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L. Neil Smith's
Number 569, May 9, 2010

"That damned birth certificate"

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He's Beginning to Believe
by Jim Davidson

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Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

"His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot."
V for Vendetta

Actually, as I write this essay, the fifth of November is about six months from today. I am putting together a conference, concert, and celebration to be held in Tampa, Florida. Perhaps you'll be there. Maybe I shall, as well.

It seems to me that when those who love power cannot profit from the misery of others, the world may know peace. But why is it that those who love power are able to so readily find those who wish to serve? Why don't more people seek to be free?

Perhaps because they think that not rocking the boat is going to lead them toward further prosperity. Do you have any idea how many decades of poverty were involved in the period preceding the American revolutionary war? More than five. The stock market crash in 1722 took away 90% of the value of stocks still listed by 1732, and about 95% of listed companies went bankrupt. The markets in London, Amsterdam, and Paris did not reach their previous heights until 1782. It was in this context that some men met on the wharves of Boston Harbour in December 1773 and lit the fuse that began the war.

Yet, not 5 years after the Paris peace treaty ended the world war amongst the United States, Britain, France, the Dutch Republic, Spain, and parts of India, a group of counter-revolutionaries met in Philadelphia to overthrow the revolution of 1775. And succeeded.

Thoreau says that they feel a need for a machinery of gov't and to hear its din so they can be confident going about their business. To be candid, I don't give a flying flip about "them" and what "they" feel they need.

"They" can individually and severally go fuck themselves, in pairs, trios, and other sets. In fact, I think the edifice they've erected is unstable, is on the verge of collapse, and is going to come down in a particularly spectacular way. It is no mere schadenfreude that causes me to look forward to them suffering, not undeserved but rather richly deserved. I do not seek a system for all to live in harmony. I seek a system and a place and an opportunity for me to live in harmony.

Yet we come back to this question, again and again, why do so many who are free choose to enslave themselves, and so many who are enslaved refuse to free themselves?

We come back to it because it is the question of our nature. We are human. "They" are human. Cheney, Obama, and Rumsfeld are human.

You are presented with a puzzle about what it is to be human, what it is to be what you are. And you say that you are puzzled by these people volunteering to be slaves, choosing servitude, as our old friend Etienne de la Boetie pointed out, choosing to rat out their neighbours, choosing to serve the machine which oppresses them, *knowing* it is oppressing them.

"How can this be?!" You cry out in your puzzlement, "How is this behaviour possible? Why don't they see as I see, believe as I believe?"

And I will now tell you what the difference is between you and them, between me and them, and between certain other individuals and the "mass men" the great unwashed, the vast plurality of others. You believe in your own free will. You believe in your ability to choose for yourself. You believe that you have the power to choose what you'll do today, that you may choose wisely or poorly, and that you are able to live with the consequences of your choices. And they do not.

They don't believe in their free will. They have not started to believe in their own power, their own ability to confront the universe on their own terms, to take their equal station among the powers of the Earth, to choose for themselves. They believe that someone else must be wiser, more knowledgeable, better skilled, better positioned, better able to lead them, and that they need to be led. They may not even acknowledge this belief on a conscious level, because they have been brow beaten, brutalised, raped, mind-raped, physically raped, traumatised, yelled out, until they began to obey. But if you take away their supervision they feel lost, and they erect new supervision just as fast as possible.

No, it isn't logical, but it is comprehensible. And part of what you have accomplished is to grow into adulthood, to be mature, to gain self-esteem and self-confidence enough to be who you are, and to be satisfied with that. And part of what they lack is that self-estimation, that confidence, that certainty that choosing for themselves they won't fuck everything up.

Instead of finding self-actualisation in their own power, they seek a return to infancy, when someone else chose for them, when someone of great size and apparent wisdom cleaned them when they were soiled, fed them when they were hungry, put them down to sleep when they were tired, picked them up when they were cranky, burped and pampered them. This set of behaviours is consistent with the "return theory" of Randy Dumse, and is symbolised by a great many things in our environment—buildings that resemble giant breasts, such as the capitol dome, or cathedral domes—remind us of that relationship we once had.

Is that any way for people to live? No. It is a way for infants to live. So the discovery that you have made is in my view the discovery that God has made. You have free will. You believe in your free will. God has free will, and He believes not only in His free will, but in yours. And this is what is meant by God having made us, man and woman, in His own image.

We are naturally, inherently, innately endowed with freedom, with free will, with sovereignty. To be sovereign is to be self-responsible. It is awesome in its majesty, powerful in its possibility, beautiful in its elegance, and total in its responsibility. And that awesome power for self-directed choice scares the living shit out of a great many people.

Trinity: What's he doing?
Morpheus: He's beginning to believe.

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Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, and anti-war activist. His 1990 venture to offer a sweepstakes trip into space was destroyed by government action as was his free port and prospective space port in Somalia in 2001. His 2002-2007 venture in free market money and private stock exchange was destroyed by government action in 2007. He's going to Mars if he has to walk. His second book, Being Sovereign is now availble from Lulu and Amazon. His third book Sovereign Self-Defense will be released for Kindle soon. His fourth book Being Libertarian will be available for free download as a .pdf, being a compilation of all his essays and letters in The Libertarian Enterprise since 1995. Contact him at or


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