Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 598, December 5, 2010

"Government lies and secrets kill millions"

Previous Previous Table of Contents Contents Next Next

End the FCC
by L. Neil Smith

Bookmark and Share

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

As if individual liberty were not sufficiently under assault already, a runaway government agency, whose very existence is not sanctioned by Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution—which lists those few activities in which government is legally permitted to engage—is trying to carry off a fascist coup d'etat against the First Amendment freedoms afforded to Americans by the Internet.

That runaway agency is the Federal Communications Commission.

In the spirit of the first fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, a spirit that we've become all too accustomed to with the outlaw Obama Administration, without legislative support of any kind, without the Constitutional amendment that it would actually require, without anything even remotely resembling due process, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has announced that his rogue agency will seize control of the Internet whether the people and the law support his actions or not.

Not surprisingly, in the tradition of another Mussolini admirer, Huey Long, would-be fascist dictator of Louisiana, Genachowski is claiming that this takeover will guarantee freedom, rather than suppress it. The same claim has been made by and about the FCC for decades as it savagely stifled dissent and all but destroyed artistic freedom.

There is nothing at all new, here. In the 1960s, one Newton Minow, then Chairman of the FCC, grossly exceeded his legal authority when he saw fit to criticize the aesthetic content of broadcast television, famously referring to it a "vast wasteland". Ironically, most of what this officious bureaucrat disdained is now perceived as part of a cultural Golden Age. (According to Wikipedia, the name of the wrecked excursion boat on Gilligan's Island was intended as a pie in his face.) Minow left us stuck with messes like the Public Broadcasting System.

No nation with a First Amendment in its Constitution should suffer an agency like the FCC to exist. First established in 1934 (replacing William Howard Taft's illegal Radio Act of 1912 and Calvin Coolidge's Federal Radio Commission of 1926) to consolidate absolute government control over radio communications in the wake of World War I and in the face of clear First Amendment prohibitions, it represents a job that we of the freedom movement have foolishly left unfinished, to the detriment and extreme risk of everything we would consider truly American.

There can be only one response to Genachowski's fascistic threats, and it's perfectly unclear whether Republicans, conservatives, or even the Tea Parties can be counted on, although their effectiveness, not to forget their very existence, depends on retaining Internet freedom. Only libertarians (and only a handful of them) possess sufficient perspicacity and fortitude to demand it publicly, as I am about to do here.

End the FCC. Dismantle it, root and branch. Follow up by probing the deep backgrounds and political activities in office of each and every member of the commission (most of them Presidential appointees) and employees, past and present, and prosecuting them energetically and enthusiastically for their many and grievous crimes against the Constitution. They can be among the first inmates of a refurbished Alcatraz prison reserved for government figures who betray their trust.

I will not wave goodbye to Internet freedom, as any number of conservative sources have already suggested. Instead, I will join my fellow Americans in waving goodbye to the Federal Communications Commission.


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


The Ready Store

Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates.
We cheerfully accept donations!

Big Head Press