Adam Kokesh has made a name for himself in libertarian circles by producing alternative, libertarian-oriented radio programs and YouTube videos. In November 2006, Adam Kokesh was honorably discharged from the US Marine Corps after his second activation as a reservist. He moved to Washington, DC to get a Master’s degree in political management at George Washington University. After failing to secure “gainful employment,” Kokesh, “stumbled into full-time activism” with Iraq Veterans Against the War. In May and June, Kokesh and other activists ran high-profile flash mob-silent dances at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC in protest of a recent ruling against dancing at federal monuments. In 2010, Kokesh ran as a libertarian-Republican in New Mexico but lost in the primary. Since then, he’s built a talk radio program called “Adam vs. The Man” (AVTM) airing out of New Mexico, and his video reports can be seen on YouTube. He has been critical of aspects of the “Occupy DC” version of the Occupy Wall Street movement. He is soon to release a book, Hot, Dirty and Dangerous.
Daily Bell: Tell us about your activities.
Adam Kokesh: Well, right now, my main focus is my now-independent show and the new business model I’ve created to support it. I get invited to speak at a lot of different events, and occasionally organize actions of my own, but I really want to get away from organizing to focus on media production. I’m still trying to finish the edits on my first book and have at least a few ideas for documentaries rattling around my skull.
Daily Bell: What is your take on the current wars?
Adam Kokesh: They are rackets, like all modern wars.
Daily Bell: What would you like changed?
Adam Kokesh: Changed? I don’t need anything changed, necessarily, unless you want me to say “everything,” but everything is changing whether we want it to or not. I see the progression to a free society as inevitable, so for me, it’s not so much a matter of achieving change as much as being on the side of progress, that is, towards cooperative free-market solutions and away from the coercive control of statism.
Daily Bell: Are you in favor of the OWS protests? Are they being manipulated?
Adam Kokesh: In favor of? I’m glad that the angst of a segment of the broader population that they represent is part of a constructive conversation, but I’m not a supporter. I’m in favor of being in the streets instead of on the couch, (unless you’re on the couch with a laptop fomenting revolution on the interwebs) so I welcome the political engagement. I think the premise of protesting the 1% is fundamentally flawed and from what I’ve seen of the movement, I don’t think it will evolve past rage.
Daily Bell: What should they be protesting?
Adam Kokesh: Using force to solve problems (government) when persuasion is superior (freedom).
Daily Bell: Is it more important to aim protests at Wall Street or Washington?
Adam Kokesh: It depends on what you want to achieve. For those who want more government, protesting Wall Street makes perfect sense.
Daily Bell: Is the system hopeless? Is it malevolent?
Adam Kokesh: That depends what you mean by “the system.” Regardless, I take the long view of history and would just say that our current “system” of social organization is premised on creating a moral exception for government. But don’t worry; we’re evolving past it. Is it malevolent? I prefer to see it as holding back our potential. The government isn’t some malevolent entity that is completely separated from the rest of the population but at present represents the institutionalization of the worst of human nature.
Daily Bell: Why is the system so socialist?
Adam Kokesh: One effect of the abundance we have created in recent history is to be tolerant of more control and more collectivism because we don’t see the negative impact. This is because we are developing so fast that it comes out of would-be improvements instead of current quality of life – at least for now.
Daily Bell: How would characterize yourself? As a libertarian? As a conservative? Constitutionalist?
Adam Kokesh: Libertarian/voluntarist.
Daily Bell: Shouldn’t Congress have to DECLARE war?
Adam Kokesh: Of course, as per the document that grants Congress its existence. But the authors of that document had something much different in mind. They intended a declaration of war to be a response to an existing state, not a start of hostilities. So the framework they laid out dictated that our foreign policy be one of non-intervention and non-aggression. Too bad it didn’t stick.
Daily Bell: Is America winning the war on terror?
Adam Kokesh: Can you win a crime?
Daily Bell: IS there a war on terror? Who is the enemy?
Adam Kokesh: There is a “war on terror” in the sense that the term is a handy one for our government to try to justify a lot of unnecessary spending and to keep people afraid and to remind us of how much we “need” government.
Daily Bell: Are you hopeful about America?
Adam Kokesh: America will go down as one of the most important developments in history for human liberty, but the next developments will be global in scale and render government borders irrelevant.
Daily Bell: What do you foresee for America in the future?
Adam Kokesh: Hopefully, the American traditions will be helpful in the next challenges to expand liberty. But clearly, our government will be of little help and it’s doubtful the American people as a whole will be leading the way globally.
Daily Bell: Are America and the world facing even tougher times?
Adam Kokesh: I think human progress is a process of one step backwards, two steps forwards happening simultaneously on many different levels, and while we may be in the middle of some big steps backwards, they’re only temporary setbacks. I am optimistic that what we might even consider to be tough times these days will soon be unimaginable, as today, everyday life of just a few hundred years ago would be considered unbearable.
Daily Bell: What’s in store for the dollar and fiat currency in general?
Adam Kokesh: Of course, the dollar system can’t last forever and there are already attempts to replace it with a global fiat currency so I think a showdown is coming between those who want free-market money and those who want to impose a new fiat currency. But because this showdown is happening in the age of the Internet, the truth is much more likely to prevail and the fiat currency advocates will lose as those who would have the system imposed upon them realize the exploitation inherent in it.
Daily Bell: Are we facing another Great Depression?
Adam Kokesh: Possibly a short one around the collapse of the dollar, but I don’t think any future depression would be at all like any prior in which survival of mass numbers of people was threatened. With the collapse of the dollar, it would be hard to even measure a depression. But I have a hard time believing that with today’s communications/information technology we won’t be able to see past any government interventions in the market holding us back, and probably be able to get around them quite easily or find agreement on political solutions.
Daily Bell: Do you consider yourself an Austrian?
Adam Kokesh: Both by a small part of my genetic heritage as well as my economic philosophy.
Daily Bell: Where do you see gold and silver going from here?
Adam Kokesh: Going? I think in the coming turmoil, gold and silver are going to be important stores of wealth for a lot of people and will definitely be important factors in the first major free-market currencies but eventually, their advantages as media of exchange will be rendered less relevant by technology and more generalized commodity backed currencies.
Daily Bell: Can the fiat dollar recover, in your opinion?
Adam Kokesh: Every fiat currency has a limited life expectancy so any recovery would be temporary.
Daily Bell: Will we have a China-centric or Asia-centric world in the 21st century?
Adam Kokesh: Perhaps for a while but things will even out eventually by any current measures of “-centric.”
Daily Bell: Is the US finished as the world’s sole superpower?
Adam Kokesh: The end of the dollar will be the final nail in the coffin for the American government being the most effective tool for the super class to exploit the rest of us and China will rule for a while, but then the era of superpower governments will come to an end altogether.
Daily Bell: The Anglo-American monetary elite is a very powerful and crafty group. Do they wish to run the world?
Adam Kokesh: Speaking of “they” as a group gives the super class too much credibility for being united. The only thing that unites them is a desire to dominate others, including each other.
Daily Bell: Is the Internet making life tougher for them?
Adam Kokesh: Absolutely! The most effective of their frauds are based on ignorance and deception, and the Internet is very bad for both.
Daily Bell: Are markets manipulated – especially gold or silver? If they are, in your view, how long can the manipulation go on? Aren’t we reaching a point where metals markets are simply going to be too big to constrain?
Adam Kokesh: They’re definitely being manipulated, and that manipulation can go on as long as the market will bear it. But the threat of the metal market is not that it will be “too big to constrain” but rather that metal currency-based exchanges will come to push out the relevancy of dollar exchanges as we see more and more barter as the dollar loses value faster and faster.
Daily Bell: Can politics really change where America is headed?
Adam Kokesh: Politics is where America IS. Fortunately, America is headed to a much better state.
Daily Bell: Who was responsible for 9/11?
Adam Kokesh: Wish I knew!
Daily Bell: What are the biggest problems America faces?
Adam Kokesh: The executive, the legislative and the judicial.
Daily Bell: Should the Federal Reserve be abolished?
Adam Kokesh: It should have never been started!
Daily Bell: What changes does America need to make to become great again?
Adam Kokesh: I don’t think national measurements of “greatness” are relevant any more. We will at least be on the right track when we realize that what binds us, as a nation, is our collective victimization by the same government entity.
Daily Bell: What is your proudest accomplishment to date?
Adam Kokesh: Renouncing pride.
Daily Bell: What are you concentrating on now?
Adam Kokesh: Just getting ADAM VS THE MAN going as a stable entity by which I am able to share my talents with others in a way that continues to deliver a product of value. Soon as the book is done, I’ll be writing my first documentary, which is already writing itself in my head!
Daily Bell: Any other points you want to make?
Adam Kokesh: I hope your readers will want to support an independent journalist with a unique perspective! Check out the site and if you don’t want to invest, stop by to tell me why you think the show sucks so I can improve it! adamvstheman.com
Daily Bell: Thanks for giving us the interview and good luck.
We first became aware of Adam Kokesh because of his giddy dancing at the Jefferson Monument. Then we were impressed by his Occupy Wall Street videos that were far more perceptive than much of what was being reported regarding the “movement” (which we think is controlled from the top). Now we look forward to release of the book that he has announced and is apparently impending.
Outside of thanking Adam Kokesh for participating in this interview, there is a larger point we want to make as well and that has to do with the general difficulty of pursuing an existence that involves commenting on society as it is from a non-traditional, alternative perspective.
Adam Kokesh, for instance, continues to do his videos, but he has lost a Russia Today platform for his radio program. He has run for office and is publishing a book, and no doubt has other ways to make a living. But his activities generally raise the point of the difficulty of generating funds while pursuing a career as a libertarian activist.
This brings up a larger point about what we have called “Dreamtime” that has overtaken the world and America in particular, which used to be a much freer country. We have called it Dreamtime because in the 20th century, Baby Boomers lived in a kind of trance-like dream.
Yes, it seems Baby Boomers (after the Hippie 60s) came into a certain set of establishment-oriented beliefs. We would argue they came to believe that their government was basically well-intentioned, that the country’s wars were just or at least unopposable, that government activism and regulation could “solve” social problems and that the current economic system had evolved naturally and could provide for both employment and retirement.
In fact, as we have discovered more and more “real” history on the Internet it likely cannot and will not. The current Western economic system is apparently vastly unstable and has been planned that way.
The result has been the ongoing impoverishment of middle classes in both Europe and America. Many, in America anyway, will still argue this is coincidental. But here at the Daily Bell, we’ve come to the conclusion that probably none of what is going on is especially coincidental.
It cannot be, it would seem, because every single major sociopolitical and economic event in the past 100 years has apparently had the result of further centralizing world power on the way to some sort of one-world order.
And this brings up a larger issue of providing for oneself and one’s family. When one looks at the organization of society, in the US especially, it becomes clear that in one way or another almost every activity provides a base of support for a continuance of current sociopolitical and economic (globalist) trends.
If one wants to be a teacher, for instance, one almost inevitably aids in the dumbing down of the current generation of students. If one wants to be in health or medicine, one participates in what is in many ways an anti-health regime run by Big Pharma. If one wants to be in politics, the system has been configured so that one ends up supporting the regime in power almost despite oneself. If one wants to be in business generally, one usually ends up supporting the West’s corporatist agenda.
On and on. The Internet fortunately has provided people with ways to break out of the system. It has provided opportunities to create voluntarist professional networks that allow them to work on their own rather than willy-nilly supporting the inevitable centralizing tendencies of the system as it has been created by what we call the Anglosphere power elite.
Now, of course, the Internet is under grave attack in Europe and Washington DC. The results will likely involve a diminishment of freedom on the ‘Net itself and a reduction of its usefulness as a tool to support freedom and prosperity.
But in a larger sense, as we have been arguing for the past decade, the Internet has already spawned a cultural and economic revolution akin to what occurred during the advent and impact of the Gutenberg Press so long ago.
The ramifications of what the Internet has exposed are significant and powerful and likely there is no going back for those who have participated in its illumination – especially younger generations. Not only that, but technology is moving so quickly that no matter what the powers-that-be do to damp down the ‘Net’s impact, the damage to the prevailing globalist ambitions will likely continue.
The Adam Kokeshes of today would not have existed 10 or 20 years ago. In fact, the entire alternative media and the rethinking it has spawned in the West especially would not have occurred without the sudden advent of freedom-oriented information that the ‘Net has purveyed. This includes, of course, the tremendously successful freedom-oriented campaign of Dr. Ron Paul.
Like Kokesh himself, we are hopeful about the future of freedom in the 21st century. The Internet is like a tsunami running powerfully beneath the surface that cannot yet be fully discerned. Eventually it will crest with an impact far more powerful than one might expect.
It has all been inscribed on the pages of history! Study the past and note the trends as they emerge. There was a reason for the tremendous sociopolitical ferment of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. There was a surge then as now. It took centuries for the elites to re-establish control, and now the same thing has happened today. From our point of view there is reason to be optimistic. The old ways are breaking down and new thinking is emerging.
Adam Kokesh provides one such example of a “new thinker” (who is really an “old” thinker, for all these concepts have been around for at least tens of thousands of years). Beyond this, his struggle and dedication to his personal philosophy are important to note – as we have – and we have no doubt that he will continue on his way, hopefully finding increasing opportunities as he goes. And so will others.