Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 639, October 2, 2011

"9/11 was a private sector crime."

Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

The grift. It's as old as humanity—possibly even older. Perhaps there were Neanderthal con men, Homo habilis hucksters, long before Homo sap (no abbreviation) first raised his credulous eyes to the stars.

The word is slang, a noun, according to, meaning "1 ... a group of methods for obtaining money falsely through the use of swindles, frauds, dishonest gambling, etc. 2. money obtained from such practices." But there's more than merely money involved (although that's a big part of it) there's the matter of power. The United States of America—just like every other nation-state that ever existed, every empire, kingdom, and satrapy—is first and foremost a griftocracy.

Perhaps a better definition may be "the act of accumulating power and wealth by pretending to struggle with easily-solved or nonexistent problems." Almost invariably, it turns out that the problem isn't the problems themselves, but the individuals who stand to gain most from them.

Take the so-called "drug problem". I don't know how many tens of billions of rapidly-inflating dollars you and I are compelled to fork over at bayonet-point annually so that thousands of infantile killers in black ski masks and Kevlar can pretend to fight the "War on Drugs". The last year I have numbers for is 1972, and it was titanic even then.

Look it up yourself. And while you're at it, look up a little history, too. The fact the grifters don't want you to learn in school or from the whorish media, is that there wasn't any drug problem until they started passing drug laws. A tiny percent of the populace indulged themselves in opium (morphine was invented to cure that habit, then heroin was invented to cure morphine, then methadone was invented to cure heroin) without measurable cost or harm to anybody else.

Then a tag-team of neopuritans and racists (appalled at Chinese "opium dens" where, in fact, people consumed the drug, then slept it off peacefully), pumped up by the ironically yellow tabloid newspapers and various pulpit-pounders, decided it was their right to decide what vegetables were okay to consume, and how to consume them. Tobacco was okay. Poppies—which is where opium comes from—were not. Richard Nixon didn't invent the War on Drugs, nor did Nancy Reagan. The whole stupid thing got started before even they were born, late in the 19th century.

Look at it this way (this analogy comes from a 1950s movie, but I can't remember which one): one day some do-gooder happens to look at some beans and realizes that they are small enough for Litte Johnny (or whoever) to shove up his nose. Of course such an idiotic thing has never before occured to Little Johnny or a million youngsters like him, but as soon as the Public Service Announcements start braying about the dangers of shoving beans up one's nose, he begins to get curious.

When, under political pressure from the nanny-statists, the act of shoving beans up one's nose—or perhaps even beans themselves—get outlawed, the danger of getting caught by armored minions of the Bean Enforcement Agency only adds to the thrill. Before too long, miniature shoehorns and other bean-shoving paraphernalia begin appearing in head shops.

The War on Beans, employing not only bean growers, bean cartels, bean smugglers, bean mules, and bean pushers, but countless thugs in uniform, judges, bailiffs, lawyers, jailers, bean counselors and other parasites.

It's a matter of advertising. The fact (which no advertising agency wants any of their clients to know) is that advertising can't persuade anyone to do anything against his will. It has long been established (scientifically, believe it or not) that the only things advertising can do is (A) tell people that a product exists, or (B), just as importantly, as it turns out, that the product continues to exist.

It's all a part of the grift.

Now none of this is brain science. It isn't rocket surgery. How many politicos and bureaucrats—how many cops—owe their living to a War on Drugs completely unsanctioned by the Constitution, and without which there wouldn't be any drug problem? Unfortunately for them, after more than a century, this particular grift is beginning to wear thin. The marks—that's you and me—are beginning to catch on.

Just as the grift called the "Cold War" did.

Fortunately for the grifters, there's a new grift: the War on Terror. Start with a mutual hatred that's been simmering for over 900 years, stir in a little imperialism supplied initially by various European powers, brought to a boil by an American superstate willing to starve a million children to death in order to impose itself on a comparatively helpless country, and top with an act of conspicuous and spectacular violence unequalled since Hiroshima and Nagasaki—or the Reichstag Fire—you have the perfect recipe, an excuse to strip this civilization of nearly every cent it's accumulated over the past two centuries and seize control of every aspect of the daily lives of its people.

It's the ultimate grift.

Now with all that in mind go through your mental list of all the grifters out there who have announced that they would like to be the Griftocrat-in-Chief. Is there even one of them capable of keeping his (or her) hand out of your pocket and his (or her) nose out of your backside? Even the best—or least worst—of them can't suppress a perverse desire to seize control of the contents of every woman's body.

To nationalize her uterus.

The saddest fact is that, in my experience, most individuals will happily blabber themselves half to death regaling you with how badly they were treated by government in the past, how badly they're being treated now, and how badly they expect to be treated in the future. Conservatives are the absolute worst of this lot. It's almost a sexual thing with them: political BDSM. They treasure their victimhood, as Aaron Zelman used to say, and they don't really want to hear about solutions.

In fact, they deeply resent them.

Possibly worse, in terms of America's future, and the future of the species, is that nobody's getting rich fighting against evil. Can you name a liberal or conservative pundit or think-tanker who can cogitate his way out of a wet paper bag? Solved problems represent the same threat to the Henry Kissingers, Zbigniew Brezinskis, Dick Lamms, and Karl Roves of the world as they do to practicing politicians. Make a problem go away, there goes your salary or grant or stipend. Even our own freedom movement has its grifters who would rather be known as great scholars and deep thinkers than actually come up with any real solutions.

All of them, their wars and their Prohibitionistoic crusades, are our mortal enemies, keeping the human race from its real job, its true destiny.

As I said, this isn't rocket surgery, it isn't brain science. More than thirty years ago, I predicted that if the American people would arm themselves, violent crime would cease to be a problem, and now, we're well on our way to that. More than twenty-five years ago, I predicted that the Soviet Union was doomed to collapse from the weight of its own faulty premises. More than twenty years ago, I predicted that Japan, Incorporated represented no real economic threat to us. But who am I to engage in intellectual pursuits, the son of a mere airplane mechanic and a secretary? A lowly paperback hack without university credentials? How dare I even presume to think about such things?

Almost anyone who calls himself a libertarian can tell you how to end the damage that drugs have been doing to our society. Simply end the even greater damage that the War on Drugs has done and continues to do. Repealing every drug law ever passed would also bring the brutal war being waged along our southern border to an instantaneous halt. Retrieving that million M1 Garands and M1 carbines from South Korea and distributing them along our southern border wouldn't hurt, either.

It isn't brain science, it isn't rocket surgery. To any extent that illegal immigration and the concept of La Reconquista threaten our society (and I'm not convinced that they do), two simple political acts could put a stop to it almost overnight. I've written a lot about this idea before, but I'm not going to do it here. Allow me to explain why ...

I also know how to stem whatever threat "Islamification" and the imposition of Sharia Law represent to the people of the United States. Again, I'm uncertain whether they're a genuine danger or not—a lot of grifters are making a lot of money saying that they are—but I know how to preserve our civilization and our Constitution if they do—without hurting a single individual or taking anything away from anybody.

I'm not going to explain that, either, not here, not now. I want to be paid to solve these problems, at least a fraction as well as the grifters being paid handsomely to create and sustain and exacerbate them. The solutions each involve writing a book (what did you expect—I'm a writer, after all) of a kind that some people, afterward, will deeply regret can't be unwritten, a book that will fundamentally alter absolutely everything that most folks think with regard to these "problems".

It isn't rocket surgery.

It isn't brain science.

And it isn't free.

[ Damn right it isn't free. Folks, Our Mr. Smith is working his ass off writing those books and having problems paying his bills while doing it. Throw him some of your spare change, eh? Click red button below. Help him get those books written—I need those books written, and so do you; my children and grandchildren (and even a great-grandchild on the way!) need those books written... and so do yours!—Ken Holder, Editor-in-Chief ]

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