Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 438, October 7, 2007


Previous Previous Table of Contents Contents Next Next

Triple Dog Dare
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

I'm sure you're like me, in that there are times when, driven by frustration with the way the world is, and the idiots and villains who enthusiastically made it that way, I say to myself, "If I weren't a libertarian—"

But since I am a libertarian, I never finish that sentence.

Well, hardly ever.

These days, as my regular readers are no doubt painfully aware, one of my major frustrations is the price of gasoline. There are so many reasons for that, I hesitate to catalog them, but here are just a few.

First, I do not believe for a single nanosecond that the current price of gasoline reflects anything genuine that's happening or has happened in the market system. Instead, it's a deliberate, artificial phenomenon that serves the illegitimate purposes of several different groups.

One of those groups is composed of the major oil companies, who have calculated that we are nearing a time, not of "peak oil"—petroleum is the second most abundant liquid on Earth—but of peak profits.

The sources of so-called "fossil fuel" (in fact, petroleum is the product of abiotic processes) that only they control are about to be supplemented by the kind of deep-source oil that took Russia from an oil-importing nation to the world's largest exporter in a couple of decades.

Add to that, Canadian tar sands, the fact that old, "exhausted" fields are filling up again from below, the potential of synthetic oil from garbage—and if you believe "cold" fusion is discredited, over, and done with, I've got a bridge I'd be interested in selling you at a great price—and you can see why the big guys are desperate to wring every last buck they can out of the Productive Class before the jig is up.

The other group served by artifically heightened fuel prices is made up of the various fascist monsters—the two-headed Boot On Your Neck party—who mistakenly believe they own us. Each and every one of these specimens hates, loathes, and despises the private automobile and everything about it. They would rather see the Productive Class crammed into their dirty, dangerous collectivized transport systems or even immobilized altogether—we're so much easier to control, that way.

For most of our life together (so far) my wife and I have had to be contented with squinchy little automobiles that always left me with a backache and my knees up around my ears. We had a Volkswagen Beetle (the real kind, not the glorified flowerpot they're selling nowadays), and a two-wheel Subaru station wagon. For a brief period, we also had an aircraft carrier-sized Ford LTD, but the less said about that, the better.

In 2000, we got a Dodge Durango, which I absolutely adore, but which has quickly become too expensive to drive, thanks to the oil gangs and the Boot On Your Neckers. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more—except that I don't have to shout it out a window.

Not when I've got the Internet.

And not when I have one of those ideas that begin, "If I weren't a libertarian—"

Here's my idea: a little earlier, I mentioned a process for making oil out of garbage. The process is called "thermal depolymerization", and I've written about it before. This isn't speculative, it isn't experimental, it isn't pie in the sky. It's established technology for converting turkey offal, wornout tires, and old computer cabinets into light sweet crude at $15.00 a barrel, with future prices as low as $8.00, with the added benefit of gradually emptying all of America's landfills.

Now how do I say the following without getting sued? If you'd seen the coverage I have, you would come to the same conclusion, that the outfit that invented and perfected this process was the victim, first, of blatant physical sabotage, then of transparently corrupt pressure from politicians who shut the plant down because it "smelled bad"—even though it was located next door to a turkey processing facility. It doesn't help that the company itself was looking for a government handout.

I remember when gasoline cost 25 cents a gallon (and cigarettes cost 25 cents a pack—it doesn't seem that long ago), but according to a little research done by several friends of mine, there was never a time when oil cost as little as eight bucks a barrel. Which means we could easily see 25 cent gasoline again, thanks to thermal depolymerization.

Of course it's unlibertarian as hell, but what if there were a law in your state to the effect that, should gasoline prices rise above a certain amount, the state must obtain the proper licenses from the inventors and build a thermal depolymerization plant in each of its counties. They could probably charge a buck a gallon (that's the price which I think should trigger plant construction to begin with), make fifty cents in profits, and eliminate all state, county, and city taxes.

As John Lennon would say, "Imagine".

Imagine being able to travel anywhere in a comfortable, capable car, with gas as no object. Imagine what it would cost to fly, once we put the airlines through a thorough course of denazification. Imagine, once the dust settled, how fast the price of conventional gas would fall.

Imagine being able to ignore the Middle East.

Chiefly, therefore, I offer this message to the oil companies. Get the prices back down to a reasonable level, or get blasted out of the market by newer, better technology. Do it now, no arguments, no more excuses.

Do it because, although we libertarians aren't much of a threat to the sitting politicians you've bought and paid for, the Republicans, Democrats, and angry independents who'll love this idea—and who won't have any scruples at all about seeing it enacted into law—are.

A threat, that is.

To my readers I say, give your state legislator a call. His answer will tell you right away whether he works for you or one of the oil companies.

But you knew the answer to that, already?

Didn't you?

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.

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


Shop For Vitamins & Supplements At eVitamins
Large selection

Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates.
We cheerfully accept donations!

to advance to the next article
to return to the previous article
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 438, October 7, 2007

Bill of Rights Press