L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 340, October 9, 2005
Tenth Anniversary Edition, Part 2
Anybody But George?
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
At this writing, the 2008 election is only 25 months away. America is getting ready again to play the deadliest game of Ping-Pong in the universe.
This horrifying process was first described to me (although I'd noticed it myself already) by libertarian lecturer/philosopher Robert LeFevre. Every time we elect somebody new, Bob explainedusually because we're fed up with the Old Regime screwing up our lives and finding ways to limit our freedomthe New Regime soon finds ways of its own (because it had them in mind all along) to do exactly the same stuff.
At the same time, it never undoes whatever its predecessor did to us.
Once we've had enough of them, we turn to somebody from the Old Regime to save us, but not only do we end up stuck with what was done to us the first two times around, we now have to spend all our time and energy fighting off even bigger and "better" enchroachments on our lives and freedom, because the Old Regime thinks it has some kind of mandate.
Meet the new boss, as Pete Townshend warned us, same as the old boss.
I've described the American political process myself as a system of ratchets, cranking ever tighter around our necks. The "pawl"the little part that flips up readily enough when the noose is tightening, but drops into place and blocks any possible reversalis the false idea we have that one half of the system is better or worse than the other.
There is a lingering notion among many libertarians, for example, arising, I think, from the movement's origin and early history, that Republicans are somehow betterhave more regard for personal and economic freedomthan Democrats. Not even the blatant excesses and insanities of the past five years seem to be enough to convince them otherwise.
Such individuals appear to come in three categories:
The first are falsely self-proclaimed libertarians, mostly within the Libertarian Party structure, who have convinced themselves that George Bush's war in the middle eastand the destruction of the Bill of Rights it's being used as an excuse to carry outis a good idea;
Organized Objectivistspardon me, students of Objectivismwho are so enamored of the Israeli Totalitarian State they'll gladly suffer any violation of their own established principles to support it;
And libertarians who think they're being clever by embedding themselves within the Republican Party in the pathetically foolish belief that they can somehow steer the GOP, instead of being steered, themselves, further and further away from everything it means to be libertarian.
These are all known entities,of course, which real libertarians have learned to deal with or ignore. The new danger is libertarians who, because of their utter loathing for George Bush, are beginning to invest their hopes in Democrats and others on the Left who happen to share that loathing with them for the moment, and basically nothing else.
This is as big a mistake as allying ourselves with Republicans. To demonstrate that, I have composed a list of questions libertarians ought to be asking of the Left before they leap into unholy political matrimony. Me, I'm addressing these questions to the Woman with One Eyebrow herself, but you should try them out on any Democrat that you know.
Who knowsthe treachery and hypocrisy they reveal may even turn a few of them, with genuine concerns about this war and the police state it has spawned, toward our side of the (Zero Initiation of) Force. But remember, any excuses they makeor that you feel inclined to make for themput you in the same category as the apologists for Republicans.
Okay, here we go:
The first time I saw Hillary Clinton, I remarked to my wife, "That woman has the smell of the deathcamps on her." Bitter experience leads me to expect that the answers to all of my questions will be "No", which brings to another question, one that I address to the people of America:
Why has it always seemed to come down to a choice for Americansa false choice, at thatbetween Democratic socialism and Republican fascism?
Or Democratic fascism and Republican socialism?
Especially when there's so little effective difference between the two?
Especially when a genuine choicebetween unencumbered liberty and every variety of oppression, right, left, and centeris never offered?
Who benefits from that?
It certainly isn't America.
It certainly isn't us.