Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
First published in Issue Number 14, September 15, 1996
You may not believe it, but I find it difficult to advertise myself, a pursuit which is nevertheless necessary for survival in my profession, especially for a novelist as politically incorrect as I am.
I bring this up because I’ve had an idea about defending the philosophical borders of the United States (under attack more brutal and unrelenting than any merely physical borders) and if there were a better instrument handy, I’d choose it, rather than what I’m about to suggest.
Liberals and conservatives claim to agree with one another that the application of Libertarian political and economic principles would be a disaster for any country foolish enough to adopt them. I don’t believe them. I believe they know that Libertarianism would bring about a century of unprecedented peace, prosperity, and progress, which would be a disaster for politicians , not to mention the mass media.
Another thing liberals and conservatives and everybody in between claim to agree on (and this time I do believe them) is their bitter and implacable hatred for all things Japanese. From Michael Crichton, to Pat Buchanan, to Jack Valenti, to Ross Perot, everybody of every conceivable stripe, check, or tartan is eager to start dropping nukes on Nippon again. How dare those little buggers sell us all those beautiful, inexpensive, reliable radios, VCRs, TVs, and gasp! , automobiles!
Sad to say, I’m not too crazy about the Japanese myself these days (or at least their corrupt and peculiar government). These worthies—who own and operate a culture that allowed its troops during World War II to eat its prisoners of war, a culture infamous for savagely beating any tendency toward individualism out of preschool children before they’re four years old, a culture where cops inspect private homes for drugs and guns twice a year and torture suspects to obtain confessions, a culture more steeped in bigotry and racism than South Africa was ever accused of being by its worst enemies—appear to be laboring under an impression that they have something legitimate to say regarding the unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right of every man, woman, and responsible child to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon—rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—any time, any place, without asking anyone’s permission.
What we’re talking about is my unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon—rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—any time, any place, without asking anyone’s permission, and I take it very personally. It isn’t enough that these fish-nibblers opt to ally themselves with Comrade Ted Turner, Hanoi Jane, and the Communist News Network to annoy us with stupid petitions and biased “news” stories that would make most pathological liars blush with embarrassment, now they’re attempting to use the United Nations to push a worldwide scheme of victim disarmament. (Supplying us with yet another good argument for giving the U.N. 24 hours to get out of town.)
I say it’s time we started shooting back (metaphorically speaking) and that liberals and conservatives had better be prepared to help or face exposure as the hypocrites and fourflushers we suspect them to be anyway. They have lots of ugly things to say about Japan, but where’s the action to match their words? Personally, I like radios, VCRs, TVs, and cars made by the Japanese. (My yearning to possess a Land Cruiser is physically painful.) I like their prices and I like their quality.
What I don’t like is their attitude.
I mean to put a stop to it.
And I know just how to do it.
As individuals, Japanese love science fiction. Japanese—as individuals—love guns. Japanese love anything American—as individuals. And I am the gunniest, most individual SF writer in America.
While the Japanese do their level best to reduce us to what P.J. O’Rourke calls “bedwetting liberalism” (the actual agenda is stealth feudalism), I propose to export intransigent I-won’tism to them. What do I offer as a delivery vehicle? Only the most strident and obnoxious, colorful and noisy, socially irredeemable and unapologetic celebration of armed-to-the-teeth rugged individualism I know of, my own 1980 science fiction novel, recently republished by Tor Books, The Probability Broach.
As I indicated earlier, I feel self-conscious about advertising myself, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If liberals and conservatives believe Libertarianism will wreck the nation that adopts it, they should be enthusiastic about this idea, eager to buy as many copies of Broach as they can and send them to somebody in Japan.
Everybody knows somebody in Japan; if they don’t, I’ll bet the International Society for Individual Liberty [now called “Liberty International”—Editor] will be happy to supply some names and addresses.
In a nation where young folks are increasingly fed up sacrificing themselves to the industrial collective and getting nothing in return but more regimentation, each copy will start a brushfire that Japanese authorities will have a hell of a time stamping out, which will give them something to do instead of bothering us. During a depressing year—as election years go—when our choice comes down to a couple of fascist thugs and a wet noodle, it gives us something to do, as well.
So come on, liberals and conservatives, come on Mike, Pat, Jack, and Ross. Put your money where your mouths are. It’ll feed my family and help you get revenge. Unless you secretly believe that reading my books and adopting my political philosophy will actually help the Japanese.