Inventing the .41 Special

 L. Neil Smith's 
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Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 379, August 6, 2006

"Absolutely Shockingly Amazing"

Ken Lay In Hell
Ken Lay In Hell


A Message from the Publisher

Readers may wonder, from time to time, why I estimate the length of time that human civilization has existed as around 8,000 years, whereas Rose Wilder Lane (writing much earlier than yours truly) and others usually say 6,000.

Here is the reason:

Catalhoyuk is an absolutely shockingly amazing site, a small city that existed at least 8000 years ago, and possibly humankind's first experiment with this kind of living. There's even a map of the city painted on one of its walls! I look forward to seeing how much more we can learn from the ongoing arachaeological activity there.

Two reservations: Jared Diamond once wrote an article for Discover (of which he later became the editor) in which he suggested that the development of agriculture (which made places like Catalhoyuk both necessary and possible), may have been our species' "greatest mistake". You can see what I have done with that idea in the novel that was inspired by it, Pallas.

Prequel to the forthcoming Ares, Ceres, and Beautiful Dreamer.

Second, humanity as we presently know it, has been around for at least 250,000 years. As I ask in my novel Forge of the Elders, do you imagine that people who were just as smart back then as they are now, actually just sat around on their thumbs for 242,000 years, doing nothing of any lasting importance?

Not unless they were mostly neolibertarians, voting to erase all signs of human progress as quickly as the "radicals" among them made it.

I won't be surprised if, in the future, sites vastly older than Catalhoyuk are discovered. In fact, it may represent a hillbilly backwater in its own time. What happened to the rest of prehistoric civilization? Well, I make one suggestion in Forge of the Elders.

There may be many others.

L. Neil Smith
Publisher, The Libertarian Enterprise

A Message from the Editor

Last week, one of our Readers responded for our desperate request for assistance by donating $2. In reply to my email of thanks, said Reader apologized for such a small sum. I replied that there was nothing to be apologetic about, and if each of our readers donated $2 every month, TLE and your hard-working and financially desperate editor would be on sound financial footing!

And—you knew it was coming, didn't you?—you yourself can help this magazine keep going by clicking through to our affiliates and advertisers and buying yourself the things you want and need and are going to buy somewhere anyway, right? Or even throw a bit of spare change in the hat. This link right here lists the ways:

Our Adventures In Home Nursing continue. Hard work it is, but what ya gonna do? Who ya gonna call? Ya gotta do it yerself. And there it is, eh?

And if you're looking for a good giggle, check out the video containing the song "FCC FU", which you can find at

Big issue this time, so start reading, Readers!

Ken Holder

TPM cover thumnail
Tom Paine Maru
by L. Neil Smith
Cover by Scott Bieser
First uncensored edition.
Originally published by Del Rey Books, 1984.
Adobe Acrobat PDF file, 1,845,243-bytes, 283 pages.
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(This link may not work—we're trying to get it fixed)
The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel
by L. Neil Smith
Illustrated by Scott Bieser
Published by BigHead Press, 2004


Letters to the Editor
from Jim Davidson, Kevin Van Horn, Ann Morgan, E.J. Totty, Robert Capozzi, L. Neil Smith, Whaddami N.E.Y. Choptleavr III, and Alex Benton

Inventing the .41 Special
by L. Neil Smith
I wonder how many folks reading this site know that a favorite revolver cartridge of mine (possibly yours, too) was never supposed to exist. While a theoretical .41 cartridge—which could, and perhaps should have been called ".41 Special"—had been advocated for many years by such experts as Elmer Keith and Bill Jordan, as a substitute for the pathetically inadequate .38 Special used by most policemen up through the 60s, the one that was developed and released was called .41 Magnum.

A personal journey from Objectivist morality to political "anarchy" by way of L. Neil Smith's Covenant of Unanimous Consent!
by Dennis Lee Wilson
On Sunni Maravillosa's site, a reader asked: "Do the proponents of anarchy have a clearly stated morality of behavior, an understanding of how to make a moral argument for anarchy?" This is an expanded version of my reply that I thought might interest some of The Libertarian Enterprise readers who might be treading a path similar to the one I took.

On the Encroaching National Slavery
by Ron Beatty
I've been reading Neil's articles the last few weeks about the "Portland Purge." One thing that has struck me is that too many people associated with the Libertarian Party have forgotten some basic facts. The first of these facts is that freedom isn't free! Oh, it's not something that can be purchased with money, but it always has a cost. That cost can be public ridicule. It can be imprisonment for a principle. It can be bankruptcy. It can be pain, or discomfort. Rarely is the cost for freedom something that would be anticipated with glee by those who have to pay that cost. Of the original signers of the Declaration of independence, over half paid the price: imprisonment, torture, death, bankruptcy, family members killed or imprisoned, homes burned, livelihoods destroyed.. Why is it that the so-called "Party of Principle" can't stand up for the basic principle of freedom? Why was it considered necessary to 'water down' the message of freedom? Did the party members who did their best to gut the message of the Libertarian Party do it out of spite, or cowardice? Or was it lack of commitment? I don't know. I do know, however, that trying to be appealing is not the way to be free.

Control-Freak News
For the week of 006-07-31

by E.J. Totty
This is the first of what promises to be a continuing series—maybe.

Fun With Hitler
by Jonathan David Morris
A couple of months ago, I wore a fake Hitler mustache under my nose at a large social gathering. I learned two things that afternoon. One, that I actually look pretty good in a Hitler mustache. And two, that most people find Hitler refreshingly funny. . . but those who don't tend to dampen the mood.

On the "Road" Again
by Chris Claypoole
I just finished re-reading The Road to Serfdom (TRtS) by F. A. Hayek. This is the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, published in 1994, which I bought using the link on the TLE home page (for those of you readers who might want your own copy, or one to give away). I enjoyed it much more this time; I first read it over 20 years ago, and I learn more each time I read it.

Without a Net: Compromise versus calculation
by Thomas L. Knapp
If we place the ongoing "purist"-"pragmatist" conflict within the libertarian movement under a metaphorical microscope, it immediately becomes apparent that what we're looking at is not one conflict, but rather a bundle of conflicts composed of numerous intertwined disputes with overlapping intra-movement constituencies for particular outcomes. While the movement can be reasonably viewed as split between overall "purist" and "pragmatist" camps, the vast "No Man's Land" between them is a constantly swirling milieu in which it's not always perfectly clear who is shooting at whom—or why. Various constituencies raise their flags over specific coordinates and give battle, hoping to temporarily claim some patch of territory for their concern of the moment or, perhaps, to extend the lines of some larger alliance to encompass more of the disputed field.

Advertisements Are Usually Annoying
by Kevin Tulppo
I saw a billboard today somewhere in Detroit that said "'Buzzed' Driving is still Drunk Driving." I'm here to tell you that that statement is just plain wrong—as well as an insult to successful drunk drivers everywhere.

Tactical Reflections Revisited
by L. Neil Smith
[Author's Note]: the following observations were published in various places over the span of 20 years. They were collected and published together in my book of essays, Lever Action. In the light of recent events, I've decided to refresh the movement's memory. There are some new ideas, here, and minor changes to others. Please feel free to quote them anywhere you wish, as often as you wish, as long as you give proper credit to the author.

Lebanon and Gaza: The Back Story
by L. Reichard White
You are probably a victim of major propaganda—As the Discovery Times video clip from "The White House at War" says, "Controlling the message has been a hallmark of successful wartime presidents. At the start of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson created the first official U.S. propaganda office, called the Committee on Public Information." And, "President Bush wasn't merely watching the images of war on television, the White House and the Pentagon were trying to control them."

Lawsuit May Finally Hold Failing Child Welfare Agencies Accountable
by Wendy McElroy
For years, child welfare agencies have been stained by accounts of children beaten, starved and murdered while in foster care. Once dismissed as aberrations or blamed on a single social worker, the incidents are increasingly recognized as the tragic consequences of systemic failure.

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