“Eternal Vigilance,” or, the Argument from Exhaustion

In a recent debate between Michael Badnarik and Stefan Molyneux, Badnarik commented that anarchy wouldn’t work because (paraphrased) people lack the killer instinct. One must be eternally vigilant against the hordes of marauders just itching to destroy one’s life and livelihood.

A comment by a FDR poster completely collapses this “argument”:

I wonder, are we currently being “eternally vigilant” for any signs of slavery coming back into society or is this no longer a concern? It’s just time that makes these problems appear worse. In the midst of a statist world there is much hand-wringing and brow furrowing over the idea of anarchy whereas when it does finally start turning around (I dunno, a few hundred years from now) people will look back at our time and think, “Cripes, can you believe how paranoid those people were back then about a government!?”

The reason slavery hasn’t returned to society is because people recognize that the ownership of human beings is completely immoral. This has not penetrated our social consciousness to the degree that it is commonly understood that we exist as tax livestock, but there is no chance of slavery being accepted as moral.

This is what will cause statism to be rejected: a recognition that the initiation of violence to solve social problems is completely immoral.

Once we put this into practice, vigilance against statism will no more be required than vigilance against slavery is today.


Freedomain Radio Media Response

The following is a response by Stefan Molyneux to a recent request for a media interview:

Thank you for your e-mail, but I am not going to participate in any show with Mrs. Weed. I consider it reprehensible that she is openly broadcasting her son’s identity as widely as possible, and that she is blaming some podcaster on another continent for the very sad problems within her family, rather than the significant and terrifying abuse that her son suffered for 18 years at the hands of his parents. As I am sure you have heard in the podcast in question, Tom sobs openly about the terror he experienced in the face of his father’s rages, when the enormous man would kick and smash in windows, hurl objects and destroy entire rooms with horrifying rapidity. Mrs. Weed did not protect her helpless and dependent child during these extended and highly dangerous explosions.

Of course, Mrs. Weed dismisses and minimizes the brutality of this continual violence, which is the true source of this continuing tragedy — the reality, though, is that Tom would have no incentive to invent such an awful tale, and no ability to spontaneously erupt into such painful emotions after asking for my help.

I fully stand by my philosophical and moral positions, which is that child abuse is immoral, and adult relations are voluntary. If child abuse is not immoral, then there is no such thing as immorality — and if adult relations are not voluntary, then we should ban divorce, and force even those wives suffering from violent abuse to remain with their husbands until the end of their days.

It is also important to remember that out of the 35,000-50,000 Freedomain Radio listeners, only about 20 have taken breaks from abusive families, which is far below the statistical average for child abuse. I do not tell listeners to leave even highly abusive families, but rather strongly encourage them to seek out professional psychological help to deal with these tragic issues.

There are a number of parents and adult children who listen to the show together, which I think is wonderful. Many families, friends and couples have also used the philosophical resources of Freedomain Radio to help build better and closer relationships, which I am very pleased about.

Finally, I am very pro-family myself – my wonderful wife and I just welcomed our first child into the world. I am fully aware that I will need to continue to win and maintain the love of my daughter by keeping her safe, happy and secure.

The sole source for these slanderous articles about my website and show has been a little forum called Liberating Minds, where Barbara Weed and a few other abusive parents post. For some examples of the kind of thinking and communicating that goes on at this site, you might want to check out the link below – warning, the language is extremely offensive.



Stefan Molyneux, MA

Host, Freedomain Radio


I personally cannot understand how people can support the likes of Barbara Weed and then go to sleep at night.

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