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35


THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 35, January 15, 1998

Crank Up The Enola Gay

By L. Neil Smith
lneil@lneilsmith.org

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

         So the Japanese (it says here) are ramrodding a drive in the UN to relieve everybody on the planet of their personal weapons. Especially -- it goes without saying -- us ugly Americans.
         The Japanese, of course, are the exemplars of moral excellence who gang-raped their way across the Asian mainland and ate Allied prisoners during World War II.
         The Japanese are the paragons of virtue whose government and corporate leaders resign in disgrace (they usually slither back later on, an argument for the earlier tradition of seppuku) with such regularity they could print schedules of it like a railroad.
         The Japanese are the upholders of decency who let children who show the faintest spark of individuality be beaten into conformity (the practice is called ijime -- "The nail that sticks up shall be pounded down.") by their little schoolmates.
         The Japanese are the keepers of the public trust who bullied their own folk out of their guns to please a vile, self-serving aristocracy, who routinely torture suspects until they confess, and who subject their citizens to searches of their homes twice a year -- by police fully as corrupt as those of New Orleans -- to make sure no nasty old guns sneaked under the floorboards when nobody was watching.
         Fact is, the Japanese establishment is terrified of creeping individualism within its own anthill -- their classical and postwar culture, a sick, twisted mishmash of intimidation, brutality, class exploitation, and perversion, is on the verge of collapse -- and is desperately trying to shut the threat off at its source, by destroying its most potently articulate symbol, the gun in private hands.
         The effort is doomed. The Japanese people are fed up grinding their lives away for the sake of industrial feudalism. Fed up seeing their kids kill themselves when they don't do well on the SATs. Fed up with rapacious taxes and paying higher prices than anyone else in the world for TVs and stereos they make themselves. Fed up with $10 hamburger, rice at twice the world price, and real estate prices that lift my own humble domicile into the multimillion dollar range. Fed up with bosses who conduct "business" by getting drunk in restaurants where the main attraction is groping and licking the parts of nude female dancers that can be pressed through openings in a chickenwire barrier.
         But I digress.
         All this puts me in an awkward position. Everything I own that uses electricity is Japanese. So is my car, an '84 Subaru wagon. I like Japanese stuff. My longing for a new Toyota Land Cruiser is a palpable presence in our home, like Harvey the Rabbit. My wife feels the same about a Mitsubishi Spyder (but only the one with the big engine). In the ordinary course of events, our fortunes currently being on the rise, we'd have acquired both vehicles, uncomfortably close to a hundred grand worth of rolling stock, sometime in the next few years. We've worked hard, we've waited a long time, we deserve it.
         But now we're not so sure.
         To an extent unappreciated by the most cynical American student of politics, the keiretsu or zaibatsu, a handful of corporations that comprise "Japan, Inc." are the Japanese government; democracy means about as much there as it does in Mexico. What the Japanese government and its UN delegation want is what the zaibatsu want. If the Japanese government wants to disarm us, it's because Toyota and Mitsubishi (and half a dozen others) want to disarm us.
         The US government always claims that every stupid war this country ever blundered into was to save the Constitution and the Bill of Rights from foreign devils (the British come to mind) who wanted to destroy them. That being the case, why shouldn't the average Joes and Janes coerced into fighting those wars regard Japanese anti-gun activity as an act of war?
         Let me repeat it so you'll know I meant it: why shouldn't we regard Japanese efforts to destroy the Bill of Rights as an act of war?
         Why shouldn't we carpet-nuke their crappy little islands from one end to the other this time and obliterate a culture -- I refuse to say "civilization" -- as worthy of such treatment as the Aztecs were?
         Well for one thing, because we're the good-guys. We just don't do that kind of thing. We still feel guilty about the pair of puny A-bombs we used to save millions of lives (most of them Japanese) in 1945.
         For another, we're individualists. We understand that it isn't the Japanese people who are the problem (they love guns) but the corrupt and evil leaders of a corrupt and evil corporate and political structure that was forced on them, largely by us. In fact, it's the likelihood that the Japanese people are growing restive, and worst of all, individualistic, that has their corrupt and evil leaders on the rag.
         So what should we do?
         Well, we already have a predisposition to feel ambivalent about imported products, especially Japanese products, and especially automobiles. On one hand, we love the damned things, they're pretty, they work, and even with the most punitive tariffs our own corrupt and evil leaders can levy against them, they're still a bargain.
         On the other, until the Japanese bought the unions off by building factories here (neatly dodging tariffs, as well), Japanese cars used to get torched in Detroit parking lots. Plenty of people still vividly remember World War II. Many more have learned enough about Japanese politics and culture to resist to the last breath any attempt to impose them here.
         For those determined to resist, Japan's sociopolitics leave it uniquely vulnerable. If, for example, Detroit's Big Three all went belly-up tomorrow, the US government (perhaps this is unfortunate) would react lugubriously, but would also go on without a hiccup.
         Ayn Rand and Robert LeFevre would have maintained that Japan -- often cited as an ideal "partnership" between big government and big business -- is the ultimate expression of fascism. In Japan, when one of the Big Eight gets a sniffle, the state mainlines Nyquil, because there is no meaningful distinction between Corporate and Official Japan. One of my correspondents compares it to lichen, a symbiotic combination of algae and fungus.
         Now what do you suppose a year or two of depressed auto sales -- if we inavoidably linked it to Japan's asinine gun polices -- might have? I'm (reluctantly) willing to postpone purchase of my Land Cruiser, to consider buying a Suburban like G. Gordon Liddy and my mother, or even look into the new SUV by Mercedes. I notice that my wife's been eyeing that little BMW that looks like a shark.
         My suspicion, in this age of the MBA, is that if Japan, suffered as little as a 2 or 3 percent drop in their American auto sales, they'd be pathetically willing to straighten up and fly right.
         What does "straighten up and fly right" consist of? For openers, they would cease their worldwide personal disarmament advocacy. And it would be good if they withdrew from the UN altogether. We're going to do it, sooner or later, and there's no time like right now to start a trend.
         After profuse and abject apologies, the Japanese government would adopt the Bill of Rights and make a point of seeing that their people acquire guns, preferably from us -- no registration, Vermont Carry only.
         Finally, the architects of the current policy would be "invited" to do the right thing, which, in Japan, I'll remind you, involves a long, razor-sharp knife and a good friend standing by to behead whatever's left.
         Failure on any one of these points will be a signal for the boycott to continue.
         People often ask me what the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus is for, what its coordinators across the country can do. Well, they (and anybody else who wants to help) can start by copying this column to everyone they know. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce it anywhere as long as it remains unaltered and credit is given. Above all, send it where it'll do the most good: Japanese diplomatic establishments and your local purveyors of Japanese road machines.
         My dad fought World War II and was a prisoner of war. One of my uncles was crippled and another died in a submarine. They all believed (because the government told them and in those days folks believed it) that they were fighting the Japanese and Germans for our rights.
         Starve Toyota, feed the Bill of Rights. Detroit will love us for it and so (for once) will the unions. And by liberating ourselves, we liberate the Japanese people.
         Which I guess beats nuking them until they glow.

 
Novelist and political essayist L. Neil Smith is the only Libertarian ever to be called a "thug" within the pages of the LP News. He's also been characterized by a disgruntled reader as having written the "single most repugnant ... piece of tripe ... ever seen in an American newspaper." In his spare time, he's the award-winning author of The Probability Broach, Pallas, Henry Martyn, and Bretta Matryn and 15 other novels, as well as founder and publisher of The Libertarian Enterprise. Order his books from Amazon.com via "The Webley Page" at http://www.lneilsmith.org//lnsbooks.html#amazon, or give Laissez Faire Books a toll-free call at 1-800-326-0996.


         "The right of self-defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
-- Henry St. George Tucker (in Blackstone's Commentaries)


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