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Ep. 308 To the Moon! Owen Benjamin Tells Bob Murphy Why Anarchism Fails

Professional comedian Owen Benjamin joins Bob to discuss the attempt to de-platform him, the shape of the earth, and whether we need a strong State to protect financial integrity and children.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.

15 Comments

  1. Rick on 01/26/2024 at 7:38 AM

    Shows why you shouldnt ‘debate’ celebrities… Owen is on level 1, yall dont even speak the same language, let alone are able to have an enlightening discussion… And he yells over you.. What a dummy. Appreciate you Bob!

    • Nima on 01/31/2024 at 3:52 PM

      it’s like I talk to chatgpt, saying many points all at once and when I try to answer one of them. he throws many different ones and conversation topic just get switched. alas entertaining.

      He made one of mises points that violence is nesscery to keep people infringing on others rights but topic got switched so much or you misunderstood him.
      ps: this guy even hasn’t read Aristotle sphere earth argument

  2. Sean on 01/26/2024 at 7:07 PM

    While I was willing to be persuaded on some of Owen’s points, as I do have sympathy with some of it, much of what he said came out as a bit deranged. For example while I do think he has a point with some of the people Malice promotes, after a certain point of him constantly bringing him up it started to ring of him having something more personally against him.

  3. Jason on 01/26/2024 at 11:15 PM

    “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”

    Owen would do well to actually read the Bible,.. and maybe listen to people when they speak. For such a self-righteous dude, he strikes me as very unwise.

  4. Marko on 01/27/2024 at 12:00 AM

    Oh Bob, this was the great podcast in so many ways, but the most important one is that it showed your low ability to fight with people like this. So, I think it would be very good to invite Owen as many times as needed, until you learn how to confront him. Owen did not convince me at all with any of his “thank’s God for the US government” nonsense, but If I knew less, Owen would be the great winner of this informal debate.

    You allowed him to own some very important definitions. For example, when you said in Texas someone would make his own Dispute Resolution Agency, he immediately renamed it to War Lord. Then you allowed him to define the anarchy as the absence of rules. Then you allowed him to say that Federal Reserve was blocked by the US government. etc.

    Also, sometimes you made fun of yourself all by yourself, and I can not understand why. You attacked Hoppe’s argumentation ethics, you never subscribed to S. Molyneux’ UPB, but you came out as the believer in the natural rights. Then Owen immediately attacked you, and this time rightfully, by saying that natural rights means: might is right. Why are you doing this? Nature means jungle, nothing more.

    Also, why did you hesitate so much to say that in addition to the traditional laws that determine what is objectively the private property that obviously there must be some force to defend those laws, when someone simply ignores that law? He made fun of you because you hesitated so much. He was not right, but you were slow to make this point.

    Owen is great on rhetorics, which means he has the street smarts, but you should have known this by now. To confront someone like this, you need to be as quick to remove his bullshit as soon as it comes. But Owen is often bad with dialectics, and that’s why he sells so much statist nonsense and that’s why he has to recuperate so much with the strong rhetorics. That’s his power. It is important to know this for the next match.

    I think Davie Smith would have been much better with Owen, because Dave also has the street smarts. And I think if it is true that Dave is refusing to debate Owen, that he is wrong about that. He would sweep the floor with him.

    But, Owen, despite his bad base knowledge, has also some very good practical ideas. His way of living that embraces the freedom is his strongest positive thing. And he also can extrapolate this by saying that the truckers would have been much more impactful if they lowered the fees to the businesses that opposed the lockdowns instead of blocking the cities and crying to the government.

    But then again, when he said that he lives the anarchist dream, that’s totally not true, because only idiot anarchists think that the solution is that everyone lives on the farm with the goats. As always, the enemies of the anarchy always use use the straw man approach, by depicting the anarchy in the way they wish to burn it.

    Owens of this world do not understand that anarchy in practice would be the most regulated system the Planet has ever seen, only that the regulation would not come from the man with the strongest sword, but from the people that know how to balance the right with the might.

    An anarchist without clear understanding of the principles becomes statists. An anarchist without the sword becomes food for the statists.

    Anyway, I enjoyed every bit of the podcast, even though I was feeling sorry for you 90% of the time. But, because I know you know much better, it is just a matter of training. You do not lack the knowledge, but the confrontation tactics (except for this natural rights, that is absurd). And we need these discussions because right-wingers are bashing anarchists for too long time. I invited you to bash also Owen’s guru Vox Day several times, but you never did it. But seeing this podcast, may be it was a good idea. May be you need to learn how to confront the easier opponent, before you can confront the real theoretician of the anti free-market.

    Anyway, like Owen said, my comment today is harsh, but I do not want to be mean. My goal is to say how I see things hoping that this may help you and us.

    • Zeff on 01/27/2024 at 1:17 AM

      wow. wall of text much there Marco? Anyways, thanks for the show Bob, it was great. I would love to see you two discuss further. it’s very interesting how you two were each pointing at opposite sides of the government regulations coin.

    • clamster on 02/10/2024 at 12:24 PM

      Marko, it’s hard to believe anyone could mischaracterize Dr. Murphy as badly as you have here, absent a conscious intent to troll.

      Thank you Bob, for letting Owen’s more inane assertions slide, while seeking to illuminate for the listener, those areas of difference where constructive engagement was more achievable.

  5. Haryommeldo Quineopele on 01/27/2024 at 6:22 AM

    I am extremely frustrated that anyone is still arguing about this all. I cannot believe Rothbardian/Hoppean libertarians have made the idea that it is wrong to hurt innocent people or violate their property any more complicated than it is. No one argues against that. Any disagreement must be over something else. You do not even need to say aggression is wrong to say that it is pragmatically suboptimal as people naturally defend themselves, find allies, and retaliate when they can. There is no need to mention anarchy or even reducing government. It can just be about recognizing the fact that government is based on force and that conflict exists. Politics is war by other means and the same moral and pragmatic principles apply. That’s it. It is that simple. Anything more specific follows from that.

    • clamtronic on 02/11/2024 at 5:08 AM

      That’s probably due to your perspective being limited to that of the individual.

      “What do *I* want?” is the beginning and end of it.

      It barely can be called ‘perspective’ at all, being 100% atomic, reductionist, ahistoric.

      Tell me, can *a* people defend themselves? What is “a people”?

  6. Trevor Peck on 01/27/2024 at 5:43 PM

    I’ve listened to every word of 307 Bob Murphy show podcast episodes. Bob, if you said anything new in the last hour of this episode, I hope you publish it again sometime. Owen, it’s not your point of view that made me stop listening to you, it’s the fact that you couldn’t let the interviewer finish a question. Also the arrogance of simply stating how anarchy “works” as if you’ve explored the subject so exhaustively that you don’t need to back it up, without seeming to even realize you’re talking to the author of Chaos Theory?! The ignorance is strong with this one.

  7. Dave H on 01/27/2024 at 8:42 PM

    People here talking about how bad the politics talk was, but here I am and I can’t even get past this flat earth garbage. The guy clearly has no idea what he’s talking about, he doesn’t understand any of the math or science behind how these things are determined, but has somehow convinced himself that he’s an expert.

    Has he done a single experiment himself that can reveal the earth’s shape? Has he actually watched a ship over the horizon? Let’s see his video of it. You can even google “8 inches per mile squared” and it immediately corrects his nonsense.

  8. RMB on 01/30/2024 at 3:59 PM

    Not to be mean or aggressive towards Owen. Just facts. He has inhaled way too much cow flatulence. He has drunk way too much raw goat milk. And I think the mixture of extreme cold, harsh labor, and exposure to UV has fried his brain. How else can you say that the government protects us from the Federal Reserve and inflation? Who runs the Fed? It isn’t independent or private. Who has caused our massive inflation? Trump and Biden and Congress passing spending bill after spending bill. Who flies LGBT flags on the their buildings? The Federal government. Who is forcing our borders open to change the demographics and culture of this country? Same answer. Who are the most degenerate people on the earth? The same people who on Epstein’s list. That Cawthorne guy said it exposed the same truth. Then there was the adult video taped in a Federal building.

    But Owen is obsessed with Michael Malice for some reason. Just facts though.

    https://thecrosssectionrmb.blogspot.com/2024/01/the-ethics-of-liberty-state.html

  9. Lee on 01/30/2024 at 8:16 PM

    Wow, this was the most frustrating podcast I have ever experienced. While Bob is the epitome of rational thought, consistent philosophy, and steadfast theology, this guy is absolutely off the rails, inconsistent on nearly every topic, and unable to form a solid argument for anything he believes. He has no understanding of the word “fact” – he uses the word to describe whatever hare-brained idea he has, and to toss aside any of Bob’s queries that might require logical thinking. As a professional scientist and life-long student of chemistry, physics, and mathematics, I’m saddened by such blatant disregard for the scientific study of our universe and the glory of God that it proclaims. And by his love for and anticipation of even more rules and regulations to ensure the power of evil overlords.

    Lord have mercy.

  10. Adam Haman on 01/31/2024 at 2:41 PM

    What a depressingly dumb conversation. It’s no wonder Owen describes those who disagree with him as merely vocalizing incoherent grunting. That’s what the other person must sound like to him as he doesn’t listen and shouts over them when they respond.

    I knew he’d gotten a little kooky, but I had no idea he’d become so… dumb.

    And rude, too. Who on earth disrespects Bob’s intelligence so much as to not even pause to listen to a short question or answer and instead just shouts assertions over them.

    What a disappointing exchange. I’m not sure this even qualifies as a conversation.

    One other minor observation: I found it interesting that Owen is skeptical about a zillion different issues, scientific concepts, and historical events, but has zero skepticism about the Bible. Even up to the point where he insists we must have monopolistic government because the Bible (per his interpretation) says so.

    I’m glad Bob made the effort to talk to Owen, but jeez, this was a disappointing result.

  11. Martin Brock on 02/02/2024 at 8:46 PM

    Benjamin was canceled long before transgenderism became the outrage of the week, but I’m not surprised that he jumped on that bandwagon too.

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