L. Neil Smith's
Number 389, October 15, 2006

Genuine libertarianism is the opposite of an ideology.
It's the absence of ideology.


Musings on Truth-Avoidance
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

It has been a source of considerable dismay to me, over the past 25 or 30 years, that—without really knowing me or very much about me—most of my professional colleagues don't seem to like me very much.

I've probably devoted entirely too much time and energy trying to puzzle out why this should be so. I don't really know why it bothers me. Writers—like actors—are fairly dismal company, for the most part, self-absorbed and extremely insecure. It's simultaneously boring and depressing to hang out with them for more than a few minutes at a time.

There are exceptions to this.

They know who they are.

One obvious reason I get snubbed by other writers, at conventions, for example, might be that most writers in our civilization are of the persuasion formerly known as "liberal"—left wing socialists (as opposed to conservatives, who are right wing socialists)—whereas I'm as politically incorrect in both directions as it's possible to be. Although all I've ever wanted, all I've ever worked for, is that people should enjoy absolute ownership and control over their own lives.

But I'm the columnist, after all who said—and who still says—that a better term for gun control is "victim disarmament", and that Columbine, 9/11, as well as the Bailey and Amish shootings happened, not because there were too many firearms in private hands, but too few.

Another part of the problem is that, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, many of my liberal colleagues haven't noticed that I'm not a conservative. In this, they don't really differ much from my grandmother Mabel, or my wife's grandmother, Bertha. Anybody who disagreed with them was a communist, no matter what they actually advocated.

I was a communist for admiring and writing about Ayn Rand in my college newspaper column. My wife was a communist for failing to properly respect—and adoringly worship—the lives and works of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy. God knows what Bertha would have said if she'd known that my wife and I were brought together by an appreciation of those notorious commies Milton and Rose Friedman.

Just like our respective grandmothers, liberals are among the most narrow-minded and intolerant individuals on the planet, and whatever it is they're glued into, it is not reality. Everything they used to believe in—from Lenin's Glorious Five Year Plan to Lyndon's Great Society—worked out so badly in the end that, instead of examining their beliefs, rejecting them, and finding something more congruent with the Known Universe, they've taken the lazier route, becoming bitter nihilists who hate and resent anyone who still believes in something.

Or anything.

I guess because of my own personal history, my entire intellectual life has consisted of a struggle to construct a belief system that's consistent with observed reality. Liberals don't usually have or need reasons for whatever it is they believe. They're guided by their gut, by the seat of their pants, by the Force—by all means anything but their heads—and it never seems to occur to them that many another individual may think it's important to have reasons for what he or she believes.

When they do notice, they're contemptuous, viewing such a process of careful, examinatory thought as artificial or worse, insincere. In their view, you're just supposed to know the right thing to do, automatically, spontaneously, and without thought. Otherwise, it isn't real.

It isn't human.

It's Vulcan.

That's why under the "justice" system they have institutionalized and imposed on everybody else, one of the most heinous acts a person can commit is "premeditated self-defense"—the crime of being practiced and prepared to defend yourself from a burglar, mugger, or rapist.

It's also why, in 2008, despite everything the woman has said and done against the cause of peace, they'll go out like the lemmings they are and vote for Hillary Clinton. Somehow, they just know that she'll save them from the Republicans. She'll put a stop to the damage George Bush and his orcish minions have done to the country. They just know that, despite the fact that she has supported every violation of their rights, every abominable travesty against the rule of law that Bush's pack of war criminals has ever committed. The only thing she's complained about is the fact that Bush has done too little of it.

But they just know. They just know despite the fact that each and every war this country fought in the 20th century (with the possible exception of Grenada) was instigated and carried out by Democrats (look it up if you don't believe me). The usual role of Republicans was to inherit the conflict in question (as Nixon did with Vietnam) and keep it going because the GOP never saw a war they didn't like, either.

There's a reason for this, of course. Forget Republicans and Democrats, forget conservatives and lib—pardon me, progressives—forget right and left. Government is about stealing. That's all it's ever been about. That's all it'll ever be about. Different ideologies merely supply different excuses for the thievery, and war just happens to be the grandest excuse that thieves ever thought of for what they do.

What then, I pretend to hear you ask, about libertarianism? Is it just another ideology, another set of excuses for stealing, like the others?

There's a very real danger it could turn out that way, to be sure, if the lowlives who raped the national platform in Portland earlier this year are allowed to prevail. There have always been scummy types inside the movement whose only real purpose was to get their own hogs to the trough, principal be damned. Those who have opposed them they denounce as "purists". I am proud to be a purist, myself, not only for the aesthetic beauty of the thing, but also because I've proved in, two elections, now, that the voters like and respect it better than the vile horseshit peddled by self-styled gradualists, moderates, and pragmatists.

Genuine libertarianism is the opposite of an ideology. It's the absence of ideology. Properly practiced and conveyed, it provides no excuse for any kind of stealing. Genuine libertarians oppose taxation, for example, in any form whatsoever, as an ancient evil. Thus genuine libertarian candidates will promise the voters to abolish all taxation forever.

Asked by their opponents or the press how, then, will we finance government, the genuine libertarian candidate will reply, "I don't care—we start by doing the right thing, and figure the rest out afterward.

"But the stealing must stop. It must stop now. It must stop permanently.

"U.S. out of America!"

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 lneilsmith.org.

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: http://payloadz.com/go/sip?id=137991. 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 www.bigheadpress.com has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at www.Amazon.com, or at BillOfRightsPress.com.

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