Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 1,044, October 27, 2019

Dear Lord, have they lost their minds?

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A Century of Death
by Jim Davidson

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

"After eight-years and almost daily reading and recording of men, women, and children by the tens of millions being tortured or beaten to death, hung, shot, and buried alive, burned or starved to death, stabbed or chopped into pieces, and murdered in all the other ways creative and imaginative human beings can devise, I have never been so happy to conclude a project. I have not found it easy to read time and time again about the horrors innocent people have been forced to suffer. What has kept me at this was the belief, as preliminary research seemed to suggest, that there was a positive solution to all this killing and a clear course of political action and policy to end it. And the results verify this. The problem is Power. ... The course of action is to foster freedom."
RJ Rummel

Reflecting on the recent noises about climate apocalypse in its latest of many recent incarnations, it came to me, in the manner of spiritual leadings, that the entire Club of Rome report and all its related concepts were cooked up after the truth about the genocides in Europe under Hitler, in the Soviet Union under Stalin, and in China under Mao began to come out after World War Two. The people in power looked around the table and said, "We have to pretend there's an excuse to justify all these deaths."

The answers they came up with were: if the "population bomb" isn't defused, there will be food riots; there will be so much pollution people will die in huge numbers; there will be so many diseases people will die in vast numbers; there will be resource scarcities causing technological crash leading to mass death; really, people are going to die in large numbers and we're just doing the world a bunch of favours. These are rationalisations by people who are adept at deception, including self-deception. they want power, they want to justify having it, and so they lie about why they should have it.

The truth is, judging only by the results of their actions and not also sometimes by any of their stated intentions, is that the people who have power like to kill other people. absolute power corrupts absolutely, said Lord Acton, and Bill Buppert noted that power attracts the corruptible. well, RJ Rummel has pointed out: power kills. In the 20th century, by his careful estimates, the total killed in mass murders of their own populations, was 262 million.

Unfortunately, as detailed by David Matas and David Kilgour it now appears that the People's Republic of China has started out the 21st Century by killing a further 78 million. Essentially all of the 80 million Falun Gong rounded up at the start of this century, except for about 2 million released to spread fear among the rest of the world, have been matched up for medical tourists seeking organ transplants. Tens of millions are now dead, or soon will be.

Rummel wrote his books about this topic in the belief that war and genocide are less common amongst less powerful governments. Where power is decentralised and distributed, where people are closer to those who claim to have power over them, the result is a smaller number of wars and a smaller number of mass killings. That's a good result, of course.

I think we can do better. I'm not satisfied with fewer wars, the goal should be zero wars. I'm not satisfied with Nixon only ordering the governor of Ohio to have four protesters at Kent State killed by national guard troops compared to, let us guess a few thousands killed at Tiananmen Square on orders by Deng Xiaoping. The goal should be zero.

Death is the health of the state, whether it is death in wars as Randolph Bourne noted, or death in camps and torture chambers, as RJ Rummel has highlighted, death is what makes the state powerful. Take away the state's power, and you reduce the deaths.

No person who desires to have power over others is qualified to govern. That very desire for power disqualifies the would-be governor.

Yes, of course, the only way to reach zero is to completely distribute power, so that no one is able to murder others. No, I don't think that goal is going to be reached very easily. I do see that where people are more free to keep and bear arms, violent crime rates are much lower. Where people are able to defend themselves and one another with effective tools, there exists a broad deterrent to crime. That's because power is in the hands of a great many rather than only a very few.

Yes, of course, that means that you have to be responsible for yourself. You have to learn more, train more, are more. You have to think and act all the time in accord with your destiny as a self-governing, individually sovereign person. But, that was true even when you were part of a collective enterprise. The collective simply hid the fact of your actual responsibilities. You have to choose for yourself, even if you are ordered by someone else. Your actions are still yours to choose.

There isn't going to be a revolution to overthrow the bad guys. There isn't going to be a moment when everyone chooses to be free. It is still going to be a long hard slog. The people in power have to be divested of power, the people without power have to study and learn to wield their true powers, and the work goes on and on. I suspect that there will be many occasions when the centralised systems fail, as they are so clearly failing in California during this wildfire season. So, my collapsitarian friends and I will get to enjoy the "Big Igloo" at least for a time. But no amount of free rides on helicopters is going to end the curse of collectivism.

The only way to fix things properly, long term, is to organise human activities around consent. Where there is consent, there is freedom. If you are free to choose, you are free. Then it is up to you to choose wisely.


Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, actor, and member of the religious society of friends of the truth. He lives and works in Dayton, Ohio. Lately he is cfo of

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