Stefan Molyneux

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Not to be confused with Stephen Molyneux.
Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux 2014-02-10.jpg
Stefan Molyneux in 2014
Born Stefan Basil Molyneux
(1966-09-24) September 24, 1966 (age 49)
Athlone, Ireland
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater B.A., McGill University
M.A., University of Toronto
Occupation Public speaker, host of Freedomain Radio, Podcast
Website freedomainradio.com

Stefan Basil Molyneux (/stɛˈfæn ˈmɑːlɪnj/; born September 24, 1966) is an Irish-born Canadian blogger. Molyneux's areas of interest include anarcho-capitalism, atheism, secular ethics, right-libertarianism, cryptocurrencies, and familial relationships. He is a self-published author and has spoken at libertarian conferences and on podcasts. Molyneux formerly worked in the software industry.

Background[edit]

Molyneux was born in Ireland but raised mainly in London, before moving to Canada at age 11.[1] After attending the Glendon College of York University, where he was an actor at Theatre Glendon[2] and a member of the Debating Society,[3] he attended the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal.[1][4] Molyneux received a B.A. in History from McGill University in 1991 and an M.A. in History from University of Toronto in 1993.[4][5]

In early 1995, he and his brother Hugh founded Caribou Systems Corporation, a Toronto-based provider of environmental database software. Stefan was the computer expert for the company. The company was sold in 2000.[4][6]

"Freedomain Radio" podcast[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).[7] He uses the same name for the website on which he distributes his own writings, hosts podcast archives, and provides an Internet forum for FDR listeners. Molyneux also produces videos and commentary on current events, and he presents a weekly call-in show on which listeners can ask questions or discuss personal issues.[5] These call-in shows have occasionally been guest-hosted by men's movement activist Warren Farrell[8] and unschooling advocate Dayna Martin.[9] Molyneux funds his efforts by soliciting direct payment from listeners and viewers.[10]

Molyneux has conducted interviews and un-moderated debates with guests including renowned public intellectual Noam Chomsky,[11] anarcho-capitalist theorist Walter Block,[12] libertarian economist David Friedman,[13] radio talk show host Alex Jones,[14] Harvard economics lecturer and Cato Institute fellow Jeffrey Miron,[15] intellectual property attorney Stephan Kinsella,[16] Austrian School economist Robert P. Murphy, race relations commentator Jared Taylor,[17] political commentator Bill Whittle,[18] former congressman Allen West, Divorce Corp director Joseph Sorge,[19] and Zeitgeist founder Peter Joseph.[20] After the interview, Joseph expressed concerns regarding the conduct of his "debate" with Molyneux.[21]

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.[22]

Public appearances[edit]

Speaking at The Next Web 2014

Molyneux has been a frequent guest host of the Peter Schiff Show since 2012.[23][24][25]

In 2014, Molyneux spoke at the Texas Bitcoin Conference,[26] the Toronto 2014 Bitcoin Expo,[27][28] and The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam.[29]

He spoke on the topics of circumcision and maternal parenting at the June 2014 International Conference on Men’s Issues hosted by A Voice for Men in Detroit.[30][31]

Views[edit]

Stateless society[edit]

Molyneux theorizes that the pursuit of virtue in our personal lives could bring about a stateless society that abhors the initiation of force (see Non-Aggression Principle). In addition, the free market (see anarcho-capitalism), poly-centric legal systems and private "dispute resolution organizations" (DRO's) could be empowered to find new and more peaceful ways of adjudicating Common law infractions and contractual disputes.[32]

Family of origin relationships (FOO)[edit]

Molyneux refers to the family that people are born into as their "family of origin" or "FOO". Molyneux suggests that the family of origin relationships may not necessarily be desirable and in some circumstances may even be detrimental and thus for those individuals having suffered abusive childhood relationships it would be advantageous for them to sever such involuntary relationships as adults, or "deFOO".[33] In this way, he views all adult relationships as being voluntary and discretionary rather than obligatory. According to a 2008 article in The Guardian, both Molyneux and his wife have deFOOed.[33]

A Voice for Men[edit]

Molyneux was a panelist at a 2014 Detroit conference held by the men's rights movement and manosphere organization, A Voice for Men. According to Jessica Roy of Time Magazine Molyneux argued that violence in the world is the result of how women treat their children, and that "If we could just get people to be nice to their babies for five years straight, that would be it for war, drug abuse, addiction, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, ... Almost all would be completely eliminated, because they all arise from dysfunctional early childhood experiences, which are all run by women."[34]

Criticisms[edit]

Criticism of his works[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, "He fails, and fails miserably. His arguments are often preposterously bad."[35] A rebuttal by Molyneux addressing Gordon's criticisms was posted to his message board, "Freedomain Radio," three days after Gordon's article was published.[36]

deFOOing[edit]

In 2009, Tu Thanh Ha wrote that Molyneux was called the leader of a "therapy cult" following Freedomain Radio community member Tom Bell breaking off all contact with his family.[5] In April 2008, Bell had called in to the show asking about his veganism and his feeling of disgust towards people that eat meat.[37] Molyneux suggested that this disgust could have come from witnessing an authority figure that was cruel to animals.[37] Bell 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.[37]

The following month, Bell left a note stating he no longer wanted contact and left home. It was reported that, of the estimated 50,000 users of the website, about 20 FDR members had also "deFOOed", and that many parents chose not to speak to the media in an effort to avoid alienating their children further.[37]

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 "If I advised a wife to leave an abusive husband, there would not be articles about how I am a cult leader."[37]

In 2012, the College of Psychologists of Ontario found Molyneux's spouse, a licensed psychologist who cut off contact with her parents, "guilty of professional misconduct" because she used Molyneux's podcast, "to counsel people to emulate her and sever ties with their families." (to deFOO)[38] The Disciplinary panel sanctioned his wife requiring peer mentoring and cessation of activities with Stefan Molyneux's podcast in any professional aspect. Other sanctions and penalties were given as well, agreed to by his wife.[39]

Molyneux and FOO were the subject of an investigative documentary by Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, which aired on August 20, 2015.[40][41]

Bibliography[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "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. 
  2. ^ 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). 
  3. ^ da Costa, Cathy (February 8, 1988). "World Champions at Glendon" (PDF). Pro Tem (York University/Glendon College). p. 4. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ 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). 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Blue292 acquires Caribou Systems" (Press release). Durham, NC: Blue292. January 28, 2002. Archived from the original on August 2, 2003. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Freedomain Radio – Home". Freedomainradio.com. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Martin, Dayna (March 13, 2013). "Dayna Martin Hosts the Freedomain Radio Sunday Call In Show!". Dayna Martin: Author, Speaker, Voice for Change. daynamartin.com. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ "Audio & Video". Chomsky.info. Retrieved May 31, 2014. The Race War of Drug Prohibition (interview with Stefan Molyneux, of Freedomain Radio). YouTube. December 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ Block, Walter E. (December 9, 2013). "Walter Block and Stephan [sic] Molyneux debate on spanking (using violence against) children". LewRockwell.com. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  13. ^ Carden, Art (June 25, 2013). "Parental Economics and Risk: A Couple of Reading Suggestions". Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  14. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBPOnXJ7zrA
  15. ^ "Jeffrey A. Miron discusses the war on drugs on Freedomain Radio w/ Stefan Basil Molyneux". Cato Institute. February 23, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2014. 
  16. ^ Kinsella, Stephan (July 3, 2010). "Libertarian Parenting – A Freedomain Radio Conversation". StephanKinsella.com. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  17. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2RVIi6M7oM
  18. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AasuUt1d_fE
  19. ^ "Director Joseph Sorge Interviewed by Stefan Molyneux". Divorce Corp. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  20. ^ Joseph, Peter (September 26, 2013). Post Debate Review – Peter Joseph & Stefan Molyneux (video). (Interview). Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Peter Joseph on Stefan Molyneux: "The Art of Nonsense" | Pathology or Con-Artistry?". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  22. ^ Kinsella, Stephan (March 12, 2012). "Jeff Tucker on Reddit’s 'Ask Me Anything'". The Libertarian Standard. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  23. ^ The Wisdom of Socrates with Peter Boghossian and Stefan Molyneux (video). The Peter Schiff Show. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  24. ^ The Peter Schiff Show! Hosted by Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio (video). Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  25. ^ Kinsella, Stephan. "KOL106 Peter Schiff Show: Obamacare, Patent Reform". StephanKinsella.com. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  26. ^ Hortex, Alice (April 14, 2014). "The Psychology of Money: Stefan Molyneux at Texas BTC Conference". Cointelegraph. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  27. ^ Huber, Suzanne (April 16, 2014). "Toronto Hosts Canada’s First Bitcoin Expo". Techvibes. Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Bitcoin Expo Announces Conference Highlights, Sponsors and Exhibitors for Toronto April 11–13 Conference" (Press release). Bitcoin Alliance of Canada. March 28, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  29. ^ 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. 
  30. ^ AVFM. "Stefan Molyneux to speak at International Conference on Men’s Issues in Detroit". A Voice for Men. www.avoiceformen.com/allbulletins/stefan-molyneux-to-speak-at-international-conference-on-mens-issues-in-detroit/. 
  31. ^ Goldwag, Arthur (June 29, 2014). "First International Conference on Men’s Issues: Day 2". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  32. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (October 24, 2005). "The Stateless Society An Examination of Alternatives". LewRockwell.com. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  33. ^ a b Hilpern, Kate (November 15, 2008). "You will never see me again". The Guardian. Retrieved January 7, 2009. 
  34. ^ Jessica Roy (July 2, 2014). "What I Learned as a Woman at a Men’s-Rights Conference". Time Magazine Newsfeed. 
  35. ^ "The Molyneux Problem | Mises Daily". Mises.org. 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  36. ^ "A Response to David Gordon's Review "The Molyneux Problem" – General Messages – Freedomain Radio Message Board". Board.freedomainradio.com. 2015-11-11. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  37. ^ 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). 
  38. ^ Canada (2012-11-01). "Therapist who told podcast listeners to shun their families reprimanded – The Globe and Mail". M.theglobeandmail.com. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  39. ^ https://members.cpo.on.ca/public_register/show/19048?section=discipline#ui-tabs-12
  40. ^ "Trapped In A Cult?". Channel 5. 2015-08-20. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  41. ^ Daisy Wyatt (2015-08-20). "Trapped In A Cult? – TV review: Disappointing Channel 5 shock-doc fails to come up to scratch | Reviews | Culture". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 

External links[edit]