'A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years. Neither are a people any the less slaves because permitted periodically to choose new masters. What makes them slaves is the fact that they now are, and are always hereafter to be, in the hands of men whose power over them is, and always is to be, absolute and irresponsible.' -Lysander Spooner, No Treason

A Conversation With Stop Free Keene

by Ethan Glover, Wed, Dec 16, 2015 - (Edited) Thu, Dec 17, 2015

Sometimes in order to grow we must seek out conversation with those who disagree with us. One of the oddest things I've seen since moving to New Hampshire is the back and forth between Free Keene (FK) and Stop Free Keene (SFK). I've always criticized FK where criticism is due, even before moving. SFK, on the other hand, is a mystery. They claim to want to kick out every free stater and shut down the whole project based on the actions of a few. People within the liberty movement have already criticized and condemned those few bad actors.

It's been awhile since SFK has complained about anything other than some personal issues they have with a few FK members. It's the same for FK about SFK.

The problems these groups have with one another have come down to some drama between a few people. Nothing of any real substance. As a result, that 'battle' between them is rightfully ignored and shrugged off.

However, a healthy back and forth would be great for each group. Liberty movers are no strangers to 'infighting' and criticizing one another. But as of now, the FSP has the monopoly on the legitimate criticisms of itself. SFK has nothing to say but a few direct insults at a few people's character.

It hasn't always been like that, I once agreed with most of what SFK had to say. The treatment of meter maids, school crossing guards, and taking activism to school children. All valid issues to confront FK with.

And many have. The first episode (0.5) of 'Fuck It! We'll Do It Live!' (FIDIL) concentrated on the issues Free Keene has had with its activism. Fortunately, the issues we talked about haven't repeated themselves in a long time. I hope to not see any more of it next spring, I don't think I will, but you know I'll be vocal about it if it does happen.

Until then, I won't waste my time blindly and hatefully attacking the characters of people I dislike just to fill the void. That's what SFK has been doing. Still, I don't believe all SFK members are so vitriolic as the loud few. So I offered a sit-down discussion, in the style of FIDIL, for an opportunity to learn what SFK is all about.

I spent four days being mindlessly insulted by members of SFK, calmly answering the same few questions over and over. There was nothing in my original post that didn't cover any objections that SFK brought up. Yet, they still insisted in pretending I was being 'misleading' or 'setting a trap.' We're talking about a situation in which they had full control over who of them would join the conversation, who they talk to and where they talk. They would have had full access to all original files of recordings and could have recorded themselves. Still, the claim was that they were 'being set up.'

I don't think any of them believed this. More likely, the objections were a panicked way to excuse themselves from a conversation. In the conversation that led to Episode 1 of FIDIL, the only person that didn't show up was the troll. Thankfully, this is what happens. The people who feel so empowered and in control online, who think they can say whatever they want, tend to be too scared to have the same conversation in real life.

I never intended to share the conversation from the SFK page where I laid out my proposal to have a discussion. Despite the constant insults and demands that I prove why I am "worthy" of their attention. But then an admin decided to threaten the thread with deletion. (It's most likely already deleted.) I thought I might need a place to save the public discussion. As a way to show those who do attempt to understand SFK, and there are plenty who want to, what happens when you show them every courtesy possible.