The vision of a better future worth fighting for
by Manuel Miles (aka Kaptain Kanada)
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
This is not an easy article to write. I am grieving the loss of not only a personal friend, but a friend of the causes of peace and liberty. So forgive me if this is deficient.
I first “met” L. Neil Smith when reading science fiction; at around that time I was also reading the works of H.G. Wells, John Wyndham, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, and many others. What was (and still is) the attraction of their novels? I believe it is that they encourage us to question assumptions and, even more, to attempt the impossible, for it is probably impossible to establish a truly free society of peace and liberty.
One of life’s ironies, however, is that if we do not attempt the “impossible” we can make no true progress. If no one ever asks “What if…” no great discoveries can be made. Science fiction writers wrote of flying beyond earth’s orbit long before it first happened, for example. They imagined many other things which later became commonplace.
L. Neil Smith challenged us to ask “What if… we quit supporting wars and police statism?” Perhaps those evils are impossible to end, but we’ll never know if we don’t ask ourselves “What if?”
I called him “EL” Neil in a joking reference to my having an hispanic name but no latino blood. It was one of many laughs we shared and only one of many, many reasons that I shall miss him. “But I digress…”
El Neil and I disagreed on many subjects but he never stopped being my friend and always published anything I wrote no matter if he agreed with it or not. In a final salute to him, below are some of my favourite quotes:
“I have spent my entire lifetime treading water in an ocean of lies. I am fucking sick and tired of it.” — L. Neil Smith
“A little ‘hate speech’ (whatever that is) now and again is vastly more desirable than socialist—or any other kind of—thought control.” — L. Neil Smith
“This is what happens when your Glorious Leader is a cartoon character.” — L. Neil Smith commenting on Justin Trudeau
“The one and only reason politicians, bureaucrats, and policemen want to take your weapons away from you is so that they can do things to you that they couldn’t do if you still had your weapons.” — L. Neil Smith
“[T]here is no war the Democrats can start that Republicans won’t gleefully fight to the utter exhaustion of the country.” — L.Neil Smith
“[Politicians] talk about freedom all the time, but [they] want freedom properly licensed, complete with photo ID. Gentlemen, you can’t license freedom. You’re either free or you are not.” — L. Neil Smith
“Who needs to be persuaded to be free, does not deserve to be [free].” — L. Neil Smith
“The resolve to leave other people alone is the most difficult to keep consistently, but it is the hallmark of real adulthood.” — L. Neil Smith
“Taxation is the fuel of war.” — L. Neil Smith
“…acting consistently with principle represents an investment in the future.” — L. Neil Smith
“The police are like parents. They’re not interested in justice, they just want quiet.” — L. Neil Smith
“If the passengers had been armed, 9/11 would never have happened. Arm the people, disarm the government.” — L. Neil Smith
“[’Public’] school administrators have confused proper limits on what they can do with improper limits they’re trying to impose on those whom they’re supposed to serve.” — L. Neil Smith
“I’ve always said, in response to ‘A conservative is a liberal who got mugged’ that a libertarian is a conservative who got beaten up by the cops.” — L. Neil Smith
“It’s often been observed that the first casualty of war is the truth. But that’s a lie, too, in its way. The reality is that, for most wars to begin, the truth has to have been sacrificed a long time in advance.” — L. Neil Smith
“Socialism is an ethical and political belief that the life and rights of the individual (provided that he has any at all) are less important than the life and putative rights of the group. Given historical examples like Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s People’s Republic, and Hitler’s Third Reich, it should be easy to see the consequences of such a belief and condemn it for what it is: moral cannibalism … ” — L. Neil Smith
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