"Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest." ~ John Stuart Mill
Half a Decade of Striking the Root, and My Personal Journey
Exclusive to STR
It was an Indian summer August afternoon in the post "shock and awe" of 2003. An inquisitive young man of 20 sits alone at his computer striking away at the keyboard. He had always been one to question. When he was only five years old, his uncle gave him the name "(insert name here) why." At 15 years old, his awakening to the treacherous tyranny that had infected the land of the "free" was a shock and awe in itself. When the enforcers of violence, the police, threatened if he'd "make any moves" they'd "blow [his] fucking head off" for merely possessing a pot pipe, it changes his view forever of the lines drawn between who has the right to authority, and who needed to be questioned.
At the time he considered himself a left leaning centrist. A willing victim to the false left-right collectivist paradigm, a lone warrior, standing tall in the no man's land between the entrenched fools of statism, mortar shells of ignorance exploding around him. Machine gun sprays of virulent, unintelligible, factless commentary whizzing by his head in the virtual battle field of the Yahoo chatroom. Not realizing that even where he was, he was part of the problem, not the solution. There were, however, the occasional insights that seemed to flicker across his screen. A person had mentioned to him, at the time, that he had been contracted to do the electrical of a government facility in rural Alaska . He went on to elaborate a massive facility, that started to seem like it was designed for holding prisoners. When he began to ask questions, he was fired. Little did he know, he'd later find out that it was a massive FEMA Camp.
What he also learned in those chatrooms, would untenably change his political philosophy, and indemnify his view that the state was an unnecessary hindrance to liberty, freedom, and the inalienable rights set out for mankind in the founding documents of this country. The irony that the seeds of a country's own inherent downfall are entrenched in its founding may not come across as poetically ironic to you, but in retrospect, to him it is deeply satisfying.
There was at one point someone ranting about the "neocons." "It's the neocons!" this person exclaimed. "What's a neocon?", our future Root Striker asked. "You've never heard of neoconservatives?" responded the surprised individual. This piqued the Sherlock Holmes in our young freedom fighter, so he jumped onto Google and searched the word "neoconservative." He began to intently scan the information Google had retrieved for him. An article caught his eye, the name oozed exposure of truth. It was entitled "Neoconservatism Made Kristol Clear." Root Striker Michael Tennant began to delve into the corrupt hegemonic hubris that embodied the ideals of the neocon. He soon began to realize that he had been neoconned by this cabal of warmongers.
So began my now three year relationship with this amazing site. The influence it's had on me, as you can see, is a drastic one. If I hadn't found market anarchy, who knows what other quicksand philosophy I would be entrapped in. There have been so many great writers that have come and gone from STR over the years now, but one who has particularly stuck with me was Mike Wasdin.
When he decided he was going to stop writing, and fall into obscurity, I told him he was free to, but that his insights would be sorely missed. Glad that he decided to hang around!
I have repeatedly found it a place not just for unique views from the Root Strikers, but a great place to get pertinent news, sometimes that I haven't seen anywhere else. STR was also the first place I really experienced a forum board. Up until that point, I had solely visited the realm of chatrooms. The STR forum is a tight knit community, though we have lost a couple of regulars over the years (Fingolfin, where'd you go?). One of my most memorable times in the forum was immediately after the 2004 magic democracy boxes "election." It was with the wisdom of people like Scarmig, Log, Ali and others that I gave up the last remnants of believing in the validity of this electoral system.
STR is by far one of the most unique sites on the net. It has become a touchstone of how a libertarian market-anarchist site should be done. More than anything, the writing by the Root Strikers is what piques the interest of the masses. I don't know how many people I've turned onto anarcho-capitalism and this site just by reposting articles from here for them to read.
In the end, when it is all writ, STR will be looked at as a monolith of freedom and liberty that was there to guide the masses to freedom.