can” happen is not evidence that it would, and therefore not evidence of any form of aggression any more than an intoxicated driver can be held accountable for hitting someone with his car *before* he actually did it). Only people can. So then we have to look at which people took which property and for what reasons. Since taking property that rightly belongs to a person is THEFT, this problem would already be solved. “Taking” property that does not (yet) belong to you is property you don’t have a right to. Therefore nothing was taken and even if in this context it was, try to prove you would have received that property without the presence of “libel”. There is no way to do this in any objective way.

          Either way, a third party that does not use force or fraud against a first or second party cannot be held accountable. A second party makes his OWN choices (for whatever reason) anyway, and a third party cannot be held accountable for that.
          To also use Robert Enders’ example, lying about someone inducing an employer to fire his employee, does not make the lies a crime. The employer has the right, even perhaps the duty, to investigate the truthfulness of the claims made. If he decides to take it at face value this is not to blame on the liar. The liar has no duty whatsoever to behave in ways that would safeguard a person’s job with an entirely different person. The employer has a mind, actions and decisions of his own and is not an automaton that can be held as some kind of puppet of a slanderer.

  • Ernest Ortiz

    It’s great that you guys have a great communications network setup. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Besides these people initiated aggression by stealing other people’s property and starting fights.

  • Interesting well written article, I’d like to see your thoughts on the word Capitalism and how it has been twisted and manipulated by leftists and Egalitarians, worryingly a lot of my Generation are followers of Russel Brand, a true lefty nutter, dragging the word through the dirt, so much so no one would ever vocally admit they support it, within the next 20-30 years we could see the word “Capitalism” be a thing no one dare to support due to the slander tactics and character assassination, what if it becomes politically un-correct to even say the word Capitalism? and how do we inform the sheep who blindly follow people like Russell Brand or other leftist drivellers

    • Dr. Weezil

      Tell them that without individual achievement, there’s zero societal achievement.

  • ⒶAnCap DALEK grimmyⒶ

    WOW!!! What pieces of garbage they are!!! Man, if I ever see these people. I’m gonna give them a piece of my own mind!!!

  • Coralyn Herenschrict

    Nonsense. You’re smarter than this. The law of subjective value means a reputational network need not, indeed cannot speak with one monolithic voice as values, not to mention perceptive capacities, vary from individual to individual. An opinion relayed across a reputational network reflects upon the evaluator exactly as much as upon the person evaluated. Reputation is a two-way street.

    Nothing is “broken” within a reputational network when opinions diverge. Instead conflicting evaluations from trusted sources signal to people the need to obtain more information to make a determination firsthand and then re-assess their sources accordingly. That is, do a natural re-weighting discounting the evaluations of those with different values and marking-up the evaluations of those with similar values. People found to outright lie will find their evaluations heavily discounted by everyone.

    A reputational network is anti-fragile. Its closed-loop feedback mechanisms mean divergence of opinion or the discovery of false information only serve to improve the subsequent specificity and accuracy of the network.

    • “Hijinks”!?! That word takes the cake in an otherwise meaningless pile of feel good bull shit.

      • I hope no one is too “anti-fragile” about my comment.

      • Coralyn Herenschrict

        Let me convey the concepts in concrete terms more accessible to you:

        When Jody Underwood accuses Chris, who rocks the crowds at Porcfest, of being a violent monster, free staters rush to read his blog to find out what the hell is going on.

        Choking on their saliva a bit when reading his stuff, but then musing for a few minutes, the clued-in people exclaim, “He’s a loudmouth who makes some damn good points.”

        “That Jody Underwood is acting like she can’t handle the truth. She doesn’t have her head screwed on straight. So, I’m not going to pay much mind to who she upvotes or downvotes here on out.”

        When Underwood dissed Chris, she did not break the reputational network, she put more information into it. Small government types now think she’s even more awesome. Principled libertarians think she clowned herself. Now the reputational network is more informed about her and Chris so is better off than it was before.

        • I have to wonder, how much free publicity based on lies is too much? I’m sure Chris would have rather been treated honestly and respectfully and made his own publicity in his own way than have to consume his time answering lies. You are delusional. You use the fact that Chris did not back down from lies intended to destroy him as proof that lying is good. Ain’t rationalization a wonderful thing?

          • Coralyn Herenschrict

            I’m not seeing any lying involved in this affair. Jody clearly, honestly, sincerely explained her interpretation of Chris’s statements according to her values. As we all know, free staters can disagree on core values. Minarchists abound within the free state project.

            Of course you are right – if someone lies, that is a bad thing. No one wants that, not you, not me. Ideally no one lies and the reputational network wouldn’t be needed to deal with liars. But, shocker, people do sometimes lie, and if they do, it is vastly better the reputational network capture that discovery and disseminate that information.

            Like discovering a thief hidden in our midst and shouting it from the rooftops, reputational networks capturing and disseminating information is a _good_thing_. Reputation systems get even more useful to us when they supply hitherto hidden information about the world as it really is.

            Don’t blame the messenger. Jody Underwood always was a minarchist and Chris always was an anarchist. People were oblivious to the reality and implications of that until Chris and Jody clashed and the reputational system swung into action to spread that information. Yes, we are better off for having our eyes opened to the truth.

          • You are so delusional that you do now even admit that the whole and entire point of Chris’s essay is about how lying destroys credibility. Either delusional or a liar.

          • Coralyn Herenschrict

            Correct, no one has lied. Jody accurately quoted Chris’s statements on use of force and even had him clarify to make sure she didn’t misunderstand. I don’t doubt her sincerity when she said she perceives them to be at odds with the FSP charter.

            Remember minarchists still believe men have the moral right to rule other men via the state. Accordingly, for minarchists, anyone discussing use of force against the state, even in self-defense, is discussing an illegitimate act against a just authority that holds a valid monopoly on violence.

            But I think more to the heart of why Chris was thrown out, the declared mission of the FSP is to participate in and reform New Hampshire state government through the democratic process. Chris’s explicit published statements make for potently damning anti-marketing material with respect to that mission. Statist FSP opponents could very well seize upon them to discredit and politically undermine the entire FSP effort.

            This expulsion is a case of different core values and different strategic objectives, not any dishonesty nor malignment of Chris.

            The reputational network itself is value agnostic. The information it provided surrounding this incident is itself neutral. Tell me how you react to it after sizing up the sources and digging into the facts, and I’ll tell you your values.

            Opinions are inherently biased according to the values of those voicing them, as Chris recently wrote about. In a reputational network, everyone understands that bias and factors it in. Everyone constantly re-adjusts his own view of the credibility of what he hears and of his sources according to the degree of overlap of his personal values and his firsthand observations.

            That’s how a reputational network continues to work perfectly fine even among people holding conflicting values expressing conflicting opinions.

          • In fact Chris Cantwell has only ever advocated in favor of self defense, so your above misstatement of what happened are false. He was kicked out of the FSP on the basis of intentional false claims about what he has actually said and published. The truth of the matter is that the weak sisters sucking at the tit of the FSP tremble in fear at the idea that the staties understand that free people actually intend to defend themselves personally from state sponsored violence. Chris can defend himself, but you are a liar who insists on perpetuating a falsehood, which needs pointing out.

          • Coralyn Herenschrict

            You may want to consider what the FSP is and is not. The FSP is not an educational organization existing to foster open libertarian philosophical debate at big gatherings. The FSP is a minarchist-led activist organization existing for the express purpose of moving libertarians into New Hampshire to get more libertarians elected to the state legislature, i.e. to become government agents. Do you see how Chris’s statements about government agents put the FSP leadership in an untenable position?

            You also may want to consider Jody’s youtube interview. She explains that the FSP as a voluntary association maintains certain membership standards including a policy defining self-defense only as “in-the-moment,” immediate acts, i.e. only acts in response to imminent aggression.

            All this doesn’t make people who publicly contradict the FSP’s objectives or contradict its definition of self-defense to be wrong or to be bad people. It just means they can’t flaunt such views and expect to remain members of the FSP.

            Yes, Jody handled this situation awkwardly and abruptly. She failed to explore alternatives that could have left everyone better off given the significant contributions both the FSP and Chris make to the broader liberty movement. But she didn’t lie about or malign Chris. And she acted consistently with the values and mission of the political activist effort she was charged with leading. Just as Chris acted consistently with the values and mission of the anarchist activist website he is leading.

          • Christopher Cantwell

            Dear FSP apologist,

            It is obvious to me you created this fake name for the purpose of commenting here. Now identify yourself or be banned.

          • Coralyn Herenschrict

            I am an anarcho-capitalist who has no affiliation nor vested interest in the FSP. I have never posted here under any name except this one, never lived in New Hampshire, and never met you outside your writings and podcasts which more often then not I have found principled and thoughtful.

            If you are saying my opinions are no longer welcome here simply because you don’t agree with them, you don’t need to ban me, I’m happy to stop participating.

            However, if so, I am seriously disappointed that it’s not obnoxious, disrespectful posts you aim to ban, it’s expressions of points of view that aren’t closely aligned with your own. That’s very Molyneux-esque behavior, and I thought you were better than that.

          • Whatever the FSP is or is not, its representatives should have greater respect for the truth, if they wish to be taken seriously by the rest of us.

          • Coralyn Herenschrict

            You are claiming the FSP lied without referring to any specific statement they made to support your claim.

            Here is what I heard from both parties:

            FSP: “We define self defense as in-the-moment response to imminent aggression and nothing else. We require members to share this definition.”

            Chris: “I define self-defense to include proactive response to systematic aggression.”

            I see this as a case of an organization and an individual disagreeing on a point of doctrine (The horror! How unusual!). If I am overlooking statements the FSP made that patently contradict objective facts, aka, lies, please point me to them.

  • Robert Enders

    Libel can be aggression. If Joe Sample tells the press that Jane Example is a child molester and that causes Jane to lose her job, then Jane has suffered tangibly because of Joe’s actions.

  • Anders Hass

    I don’t think Ashley praises Molyneux

  • Chris Garvey

    Isn’t slander a form of fraud, and a violation of the Libertarian Principle?