Adam Kokesh: Progression to a Freer Society Is Inevitable
The Daily Bell is pleased to present this interview with Adam Kokesh.
Introduction: Adam Kokesh has made a name for himself in libertarian circles by producing alternative, libertarian-oriented radio programs and YouTube videos. In November 2006, Adam Kokesh was honorably discharged from the US Marine Corps after his second activation as a reservist. He moved to Washington, DC to get a Master's degree in political management at George Washington University. After failing to secure "gainful employment," Kokesh, "stumbled into full-time activism" with Iraq Veterans Against the War. In May and June, Kokesh and other activists ran high-profile flash mob-silent dances at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC in protest of a recent ruling against dancing at federal monuments. In 2010, Kokesh ran as a libertarian-Republican in New Mexico but lost in the primary. Since then, he's built a talk radio program called "Adam vs. The Man" (AVTM) airing out of New Mexico, and his video reports can be seen on YouTube. He has been critical of aspects of the "Occupy DC" version of the Occupy Wall Street movement. He is soon to release a book, Hot, Dirty and Dangerous.
Daily Bell: Tell us about your activities.
Adam Kokesh: Well, right now, my main focus is my now-independent show and the new business model I've created to support it. I get invited to speak at a lot of different events, and occasionally organize actions of my own, but I really want to get away from organizing to focus on media production. I'm still trying to finish the edits on my first book and have at least a few ideas for documentaries rattling around my skull.
Daily Bell: What is your take on the current wars?
Adam Kokesh: They are rackets, like all modern wars.
Daily Bell: What would you like changed?
Adam Kokesh: Changed? I don't need anything changed, necessarily, unless you want me to say "everything," but everything is changing whether we want it to or not. I see the progression to a free society as inevitable, so for me, it's not so much a matter of achieving change as much as being on the side of progress, that is, towards cooperative free-market solutions and away from the coercive control of statism.
Daily Bell: Are you in favor of the OWS protests? Are they being manipulated?
Adam Kokesh: In favor of? I'm glad that the angst of a segment of the broader population that they represent is part of a constructive conversation, but I'm not a supporter. I'm in favor of being in the streets instead of on the couch, (unless you're on the couch with a laptop fomenting revolution on the interwebs) so I welcome the political engagement. I think the premise of protesting the 1% is fundamentally flawed and from what I've seen of the movement, I don't think it will evolve past rage.
Daily Bell: What should they be protesting?
Adam Kokesh: Using force to solve problems (government) when persuasion is superior (freedom).
Daily Bell: Is it more important to aim protests at Wall Street or Washington?
Adam Kokesh: It depends on what you want to achieve. For those who want more government, protesting Wall Street makes perfect sense.
Daily Bell: Is the system hopeless? Is it malevolent?
Adam Kokesh: That depends what you mean by "the system." Regardless, I take the long view of history and would just say that our current "system" of social organization is premised on creating a moral exception for government. But don't worry; we're evolving past it. Is it malevolent? I prefer to see it as holding back our potential. The government isn't some malevolent entity that is completely separated from the rest of the population but at present represents the institutionalization of the worst of human nature.
Daily Bell: Why is the system so socialist?
Adam Kokesh: One effect of the abundance we have created in recent history is to be tolerant of more control and more collectivism because we don't see the negative impact. This is because we are developing so fast that it comes out of would-be improvements instead of current quality of life – at least for now.
Daily Bell: How would characterize yourself? As a libertarian? As a conservative? Constitutionalist?
Adam Kokesh: Libertarian/voluntarist.
Daily Bell: Shouldn't Congress have to DECLARE war?
Adam Kokesh: Of course, as per the document that grants Congress its existence. But the authors of that document had something much different in mind. They intended a declaration of war to be a response to an existing state, not a start of hostilities. So the framework they laid out dictated that our foreign policy be one of non-intervention and non-aggression. Too bad it didn't stick.
Daily Bell: Is America winning the war on terror?
Adam Kokesh: Can you win a crime?
Daily Bell: IS there a war on terror? Who is the enemy?
Adam Kokesh: There is a "war on terror" in the sense that the term is a handy one for our government to try to justify a lot of unnecessary spending and to keep people afraid and to remind us of how much we "need" government.
Daily Bell: Are you hopeful about America?
Adam Kokesh: America will go down as one of the most important developments in history for human liberty, but the next developments will be global in scale and render government borders irrelevant.
Daily Bell: What do you foresee for America in the future?
Adam Kokesh: Hopefully, the American traditions will be helpful in the next challenges to expand liberty. But clearly, our government will be of little help and it's doubtful the American people as a whole will be leading the way globally.
Daily Bell: Are America and the world facing even tougher times?
Adam Kokesh: I think human progress is a process of one step backwards, two steps forwards happening simultaneously on many different levels, and while we may be in the middle of some big steps backwards, they're only temporary setbacks. I am optimistic that what we might even consider to be tough times these days will soon be unimaginable, as today, everyday life of just a few hundred years ago would be considered unbearable.
Daily Bell: What's in store for the dollar and fiat currency in general?
Adam Kokesh: Of course, the dollar system can't last forever and there are already attempts to replace it with a global fiat currency so I think a showdown is coming between those who want free-market money and those who want to impose a new fiat currency. But because this showdown is happening in the age of the Internet, the truth is much more likely to prevail and the fiat currency advocates will lose as those who would have the system imposed upon them realize the exploitation inherent in it.
Daily Bell: Are we facing another Great Depression?
Adam Kokesh: Possibly a short one around the collapse of the dollar, but I don't think any future depression would be at all like any prior in which survival of mass numbers of people was threatened. With the collapse of the dollar, it would be hard to even measure a depression. But I have a hard time believing that with today's communications/information technology we won't be able to see past any government interventions in the market holding us back, and probably be able to get around them quite easily or find agreement on political solutions.
Daily Bell: Do you consider yourself an Austrian?
Adam Kokesh: Both by a small part of my genetic heritage as well as my economic philosophy.
Daily Bell: Where do you see gold and silver going from here?
Adam Kokesh: Going? I think in the coming turmoil, gold and silver are going to be important stores of wealth for a lot of people and will definitely be important factors in the first major free-market currencies but eventually, their advantages as media of exchange will be rendered less relevant by technology and more generalized commodity backed currencies.
Daily Bell: Can the fiat dollar recover, in your opinion?
Adam Kokesh: Every fiat currency has a limited life expectancy so any recovery would be temporary.
Daily Bell: Will we have a China-centric or Asia-centric world in the 21st century?
Adam Kokesh: Perhaps for a while but things will even out eventually by any current measures of "-centric."
Daily Bell: Is the US finished as the world's sole superpower?
Adam Kokesh: The end of the dollar will be the final nail in the coffin for the American government being the most effective tool for the super class to exploit the rest of us and China will rule for a while, but then the era of superpower governments will come to an end altogether.
Daily Bell: The Anglo-American monetary elite is a very powerful and crafty group. Do they wish to run the world?
Adam Kokesh: Speaking of "they" as a group gives the super class too much credibility for being united. The only thing that unites them is a desire to dominate others, including each other.
Daily Bell: Is the Internet making life tougher for them?
Adam Kokesh: Absolutely! The most effective of their frauds are based on ignorance and deception, and the Internet is very bad for both.
Daily Bell: Are markets manipulated – especially gold or silver? If they are, in your view, how long can the manipulation go on? Aren't we reaching a point where metals markets are simply going to be too big to constrain?
Adam Kokesh: They're definitely being manipulated, and that manipulation can go on as long as the market will bear it. But the threat of the metal market is not that it will be "too big to constrain" but rather that metal currency-based exchanges will come to push out the relevancy of dollar exchanges as we see more and more barter as the dollar loses value faster and faster.
Daily Bell: Can politics really change where America is headed?
Adam Kokesh: Politics is where America IS. Fortunately, America is headed to a much better state.
Daily Bell: Who was responsible for 9/11?
Adam Kokesh: Wish I knew!
Daily Bell: What are the biggest problems America faces?
Adam Kokesh: The executive, the legislative and the judicial.
Daily Bell: Should the Federal Reserve be abolished?
Adam Kokesh: It should have never been started!
Daily Bell: What changes does America need to make to become great again?
Adam Kokesh: I don't think national measurements of "greatness" are relevant any more. We will at least be on the right track when we realize that what binds us, as a nation, is our collective victimization by the same government entity.
Daily Bell: What is your proudest accomplishment to date?
Adam Kokesh: Renouncing pride.
Daily Bell: What are you concentrating on now?
Adam Kokesh: Just getting ADAM VS THE MAN going as a stable entity by which I am able to share my talents with others in a way that continues to deliver a product of value. Soon as the book is done, I'll be writing my first documentary, which is already writing itself in my head!
Daily Bell: Any other points you want to make?
Adam Kokesh: I hope your readers will want to support an independent journalist with a unique perspective! Check out the site and if you don't want to invest, stop by to tell me why you think the show sucks so I can improve it! adamvstheman.com
Daily Bell: Thanks for giving us the interview and good luck.
We first became aware of Adam Kokesh because of his giddy dancing at the Jefferson Monument. Then we were impressed by his Occupy Wall Street videos that were far more perceptive than much of what was being reported regarding the "movement" (which we think is controlled from the top). Now we look forward to release of the book that he has announced and is apparently impending.
Outside of thanking Adam Kokesh for participating in this interview, there is a larger point we want to make as well and that has to do with the general difficulty of pursuing an existence that involves commenting on society as it is from a non-traditional, alternative perspective.
Adam Kokesh, for instance, continues to do his videos, but he has lost a Russia Today platform for his radio program. He has run for office and is publishing a book, and no doubt has other ways to make a living. But his activities generally raise the point of the difficulty of generating funds while pursuing a career as a libertarian activist.
This brings up a larger point about what we have called "Dreamtime" that has overtaken the world and America in particular, which used to be a much freer country. We have called it Dreamtime because in the 20th century, Baby Boomers lived in a kind of trance-like dream.
Yes, it seems Baby Boomers (after the Hippie 60s) came into a certain set of establishment-oriented beliefs. We would argue they came to believe that their government was basically well-intentioned, that the country's wars were just or at least unopposable, that government activism and regulation could "solve" social problems and that the current economic system had evolved naturally and could provide for both employment and retirement.
In fact, as we have discovered more and more "real" history on the Internet it likely cannot and will not. The current Western economic system is apparently vastly unstable and has been planned that way.
The result has been the ongoing impoverishment of middle classes in both Europe and America. Many, in America anyway, will still argue this is coincidental. But here at the Daily Bell, we've come to the conclusion that probably none of what is going on is especially coincidental.
It cannot be, it would seem, because every single major sociopolitical and economic event in the past 100 years has apparently had the result of further centralizing world power on the way to some sort of one-world order.
And this brings up a larger issue of providing for oneself and one's family. When one looks at the organization of society, in the US especially, it becomes clear that in one way or another almost every activity provides a base of support for a continuance of current sociopolitical and economic (globalist) trends.
If one wants to be a teacher, for instance, one almost inevitably aids in the dumbing down of the current generation of students. If one wants to be in health or medicine, one participates in what is in many ways an anti-health regime run by Big Pharma. If one wants to be in politics, the system has been configured so that one ends up supporting the regime in power almost despite oneself. If one wants to be in business generally, one usually ends up supporting the West's corporatist agenda.
On and on. The Internet fortunately has provided people with ways to break out of the system. It has provided opportunities to create voluntarist professional networks that allow them to work on their own rather than willy-nilly supporting the inevitable centralizing tendencies of the system as it has been created by what we call the Anglosphere power elite.
Now, of course, the Internet is under grave attack in Europe and Washington DC. The results will likely involve a diminishment of freedom on the 'Net itself and a reduction of its usefulness as a tool to support freedom and prosperity.
But in a larger sense, as we have been arguing for the past decade, the Internet has already spawned a cultural and economic revolution akin to what occurred during the advent and impact of the Gutenberg Press so long ago.
The ramifications of what the Internet has exposed are significant and powerful and likely there is no going back for those who have participated in its illumination – especially younger generations. Not only that, but technology is moving so quickly that no matter what the powers-that-be do to damp down the 'Net's impact, the damage to the prevailing globalist ambitions will likely continue.
The Adam Kokeshes of today would not have existed 10 or 20 years ago. In fact, the entire alternative media and the rethinking it has spawned in the West especially would not have occurred without the sudden advent of freedom-oriented information that the 'Net has purveyed. This includes, of course, the tremendously successful freedom-oriented campaign of Dr. Ron Paul.
Like Kokesh himself, we are hopeful about the future of freedom in the 21st century. The Internet is like a tsunami running powerfully beneath the surface that cannot yet be fully discerned. Eventually it will crest with an impact far more powerful than one might expect.
It has all been inscribed on the pages of history! Study the past and note the trends as they emerge. There was a reason for the tremendous sociopolitical ferment of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. There was a surge then as now. It took centuries for the elites to re-establish control, and now the same thing has happened today. From our point of view there is reason to be optimistic. The old ways are breaking down and new thinking is emerging.
Adam Kokesh provides one such example of a "new thinker" (who is really an "old" thinker, for all these concepts have been around for at least tens of thousands of years). Beyond this, his struggle and dedication to his personal philosophy are important to note – as we have – and we have no doubt that he will continue on his way, hopefully finding increasing opportunities as he goes. And so will others.
Posted by dimitri on 12/18/11 10:17 AM
All the Kokeshes out there are trying to supplant an existing authoritarianism with their own new and improved version of authoritarianism - just like the Baby Boomer Hippies did and succeeded at so well and so blindly (may we never have the Clintons again). They should be wished well but also encouraged to delve deeply into the "will for power" phenomenon before grabbing for the ring.
Reply from The Daily Bell
What is Kokesh's new and improved existing authoritarianism?
Posted by davidnrobyn on 12/18/11 10:34 AM
This is just an interesting (to me) observation: "Adam" means "the man"; so, "Adam vs. The Man" means... :-) I wonder how many, if any, other readers caught this? I wonder if Kokesh himself did?
Posted by budwood on 12/18/11 10:54 AM
It is very heartening to become aware of a guy like Adam Kokesh. It seemed for a while that the collectivist mind-set had become near universal as the USA and other "western" countries succeeded in "dumbing down" younger generations. The mere existence of Adam Kokesh provides hope for a less coercive culture and generally for a more freedom oriented society. There may indeed be a bright future after the present structure fades away. My concern is that "fading away" may entail much violent protests.
Posted by bird on a wire on 12/18/11 11:01 AM
Thank you for giving us this interview with Adam. I've followed his progress from afar since I first heard him speak at Ron Paul's Rally for the Republic during the last election cycle. He was a powerfully dynamic and fiery speaker, and I thought then that he had a gift of energy that could be used powerfully for good or ill. Later, he came to North Carolina with a group for a few days to help us with BJ Lawson's first congressional campaign, and I was able to speak with him briefly. That energy and strength of personality, while toned down as compared to its level on a public platform, was just as evident. He is still a work in progress, (as we all are, or should be), but I am happy (and almost maternally proud) to say that his maturation appears to have been in the direction of intellectual growth, integration of principle, and spiritual leveling and enlargement. I have no idea what grounds @dimitri (prior poster) found to justify his post. He(she?) appears to see Kokesh as a part of or tool of OWS , when it should be obvious that he is not of OWS, and does not promote any form of authoritarianism at all. Adam has been through a lot, being under constant surveillance and harassment, arrested, body-slammed, and yet he appears to be unintimidated; he just finds newly peaceful and more creative ways to fight his battles, and goes out and lays it on the line again for liberty. I'm probably twice his age, but I consider him to be someone I truly admire and can learn a lot from. We will hear more of Adam Kokesh, I am certain.
Posted by alexsemen on 12/18/11 11:40 AM
DB: "When one looks at the organization of society, in the US especially, it becomes clear that in one way or another almost every activity provides a base of support for a continuance of current sociopolitical and economic (globalist) trends"
Your analysis is 99% OK , DB !It is true and nobody knows for sure.
Adam: "next developments will be global in scale and render government borders irrelevant"
Adam is a fake, a perfect scum, a disgusting farce , an intelligent diversion, swindler and irritant deceit. He knows absolutely nothing about history, he knows only what was told to him to act as Venetian masquerade. Now you know who are his masters, BK.
He is the secret weapon of his masters. It is not necessary to hit the Internet, just analyze how he is speaking and built his ideas. Look carefully at his choice of words It is typical a clone "creation" and because he was sent to Russia tell us a lot.
But the Russians are not stupid.
USA citizen absolutely and indisputable are stupid. As long someone has not experienced what could the Worst of the Worst , he never will be able to aprecciate things like freedom, certainty, real democracy , trust , social implication and empathy. I am speaking about all kind of absolutely necessity of HM Dialectics !
Adam and USA citizens really don't know what is the Reality and therefore they don't knows what means Click to view link just a ritual in shamanic incantation and self hypnotizing !
Such a product "Adam Kokesh" made in USA I can not trust one second !
Posted by tone-bone on 12/18/11 11:43 AM
The Baby Boomer Hippies supplanted their authoritarianism? Please explain.
Posted by Thomas Molitor on 12/18/11 11:43 AM
So the US government goes bankrupt. That's not the end of the world. Lots of governments have gone bankrupt, some numerous times. Most of the great revolutions in history have financial roots. The French Revolution of 1789 was brought on by the financial collapse of the French government. It was a good thing to depose Louis XVI, but did things get better? No, they got worse with Robespierre and then Napolean. The collapse of the Czar's regime in Russia in 1917 seemed to be good news at first - but then a scrum ensued between Stalin, Lenin and Trotsky and Russia lived under one of the all-time usurpers of personal liberty, Stalin, for many, many years. In Germany, the destruction of the German mark in 1923 set the stage for the Nazis. Perhaps rebooting America is a very good thing. But, pay attention to the period after the boot. All of the above historical examples, of course, took place pre-Internet. Look no further for a strong case to verify DB's hypothesis regarding the effects of the Internet Reformation than how many Twitter regime changes happened in 2011: Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Italy, Greece. Wow. Software brings down governments not canons.
Posted by LibertyBelle on 12/18/11 11:46 AM
I'm a baby-boomer who follows, subscribes to his channel, invests in him and deeply admires him! Thank you for this interview, oh elves of DB!
Posted by Danny B on 12/18/11 12:01 PM
"what binds us, as a nation, is our collective victimization by the same government entity."
This is certainly NOT my happy-thought for the day. 52.5 % of Americans rely on a check from GOV at some level.
A continuation of wealth distribution makes many people unhappy.
A cessation of wealth distribution will make many people unhappy.
The poverty rate is climbing drastically.
Click to view link
FED GOV is, to a large degree, just a big "jobs program." In spite of all the GOV borrowing and GOV hiring, workforce participation is dropping.
We can decry the waste of GOV jobs programs but, can we create jobs in the private sector for all the people who would be redundant if the "jobs programs" were ended?
Sooner or later, we have to come to the realization that an ever-increasing percentage of our population will never have a niche in the private sector.
The private sector may be the engine of job creation but, global-wage-arbitrage is pulling the private sector out of the West.
How do you empower people who have no relevant job skills?
We can talk about "victimization" but, there are millions of people cashing checks from GOV. They aren't going to take kindly to an end of the gravy train.
We can condemn the FED but, their machinations are the only thing keeping us afloat at the moment. Without that, the interest burden would wipe us out in no time.
Click to view link
A cessation of current policies would definitely change the nature of the current wealth transfer. I have yet to see a plan where fundamental change in the West will end the effects of global wage arbitrage.
Since Americans are completely hopeless when it comes to buying "domestic", there is no real hope of revitalizing the private sector.
The housing boom was an artificial boom created in DOMESTIC employment. FED GOV hiring [on borrowed money] was an artificial boom created in DOMESTIC employment.
The U.S. manufacturing base is eroded away by global wage arbitrage. American buyers buy foreign. American manufacturers offshore jobs.
These are market forces that GOV can not counter act.
We can plausibly talk about dismantling GOV. We can plausibly talk about ending the central bank. We can plausibly talk about using the money saved to stimulate the economy more in favor of main street and less in favor of wall street. There is good reason to believe that elimination of banks will bring a general prosperity.
Click to view link
I have yet to see a plan that would bring a high employment rate.
Posted by NAPpy on 12/18/11 12:26 PM
How is reporting the news a "will for power"?
How can you term voluntary exchange and non-violence as authoritarian?
Posted by budwood on 12/18/11 12:31 PM
There is no "plan" that will implement a high employment rate. That's simply because it takes capital to do such. Most of the capital is squeezed out of the private sector (the entities which create gainful employment) by the voracious appetite of the Federals for more and more money. Hence, we are eating the "seed corn" before any planting is done, so at the end of the road, we'll be in a depression without much light at the end of innumerable "tunnels".
However, hope springs eternal so maybe we can look forward to a bright future after centralization breaks under its own weight.
Posted by 45clive on 12/18/11 12:39 PM
Adam Kokesh reminds me a lot of Julian Assange. Both, I believe, are part of the globalist dialectic whether they are aware of it or not. That is not to say a sceptic should not give consideration to their offerings. On a global scale, though, how many are capable of true scepticism?
Posted by free on 12/18/11 12:40 PM
Great stuff, here is a man taking action, the world needs more Adam's, especially when they are informed as well as he is. Adam has a voice because of the internet reformation.
The DB keeping finding these interesting people. Thanks.
Posted by NAPpy on 12/18/11 12:41 PM
Thanks for this interview with Adam Kokesh. I find myself alternating between depression at the current state of affairs and hope that historical trends are in favor of a better future. Hearing the optimistic attitude of Adam (and yourselves) helps me stay positive as well.
I thought these two sections of today's article were the most profound:
"If one wants to be a teacher, for instance, one almost inevitably aids in the dumbing down of the current generation of students. If one wants to be in health or medicine, one participates in what is in many ways an anti-health regime run by Big Pharma. If one wants to be in politics, the system has been configured so that one ends up supporting the regime in power almost despite oneself. If one wants to be in business generally, one usually ends up supporting the West's corporatist agenda.
On and on. The Internet fortunately has provided people with ways to break out of the system. It has provided opportunities to create voluntarist professional networks that allow them to work on their own rather than willy-nilly supporting the inevitable centralizing tendencies of the system as it has been created by what we call the Anglosphere power elite."
For other DB readers, here's a site that makes its living (through donations!) talking about philosophy!
Click to view link
Here's a site that makes its living exposing the fraud and harm caused by public schooling:
Click to view link
Here's another site that specializes in financial reporting from a mostly austrian perspective:
Click to view link
Yes, with a little creativity, it is possible to earn a living while keeping your hands clean.
Posted by NAPpy on 12/18/11 12:45 PM
Adam is only globalist in that he believes governments are becoming irrelevant. No government, no artificial borders, no artificial borders, interaction with people across the world is somewhat more possible.
"On a global scale, though, how many are capable of true scepticism?"
As more and more of the promises made by a "benevolent" government fail in the face of reality, I think skepticism will become a survival trait.
Posted by free on 12/18/11 12:46 PM
Your right about Assange, but any debate will appear as part of the Dialectic. I think Adam is an important part of the movement to wake the sleeping zombies, his approach is fun, he is young and is using the net for good. Assange is working for the left, it clear he is a bad man.
Posted by DarbyJie on 12/18/11 12:46 PM
How very perceptive of you, Alexsemen.
I agree profoundly. He is nothing more than a faux patriot-desperate-to-claw-to the top-amateur NWO wannabe... ..his highest achievement, so far, has been dancing at the Jefferson Memorial in defiance of the posted regs -- what a Brave Guy, eh?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Why do feel the need to attack Kokesh? Aren't there plenty of other targets out there more worthy of your scorn? We think of many ...
Posted by Kelly on 12/18/11 01:11 PM
DB: establishment-oriented beliefs
I'll give you that. We grew up like a mouse in a jar and could only 'turn in and tune out' the larger picture. (OK, we also 'turned on and tuned out') Yet when we keep an open mind to the possibilities of elite control we find strange stuff like this:
Click to view link
Posted by oldman67 on 12/18/11 01:29 PM
This last budget spending act by congress just before the Christmas holidays reminds one of the few congressional members who stayed to vote for the Federal Reserve in 1913 before leaving before the Christmas holidays.As we all know, most members had gone home.
Posted by goldandsilverbug on 12/18/11 01:43 PM
If anything about Adam, he is catering to a younger generation that are having their senses awakened to the realities of what is really happening. If they follow him closely they will also find the Bell! It's a numbers game. Keeping getting the message out there in as many venues as possible. The beauty of free thinking is that everyone does not have to agree. Thanks for the interview.