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Why I Ended Liberty Weekly and Started Vital Dissent

by | Oct 17, 2022

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Since episode 234 was the last episode of Liberty Weekly. I thought it’d be fitting to sit down and work through exactly what that means.

When I started the project in June 2016, I had no idea how long it would last or what it would turn into.

The best thing about the “Liberty Weekly” brand name is that it afforded me great flexibility in covering whatever I wanted to talk about—as long as it somehow related back to liberty. It did appeal to libertarians, but it also constrained my audience to a small niche in a market saturated with venerable competitors.

More than those limitations, I am not the same person that I was in 2016 and Liberty Weekly is not the same show. The movement is not the same, either.

The immolation of personal liberty during COVID-19 inflicted a psychic wound on the liberty movement. Many of us watched aghast as the non-aggression principle failed to protect us and our loved ones. Even though literally everything failed in this account—this caused some of us to break ranks during something called “the post-libertarian moment.”

This fracturing highlighted a fatigue with libertarian puritanism I had already expressed by September 2019—perhaps due to my own psychic wounds. I identified it as a fixation on theory over practical self-improvement.

I did not come to the same conclusions that many in the “post-libertarian moment” did (which, to me sounds like a repackaging of Harry Browne’s “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World” mixed with OG neocon James Burnham’s elite theory), I took almost a year away to improve my life.

Since my return in Fall 2020, I’ve focused on foreign policy and opposing COVID-19 tyranny (while organizing locally). To me, these are the most important issues.

Sometimes this coverage has involved theory, but it mostly has not.

I do not mean to disparage those libertarians who focus on theory. I consider them critical allies with an important place in the movement. We all have our roles to play (division of labor and all that).

But their role is no longer mine. It hasn’t been for a long while.

Instead, I finally have the means to make the show what I originally intended it to be.

It may surprise some listeners to learn that I never envisioned Liberty Weekly as an interview show.  Interviews just happen to be the best way to gain new listeners. They also take the least amount of time and effort. Interview became a necessity in keeping up with a weekly release schedule and a conventionally busy life.

But no—I had always intended Liberty Weekly to be a show focused on storytelling. In terms of style, I drew my inspiration not from Tom Woods, but from James Corbett. This documentary format reflects many of my early projects.

But this kind of content takes a lot of time and effort to create. Thankfully, I now have the resources to enlist good help—much like James Corbett has Broc West.

So, what does the future hold? Here’s the new iTunes bio:

Vital Dissent seeks to oppose calamitous escalation in US foreign policy by exposing establishment narratives with well-researched documentary content and insightful guest interviews. Topics include: an antiwar foreign policy, historical revisionism, technocracy, eugenics, government & private corruption, & the use & development of propaganda.

Vital Dissent will not be a show explicitly for libertarians, but it will feature my libertarian perspective. I hope many different types of people will tune in.

The first episode of Vital Dissent was released last week. It is linked at the bottom of this article.

If you like the sound of the new project, and would like to see more of this content (almost no one in our movement is doing anything like it), subscribe to Vital Dissent.

Thanks to everyone for your past and future support. It is a continuing source of inspiration for me.

Patrick Macfarlane

Patrick Macfarlane

Patrick MacFarlane is the Justin Raimondo Fellow at the Libertarian Institute where he advocates a noninterventionist foreign policy. He is a Wisconsin attorney in private practice. He is the host of the Vital Dissent at www.vitaldissent.com, where he seeks to oppose calamitous escalation in US foreign policy by exposing establishment narratives with well-researched documentary content and insightful guest interviews. His work has appeared on antiwar.com, GlobalResearch.ca, and Zerohedge. He may be reached at patrick.macfarlane@libertyweekly.net

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