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L. Neil Smith's
Number 566, April 18, 2010

"One way or another, the next three years could
end the 200-year struggle against socialism."

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Evinces a Design
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

There is nothing particularly new in what I'm about to say. Many others have said it, or similar things, before me. Apparently, they didn't say it loud enough, or often enough, or in the right time or place.

There appears to be a dividing-line in history. I'm not absolutely certain where it is—though I could guess—but up to that moment, war provided rulers with an opportunity and excuse to loot the nation of their adversary. After that moment (which was almost certainly the birth of modern democracy—there: I said it, and I'm glad), the opportunity and excuse that war provided rulers was to loot their own people. The purpose of war then became to distract the population when it might otherwise object ("Don'cha know there's a war on?"), and to systematically drain and impoverish it, enriching the rulers—and their cronies—while reducing the people to crippling dependency on the state. It was at this point in history that perpetual war became inevitable.

I believe that we now find ourselves at another historical divide, brought about by personal computers, vastly improved communications, and a kind of slow, inexorable seepage of libertarian attitudes and ideas into the popular culture—and the unconscious assumptions—even of individual liberty's most bitterly avowed enemies in this civilization.

Most people now understand that their rulers are corrupt, that they have always been corrupt, and that they will always be corrupt. Of course if people had paid better attention to Lord Acton (1834-1902), who famously observed that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men," they would have understood this fact of reality a great deal sooner.

Most people now understand that institutions never work for long, that independent human beings just don't play very well together in hierarchies, and that all institutions end up being band-aided over, from foundation to flagpole, with secrecy and lies, simply to prevent them from toppling over from the weight of their own absurd internal contradictions. It's a hard lesson to learn; it includes the National Rifle Association, the Libertarian Party, and even the Boy Scouts of America.

Most people now understand that advertised ideological differences between "progressives" and "conservatives", and between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, are a bald-faced lie, and that, in terms of their practical effect on the everyday life of the average individual, they are—or might as well be—a single all-consuming entity.

What makes all of this important is that our rulers—struggling against the current of history to remain in control—are aware that most people understand these things, and one way or another, history will never be the same. The question, of course, is, which way or another?

While Americans rose up disgustedly in 2008 and rejected the lies, stupidities, and insane excesses of the Bush Administration, they inadvertently saddled themselves with the lies, stupidities, and insane excesses of the Obama Administration, which have been—and clearly promise to continue being—at least a hundred times worse. So now, they seem to be preparing to throw the new regime off, as well.

The Obamanistas know that their window is closing. Their frenzied, hysterical drive to impose certain articles of "progressive" faith on this country, in the face of massive popular opposition and against Constitutional law—collectivized medicine, state control of money, banking, and industrial finance, amnesty for illegal aliens that will eventually allow them to vote the left into power forever, advancement of the surveillance state, a long-cherished goal of sweeping victim disarmament, and, ultimately, the Pol Pot-style regimentation and productive class genocide inherent in the United Nations' Agenda 21—has not only caused a general "awakening" in people who have always had better things to do with their lives than politics, but a dawning, widespread realization that simply swinging back to the other side, no more respectful of their lives, liberty, property, or the rule of law than the present regime, isn't going to get anything done that needs doing.

The cultural cancer that is unchecked authority, whether you choose to label it "socialism", "fascism", or "corporatism" (more differences that make no difference) must be excised as quickly as possible or there can be no turning back for America or our species. Beyond a certain point, all I see is insect archaeologists a million years from now, sifting through the ruins, wondering how we humans messed it all up, when the future—a future of freedom, immortality, and the stars—was spread out before us like a groaning banquet table.

Elsewhere in this issue, I have discussed a likelihood that the 2010 and 2012 elections could be postponed or cancelled altogether. There is nothing that our current rulers wouldn't do to remain in power and achieve their objectives. Where their attempts to smear dissenters as racists have failed, they now attempt to smear them as "terrorists", having hand-crafted legislation and executive orders into an excuse to lock up half the country, if they should decide it necessary.

They have developed projected energy weapons to blind or induce intolerable pain in thousands of people at a time, which should come in handy at Tea Party and other protest rallies. The Internet throbs with stories about gigantic concentration camps being gouged out and fenced off across the countryside. Since the regime can no longer rely on the military to impose their will (thanks, in part, to individuals and groups like Oathkeepers), they plan to keep it tied up overseas while trying to raise their own, unconstitutional "civilian security force'.

A recent rereading of parts of Machiavelli's The Prince, and Murray Rothbard's famous essay on it ("Who Was Niccolo Machiavelli?") leads me to put absolutely nothing past our would-be owners. The Move bombing, Ruby Ridge, Waco, perhaps even Oklahoma City. It would not surprise me in the least to see them, in extremity, using neutron bombs—which kill people but leave taxable property intact—to maintain the upper hand.

"Kill them all," said the Bishop. "God will know His own."

There are those who maintain that it is too late for politics to have a positive effect on our situation. Since there appears to be no alternative, short of taking up arms—something we may be forced to do eventually—politics, preferably unconventional politics, must suffice. Those who disagree are perfectly free to sit on the sidelines and jeer. It's all that most of them—I exclude those who write, speak, and draw in the cause of freedom—have ever been good for anyway.

What can be done? Many of you are doing it right now. Those of you who consider yourselves Republicans must not be distracted by phony "contracts" with, of, to, by, or from America, but insist instead that your party offer nothing but candidates committed to repeal every act of the previous administration, and to adhere consistently thereafter, fully in letter and spirit, to every word of the Bill of Rights, the contract that we already have, and the only one that actually means anything.

Democrats who remember that their party wasn't always the party of socialism but, as established by Thomas Jefferson, was once the party of the people, intended to oppose illegitimate power, undue influence, and dishonestly acquired wealth, must see to the cleaning of their house, or leave it for something that better reflects Jefferson's views.

Those of you who consider yourselves a part of the Tea Party movement must struggle not to be co-opted or absorbed by any other group or political party, but to remain leaderless, centerless, and, on that account, unstoppable. The libertarian equivalent of the tea parties, the Western Libertarian Alliance, founded 15 years ago, has done just that—they have been a big part of that slow, inexorable seepage of libertarian attitudes and ideas into popular culture and unconscious assumptions I mentioned at the start of this essay—to an effect that will only become fully apparent over the next several years.

Remember (and if you ever get a chance, you might pass it on to Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend) that the new boss can never turn out to be the same as the old boss, provided there isn't any boss at all.

Don't get fooled again.

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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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