L. Neil Smith's
Number 321, May 29, 2005

"Here come the spoilers"

[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. To ensure their acceptance, please try to keep them under 500 words. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear.]

Re: "Letter from Warren Tilson" http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle320-20050522-01.html#letter2
and "Exchange of Letters between Jim Davidson and Adam J Bernay" http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle320-20050522-01.html#letter4

My Final Word in Response to Messrs. Tilson & Davidson:

Mr. Tilson rejects my notion of a libertarian message in the movie Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (hereafter HHTTG) because of the lack of a statement from one of the characters like, "This is evil, stupid and insane. Do we really need this government? Maybe we should try something else."

Mr. Tilson apparently requires that he be hit over the head with a placard reading "Here comes the message! Watch Out! Message Alert! Make Sure You Pick Up On The MESSAGE!!!" In that case, I suggest he stick to series like Star Trek, where a central character always sums up what they've learned, or the old 80s cartoon GI Joe, which always ended with its "Knowing Is Half The Battle" segment. (And I say this as a sincere fan of both those shows.) However, many of us are capable of picking up on themes without their being spelled out explicitly. For example, do we need to be told how bad and wrong the setup in Animal Farm is? I hope not... I know 10-year-olds who picked up on it.

HHTTG's depiction of a government that hides plans to destroy homes in the most difficult spot to reach in the capitol, or the bureaucratic callousness of a race that destroys whole planets of people to build a space highway bypass, or their home planet with booby traps that slap people for thinking, and on which one can stand in an annoyingly long line (or jump it) and fill out the right form in order to release even someone suspected of kidnapping the Chief of State, makes a point of how bizarre and hideous the State is by reducing it to absurdity. The thinking person can see the indictment of the State without it being spelled out, if they choose to apply the thought.

Now, maybe you don't wish to do so; my best friend doesn't like to do such thinking while watching a movie or for some time afterward, because he finds that detracts from his enjoyment of the movie. To each his own. Then enjoy it for what it is on the surface, but don't blast at those of us who enjoy expending time in "Deep Thought," to use a reference to HHTTG.

Now, to Mr. Davidson: this country is the greatest system for preserving liberty in the recent history of man. Even with how much the government has ignored, the Constitution still enables us to live freer and more prosperous than just about any other nation on the planet... we are still the place of the dreams of the oppressed. I think those of us who have lived here all of our lives tend to forget what real oppression and totalitarianism is, but as someone who doesn't know to this day if certain branches of his family survived the Holocaust and the wrath of the Soviet state, I can never forget that this country has enabled us to live without true fear of being rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps.

Mr. Davidson, and others like him that I debate on the Internet, live in constant paranoia about that and other massive encroachments on our liberty, to the point where they no longer believe in the system. When I ask them to provide one bit of real evidence that we're headed in that direction, they point to laws that, while they're on the books, have amounted to actually nothing. They say, "We're heading towards it." I don't see it, at least not with the "they're coming for us tomorrow" paranoia that Mr. Davidson, and others, portray.

Yes, it's a danger, but it's a danger that is not close. And the system still works well enough to be repaired. The very fact that lobbyists can still push the government one way or another shows it still responds to outside stimuli. If Mr. Davidson and his ilk would, instead of fleeing the system in fear of what might come, would join those of us who wish to see organizations like the Republican Liberty Caucus really make a difference for liberty by getting off his tuchus and doing something other than carping from the sidelines, I'd be most gratified.

Until then, we shall continue pushing on the lever big enough to move the world until we have enough force to cause some movement... and Mr. Davidson can continue to carp about how such movement is impossible. Welcome to what is still—although not to the extent it once was—a free country.

Any complaints or verbal assaults may be sent directly to me... the good guys at The Libertarian Enterprise don't need to be bothered with the back-biting!

Adam J. Bernay

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