L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 35, January 15, 1998
Crank Up The Enola Gay
By L. Neil Smith
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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