Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 436, September 23, 2007

"First Day of Autumn"

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We the Peasantry
by A.X. Perez

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Most of us are mediocre. No offense or insult intended. Mediocre is defined as what most people are. Therefore most people are mediocre.

This is not an excuse not to strive for or honor excellence. It is simply a recognition of the fact that the average person is, well, average.

Like the millions of average men who fought in this country's wars who proved that in the crunch heroic courage is common. This is not to deny that many of these wars may have been unjust or that injustices were committed in even the most just of wars. It is simply to point out that the average, common man is capable of heroism and practices this virtue regularly in war. Or rescuing his (and her) fellows when bad things happen. It is mediocre men who go back into buildings that are about to collapse or on fire to save one more person, common men who risk getting caught in secondary cave ins to save men that they may even consider personal enemies, average men who dive in to save drowning victims.

It is the work of common people that built The USA and every industrial giant. Yes, people of genius did more than their share and have earned a greater reward than most. But it was the common people who implemented these geniuses' visions, and they are entitled to a full economic and political "piece of the action" they helped to create. No, I'm not talking socialism but only full and fair pay for full and fair measure sold, be it beans, bullion or labor. Yet many tyrants of left and right claim it is okay to cheat the common man of his reward because he is too, well, common and mediocre to realize what he is missing.

It is average people who appreciate Isaac Sterns and Yo Yo Ma's incredibly artistry on their instruments, and appreciate how well Vanessa Mae combines her second rate violin playing (in a world of fourth rate players) with her first rate appearance . It is common people who appreciate Shakespeare properly done. It is mediocre people who read Heinlein, Rand, and L'Amour and are inspired by them to strive for that little bit of excellence all can achieve.

The Bill of Rights was written to guarantee the freedom of geniuses who occassionally come along and challenge the system. But it was also intended to guarantee the freedoms of the average majority who live in that system and are too busy earning a living day to day to struggle for freedom. That is, the average, mediocre, common man should not have to sacrifice the blessings of liberty day in day out to struggle to gain freedom while providing for himself and his family. Indeed, convincing and forcing the common people to give up today's rights and freedoms for a brighter tomorrow that somehow is never achieved is one of many tyrants' favorite tricks.

There are people on both the left and right who promote various kinds of socialisms and fascisms in the name of the common man. Yet they would take away his freedoms and disparage his delights, courage, and genius.

Could it be that in the end the supporters of tyranny, even, or especially, those who claim to "love" the common man, are merely incompetent snobs?


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