Turn Off the Government

by L. Neil Smith
Patronize Me!

Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

First published in Issue Number 18, November 15, 1996.

I’d planned writing another chapter today. The new novel’s going very well, I’m enjoying myself and laying down some of the best material of my career.

But then some butt-stupid social parasite, with the rich, ripe contents of an antique porcelain chamberpot for a brain, went and declared it “Turn Off the Violence Day”, filling the frequencies from 530 to 1650 kHz with some of the most feeble-minded head-dribblings it’s ever been my misfortune to listen to.

It isn’t so much that these morally disadvantaged mouth-breathers (and the mass-media happy hookers who pull their doolies for them) really think their whining can deflect a bullet. That’s just ignorance, or lack of intelligence, and in either instance, natural selection will deal with it, eventually. But hearing some uniformed goon with a a big shiny gun (and a big shiny badge to make it okay) prescribe over and over, through the day’s programming rotation, a course of suicidal pacifism on the part of those he’s been giving the same bureaucratically self-serving “advice” for decades—and demanding censorship of anyone politically incorrect enough to disagree—proved more than I could stomach.

The fact is, these stumbling louts and the office-squatting, axe-grinding politicos behind them, don’t give a fabulous furry fig whether the policies they impose on everybody else save lives, property, and rights or not. These saliva-drenched anticompetents have long since proven themselves helpless to deal effectively with the least of America’s problems, despite having used all their illicit power and deadly weapons to extort trillions and trillions from those of us with honest jobs. What’s crucial to these arrogant, bloated tax-vacuums is retaining control by an utterly nonproductive class over those who do the work, create the wealth, and take the risks to build and maintain civilization.

Today’s urban violence, unprecedented in history, was created by socialist policies like minimum wage, professional licensure, victim disarmament, and drug prohibition. It could be switched off tomorrow — or this afternoon—by reversing those policies. Regions of this country molded by socialism have rates of violence so high they overwhelm figures for the rest of the country, figures that prove productive-class Americans to be the most peaceful people on the planet. Politicians know this, but it’s easier to blame the productive class, or more precisely, the unfettered exercise of individual rights. And urban violence offers so many convenient justifications for abrogating those rights.

In any case, given what we now know about the real America, I don’t want to discuss the British any more, the Japanese, or the Swiss. True, Helvetians arm themselves to the dentures like Americans, but solely by government edict, purely in defense of the almighty state, and apparently that’s less effective when it comes to combatting criminality than the “haphazard” manner (for which read, “operating through spontaneous order”) in which sloppy old Americans do things.

Now contrast the abysmal failure of socialism to eradicate urban violence with the casual ease with which the merest relaxation of unconstitutional laws against individual weapons-carry has turned the tide. We civilians can take care of urban violence in short order, if only the damp-panties crowd will let go of our elbow. (And if they won’t, they’re gonna get that elbow in their eye.)

Violence overwhelmed urban America not because we’re a violent people (we aren’t) but because Americans forgot (or were persuaded to disregard the fact) that self-defense is an individual bodily function just like eating, sleeping, eliminating, breathing, or making love. It cannot be handed off to anybody else, no matter how flashy the uniform, impressive the degree, authoritative the “expert”, lopsided the opinion poll, or intimidating the unconstitutional statute.

The police are attacked only a third as frequently as civilians (and wear armor and carry radios to summon backup). Yet these “highly-trained experts” somehow manage to shoot the wrong person five times as often as we do. The real question is, why let some chair-warming buckethead hand us papers to fill out, take our fingerprints, or give us other hoops jump through to get state permission to eat, sleep, eliminate, breathe, make love, or defend ourselves, when the ones who most need watching—and perhaps even disarming—are the cops?

There ain’t no “thin blue line”, ladies and gentlemen, only a deep red stream.

It’s a deep red stream that cops and crooks wade through alike, without a thought or care. Whenever we of the productive class object to being waded through by predators that the blue-suit street-gang can’t catch (which is why they pick on us: we may not be guilty, but we stay in one place and are so much easier to apprehend) or by the jackbooted thugs themselves, they sneer at those of us who make their elevated living standard possible, and call us “assholes” or “scum”. For generations they’ve lived by the secret police proverb that “a civilian is simply a criminal who hasn’t been caught yet”. If you doubt me, read Joseph Wambaugh—or ask a cop and watch his eyes.

A recent internet tagline reminds us that the idea behind gun control is that black people will be better off if only Mark Fuhrman is allowed to have a gun.

Since 1900 (independent of war fatalities) governments “instituted among men” on the excuse of protecting us from one another have murdered 120 million people. U.S. hands are far from clean: look up Operation Keelhaul, or think back to Mount Carmel and a Chief Executive who took the 60s exhortation “burn baby burn” too literally. The chances of this situation getting better soon are slender, since the GOP decided to nominate the only organism in the Solar System capable of losing an election to mass-murderer William Jefferson Blythe Nosecandy.

Do all these bottom-feeding sociobabblers and whimpering copsuckers who’ve been polluting my radio today really want to “turn off the violence”? Knowing their lying, hypocritical record as well as I do, I seriously doubt it. But let me offer them a bit of thoroughly-grounded, historically informed advice anyway:

Turn off the government, first.