Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 464, April 20, 2008

"One Dollar Gas?
Vote Libertarian!"

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Americans often hear that we are at a moment of decision, a crossroads, a crisis, or whatever they want to call it. This time it might be true. There is far too much at stake to vote for politicians.

The U.S. government shows no intention of ending a war which the majority of Americans oppose. The most powerful nation in the world today advocates torturing its political enemies, and if you're reading this, your tax dollars are likely paying them to do it. The feds claim it as their right and responsibility to monitor subjects at will. The latest police state technology is being fielded on the Mexican border, and dangerous and intrusive tactics of control are being implemented on the streets. Gasoline is absurdly expensive and it is unlikely that a useful replacement will be allowed to be implemented anytime soon. Driver's licenses already function as national ID cards; they are just clumsier than the official program would be. The economy is buckling under the weight of empire. When the government can't find another penny to squeeze out of the population, they devalue the dollar by printing more and pass the bill for their recklessness onto the future.

Despite this, the average American is still in good shape by historical standards. We are enormously wealthier than the average person was two centuries ago and we are relatively free to write what we want to. But that isn't good enough, especially when liberty and prosperity are assaulted daily by government action. "More freedom than Galileo" just doesn't cut it. Neither does "easier childhood than Frederick Douglass." And things can only get better if we make them.

Any presidential candidate who would improve things will not win. Professional politicians have demonstrated their unwillingness to stop the deadly course of empire.

In the midst of this crisis we are bombarded by slogans as stupid as the sun is hot. "Want change? Vote Democrat" is about as out of touch with reality as McCain's ramblings. You might as well say "Slogans, not progress!"

What have Democrats changed since they took control of congress? Not much. Pelosi paraded around like a new queen and aggressive poses were made, but everything I mentioned in the second paragraph continued. Any minor changes that were made just won't cut it. Democrats are complicit in the crimes of the United States government.

Politics is about control and politicians will do whatever they think they can get away with. The foreign policy that Hillary Clinton has experience with was a policy of mass murder that helped breed the hate that made September 11 possible. McCain is simply an imperialist maniac. Obama sounds like the least-worst of the leading three, but that isn't going to cut it. He promises change but a politician can promise anything, especially when it's popular. After all Bush II spoke against nation building.

In any case, voting for a slight modification of the status quo is far worse than not voting at all. The best that can truly be said for it is that it sends some present trouble to the future. The problem will likely get worse before it is addressed, and lives will continue to be destroyed. Progress is one thing, but a shuffle to the side or turning in circles does not count as a step forward. It just isn't good enough.

The American Empire is simply what happens when a government has unprecedented resources at its disposal due to years of a productive market and continued obedience. Though the nature of the institution discourages competence in most areas, it encourages talent at governing. If granting the illusion of freedom to speak and protest allows them to stay in power, they will wave the flag and "respect your opinion." If a little private enterprise produces a lot of wealth they can steal for their corporate cronies, they will allow the freedom to work.

The only viable long-term solution is the abolition of the modern state, starting with the most destructive ones. This will require a lot of work and creative undermining. People need to be shown how working against the state can work in their best interests. The aura of authority needs to be wrecked in every context in every industry: art, media, education, transportation, manufacturing, retail, security, etc. The meme needs to be spread that every time you make it easier for a person to break a law against consensual activity, you improve the world and make it more likely that you will get to do what you want without interference. Participation in, and reliance on government needs to be reduced as much as is feasible. Of course the problem will not be solved overnight, but gradualism can only bring progress if it actually seeks the real solution.

When we realize what needs to be done, we can look at the situation strategically and see that supporting any of the presidential front-runners would be counter to the interests of the future. None of them will do anything resembling what is necessary. Voting for someone who is part of the problem, even if your intention is simply to prevent an opposing candidate from taking office, is read as an expression of support. When less support is shown for politicians, the empire receives less support.

To those who would tell me to "be realistic" I reply, "shout that at a mirror." If you don't think liberty can be achieved through electoral politics, then don't waste one minute on elections, because liberty is exactly what is needed to secure the future. And if you want the folks who flooded New Orleans to care for our health or protect you from Spanish, you shouldn't be picking leaders anyway and have a responsibility to not vote.

And so I bring you my 2008 election slogan: "Vote for no politician." Now that is progress!


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