Stefan Molyneux

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Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux 2014-02-10.jpg
Stefan Molyneux in 2014
Born Stefan Basil Molyneux
(1966-09-24) September 24, 1966 (age 48)
Athlone, Ireland
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater M.A., University of Toronto
B.A., McGill University
Occupation Author, public speaker, host of Freedomain Radio
Books Universally Preferable Behaviour
Practical Anarchy
Main interests dispute resolution organizations, Non-aggression principle, secular ethics, moral universalism,
Influences Ayn Rand,[1] Harry Browne[2]

Stefan Basil Molyneux (/stɛˈfɑːn ˈmɑːlɪnj/; born September 24, 1966) is a Canadian author and internet media presenter. His website, presents his YouTube channel, audio podcasts and live streamed call-in show. Molyneux's areas of interest include libertarian political philosophy, secular ethics, cryptocurrency, and familial relationship issues. He has self-published eight non-fiction books, and his essays have been published on libertarian websites such as and He has spoken at several political and technology conferences and has appeared on television, radio, and podcasts to discuss his views.

Molyneux formerly worked in the software industry and now describes himself as a philosopher.[3] His Freedomain Radio site has produced over 1,500 YouTube videos and 2,700 podcasts as of June 2014. It presents commentary from Molyneux and interviews with guests on a broad range of topics, including philosophy, politics, and psychology.

Early life[edit]

Molyneux was born in Ireland and lived in England and Africa as a boy before settling in Canada when he was about 12 years old.[4] As a teenager, Molyneux enjoyed computer programming.

After attending the Glendon College of York University, where he was a member of Theatre Glendon[5] and the Debating Society,[6] he attended the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal.[4][7] Molyneux received a B.A. in History from McGill University in 1991 and an M.A. in History from University of Toronto in 1993.[8][7] Molyneux' website states that his Masters thesis analyzed "the political implications of the philosophies of Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke".[3]

In early 1995, he and his brother founded Caribou Systems Corporation, a Toronto-based provider of environmental database software. The company was sold in 2000.[7][9][10]

Molyneux's first fiction book Revolutions, set in late 19th century Russia, was completed in 1991, and published in 2002 by PublishAmerica.[4] His play Seduction (adapted from Turgenev's Fathers and Sons) appeared on stage in Toronto. His co-written 1998 short film After, based on his original short story about a soldier returning home from war, was a top 10 finalist at the Hollywood Film Festival[11] and has aired on CBC and WTN.[4]

Freedomain Radio[edit]

Molyneux answers a common question from a Freedomain Radio listener.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

In 2005, Molyneux began a podcast called Freedomain Radio (FDR), which he calls "The Largest and Most Popular Philosophical Conversation in the World".[3] It was a Top 10 Finalist in the 2007 and 2008 Podcast Awards in the Education category.[12][13] Shortly after starting the Freedomain Radio podcast, Molyneux started a website under that name as a place to distribute his self-published books, host podcast archives, and provide a community forum for FDR listeners. Molyneux now releases most new FDR content via his YouTube channel, which as of June 2014 has over 1,500 videos, 162,000 subscribers, and 33 million channel views.[14] Audio versions of new FDR content continue to be published also in podcast form, of which there are now over 2,700 produced.[15] Molyneux distributes electronic editions of his non-fiction books and most of his spoken material free-of-charge. The show does not carry online advertising, but instead solicits donations from users. Molyneux has stated that he believes this provides immediate feedback and motivates him to continually produce quality content.[16] Paid subscribers are given access to additional podcasts and drafts of books and articles.[17][18]

Molyneux conducts interviews and debates with guests including Noam Chomsky,[19] anarcho-libertarian theorist Walter Block,[20] Zeitgeist founder Peter Joseph,[21] libertarian economist David Friedman,[22] psychological development and addiction specialist Gabor Maté,[23] developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik,[24] child psychologist Peter Gray,[25] Socratic journalist Jan Helfeld,[26] Harvard economics lecturer and Cato Institute fellow Jeffrey Miron,[27] intellectual property attorney Stephan Kinsella,[28] Austrian School economist Robert P. Murphy,[29] and Divorce Corp director Joseph Sorge.[30] FDR also includes single-topic videos, commentary on current events,[31] technology,[32] and movie reviews[33] from Molyneux's philosophical viewpoint. There is also a weekly call-in show where listeners can ask philosophy questions or discuss personal issues.[8] These call-in shows have occasionally been guest-hosted men's movement activist Warren Farrell[34] and unschooling advocate Dayna Martin.[35]

Jeffrey Tucker of the Ludwig von Mises Institute has described Molyneux as "probably the single most influential libertarian thinker of our times" for his ability to teach young people in the digital age.[36]

Public appearances[edit]

Speaking at The Next Web 2014

Molyneux has spoken at various libertarian conferences and events. He delivered a keynote at the 2009 New Hampshire Liberty Forum.[37][38] He spoke at the 2011 Liberty Fest NYC,[39][40] the 2012 Las Vegas FreedomFest,[41] and PorcFest 2010, 2011, and 2013 in Lancaster, New Hampshire.[37][42][43] He has spoken at the San Diego Libertopia festival each year since 2010, and acted as master of ceremonies twice.[37][44][45][46][47] Molyneux was emcee of the 2012 Odessa, Texas LibertyFest West conference.[48]

Molyneux has been a commentator on the RT television programs Adam vs The Man,[49] The Keiser Report,[50] and Breaking the Set.[51] He's been interviewed by ReasonTV[41] and The Alex Jones Show.[52] Molyneux has been a frequent guest host of the Peter Schiff Show since 2012,[53][54][55] and has been both a guest and guest host of The Corbett Report.[56][57] He has appeared three times as a featured guest on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.[58][59][60]

In 2014, Molyneux spoke at the Texas Bitcoin Conference,[61] the Toronto 2014 Bitcoin Expo,[62][63] and The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam.[64][65] He spoke on the topics of circumcision and maternal parenting at the June 2014 International Conference on Men’s Issues in Detroit.[66][67]

Philosophical views[edit]

Stateless society and DROs[edit]

Molyneux's 2005 essay The Stateless Society: An Examination of Alternatives, published by the libertarian website, introduced his conceptualization of dispute resolution organizations ("DROs") which, in a stateless society, provide or coordinate services related to enforcing contracts and resolving disputes.[68] DRO's would operate under a system of anarcho-capitalism (a type of libertarian anarchism), as a result of broad acceptance of the non-aggression principle ("NAP") and the discontinuation of the government which, by its nature, violates the NAP.[69] In such a stateless society, DROs would coordinate services previously provided by governments related to private defense, insurance, and courts.[70]

Universally Preferable Behaviour[edit]

In 2012, libertarian philosopher David Gordon gave a critical examination of Molyneux's 2007 Universally Preferable Behaviour: A Rational Proof for Secular Ethics in The Mises Review, stating, "[h]is arguments [in the book] are often preposterously bad." Gordon documented what he sees as fundamental flaws in philosophical reasoning, though he did praise Molyneux's insights into external verification, agreeing that "[i]f a theory cannot show that a rule that purported to make [rape, murder, and theft] obligatory is ill-formed, the theory should be rejected."[71] Molyneux and Gordon later exchanged responses to the points raised in the review but could not come to agreement on key issues, such as universality.[72][73]

"Universally preferable behaviours", Molyneux argues, are the actions of people that comply with the universal moral statements that are objectively derived in this process and should be considered binding among people.[74][75][71]

Parent-child relationships[edit]

Molyneux advocates "peaceful parenting", stating that he is morally and ethically opposed to all confrontational forms of child discipline, including corporal punishment (spanking), time-outs, grounding, and verbal abuse (yelling). [20][28][76][77] In his view, children share the same universal natural right as adults have to be free from violence, and so the use of coercive force against them is a violation of the non-aggression principle.

Molyneux refers to the childhood family that people are born into as the "FOO", an acronym meaning "family of origin" (a phrase used in psychology) to distinguish it from family relationships chosen voluntarily as adults, such as spousal relationships.[78]

In 2009, Molyneux was called the leader of a "therapy cult following Freedomain Radio community member Tom Weed breaking off all contact with his family."[8][78] In April 2008, Weed had called in to the show asking about his veganism and his feeling of disgust towards people that eat meat.[18] Molyneux suggested that this disgust could have come from witnessing an authority figure that was cruel to animals.[18] Weed responded by describing memories of his father being verbally and physically cruel to the family cat, causing him to feel intimidated by the father, and then described his emotional detachment toward his mother and the rest of his family.[18]

The following month, Weed left a note stating he no longer wanted contact and left home. It was reported that, of the 50,000 regular listeners at the time, about 20 FDR members had also "deFOOed", and that many families chose not to come forward to avoid alienating their children further. A representative of the British Cult Information Centre said they were following FDR, and noted that one sign of cults was that they cut people off from their families. Molyneux responded by saying that had he advised a wife to leave an abusive husband, he would not be accused of being a cult leader."[18] He added that he recommends listeners with family issues seek professional help.[79]







  1. ^ Molyneux, Stefan. Objectivism Part 2: Ethics (video) Retrieved April 28, 2014
  2. ^ Molyneux, Stefan. Harry Browne, RIP (podcast) Retrieved June 13, 2014
  3. ^ a b c "Freedomain Radio > About". Retrieved July 8, 2014. "I left my career as a software entrepreneur and executive to pursue philosophy full time through my work here at Freedomain Radio. ... I am a rigorous philosopher, and I will always bow to reason and evidence." 
  4. ^ a b c d "Author Stefan Molyneux To Russia, with love". The Mississauga News (Mississauga, Ontario). June 1, 2003. p. Arts & Entertainment: 15. ISSN 0834-6585. OCLC 290997481. Retrieved June 18, 2014 – via NewsBank (Access World News). "Molyneux is an Irish-born author who grew up in England and Africa before coming to Canada 25 years ago." 
  5. ^ Johnson, Phil (February 23, 1988). "Horrors! Dracula's at Glendon College". Toronto Star, The (Ontario, Canada). p. Neighbors: N17. Retrieved June 18, 2014 – via NewsBank (Access World News). 
  6. ^ da Costa, Cathy (February 8, 1988). "World Champions at Glendon" (PDF). Pro Tem (York University/Glendon College). p. 4. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Burg, Robert (May 26, 1997). "Their software keeps tabs on site data". Toronto Star, The (Ontario, Canada). p. Business: D1. Retrieved June 18, 2014 – via NewsBank (Access World News). 
  8. ^ a b c Ha, Tu Thanh (December 12, 2008). "How a cyberphilosopher convinced followers to cut off family". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Blue292 acquires Caribou Systems" (Press release). Durham, NC: Blue292. January 28, 2002. Archived from the original on August 2, 2003. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Our Staff > Stefan Molyneux". Casey Research. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Hollywood Discovery Awards Finalists (Short Subject Film Finalists)". Hollywood Film Festival. 1998. Archived from the original on 1999-02-02. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  12. ^ "2007 People's Choice Podcast Awardees". Podcast Awards. Podcast Connect Inc. Archived from the original on September 8, 2007. Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  13. ^ "2008 Podcast Awards Winners!". Podcast Awards. Podcast Connect Inc. Archived from the original on December 5, 2008. Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Stefan Molyneux YouTube Channel Stats". Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  15. ^ Freedomain Radio > Podcasts. Freedomain Radio. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  16. ^ Horsager, David (2012). The Trust Edge: How top leaders gain faster results, deeper relationships, and a stronger bottom line. New York: Free Press. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-1-4767-1137-9. OCLC 820783989. 
  17. ^ Freedomain Radio > Donate. Freedomain Radio. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  18. ^ a b c d e Whipple, Tom (January 10, 2009). "The mother and son torn apart by web 'cult' that destroys families". The Times (London, England). pp. News: 34, 35. Retrieved July 8, 2014 – via NewsBank (Access World News). 
  19. ^ "Audio & Video". Retrieved May 31, 2014. "The Race War of Drug Prohibition (interview with Stefan Molyneux, of Freedomain Radio). YouTube. December 24, 2013." 
  20. ^ a b Block, Walter E. (December 9, 2013). "Walter Block and Stephan [sic] Molyneux debate on spanking (using violence against) children". Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  21. ^ Joseph, Peter (September 26, 2013). Post Debate Review – Peter Joseph & Stefan Molyneux (video). (Interview). Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  22. ^ Carden, Art (June 25, 2013). "Parental Economics and Risk: A Couple of Reading Suggestions". Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  23. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (February 24, 2010). The Biology, Morality and Politics of Addiction – Dr Gabor Maté – The Freedomain Radio Interview (video). (Interview). Retrieved May 20, 2014. 
  24. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (December 8, 2009). "The Philosophical Baby" – Dr Alison Gopnik Interviewed on Freedomain Radio (video). (Interview). Retrieved May 20, 2014. 
  25. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (May 24, 2013). Free To Learn – Dr. Peter Gray Interviewed by Stefan Molyneux (video). (Interview). Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  26. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (September 2, 2009). Anarchism Versus Minarchism – Stefan Molyneux & Jan Helfeld (video). Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Jeffrey A. Miron discusses the war on drugs on Freedomain Radio w/ Stefan Basil Molyneux". Cato Institute. February 23, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2014. 
  28. ^ a b Kinsella, Stephan (July 3, 2010). "Libertarian Parenting – A Freedomain Radio Conversation". Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  29. ^ Murphy, Robert; Molyneux, Stefan. "Booms and Busts, Mises vs Keynes - And Religion As a Bulwark against Tyranny". Freedomain Radio. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "Director Joseph Sorge Interviewed by Stefan Molyneux". Divorce Corp. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  31. ^ Tarbell, Ida (July 16, 2013). "The Truth About George Zimmerman". McClure's Magazine. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  32. ^ Rees, Mark. "Bitcoin’s YouTube Missionaries". Bitcoin Magazine. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  33. ^ Olson, Gary (2013). "The Empathetic Power of Images". Empathy Imperiled: Capitalism, Culture, and the Brain (Springer New York) 9: 92. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-6117-3. ISBN 978-1-4614-6116-6. ISSN 2191-5466. LCCN 2012954057. Retrieved May 25, 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  34. ^ Lane, Carol-Ann (June 2013). "Using Video Technology to Address Boys’ Literacy Gap and Connect the Male Voice in Gender Dynamics" (PDF). International Journal of Technology and Inclusive Education (Infonomics Society) 2 (1): 146. ISSN 2046-4568. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  35. ^ Martin, Dayna (March 13, 2013). "Dayna Martin Hosts the Freedomain Radio Sunday Call In Show!". Dayna Martin: Author, Speaker, Voice for Change. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  36. ^ Kinsella, Stephan (March 12, 2012). "Jeff Tucker on Reddit’s 'Ask Me Anything'". The Libertarian Standard. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  37. ^ a b c Doug Burn, ed. (Fall 2010). "Libertarian Bulletin (newsletter)" (PDF) 31 (1). Ontario Libertarian Party. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  38. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (March 5–8, 2009). How to Win Political Arguments (video) (Speech). New Hampshire Liberty Forum. Retrieved May 1, 2014. "Do you support the use of violence against me for disagreeing with you? Because that's really what statism is." 
  39. ^ Tobin, Christina. "Free & Equal to Co-Host NYC Liberty Fest event" (Press release). Free & Equal. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  40. ^ Panzella, Danny (September 11, 2011). "Revolution Pac Premieres Ron Paul TV Spot At Liberty Fest NYC". TruthSquad.TV. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 
  41. ^ a b Welch, Matt; Oppenheimer, Tracy (October 6, 2012). Free Domain [sic] Radio's Stefan Molyneux on the Inevitable Growth of the State. ReasonTV. (Interview) (Reason). Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  42. ^ Murphy, Robert P. "PorcFest 2011". Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Stefan Molyneux at PorcFestX". PorcFest. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  44. ^ "Speakers". Libertopia. 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Speakers". Libertopia. 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  46. ^ "Speakers". Libertopia. 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  47. ^ "Speakers". Libertopia. 2013. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  48. ^ Corrales, John (February 11, 2012). "LibertyFest West 2012 promotes rights of individuals". The Odessa American. Retrieved May 17, 2014. "Stefan Molyneux, a philosopher, author and podcaster who runs, emceed the event" 
  49. ^ "Government philosophy, Screw the Pundits, Free Speech, Revolutions, Love-a-lutions, Show Dedication". Adam vs. The Man. RT. Retrieved April 12, 2011. 
  50. ^ Keiser, Max. "On the Edge with Stefan Molyneux". The Keiser Report. RT. Retrieved August 8, 2011. 
  51. ^ Martin, Abby (February 19, 2013). "Bradley Manning, Keystone pipeline, and anarchism". Breaking the Set. RT. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  52. ^ Jones, Alex. "Monday 7-11-2011 – The Alex Jones Show with Stefan Molyneux". The Alex Jones Show. Retrieved August 8, 2011. 
  53. ^ The Wisdom of Socrates with Peter Boghossian and Stefan Molyneux (video). The Peter Schiff Show. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  54. ^ The Peter Schiff Show! Hosted by Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio (video). Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  55. ^ Kinsella, Stephan. "KOL106 Peter Schiff Show: Obamacare, Patent Reform". Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  56. ^ Corbett, James (March 7, 2012). "Interview 475 – Curing Statism with Stefan Molyneux". The Corbett Report (Podcast). Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  57. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (May 15, 2012). "Corbett Report Radio 132 with Guest Host Stefan Molyneux". The Corbett Report (Podcast). Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  58. ^ Rogan, Joe (September 23, 2013). "JRE #396 – Stefan Molyneux". Joe Rogan Experience (Podcast). Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  59. ^ Rogan, Joe (January 6, 2014). "JRE #436 – Stefan Molyneux". Joe Rogan Experience (Podcast). Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  60. ^ Rogan, Joe (August 21, 2014). "JRE #538– Stefan Molyneux". Joe Rogan Experience (Podcast). Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  61. ^ Hortex, Alice (April 14, 2014). "The Psychology of Money: Stefan Molyneux at Texas BTC Conference". Cointelegraph. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  62. ^ Huber, Suzanne (April 16, 2014). "Toronto Hosts Canada’s First Bitcoin Expo". Techvibes. Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  63. ^ "Bitcoin Expo Announces Conference Highlights, Sponsors and Exhibitors for Toronto April 11–13 Conference" (Press release). Marketwired. March 28, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  64. ^ Sawers, Paul. "How cryptocurrencies can curb unsustainable growth in government power (interview with Stefan Molyneux)". The Next Web. Retrieved April 16, 2014. "Meet Stefan Molyneux, the podcaster, broadcaster, philosopher and host of Freedomain Radio. Molyneux is one of the speakers at the TNW Europe Conference in Amsterdam next week, where he’ll discuss the shifting sands of Western political power over the centuries, the rise of centralized banking, government-controlled currency, and the recent surge in cryptocurrencies." 
  65. ^ Molyneux, Stefan. The Cryptocurrency Revolution (video) (Speech). The Next Web. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  66. ^ AVFM. "Stefan Molyneux to speak at International Conference on Men’s Issues in Detroit". A Voice for Men. 
  67. ^ Goldwag, Arthur (June 29, 2014). "First International Conference on Men’s Issues: Day 2". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  68. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (October 24, 2005). "The Stateless Society An Examination of Alternatives". Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  69. ^ Block, Walter E. (December 2011). "Toward a libertarian theory of charitable donations to criminals, governments". Economics, Management, and Financial Markets (Addleton Academic Publishers) 6 (4): 9–28. ISSN 1842-3191. OCLC 85794657. Retrieved May 25, 2014. (subscription required (help)). "The first is libertarian anarchism, or anarcho-capitalism.[citation: Molyneux Stateless Society, et al.] In this case, there is no justification for the government since it necessarily violates the NAP." 
  70. ^ Awuku, Christopher (February 11, 2007). "DRO' Protection: An Example of How It Could Work". Strike The Root. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  71. ^ a b Gordon, David (July 4, 2012). "The Molyneux Problem". Ludwig von Mises Institute – The Mises Review. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  72. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (July 7, 2012). "A Response to David Gordon's Review "The Molyneux Problem"". Freedomain Radio. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  73. ^ Gordon, David (July 11, 2012). "Mr. Molyneux Responds". Ludwig von Mises Institute – Daily. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  74. ^ Subotić, Siniša (2014). Evaluacija inkluzivne obrazovne reforme u osnovnoj školi [Evaluation of inclusive educational reform in elementary school] (PDF) (Ph.D.) (in Serbian-Latin). Dr Zorana Đinđića 2, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia: The Library of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  75. ^ Molyneux 2007upb.
  76. ^ Braverman, Faith. "Kansas ‘Spanking Bill’ Would Allow Teachers and Parents to Leave Bruises". The Libertarian Republic. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  77. ^ Block, Walter E.; Smith, Ed; Reel, Jordan (February 2014). "The Natural Rights of Children". International Journal of Health Policy and Management (Kerman University of Medical Sciences) 2 (2): 85–89. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2014.20. ISSN 2322-5939. PMC 3952542. PMID 24639983. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  78. ^ a b Hilpern, Kate (November 15, 2008). "You will never see me again". The Guardian. Retrieved January 7, 2009. 
  79. ^ "Leamington mother blames internet for son's disappearance". Leamington Courier. December 19, 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2014. "a website called Freedomain Radio, hosted by Toronto-based philosopher Stefan Molyneux" 

External links[edit]