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L. Neil Smith's
Number 484, September 7, 2008

"Barry Obomber and Insane McCain"

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A Good First Step
by A.X. Perez
perez180ehs -+at+-

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Back when the United States was founded a deliberate effort was made to weaken the military. The nation would be defended by State militias. Liberty would thus be guaranteed.

It was State militias that provided the troops to break the Whiskey Rebellion. In the South one of the militia's jobs was to patrol to capture run away slaves. Suppressing the resistance to an unjust expansion of the government's power and helping keep people in slavery does not strike me as defending liberty.

"What do you call throwing a thousand dishonest lawyers wearing cement overshoes overboard in the middle of the Atlantic?" See the title. Any step towards liberty can be perverted into a step towards tyranny. Failure to follow up on successes for the struggle for liberty lead to one of three possibilities:

A. It gives the supporters of tyranny time to dig in to stop the spread of liberty and try to reverse our successes. There are enough supporters of liberty and enough points to push the advance of liberty that we should always be advancing on one point or another. For example, the recent Supreme Court season saw victories for liberty on issues that some consider liberal and others that are perceived as as conservative. We must always be advancing on one side of the political spectrum without giving up what we've gained on the other.

B. Frequently it is necessary to pass a second law to make a first one work. This is how statists justify inflicting more laws on us. That said, while Heller guarantees the individual right to keep and bear arms the Government books used in many school districts still proclaim that it is a collective right. Obviously it is time to replace a bunch of government books and other books in which the Constitution is discussed (check your kids' books and start bugging your local, state, and private school board to adopt new books as soon as possible!!). At least for public schools it requires legislation to pay for replacement books. Laws by states clarifying that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, that this right is guaranteed, not created, by the Federal and State Constitutions, and that violating it is a criminal offense would also be nice.

C. Until the state is eliminated completely we must always keep challenging abuses of its power and disarming situations where the power of the state can be abused. If it turns out that the state cannot be totally eliminated we must keep the state in line and focused on protecting rights instead of violating them as possible. Just remember that the power of the state to protect rights is exactly equal to its power to violate them. Therefor even the weakest state must be subject to scrutiny and careful control. Quid custodet ipsos custodes applies to even the freest state led by the greatest lovers of liberty.

Gradualism doesn't work in the struggle to gain and keep freedom. Each victory we obtain is not the conclusion of our struggle, rather it is simply a good first step in expanding and protecting liberty.


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