Liberty on the Rocks Huntsville has already had some interesting speakers in our short history, and we’ve just landed another liberty rockstar. Stephanie Murphy will be speaking, via video, at the January 17th meet-up. Stephanie is a nationally syndicated radio host, narrator/voice artist, writer, and graduate student.
Stephanie co-hosts Free Talk Live Sunday nights with Mark Edge, which, in my opinion, is usually the best show of the week. FTL airs on over 110 radio stations, as well as XM satellite radio. She also hosts the show Porc Therapy on the Liberty Radio Network. Porc Therapy is about ways that we can all free our minds and attain more liberty in our lives. And that’s not all, Stephanie occasionally co-hosts Flaming Freedom.
Stephanie does voice work. Actually, that’s an understatement. If someone is selling a liberty-oriented product or service, and they have a radio ad, there’s about a 50/50 chance that Stephanie narrated it. She recently completed work on the free audiobook version of Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty. This collection of essays is a great resource to use when talking to people coming from the political left about the ideas of liberty.
On top of all that, Stephanie is Chief Operations Officer, volunteer, and organizer at the mutual aid organization Fr33 Aid:
Fr33 Aid was created to help liberty activists organize projects that educate people about the value of mutual aid and lessen the burdens of government. Our main activity involves providing voluntary medical and educational services at liberty-related events.
Fr33 Aid is a major reason why I asked Stephanie to speak to us. Prior to the welfare state, mutual aid organizations served as both a safety net and a way to leverage bargaining power for services like health-care. Getting rid of the welfare state is a much easier sell if you can show people a viable model to take its place. The Mises Institute had a great article on this topic a while back, I managed to dig it up. Here’s a quote:
Mutual aid, also known as fraternalism, refers to social organizations that gathered dues and paid benefits to members facing hardship. According to David Beito in From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State, there was a “great stigma” attached to accepting government aid or private charity during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Mutual aid, on the other hand, did not carry the same stigma. It was based on reciprocity: today’s mutual-aid recipient could be tomorrow’s donor, and vice versa.
As I mentioned above, mutual aid organizations were especially important in providing healthcare. Fraternal organizations would typically hire a lodge doctor, and charge members a small annual fee to access basic medical care. Stefan Molyneux put out a great video on this topic recently, titled “How Government Solved the Health Care Crisis!”. It’s under ten minutes long and packed full of information. Check it out if you have the chance.
I’m going to have another post or two about mutual aid over the next few days. I believe that it’s both a viable model to replace the welfare state, and it’s a wonderful propaganda tool: mutual aid can show the world how effective voluntary organization can be, especially when compared to a bloated hierarchical bureaucracy.