It Works Better If You Plug It In
By L. Neil Smith
Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise
In this issue of The Libertarian Enterprise -- and those to
come for the foreseeable future -- we'll be doing our damnedest to
present our readers with practical ideas for healing this sick
civilization. Above all, what we'll be striving to generate is
actions they can take right away -- entirely on their own if need be
-- that'll make a readily observable difference in the world around
them, not only within their own lifetimes, but within the lifetimes
of some of their shorter-lived pets: white rats, hamsters, gerbils,
that sort of thing.
The purpose of the present article is not to nag anybody. People
have an absolute right to what many do-gooders, political activists,
and other pests -- even in the Libertarian movement -- are mistakenly
inclined to dismiss as "apathy". That's what the movement is supposed
to be all about: restoring the right to ignore politics -- and to
do so in perfect safety -- in favor of focusing on oneself, one's
family, and one's friends. In short, to have a life.
I have a beautiful, intelligent wife, an equally beautiful and
intelligent 7-year-old daughter being home-schooled, two cats, and a
house that seems to be constantly falling apart (never noticed that
with rental property!). I have the worst-looking lawn in the
neighborhood: even the guy whose entire front yard is covered in
multicolored gravel glares at me whenever he drives by.
I'm the top competitive shooter in my local silhouette league. I
take my girls ice skating on Sundays and Thursdays. We also attend
various social functions, mostly in connection with Colorado State
University's Electrical Engineering Department where my wife is (dare
I say it?) a "fixture". I have two whole walls in my living room
covered with musical instruments with which I used to earn a living
but no longer have the time to play. There are enough unread books,
galleys, and manuscripts in my office to restock the Alexandrian
And you'll note that I haven't even mentioned the items I write
for The Libertarian Enterprise, the SF novels I write for a living,
or any of the correspondence, promotion, and other support-work that
these activities make necessary.
Let me put the following as straightforwardly as I can. I'm
damned sick of politics. I was sick of it a generation ago. It
pisses me off to have to waste my time on it. It pisses me off even
more that certain parasites who don't have lives of their own, have
learned to subsist, in one way or another, off the "apathy" of those
of us who do. Either they're statists, who rely on it to do their
dirty work while none of us has the time or energy to keep an eye on
them, or -- pretending to be on our side -- they trade on the guilt
that they've trained themselves to make us feel for attending to our
own business, extracting "restitution" in the form of cash, checks,
or even a free lunch.
Right, left, center are always screaming, "Wake up America!", by
which, of course, they mean pay attention to whatever they regard
as important. But America doesn't need to "wake up". If America
weren't already wide awake, paying attention to what each individual
believes is important, your paper wouldn't have gotten delivered this
morning, there wouldn't be any groceries to purchase in the grocery
store, and you wouldn't have any electricity this afternoon.
All of that being said (and believe me, it needed saying; I
feel much better now, don't you?) there remains the fact that not one
of the ideas we've put forward in past isssues of the Enterprise or
plan to offer in the future can be made to work by itself. They need
somebody to take one of them and run with it until the objective is
achieved or the idea has been proven to be no good.
Take, for example, an idea that I offered in my piece, "Relining
America's Birdcages" (TLE, Issue #27) to alter the editorial
policies of newspapers and television stations by organizing to write
letters, not to editors or station executives, but to advertisers
and advertising managers. I guaranteed (with a little backing from
our Editor-in-Chief, Vin Suprynowicz) that such an effort would
change the sorry face of this nation and the tragic course of its
history in only a handful of months. But if the idea's being applied
anywhere besides Coconino and Pima Counties in (where else?) Arizona,
we'd very much like to know about it, so we can pass the word along
as an encouragement to others.
If it isn't, why not? Did you plan to wait until the tanks
rolled over you?
I have heard from many correspondents who are demanding that
their state LP follow the course I laid out in "Target: G.O.P -- At
Last, A Libertarian Party Strategy" (TLE, Issue #29) and
concentrate all of our electoral effort on Republicans who won their
races by less than five percent. It's equally important to let every
Republican Senator, Congressman, state legislator, and city
councilman know -- with plenty of noisy and repeated warning
beforehand -- that this is going to happen to them, that the
Republican Party is going to be utterly obliterated, unless they
render themselves immune to this tactic by becoming more radical than
Libertarians are in the matter of Bill of Rights enforcement.
I've also had quite a few complaints from Republicans who don't
want this done to them -- as if anybody but they themselves were in
charge of their own future. What the effort needs now, as I say, is a
deluge of letters to the idiots so that they'll actually do
something before the next congressional election. Their apologists
keep telling me to be patient, that "something big is in the works",
but with all the good will in the world, what they appear to me to be
doing -- between bouts of sneaking through various pieces of obvious
Nazi-inspired legislation -- is waiting for the tanks to roll over
What can they do? Well, I went into that in the original
article, but I've had another idea since then, as well. In an
upcoming issue, we're going to run a copy of the Articles of
Impeachment that were drafted for the benefit of Andrew Johnson and
Richard Nixon, suitably edited to apply to Waco Willie. He'll not be
charged with his campaign finance pecadillos or even waggling his
weenie at Paula Jones, but for being in command when more than 80
innocent people -- two dozen of them children -- were poison gassed,
machinegunned, and incinerated. If our readers simply print these
articles out and send them to their representatives, it might give
Republicans a clue about rehabilitating themselves.
Remember: never promise to relent in the matter of the
five-percenters; it's up to Republicans, as I say, to render
themselves immune to our "spoiler" strategy.
One final thing -- for this particular article, anyway: the
Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus is looking for a few good beings.
One in every county of every American state and every comparable
subdivision of every province of Canada. Once that's on its way to
being accomplished, we're going to organize in Britain and Australia.
The next piece I write for TLE will explain what qualifications
we're looking for, how to sign up, and offer you some ideas for
As I said in my April 19th keynote speech to the Arizona
Libertarian Party ("You Can't Fight a Culture War If You Ain't Got
Any Culture", TLE Issue #29), the "little men by whom we find
ourselves governed" are frightened and hysterical because, everywhere
in the world, the cause of individual liberty is winning its
ages-old battle against tyranny. That's why they're committing the
atrocities that threaten to turn the America Dream into a nightmare.
To finish them before they finish us, we must make their
stomachs churn, cost them a night's sleep, shorten their life
expectancies by another five minutes each time they hear of something
else we've cooked up for them to deal with.
It's their turn.
L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of The Probability Broach,
Pallas, Henry Martyn, and Bretta Martyn (forthcoming in August
of 1997) and other novels, as well as publisher of The Libertarian
Enterprise, available free by e-mail subscription or very readable at
http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/. Look for his works
at Amazon.com Books, http://www.amazon.com or give Laissez Faire Books
a toll-free phone call at 1-800-326-0996. His own site, the "Webley
Page" may be found at http://www.lneilsmith.org//.