RE: Adam Kokesh: Anarcho-Stalinist
In discussions with @kafkanarchy84 and others, I've mentioned how much I prefer discussing ideas over discussing people, and I appreciate you opening the video mentioning that tension. I also see how those who choose to harm others have to be called to account in a voluntary society. I was completely unsatisfied with Adam's reply to my tweet you mentioned. I expected a response was going to come from them on this issue. I scaled my support back from Adam many months ago, but I still had him on my Steemvoter until now. I was trying to support his ideas.
I really do like the book Freedom. I listed it right along with your book in my post on the myth of authority. In a similar way, I really appreciate some early works from people like Stefan Molyneux (such as his Bomb in the Brain series or his video on human enslavement), though their actions and ideas today are almost unrecognizable compared to earlier content.
I hope we can separate out the difference between supporting ideas and supporting people.
Good ideas deserve support.
Bad people deserve to be called out.
Good ideas from bad people don't make them bad ideas. At the same time, spreading their version of those good ideas could, in the long run, get people to equate good ideas with bad people and harm the progress so many good people are working towards as far as bringing about a voluntary society.
In my personal interactions with Adam and Ben (they came to Nashville a while back), I saw what appeared to be voluntaryists trying to improve the world by removing the federal government through a tactic which would surely fail but might raise some awareness, especially if the book Freedom was involved. I've made comparisons to Ron Paul running for office and that having a positive influence on those who eventually decided to spend their energy working to increase freedom in the world. My thinking was the position "everyone running for office is always bad all the time" can't be true if we have a data set of one where the net result was positive. Not sure if you remember, but I asked about Ron Paul at ProcFest and was surprised how many there agreed he did have a hugely positive influence on their lives while at the same time making fun of the poor guy running for local political office who was trying to hand out his business cards to us. We've discussed this before so there's no need to have the discussion again, and I do respect and appreciate your perspective that all forms of political action at any level is always bad all the time.
I see why my comparison is so disliked because, unlike Ron Paul, Adam isn't acting consistent with the ideas he's spreading. Prior to this happening, I haven't had the conversations you've had with people harmed by Adam, so that part of all this wasn't as real to me. I don't like to get caught up in hearsay drama over how other people act unless I know the people involved. Otherwise, there can be a lot of she said / he said back and forth, and it can be difficult to know what's a smear tactic and what's for real.
Initially, in my personal dealings with Adam, I didn't see or experience anything I'd consider a violation of the NAP. He approached me about a Freedom book drop idea in New Orleans, and I connected him with a friend who I thought might want to support it as well as with the SmartCash community which did support it. What happened after that was disappointing. From my perspective, the project was mishandled from a business point of view with unreasonable expectations about cryptocurrency always going up in value and overly optimistic projections on timing and costs to get the books printed and delivered according to the timeline promised to the supporters. When Adam called me in August to see if I'd be interested in finding more financial support for the project, I told him straight up how I think the project was managed very poorly. During that conversation he talked about using some DOXing tactics against a local politician regarding zoning drama with his property which I didn't agree with, but at the time I rationalized it as a defensive action against an aggressor (an agent of the state). It seems I was naive to think he hadn't at least considered using these same tactics on others and justifying it as defensive. I don't normally bring up content from a private phone conversation, but I hadn't thought about it until just now and how others knowing about it may be relevant to protect people in the future.
The lack of response to this issue from either Ben or Adam is disappointing and hopefully this video and any events/conferences/etc that pull their support for Adam will get him to deal with this stuff openly.