Here’s What Being Part of Liberty Hangout is Like
by I, AnCap
Earlier this week marks one year of my time at the popular right-leaning libertarian website Liberty Hangout. To say this journey has been incredible is an understatement. Since I signed on, I have had the opportunity to write widely viewed articles, travel, make viral videos, and meet incredible people. In the time I’ve been onboard, I’ve helped this project go from a promising upstart with less than 30k followers to one of the biggest in the libertarian movement. Our page reaches hundreds of thousands (if not millions) and my articles alone gather tens of thousands of views. I would like, dear reader, to take you through my journey into one of the liberty movement’s most popular websites and give you a glimpse of what life has been like inside.
I first met Justin Moldow, the site’s owner and operator, during my time at another libertarian website, Being Libertarian. At first, seeing Justin as a competitor, I didn’t think his site was anything special. But over time, I saw Liberty Hangout score major interviews, attract readers, and gather an audience. Quickly faded from my mind the idea that Liberty Hangout was your average libertarian blog. It showed promise, and the man behind it knew marketing inside and out. More of his iconic “Taxation is Theft” hats were cropping up around the community, with even close friends of mine purchasing them. He brought a certain appeal to libertarianism that other higher-brow sites failed to capture, with all the good arguments and respect for the ideology.
More interesting, though, was how our political alignments began to match. I found myself increasingly at odds with the anarcho-capitalist/neo-libertarian community over social values. Many of my colleagues began to attack Trump as mindlessly as leftists, defending SJWs and even throwing their support behind centrist Gary Johnson. Moldow, on the other hand, seemed more reasonable. He, like myself, threw his support behind minarchist LP candidate Austin Petersen. We recognized that although we don’t agree with Petersen on every policy or position, he was the best option to bring about Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism through his minimization of government power. Justin and I began to talk much more.
I found Moldow too was expressing concern about left-wing influence in the libertarian movement and the subsequent irrelevance of the Party. He viewed libertarianism not as a mechanism for drugs, sex, and not paying taxes, but as a conflict dispute mechanism. The freedom to own and use property as one sees fit was at the core of the philosophy, not a wanton disregard for authority. I agreed with Moldow and our chats on philosophy occurred more and more frequently.
Eventually, my time at Being Libertarian came to a close. For reasons I care not to get into, I left the website shortly before it grew to 100k likes. It was around this time, July 25th of 2016, that Moldow invited me to join Liberty Hangout. After short consideration, I agreed, and two former rivals joined forces to become allies.
Shortly after I began writing for Liberty Hangout, my viewership skyrocketed. My work was getting thousands of views and hundreds of shares per piece. My first article about Bernie Sanders selling out got 1,600 views and 500 shares. After that, my article about Facebook page “Occupy Democrats Logic” got 7k views. My crowning achievement was the “Top Libertarians of 2016,” which received over 13k views and got 2k shares across social media. The article also dominated in terms of SEO, being one of the top search results on the subject to date. I had officially gained a position where I could say something and thousands of people would express support in my audience.
My success wouldn’t be confined to my online life. I’ve made many friends and traveled across the state of California to meet awesome people and engage in group events. In October of 2016, I spoke at the University of Southern California during Adam Kokesh’s “For the Love of Freedom” tour. In April, I travelled to the bay area to cover what became known as “The Third Battle of Berkeley.” During my trip I recorded footage of not only rioting, but a debate between a friend of mine and protestor which was shared thousands of time across social media and gathered hundreds of thousands of views. A couple of people even recognized me from my appearances as a guest commentator on the Liberty Hangout podcast and came up to say hi.
The support for my work came from not only readers and viewers but from prominent content creators. I was invited to collaborate in a video project entitled “Questions Libertarians Have for Statists,” along with figures like Mr. Dapperton, Lauren Southern, and That Guy T. The video was again viewed across YouTube and even warranted a response from Sargon of Akkad.
On top of that, I have many popular figures people follow and flock to hear speak in my phone book. I’ve met Kyle Chapman (Based Stickman) for coffee with a couple of friends, Augustus Invictus and I speak regularly over the phone about our projects and our plans for the future, I’ve had dinner with Adam Kokesh after my guest speech at his event, and many, many others with followings have shared my articles on their pages.
The ride has been incredible and I have too many people to thank. I want to begin by thanking those from Being Libertarian who I still share a correspondence with. Your support after my departure was more appreciated than you can know. I would also like to thank those at The Revolutionary Conservative, a site which for which I do editorial work, for your platform and for the support in my endeavors to travel to new places. I would also like to thank The Libertarian Republic for getting me started on this journey to blogging for a large audience.
Finally, I would like to thank the staff at Liberty Hangout for welcoming me aboard and giving me a large, far reaching platform. Thank you, Justin, Michael, TJ, Vanessa, Eric, and the rest of the crew. It’s been one year since I joined up. Let’s make that many, many more.