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L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 228, June 22, 2003
The 0AI Hunters' Aide Program
Exclusive to TLE
A surprising long-term problem of libertarians in general is that of poverty. Libertarians don't think of poverty the way the Statist Republicans and Democrats do: for them, poverty is simply another line item in the budget to be fought over, to see whose constituents get money this year.
When libertarians fight poverty, we really mean it. For many of us, poverty is a daily fact of life. We are philosophically forbidden from accepting money from the government to ease our situation, because the money is stolen by government at gunpoint. To accept a Welfare (or other aid) check is to participate or condone theft.
Furthermore, many libertarians will not work for companies that in any way engage in the tracking of human beings as though they were cattle and this unfortunately now includes any business that withholds Social Security funds.
Furthermore, to so much as get a loan from anyone but a gangster in modern America requires government-sponsored prying into one's personal affairs. It's certainly moral for an individual or company contemplating a loan to assure themselves that you'll repay it. It's utterly immoral for government to become involved in the transaction.
So what does a principled libertarian do? Many live on the black or gray market, treading the narrow path between subsistence and poverty.
Recently, one of the frequent posters to the Ad-Hoc Conspiracy to Draft L. Neil Smith For President's discussion forum announced that for a number of reasons, he would be leaving the path and taking up residence in his car. This was an intelligent, principled individual who had been barely making ends meet when life circumstances dealt him an unfortunate blow. He's not the first I've seen be forced into homelessness, and until we can remove government from our lives he will no doubt not be the last. The incident has shaken me, however.
In pondering what I might do to help alleviate this individual's problems, I found I was left with few options. I live thousands of miles away from him, so could not realistically offer my hospitality. I'm by no means a rich man and can't afford to support anyone beyond my own family at this point.
I found myself in the car, listening to a CD set of a selection of Lewis and Clarke's journals, penned as they explored the Missouri River in whose valley I live. When these men explored my part of the country the first white settlers to ever do so they didn't have to worry about a job or mortgage. They worried, quite simply, about where their next meal was coming from. In order to support their party of explorers, they needed to kill at least one Buffalo every day.
Modern poverty-stricken libertarians don't need to kill Buffalo, but they do need food. And then it hit me:
Every year, my uncles and I trek to my grandmother's cabin in rural South Dakota. We spend several days based in the tiny building while we tromp around the countryside in search of Mule and Whitetail Deer.
I typically beg the South Dakota government's permission to kill two deer every year, a buck and a doe. I will usually only use one of the two tags, and have the buck processed at Lee's Meats near Sioux Falls. Given my family's non-taste for Venison, it will often take more than a year for the meat to be eaten.
In short, while I enjoy the skill necessary to hunt wild game in the breaks of the Cheyenne River, eating the meat is largely optional.
However, my friend from the discussion list now has a much tighter budget, as to many libertarians. Were he to receive a frozen shipment of Venison, the money he'd otherwise spend on protein for his family could be used in other ways.
I am therefore proud to announce the formation of the Zero Aggression Institute's Hunters' Aide Program (HAP).
I invite hunters with more meat than they can eat to participate. To do so, one need only go to the 0AI Web site (0ap.org) and click on the "Hunters' Aide Program" link.
The program is simple: the 0AI will maintain a database of hunters who have meat to spare: its type and quantity. As the 0AI becomes aware of needy individuals, hunters in the area will be contacted to arrange for donation of their spare meat.
Please note that the 0AI will deny participation by any individual who is participating in government theft. To participate in this program, you must adhere to the Zero Aggression Principle:
"No human being has the right under ANY circumstances to initiate force against another human being, nor to threaten or delegate its initiation."
The 0AI will not fund or otherwise support any individual who violates this principle. Accepting a government subsidy of any kind will be considered in violation of the ZAP. This policy is identical for both the hunter and the aide recipient.
Needy individuals may participate from the same Web site link, and their situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
For the hunter, this is your opportunity to get some of your critics off your back. We are often criticized by the ignorant as engaging in a barbaric practice with no application in modern society; now is your chance to prove them wrong. It also affords you an opportunity to hunt more frequently than your loved ones might desire, simply by offering the excuse that your next kill will be for charity.
For those who need help, this is your opportunity for real relief. It's not a government hand-out intended to hook you on aid and keep you surviving from paycheck to paycheck. Rather, this is real, honest-to-goodness protein that you can put on your family's plates every night. You can then put that food money to use in getting back on your feet.
If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact the Zero Aggression Institute at www.0ap.org.
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