Down With Power Audiobook!

L. Neil Smith's

Number 825, June 14, 2015

Political Power: Too much of every day
life consists of defying it, avoiding
it, or evading it, simply to live.

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Sticky Fingers
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

If you're a Paleo-Indian, and have just fashioned a stout spear for hunting mammoth and defending your lovely and desirable mate (she smells good) from other Paleo-Indians, carefully chipping a razor- sharp head with a beautiful flute and binding it with rawhide strips, fortified with blood and snot and semen, and another Paleo-Indian takes it, that is theft. If he asserts himself as a leader, and claims this fine spear will help him defend the tribe easier, that's socialism.

I'm sorry to say that I have the somewhat wearying and unhappy duty, today, of reporting to my readers another apparent breach of common decency.

I have received e-mail almost every day, now, from a couple of clowns representing themselves with a phrase I originated years ago: "Zero Aggression". I invented it because I felt it was more dynamic than the older term, "non-aggression". Guess I was right. Their decision to lift my words carries three dangers: it is just bad manners, which should be reserved for those, like Barack Hussein Obama, who deserve them.

Second, we libertarians expend our efforts within an atmosphere of individual responsibility and achievement. If we abandon that, and pollute that atmosphere with the unpunished theft of individual intellectual property, we may defeat our original purpose. The expropriation of someone else's work is the very definition of socialism.

Finally, the phrase in question is closely enough associated with me, that people unfamiliar with movement politics may believe that these buffoons were organized and do whatever idiotic things they do with my endorsement and approval. You will understand why I resent and resist that.

I wrote—politely—to these two guys, not seeking money, just acknowledgement. (Their website, like many a liberal or conservative one, didn't make it easy.) The truth is, that's really all I want from them. I'm an old man, and I have to think about what I'll leave behind. I never heard back from them, even though I know one of them personally. I suppose it's possible that the coinage was independent and innocent. So why didn't they bother just to write me back and say so?

Before we go a paragraph further, allow me to communicate with the parasitic enemies of intellectual property I've had words with before. While the weaker-hearted among my friends begged me to go easy on you self-made losers, (which would have gotten us exactly nowhere). My valiant wife Cathy and I slammed them back into obscurity, with the help of anyone who ever struggled to make a sentence perfect. Guys, your whiny comments are not sought here and were probably stolen to begin with. No one wants to hear what you have to say; no one cares what you "think". Go sit down, and shut up. You will not be responded to.

Now where was I? Oh, yeah: "Follow the money." What these sorry specimens want, of course, is a fat check from you. If you support the concept of zero aggression, send it to me, via The Libertarian Enterprise. If you want to strike a blow against plagiarism, send money to Cathy L. Z. Smith, or J. Neil Schulman or even F.Paul Wilson. Ask everybody you read where they stand on intellectual property ownership.

You might just be surprised. There are a lot of socialists out there.

If I'd ever thought that there would be a socialistic push to take The Probability Broach away from me, I wOuld never have written the damned thing. That would suit some people, I suppose. There's another Broach out there, right now, another book thay will thrill its readers and state the case for liberty, clearly, waiting to be published.

But will you get to see it? Not if these thieving bastards have their way.

Celebrated and award-winning author of over 30 books and countless shorter pieces, L. Neil Smith is available, at professional rates, to write articles and speeches for you or your organization, providing that our principles are compatible. Contact him at

[ Mr. Smith reports that the problem turns out to be confusion and messages passing in the night, and all is now resolved to everyone's satisfaction.—Editor ]

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