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L. Neil Smith's
Number 538, September 27, 2009

"The plague of authoritarian collectivism"

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Letters to the Editor

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Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from C. Jeffery Small

Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Ward Griffiths

Yet Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Re: "Stop Saying "Please"!" by Larken Rose

Thank you Mr. Rose for reminding us of an often forgotten point. People often get so involved in the process (passing and enforcing just laws, for example) that we fail to recognize that the system is being subverted. Thus we get into laws to punish people for firing guns recreationally without properly checking their backstop inside city limits and don't notice that a ban on carrying in public is getting snuck in. The first is subject to debate even if we are refuting that such laws are needed and explaining why they are not needed or prudent*, the second is automatically unacceptable, period, no debate.

This is why tyrants try to sanitize and bureaucratize their actions, getting us so involved in the process we fail to see the substance of what they are doing. The chipper doesn't care if it's grinding up branches, grass, and leaves for mulch or a (hopefully, since I'm squeamish) dead person.

We must learn to not get so involved with the process of civil society that we allow those who would enslave us to dominate the substance.

That said, there is a reason to demand a repeal of tyrannical laws and the passage of those few laws needed to support liberty. The purpose of these pro freedom laws is to make clear that the state exists to guarantee liberty, that a primary goal of our society is to make people free, that the only security is in liberty.

Of course when we push for these corrections of the laws we should make it clear to our would be oppressors that we are not begging them to take their collective foot off our collective neck, but that we are perfectly willing to break their other ankle if they try it again.

Here's to enemies with broken ankles.

A.X. Perez

*The correct manner of dealing with people who endanger others by recklessly discharging firearms is to shoot back and/or sue for compensation if they actually do damage (not to mention collect blood debts if necessary), no need to involve new laws or the gendarmes.


The John Galt Pledge Initiative


I am sending you this message because you were one of the people who went out of your way to provide additional support back in April for the Atlas Shrugged Books-To-Politicians Campaign. I want to thank you once again for your efforts and tell you that it meant a great deal to me.

I have put together another initiative which I wanted to bring to your attention. Starting with an analysis of the current push to impose a requirement of national service upon the citizens of the United States, I step the reader through the underlying philosophy implicit in this mandate, and end with a call for all of us to make a Personal Declaration of Independence from the tyranny that has become our government, and demand the restoration of our constitutional rights.

The purpose of this action is to amass enough signatures behind this pledge that, by its numbers alone, the list takes on a persuasive force similar to the Tea Party protests which gain much of their impact from the number of individuals gathered. But the purpose of this site is also different. While the Tea Parties have communicated a very strong emotional expression of generalized anger, they have present a fairly diffuse ideological message. My intent here is to focus on a single fundamental issue, that being the abridgement of our constitutionally guaranteed rights. If we can generate a large number of supporters for this very specific idea, then I believe we can use the resulting document in support of a wide range of broader attacks upon specific governmental proposals being put forth and legislation being enacted. My idea is that in all of these actions taken to battle the forces trying to socialize our country, each can be grounded back to first principles—that being the unalienable rights guaranteed us by our Constitution. In this way, we might start to unify the messages of protest around one point, so basic, that the opposition will be ultimately powerless against it. And this site could become an important tool, being used to show that there is significant support for this idea.

I do have a secondary message implicit in the pledge. The current dichotomy in the US between those individuals still prepared to act in their capacity as responsible adults and accept responsibility for their lives, who stand in opposition to those who are prepared to relinquish their rights and freedom in exchange for having the government assume responsibility for their lives. I believe that this is a powerful distinction that can be leveraged in a number of significant ways to bolster support for our message of freedom. I will have more to say about this very important topic in the future.

The website is located at:

I have also created a running blog page which provides more details about the intent of the initiative and offers a forum to address related issues including questions, suggestions and ideas offered by readers of the site. This blog page can be found at:

I would appreciate it if you would visit the site and see if you don't agree with its message. If you do, and would care to promote it to others, it would help spread the word, creating more awareness and allowing other liberty-minded people the opportunity to add their support to the cause.

I am also always eager to hear any feedback you care to offer. Don't hesitate to point out errors to the site so that they can be corrected. But more important are you insights and suggestions as to how we can use this as a starting point to build an effective and coordinated campaign that ultimately moves us towards the goal of regaining our lost rights and putting the genie of government back into its constitutional bottle.

I believe a few of you may also be on another list, and may have received an earlier letter describing this initiative. I cover more territory here, but I apologize in advance if I offend any of you with these multiple messages. I endeavor to keep these sorts of communications to a minimum, and will be using the blog page as the principal form of communication in most cases, so please refer to that page occasionally for updates.

Again, thanks you all for your past efforts.

In Liberty,

C. Jeffery Small

People keep thinking that religion is about spiritual growth, knowing who God (ess(es)) is, carrying out will of same and so on. Evidence to date indicates that these are not functions religion carries out in society, especially tyrannical society. Evidence exists that religion is used as tool to promote groupthink, bully people into obedience to authority, and find way to get God's sanction for leaders' sins. Just as sildenafil citrate was originally intended for use as heart medication and is now more widely sold under the brand name Viagra for a different purpose, so religion has been taken from one purpose and used to do something else.

This is a pity as living by the compatible principles (from admittedly different religions) "And you do no harm, do as ye will" and "Do as you would be done by" seem to be the best way to carry out the two greatest commandments of the Abrahamic religions (love God above all things and your neighbor as yourself) and at the same time are compatible with the ZAP, which is to say that people living by the ZAP would live up to these ideals.

It's a shame that over the years so many priest (of all faiths) have geeked and misserved their gods, thus causing religion to become a tool of oppression instead of liberation. Adherents of so called liberation theology, who blame their murders and thefts on carrying out God's will so that people can be free are the worst of the lot. If not doomed to hell, I expect these traitors will spend a really long time in Purgatory.

A.X. Perez

I've a minor comment on the first A. X. Perez Letter to the Editor in TLE #536.

The ancient Greeks had a word for it. The word was hubris. It meant a false pride in which people viewed themselves as greater than the fates or the gods and above the laws and will of the gods.

It's not a false pride. I am ethically superior to any god that I've ever heard of or read about, and I am above all laws created by "gods" and governments due to my adherence to the Zero Aggression Principle (not recognized by religions or governments, for obvious reasons).

Yes, I've read a lot of "holy" books since I first read the KJV at 12 and declined to be full-immersion baptized. (A big step, so I decided to read the manual first). I also studied a lot of mythology from many continents and cultures (adherents of the three main branches of Desert King worship get really soggy and hard to light when you call their shit "mythology", but sorry, Christianity, Islam and Judaism are based on mythology).

Oh, a response to Crazy Al's letter—I don't need any god's permission to defend myself or others. And I'll deal with mysticism when a mystic calls up my shade in a seance after I'm dead.

Ward Griffiths

The Bible says (in Palms 90:10) that "The days of our years are threescore years and ten", yet Xtians frequently defy G-d's will and continue to preach rather than commit suicide on their 70th birthday. Yeah, the Psalm says you're allowed to live to eighty, but you're going to suffer if you do that, so you might as well just kill yourself. Suicide is not a sin in the Old Testament, and I can't find the spot in the New Testament that changes the status. (This blasphemy is an original from me [wdg3rd], the sort of thing I strive for).

A Cunning Opponent

Barack Obama refused to play the race card recently.

Some of his supporters claimed that opposition to his proposed health care reform was due to racism. This introduced the race card, the argument that we have to go along with Obamacare because to do otherwise is racist. Rather than use this gambit Obama claimed it was not correct. He conceded that people may have legitimate doubts about his program and that addressing these issues was the proper way to gain support, not simply dismissing his opponents as racist.

By doing this he gains an intellectual legitimacy that will helphim salvage part of his health care plan for now and to fight more effectively for other goals in the future. Not to mention he still has the race card in reserve.

Obama is one of the first liberal statists to admit that libertarian concerns must be addressed in America's ongoing political debates in a while. Too many have simply used the "our intentions are good, you have to support us," "it's for the children," and the "only a (bigotry of your choice) jerk would oppose this," as a reply to challenges to their ideas. Too often they have called libertarians who oppose them "elitists" and "fascists." Since we know that all of the above is garbage these arguments and insults have rolled off our backs.

Now Obama claims to be willing to address our concerns. Maybe he really will, maybe he won't. But he will be able to claim he did when he asks members of Congress to vote his way instead of how libertarians wished. And we'll just have to work a little harder to show he didn't. Well played.

A.X. Perez


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