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L. Neil Smith's
Number 655, January 29, 2012

"The American Spring"

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I Want My Future Back
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

I'm preparing a lecture about settling Mars for a convention next month. As a writer, lots of my work is done by my unconscious mind, so I wasn't surprised when I woke up this morning, thinking about a movie that influenced me greatly back in the mid-50s, when I was in fifth grade.

The Conquest of Space [ Instant Video or DVD ] is actually about a manned mission to the Red Planet. Rooted in the works of Dr. Wernher von Braun, Willy Ley, and the first great space artist, Chesely Bonestell, it also owes a lot to the 1950 Robert A. Heinlein movie Destination Moon. Unlike the books it's based on, the movie, a high, wide, and handsome Technicolor epic by George Pal, has fairly lively characters and a reasonably diverting plot.

It set my ten-year-old brain on fire.

There's a lot more to this story -- a lot more -- but I'm going to save it for my convention lecture. Suffice to say that it was one event, an early one, in a long chain of events, that made me what I am today.

Whatever that is.

In fourth grade I'd bought a book at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (I believe I still have it around here, somewhere) which confidently asserted that no single corporation -- no single nation, in fact -- could afford to undertake a manned mission to the Moon. Therefore, it would have to be a United Nations project. Even then, the idea curdled my teeth, and I also knew that it was absolutely untrue.

I made a vow, staring up at our planet's large, natural satellite -- this would have been in 1954 -- that I would someday see the Earth while standing on the Lunar surface. So far, to my lifelong chagrin, I have failed. And no, it never occurred to me, even for a nanosecond, to try to become another USDA-approved official government astropuppet. Something there is, to paraphrase Robert Frost, that does not love a leash.

Needless to say, the government's "space program" never appealed to me in the slightest. Mostly it employed cowardly engineering to accomplish measly goals, all of them carried out by high school football heroes. And like all government programs, it ended in disgrace and failure. No real space station (see the one in The Conquest of Space for an idea of what a real space station looks like), no presence on the Moon (just a lousy clutch of flags and a bunch of very expensive junk), no manned mission to Mars or anyplace else truly important and interesting.

The entire thing was perfectly suited to 1950s network TV -- the institution to whom peace, freedom, progress, and prosperity were irrelevancies, but which strove at all costs to conceal Barbara Eden's navel.

Time passed, and over the next five decades, I watched the future that I'd envisioned -- the future that Walt Disney (who would spit on the orcs who run his corporation today) and a hundred other prophets had encouraged millions of us to envision -- eroded away by pure insanity, stupidity, and corruption. The future -- my future -- was eaten alive by a "Cold War", by a Vietnam War, by Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty", by Richard Nixon's "War on Drugs", by ten thousand unnecessary laws and socialistic schemes, by two sublimely irrational conflicts in the Middle East, by this government's ambition to be the cops of the world, and by the evil police state that our America has become.

I want my future back.

As far as I can see (and if you know my work, you know that I can see a long way, indeed) there's only one way to get my future back. Yours, too, whatever you wanted it to be. Let's examine some of the options.

It is government -- not just this government, but the whole idea of government -- that has stolen our future. In order to get the real future back, we must get the government under control. In the past few years, I have come, extremely reluctantly, to the unwelcome conclusion that the one and only way to control the government is to become the government.

The only way to control the government is to become the government.

Which brings us to the 2012 Presidential elections.

To begin with, there is no way I can describe the pain it causes me to say that it's pointless to vote with the Libertarian Party, of which I've been a member, off and on, for four decades. I don't know Gov. Gary Johnson, but I am acquainted with a number of the other candidates for the nomination. Some of them (not all, by any means) are decent and principled individuals. Can any of them get us any closer to the future that we all want? I don't believe they have a chance.

Partly it's because we're running out of time. If there is an election this November (and I have some serious doubts on that score) it will likely be the last, if Barack Obama is reelected. Everything you think you know about him is only the tiniest tip of an iceberg of evil. The creature -- who appears to be an artificial legal construct selected out of Central Casting -- has individuals close around him who want nine-tenths of us to be slaughtered for the sake of Mother Gaia.

They're quite straightforward about it: Google them.

According to outspoken advocates of the openly-published United Nations program "Agenda 21", 6,900,000,000 (six point nine billion) of us will be starved or put to death. The bulk of the remaining 700 million will be rounded up and housed in giant concrete tenements, used to hew the wood and draw the water, figuratively speaking, for a new feudal aristocracy for whom the countryside will be "cleared" -- whole cities razed to the ground, along with towns and villages -- so that these nomenklatura can enjoy their secluded dachas, serviced in every conceivable manner by our more attractive children and grandchildren.

That's the future under the Dear Leader Obama and his unspeakable allies.

And what do we have to oppose him? Start with Newt Gingrich, a man who would lie to his own shoelaces, just for practice. I don't care about his private life. In the economic sense of the word, Gingrich is a genuine fascist, who believes that everyone but him must be watched and controlled, while his government's pet mercantilists are protected from competition. Gingrich claims to be a technophile, and has even promised us a Moon base, but under his thumb, progress -- which can only be the product of free minds and free hands -- would grind to a halt.

And just as Obama doesn't really own himself, neither does Mitt Romney, a man who was probably the president of any student government he ever encountered, and grew up to pursue his boyhood ambition -- to be the first plastic store dummy ever elected President of the United States. It's probably untrue that they used him as a model for the Ken doll.


Romney is socialist trash, through and through, having inflicted marxoid medicine on the poor, dumb people of Massachusetts (never very careful about who they voted for anyway -- the whole state could use a giant political condom), and illegally deprived every man, woman, and responsible child in that sorry state of their unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon -- rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything -- any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission.

It's about the Second Amendment, stupid.

Romney is a shameless promoter of global warming and other leftist Shell-games basically designed to reverse the effects of the Industrial Revolution and get us back into mud huts. He would do nothing real to unseal the bottomless pools of energy the country has at its very fingertips. At the behest of his vile masters, he would continue the reprehensible foreign policies that got us into the mess we're in today.

In short, Mitt Romney is Barack Obama writ small.

I know virtually nothing about Rick Santorum, who I believe was injected into the Presidential race -- by schemers and scammers who don't have a clue as to what libertarianism is really all about -- to interfere with Ron Paul's campaign. What I have heard the man utter is enough. He thinks he has something to say about what folks do in their own bedrooms. If these guys ever got asked some real questions on TV, I'd ask exactly where such government activity falls under Article I Section 8, which lists the few things that government is allowed to do.

Of course there are always a few crawly insects like Santorum, who scuttle back to the baseboards whenever you turn on the light. But he truly jumped the shrimp (he's not man enough to jump the shark) when he promised he'd send troops back to Iraq. Was Santorum born stupid, or did he have to study for it? Isn't he aware that seventy percent of all military donations to Presidential candidates in this race are going to the one candidate who wants to bring the troops home from everywhere?

Or doesn't Santorum think they have anything to say about it? Would he mysteriously "misplace" their ballots this fall, like the Democrats?

I don't suppose it's going to come as any great surprise to my readers when I say that the only man capable, not of restoring the future we have long desired and deserve, but of getting government out of the way so that we can restore it ourselves, is Congressman Ron Paul.

I could write a couple of thousand words here about Dr. Paul's intelligent and civilized foreign and domestic policies, which are guided solely by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But getting back to my original topic, the good doctor is not in favor of NASA and a government space "program". We don' need no stinkin' program, and the man knows it. All we need, to go to Mars, to the Asteroids, or (if you insist) to the Moon -- and stay there -- is to keep our own money and to own and operate our own lives. The free market system will produce whatever we may want, as long as we're willing to pay for it.

That part is not rocket science.

What can we do to reclaim the future? First of all, put Ron Paul in the White House. This is not a man without faults; I've written extensively about them, myself, for years, and on many occasions. But he is the man we need right now, the only man who offers us the future we want, the only man who offers us, in a real sense, any future at all.

One more thing: my new book, Down With Power addresses issues in ways they have to be addressed if we're going to pull out of this chasm of collectivism we've fallen into. It doesn't shilly-shally or beat about the bush. There's even a specific chapter, "The Plan" which offers a kind of First Aid for getting America back on track. I am doing as much radio and internet interviewing as I'm offered. I'm willing to do a great deal more. Down With Power is available at and many other outlets, in dead-tree and several electronic formats.

Not only does Down With Power act as a libertarian policy guide and campaign manual, its bright yellow cover has been designed to make it conspicuous at meetings and rallies. If the book sells well enough, if it's visible in the hands of audiences everywhere, that alone can affect the behavior of politicians, even that of the Good Doctor Paul, himself.

Perhaps the road to the future we all dreamed of isn't paved with yellow bricks, but I'm sure yellow books may have something to do with it.

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