On Striking the Root


Column by Michael Kleen.

Exclusive to STR

I am a relative newcomer to Strike The Root, so on this 10th anniversary of the website’s founding, all I have to offer is my own small perspective. I published my first column at STR, Spending Our Way to Ruin, in February 2009. At that time, STR already had quite a following. Chris Lempa, a longtime friend and Friday guest editor for the website, introduced me to it and suggested I submit an article. I had written a biweekly column for my college newspaper in graduate school, but my writing had been only sporadically published on the Web. I am very grateful to the editor for giving me the opportunity to write for STR.

In fact, a review of the “Root Strikers” reveals this website’s unprecedented willingness to publish newcomers and first-time writers. Out of the nearly 300 writers with articles published on STR, 75 percent of them have penned under 10 articles. In an environment where a lot of blogs or online journals are controlled by a tightly knit group of individuals who do not take kindly to anyone who isn’t in their clique or who isn’t already well-known, this is very refreshing.
As anyone who has read my articles knows, I do not adhere to a particular ideology. I am interested in advancing my own liberty and the liberty of others by the most pragmatic means. I point out hypocrisy and tyranny where I see it, and I dabble in philosophy and thought experiments from time to time. The fact that the editor tolerates my presence is a testament to his open-mindedness and willingness to work with other, likeminded individuals, as long as they are advancing the cause of liberty. It is this virtue that, I believe, has made Strike The Root what it is today.
The liberty movement is a very diverse movement, ranging from anarchists, to left-libertarians, to Objectivists, to Rothbardians and Ron Paul supporters. None of these groups get along very well, as many arguments on this very website have shown, but having a place where we can all get together and debate these ideas is increasingly valuable, especially in times such as these. As Emmett Harris pointed out, the State and its security and surveillance apparatus has grown in frightening proportions since Strike The Root opened its doors in 2001.
There have been many times when our personal squabbles and petty disagreements have overshadowed the bigger picture, yet we should never let that get in the way of supporting STR as a vehicle for discussion, debate, and the dissemination of our ideas. Strike The Root remains one of the premier websites on the net for the discussion of liberty, freedom, and free markets. I hope to be around to see it grow another 10 years.


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Michael Kleen's picture
Columns on STR: 36

Michael Kleen is the Editor-in-Chief of Untimely Meditations, publisher of Black Oak Presents, and proprietor of Black Oak Media. He holds a M.A. in History and a M.S. in Education, and is the author of Statism and its Discontents, a collection of columns on the topics of Statism, liberty, and their conflict. His columns have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including Strike-the-Root.