Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 985, August 12, 2018

It is nothing but a cheesy protection
racket to “license” businesses to operate.

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Hall-Pass Nation
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

“We have to regulate every aspect of people’s lives.”
—Councilman Jesse Dominguez
Santa Barbara City Council


I went out to a bar the other night to listen to karaoke. Yeah, I do that. For some perverted reason, a young lady near the entrance demanded that I produce identification. Since I am plainly a 72-year-old man in a wheelchair, I felt that this was peculiar and uncalled-for—especially since no other place I go like this makes a similar demand—and if they couldn’t tell that I was over 21, they didn’t really deserve my custom. The people with me were upset—that I was upset—not that we were all being treated unreasonably.

Life in these post-Progressive times presently consists of obtaining an endless series of permissions from one insatiable and intrusive pseudopod of government or another, “graciously” allowing us to be, do, or have things that were once perfectly human and unquestionable rights. Until this situation is corrected, once and for all, America will remain unhealthy at the core.

This country has always been weird and prissy about alcohol, from about the middle of the 19th century, down to this very day. I have to present my license-not-to-drive, and they have to beg (and pay dearly) for special permission from the badge-heads to sell it, out of a revolting greed for city or county revenue and unspeakable mortal terror that some 15-year-old might get a drink of (shudder!) beer that hasn’t been nastily watered down so it can be sold in grocery stores and what used to be downtown college bars. This town, always more Midwestern than Western in spirit, was “dry” until the 1960s, meaning that booze could not be sold here, and it actually had a Prohibition Party (for which my preposterous grandmother voted every time) and a solid ring of liquor stores around the city perimeter. I was brought up with an irrational fear of alcohol which I didn’t overcome until I was in my 30s.

Before you mention it, I am well aware that some individuals have difficulty with alcohol. I have known many of them, sometimes very well. But I refuse to be punished for their weakness or sickness, or whatever it is. And how keeping it away from them until ZANGO! they magically turn 21 and can suddenly drown themselves in the stuff—how that helps them learn to handle it better—is completely beyond me or anybody else with a brain.

It’s what I call the “Darwin Deadfall” method of child-rearing: protect them jealously from everything that frightens you (not just drinking) until they turn 18, send them away to college, and KARUMPH! if they survive the impact of harsh reality (many don’t) then they are fit to pass the torch of Civilization to.

If you remember nothing else I’m saying here, remember this: People will rise—or fall—to meet your expectations of them.

Similarly, nobody who smokes tobacco pretends that it is good for them. In the Canadian province where I grew up, it was common to see 8-year-olds light up in public. Maybe they didn’t live as long, but they were happier without busybodies incessantly nagging them.

I didn’t start until I was 17, and continued for 30 years. No amount of mass-media nagging had any effect except to make me more determined to keep puffing away. Not rational, but human. If I had the power, I’d make every PSA (Public Service Announcement) go away and compel their pestiferous authors and producers and actors to write the Bill of Rights on a blackboard a hundred thousand times. I’d also confiscate their bank accounts and return every cent of “sin-tax” money to those who now paying five dollars a pack for what I paid 35 cents (sometimes less) to get; political scavengers who tax innocent people to alter their behavior (you know who they are) are the enemies of everything America stands for. They deserve a one-way ticket to North Korea, where they will at long last be happy.

And while we’re not on the subject, I was a competitive shooter when I was 11 years old (GUNS!). I never even thought of using a firearm in any way that would have violated the Zero Aggression Principle. But I knew how to defend myself and my family. Until and unless we begin teaching children to use weapons responsibly, our schools will remain the savage jungles they are today—and victims will continue to die in Darkest Chicago.

More broadly, it is simple extortion to demand a fee from someone (yes, even doctors) before they’re permitted to practice their trade. It is nothing but a cheesy protection racket to “license” businesses to operate. If professionals have certificates, let them hang them on their walls. In this age of rapid information, we’ll soon learn what we knew all along, that most quacks are licensed. Possibly the most obscene tax we pay is the tax to be allowed to go on living in our own homes.

Taxation is theft,

Taxation is slavery.

Taxation is the fuel of war,

Donald Trump has demonstrated something else I always knew was true (and so did you), and have been writing about for something like 56 years (see my first novel, The Probability Broach): if government leaves the Productive Class the hell alone, they will work “miracles” of growth, prosperity, and progress. Breathe down their necks, crowd them with a lot of regulations and elbow-jogging supervision, and they will get drunk, lie down, and go to sleep exactly like the workers did in communist Russia.

Of course that may be exactly what parasitic socialist vermin like Charles Ellis Schumer (he wants you to call him “Chuck”) and Nancy “Duh” Pelosi and Diane “Miss Daisy” Feinstein want. Not to leave out the vile Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.



L. Neil Smith

Award-winning novelist and essayist L. Neil Smith is a retired gunsmith, Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise and the author of over thirty books. Look him up on Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon. com. He is available, at professional rates, to write columns, articles, and speeches for your organization, event, or publication, fiercely defending your rights, as he has done since the mid-1960s. His writings (and e-mail address) may also be found at L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise, at JPFO. org or at https://www. patreon. com/lneilsmith, to which you can contribute, directly. 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 essay was originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use it to fight the continuing war against tyranny.

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