Dread Pirate Roberts (Ross Ulbricht), founder of Silk Road, is paying for being ethical. He is facing life sentence in jail. Although the government and the media have portrayed this brilliant citizen as a dangerous maniac, nothing could be further from the truth. His Silk Road, an online market place where people could browse anonymously and without potential traffic monitoring was much more than a simple means to acquire your drugs. It allows individuals to outgrow given moral commandments on what they could ethically put in their own bodies or do with their own bodies. It allows you to take greater responsibility over your own lives, even if others deem it irresponsible or outright immoral. Silk Road was the practical embodiment of the libertarian philosophy as it tries to protect your right to voluntary exchange.
Ross Ulbricht writes:
“What we’re doing isn’t about scoring drugs or ‘sticking it to the man.’ It’s about standing up for our rights as human beings and refusing to submit when we’ve done no wrong.”
Silk Road effectively enables drug users to buy drugs in a safe and secure environment without the fear of being harrassed and attacked by violent law enforcing agents who deem it their honorable task to fight a war on drugs. In addition, it reduces violence in the drug trade as it takes away physical contact between buyers and sellers. It moreover makes subversive ideas and images accessible: Iranians who are forbidden by law to watch porn can buy their porn on Silk Road and books that are illegal in China (or for my part in the Netherlands) can be purchased online.
This is the grave injustice against Ross Ulbricht: despite all the good he has done for society, he has received a life sentence to jail without parole – a harsher sentence than is typically given to murderers, rapists and child pornographers.