As many of you know, Stefan Molyneux issued a fraudulent and hypocritical DMCA complaint with YouTube, causing the removal of Tru Shibes’s page. Molyneux has offered some tortured reasoning for the act but in my opinion he has simply used the power of the state to silence a highly effective critic. Fortunately, a YouTube account named TruMirror has resurrected most or all of the videos and my links below have been redirected there. Time will tell if Molyneux continues to embarrass the libertarian community with his actions.
I admit it. Your humble narrator is a big failure. Now, let me stop you before you say, “that’s right, he’s been writing this stupid blog for a few years now and I’ll bet even his mom quit reading it.”
That’s not what I meant, ya smart Alecs.
No, there’s a tough nut I’ve been trying to crack this whole time, and that’s how to quickly and effectively illustrate that little bit o’ crazy that slips into almost every Molyneux video and podcast.
Yes, I’ve written about Molyneux’s books and the strange culture that is the FDR forum.
But here’s my big problem—succinctly critiquing his videos and podcasts.
Yes, I’ve delved into his podcasts and pulled out some amazingly revealing bits. Through it all, I’ve found that the very best way to critique Stefan Molyneux is simply to quote him. Want me to prove that Stefan Molyneux thinks nearly all parents are horribly bad and should be kicked to the curb? No problem. I don’t need to say a word (although I did anyway). It’s all right here.
But my big problem remains—succinctly critiquing his videos and podcasts. Something served up short and sweet for you.
In Molyneux’s first few podcasts, you can tell that he carefully wrote an essay, which he then narrated. That was great—and a little easier to critique. Unfortunately, that also clearly proved to be too time-consuming for Molyneux, so before long he was just turning on the recorder/camera and rambling. After he finished, he’d think of a clever title that was vaguely related to the ramble and upload the whole thing.
The podcasts and videos became so lengthy and disjointed that you’d have to do a full minute-by-minute analysis to reveal how frighteningly illogical they were—like I tried to do here: Stefan Molyneux’s philosophy of (un)forgiveness. Well, that was too time-consuming for me! Bloggers like me lead incredibly full and active lives. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance isn’t just going to play itself, you know.
Enter Tru Shibes
For some time now, the humorously named Tru Shibes (the name is a play on Molyneux’s True News series and the internet doge meme) has done what I have failed to do—crank out incisive, sometimes hilarious, short videos that manage to put a finger on the illogic and occasional hypocrisy that course through Molyneux podcasts and videos. (In addition to the Facebook link above, you can find the Tru Shibes YouTube [mirror] channel here.)
Tru Shibes understands something clearly. When someone speaks with almost absolute authority, off the top of his head, on nearly every topic at hand, over hundreds of recordings, it’s almost impossible not to discover whether we are dealing with a rare genius or clever showman.
In this case, it’s a showman.
So, it’s not amazing that Molyneux’s contradictions, illogic, and ad hoc authority happen; it’s only amazing that he has a legion of followers who still fail to recognize it. In the meantime, we can enjoy them as they are lovingly captured here. I think of Tru Shibes as Molyneux’s quickest critic because of the immediate, dagger-like way these videos reveal aspects of Molyneux’s logic or character that were previously buried within his hour-and-a-half long rambling monologues. To accomplish this, Tru Shibes no doubt spends hours discovering these little revelations, so I doubt if the creation process feels very quick at all!
Tru Shibes exposes it all with deft humor and all in Molyneux’s own words. Here’s one of my favorites to whet your appetite—Stefan Molyneux holding forth on how he taught his daughter not to interrupt, followed by an audio fireworks display of him doing just that to his own callers:
Sorry to interrupt, I just wanted to make sure I interrupt
Here’s another one that’s a shade longer (but still only 5 minutes of fun!). It’s a delightful mashup of Molyneux’s confused pitch for donations, one that begins with Molyneux using guilt and shaming to explain why people should donate followed by an earlier denunciation of religions that do precisely the same thing. Even more cringe-inducing, non sequitur reasoning follows:
The Molyneux hustle
As I’ve often said, if Freedomain Radio is a destructive cult, the first and most ardent member is Molyneux himself. Tru Shibes serves up Molyneux’s description of his own defoo, which starts with a Freudian slip of having “lost” his family and friends, instead of his preferred narrative that he proactively defooed by design.
(In this short segment, Molyneux claims that he chose to quit seeing his brother, sister-in-law, and his nieces. He claims he “suddenly “became a pariah” and “wasn’t sitting there jamming [his values] down anyone’s throat or anything.” None of that is true. In another podcast (#691, Defoo Part 2), Molyneux explains that he was very truthful with his nieces about how evil their grandmother was [i.e., jamming his values down their throats] and was asked by his brother and sister to stop, largely ending their relationship):
Molyneux ‘Lost’ Family and Friends by ‘Living Virtues’
Molyneux’s tortured relationship with academia is fascinating, as he constantly drifts between embellishing his own academic credentials to establish his authority and claiming academia is useless. He has twice admitted that his academic adviser gave him a passing grade on his Masters thesis without bothering to read it—just to rid himself of the annoying student Molyneux. After that, Molyneux was rejected as a PhD candidate. Yet he proudly boasts of his Masters degree on his FDR bio. (For a more in-depth view of Molyneux’s “war” with academia, see this: The Promise and Failure of UPB—The Inside Story (Pt. 1): At war with the academics.)
In the following video, Molyneux is now trying to misrepresent his semi-failed academic excursion as time he spent in several Ivy League universities. If he doesn’t think academia is important, then why is it so important for him to pad his credentials?
Molyneux got little out of “3 different Ivy League universities in 5 years”
Speaking of complicated relationships, Molyneux has made an entire career from making podcasts about his mother while claiming he has moved on and rarely thinks about her. Here’s a Tru Shibes gem showing Molyneux not thinking about good old mom:
Molyneux forgives his mother by not killing her
As a long-time Molyneux observer, it’s stunning to me to observe his current expressions of rage against women. I even started a thread speculating what might have precipitated these horrific pronouncements. (I should have known better—I suddenly found myself with new forum subscribers who successfully turned it into yet another pointless “boys rule, girls drool” argument. So I’m still working on the answer!)
There are almost no end of Tru Shibes’ examples of these lunatic arguments. Here is one, almost picked at random (fair warning, the language is pretty salty):
Molyneux Explains HooHoo-nomics
I could have done entire post on Tru Shibes’ excerpts of Molyneux’s misogyny alone.
And it’s the quickest way to get the True News on Stefan Molyneux.
A little note on context
One of the True Believers’ favorite tricks when dismissing/deflecting criticism of their leader is to say any quotations from the source are taken “out of context.” This is pretty amusing when—almost invariably in the case of Molyneux—the context is actually far worse. But it is for that reason I often quote entire swaths of Molyneux writing or monologue when I really want to focus on a single sentence or claim.
No doubt, if a True Believers (who, by the way are always more than welcome at the FDR Liberated Forum), wants to level a charge at Tru Shibes, they will no doubt start with the “out of context” claim. To them, I’ll offer the same answer that MisterC0 did when that charge was made against my video “Defoo, Defined.”
> Every single reference to a S.M. statement, was without context of said statement…
If you’re dead serious, feel free to provide relevant context that you think viewers were deprived of rather than making hypocritically contextless accusations that context was left out.
I look forward to hearing those.
And finally, while I’m on the subject of critics…
This article started out as a Quickie! but I decided to add this bit about Molyneux critics in general. A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about Molyneux’s critics unsurprisingly titled Critics and Criticism. Over time, I’ve made some updates to it but the original premise—if Stefan Molyneux is greatest philosopher in 6,000 years, why is no one (other than Molyneux) writing or saying anything about him?—has remained.
Perhaps that premise is less true now than it was then. As Freedomain Radio grows, its ranks swelling with intelligent and earnest but perhaps-not-particularly-well-read followers, so has the number of people who have noticed Molyneux and exposed both the flaws in his thinking and the questionable nature of his “community.” Today, critics such as David Gordon, a reviewer at Mises, and Sharon Presley, co-founder of the very first nationwide libertarian organization in the US and thought-leader on the psychology of authority, have noticed Molyneux and either dismissed him or denounced him. (For Gordon, see The Molyneux Problem.) For Presley, see Stefan Molyneux and the Wax Wings Affair.)
In addition, there are a number of YouTube videomakers that have turned their attention to Molyneux. I haven’t done adequate research to comment on all of them but two notable commentators who have both made a series of videos regarding Molyneux include Philosophy Lines and Anarchopac. Both of them are also well worth your time.
Here’s an example video from Philosophy Lines:
Cultish Stefan Molyneux Says YOU Should Cut Off Your Parents!
And here’s a brief example from Anarchopac
Stefan Molyneux Fails To Disprove Hume’s Law
In addition to these and others who are creating multiple videos on Molyneux, there are many more YouTube commentators who have noticed Molyneux long enough to do a one-off rebuttal, such as SisyphusRedeemed and his ever-popular The Damnation of Philosophy.
The Damnation of Philosophy
Given the current relative explosion of videos on Molyneux, I’m not certain at this point whether to do a more comprehensive article on these new critics or simply advise you to start searching on YouTube. However, if you have some favorites, I hope you’ll link to them in the comments section for this article.
Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with continuing to listen to Molyneux’s videos and donating to support his “community.” As Tru Shibes tells us, just make sure you’re ready to cough up some major cash (or else we’ll know you were abused as a child!):
Molyneux makes fun of another small donation
Click below to e-mail or REDDIT, etc., this article! As always, I welcome your comments!