by Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff
The persona behind the drugs: On Silk Road’s forums, the black market’s libertarian founder tags his post with his character’s signature motto: “As you wish…”
In public, the pseudonymous Internet drug czar known as the Dread Pirate Roberts doesn’t say much. Roberts’ website, the illegal, anonymous drug-selling black market known as the Silk Road, has survived only because of its creator’s discretion. On the rare occasions when DPR speaks to the press, he (or she) does so in short messages, and–at least in my case–only through the anonymizing service Tor, the same cryptographic tool used to prevent the Feds from tracking down the Silk Road’s servers or its users. Thanks to that discretion, the Silk Road’s Bitcoin-driven narcotics trade has thrived for more than two years without being shut down by law enforcement, and its founder hasn’t been identified.
But within the community that the Dread Pirate Roberts has created, Silk Road’s founder is hardly so shy. On the Tor-hidden online forums associated with Silk Road, Roberts posts long manifestos, philosophical and political musings, love letters to Silk Road’s users, and even hosts the Dread Pirate Roberts Book Club, a reading and discussion group devoted to “agorism, counter-economics, anarcho-capitalism, Austrian economics, political philosophy, freedom issues and related topics.”
The character that emerges from those writings is no run-of-the-mill cybercriminal. (Though Silk Road site was moving $22 million worth of illicit pharmaceuticals a year at last check.) Roberts instead comes across as a principled libertarian and cypherpunk in the same vein as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
Below, I’ve assembled DPR’s writings from Silk Road’s forum on every topic from the War on Drugs to Ron Paul to his own motives and ideology. Since most readers don’t use Tor, I’ve copied some entire long passages here. But for those who do use Tor, I’ve added links at the end of each subject back to Silk Road’s Tor-hidden community forum, where you can read all of Roberts’ words in context.
On the Silk Road as a practical libertarian system:
“Silk Road was founded on libertarian principles and continues to be operated on them. It is a great idea and a great practical system…It is not a utopia. It is regulated by market forces, not a central power (even I am subject to market forces by my competition. No one is forced to be here). The same principles that have allowed Silk Road to flourish can and do work anywhere human beings come together. The only difference is that the State is unable to get its thieving murderous mitts on it.” [10/1/2012]
On the War on Drugs: (In response to criticisms from another user who said that Silk Road hasn’t affected the War on Drugs)
“Silk Road has already made an impact on the war on drugs. The effect of the war is to limit people’s access to controlled substances. Silk Road has expanded people’s access. The great thing about agorism is that it is a victory from a thousand battles. Every single transaction that takes place outside the nexus of state control is a victory for those individuals taking part in the transaction. So there are thousands of victories here each week and each one makes a difference, strengthens the agora, and weakens the state.” [9/23/2012]
On the potential for drug cartels to form on Silk Road:
“Cartels are nearly impossible to maintain without the use of violence, especially in an environment as competitive as Silk Road. There is also nothing morally wrong with them. If a cartel were to form, I would not attempt to break it up unless its members were breaking other rules. If you want an explanation for why cartels are nearly impossible to maintain in a free market environment, please read “Man, Economy and State” chapter 10, part 2, section D.” [3/21/2013]
On maintaining the trust of Silk Road’s users: (after a Silk Road outage raised concerns among users that the site’s administrators might have run off with the funds stored on the site)
“I know this whole market is based on the trust you put in me and I don’t take that lightly. It’s an honor to serve you and though you don’t know who I am, and have no recourse if I were to betray you, I hope that as time goes on I will have more opportunities to demonstrate that my intentions are genuine and no amount of money could buy my integrity.
Especially you old hats that have been around since the beginning, but this goes for everyone, you all are like family to me. Sure we have some crazy cousins floating around, but they just add character, right? Doesn’t matter though, I love you all. Of all the people in the world, you are the ones who are here, in the early stages of this revolution. You are the ones getting this thing off the ground and driving it forward. It is a privilege to have you by my side. Thank you for your trust, faith, camaraderie and love.” [11/17/2012]
On the “heroes” who sell drugs on Silk Road:
“There are heroes among us here at Silk Road. Every day they risk their lives, fortunes, and precious liberty for us. They are on the front lines making tough decisions and working their asses off to make this market what it is. Of course I am talking about our vendors. I won’t try to acknowledge them individually because we are blessed with so many extraordinary people who have stepped up to the task and taken it upon themselves to find a way to stock the shelves at Silk Road. They labor tirelessly to balance the heavy responsibilities they’ve taken on. From customer support, to supply chain and inventory management, to promotion, to quality control, to risk management and mitigation, to IT, to Bitcoin finance, to order fulfillment, and on and on, these guys and gals are professionals that are rising to the top of their game.”[2/27/2012]
On financial motivations, and whether DPR founded Silk Road “for the money,” as another user claims:
“Money is one motivating factor for me. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t impose a commission on trades, or require vendors to use the Silk Road payment processor. Money motivates me for two reasons. For one, I have basic human needs that money allows me to meet so that I may devote my time to our cause. I also enjoy a few first-world pleasures that I feel I have earned, but nothing extravagant. In fact, compared to most I know, I still live quite frugally. I buy better food at the grocery store now, and got some new clothes, and am more generous with my friends and loved ones, but I’ve always been a cheap ass, and still kinda am out of habit. Besides that, I don’t want the attention that buying big toys brings for security reasons.
More importantly, money is powerful, and it’s going to take power to affect the kinds of changes I want to see. Money allows us to expand our infrastructure and manpower to accommodate the growing demands of our market and to pursue paths that will compliment and strengthen what’s already been created here.
All that being said, my primary motivation is not personal wealth, but making a difference. As corny as it sounds, I just want to look back on my life and know that I did something worthwhile that helped people. It’s fulfilling to me. If you don’t know this joy, you may hear my words as insincere and as a way to manipulate, but I know they are true and resonate with some of you. There is nothing wrong with living your life to maximize your own pleasure, so long as you aren’t hurting anyone in the process, but you will miss out on higher levels of happiness if your focus is always on yourself. It’s paradoxical, but the less you focus on your own happiness and focus on others’, the happier you’ll be. Try it out, you can always go back to being selfish. :)” [9/23/2012]
On Silk Road’s sustainability and complaints about the site’s commission on sales:
“Silk Road is an ENTERPRISE that is just getting started. It could literally change the world as we know it. It is bigger than any one of us, and it is going to take the dedication and will of MANY talented people, a lot of luck, and RESOURCES to get from here to there. Do you want to see this thing go all the way and take the absolute piss out of the power mongers of this world? Do you want to give it every chance it needs to succeed? Why aren’t you telling me to raise the commission even further then? I don’t hear anyone refusing the commission break on high priced goods. I don’t hear anyone saying “don’t do that, you need it, you keep this whole thing going, we’re happy to do our part.”
As a community, if we are going to survive, we need to adopt a LONG TERM vision. Getting the most out of this thing before it gets taken down is NOT going to bring us success. In that world, Silk Road will be a shooting star that burns out quickly and dies as little more than a dream, swallowed by the nightmare reality of an ever-expanding, all-powerful global oligarchy. Planning ahead and doing everything we can NOW to prepare for the war to come is the only way we are going to have a shot at this. We are still mostly ignored by our true enemies, but this incubation WILL NOT last forever.
I don’t like writing this kind of stuff publicly because it taunts our enemies and might spur them into action, but I risk it because the context for what we are doing is too often lost in the day to day stuff that happens here and it needs to be put in from time to time. Silk Road NEEDS our support. It needs everything we have. The return on what we put into it will be immeasurable if we can get through the months and years ahead and gain a real foothold on the global stage. HELP ME GET US THERE!!! Do it for me, do it for yourself, do it for your families and friends, and do it for mankind.” [1/11/2012]
On whether the government could ban Tor or Bitcoin, the tools Silk Road uses to provide anonymity:
“The state may try to ban our tools, but if we never use them for fear of them being banned, then we have already lost, no? Personally, I don’t think they can be effectively banned at this point. Iran and China, for example, are actively trying and failing.” [9/23/2012]
On the decision to create the Armory, a Silk-Road-like site for selling weapons, in February of 2012:
“We at Silk Road have no moral objection to the sale of small-arm weaponry. We believe that an individual’s ability to defend themselves is a cornerstone of a civil society. Without this, those with weapons with eventually walk all over defenseless individuals. It could be criminals who prey on others, knowing they are helpless. It could be police brutalizing people with no fear of immediate reprisal. And as was seen too many times in the last century, it could be an organized government body committing genocide on an entire unarmed populace. Without the ability to defend them, the rest of your human rights will be eroded and stripped away as well.
That being said, there is no reason we have to force everyone into a one-size-fits-all market where one group has to compromise their beliefs for the benefit of another. That’s the kind of narrow thinking currently used by governments around the world. It’s why we are in this mess in the first place. The majority in many countries feel that drugs and guns should be illegal or heavily regulated, so the minority suffers.
Here at Silk Road, we recognize the smallest minority of all, YOU! Every person is unique, and their human rights are more important than any lofty goal, any mission, or any program. An individual’s rights ARE the goal, ARE the mission, ARE the program. If the majority wants to ban the sale of guns on Silk Road, there is no way we are going to turn our backs on the minority who needs weaponry for self defense.” [2/26/2012]
On closing “the Armory” six months later:
“As most of you have figured out, we are closing the Armory. Your first question is probably “why?” Well, it just wasn’t getting used enough. Spinning it off originally was done somewhat abruptly and while we supported it, it was a kind of “sink or swim” experiment. The volume hasn’t even been enough to cover server costs and is actually waning at this point. I had high hopes for it, but if we are going to serve an anonymous weapons market, I think it will require more careful thought and planning.”
On DPR’s excitement at Silk Road’s success:
“You’ll have to wait for my memoirs for the juicy details, lol. I’ve got some stories though, I’ll tell ya. One weird thing that goes through my head when Silk Road goes through a growth spurt, like after the first Gawker article is that sound effect from Inception, or the intense music from the new Tron movie. It gives me the sensation of ‘holy shit, this is EPIC!’” [8/2/2012]
On the users’ power to control Silk Road:
“The way I see it, we are all players in something that has grown way beyond any one of us. Granted I play a unique role, but part of that role is continually earning the trust of the community to make the right choices going forward, and to serve each of you as best I can. Silk Road was built to serve you, your needs and desires are the wind that fills its sails. Without you, we are dead in the water. So sure, it’s my job to steer and chart the course, and I am ultimately responsible for the outcome of this experiment, but never forget where the real power lies. It’s where it always has been, in your hands.” [7/31/2012]
On starting the Dread Pirate Roberts Book Club, an online book club devoted to Austrian economics and libertarianism:
“I started this club because I think the pursuit of truth is one of the most noble human endeavors. Debating these issues is critical for us to construct a world-view that is grounded in reason and can guide us forward. Assuming great success for Silk Road, how easily could it become another blood thirsty cartel seeking profit at all costs? We must maintain our integrity and be true to our principles, the opportunity to make a lasting difference is too great not to.” [10/3/2012]
On the Federal Reserve:
“The Federal Reserve system relies on the force of government to maintain its monopoly power on the issuance of money. This is how all central banks maintain their control. Without the state’s involvement, people would be free to use whatever currency they like. Historically this was gold. If the founders of the fed tried to do what they did w/o the Federal Reserve Act legislation, and later the Brenton Woods agreement, they would have failed miserably. No one would have bought into their system.
In fact, this is the beauty of libertarianism. The people are free to choose what system they want. No need for one size fits all government solutions. If you want to use a debt based inflationary monetary system, go right ahead, doesn’t affect me so long as you don’t try to force me to use it as well.” [1/30/2013]
On the movie V for Vendetta, which was suggested watching material for a Dread Pirate Roberts “movie night”:
“What a flick! I got so engrossed I forgot to chat with you guys while I was watching. Loved the part where the talk-show host guy made fun of the chancellor. Loved the moment the crowd passed the front line of the guards. Many inspiring moments reminding me how powerful we are.” [11/17/2012]
On the framers of the Constitution:
“I have a pet theory about where the framers went wrong. First off, I can’t applaud them enough for what they accomplished given the circumstances. It’s easy to critique centuries later, supported by the wealth their system allowed to emerge. But I wonder how things would have happened differently had the constitution been 100% voluntary. As in, here are the rules our members live by and how those rules are amended. If you want to be in the club, you must pay your dues and follow the rules, but if you want to go it alone, or join a different club, we won’t bother you unless you bother us, and you are free to go at any time.” [10/16/2012]
On Ron Paul:
“A mighty hero in my book.” [11/15/2012]
On whether Silk Road’s users are really free market believers or only serving their own needs:
“Anything you do that is outside the control of the state is agorist, so in some sense we are all agorists whether we know it or not. Some people just take those actions because of the personal gain they can obtain, which is perfectly fine, but some do it as a conscientious objection and act of rebellion against the state as well.
I’m out to turn unconscious agorists into conscious active ones. :)” [10/04/2012]
On war: (in response to another commenter who argues for the economic benefits of the military)
“There is an important point you are overlooking in your assessment of the positive benefits of warfare, and that is the costs, both seen and unseen. The seen costs are obvious: death and destruction. However, the unseen costs alone make the benefits you mentioned not worthwhile. That unseen cost is lost demand in the private sector. It’s simple: the resources used in warfare are unavailable to private individuals. We have no idea what people would’ve done with the trillions of dollars worth of resources that have gone into blowing people and things up, not to mention the resources that were directly destroyed. Considering the efficiency with which people competing in the market operate, and the inefficiency of the military bureaucracy, I suspect that the innovation and wealth produced by a world without war would make any advances the military has made look negligible.” [10/11/2012]
On the TSA and airline security:
“Here’s a market solution for ya: hold airlines accountable for any destruction that comes about as a result of misuse of their planes or other property. They would then insure against it and actuaries would be able to put a price on this potential cost and the risk reduction of security measures in airports so airlines could make economic decisions about what measures to take. Customers would also get a say as they choose their airlines based on cost vs. security measures taken.” [10/11/2012]
On child labor and labor conditions:
“If the options available to a person are work or starve, why would you take away the work option? If people are voluntarily choosing to work in a factory under terrible conditions, it means the alternatives available to them are even worse. That work is an opportunity for them to better themselves. Child labour regulations only hampered the development and expansion of the industries that were providing these opportunities.
Had they been allowed to develop freely, only under the constraints of supply, demand and property rights, they would have had to provide a safe work environment for their employees, if that’s what the employees wanted. Let me give you a quick example. Nike and Reebok both have shoe factories in the same city. All of their resources and external conditions are effectively identical. The only thing they can vary is the quality of the work environment for their employees. Nike chooses to spend $1 per man-hour maintaining an improved work environment for its employees, while Reebok keeps that dollar as profit. Reebok will quickly find itself unable to attract the employee base it needs to produce its shoes as Nike takes its employees and market share. So, Reebok, instead of improving the work conditions, simply passes the extra $1 per hour on to their employees. Now we are seeing the market at work. Employees are now faced with the option of a safe work environment, or an extra dollar per hour. Some will choose safety while others will choose the extra pay.
And this is exactly what has happened eventually, where now employers do all they can to attract good employees away from their competitors.” [10/3/2012]
On the power held by large corporations:
“The people who run corporations, heads of state, the person selling you food, you, me and every human being are all fallible and capable of using power to dominate other people. Liberty is not a pill that makes men angels. What it does do is limit the extent to which evil can be expressed in the world. Right now, in any given geographic area, we have a monopoly on many of the most vital social institutions that is maintained through violence. If voluntary organizations consolidate their power and turn on their customers and start stealing from them, putting them in cages, killing them, spying on them and telling them what they can and can’t do, well then we’re back to where we started, the present day state. But, if I am correct, and the pressure for those firms to compete with one another for our favor leads them to serve us, then we can have freedom and prosperity the likes of which the world has never known.” [10/3/2012]
On environmentalism and sustainable economic growth:
“This is where the institution of private property and markets really shine. Markets curb unsustainable growth through the price mechanism. As a needed resource is depleted, its supply drops and, assuming constant or rising demand, its price will rise. Rising prices force people to consume LESS of the resource and save more of it. Private property also incentivizes people to maximize the value of it. People tend to preserve and improve their land and capital. Free enterprise and private property, when honored, are an environmentalist’s dream.” [10/3/2012]
On the minimum wage:
“How about someone whose labor is worth less than minimum wage? These people are not allowed to work even if they are willing and able. They wind up homeless or in government programs where they get no productive skills. They don’t benefit, and the rest of us don’t benefit. If they were allowed to work, they could gain productive skills and work their way up above the “poverty line”, enriching themselves and others. Give them a chance.” [10/1/2012]
On the idea of privatized instead of state-run police:
“State police scare the hell out of me. Who would you trust more, someone who you paid to protect you and who’s livelihood depends on your continuing to pay them, or someone who steals from you (taxes), buys guns with the money (FBI, DEA, ATF, Military, local and state police, etc.), and then forces you to do things against your will when you are not hurting anyone else?
…Bullies are bad and should be spanked.” [10/1/2012]
On the need for government:
“This may shock some of you to hear coming from me, but we absolutely NEED government, and good government at that. In fact, the services the current governments of the world monopolize or regulate are some of the most demanded and needed: security/defense, law, dispute resolution, education, healthcare, transportation, utilities, quality control etc.
The question I present to you is, do we want a single entity monopolizing the provision of all of these critical goods and services, or do we want a choice?” [9/29/2012]
On DPR’s love for the Silk Road community:
“It’s a privilege to have a stage to speak from here. It doesn’t get said enough, and it is hard to get across in this medium, but… I love you.
Who knew that a softy could lead an international narcotics organization? Behind my wall of anonymity, I don’t have to intimidate, thankfully. But yea, I love you guys. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being my comrades. Thank you for being yourselves and bringing your unique perspectives and energy. And on a personal note, thank you for giving me the best job in the world. I’ve never had so much fun! I know we’ve been at it for over a year now, but really, we are JUST getting started. I’m so excited and anxious for our future I could burst.” [9/22/2012]
On legalizing and taxing drugs:
“I keep hearing this argument come up when people talk about drug prohibition: legalize, regulate and tax it. On the surface it sounds like a good idea. No more drug war, more tax revenue, government regulators can make sure it is safe. Makes sense, right?
I can’t help but think something is wrong though. Feels like the bastards that have been screwing everyone over all this time still win in this scenario. Now all that money can go to the state and to their cronies, right?
Here’s the rub: the drug war is an acute symptom of a deeper problem, and that problem is the state. If they “legalize, regulate and tax” it, it’s just one more part of society under their thumb, another productive sector that they can leech off of.
If prohibition is lifted, most people here will go away. You’ll go back to your lives and get your drugs from whatever state certified dispensaries are properly licensed to sell to you. Drug use will be as interesting as smoking and drinking.
Here’s my point: Silk Road is about something much bigger than thumbing your nose at the man and getting your drugs anyway. It’s about taking back our liberty and our dignity and demanding justice. If prohibition is lifted, and the drug industry is placed under the yoke of the state, then we won in a small way, but lost in a big way. Right now, drugs are ours. They aren’t tainted by the government. We the people control their manufacture, distribution and consumption. We should be looking to expand that control, taking back our power, no giving what is ours to the very people that have been our enemies all along.
It’s easy to justify though. Think of all the horrors the war on drugs has caused that will be gone, almost instantly. That pain could stop!
Don’t be tempted by this short-term easy fix of “let the government handle it.” Their time is coming to an end. The future is OUR time. Let us take this opportunity they’ve given us to gain a foothold from which we can throw that yoke off completely. We are NOT beasts of burden to be taxed and controlled and regulated. WE are free spirits! We DEMAND respect! The future can be a time where the human spirit flourishes, unbridled, wild and free! Don’t be so quick to put on that harness and pull for the parasites.
If prohibition is lifted, where will you be? Will you forget about all this revolution stuff? Will you go back to ignoring that itching feeling that something isn’t right, that men in uniforms and behind desks have just a bit too much control over your life, and are taking more and more of your sovereignty every day? Will you go back to thinking that taxes are as inevitable as death and the best you can do is to pull as hard as you can for them until you mind, body and spirit are all used up? Or will you feel the loss, as one more wild west frontier comes under the dominion of the enemy, and redouble your efforts to stop it?
I know where I’ll be. I won’t rest until children are born into a world where oppression, institutional violence and control, world war, and all the other hallmarks of the state are as ancient history as pharaohs commanding armies of slaves. The drug war merely brings to light their nature and shows us who they really are. Legalizing it won’t change that and will only make them stronger. Hold on to what you DO have, and stand for the freedom you deserve!” [4/29/2012]
In response to a user who asked to give DPR a hug:
“*hug* Hugs not drugs…. no wait, hugs AND drugs!” [4/20/2012]
And finally, on what inspires him:
I read more than I post in the forum, and my posts are rarely of a personal nature. For some reason the mood struck me just now to put the revolution down for a minute and just express a few things. There is a curtain of anonymity and secrecy that covers everything that goes on behind the scenes here. It is often fast paced and stressful behind this curtain and I rarely lift my head long enough to take in just how amazing all of this is. But when I do I am filled with inspiration and hope for the future. Here’s a little story about what inspires me:
For years I was frustrated and defeated by what seemed to be insurmountable barriers between the world today and the world I wanted. I searched long and hard for the truth about what is right and wrong and good for humanity. I argued with, learned from, and read the works of brilliant people in search of the truth. It’s a damn hard thing to do too with all of the misinformation and distractions in the sea of opinion we live in. But eventually I found something I could agree with whole heartedly. Something that made sense, was simple, elegant and consistent in all cases. I’m talking about the Austrian Economic theory, voluntaryism, anarcho-capitalism, agorism etc. espoused by the likes of Mises and Rothbard before their deaths, and Salerno and Rockwell today.
From their works, I understood the mechanics of liberty, and the effects of tyranny. But such vision was a curse. Everywhere I looked I saw the State, and the horrible withering effects it had on the human spirit. It was horribly depressing. Like waking from a restless dream to find yourself in a cage with no way out. But I also saw free spirits trying to break free of their chains, doing everything they could to serve their fellow man and provide for themselves and their loved ones. I saw the magical and powerful wealth creating effect of the market, the way it fostered cooperation, civility and tolerance. How it made trading partners out of strangers or even enemies. How it coordinates the actions of every person on the planet in ways too complex for any one mind to fathom to produce an overflowing abundance of wealth, where nothing is wasted and where power and responsibility are directed to those most deserving and able. I saw a better way, but knew of no way to get there.
I read everything I could to deepen my understanding of economics and liberty, but it was all intellectual, there was no call to action except to tell the people around me what I had learned and hopefully get them to see the light. That was until I read “Alongside night” and the works of Samuel Edward Konkin III. At last the missing puzzle piece! All of the sudden it was so clear: every action you take outside the scope of government control strengthens the market and weakens the state. I saw how the state lives parasitically off the productive people of the world, and how quickly it would crumble if it didn’t have it’s tax revenues. No soldiers if you can’t pay them. No drug war without billions of dollars being siphoned off the very people you are oppressing.
For the first time I saw the drug cartels and the dealers, and every person in the whole damn supply chain in a different light. Some, especially the cartels, are basically a defacto violent power hungry state, and surely would love nothing more than to take control of a national government, but you average joe pot dealer, who wouldn’t hurt a fly, that guy became my hero. By making his living outside the purview of the state, he was depriving it of his precious life force, the product of his efforts. He was free. People like him, little by little, weakened the state and strengthened the market.
It wasn’t long, maybe a year or two after this realization that the pieces started coming together for the Silk Road, and what a ride it has been. No longer do I feel ANY frustration. In fact I am at peace in the knowledge that every day I have more I can do to breath life into a truly revolutionary and free market than I have hours in the day. I walk tall, proud and free, knowing that the actions I take eat away at the infrastructure that keeps oppression alive.
We are like a little seed in a big jungle that has just broken the surface of the forest floor. It’s a big scary jungle with lots of dangerous creatures, each honed by evolution to survive in the hostile environment known as human society. All manner of corporation, government agency, small family businesses, anything that can gain a foothold and survive. But the environment is rapidly changing and the jungle has never seen a species quite like the Silk Road. You can see it, but you can’t touch it. It is elusive, yet powerful, and we are evolving at a rapid clip, experimenting, trying to find sturdy ground we can put roots down in.
Will we and others like us someday grow to be tall hardwoods? Will we reshape the landscape of society as we know it? What if one day we had enough power to maintain a physical presence on the globe, where we shunned the parasites and upheld the rule of law, where the right to privacy and property was unquestioned and enshrined in the very structure of society. Where police are our servants and protectors beholden to their customers, the people. Where pace our leaders earn their power and responsibility in the harsh and unforgiving furnace of the free market and not from behind a gun, where the opportunities to create and enjoy wealth are as boundless as one’s imagination.
Some day, we could be a shining beacon of hope for the oppressed people of the world just as so many oppressed and violated souls have found refuge here already. Will it happen overnight? No. Will it happen in a lifetime? I don’t know. Is it worth fighting for until my last breath. Of course. Once you’ve seen what’s possible, how can you do otherwise? How can you plug yourself into the tax eating, life sucking, violent, sadistic, war mongering, oppressive machine ever again? How can you kneel when you’ve felt the power of your own legs? Felt them stretch and flex as you learn to walk and think as a free person? I would rather live my life in rags now than in golden chains. And now we can have both! Now it is profitable to throw off one’s chains, with amazing crypto technology reducing the risk of doing so dramatically. How many niches have yet to be filled in the world of anonymous online markets? The opportunity to prosper and take part in a revolution of epic proportions is at our fingertips!
I have no one to share my thoughts with in physical space. Security does not permit it, so thanks for listening. I hope my words can be an inspiration just as I am given so much by everyone here.
Dread Pirate Roberts” [3/20/2012]
Follow the author on Twitter, and check his new book, This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks and Hacktivists Aim To Free The World’s Information.