If you’ve been involved in libertarian circles for a while you’ve probably heard the name Stefan Molyneux. He is a self-proclaimed philosopher who considers himself an anarcho-capitalist. In addition to that he’s also a narcissistic ass who mirrors a cult leader more than an individual who supposedly opposed rulers. As with most narcissists Molyneux doesn’t handle criticism well. Any form of criticism, in his opinion, must be ruthlessly crushed even if it requires him to be a hypocrite to do it. A group calling themselves Tru Shibes have been putting together videos on YouTube that point out instances where Molyneux has been inconsistent. Since Molyneux does hour and a half monologues Tru Shibes have had a lot of material to work with. But Molyneux decided he had to prove that his inconsistencies know no bounds. The man claims that he opposes intellectual property but decided to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to silence Tru Shibes:
Either way, Molyneux, who writes and speaks frequently about being against “state” violence and has spoken out about how he doesn’t support intellectual property law, apparently chose to make use of the DMCA to take down a bunch of videos from “TruShibes” an account that apparently has mocked Molyneux and apparently hypocritical actions/statements he’s made.
I think Tru Shibes should consider this their single greatest victory. This story also brings up a point that I feel needs emphasizing from time to time. Us anarchists subscribe to a philosophy that opposes the state. For me that means avoiding interaction with the state as much as possible. I don’t want to use the state to solve my problems, which means I have little interest in calling the cops on somebody, taking somebody to court, or filing a DMCA take down notice to silence my critics (don’t worry, all of my shit is public domain so I don’t even have claimed copyrights I could use for a DMCA take down). But from time to time I see self-proclaimed anarchists use the state they supposedly oppose to silence their critics either by filing a lawsuit or utilizing some stupid law like the DMCA.
If anarchism is to thrive it must be able to provide alternatives to the state. One of the state’s longest claimed monopolies is dispute resolution. When two individuals have a disagreement they take it to the state’s courts. Dispute resolution is one of the markets where anarchists could provide some truly creative alternatives. It’s also a market that acts as a litmus test for statists. As far as they’re concerned the only way to resolve disputes is to have a third party with a lot of guns command people who disagree to behave. If anarchists can come up with a functional alternative for dispute resolution it would do a lot to demonstrate its effectiveness.
So if you consider yourself an anarchist take Molyneux’s recent act of cowering behind the state and its DMCA as an example of what not to do. Instead when you find yourself involved in a disagreement work to find a solution that doesn’t involve the state and its coercive violence.