Sirwin
Sirwin

John McAfee


“In a democracy, power is given, not taken. But it is still power. Love, compassion, caring have no use for it. But it is fuel for greed, hostility, jealousy… All power corrupts. Take care which powers you allow a democracy to wield.”-John McAfee

In recent news, we mourn the loss of one of the more prominent advocates for individual freedom: John McAfee. After an apparent suicide in his prison sell in Barcelona, the life of this business mogul has been brought to focus. He was once a leading figure in business, computers and virus-protection; seeing success anywhere he brought his talented mind. In later years he experienced, first hand, the struggles associated with standing up for and living out a contentious lifestyle.  

The entrepreneur lived eccentrically, facing a variety of allegations throughout his lifetime. Though a controversial figure, and having been arrested for tax evasion (resulting in his imprisonment in Spain, during which he passed away), McAfee was a man of conviction in regards to our rights and freedoms.

John McAfee

The Progression of Life 

He was born in south-west England to an American father and British mother on a U.S. Army Base in September of 1945. He spent most of his years growing up in Virginia. In 1967, he graduated from Roanoke College with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. Attempting to complete his doctorate, McAfee was expelled for an inappropriate relationship with a student. However, he received an honorary  Doctorate of Science in 2008 from Roanoke. 

Moving past his expulsion, John moved throughout various tech jobs from NASA to Lockheed Martin and many in between. He played a role in the Apollo Program in the late 60s, moving to Univac, designing software, to Xerox as a system architect, and onward to being a consultant. It was in the early to mid 80s when McAfee was employed by Lockheed and saw the need for software which combats computer viruses. In 1987 he successfully launched the company formerly known as McAfee Associates, Inc., now McAfee Corp. Less than a decade later in 1993, he stepped down from his role as CEO and sold his remaining stocks in the company the following year. 

After pulling away from his most well known company, he set forth on various business endeavors. He founded another 3 companies, one being a pioneer in DM applications. The others: an herbal antibiotics company based from his investments in Belize and one which produced computer network security devices.  He also invested in real estate, other companies, an app which exposes the permissions of others, finally coming to be CEO of a tech holding company. Turning focus of the company to cybersecurity as well as moving them into the mining of Bitcoin and other currencies. He became a heavy advocate for the blockchain revolution, as he saw the value it possesses in cybersecurity. 

A couple years down the road, he stepped down, once again, from his role as CEO and went onward to focus fully on cryptocurrency, coming to be CEO of yet another company that focused fully on the crypto wave. Throughout all of his ventures, he saw success, as well as great loss, especially in his residential assets. He rode the waves of business rise and fall, and he kept moving forward with life.

A Life of Controversy

Quite the resume. Yet through all of his success he struggled. 3 marriages. Years and years of substance abuse and building bad habits, seemingly more so after he spent some time in Belize. He indulged in all the vices. Alcohol, drugs, women. Allegations have come forth accusing McAfee of rape, murder, drug manufacturing, illegal firearms, fraud, DUI, etc. Not exactly being discreet about it, John sent it hard into debauchery, as some may call it.

The professional hooligan was outspoken on a variety of topics. Not a fan of taxes, smartphones or government in general. He would also attest to the power and abuse of social engineering through the many avenues of media. Very much so against the herd mentality. He was also paranoid, quoting his own words. Some may say this stirs up his hatred for smartphones and his desire for enhanced cybersecurity. Some would say that his paranoia is a product of his knowledge about these issues. There was no trust for the overlooking eye of our surveillance programs and was not quiet about his dissatisfaction with the current system.

The Dangerous Life

It became the reputation for McAfee: a degenerate, paranoid, party animal running away from taxes. In commemoration of his crazy life, though he was still active, there was a dramatized crime documentary made about his time in Belize, where he faced most of his allegations and legal trouble. It was titled Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee

In 2019, he admitted to being on the run, having been indicted on counts of tax evasion and fraud. This too marred his reputation, as it was based on allegations for a cryptocurrency ICO pump and dump investment scheme. The fraud accusations came from the pump and dump allegations, the tax evasion for the multimillion dollar profit through his participation. This resulted in his imprisonment in Spain, where he allegedly hung himself  on June 23 2021.

Politics

The man was all in for individual freedom. He desired the most from life. This was clearly seen in the way he spent his free time, as well as his political and economic views.

A hopeful libertarian candidate in the 2016 and 2020 elections, McAfee was no stranger to the political stage. Although worthy to represent the libertarian party, his political views undoubtedly added to the controversy of his public figure. Apart from computers and cybersecurity, John had a list of political opinions and convictions. Without apology, he spoke out against the war on drugs, the TSA , called for the acceptance and decriminalization of cannabis. He encourages free trade, and rejects an economic outlook that offers the redistribution of wealth. Also, McAfee had a voice for religious liberties, especially amongst small business owners, saying they should be able to deny or serve anyone as they wish. 

McAfee was a character, but he wanted us all to be free and aware of the corruptions that exist. He took action in pursuing the world he wished to see. He caused many to think about the bigger picture, drawing attention to the values of freedom. Always, to the end, calling out those who he thought were doing things unjustly.

McAfee’s Legacy  

John knew all too well the harsh reality of abusive internet surveillance, as well as the overreaching tendencies of the powers that be. He sought to bring power back to the individual. Whether that be in the form of cybersecurity, enhanced privacy, cryptocurrency, and free trade- John definitely had a voice for the people, yet lacked the credibility to make the changes he desired, even though he is highly respected.

The life, contention and voice of Mr. McAfee will not soon be forgotten. The values and virtues for which he stood up for are much of what we like to talk about here at ofthefreemarket.com. Freedom is at the heart of any individual. He definitely gave life a full send and inspired others to do the same. Though his time of influence has ceased, his voice will echo on to future generations as we continue to fight the ongoing battle for personal liberty. We don’t condone the eccentric or illegal activities he may have participated in, but we thank God for this man, his outspoken nature, and his call for us to think carefully about what lies before us. Let us remember him by practicing and fighting for the enhancement of our individual liberties. May John McAfee rest in peace.

 

Written by SMH from ofthefreemarket.com on June 26, 2021

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