Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 699, December 2, 2012

"Can America's slide into the totalitarian
abyss be halted and reversed?"w3

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Lest Darkness Triumph*
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Twenty-three years ago, I wrote a novel that would eventually come to be called Forge of the Elders, in which I predicted that, in the aftermath of the collapse of the once-powerful Soviet Empire, and a general, worldwide rejection of communism, the United States would embrace Marxism and drag the rest of the world with it, back into the abysss.

I don't pull things like this out of my hat or anyplace else. They're based on sixty-six years' experience with history and human nature. Over thirty-three years writing novels, I have made a number of successful predictions: the laptop computer and i-Pad, wall-sized TV and computer monitor screens, the Internet, the rise of .40 caliber weapons, a steep decline in crime due to ordinary people carrying guns. Not all of my predictions have been happy ones. The unhappiest, in Forge of the Elders, was one I least wanted to see come true. I would have been ecstatic to be wrong about the future I saw ahead of us.

But here we are.

The reason we are in this mess is that—assuming the recent election was legitimate (admittedly a huge assumption)—it appears that a majority of Americans today are willing to wreck the greatest civilization in the history of mankind because they're incompetent, lazy, and personally resent the fact that they have to work for a living.

In 1964, when I was a freshman Philosophy major in one of those wee-hours college bull sessions, struggling to explain what I would later rename the "Zero Aggression Principle", a classmate of mine defined that fact—that people have to work for a living—as coercion. I should have paid more attention, but I couldn't know, even as Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater in a three-to-one landslide, that his outlook, as repulsive as it seemed, would ultimately win the day.

You understand and I understand that nature doesn't coerce anything or anybody. Gravity, for example, doesn't exist just to inconvenience human beings, it's simply the way the universe operates. Similarly, the need to work arises from the laws of thermodynamics, which mandate that we all must replace the energy we consume merely by existing.

You understand and I understand that spending your life waiting for handouts from the government, or standing in line demanding them, is not a viable means of existence. It leads inevitably to economic ruin, and along the way, it diminishes those who attempt to live in that manner, as well as those who are forced at gunpoint to support them. Eventually it fails, although most of its victims never know why. Socialism, which pretends to have the answers, is nothing but the political expression of an ignorant, visceral, inarticulate hatred and envy of everything that has raised humanity above the level of the animals.

All that fills the hearts and minds of socialists is a white-hot rage that can never be satisfied, and can't be penetrated by rational thought processes. The fact that socialism has a proven track record, a long history of failing miserably every time, everywhere it has been imposed on those too weak or stupid to resist it, usually collapsing afterward in raw bloodshed and fiery destruction, is not a fatal criticism to those who adore it and tend to idolize its demagogic champions. Instead, for the disappointed inner nihilist that lurks deep within each of them, that horrible failure constitutes a kind of testimony.

Barack Obama has come to them, not—as some half-witted comedian recently suggested—as Jesus Christ the Savior, but as Shiva the Destroyer. And because revenge is sweeter to this kind of broken soul than personal advancement, because there are people who would rather squat in their own excrement and throw rocks than rise up and knap those rocks into something useful, they vote for the Destroyer every time.

Meanwhile, Freedom sits like an old man on a wooden bench in the filthy corridor of some communist hospital ward, quietly waiting to die.

The socialist movement knows what it wants, and seldom deviates from the pursuit of its objectives. Unfortunately, those who only wish to be left alone, to one degree or another, by society and government, are not united in what they want from life, nor should they be—but it makes it very hard to defend freedom from those who hate and fear it.

If tobacco users, for example, comprising about 25 percent of the American population, ever got together—which they could by means of the Libertarian Party if most of that party's members weren't just as bigoted against them as the general public—the politicians would tremble, punitive taxation would cease, and nobody would ever have to go out in the freezing rain or the broiling heat in order to have a smoke.

Add other such "social undesirables" to the fold and libertarians would start winning elections. It is disheartening beyond my ability to express it adequately that such a thing remains an impossible dream.

The problem we face in our struggle to be free has many origins, but the chiefmost, I believe, is an educational system owned and operated by the only natural enemy higher on the food chain than H. sapiens.


The public school system doesn't so much serve the state, as it serves statism. It doesn't so much see individualism as the enemy, as any manifestation of individuality. It was designed that way from the start, by collectivists like John Dewey and Horace Mann, who copied it from that bastion of individual liberty and human rights, Prussia.

It was designed to turn unruly children (individuals with their own agendas) into obedient, unquestioning, hardworking, uncomplaining citizens—the early pioneers of public education say so in their writings.

It was designed to promote rote learning and prevent too much conceptual thinking—Mann, himself, left this caution in writing— out of a fear that such thinking would cause pupils to "get above themselves".

It was designed to discourage such "uppity" pupils, who might come to believe that they were too good to attend the trade schools to which they were meant to be consigned (unless they showed promise as future intellectual bodyguards of the establishment), especially those who thought they knew more than the "selfless" public servants who set policy.

It was designed, to crush those who insulted their peers by being too smart, too competent, too accomplished—as those other advocates of freedom, the Japanese put it, to "pound down the nail that sticks up".

And those designs were approved and promoted—shoved down the throats of Americans—by the predecessors of the Republicans, the Whigs.

Anyone who complains that the public schools don't work, doesn't really understand the reason they were established in the first place. To the beneficiaries of John Dewey and Horace Mann, they work just fine. The zeal with which the public employees' unions have fought to maintain control over the school system—which, more than anything, reminds me of the zeal with which Abraham Lincoln prosecuted his war against 25 percent of the people who had tired of paying 80 percent of the nation's taxes—reveals what freedom's enemies believe is at stake.

Can they be stopped? Can America's slide into the totalitarian abyss be halted and reversed? The one good sign in all of this is that, back in 1964, when you tried to speak against collectivism and in favor of freedom, you couldn't get anybody to listen. Today, at least half the country is listening, while the statists scramble hysterically to stop us communicating with one another, and take away our means of physically defending our lives, liberties, and property, even if they have to call in United Nations "peacekeepers" to get it done.

The Tea Party movement frightened them very badly. They thought they'd gotten it under control, but now the secession movement has them dirtying their unmentionables. (It was instructive—and fun— to hear Zbigniew Brzezinski whimpering about the way we're spoiling his plans for us.) That they had to resort to dirty tricks and outright criminal behavior to keep Ron Paul off the ballot tells us what they think our chances are. It also tells us who they are, since most of the dirty dealing was carried out by the Romney campaign.

It is time for us to stand our ground.

It is time to speak as long and loudly as we can about abolishing the public schools, which were created to poison our children against us.

It is time to tell the inbred imbeciles who mistakenly believe they own us that Americans have obeyed their last victim disarmament law.

It is time to tell them that their precious United Nations, nothing more than an international criminal organization that openly advocates genocide, must leave this continent, immediately and for good.

It is time that the last surviving vestige of slavery in America, taxation as a way of life—their way of life, that is—came to an end.

It is time to warn them that the Internet is the nervous system of a new kind of civilization and must be left utterly untaxed and uncontrolled.

If the general freedom movement can agree on those five points, stand fast by them, and avoid being divided by extraneities, it is liberty, not socialism, that will write history for the next thousand years.

* With apologies to L. Sprague de Camp
(see his Lest Darkness Fall at or Barnes &

L. Neil Smith is the Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE, as well as the author of 33 freedom-oriented books, the most recent of which is DOWN WITH POWER: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis:
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[ Kindle]
[ dead tree and Nook]
DOWN WITH POWER was selected as the Freedom Book Club Book-of-the-Month for August 2012

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