Credit to someone on this subreddit whose username escapes me for pointing me toward this, but I had always intuitively understood that this is a good idea, but didn’t know there was a name for it. Apparently, it’s the Rockwell Rule.
As Daniel McAdams put it in a Mises.org interview:
It’s very simply, never, ever, ever in any regime that the CIA wants to overthrow, never ever repeat their talking points. Never criticize any regime that the CIA wants to overthrow, full stop. That is the Rockwell Rule, the Rockwell Doctrine and it deprives the interventionists of the ability to say, see? Even the libertarians agree that Qaddafi is passing out Viagra or that Saddam is eating babies. They can say, Oh yeah, the libertarians, they don’t want to invade, but see? Even they agree. So, deprive them of that ability. Caitlyn Johnstone has a good way of saying it, “Don’t be a CIA mouthpiece.” I think that is very, very important and it’s so funny because you do see these things at exactly the right moment that the CIA and the regime change machine wants you to say them. When they’re ramping up the heat on Iran, for example, all of a sudden, you’ll have some young libertarian gal come out and say, Iran is horrible, a despotism, they’re socialist in their economy. It always comes at the exact right moment. If you’re a libertarian and you participate in this, you’re a dupe or worse.
This always seemed intuitive to me, but a lot of people interpret this to be a defense of bad guys. Even if that’s the case, I assure you, it’s totally worth it to follow this rule. I’ll be using the example of Bin Laden because it’s not timely at all and the dude’s already dead so hopefully it’ll be easier for us to analyze it in the abstract.
An argument I might make would be something along the lines of, “If you read Bin Laden’s ‘Letter to America’, he cites his motivations behind the 9/11 terrorism attacks, and it includes the fact that the US used sanctions in Iraq to kill at least half a million children. He cites it as a million and a half.”
If I instead say, “Bin Laden is a truly evil character, and there’s no justification for the senseless attacks he committed that ended with the deaths of 3,000 innocent Americans, though he had his twisted logic. He said in his Letter to America that his motivation was the fact that the US used sanctions to kill at least half a million children”, a neocon can easily say, “See? Even the anti-war libertarian types are saying that Bin Laden is totally evil, we gotta take him out!”
If I do that, I’m shooting holes in my own argument and bolstering the enemy’s argument.
However, if I don’t kiss the ring of the CIA, there’s no opportunity to make the claim that even libertarians are on board with the neocon agenda. Instead, they’ll have to say, “You’re on the side of Bin Laden!!!” or some other tripe. This is a comparatively shaky position for them to hold, and reeks of virtue-signalling. They might as well say, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us!” or “Pick a side, we’re at war!”
The Empire and The Cathedral
Libertarians have many enemies, but most of them can be assigned to either The Empire or The Cathedral. The Cathedral represents domestic interests within the United States to destroy our culture, to subjugate our interests, to occupy our minds, and to program us as NPCs. When Donald Trump is impeached for having business dealings in Ukraine, but Biden is proven to be doing far worse without any consequence whatsoever, that’s the Cathedral having his back. When all the news media outlets for 4 years straight hit you in the head with “TRUMP BAD” and accuse him of engaging in election fraud, then call you a conspiracy theorist for implying something might be a bit yellow about the 2020 election, that’s the Cathedral. When movies start trying to destroy all the cultural values and norms that make a well-rounded adult, when you are called a transphobe for refusing to suck girl-dick, when you are told that the vaccine is totally safe and effective and no apology is offered once that’s finally accepted not to be the case, that’s the Cathedral.
The Empire is even more evil. The Empire makes up total nonsense in order to justify the wanton slaughter of innocent people, and it routinely gets away with it because the Cathedral has it’s back. The Empire is a way for the United States to exert influence and power globally, and there is no other regime around currently that even approaches it in brutality and scope. You can point at North Korea, and yeah, North Korea is really bad, but only if you live in North Korea. North Korea has basically no imperialist intent whatsoever. China is pretty bad, they are very adept at technological authoritarianism, but other than some implied threat to the tiny island of Taiwan, they don’t really have any imperialist intent as far as I can tell, despite what Fox News would scare me about.
You know what country does have imperialist intent? The United States. We’re talking about a country that routinely uses military violence and threats thereof to kill an uncountable number of innocent people. We’re talking about a country that will casually start a genocide just to placate a regime that is useful for intelligence and petroleum purposes.
Not only will they do that, but they’ll get away with it with basically no skin off their back whatsoever. Why? Because the Cathedral has their back. It doesn’t matter how many wars are started for the Empire, it doesn’t matter how many children shit themselves to death, it doesn’t matter how many hospitals are destroyed, the Empire will always get away with it, and the Cathedral will always cover for them. Make no mistakes, these institutions are the utmost enemies of liberty. They are the state, and the worst kind of state.
As the old adage goes, if you send your kids to Caesar for education, don’t be surprised if they come back Roman. Most Americans went to public school and were constantly surrounded by an atmosphere where the US was good, it stood for liberty and freedom and justice and equality and any number of contradictory bullshit that sounds nice. If you were a statist for most of your life, it’ll take serious effort to re-wire your brain to a paradigm where it assumes evil intent out of the United States. The neural pathways that link “Good” and “Government” are too strong, even if you logically understand it to be irrational, the unconscious prejudice is still there.
To overcome this indoctrination, you need a few things. For one, you’ll need time. Neural plasticity has it’s limits. For two, you’ll need to make a habit out of assuming the worst of intent. I know people say to not attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity, but give it a shot because our enemy really is evil. If you don’t recognize that intuitively, you might still have some personal re-programming to do.
If you do this, and make a habit out of it, eventually you’ll develop a more objective sense of when the government is intentionally acting evil and when they are merely idiots. If you do this, then you will become red-pilled.
The schism in liberty
Several years ago, a common joke among liberty circles went as follows:
“What is the difference between a minarchist and an anarchist?”
“About 6 months”
Hees and haws were had by all. At that time, we believed this was the schism in libertarianism, this was why some libertarians, despite having nearly identical politics to other libertarians, seemed to just not get along with the other libertarians. The symptoms of a schism were correctly identified, but the actual schism itself was misplaced on the “Anarchist vs Minarchist” debate instead of the real location. This is not where the schism is. I believe, and so do many others at this point, that the true schism in liberty is between Red Pilled libertarians and Blue Pilled libertarians.
Dave Smith defined this very succinctly here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TBM0-OMsJE
I believe the framework of red-pill vs blue-pill neatly explains every major libertarian schism that is out there. Why does Cato hate Mises? Cato is blue-pilled. Mises is red-pilled. Why do posters on /r/GoldAndBlack hate the posters in /r/libertarian? Because posters in /r/goldandblack are typically red-pilled, and posters in /r/libertarian are typically blue-pilled. Why does the LP Pragmatist Caucus despise the Mises caucus so much? Because they’re blue pilled and don’t like the red-pilled Mises caucus.
This also explains why red-pilled libertarians can get along so well with red-pilled conservatives to the point where a red-pilled anarchist would prefer the company of a red-pilled social conservative over a blue-pilled libertarian anarchist. You take a christian conservative who is loyal to Jesus and thinks the US is a hedonistic cesspit of sin and a red-pilled libertarian who thinks the US is a totalitarian shithole that murders babies with cholera, you’ll find two people who are very different but have a lot of room for agreement. It isn’t wise is to say about these Jesus-freaks, “These people are so backwards and barbaric, they believe that it’s sinful for gay people to kiss in public, BUT they have every right to believe whatever they want to believe so long as they don’t use violence”.
This brings us back to…
The Rockwell Rule
Keep your eyes on the prize. Don’t do your enemies favors. You aren’t Russian. You aren’t Taliban. You aren’t Al Qaeda. You aren’t Jesus-Freak (ok well some of you probably are). You are LIBERTARIAN. Your enemy is the state. The two backs of the state are the Empire and the Cathedral. If any organization attacks your enemy, LET THEM. That doesn’t make the enemy of your enemy your friend. That doesn’t make you an apologist for what they are in favor of. You’re not ISIS just because ISIS shares your hatred of the US federal government. Russia isn’t ISIS either. Let the enemy of your enemy fight your enemy. You continue your fight against your enemy. Don’t carry the empire’s water. Don’t attack who the enemy demands you attack. Don’t do what the enemy wants you to do.
If you don’t follow these rules, you will lose. The enemy will exert it’s power over you and subjugate you and make you a part of their plans. Don’t let them do that. Be strong enough to say no to them.