Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 375, July 9, 2006

"This insane and petty Prohibitionism"

The Portland Purge
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

By now, most of my readers will be aware that there is no more Libertarian Party, at least in any philosophical, moral, or ethical sense.

They'll know that, in Portland, Oregon, ironically enough on the weekend of July 4, 2006, a slathering pack of neolibertarians—the vicious lowlives who have always placed politics ahead of principle—ripped eighty percent of the contents out of the Libertarian Party national platform. Moreover, they would have obliterated the document altogether, if they could have mustered a few more gullible fools—those incapable of the two millimeter intellectual leap required to understand that there's no point in having a Libertarian Party, if you abandon the very libertarianism that the party stands for—to help them.

My first thought, when I heard about this event myself, was that what the history books might eventually have labeled the Portland Purge—except that its instigators have guaranteed that history will remember nothing of the Libertarian Party—must have been engineered by operatives of the Republican National Committee, so well does the atrocity serve the GOP in general and the present administration in particular.

After all, on more than one occasion, LP candidates have taken enough votes in an election to deprive Republicans of victory and assure the win for Democrats. Whenever that has happened, Republicans have bawled like the babies wearing dirty, smelly diapers that they are, which is reason enough for them to set moles burrowing into the LP to destroy it from within. Now the GOP has nothing more to worry about.

Possibly more important, with real libertarians (remember that phrase) around all the time to remind the American electorate of what they, the GOP, once (dishonestly) claimed to stand for, Republicans would have a much tougher time propping up their increasingly rickety Empire of Lies. Voters might be getting tired of perpetual warfare, of oppression, slavery, torture, and slaughter. Planting parliamentary saboteurs within the LP, poised to wreck the party at the very moment it might otherwise have had its greatest successes makes a lot of sense.

But then I had another thought. My first New York book editor (25 years ago, I'm shocked to realize) was kind of a killjoy, a veritable Captain Bringdown. For every wonderful, magical-seeming phenomenon in the universe, he—I'll call him "Owen"—had a mundane explanation, a relentlessly unfun way of looking at things that removed all of that pesky wonder and magic and left you holding something that resembled mud.

Boring mud, at that.

Obviously, this is not a quality to be encouraged in a science fiction editor. However Owen was not without his own brand of wisdom, and the wisest thing he ever said to me—I call it "Owen's Law"—has served me in good stead for a quarter of a century. It is simply this: whenever you are tempted to blame a conspiracy for something that somebody has done, consider the possibility that they're just stupid.

It was at that point that something else occurred to me. What had happened in Portland on the Fourth wasn't merely the complete disaster it appeared to be—it was all of that, of course, make no mistake about it; the Libertarian Party and the cause of individual liberty itself will almost certainly never recover, and we'll all end up with our naked pink asses in transparent bathtubs, being forced to act as batteries for George Rodham Bush VII's iPod. But it also represents an amazing, unparalleled opportunity to put Owen's Law to the scientific test.

Has the Libertarian Party truly been destroyed by Republican operatives?

Here's how to find out.

Make sure none of their candidates for office ever appears at a public gathering without some real libertarian (remember that phrase) hecklers to ask embarrassing questions about what real libertarianism is.

Make sure none of their candidates ever runs for office without a real libertarian (remember that phrase) opponent on the ballot with him. All the neolibertarians will have accomplished, conspiracy or not, is to split the libertarian vote in half for the remainder of history.

Many years ago (no, this is not a digression), there was some kind of dispute over the intellectual property called Ghost Busters. I know nothing of the details, only that it was serious enough that when the time came to make a Saturday morning cartoon series based on the two feature movies of that name, it had to be called The REAL Ghost Busters.

I can't count the number of occasions since then, whenever I have been disgusted by what's become of the original Libertarian Party (the last time, I ran for President in Arizona, instead) that I have thought about how useful it might be to create The REAL Libertarian Party (which is why you're supposed to remember that phrase), The REAL Libertarian Party, on the same basic principle as The Real Ghostbusters.

Now if the neolibertarians don't object to any of this, then we'll know for sure that they are political operatives for the criminals in the White House, and their actual goal all along was to destroy the LP.

And if they do object, then we'll know that they were just stupid.


Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas was recently completed and is presently looking for a literary home.

A decensored, e-published version of Neil's 1984 novel, TOM PAINE MARU is available at: Neil is presently working on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Roswell, Texas, with Rex F. "Baloo" May.

The stunning 185-page full-color graphic-novelized version of The Probability Broach, which features the art of Scott Bieser and was published by BigHead Press has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at, or at

Gadsden Flag
Fly the Gadsden Flag

As recommended by Kent McManigal

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