For The Second Year In A Row, LFNYC Cancels Cantwell

LibertyFest NYC is an event marketed to libertarians which takes place yearly in New York City since 2010. Like many such events, it started off oriented toward advancing a cause, and then rapidly descended into little more than an effort to sell overpriced drinks to people who were dumb enough to buy tickets. Aside from the futility of spreading liberty in a place where carrying a handgun legally is damn near impossible, cigarettes are up to $15 a pack, and the mayor tried to ban soda, a far worse plague has befallen the event and its organizers. Social justice.

For The Second Year in a Row, LFNYC Cancels Cantwell

For The Second Year in a Row, LFNYC Cancels Cantwell

I had spoken at the event in 2011, and 2012. In 2013 the event started off with quite the lineup, before the organizer changed his name on social media and parked the domain. The event was delayed, and when it came back, he had ditched all his high profile speakers, replacing them instead with an all female lineup, including Cathy Reisenwitz. This had been pitched as a way to highlight what women were doing to advance the cause of liberty, but I knew the organizer personally, and it was nothing more than an effort to make up the shortfall in fundraising.

You can imagine what a miserable time an all female libertarian speaking engagement would be like, but financially it was a success. Thirsty libertarians who were not big on substance were all too happy to buy tickets, the female libertarians were all too happy to gain some recognition, and social justice warriors cheered the event as a breakthrough for gender equality. Thus began the decline of LFNYC. 

By 2014 the “humanitarians vs. brutalists” standoff had begun, and I was invited to debate Jeffrey Tucker at the event. Tucker backed out at the last minute, and I was unceremoniously removed from the lineup. Unsurprisingly, Tucker’s newfound affinity for the social justice crowd (who largely occupies his pay to play social network wasn’t up for scrutiny. It’s one thing to spout off about racism and sexism in no particular direction on the Internet. It’s another to have your ideas challenged by an intelligent advocate of rationality while there is a live audience.

So when I was invited to speak this year, I had originally told Ian Cioffi, the event’s organizer, that I would not attend. Using my name and image to sell tickets to an event, and then quietly cancelling after it has generated ticket sales, is an act of fraud against both me and the ticket holders. After being contacted by a number of readers and listeners asking if I would be at the event, I reconsidered, and Ian Cioffi asked me if I would be interested in debating anarchism vs. minarchism with Austin Petersen, a conversation which had already begun on my show, Radical Agenda.

I agreed, insisting that I would have to be paid up front, and regardless of whether he cancelled or not. I received a small deposit on my speaking fee after signing the contract, Cioffi announced my appearance on the event’s website, and within moments, I was notified that my appearance was once again cancelled.

Cioffi says he didn’t realize that I had tweeted the semi-nude photo of Josie Wales when he had booked me. That scandal, subsequently came to be known as #BoobGate. He claims four speakers threatened to pull out of the event if I were to attend. An interesting development, since I had delayed in signing the contract because I became aware that Ademo Freeman had been removed from the lineup over this non-event as well.

For those not in the know, I had been accused of leaking the photo from the beginning. This was an intentional smear campaign on the part of Josie Wales, who had teamed up with Cassandra Fairbanks (A Bernie Sanders supporter) and other leftists. I had not in fact leaked the photos, Josie was well aware of this fact, but decided to spread the rumor that I had anyway for PR purposes. This deceptive campaign got Josie and Cassandra dropped from their paid writing gigs at The Free Thought Project, and subsequently got TFTP dropped from the Cop Block Facebook page. I had discussed this at some length on Radical Agenda, before finally tweeting the photo I had been accused of spreading days earlier.

I won’t bother naming the speakers still attending LFNYC, because they aren’t due the recognition of appearing on the pages of this blog. Suffice to say however, that it consists largely of minarchists and social justice warriors. There is not a Rothbardian Anarcho-Capitalist among them, just a steady stream of incoherent nonsense which I had hoped to bring some semblance of sanity to. Sadly, that won’t be happening, and you can forget about me entertaining any future business with Ian Cioffi.

Update: Anarchapulco, an event organized by Jeff Berwick of Anarchast and The Dollar Vigilante, just cancelled me as well. The only common thread between these two events is Jeffrey Tucker.

Update 2: Berwick confirms Tucker sabotaging Anarchapulco.

Update 2: Berwick confirms Tucker sabotaging Anarchapulco.

Luckily, some event organizers still have courage. If you were thinking about coming to NYC to see me, I assure you that you’ll have a far better time, and hear a far more consistent message at Keenevention. The event takes place October 30th-November 1st in Keene New Hampshire.



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  • 347 Area Code

    I knew this was going to happen because I kept looking a the site everyday to see you mentioned but your name was nowhere to be found. I live in he NYC area but I knew it was too good to be truth and I thought Petersen was going to back out the day before like Jeffrey Tucker; thankfully I didnt buy the tickets. I guess I’;; be using the supposed money to see you in NYC for a room in Keene this October.

    Its sad that Berwick cancelled you, I wouldn’t expect him to do that especially since I don’t see him get involved with the drama between everyone else. I was still wondering where you would get the money from for the plane and room and might had done a gofundeme campaign.

    Anyway invite these people to Keenevention and beat em Cantwell, they’re always running a muck denouncing you but always runaway with their tails between their legs just like the fascist on Instagram whos keeps deleting my comments.

    Dont feel bad Cantwell, just know they can’t silence you

    • Rhett Lloyd

      The attractiveness of attending events like PorcFest and Anarchopulco is to be around fellow thin libertarians/ Rothbardian ancaps. Filling events with social justice warriors, libwaps and thick libertarians makes the events unattractive. I have better ways to spend money than hoping to go to a libertarian event and being surrounded with their types. Hell the best part of PorcFest (besides the Dome) was guarding the porch and the scenic overlook beer party.

  • Fairbanks does a huge disservice to those of us who are sick of coproaches but seeing Berwick’s actions is really sad. One would think Berwick was above this

    • Dennis Wilson

      I dropped Berwick and his projects when he returned to being a druggie. A guy who breaks with booze and drugs, and then goes back, has nothing of value to offer me.

      • ShadyCrockett

        So Cantwell has nothing of value to offer you?

        To be clear, I love his work and am a fan, but he has had a self-documented battle with drugs/alcohol.

        • Dennis Wilson

          Berwick got off booze and drugs and after facing the real world for about 6 months, bragged about seeking out new mind – altering stuff.

          That has certainly NOT been the case with Chris, who seems to value his ability to think.

    • Andrew Johnston

      She tweeted several times about those horrible “right wing anarchists” and how they won’t leave her alone.

      How could a woman so smart about so many things be so ignorant about Bernie Fucking Sanders.

      • “Not leaving her alone” was response to an-caps question her actual commitment to liberty. At least based on one twitter argument I saw her involved with. She gets incredibly defensive when she is questioned by an-caps, supporting Sanders is just what copsuckers love.

  • Coralyn Herenschrict

    Yeah, the current lineup is rather, well, boring. Mostly little-known vanilla beltarians. Understand the organizer must appeal broadly to have enough attendees to be viable (it is a chickenscratch event), but wish he’d include more ideas of genuine liberty.

    And what is Tucker so bothered by that that he’d alter his attendance plans to any event because of Chris? Never mind the clash of personal styles, I’d love to see a 2-hour-long clash of ideas. Maybe they are saving it for the pay-per-view.

    As for others on the roster, I can see how they don’t want to be in the same room with Chris given the bad blood. What a shame. Intransigence over principles has nothing to do with abandoning social graces. Taking low roads may generate page views but has real world consequences.

    Including never getting to hear Chris’s ideas at these events.

  • Michael

    Fuck them. Keep doing your own things.

  • Steven Graves

    Because you’re a jackass? Probably.

    • Coralyn Herenschrict

      He used to self-describe as an asshole and certainly then and now behaves interpersonally as such at times. I’m with you, no duh people are not into that.

      The rub is his political ideas are deeply principled as no one else’s are around all that is right in human existence: strict non-aggression and concomitant self-defense. If the only place I can find that is in a jackass, well, here I be.

  • Shaggy

    Fuck it, stick around NH where there’s slightly more consistency. NYC is a societal tumor, ditto on Acapulco.

  • SamGeoghegan

    Berwick is a conspiracy theorist. No great loss for you.

  • Hey, Cantwell… You should do your own conference and invite your own guest speakers to teach these boneheads a little manners, etiquette, morality, and consistency.