The notorious drug market Silk Road was shut down Tuesday by the FBI and its alleged owner arrested, but for some reason the site's active forums remain intact. Since yesterday's news, they've been been filled with commiserating and frantic organizing by dealers headed to safer passage. It's like the last day of camp, only with more felony charges. One post stood out: The teary farewell of Silk Road employee named Libertas.
"It is with a heavy heart that I come before you today," begins Libertas' overwrought post. The tone demonstrates the intensity some Silk Road users felt toward the site. It wasn't just a place to get drugs. It was an online hangout, a social network and a political statement. The letter is full of the sort of Libertarian ideological flourishes one would expect, especially given the fact that Silk Road's alleged kingpin, Ross Ulbricht aka "Dread Pirate Roberts", was a vocal Ron Paul supporter and fan of weird free-market think tank The Ludwig von Mises Institute.
The post is the first of what will probably a long process of mythologizing the Dread Pirate Roberts character in Dark Net lore as a fallen warrior against the State. Judging from the commentary on the forum, it appears Libertas was one of Silk Road's paid employees. If so, the loss of his one-to-two-thousand-dollar weekly salary may explain why Libertas is so willing to overlook the rather unsettling fact that a new indictment in Maryland alleges his old boss ordered a hit on one of his fellow Silk Road employees, after fearing he would give up information about his project.
Here's the full post, which has been read more than 12,000 times on Silk Road as of this writing.
Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters in arms,
It is with a heavy heart that I come before you today. A heart filled with sadness for the infringements of our freedoms by government oppressors, and a heart filled with sadness for the pain that all of you whom have lost everything are feeling.
Silk Road has fallen.
Whilst this is devastating to me personally on so many levels, and I will not be commenting on the arrest of any person portrayed by the media as "Dread Pirate Roberts", it serves to strengthen my resolve to fighting the hands of Law Enforcement that are committed to strangling personal freedom from our bodies, demonstrating a lack of conscience and justice on their part in the process. They will stop at nothing to enforce the unjust laws created and maintained by the societal and governmental framework within which they operate, and the actions of one persona, the Dread Pirate Roberts, has managed to stymie their efforts for two and a half years.
Think about that for a moment.
Dread Pirate Roberts - as a persona - has singlehandedly kept world governments at bay for two and a half years. This idea that this one entity can successfully thwart the phenomenal resources and bloodthirsty power of numerous governments for so long is something that should be taken to heart, and never forgotten. We have the power to fight these agents of oppression, to fight the governments that task them with that oppression, and with the fires that Silk Road has stoked in our hearts and minds we must do just that.
Dread Pirate Roberts has shown that free people can engage in consensual free-market transactions for any good or service that they desire without societal or community breakdown, nor the need for enforcement from jackbooted thugs. Silk Road as an experiment has shown that the idea of the free-market is one that works, and works exceptionally well.
We must stand on the shoulders of this tragedy that has befallen us and raise high what still remains - our sense of community, freedom and justice. No doubt we will all regroup elsewhere, and I look forward to seeing all of you again, still free and still engaging in free trade without government interference into your personal affairs.
Whilst Silk Road may have fallen, its spirit will spring eternal. The spirit of this community that has inspired and helped so many will continue to live on regardless of what governments wish to say about it. It has been an absolute pleasure serving and working with all of you, and I sincerely wish you all the best for the future wherever you choose to go.
The Dread Pirate Roberts is a revolutionary, a comrade in arms and a true hero who will live on as such in our hearts and minds without fail for as long as we breathe. His ideals and sacrifices will never be forgotten, and they will spur the next generation of revolutionaries into action against oppression.
To the members of Law Enforcement that are no doubt reading this, many of you may have received pats on the back and "high-fives" from your peers. You may feel good now, ecstatic even, but I urge you to consider the effects of your actions. You are going to see more bloodshed on our streets (note "our", not "your", for those streets belong to the people), and more dealer on buyer violence as free people that wish to engage in activities that harm none are forced to return to their previous methods of securing the goods that they wish to put into their own bodies. That blood is now on your hands, and the hands of the politicians that you live to serve and serve to live. I pity you, for as long as you live to serve you will never know freedom.
To the community at large, you have been nothing short of incredible. Keep fighting the good fight, and never let they who are bound by the chains of law tell you that you are not permitted to be free simply because they are shackled themselves. Governments tells us that we are free but the reality is that the moment we are born we are shackled by the rule of law. Government has no place in a free society, and we need to make sure that they who deem it their right to take away the natural rights of others as free beings are made fully aware of that.
Take the fight wherever it is needed, and support every effort to take your government down. You are justified in those actions as they would not hesitate to take you down for standing up for your freedom.
"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of something so incredible with all of you.
Until we meet again, brothers and sisters.