Sometimes I will come across Libertarian pod casts, both old and new, on YouTube or elsewhere on the internet.
Having studied religion a great deal before becoming an atheist, I can’t help but draw parallels between prosperity pimps and many of the libertarian pod casters I have seen. (Google prosperity pimp if you are confused)
Below I have drawn some parallels that I have observed between the messages of prosperity pimps and some Libertarian pod casters.
Continue to Practice
Prosperity pimps always encourage their flock to continue praying and tithing, even though many of these morons go their entire lifetimes without having even one prayer answered. It is obvious to outsiders that prayer does not work.
I would draw a parallel between this impulse to continue using techniques that do not work in the church and the impulse to continue to use techniques that do not work in the liberty movement.
One can look at the policies of a large percentage of the countries on the planet and see that many governments, especially western governments, are growing bigger, tightening control, and collecting more money. Many others are monarchies, theocracies, or dictatorships. Most of them are literally socialist police states (which many find ironic due to the mythology of the world uniting to fight fascism and communism) and are drowning in debt as a result of Keynesian economic policies. Within these governments EVEN THEIR OWN PEOPLE ADMIT that debt and government programs are growing out of control and enacting more and more laws. And so, given the obvious impotence on the part of any liberty groups that were operating in these countries, why is it that they insist on using the exact same methods?
Many of the pod casters will shamelessly admit that despite all of their efforts, the government has grown many times over and yet continue to advocate the exact same tactics. They have to admit it because it is an observable fact. And yet, when they get the inevitable question : So what do we do about it? They give the same tired retorts. Non-violent protest, spread the word, voting drives, civil disobedience, Ron Paul, yadda yadda yadda. Been there, done that, literally got the T-shirt.
I am an entrepreneur and I have an education in marketing. I don’t see a problem with starting and operating a business and furthermore, people can do whatever they want with their money as long as it doesn’t harm me.
However, I see something disingenuous about the donation based models many of these pod casts follow. Look, if you want to sell subscription, memberships, or merchandise I am all for it. But the psychological techniques used to try to guilt people into donating is all too reminiscent of the techniques preachers regularly employ.
The message of the prosperity pimp is that if you tithe to me, I will help make your problems go away. Furthermore, it is seen as a duty to give part of your income to god in order to continue the ministry.
The message of the pod caster is: This is the best way to achieve liberty, TALKING ABOUT IT. Help me spread the word! Well, the Ron Paul campaigns should have made one thing painfully clear by now: the desire for freedom is NOT widespread. There are many people who don’t give a fuck about freedom and are happy to be enslaved. I don’t buy the excuse that they have not been exposed to it or do not understand it anymore.
I was directed to one pod caster who suggested that not donating is akin to stealing, yes theft. In one fell swoop, random people who stumble onto the video are in the same bracket as the cock suckers who give you $150 parking tickets.
Meanwhile, this person is putting out videos on a free video website without ads enabled. Am I missing something? If you want people to pay for your shit, charge for your shit, it’s that simple.
Pie in the Sky
The prosperity pimp will tell his flock to continue to have faith no matter what. Even if your kid dies in a car accident and your husband dies of cancer and the bank forecloses on your house fraudulently, keep having faith. God works in mysterious ways. Even though your bank account is low, continue to tithe. Everything you do and give now will come back to you and pay dividends in heaven AKA after you are dead.
This is reminiscent of the very disturbing message some pod casters broadcast about some kind of future Utopia. I have heard many libertarian podcasters argue that liberty is impossible to achiever in their lifetimes and that the future generations will be free and all this bullshit about stuff that you and I will never see or experience. I care about my life here and now and about being free TODAY while I am alive so I can enjoy it.
The best way to destroy the already pathetic number base of liberty minded people is to tell them their ideas are impossible to live out. If your goal is to try to brainwash the nation or the world into being free and accepting a stateless life then yes, it is impossible. This is only because that goal is asinine. If your goal is to live in a manner consistent with values of freedom with other like minded people, this is possible. It needs to be organized and people need to stop being fed false solutions.
Generally speaking, when people start to promise me shit after I die I stop listening.
Cult Like Following
Admittedly, this is more of a critique of the way some people’s fans cling to their every word as gospel. This makes the follower blind to very bad arguments put forth by their ideological leader.
The leader can do no wrong, whatever they say is correct even if it is contradictory to what they said previously and even if it makes no sense. The follower nods their head and says “oh yeah”, or “that makes sense”, even when it doesn’t.
Now, I don’t have a problem with people following those that they find to be extraordinary. I don’t have a problem with cults either, where cults are a group focused around an idea or individual for a specific purpose where this group does not proselytize. I do have a problem with deception and intellectual dishonesty. An example of this in the prosperity pimp world is Eddie “Brown Sugar” Long and many other pedophile gay preachers. Without making a judgment about his sexual preferences, I will say he was openly dishonest and that his conduct clearly contradicted his doctrine. But still, his followers swooned all over him.
With a few clicks of the mouse, pod casters can be caught contradicting positions they had in their previous pod casts. Switching positions with an in depth explanation or a change of ideology is one thing, but flip-flipping to win a quick argument is another.
I can only theorize about why these people continue to do the things they do. I will say that it seems as though the status quo is profitable, where it might not be good for business if say, all their subscribers pooled money and invested in a profitable dividend yielding company, for instance.
Also, from the donator perspective, giving money to a radio show is a way of convincing oneself that they are doing SOMETHING without actually being personally involved. While personal involvement is not a necessity for an idea to succeed (companies are based upon contributions from largely uninvolved investors) sending resources to proponents of an idea that are actually building something, I think, is a must.
Now, after all of this one might say: OK you faceless troll, after knocking all of these people who are doing the best they can to spread the ideas of freedom tell us what is YOUR solution to the problem of achieving freedom in our lifetimes since you’re so goddamn smart.
A fair question and critique. First, let me make it absolutely clear that I am not saying that what they are doing is not essential. Any ideology definitely needs to be spread at some point in order to get new adherents. They do a damn fine job of fulfilling this function. My disagreement is more with the substance of the messages that are promoted. I do have a solution and I do have real examples of it working in reality. I will reveal this solution in a series of posts. I am thinking of releasing a piece I wrote on statheism before that but we shall see.
Achieving Freedom in Brief
In brief, my idea on how to achieve freedom starts with not trying to free the world and worrying about your own condition here and now. Nobody asked you to stand up for them or their rights or to bring freedom or liberty to them. It then expands to focusing on people who share your specific ideologies. For example, I have no desire to cavort with people who think a little slavery is a good thing. Can you imagine someone saying, “Rape is bad, I agree, but a little bit of rape is good and necessary sometimes. Just the tip, I promise.”
Without a practical end goal, a uniform philosophical base and a cohesive and dedicated group organized around it, any course of action taken on by such a small minority will fail.
In management school the very first thing you learn in business strategy is that one must have a target goal, one must have measurable metrics to gauge the distance to the goals, one must set milestones and all of these actions are subject to various constraints.
In my opinion, what appears to be the goals of the vast majority of libertarians is absolutely %100 impossible. I get a sense that to goal is to achieve some kind of grand awakening of America that brings the government back to constitutional constraints and usher in some kind of golden age of equal rights, (which have never existed in this nation).
There needs to be one or at least a small set of well-defined, tangible and measurable goals. When I say this I am referring to specific groups that share ideological sameness and not for the entire movement since, again, different people in the movement have vastly different goals.
If, for example, we were actually getting closer to a constitutional government we would see many of the people the Libertarians call comrades at the moment start to splinter off or work against the group. Remember, returning the state to constitutional limits would mean little or no welfare and there are openly egalitarian socialists in the liberty movement. I am still baffled as to how socialists managed to infiltrate the libertarians and I would not have believed it if I had not literally seen and talked to them myself.
To the Libertarians’ credit, a cohesive, dedicated, and well organized group existed, but all of their fervor, skill, and zeal was exhausted on Ron Paul campaign activities. It is truly heart wrenching to see people struggle so hard for no reason. If 40% of that money, talent and effort were exerted on entrepreneurial endeavors it would have given them enough money to found their own libertarian city by now. Most Ron Paul supporters that I have come into contact with are statists (if minarchists) anyway. They are often disenfranchised conservative christian republicans, Ron Paul himself being basically a religious fundamentalist. Although I would not expend any significant amount of effort, if it had come down to it and I had free time I would have voted for him. If I am going to get fucked in the ass by the state I prefer a smaller cock. Plus it would have been fun to watch the US crash in fast forward. If some Ron Paul girls were in my area I probably would have campaigned in exchange for sexual favors of some sort.
Sad commentary when a religious fundamentalist is the most intelligent and knowledgeable, best prepared, most courageous and most truthful candidate to choose from in a given election.
Sad commentary indeed.