Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 1,015, April 7, 2019

You don’t have to obey.
You don’t have to submit.

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The Great Stone
by Jim Davidson

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
Daniel, chapter 2, verses 34-35

Over two thousand years ago, at the time of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel was a prophet of God. He revealed to the king the details of a dream of a great and terrible statue having a gold head and silver arms and brass belly and iron legs and feet of iron mixed with clay. Daniel was the only wise man in Babylon who could relate the details of this dream because the dream and its interpretation were shown to Daniel by God. And the interpretation is that Nebuchadnezzar was the ruler of the mighty kingdom represented by the gold part of the dream statue, the subsequent empire, presumably of the Persians and Medes, was the silver, and so forth. Many identify the iron kingdom as the Roman empire, especially since it was divided into eastern (Byzantine) and Western legs - there’s even a boot shape to Italy. Various interpretations have been given for the kingdom represented by the parts composed of clay and iron, perhaps the alliances of many smaller states found in places like Europe and the various United States.

Many Americans in the USA are unaware that Mexico and other countries use the phrase “United States of” in their own language and in their own national label. One might say that this concept of collections of states gathered under one aegis is quite common in our world today.

The Stone

What’s really important in the dream, of course, is not the statue, nor its various elements, nor where in the scheme of kingdoms, empires, and nation states we have been. The significant part of the story is that great stone, cut out without hands, which smashes into the lowest part of the statue and then smashes it all to smithereens, until all the pieces blow away in the wind. The stone then grows into a great mountain and fills the entire Earth.

What is this metaphor of the stone? It is, quite simply, the kingdom of heaven, God’s presence on Earth. Other uses of this same metaphor include the nickname Peter for one of the apostles of Jesus whose name means “stone” in Greek. Jesus says that upon this rock he will build his church and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against it. When he speaks of a church, he speaks of the body of men and women who believe, the collection of believers, not a particular building. Jesus also refers to the man who built upon a foundation of sand, whose house fell down in the wind and storm and waters. Another man built upon a foundation of solid rock, and his house withstood the tests of time and the elements.

Remember, though, that the kingdoms, the empires, the agglomerations of states, are all dashed to pieces. So the governments of mankind, built upon the leadership of some individuals, focused on the desire for power of the few over the many, those are all destroyed. They are destroyed by the great stone. Why? Because God did not make some of us to rule over and harm all the others, to thwart the choices of the many, to arrange the profits of the few.

The Invisible Hand

We’ve understand this situation for many hundreds of years, since the publication of The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. The free market is essential to the discovery of market clearing prices, nothing else can do that work. No command economy, no kingdom, no computer algorithm, no system for allocating resources for the profit of a few, whether called communism, socialism, or corporatism, can do what free markets can do. And, as Smith noted, the invisible hand of free enterprise operates to provide good results for all participants in a free market.

By their fruit shall ye know them. The command economies, the dictatorial systems, create mass slaughter. Hundreds of millions of people were killed by their own governments in the 20th Century alone. The fruit of communism, socialism, and corporatism is death, slavery, and suffering. The fruit of the free market is peace, prosperity, and enjoyment.

The Crime of Elitism

My view is that for tens of thousands of years, sages have come amongst us, and told us how to achieve joy. The model is the marketplace, where merchants and consumers gather together to buy and to sell, to arrange for opportunities and possibilities, to move goods and services from where they are plentiful to where they are scarce, and to do so without special status. Some trees grow taller in every forest, but no one supposes that one tree is king over all. Nor, indeed, does anyone in the market have such great power that they can fearlessly steal from all others without facing consequences.

None of these ideas have set well with those who have power, who have influence, who believe that some were made to rule and others to serve. So they have had their Rousseau and their Marx and their various scribblers pen paeans to glory, imagine social contracts that are never in evidence, and justify all manner of authority and slaughter. They have filled the world with oceans of blood, and found no satisfaction in the midst, only suffering, decay, and difficulty.

Why? Simply because we are all the same sort of being. We are spiritual beings. Your soul extends into the dimensions of this earthly realm and animates your body, for a time. And when your time here is through, your soul proceeds on its spiritual journey, and your body is no longer animated, but dead. There are no souls buried in cemeteries. And there is no soul in human form that is so much superior to all the other souls that it ought to be served as king. Nor indeed is the advanced soul one that seeks to rule others, thwart their choices, and cause their suffering, for those are evil results. By their fruit shall ye know them. A good tree brings forth good fruit and a corrupt tree brings forth poisonous fruit.

These principles are embedded in foundational documents in a vast number of cultures and countries. Yet they are persistently ignored because giving them more than lip service does not serve the interests of those who believe they are meant to rule and the rest of us to serve as slaves.

Elitism, monarchy, and governmental authority are crimes not only against humanity, but against spirit. These are spiritual crimes which deny the central truths: that all souls are connected to the spirit realm and to God; that all souls are of equal value; that God feels joy when any soul feels joy, and suffers when any soul suffers. Therefore those who rule by standing on the backs of others who suffer are criminal.

Knowledge Is Power

Finally, the world we live in is decentralising. Things that used to be difficult to obtain, such as information, are now very widely available. People are able to create their own monetary systems quickly and easily. People are able to communicate one with another, often at zero cost even though separated by thousands of miles. You can call Europe or Asia with an app, such as WhatsApp or Signal, and it happens whether you have paid your phone bill or not, using your Internet connection.

These are the technologies of fintech, commtech, and software. These are the ways in which the meek, the studious, the non-aggressive, the armed who choose not to attack others, have chosen to act. We, the programmers, the entrepreneurs, the market makers, the developers, the systems architects are, for the most part, not interested in ruling and wrecking lives, nor in causing the suffering of others. Instead, we are seeking to free mankind, open markets, and generate wealth by providing services people need all over the world.

The key is that knowledge is not meant to be hoarded and controlled, but distributed and widely understood. You are better off the more you know, and the more others around you know. More new ideas and inventions are developed through knowledge and understanding being widespread. The managed society ideology of the 19th and early 20th Centuries is utterly wrong. By its very nature, human societies are not manageable, not controllable, and should not be dominated by an elite.

Fragility or Resilience

Finally, the systems that have been created by those who seek to dominate others are provably fragile. They are not able to sustain good results over long periods of years. Fiat money, for example, which has value because it is declared to be acceptable for taxes, is terribly fragile and unable to generate good results for long. Taxation, which is another word for theft, also does terrible things to people and economies. Parasites don’t generally help a host to thrive, but weaken it and sometimes kill it.

Again, that is what the kingdoms, empires, and globe-spanning alliances of human governments represent. The great stone, cut out without hands, destroys those things, crushes them into tiny fragments which are scattered by the winds. In their place comes freedom, prosperity, and resilience.

What if thousands of people you know were able to build a steam engine from basic tools and parts? What if everyone in your neighbourhood were able to download designs for 3D printed tools, whether tools of self-defence or for rocketry or avionics, and not only print them out, but assemble them into working condition? What if civilisation did not depend on a sort of priesthood of specialists, cloistered in universities, and controlling access to knowledge, but involved the very, very widespread dissemination of knowledge, of technology, of power.

To me, these things are possible, are here, are available. When my friend Joseph Dale Robertson spoke in Houston in May 2000 at the Awdal Roads Conference he said that people were out of control. And that we need to be out of control, that being outside of control is a good result. He showed, very convincingly, that we cannot be brought back under control, ever again, as long as we are willing to remain free.

You don’t have to obey. You don’t have to submit. And being a part of a collective is not in your own best interests. You have the opportunity to be as great as you wish, as wealthy as you wish, and as free as you choose.

Those thoughts should thrill your soul, enliven your spirit, and bring a smile to your face. Look around you and find a place for yourself, an opportunity to create, and a home. Be a part of the great stone that fills the Earth and smashes the systems of domination to smithereens. You’ll be glad you did.


Jim Davidson is an entrepreneur, storyteller, actor, author, and developer. He is working on decentralised systems, freedom communities, and networking tools. You can find some of his associates at and And, yes, Houston Space Society accepts funds through the PayPal link for thanks!

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