Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mainstream-Acceptable Festival of Freedom

My comment at DB: There is little in this interview to suggest that anything resembling freedom or libertarian thinking will be discussed at this festival.  Instead, a gathering of mainstream-acceptable dialogue, all designed to continue the facade of legitimacy for the system.

My additional comments below, made only here out of respect for DB and the relationship one of their members has with Skousen and Freedom Fest.

BM: Once again, time for Skousen’s “Freedom? Less!” Festival.

MS: All the freedom organizations and think tanks are coming this year – Cato, Heritage, Reason, FEE, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Heartland, Hillsdale and for the first time Fox News!  The Washington Post calls us "the greatest libertarian show on Earth."

BM: These are freedom organizations? 

An entire interview and festival on freedom and libertarian thinking and not a single mention of Lew Rockwell (or the Mises Institute) or Ron Paul – the two gentlemen, without a doubt, who have done more to advance the cause of liberty in the last decade than any others walking the planet. 

Instead, we are treated to various versions of pseudo-libertarian-lite-neocon-bombs away-privatize-but don’t fundamentally change government-institutions and personalities: Cato, Hillsdale, Fox News, Rand Paul, Steve Forbes, Wayne Root, Yaron Brook…

MS: …. (Rumor has it that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld might show….)

BM: Would this rumor even exist if true freedom was actually being discussed for three days?

MS: We are also having an exciting panel called "Radical New Ways to Educate," with Daniel Greenberg, founder of the revolutionary Sudbury schools (look, kids, no classes!); Lori Bossy, president of the top Montessori school in Nevada; and Jo Thoburn, president of the Fairfax Christian School, the #1 Christian school in the country.

BM: What is “radical” about these? Try homeschooling.

MS: We need to adopt Steve Forbes's flat tax plan; that would eliminate the abusive IRS, etc.

BM: One of a long list of examples of Skousen’s definition of “freedom.”  This is work-within-the-establishment freedom.  Such a wish is more of a utopian dream than actually working toward freedom.  But it is acceptable within the mainstream dialogue.

You can tell much of a man by the company he keeps.


UPDATE: Following are my subsequent posts at the DB site.  I include these here only for completeness:

DB: Oh, come on. 2000 people spend a lot of money to fly to Vegas to discuss freedom issues and they're all phonies?

BM: I said nothing about the 2000 people being phonies.  I don’t know what these 2000 will be discussing.  I do know what many of the speakers will be saying, and it won’t sound much like freedom.

DB: You seem to believe people's thinking and discussions are defined by some sort of formal agenda

BM: The festival organizers may speak the word “freedom,” but the agenda says “trust our side with the levers of power.”  As the speakers and organizations that will be present represent the make-government-more-efficient wing of the single party system, what would YOU say is the formal agenda?  Further, please explain why the formal agenda is somehow NOT relevant to those putting on and attending a conference of any sort.


DB: You are absolutely making the perfect the enemy of the good ...

BM: It would be better if you just dropped this. 

This is from the Freedom Fest web site, regarding one of the keynote speakers: “Senator Rand Paul – the most influential libertarian leader to emerge in the 21st century….”

Even Rand Paul doesn’t refer to himself as a libertarian!  What century was Ron Paul’s influence?  Rand’s is more????

When an event labeled “Freedom Fest” can shove Ron Paul down the memory hole so bluntly and suddenly, I don’t believe I am making the perfect the enemy of the good.  Instead, I see a determined agenda to co-opt the terms “freedom” and “libertarian,” moving these toward the positions of Steve Forbes and Cato.  Perfectly mainstream.

If this statement regarding Rand Paul came from CNN, DB would be the first one to point out the dominant social theme….

I understand the conflict DB has here.  I also view Anthony Wile as one of the most courageous individuals with an internet presence.  Why not just drop it instead of harming your editorial integrity?

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