Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 383, September 3, 2006

"It's the end of the 8000-year Age of Authority."


This Is Where I Came In
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
and "L. Neil Smith at Random" on

I was doing some cyberhousecleaning on my working system the other day, when I ran across the following little ditty I wrote "back in the day".

Since sometime in 1964, I had very actively opposed the war in Vietnam, which in those days was entirely the creature of Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson (although an enormous propaganda effort was spent over subsequent decades to make it seem it was all Richard Nixon's fault).

I had supported the rebel candidacy of Eugene McCarthy with the same forlorn hope with which I had worked for Barry Goldwater, and I watched the Democratic Party national convention—and police riot—with the same mixture of resignation and horror nearly everybody else did.

The steam-roller derby that resulted in the nomination of that blabbering meat puppet, Hubert Horatio Humphry, made me angrier than I can adequately express even today, and the treatment of protesters by the armed and uniformed minions of a city-state in which the light of the Constitution has never been allowed to shine had me utterly beside myself.

Days or weeks or months afterward (I can't remember), His Majesty Mayor Richard Daley's panel of mouthpieces and buttboys set aside their Vaseline jars to announce their offical conclusion that the cops had "acted with great restraint" in their handling of the situation at the recent convention. I was about to become cop, myself, and I knew better.

I'm the kind of person who, confronted with some evil, stupid, or insane reality, is compelled to write about what I can't simply stomp or shoot, until it feels better. In those days, it was music, rather than columns, and here is one result. I hope you enjoy it. If there's enough interest, I'll record the melody and post it on The Webley Page.

The New Chicago Rag

Copyright 1968 by L. Neil Smith

If your conscience don't trouble you,
The wrong thing is what you like to do,
Then you're doing the rag,
The New Chicago Rag.
(But you do it with restraint.)

If your people are crying out,
And "Go to hell!" is what you wanna shout,
Then you're doing the rag,
The New Chicago Rag.
(But you do it with restraint.)

First you take your little can of Mace,
And you spray it in the childrens' face.
Be careful not to miss the eyes—
Law and order in the half pint size.

If what you'd like to see is even more
Of Lyndon Johnson's private war,
Then you're doing the rag,
The New Chicago Rag.
(But you do it with restraint.)

Instrumental (verse)
RPT Bridge

If what you'd like to see is even more
Of Lyndon Johnson's private war,
Then you're doing the rag,
The New Chicago,
The New Chicago.
The New Chicago Rag!
(But you do it with restraint.)

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas was recently completed and is presently looking for a literary home.

A decensored, e-published version of Neil's 1984 novel, TOM PAINE MARU is available at: Neil is presently working on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Roswell, Texas, with Rex F. "Baloo" May.

The stunning 185-page full-color graphic-novelized version of The Probability Broach, which features the art of Scott Bieser and was published by BigHead Press has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at, or at


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