I just attended a liberty event (a couple of hours ago) that had Adam Kokesh as a guest speaker. He is somewhat of a celebrity within the libertarian movement.
I have written on Adam Kokesh before. He engages in acts of civil disobedience. He stated to a judge that the only time he committed violence was during his time in Iraq. He was in jail in solitary confinement, but he is now out on probation.
My only criticism of Kokesh is his underestimating the federal government in the past and risking his own freedom. Kokesh is a very powerful speaker and advocate for liberty, and I don’t want to see him waste away in a prison because he is too valuable for the liberty movement.
His speech earlier this evening – while not necessarily child appropriate – was quite uplifting. He talked about how he smiled at the prison guards during his time in there and the amusement he got from it.
But more importantly, he talked about optimism. He said we are freer now than ever before.
In 2004, I attended a speech by the late great Harry Browne. He said that he doubted that one in a thousand libertarians understood that human nature is on our side.
I think Harry Browne would be surprised today only because so many more libertarians are realizing that there is a lot of hope for the future. I think a lot of libertarians still underestimate how far we’ve come and how far we can still go, but it is certainly more than one in a thousand who understand the great hope we have today.
When I was a libertarian in 2004, it was a rather lonely time, unless you were attending a specific event for libertarians or you were on a libertarian website. That is still true to some extent today, but it is a lot easier to come across libertarians – particularly radical libertarians – today than ever before.
I am not saying that we will have some kind of a libertarian society in the near future. I am not even saying that it is inevitable. But, in general, despite the government atrocities we see every day, we are actually moving in the direction of liberty as more people become educated on the subject.
One other important thing that Kokesh said in his speech was that libertarians need to stop being angry (or sad or fearful). They need to live freedom. They need to enjoy the freedom they have and be happy. This doesn’t mean burying your head in the sand. It means celebrating freedom. It means that when you talk to other people, you don’t need to debate them or get angry at them. You can make your point and be happy and demonstrate your happiness.
I don’t typically advocate civil disobedience, unless it is carefully calculated. But I understand that is the way some people operate. I can’t argue with Rosa Parks for refusing to sit in the back of a bus, but she probably knew she wasn’t go to prison for it.
My only recommendation to libertarians is to be careful if you are going to purposely engage in civil disobedience to take a principled stand. I am glad that Adam Kokesh is no longer in a prison cell. He is doing far more good as a free man.
You can watch my favorite Adam Kokesh video below.