A Voluntaryist Milestone

Column by Alex R. Knight III.

Exclusive to STR

One of the very first pieces I wrote for STR dealt with the appearance of a well-noted Voluntaryist on one of the most listened-to talk radio programs around.

Marc Stevens’s 2006 appearance on Coast to Coast Live – at the time, a subsidiary show of the famed Coast to Coast AM, with a much earlier broadcasting slot on Saturday nights and about 70% of the listenership, hosted by the now-retired Ian Punnett – was, as you can tell from my previously published article, not very well received by the Coast cast (though it universally was by every one of that evening’s callers). Marc himself gave me some of the less-than-admirable behind the scenes details, which I won’t repeat here, but I will tell you that both Punnett and George Noory read my article at the time, and were not at all pleased. In fact, Noory was so perturbed by even the mild constructive criticism present in my write-up that he blocked me from ever e-mailing him again. So much for truth in media.

But my, how times do change. And radio hosts, too. As of last night, at the time of this writing, John B. Wells had voluntaryists John Bush and Catherine Bleish on the program for a full four hours, to discuss strategies for sovereign living – in essence, the transition to a zero-government voluntary society.

For those of you who may not be in the know, Coast to Coast AM, in spite of it airing in the middle of the night throughout North America, is the most popular and listened-to radio show in the world, with over 550 AM and FM radio station affiliates, plus Internet and satellite. It averages about three million listeners each broadcast.

When I first entered the libertarian movement in 1994, Voluntaryist ideas were strictly the province of underground newsletters, second-hand books, and word of mouth, with maybe a low-listenership shortwave radio show hosting an occasional guest at odd hours and intervals.

The progress since then, as you can see, has been substantial. Wells mentioned he would like to have Bush and Bleish back for more shows. A caller to the show also mentioned Marc Stevens, as did Bush, who also named Marc’s show, The No-State Project. It may have taken seven years, but it finally got a fair mention in a non-hostile environment. And as of right now, the second half of tonight’s Coast broadcast will be about jailed Voluntaryist activist Adam Kokesh.

It gets even better (and it feels good to not have to say that sarcastically for a change): Frequent Coast guest Alex Jones, with a listenership in his own right estimated to be at around two million, has now hosted Stefan Molyneux several times, and toned down his own anti-anarchist rhetoric of the past. In fact, towards the end of his most recent broadcast with Stefan, Jones pledges twice to have him back on again soon.

What does all of this mean? It means we’ve hit and crossed a milestone in the Voluntaryist movement. We are now considered a valid and thoughtful part of the philosophical discussion taking place within the Freedom Movement. We are slowly winning over the hearts and minds of minarchists, while even faux allusions to our philosophy still inflames the temperament of pro-government leftists.

We still have much to do until we achieve a truly free, voluntary society, yes. That said, I could be wrong, but I don’t think the going will be quite as hard from here on in. That particular Rubicon has been crossed.

And as far as the next one, we are now on our way.

10
Your rating: None Average: 10 (1 vote)
Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 111

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales, including Tales from Dark 7.  He has also written and published poetry; non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues; and is former Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire.  In 1998, he was awarded Activist of the Year for that organization.  He now lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University, and looks forward to living in a governmentless society of liberty.

Comments

Jim Davies's picture

Outstandng, Alex, once again! A pleasure to read here an abundance of well grounded optimism.

Alex R. Knight III's picture

Thank you, Jim!  This is a new plateau of visibility and progress!  :-)

Glock27's picture

Alex: Just read your article. Since I have a health condition which forces me to be awake I stumbled upon Coast to Coast and listen periodically. My actual point is that this is, I believe, a fantastic break-through. I have whined periodically about the sense of isolation of the concept regarding freedom and liberty and have wished vigorously that there would be a route to escalate the concept rather than a captive audience. The old concept that "action speaks louder than words" hangs in the air. What actions are essential to spreading the philosophies of "Liberty" and "Freedom". Listening to the political slop daily is wearisome. A solution to this misery has just got to be found; an enlightenment of some sort. I am thinking of a radio media program as a possible source, but how?
It pleases me to hear of this.