Free Minds Media is the home base for multimedia news and commentary featuring a unique pro-liberty, voluntaryist viewpoint that turns the focus away from the traditional two-party system and challenges its audience to "think outside the box".
Free Minds TV premiers on Friday nights at 9pm EST on Cheshire TV and is then released to other cable stations across the U.S. Episodes are also posted and archived on this website and syndicated across the Internet. Audio-only versions of the episodes are released in podcast format as well.
Free Minds Radio is live on the GCN Network, Sundays from 3-5pm EST. The show is also released as an audio podcast later in the day. The show is also part of the Liberty Radio Network at libertyradionetwork.com.
The primary hosts of the show are Toby Iselin and Nick Michelewicz, a pair of young pro-liberty activists from Keene, New Hampshire.
Whether we're in front of a camera, keyboard, or microphone, Toby and I usually try to focus on timely news stories and current events and how they relate to the ideas of freedom and liberty. We mostly do this because people tend to take more interest in developing stories than broad generally-philisophical debates, but sometimes it is important to bring our discussion back to why we believe what we believe. Like other libertarians, my co-host and I try to adhere to a core guiding principle rather than just reacting to to the world's events off the cuff. At Free Minds Media, we don't have any pretense of being objective journalists. In fact we're no more objective than Rush Limbaugh, although in this writer's opinion we are much more consistently principled in our message.
Since the whole point of doing the shows and this blog is to sell an idea, it might be useful to delve into exactly what we're selling. The underlying principle behind our libertarian stances is the idea that it is wrong to initiate force or fraud against other people. Put another way, we believe that people should be free not to be aggressed against, so long as they respect the equal right of others to not to be agressed against. While most people do not personally steal, assault, rape, kidnap, murder, or destroy others' property, many people do support a number of inherently violent activities when those activities are carried out by a band of people calling themselves "government".
When government demands that you pay certain taxes under the threat of imprisonment, it is no different, as Lysander Spooner put it, than a highwayman who says to you "Your money or your life". Although it is important to note, as Spooner did, that a common criminal does not pretend to be robbing you for your own benefit, and once he has your money he will often leave you to carry on with your life. Agents of government steal, assault, defraud, and murder every day and often face no consequences for doing so, typically by attempting to convince their surviving victims that these actions were necessary for the common good, as the only solution to some social problem, or because they allege some dire, apocalyptic horror will result if they do not.
The Founders generally agreed with the idea that government and the taxation which funds it is neither eloquence nor reason, but force. All laws and taxes are ultimately enforced at the point of a gun. If this sounds overly dramatic, then try refusing to pay taxes for a number of years and then treat the government agents who come to kick you out of your home like common criminals. On second thought, just take my word for it, because following that scenario would just get you shot or imprisoned. The point is that all governments exist through the use of violence or the threat of violence. Most rational people don't agree with the idea of using force against their peaceful neighbors and don't want force used against themselves, which leads us to the question of why we have government in the first place.
While there certainly are very rational and scholarly arguments which profess that we can have an orderly society completely governed by the forces of the free market, Toby and I remain skeptical and the viewpoint we express on Free Minds Media can best be described as small government libertarianism or minarchism. We believe that a government only large enough to keep violent criminals and foreign governments at bay is the best practical solution for a peaceful and prosperous society.
For the sake of clarification, saying that a very small government is necessary is not the same as saying that it is good. All government is evil, because government is a monopolistic institution that inherently functions through the initiation of force, but a very small government is a necessary evil in the eyes of this writer, because -- without any kind of court system or military defense -- a society would fall prey to violent criminals and men at home and abroad who wanted to establish very repressive forms of government.
So, I think we could do away with 80%-90% of the government that we have today and be far more prosperous and secure for the effort, but I don't think that we can do away with government completely.
You, however, are free to find your own path to liberty and we wouldn't want it any other way.