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L. Neil Smith's

Number 863, March 13, 2016

Truth, for Truth's Sake

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Tell It Like It Is
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

You are cordially invited to consider this a funeral oration for the once-honorable word "liberal", which, in the past 70 years or so has come to mean precisely nothing. In earlier centuries, it might have been used to describe today's libertarians, politically and socially tolerant of all possible viewpoints. Thomas Jefferson was a liberal of this sort, perhaps the ultimate liberal, and so was Thomas Paine.

However, since some indefinite time following World War II, "liberal" has come to be nothing but a euphemism for every variety of nasty, neoPuritanical, Prohibitionistic fascisim that the twisted human mind is capable of coming up with, until it eventually fulfills H. L. Mencken's description of a person who wakes up in the middle of the night, shivering in abject terror that someone, somewhere, is happy. Liberal "theory" today consists of nothing more than identifying some individual or group that has achieved something you envy, or possesses something that you want. Liberal "policy" consists of nothing nore than calculating how to justify taking it away from you.

In the past, this notion has worn many diguises, and gone by many names. Its oldest, truest name is simply theft. Two centuries ago it struggled to achieve respectability by relabelling itself "socialism". Its ultimate expressions today are the vile concepts of "Black Lives Matter (as opposed to white lives)" and the mythical boogeyman "White Privilege". Racism is no prettier being practiced by a "person of color" than by a gathering of cross-burning rednecks wearing white sheets.

Unfortunately, these verbal tactics seem to work against those who are supposed to be the guardians of our culture, of the customs and values of Western Civilization. All they seem to be capable of in reaction is gibbering and spewing "radical!", "radical!", "radical!" over and over again, as if it meant "criminal", "violent", or "dangerous".

It does not.

Radicalism is a word that has descended, evolved, if you will, from the ancient Greek word for "root". Contrary to what one might infer from the bleatings of various Republican politicians and radio talk show hosts, it is no less (and no more) than a concern for the roots of a situation, rather than for its stem, branches, and twigs. It is a sharp focus upon causes, rather than upon mere symptoms. When it advocates various changes, they will be fundamental, rather than trivial.

By that standard, any genuine libertarian, any consistent Constitutionalist, any decent conservative, is a radical. The most radical politician of our times is mild-mannered, soft-spoken Dr. Ron Paul. Apologists for the 170-year-old maunderings of Karl Marx are reactionaries.

Butt-stupid reactionaries.

Nor is it any longer accurate or appropriate to refer to our sticky-fingered adversaries as "leftists". That expression merely harkens back to the physical layout of the French National Assembly at the time of the Revolution, where the King and those supporters who wanted to preserve the "Ancient Regime" sat toward the right, while those who demanded change sat toward the left. Libertarians and a surprising number of conservatives are today's leftists, and those we oppose, like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Charles Schumer, Bernie Sanders, and that clown from Nevada are today's right wingers.

It is long past time to pronounce the death of "liberalism" and call things what they really are. Our grandfathers cut down and killed National Socialism in Germany. Then they turned their attentions to self-proclaimed "scientific socialists" (that used to be what commies called themselves) in Korea. My generation fought Communists in Southeast Asia. And now the same adversaries are at our throats at home.

If the "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" galoshes fit, then it doesn't really matter what specific grabboids call themselves. They all want to kill you, and cook you, and eat you—and that is the truth along every last inch of the spectrum from Joseph Stalin to Hillary Clinton. I'm tired of seeing Bernie Sanders regarded as cute. He is about as cute as Dr. Josef Mengele.

Therefore, I officially propose that we wipe the word "liberal" from our political vocabulary, along with another popular euphemism, "progressive". As it stands now, they are both lies. Joseph Goebbels would tell us they are Big Lies. We could use Ayn Rand's favorite word for them, "collectivist", but I've never had any real traction with that.

I prefer to dishonor the name of an early advocate of the Theft As Political Philosophy movement and employ the expression "neoMarxist". Marx told us, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." And that's all I hear when some pundit says "the Safety Net".

Just another damned euphemism.

L. Neil Smith Publisher and Senior Columnist L. Neil Smith is the author of over thirty books, mostly science fiction novels, L. Neil Smith has been a libertarian activist since 1962. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE "Free Radical Book Store" The preceding essays were originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use them to fight the continuing war against tyranny.

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