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Oct 9, 2015

Wes Bertrand joins me to discuss a couple emails he recently sent to Stefan Molyneux and Mike DeMarco from Freedomain Radio. Those emails are reprinted below:


From: Wes Bertrand
Subject: Ominous parallels
Date: September 4, 2015 at 8:41:45 PM EDT
To: Michael DeMarco

Hello, Michael, and by extension, Stefan. I’ve appreciated the many helpful and insightful messages FDR has sent its listeners and viewers over the years. Thank you for all the time and effort you’ve expended to inspire individuals in so many enriching and enlightened ways. Though this is not a fan email, I hope you note the vital significance of it, so that your show is able to gain more respect from those who value truth. Basically, I’m writing to express my grave concerns about the ideas that have been promoted on your podcast, particularly in this episode:
FDR3052 Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan: An Honest Conversation

I realize that both of you believe in the efficacy and morality of free markets instead of tyranny, which in the past have been articulated extensively. So, your advocacy of Trump’s anti-immigration views and his overall anti-economic agenda (which Jeffrey covered with sufficient clarity here: ) runs noticeably discordant. This particular topic of policing statist “borders" really hits home with me, despite not being an “illegal” person (one must be privy to The Anatomy Of Slavespeak - ). In 2009 I was detained (with threat of being gunned down) by the so-called U.S. border patrol for about 6 hours with my Indonesian friend Siska, who had a student visa, just not with her at the time since we were going to photograph wild flowers, so her sister was ordered to drive for hours to deliver her paperwork to us in the desert of Ocotillo, CA on her behalf. The papers her sister brought were insufficient for our captors, however. Had it not been for a bureaucratic paperwork glitch, she would have been deported that day (through no fault of her own). It might come as a surprise to you that we weren’t crossing any statist borders. The jackboots in southern California were running a check point approximately 12 miles inside the arbitrary statist line in the sand (still present here - ), which I recounted in this episode of Complete Liberty Podcast:
Episode 63 - Freedom to travel, reside, and work without government, where property rights are respected -> link

When I heard Stefan read Trump's proposed policy of actually building a physical wall from California to Texas (the ultimate police-state boondoggle, aside from the insane NSA data mining process) in order to supposedly keep out Mexicans, as well as any Americans like myself desiring free travel, I waited for some sign of objective, critical philosophical analysis from him. Tragically, there was none, and I’m still waiting to hear it. Instead, I heard various economic fallacies about “illegals” harming the economy for “citizens" amidst the domestic ills of welfare statism. I encourage you to process your fears and concerns with the principles of voluntaryism (honoring individuals and markets, strictly disavowing governmental methods) as well as more evidence; Benjamin Powell has done a lot of freedom-oriented work in this realm - .

I’m puzzled about why you did not explicitly note the massive contradictions and intolerable harm involved in playing politics too, i.e., granting any legitimacy to the enforcement of statist “laws”—since no one has ANY right to such a rights-violating process. Not to explicitly and consistently denounce statist policies (i.e., aggression) is not to be philosophical. It’s a massive contradiction to say that, in the absence of a free market, we need to engage in the coercive, political means; such pragmatism only perpetuates rights-violations. The really odd thing is that I suspect you know that a paradigm shift in the philosophy of a society cannot happen with more advocacy of the political status quo (collectivistic, in-group/out-group, tax-fed, law-enforcing, welfare-statist thinking).

As you know, many of the podcasters in the liberty community viewed your initiation of the DMCA take-down process on YouTube as being pro-IP and, thus, a major departure from your previously voluntaryist moorings. I disagreed with that position too, because it violated property rights, as well as Stefan’s previously stated beliefs against IP. Yet, the gravity of your recent choice to promote the totalitarian fascist agendas of Trump overshadows this (as does endorsing the costly, coercive strategies of the spurious “freedom club,” via the collectivistic abstraction of "Western civilization”). This strikes me as eerily similar to the intellectual inception of Nazi Germany—definitely no joke. Trump’s views are the epitome of populism, nationalism, and mob mentality, based on contradictions, fear, distrust, and aggression. There are ominous parallels in our culture to those of Nazi Germany (as Peikoff outlined decades ago: link ), which were evidenced at the end of your episode regarding a survey of Americans’ confused views on immigration.

"Their theses were often focused on racial and biological studies within populations, particularly where German minorities lived. The controversial borders that were drawn after 1919 in countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia rankled many of them.”

"Hitler, the suitable ruffian, could never have done it on his own. He could never have done it with all his party. He needed a climate of belief—the belief that Weimar was a problem requiring a solution. Having solved it, he was free to answer his version of the Jewish Question—the question that the intellectuals had fooled with on paper. Only the madmen among them had ever thought it needed to be answered with fire. But the sane ones had helped open the door for the avenger that the madmen had dreamed of.”

wikipedia link

Please let me know if you want to discuss these matters either in public or private. Understanding and promoting the principles of true freedom mean a great deal in an age of philosophical confusion and psychological unawareness.

Thank you for your time and consideration, Wes

p.s., I have a lengthy list of notes I’ve taken over the last year concerning various other ideas conveyed by FDR, because they diverge from logic and sound evidence in places, so clarification is needed. The issue above takes precedence for now, however.


From: Wes Bertrand
Subject: Fwd: Ominous parallels
Date: September 24, 2015 at 3:37:12 PM EDT
To: Michael DeMarco
Cc: Chris Stefanick

Hi again, Michael. It’s been nearly three weeks since I sent the email below to you, and I’ve gotten no reply. Am I correct in assuming that you and Stefan do not want to have a conversation about this disturbing and confusing trend in FDR’s message these days? I want you to know that there is still the possibility to reverse course, make amends, and engage in restorative justice with your listeners who seek philosophical rigor and objectivity. As I see it, that is the only way you can regain credibility as a philosophy show, which I’d like to see you do. If you believe that I’ve somehow misinterpreted your present views, then let’s have a discussion about it (again, in private or on your call-in show).

A few days after I sent this first email, I was waylaid by armed enforcers of the so-called U.S. border, while driving back from Ottawa (visited some dear voluntaryist friends there). After asking a litany of intrusive questions, which seems to be their primary tax-fed “job,” they demanded that I stay in their building while they proceeded to search every nook and cranny of my vehicle, including all my personal possessions, which took the better part of an hour; I was also personally searched. It was a complete violation of property rights, and when I conveyed this simple truth to them, among other liberty-oriented statements, they of course provided rationalizations in place of valid arguments—the mainstay of humans who are trying to downplay the significance of massive contradictions. If I had defended my person and property from their aggressive actions, I would have been murdered. This is the nature of “border enforcement”: individuals are harassed, suffer, and even die as a consequence.

You know, Stefan used to not give disclaimers or caveats in his shows (like you've done on the ones that cheerlead for Trump), because he adhered to the principles of voluntaryism. Here’s an example (from over eight years ago) of the person who the liberty community admired, when he recognized the profound significance of the individual (based on reason, volition, and life-giving values) rather than the collective (based on spurious notions of race, genes, “ethnicity,” etc.):

I’ve Cd’d my friend Chris in this correspondence, because I plan on reading my email below that I sent you and Stefan (who also apparently un-contacted me on Skype) as well as sharing related thoughts on his Choice Conversations Podcast, when we record in about a week. We will also post Stef's “Immigration And Empathy” episode in order to show the stark contrast between promoting sound principles and deviating from them. If you take it off your server, I can put it in my Complete Liberty Podcast feed, since these ideas matter so much—individuals matter so much!



Find more from Wes here:


Also mentioned in the show:

Stef addresses his future self:

Jeffrey Tucker's excellent coverage of Trump:

My appearance on UCY.TV discussing non-violent communication:

Some comic relief via Trey and Matt:


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