Monday, August 29, 2016

Stefan Molyneux Tells a Caller That Californians Deserve to Die If They Vote Differently From How He Wants

Stuart K. Hayashi

The embedding of this video was added on August 30, 2016.  See the bottom of this post for details on that.

First, let's get something straight.  It's embarrassing that this even needs to be explained to people who think of themselves as free-marketers: it's not wasteful to save the life of someone who disagrees with you politically.

I do not approve morally of legislation over what peaceful people may or may not do. A law against smoking marijuana recreationally means that if I smoke a joint in the privacy of my own home, the government can send armed men after me.  The more I resist them, the more the violence used against me will escalate.  I do not approve of this.

It should be understood, though, that people supporting such a law does not mean that they have personal animosity against me -- that they wish death on me.  Much of this has to be do with normalization.  Laws are enforced at gunpoint.  People understand that on an implicit level.  But confronting that seldom enters their conscious minds.  And I think that, in many cases, people don't think about it because they don't want to think about it.

Many people like to feel self-righteous if they support legislation supposedly designed to protect me from my own unhealthy choices, or legislation that overrides a contract between my employer and me on what I might be paid (busybodies will say I am paid too low).  And that is why I write what I write about the law -- I want people to consider that when they support laws stipulating what peaceful people may or may not do, support for the law is not humane in practice, but is itself a violent threat and act of bullying.

It does not follow from that that such people are my enemies.  I don't support gun control.  But there are many people who support gun control who would intervene to save me if they saw me being mugged. You might say that my being taxed is the same as my being mugged, but there is actually a crucial difference. Tax collectors are constrained in what they can do, whereas muggers are not. Tax collection is predictable and normalized, whereas a mugger can do anything to you.  If people saw me being mugged, it would not be the same, psychologically, as them seeing the IRS audit me.  The wrongness of what the IRS does is very abstract, whereas witnessing me being mugged on the street would hit you on a visceral level; it would be a very concrete observation of force. For that reason, many people who would approve of my taxes being raised would indeed risk their lives to intervene and help me against the mugger.

Contrary to fanatics such as Stefan Molyneux and Chris Cantwell, your fellow citizen supporting bad laws is not the same as that citizen personally seeking your destruction. That fellow citizen does implicitly support a type of injustice that can adversely affect you, but that has to do with a psychological block that is not easily removed, not even in the most intelligent, high-IQ people (in fact, people with high IQs often employ their high IQ to rationalize the expansion of government power). No, if people want to vote to tax me or make it more difficult for me to purchase a gun, it does not mean that such people deserve to die.  Again, it is embarrassing that I even have to explain that to people who call themselves free-marketers.

Now that that is out of the way, here is an exchange between Stefan Molyneux and a caller. Note that when the caller talks about using his gun to protect other people from a mass shooter, he is talking about the people of California.  Those are the people whom Molyneux is calling socialists; he is not talking about the North Korean military.

Caller: "So, um, to get back to the original point, should I be taking the risks that I am to protect myself? I mean I do understand that me dying from a terrorist attack is just as likely the Chinese coming in and invading the coast, which probably is not going to happen. I doubt it will happen in my lifetime. But I just cannot shake that feeling that if this situation arises where I am somewhere where I should not be hearing gunshots, and I hear them, I cannot be the one who runs away. I can't." 
Molyneux: "Why?" 
Caller: "Because that's what pussies do; damn it! Real American men who are armed and ready and trained are not pussies, OK? We've done a lot to make sure." 
Molyneux (laughs derisively): "OK, OK. I get it. I get it, G. I. Joe. But let me give you a push back here. See if this makes any sense, all right? [pause] Who are you gonna be saving?" 
Caller: "My fellow Americans. That's who I'm going to be saving, whether I agree with them or not." 
Molyneux: "You told me you're in liberal soup land [this is the San Francisco Bay area]." 
Caller: "That doesn't mean they deserve to die, because they--" 
Molyneux (smiling): "You're not killing them." 
Caller: "I know." 
Molyneux: "You're not killing them. Are you going to go and risk your life to save a bunch of socialists [he means Californians] who are going to hug their killers if they get half a chance?" 
Caller: "Yes." 
Molyneux: "Why? Don't you have any pride in your [white] genes, in your life, in your future, in your children-to-be?" 
Caller (sighs): "They're Americans and that's what you have to do as a real American. You have to stand up if--" 
Molyneux (interrupts): "You don't have to do it. Don't give me this appeal as if it's a philosophical argument. Make your case." 
Caller: "Look, it's as simple as the fact that without people who are willing to stand up to evil in communities around the world, we won't be a nation anymore." 
Molyneux: "I get that, but can you stand up to evil when you're six foot under the ground? The conflict is not you throwing yourself in front of some fat government worker who's going to bleed you dry of pension money all she can get. That's not the courage you need to fight evil. [ . . . ] What you need to do is talk with people and confront people and speak truth to power. That's how you fight evil. It's not you taking a bullet for somebody who'd have you thrown in jail for following your own conscience. [Again, this is San Bernardino they're talking about]. For some statist!" 
Caller (groans
Molyneux: "I've gotta re-orient you."

Molyneux later comes back to that: "The chilling reality is that you could risk your life -- get shot, get killed, get wounded, be put in a wheelchair for life, get your balls shot off, be unable to bear children -- to save a bunch of people who will then vote to take away your guns. That's my issue. --or vote to increase your taxes."

Molyneux tells the caller that this is the reason why he should not protect his fellow Americans: ""America is not chock full of people like you [white] anymore. [ . . . ] In America in the 1950s and 1960s when it was still 95 percent white, kids could take guns to school for target practice during recess."

Molyneux ends on an even more disturbing note. He says that you are either in his tribe or in an enemy tribe.  And if you are not of his tribe, you will receive no mercy from him; you must be destroyed. Enemy tribe, in this context, does not refer to Kim Jong-Un or his army; "enemy" refers to non-white Californians who disagree with Molyneux's politics. Those are the people whom Molyneux says deserve no quarter, no compassion, no charity; people who must be destroyed.

This is a very dark path to go down.  July 22, 2011, was the day on which Anders Breivik murdered other Norwegians.  First he bombed a government building.  Later he used his gun to shoot children who were part of a socialist party organization.  After having learned of the bombing, but before he heard of the shooting, Norwegian writer Onar Åm (with whom I was Facebook Friends) put this in the news feed of many people:

A double-digit number of people, such as Anders Amdal Taftø, clicked "like" on that.

Only two people -- a Norwegian libertarian and myself -- gave Onar Åm push-back for this.  And the Norwegian libertarian ended up apologizing to Onar Åm, rather than the other way around.  After they heard about Breivik shooting the adolescents dead, the libertarian asked Onar Åm if he approved of that as well.  Onar Åm replied that he did not, because he could not condone the killing of children. But then he added staunchly that middle-aged government employees are not innocent, and that they victimized him, and therefore if they experience violent injury or violent death, they got what was coming to them.

This is not a good path.  Even your fellow citizens who support unjust laws, remain citizens whose rights must be protected.  Do what you can to help show them how consensual cooperation is better than government force, but do not dehumanize them as Stefan Molyneux and Onar Åm have.

I have a simple question for Molyneux and anyone who might express any sympathy for what he says: if you see a stranger in danger and in need of immediate help, are you going to quiz that person on what his or her political opinions are before deciding whether to take any action?

UPDATES from August 30, 2016:  The proper response comes from Lisa VanDamme:
When British Muslim activist Asghar Bukhari was asked, the day after twelve people were mowed down in their offices in Paris, whether he condemned the killing, his response was, “I would argue that these cartoonists should never have been killed. Of course they shouldn’t…” Here, there should have been a full stop. But instead, Bukhari went on to say “…but they’re still racists.” [ . . . ] When the topic is the murder of innocent people, it is absolutely irrelevant — coldly, perversely irrelevant  — to express your views about their lives, their work, their values. The murder of innocent people is evil. Full stop.


Here is a video upload of the disturbing conversation, including the part in the second half where Molyneux explains extreme mercilessness toward "the enemy" (that is, anyone who hasn't bought into his doctrine).