"He is free who knows how to keep in his own hands the power to decide at each step, the course of his life, and who lives in a society which does not block the exercise of that power." ~ Salvador De Madariaga
Coast to Coast, We Could Use More Anarchy
Exclusive to STR
August 28, 2006
To anyone who is familiar with my other writings, it should come as no surprise that Coast To Coast AM (and its Saturday night preceding affiliate program, Coast To Coast Live) is my favorite radio show. The mainstay of the subject matter discussed involves topics which have fascinated me throughout my life: UFOs and extraterrestrials; ghosts and poltergeists; witchcraft and the occult; Bigfoot (or Sasquatch) and the Loch Ness Monster; the Bermuda (or Devil's) Triangle and alternate dimensions. All things strange, paranormal, and unexplained.
Yet, my interest is doubly held by less apolitical topics which Coast covers with equal enthusiasm. While generally minarchistic rather than anarchist, the pantheon of guests who have appeared on the show have included such luminaries in the Freedom Movement as Irwin Schiff, Alex Jones, and Aaron Russo -- to all of whom we owe a debt of gratitude. They have pushed very hard and sacrificed much in the name of moving our society back in the direction of liberty. While not always in agreement with every aspect of their views, weekday host George Noory is almost always respectful and supportive of these guests and their efforts.
Thus it was with great expectation that last night (at the time of this writing), I logged on to an Internet livestream audio broadcast of Coast To Coast Live, hosted by Ian Punnett. His main featured guest was none other than fellow Root Striker Marc Stevens, and the topic was, of course, how the voluntary free market is both more effective and moral than the compulsory aggression of the State. This was fare considerably more heady than that of most Coast guests, who, as aforementioned, tend to be constitutionalists or small "l" libertarians. Nevertheless, I expected, if not a conversion, at least reluctant partial agreement on the part of Ian.
I was to be sorely disappointed. To my growing aghast, Ian Punnett repeatedly attacked the idea of a free-market justice system, in favor of the status quo -- even going to the absurdist extent of stating: "As far as freedom and liberty go . . . I've already got it." In other words, I'm happy with my career and what the State allows me to keep after taxes, so leave well enough alone.
But Marc, as many if not all Root Strikers know, is not afraid to live by the unanswerable logic that if you are 100% in control of both your life and property 100% of the time, you are free. Enter any reduction in this equation, however minute, and you are not. As he has stated on his own show, The No-State Project, freedom truly is an all or nothing proposition.
Not according to Ian. He admits that things like taxation and government-engendered "laws" are a "tradeoff," but holds that these impingements upon liberty are necessary for the "protection" which government affords. One crucial point, however, which Marc repeatedly raised, and which went unrebutted by Ian, is that the government courts have consistently ruled that the police (read government in general) are under no obligation to "protect" anyone -- yet the compulsory apparatus of supporting the State remains firmly in place. We must serve the State . . . yet it need not serve us. Somehow, Ian's okay with that.
Fortunately, at least the handful of callers who rang up Coast seemed to generally agree with Marc. And the broadcast itself undoubtedly reached millions of listeners.
I am still a rabid Coast To Coast fan, and admire the splendid job which Art Bell, George Noory, and Ian Punnett have done in the past and continue to do. And Ian did have the grace to bring Marc Stevens on to his show. But for a program as outside of the mainstream as Coast positions itself, as radical as some of the subjects and ideas which are covered from time to time are, from a philosophical perspective as well as that of pure logic, it could use more Anarchy.