Stefan Molyneux: Ideologue Posing as Philosopher
I first came across Stefan Molyneux a few years back when I stumbled upon his Benghazi video. He appeared to be reading a bunch of conspiracy theory talking points from a Power Point presentation. Having already read several of the Benghazi commission reports, it was clear to me that he was simply peddling anti-government propaganda, and bringing up “problems” that anyone who’d read the reports would realize were anything but.
Fast forward a few years and I’ve seen more of his videos, painful to watch as they are. I watch them not because they are informative (anytime he strays onto a topic I know something about, it becomes clear he’s simply shilling for the “less government more free market” ideology), but because I recognize that he is an effective propagandist. He really is an accomplished orator, a skill he unfortunately uses to weave a false narrative by way of omission and unsupported claims as he explains how “we’ve all been lied to.” He is also a skilled debater and knows when to cut off the other party and execute a red herring to prevent them from making their full point and moving on to another topics.
Ideology posting as Philosophy
One of the things that caught my attention is that Molyneux is often touting himself as a “philosopher.” I believe this is his way of justifying his obvious bias (and outright nonsense). In reality though, this is pure dogmatic ideology. He is simply playing a “character” with no regard for the truth, except when it actually does side with his ideology.
He has also claimed to have the largest “philosophy channel on YouTube” which I suppose is true if you actually classify his content as philosophy. However, he’s really more or a current events/political commentator, which draws a larger crowd as it’s a bit more mainstream, at least on YouTube. It’s a bit like an “All Sports” Channel claiming they have the largest following of all Snooker channels.
I’ve considered writing about his nonsense in the past but have never known where to begin since his videos are essentially a series of lies by omission, exaggerations, unsupported claims, laced with some basic truths. Fortunately, a YouTuber with a username of Shaun has taken on the thankless task of cleaning up Molyneux’s mess. I imagine Shaun’s other hobby is banging his head against a brick wall, but nevertheless, his thankless task is informative as he not only mops up Molyneux’s nonsense, but you actually LEARN something in the process. Whereby Molyneux feeds you a selective set of facts, Shaun gives context, shows Molyneux’s use of spurious sources and unwarranted conclusions, as well as filling you in on what Stefan conveniently omits in his alleged mission to “red pill” the world.
Stefan Molyneux on The Native American Genocide
Would you be surprised to know that Molyneux justifies much of the killing because it was within the rules of engagement of the conquering party? Or that Molyneux omits some of the more heinous acts committed against Native Americans, as he attempts to mitigate the atrocities? If you’re familiar with Molyneux, you are NOT surprised.
Stefan Molyneux on The Fall of Rome
The usual “Rome fell because of big government and immigration” argument. Well over 1,000 years of Roman history portrayed as if everything happened within 5 years in order to draw a false “cause and effect” argument even though the alleged cause of the effect are separated by hundreds of years.
Stefan Molyneux on Climate Change
This video is actually by potholer, who consistently posts videos debunking climate change deniers; an equally-thankless task.
Molyneux “REALLY” wants to get to the bottom of this climate change thing. Is it real? Is it fake? In order to get to the bottom of it all, Molyneux fearlessly pursues the truth by interviewing one climate change denier after another (sort of the way Dave Rubin “learns” about Economics by interviewing one Libertarian after another and then magically moving over into the free market libertarian camp.
In other climate change videos, Molyneux downplays the 97% consensus by focusing (and by that, I mean straw manning) one of the surveys that found such a high consensus and ignoring the other six. Then in another video, he pretends a bunch of questions are still up in the air (like, what are the benefits of climate change?). Ha, stupid climatologists apparently never thought of these really difficult questions!
Peter Joseph & Stefan Molyneux debate The Market
In his debate with Peter Joseph, Molyneux continues to insist that the free market is all peace, love and cooperation which the government distorts. Peter Joseph explains that in this instance, the government is simply another “owner,” not separate from the market, nor from the effects of market violence that arises from the scarcity mindset that capitalism produces. Molyneux babbles on about his daughter and a lemonade stand (as if all market transactions are so straightforward and innocent) and lambastes the existence of corporations (so he can blame the government) as if their existence is the reason profits are pursued regardless of the well-being of other people. This is the usual free market/libertarian tactic: any time you point out an example of a market failure, they essentially respond with some variation of “well, government existed therefore it’s a problem with government, not erroneous market signals.”
It’s quite obvious Molyneux is being purposely disingenuous with regards to free market capitalism and the role of government. After all his babbling about the state, and government being “force,” he responded with “governments don’t build roads, people do” (or something along those lines) when Joe Rogan asked him who would build the roads. This is the way the free market anarcho capitalists try and have it both ways. When the government does something worthwhile, the credit goes to “people.” When government does something bad, well of course it’s because the government is bad (or force, or theft, or whatever pejorative they happen to be using at the time).
More Molyneux Videos
Reich Wing Watch and a few others have posted from great videos on Molyneux. They are worth watching if you want to get a feel for Molyneux without torturing yourself through his endless rants.