L. Neil Smith's
Number 241, October 5, 2003

Feast or Famine

by Todd Mahle

Exclusive to TLE

In amazement I read the plea for written material from The Libertarian Enterprise. I was quite shocked at first. Is everything in disarray? What has happened within the freedom movement that mere mortals such as myself are being encouraged to contribute? What is happening at the top? Where are the manipulators of freedoms message? I was quite content to take my marching orders every week and perform my duties to the best of my abilities. Now suddenly my opinions were ripped from my grasp. It seemed my very being would collapse from lack of substance.

I recovered after a short respite and began to understand the monumental responsibility presented. The future of humanity surely hangs in perilous balance. Only I can prevent the complete collapse of liberty and justice for all. Me, a published author? Me, a libertarian leader? Me, a famous philosopher? It is clear that I am receiving the break for which I had waited all my life. Things will be different now. I will not waste this awesome opportunity. I, Todd Mahle will be thevoice of freedom.

I imagine myself rolling up to TLE headquarters in a stretch limo, fawning fans ready with flash and film. Walking the length of the recently unfurled carpet I reach the end ready to receive abundant accolades and acclamations. My cleverly thought out speech provides the final knots tying together all the factions of freedom. "Never again, " I say, "will lovers of liberty suffer the distractions of disagreement." It is time to unite under one common banner. This banner will simply state:

Freedom Good, Government Bad

It really need not be more complicated than that. It seems to be a common idea that if freedom needs to be explained you are hardly deserving of it anyway. With unity final and all of freedomkind following my mantra it will seldom need to be reminded that those who act consistently with my dogma are good people regardless of what they do and those who do not follow my four word slogan are evil despite what they want to be. Only my new system of freedom-thought will prevent further turbulence within the liberty community. The last thing the world needs is the inevitable conflict between the Nap faithful and the Zap progressives. Personally I would rather take a nap or get zapped with a cattle prod then fight my way through another bit of banter defining the best term for who is right.

Only my new system of freedom-thought will prevent the harshness of the big el versus little el gangs. The bigs have size in their favor and a more stable base but the littles are more maneuverable and unpredictable in methodology. It would be a horrid fight on the streets and only I can stop it.

Even the conservatives and liberals will choose to follow my ideas. They will respect all aspects of freedom even if it means tattooing FGGB on each others' foreheads.

Rush in Limbo will be able remove the spider web strand securing the tied half of his brain.

We can end the debate as to whether Rand is the fountainhead of freedom or whether we should all be more objective.

The voting is good crowd and the voting is evil crowd will be able to join in brotherly love under my wonderful plan and together find that bastard Chad and finally give him the needed hanging.

Under my system of government we will no longer have to argue about whether the United States of America are states united or united states.

No longer will we debate the ins and outs of constitutional democracy or democratic constitutionalism.

The arguments between anarcho-caps and market-archos will become prattle of the past.

Those humans whose explanation of existence include an intelligent creator will live at peace with those who hear a big bang.

Jesus the prophet? Jesus the anarchist? Jesus the son of God? All the Christians will live in peace when my brilliant deductions have discontinued the need to argue.

With my ideas at the forefront we can all sleep easier at night knowing that the Masonic, trilateral-new world ordure has collapsed due to the enlightenment of the world.

Lions will lie with the sheeple and my errorless systemic works will cease any fears that it is to early to begin shooting the bastards.

I fully understand that there will be doubters. Some of the elitists of the freedom community will feel slightly put out at my success. The toes which have been battling in the arena of liberty for decades are sure to hurt as I stomp upon them. Many will state that my ideas are intellectually bankrupt. That I am not worthy of respect because I am lacking a university degree.

Others will be offended that I spent seven years in the United States Army jumping out of airplanes and oppressing the world. This will undoubtedly disqualify me from having any thoughtful thoughts.

There will be those who will state that as a former agent of the state I am not philosophically pure. That only a virgin free from the penetration of government is worthy of saving the world.

Having spent one year as a North Carolina corrections officer I am sure to hear the outrage of those that believe that forcing a person behind bars for any reason is wrong and that I am destined to rot in whatever desolate afterlife they choose.

The dog that I spanked with a roll of newsprint will certainly act as informer to the critter rights movement and I will be criticized as an animal rights abuser.

Many will have a major problem with my ignorance of technical and electronic issues. I even talk on a cell phone.

My choices of vendors will come under scrutiny. I shop at Walmart and even use America Online for my Internet access.

Racial issues will have to be overcome. I will not be seen as a good leader by many who make decisions based on race. Although not born in the Netherlands my white Dutchness is sure to be a problem for many.

My public school education is guaranteed to settle that I am not learned enough to manage such a huge undertaking.

The home schoolers will object to my claims that I help my children learn rather than school them.

Vegetarian-vegans will not be able to stomach me and the Atkinites will criticize my consumption of pasta.

The all steel crowd will shoot bullets of disgust at my use of Tupperware pistols and the battle rifle squad will target my owning a petty two two three.

Drivers of Fords will lose control when they find out that I currently own a Chevy. The sky will fall when it is discovered that my wife turns the wheel of a horrid vehicle of sporty utility.

Yes, I did say MY wife. Yes, I am married. Oppression you say? Why don't you ask her? Marriage is oppression by the state? Maybe but I was only eighteen years old, give me a break. Yes, I did get married at eighteen. Bad decision that proves I am a fool? You decide but I've been best friends with the same woman for thirteen years.

Yes, I have used tobacco. Yes, I do have a tattoo. Yes, I have made mistakes. Yes, I have done bad things.


To all of you that don't want to take my leadership without challenge here is my response.

I know what is best for you. I want you to go get a hobby and quit worrying about petty things such as your personal choices. Get a life, just make sure it doesn't conflict with how I run it. I will make you free despite your concerns. Go watch a ball game. For that matter get fifty-two sports channels and do nothing else except a weekly forty hours of work at a job that automatically sends half your income to me.

Don't get into sports? Get fifty-two channels that will provide you with other kinds of entertainment. Immerse yourself in the lives of others and think little about what your life means. Just remember that you still have a duty to work enough to pay your fair share of freedoms' cost.

If you absolutely must start a business of your own you will need to come to me for approval. Your place of business must conform to my idea of what makes correct employment. You will after all be employing free people and I will be the expert on such things.

Go to church as often as you can, believe everything you hear without questioning. Make sure that church is approved by me however so I can keep my finger on the pulse of what it is you are believing.

Take your children to centers that I have approved. They will learn that in order to be free and happy they must learn what they are taught without considering other angles.

If you still haven't taken up enough of your time doing things such as this I will help you be happy and free with medical prescriptions. There are pills that the doctors can give you that will solve all your problems. Just make sure that the doctor you are going to is approved by me and things will be all right.

What I absolutely can't have is you running all over the place leading a thoughtful and productive life. If everyone started doing this I would not be able to ensure freedom and happiness.

Without me holding peoples extravagances to a minimum freedom can't be had by all.

I will not allow hot drinks of coffee or tea. Sitting with hot drinks tends to generate conversational musing.

I will not allow you to take long walks with your children. Long walks tend to generate deep thoughts.

I will not allow groups of your family and friends to gather around a fire in your back yard. Gathering around a fire tends to generate thinking deeply.

I will not allow long paddles down the river. Paddling tends to generate meditation.

I will not allow climbing on rocky crags. Resting on a cliff ledge with a trusted partner tends to generate constructive discourse.

These are a few of the things that I cannot allow if we are to maintain freedom and happiness for everyone. Actions like these will make it very difficult for me to maintain my hold on the unity of the entire world under the banner of:

Freedom Good, Government Bad

The irresistible draw of spending time doing things that are enjoyable, thought provoking and physically worthwhile will be a major obstacle to my being able to bring together all the factions of freedom in order to make the world a better place.

I am sitting here at this very moment thinking about how much more fun it would be to go see if the kids would like to go for a hike in the woods behind the house. We could sit up on a little hill and talk about why the leaves are beginning to change color. I've got to fight this desire, however. If we go out and enjoy our day I will be unable to save humanity from itself. Freedom and happiness will decline as I am outside pushing the kids in their swings. Who is going to unite the world under my brilliant banner if I am outside teaching my five year old how to safely handle his .22 rifle?

It's such a nice day out there, we could run out really fast and play on the climbing wall for just a few minutes. Then I could come back in and continue my plan to save the world.

Maybe the world isn't such a bad place after all. If it was universally as horrible as I think of it at times I would do something about it right? Doing my best to raise my own children to determine their own success is taking the easy way out right? If freedom was declining as quickly as I try to convince those who will listen I would start an immediate revolution wouldn't I?

I can't come up with the answers right now. I have plans to go climb to the top of Table Rock this afternoon. Maybe if I go out and enjoy the day my cognitive abilities will return.

Maybe I'll try to write something awe inspiring and world changing next week. Today I'm going to take the kids out to enjoy the day.

I'd like to get off my, er.... but it's so nice out today.

I'll think about sending something to TLE next week.


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