Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 551, January 3, 2010

"Perpetual tea parties for perpetual peace—and freedom."

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Facing 2010
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

For years there have been rumors on the Internet (sometimes accompanied by photographs) about "relocation camps" being prepared here in America, ostensibly to help deal with large-scale emergencies like Hurricane Katrina, but actually for the purpose of dealing with dissenters.

Stick with me, now, this is not what you think it is.

The camps, it is said, dozens of them, consist simply of football field-sized acreage surrounded by tall chain link fences topped with razor wire. Herd twenty or thirty thousand people into something like that, and you don't have to waste money on such frivolities as firing squad ammunition, or even Zyklon B. People without shelter or sanitary facilities will kill each other off fairly quickly. Deprive them, as well, of food or potable water, it'll happen almost before you know it.

This is the means—or so it is said—by which the vile Ortega brothers got rid of Miskito Indians who didn't fit into the Nicaraguan workers' paradise, somehow. It's also pretty much the same way that notorious prisons like Andersonville operated in the War Between The States.

The Union had them, too.

Now add to the stories about these camps, more rumors, lately, (again with photographs) of mass graves already being dug nearby, endless rows of huge cubical concrete sarcophagi that will go into the graves, large numbers of foreign personnel being seen on military bases across the country (the idea is that they can be more relied upon to shoot at resisting Americans than American troops can), and whole battalions of American soldiers returned from overseas by both the Bush and Obama administrations and trained in urban warfare to put down rebellions caused by food shortages in our rapidly collapsing economy.

Our rapidly—and unnecessarily—collapsing economy.

I hate receiving messages about stuff like this. They depress me and I catch myself trying not to think about them (especially at night when I'm attempting to get to sleep) which is wrong, because only by thinking, then acting, can we deal effectively with a threat like this.

Is any of it true?

I have no idea, which is what this article is all about.

There was a time (I was a little kid back then) when most folks more or less trusted the government and believed that it was a good thing. Was it any more worthy of that kind of trust then than it is now? I seriously doubt it; we just know a lot more about it now, thanks primarily to the Internet. Nevertheless, everything I just mentioned—the camps, the graves, the concrete boxes, the foreign troops, and the returned legions—would have been unthinkable to most individuals then, and, to a certain extent, they would have been right.

Now, after the nested deceptions that were Pearl Harbor, after the Kennedy-King-Kennedy assassinations, after the Gulf of Tonkin fraud, after Watergate, after the U.S.S. Liberty, after "Read My Lips: No More Taxes", after Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City, after 9/11 and no WMDs, after a hundred other murderous lies that we know of and many more that we don't, the fact that we can't say for absolute certain whether it's true about the camps, the graves, and the troops, is an indictment.

Will the government—regardless whether Democrats or Republicans are running it—come to your home, smash down your door, murder your pets, strip you of your means of self-defense and drag you out of it, separate you from your family, and send you to internment and probable death?

I don't know.

Neither do you.

The fact that we don't—and can't—makes me angrier than I can possibly express, because, as a former Eagle Scout, if nothing else, I'd like to be able to trust the government. I'd like to feel secure with it on watch. I'd like to be free to worry about and work on other things.

The American future used to be absolutely wonderful, a bright, shiny, Technicolor kaleidoscope full of marvelous bits and manmade miracles that we could all look forward to. Now what most people see ahead of them is only the gray, gritty bleakness of Eurosocialism or something even worse: something that has a name which, in some parts of the world, people aren't allowed to pronounce in public. Something that had barbed wire fences of its own, and poison gas, and mass graves.

Given all of history that the 20th century had to teach us—the Turks in Armenia, the Holocaust, Stalin's extermination of the Kulaks, Mao's massacre of the "landlords", Pol Pot's murder of a third of the Cambodian populace, as well as homelier events like Operation Keelhaul and what happened to the Branch Davidians—don't you dare sneer at me and dismiss me as a mere "conspiracy theorist", as if that were an answer to the shame and slaughter that characterizes the era of big government.

It does not, and conspiracies have determined the shape of history since the beginning of time. The American Revolution, for example, was born in a conspiracy. So was the Federal Reserve System and with it, the graduated income tax. For those and other reasons, it probably makes the best strategic sense to act as if all of the rumors are true.

Join me, then, in shouting "Mr. Obama, tear down these fences!" every time you get a chance. Make them dismiss the troops they've mustered to control our lives. Make them shut down the camps. Make them fill the graves. Make them drop the concrete boxes into the sea to make space for new life instead of containers for death. Whatever land is left after they've returned as much as possible to those it was stolen from should be divided into modest plots and given—the way it was in Rome—to troops being brought home from all over the world.

And if none of the rumors turn out to have been true—believe me, my fondest and sincerest hope is that they are not—the exercise will have been good for everyone. It might persuade the authorities to shepherd the 21st century differently or, better yet, not at all. It will help us resist the intrusions we know for certain exist, like the Global Warming hoax, medicalized Marxism, and the ultra-invasive 2010 Census.

"Mr. Obama, tear down these fences!"

Perpetual tea parties for perpetual peace—and freedom.

That's my resolution for 2010.

What's yours?

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 more than 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 is currently running as a free weekly serial at

Neil is presently at work on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Where We Stand: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis with his daughter, Rylla.

See stunning full-color graphic-novelizations of The Probability Broach and Roswell, Texas which feature the art of Scott Bieser at Dead-tree versions may be had through the publisher, or at where you will also find Phoenix Pick editions of some of Neil's earlier novels. Links to Neil's books at are on his website


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