[PODCAST] #328: Stoicism Follow-Up Q&A With Bill Buppert


Bill Buppert of zerogov.com returns for some listener Q&A on Stoicism and a few other subjects.

- Stoicism and home education
- Generating interest in philosophy
- Material simplicity
- A Stoic approach to personal finances and minimizing debt burdens
- De-FOOing, Freedomain Radio call-ins, family and psychotherapy
- Stoicism in marriages and family relationships, producing more win-win situations
- The Anarchist/Abolitionist Gender Gap

Bumper Music:
"Wind of Change" - Scorpions
"Lessons" - Rush

Look Closer:
Bill Buppert's Site - http://zerogov.com/

Stoicism 101: A quick guide to the philosophy - http://hackthesystem.com/blog/stoicism-101-a-quick-guide-to-the-philosophy/

Stoicsm Overview - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoicism

Why Aren’t More Women Libertarians? - http://www.libertarianism.org/columns/why-arent-more-women-libertarians

Mentioned: Battle of the Teutoburg Forest - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Teutoburg_Forest

Mentioned: How Dramatically Did Women’s Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government? - http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/60.Lott_.Suffrage.complete-25633.pdf

Check Also

Kerry McDonald – Cato Homeschooling Debate Debriefing [PODCAST #661]

Kerry McDonald is back to discuss her appearance at and lessons from Cato's recent event ...


  1. I’ve really enjoyed this series.

    I would take exception to the critique of deefooing based on Mr. Rupperts lack of understanding of the concept. He seems to believe that the concept is to abandoned your family as an unconsidered default. This is an incorrect interpretation of the idea, which states that IF your family of origin is destructive to your life, AND you explain and pursue an open conversation about your concerns with you family under the guidance of a qualified therapist, THEN you have the right to leave your family. There is nothing in that which suggests a blanket, one size fits all, commandment to leave your family at 18.

    There may be legitimate and rational criticisms of this idea, but these critiques should be based on a proper understanding of the concept.

  2. I’m getting sick of Buppert and his clique (Bad Quaker and Michael Dean) slandering and insulting Molyneux, in the most asinine and childish way, too. Buppert isn’t even able to mention his name. You (Brett) tried to correct him (albeit not strongly enough) that Stef in fact does not advocate for blind defoo’ing — but only in serious cases after counselling and only in cases of abuse or fundamental moral disagreements. And yet they continue parroting their slander. Their pettiness and jealousy and deception is nauseating.

    I would be really curious to know the root of their dislike of Molyneux. It can’t be his blunders regarding the DMCA-thing, or his defoo’ing-thing (which is incredibly sensible!). Perhaps it’s Molyneux’s arrogance and unwillingness to admit mistakes, in general. But then why build these strawmen!?

    My hunch is that it’s their religiosity. I believe Buppert and Bad Quaker are both mildly religious, and thus are at fundamental odds with Molyneux’s hyper (and incredibly sensible!) atheism. Just to give one nutty example, I believe both Buppert and Bad Quaker believe in magical souls, and thus are against abortion from day 1. They can tolerate polite non-flaming atheists, but popular flaming ones get under their skin. That would explain their childish passive aggressiveness.

    • Dennis,

      In nearly eight and a half hours of discussion, the concern is five minutes of question and answer on Molyneux. You seem to be a fire brigade that rushes to and fro from website to website putting out Molyneux fires, good for you.

      I am much more concerned with ideas than the imperfect men who espouse them, myself included among the imperfect.

      I won’t engage in the ad hominem you seem fond of. Molyneux’s difficulties in being consistent or virtuous are his problem not mine. I subscribe to Thomas Szasz notions on the psychotherapy covens being nothing more than pseudo-scientific witch doctors. I have no dislike of him, I don’t think of him and think his early work was tremendously influential and well-crafted.

      You need to go bother Dana Nutter with your concerns.

      I am not a religionist nor am I an atheist which is an incredible pursuit to prove the insoluble. I have limited time in this mortal coil to apprehend the world much less the superstitious which I choose not to.

      Per my “magical souls”, haven’t a clue what that means but I am pro-life and believe that life begins at conception for one very simple reason. If it turns out minutes from now or years or decades hence, the science community discovers children are sentient/human at conception, then we have erred on the side of saving life instead of infanticide.


      Bill Buppert

    • Dennis, I think I can elucidate the reasons for you, at least in my case. For some background, I’ve been following Molyneux since 2007. I’ve gone through his entire podcast (that’s currently 2884 episodes) twice. I’ve read two of his books (UPB and RTR). I gave copies of RTR to my entire family and had those difficult conversations with them. I was a paid subscriber for more than two years. I am also dear friends with Ben Stone and Michael Dean, as well as a Freedom Feens co-host.

      I can tell you categorically it is not a religious issue. I am a practicing Muslim and I have found Molyneux’s atheist arguments both challenging and invigorating. They have irrevocably changed my approach to religion, they just haven’t persuaded me of atheism. I don’t mind that he’s atheist, or that an atheist is popular.

      The deFOOing doesn’t even bother me. Obviously it is prudent in some cases. I am concerned by accounts from people who have left his inner circle that he is more adamant about it for much more minor transgressions and disagreements behind the scenes. When you consider that his “Against Me” argument categorizes almost every mainstream political position as a fundamental moral disagreement it’s easy to imagine that he advocates deFOOing far more often than professional councilors. This is also consistent with my only meat space encounter with him, which occurred after those difficult conversations with my family, after we’d made amends and admitted errors, yet he still pried for any justification for me to reconsider deFOOing. Although, the responsibility for the deFOOing has to fall on the deFOOer. Persuasion is no crime.

      Am I jealous? That’s a pretty interesting question. I’ve always imagined there were two kinds of envy. One where you witness the success of others and wish that you enjoyed their success instead, and one where you witness the success of others and let it motivate you to succeed yourself. I’d say I experience the latter. I do not resent his success. I do not wish him to fail. I do desire his success, and have taken steps, both emulative and innovative, to succeed myself.

      I began losing interest in Molyneux a little over a year ago. There was no philosophical reason, there just seemed to be a gradual decrease in quality. It began to feel repetitive and derivative, and I observed that I was less and less excited to hear those new episodes. But I kept up the donations out of gratitude for all I’d benefited from early episodes.

      I balked at phrases like “Socialism in panties” and “Estrogen based parasites” believing and even arguing longer than I’m proud to admit that these were harmless jokes. Undiplomatic turns of phrase with a rigorous philosophical point underneath. He’s not infallible after all. and I accepted these as quarks or his personality, not blemishes.

      His episode on dating single mothers was a crack in the edifice for me. I was raised by divorced parents, and thanks to him I have a much stronger relationship with them. His descriptions and condemnations were irresponsibly broad, and even though he did a follow up episode about broad generalizations, he defended them, expecting the listener to insert “some but not all” when we heard them. Still no crime there, but it’s sloppy for a man of his intelligence and eloquence, especially one who is speaking to a general audience. It would be easy for him to speak accurately instead of cathartically, which is what stated values should demand. But he’s not infallible after all. I kept donating.

      The DMCA blunder was a turning point for me. It’s a big deal, and a wake up call. It would be a big deal if any second rate sophist did it, even a statist, but it’s worse because in his case it’s also hypocrisy. It goes not only against his consistent stance on intellectual property, but more importantly his stance on criticism. But I still could have forgiven this if he’d explained it to the audience. If he presented his case, and explained his decision I could have accepted that even if I disagreed. If he responded the accusations and admitted fault I would have had renewed respect for him. But what we got was silence, and when he was pressed, lies. That’s when I stopped donating, and unsubscribed. But I still wasn’t willing to bad mouth him.

      His stance on law enforcement was what broke me. His episode on Treyvon Martin left a bad taste in my mouth. His episode on Ferguson was worse. But this recent fiasco about the grand jury decision, selling loose cigarettes victimizing store owners is not only absurd, its off the farm. This was so contradictory from everyone else he’s argued my first reaction was literally concern for his sanity. And when pressed on a future call in show he doubled down. Insisting that if someone complained there must be victim. And again, with all the banter, and questions, and accusations, from him we still get silence. He doesn’t answer to criticism. He doesn’t discuss. He dodges. He manipulates. He entrenches.

      The most explanation he’s given is that it’s worth being fast and loose with the facts so that he can get out timely videos on current events that trick viewers into watching a message about peaceful parenting. In other words, Molyneux is content being click bait. This is no role for a philosopher, or anyone committed to truth.

      That’s why I’m done with Molyneux. That’s why I will not give him a dime, and why I publicize his errors. It’s no slander, or resentment. I don’t hate him. I am disappointed that mind of that caliber would stoop to such tactics. And I want the free market of ideas to remonstrate him for it.

      • (I left important and salient replies to these messages. I hope they get posted soon.)

        • “Dennis”,
          I hate to censor but I really don’t want this to become a forum for ad hominem attacks against people who either don’t support or have questions about Stefan Molyneux. Because I do still like and support Stef as a person (he has helped me in many ways, personally and intellectually) it troubles me to think these concern comment campaigns might be coming out his community. You’ve done this on other sites, and it seems to quickly escalate into unproductive and hostile territory.

          But here are relevant excerpts from your unapproved comments, with ad hominems removed…

          “I’m also not sure what your point about deFOOing was. Are you suggesting that people should not “deFOO” with those who have fundamentally conflicting moralities? My original point here was Buppert’s *strong* opposition to Stef on this particular issue.

          I agree with your other criticisms of him, regarding his over-simplifications and generalizations and sloppy thinking at times. (He often confounds correlation and causation, especially on the single mom and marriage issues.)

          Regarding his DMCA blunder, yea, that was (still is) a really douchy thing to do (be doing), but it wasn’t immoral. It was definitely hypocritical of him, and really shows the fellating bubble that he’s living in — he often bans the nay-sayers and (constructive) critics. I also agree with you that he censors a lot of criticism (mine included), and dodges and manipulates and entrenches. But these are not the main reasons that Buppert and Dean hate him. That’s what puzzles me. There’s plenty to criticize Stef about, without resorting to these ill-informed premature strawmen attacks against his defoo’ing, and his theory of ethics. They are clearly in some defensive reflexive emotional state that is preventing them from thinking clearly.”

          “you completely ignored my main critical point: your absurd un-informed vitriol towards Stef’s promotion of the idea to separate yourself from people (including family) who advocate for violence against you (eg. Statist family members), or from those who are actually violent against you (a large percentage of parents still beat their kids, and force them into indoctrination camps, etc), or even from those who simply do not listen or respect you.”

          • I do appreciate having those points go through. Although I also had some valid non-ad-hominem points (or questions) about Bill’s and Davi’s religiosity — namely a clarification of Bill’s idea that zygotes might be sentient/conscious (which has real-world consequences — eg. his prohibition/punishment of abortion), and Davi’s ideas of Islam (what exactly he believes in, and specifically how he reconciles his beliefs with Stef’s (or Dawkins’) criticisms.)

      • Appreciate that you took the time to explain that, Davi. Thanks.

        Thanks for giving so much of your time, for this series, Bill. I enjoyed both your and Brett’s participation. I, like Brett alluded to, feel a little like a stoic who didn’t know ic (wha wha wha…couldn’t resisist).

  3. It was fun to listen to the series on being a stoic. I only had a vague idea of what it was but Bill Bupert explained it in a way that made sense to me.

  4. Brett,

    I wonder what yours and Bills opinions on firefighters are in the context of anarchy. I think Stocisim would work very well with it.

Leave a Reply