L. Neil Smith's

Number 17, October 29, 1996.

Letters to the Editors


         Was that really your one year anniversary edition!? I think it was probably the worst edition yet. It was uninteresting at best and simply wrong at worst.
         Neil's sarcasm has grown stale. Or maybe I have outgrown it. I'm not sure. I used to enjoy Neil's name-calling and poignant jabs at our common enemies. But his recent writings have lost the humor his essays of two or three years ago had, and the humor has been replaced with grouchy, sour hatred.
         Vin's attempted justification for killing people whose only crime is wearing a uniform is lame. I was appalled. Vin is usually so much more logical than that. [Editor's Note: You mean Vic Milan?]
         I considered asking you to take me off the distribution list for The Libertarian Enterprise. But on second thought, keep 'em coming -- they can't get any worse than this.

Rod Heil


         I have received my first issue of the Libertarian Enterprise, and enjoyed it very much -- though it is the first I knew that anyone in the Libertarian Party, or whom at least adhered to its principles, objected to Harry Browne as the Presidential Candidate fielded by the Libertarian Party. I'm not at all sure what the complaint against him is, but I consider him a major improvement over the professional whores and other ignoramuses fielded in the past prior to Andre Marrou. (Whatever happened to him, anyway? I was impressed with the fact that he knew what he was doing.)
         Meanwhile, I would like to bring up an issue I have wondered about once in awhile for some time. I've considered myself a Libertarian for at least a couple of decades now, and a devout Constitutionist for at least that long. But periodically I encounter the following statement from someone claiming to be a Libertarian, and it disturbs me:

> "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."

         The thing that disturbs me about this statement is that if you replace the word "libertarian" with the word "anarchist," the statement would be a true statement. I agree that no individual has the right to initiate force against another, but the purpose of government -- the only purpose of government -- is to protect the rights of the people. To do that, government must initiate force against those infringing upon individual rights. Saying "pretty please with sugar on it" isn't going to cut any ice.
         To claim that reactive force, in response to an infringement of one's rights, is not "initiating" force begs the question. If an individual may claim that, then the one doing the infringing may also claim it -- something done in the past was an infringement. And back and forth, back and forth, who started it? Who did what to whom and who got paid? Pretty soon you find that someone's great-great-great-great- grandfather mistreated someone's daughter, and the feud has been going on ever since.
         No government, libertarian or otherwise, will successfully protect anyone's rights under those circumstances. Do the libertarians writing in this list consider themselves libertarians, or anarchists? Do they consider there to be a difference?

Don Cline, WB6OCO

[Editor: Answer 1: Most consider themselves libertarian, some consider themselves anarchists and libertarian. Answer 2: Yes, there is a difference.]


         I have been reading the Libertarian Enterprise from the tender early days. Keep up the good work!
         Forgive me if I ramble on a tad. Please take liberties with the editorial pen and sword since I haven't had much sleep lately.
         It was with some interest that I read Victor Milan's piece about killing Hitler. Being able to stop Hitler in his tracks is an admirable thing, but I have some difficulty accepting that out-and-out wasting a thug can so easily be justified to my own moral judge, me. I have a problem using deadly force when other options exist. There existed, back then, the law, and the mechanisms of government. Either one had the power, in writing, to remove Hitler from his post.
         Let's drag ourselves away from Nazi Germany and do a different hypothetical situation. Let's say someone adds an mandated delay to a person's ability to exercise a right, and because of that delay someone died. (Oops. It turned out to be not so hypothetical.) Would it not be appropriate to seek damages against those legislators instead of looking to gun them down. Wouldn't voting them out of office at least render them harmless? They should at least be charged with aiding and abetting a murder.
         However, I can't bring myself to justify using force against these wayward legislators. It has been asserted that no one is above the law in these United States, and we'll see if it's true.
         Victor's essay is tantamount to sedition, mutiny, or conspiracy. It's lucky that we're told we have free speech, or we might be in trouble.
         I just don't like the idea that the Secret Service is now maintaining a file on both of us, just because that article contained an implied threat.

Joshua R. Poulson

To: The Editor

         Jim Davidson's article in Number 16 overlooks a critical element in the Libertarian Party's lack of success so far. Though I am not a party member, and in fact am on the state board of another alternate party, I number a great many Ls among my friends and acquaintances, and exchange ideas and experiences with them regularly.
         The Republican party arguably considers the Libertarians a threat, reasoning as they have been that a Libertarian candidate stands to siphon off more votes from their candidate than the Democrat candidate. Whether or not this is actually borne out by experience, it is a near-universal belief . . . and not just amongst Republicans.
         It is my carefully considered observation that the Republican party machine has long since moved beyond just carping about the Libertarian electoral threat to the point of initiating concrete actions. There is little doubt that the state organization here has been infiltrated by Republican moles for quite some time; moles whose very livelihood would appear to be subsidized by the R party heirarchy; moles whose evident duty is to, in extremely subtle ways, reduce the effectiveness of the Libertarians. I say carefully considered because I've been mentally processing the evidence for some time, admittedly from the outside looking in, and because in my own (Reform Party) organization there was pretty clear indication of Republican mole spoiler activity as far back as 1992, and particularly in 1994.
         Despite the way it sounds, I don't believe this is some paranoid fantasy. I've heard similar suspicions voiced by both Libertarian and Reform Party operatives from other states. Careful consideration will lead the thoughtful observer to the inevitable conclusion that, from the Republicans' strategic perspective, it's a perfectly logical course. For that matter, it would surprise me not in the least if the Democrats were mounting the same sort of ops against the Greens, the Socialists, and the Pacific Party.
         The obvious question is what to do about such machinations. Presumably the afflicted parties aren't quite prepared to impose lie-detector tests on all existing and prospective members. But beware; if you have a relatively new convert in the ranks who appears to have no visible means of support but who is thriving all the same; a member whose influence on most discussions seems to be vaguely in the direction of forestalling any substantive decision-making; a member who usually supports the weirdest possible candidates for nomination; a member whose positions sometimes unaccountably slip in the direction of traditional R beliefs -- then you may just possibly have a mole.
         Or you may not. I don't pretend to have the answer, but I do believe that the problem is a real one in many places.

W. Brewster Gillett

Get your Viperwear(TM) T-shirt: "The Viper Militia as seen by...." Hilarious, sharp 4-color design. Postage-paid with donation of $18 or more to SAFE (memo: Dean Pleasant Viper Defense Fund), 10412 N. 8th Ave. #3, Phoenix, AZ 85021. State shirt size(s) and number of each. Preview the design by visiting http://www.nguworld.com/viper.

Next to advance to the next article, or Previous to return to the previous article, or Index to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 17, October 29, 1996.