L. Neil Smith's

Number 19, December 1, 1996

A Revolutionary Proposal

By L. Neil Smith

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

         In any undertaking, it's essential to call things by their correct names.
         If you're in Denver, for example, and you want to go to Fort Collins and start to look it up on a map -- but you decide, for some bizarre reason having to do with "political correctness" that you have to call it Colorado Springs -- you're going to wind up going in exactly the wrong direction. Easy to see in matters geographical, I guess. Apparently somewhat harder when it comes to politics.
         Consider the following, from my brand-new shiny CD-ROM American Heritage Dictionary:

LIB.ER.AL. Not limited to or by established traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

         Now I ask you: does this sound anything like the "liberals" we've all become acquainted with? Those who, according to neoconservative writer (or is he a neoliberal?) Ben Wattenberg, "live in fear of every known phenomenon"? Those who hate, loathe, and despise any technological result of the discovery of fire, 90,000 years ago? Those who've demonstrated that they're willing to do absolutely anything (including machinegun, poison gas, and incinerate 81 innocent individuals, 22 of them children) to silence those who disagree with them?
         Or does it sound a lot more like the men and women who contribute to this publication?

LIB.ER.TAR.I.AN. 1. One who believes in freedom of action and thought. 2. One who believes in free will.

         The great Libertarian seminarist Robert LeFevre used to observe that, to any extent there's a "public sector" at all, then to that extent, you've got socialism. Accordingly, I propose to both the writers and the readers of The Libertarian Enterprise -- and especially our conservative Constitutionalist fellow travellers who seem permanently behind the 8-ball where fighting their traditional enemies is concerned -- a Noble Experiment in the interests of raising the level of American political discourse. Henceforth, when referring to a person or cause we used to call "liberal", let us substitute a much more accurate term, like "socialist", "fascist", or "dogwhistle", depending on the context.

SO.CIAL.ISM. A social system in which the means of producing and distributing goods are owned collectively and political power is exercised by the whole community.

         Keeping in mind that this definition was almost certainly written by those I've proposed that we start calling socialists, it's probably advisable to examine it closely. In the first place, socialism is not "a social system" but an economic and political system rooted in the ethical notion (if you can stomach dignifying it with such a name) that rights are additive: that two individuals, or two million, somehow have more rights than a single individual.
         That's hard to figure, since the only right any of us has is to be left alone.
         Second, please note that what they never seem to get around to telling you -- until it's too late -- is that the ultimate "means of producing and distributing goods" is the individual human being. Without that, all of the industrial machinery, all of the rippling wheatfields, that such a phrase usually calls to mind are meaningless. What they're saying here in their own cute left-wingy way, is that we as individuals are what ends up being "owned collectively".
         Third -- and a very interesting grab it represents, too -- when "political power is exercised by the whole community", we don't call it "socialism", we call it "democracy". More cuteness. I haven't witnessed this sort of shuffle since Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the progenitor of Mao Tsu Tung, claimed, in an American money tour, merely to be a "democrat" instead of the Marxoid trash he really was.

FAS.CISM 1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism. b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government. 2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

         Now this is a hell of a lot more like it. Adding a punitive $4000 to the price of the average Japanese car qualifies as "belligerent nationalism", and I think we're all grown up enough to understand that "affirmative action" is left-wing code for "racism". "System of government" -- check. "Centralization of authority" -- check. "Dictator" -- what would you call Lincoln, Wilson, either Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, or Waco Willie Clinton -- intentions count for something, here. "Suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship" -- we were speaking of Waco, weren't we? And who needs censors, when the mass media line up to kneel down before you and ... acknowledge your authority?

DOG.WHIS.TLE 1. A person whose asshole is so tight that when he farts, only dogs can hear it.

         Okay, this one's mine, derived from Strange Days. Think of Henry Waxman and Charlie Schumer, Sarah Brady or Robert Reich, and no further comment is necessary.
         So there you have it. And yes, I'm completely serious. Not only will we show "Socialist Party A", the Democrats, in an appropriate light (setting a journalistic trend that could change the course of American political history) but we'll also expose Socialist Party B, the Republicans, for what they really are, and have been, regrettably, since the Lincoln Administration. The reason they've never gotten the upper hand on their opponents is that: due to the misnomer "liberal", they were never really fighting what they thought they were fighting; and because they didn't realize that they were socialists, too, they couldn't undertake to eradicate socialism without doing serious damage to themselves.
         I'd say that publicizing such an unfortunate truth is a practical tactical objective.
         Wouldn't you?
         Your cooperation, while not mandatory, will be greatly appreciated.

L. Neil Smith's Prometheus Award-winning The Probability Broach offers a window onto a Libertarian civilization -- and enough sex and violence to keep even the most apolitical reader turning pages. Buy it at bookstores anywhere, or call Laissez Faire Books 1-800-326-0996

Next to advance to the next article, or Previous to return to the previous article, or Index to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 19, December 1, 1996.