L. Neil Smith's

Number 12, August 14, 1996

Don Henley's Revenge

An Open Letter to America's Old Media

By L. Neil Smith

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

A Libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are Libertarians whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not Libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.

         I respect the fundamental right involved, but I've never cared much for militias. I'm an individualist. As anyone who knows me will attest, I don't play well in groups.
         Recent media attempts, however -- using events like Oklahoma City and BATF harrassment of Georgia and Arizona militiamen -- to tar Libertarians with a brush of racist neofascism, have accomplished what the pleading of friends never could.
         I know many individuals who've never smoked tobacco, yet consider themselves "political smokers" (defending the basic right to choose). I know flaming heterosexuals who consider themselves "politically gay". Thanks to the corruption of the round-heeled media who've transformed themselves from government's adversary into an eagerly cooperative fourth branch, I now consider myself enlisted -- politically speaking -- in the militia.
         As my first official act, I advise the media to take a good look at the quotation above. It's called the "Non-Aggression Principle". It's what Libertarianism is about. It's all that Libertarianism was ever about. It's the heart and soul of Libertarianism, a lens through which Libertarians view everything. We've been trying to tell you this for 25 years, but you preferred to portray us as nutsies in propellor beanies, and now, as terrorists. (I suspect for no better reason than that you, being products of public education, are incapable of reading the Non- Aggression Principle, let alone understanding it or calculating its ramifications.)
         But I digress.
         Does the Non-Aggression Principle look like something a terrorist believes? Or like something decent folks believe, who want a less violent world to live in, for themselves and their kids? Decent folks you've mocked, misquoted, defamed, misrepresented, and just plain lied about for a quarter of a century.
         Who the hell are you to judge me or anybody else? To the last specimen, you're ignorant of history, law, economics, science; all you know is newsroom politics and competing brands of hairspray. You're fear-merchants, spinning fantasies of global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, desertification, secondhand smoke, vanishing millions of kids -- each phony crisis designed as another excuse to increase government control over our lives -- when you know perfectly well there isn't a shred of scientifically respectable evidence to support the least of these pseudoscientific hoaxes.
         Who are you to condemn anyone -- whose first political concern happens to be the Bill of Rights, who happens not to believe the liars who gave us Vietnam, Watergate, Ruby Ridge, and Waco, who happens to be dissatisfied with both established parties, who happens to be interested in guns -- who are you to condemn those whose only crime is exercising their inalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human rights?
         I'll tell you: a self-congratulatory gaggle of hypocritical prostitutes who believe there's only one Amendment to the Constitution and that it only applies to you. Anyone who thinks there's a significant difference between The National Inquirer and The New York Times, between Robin Leach and Peter Jennings, possesses more imagination than intelligence, and probably thinks there's a significant difference between Democrats and Republicans.
         Until now, as uncritical worshippers of socialist authority in all its vile forms, your joyously self-assigned job has been to convey government lies and threats to the public, while making every individual undertaking appear stupid, crazy, or evil.
         Now your whoring days are over.
         There'll be a price to pay for lies you knowingly tell, whether you're the wealthiest, most prestigious network anchor or the lowliest scrivener in a weekly suburban shopper. When you violate your trust as a member of the adversary media, when you sell yourself at yard-sale prices to the police state you're supposed to protect the public from, your name will appear on our "Dirty Laundry Web Page".
         In your past (like everyone's) you have lovers, spouses, siblings, employers, employees, landlords, tenants, teachers, and, of course, your victims. Our Dirty Laundry Page will be their chance to tell 250 million of us everything they remember about you. We know the limits of libel and observe them -- it won't help. You can avoid an unauthorized biography (nobody'll get mad enough to bring you to our attention) only by doing your job as it was meant to be done.
         Let me help you a little. You delight in calling outfits like the Freemen "anti-government", foolishly believing your audience will receive that as the ultimate epithet. Get real: if you aren't anti-government, you're not doing your job.
         They didn't teach this in the state classrooms your parents were forced to send you to; you didn't learn it in the schools of tamed journalism you attended, but America was created by intractable, stiff-necked sons of bitches who hated the very idea of government. Everything worthwhile accomplished within its borders since, has been the work of individuals of the same stripe.
         That it continues to exist today as anything but the world's biggest banana republic is due neither to you, nor the politicos you daily spread yourselves for, but to those both corruptly interconnected groups despise most: the same kind of stiff-necked, intractable, genuine dissenters, who must never be confused with your favorite poster kiddies, practitioners of officially-sanctioned petulance on the Left.
         This morning I heard some self-appointed "expert" on the radio, a would-be female Morris Dees, declare in her Bryn Mawr accent that a "resurgence" in militia activity results from America's "swing to the right". Truth is, there'd be no militia if George Bush hadn't broken his promise to uphold and defend the Constitution. There'd be no militia if Bill Clinton had never been born. "Brady Bill-Bob" Dole's senescent fumbling doesn't help, nor does the Libertarian Party's belly-crawling disavowal of militias.
         Militias are an attempt to communicate by those who reasonably insist that government be limited by the first ten Amendments and, as a result, find themselves rendered politically homeless by the chronically convictionless, professionally unprincipled movers and money-monkeys who've conned, bribed, finagled, and threatened their way into stranglehold control over all three parties.
         Any analysis of militia that fails to center on Ruby Ridge and Waco -- only the most conspicuous of many such atrocities -- amounts to complicity. Why haven't you asked where somebody like Bill Clinton, who burned 81 innocents to death -- 22 of them children -- gets off calling anybody else a terrorist?
         Ms. Bryn Mawr's a willing accomplice to a murderous swath being cut through the Bill of Rights. She's earned her place on the Dirty Laundry Page.
         Care to join her?

L. Neil Smith's award-winning first novel, The Probability Broach, which has long been out of print, will be republished by TOR Books this October.

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