Some New Tactical Reflections
By L. Neil Smith
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
[This sequel to "Some Tactical Reflections" is dedicated to
my friend and spiritual advisor, Ernest Hancock. If more of
us were like him, America would be a better, freer -- and
admittedly noisier -- country.]
As much as "sunshine soldiers" or "summer patriots", beware an
ally -- more common than you know -- whose fear of the uncertainties
of success moves him to surrender at the very moment of victory.
Choose your allies carefully: it's highly unlikely that you'll
ever be held morally, legally, or historically accountable for the
actions of your enemies.
Choose your enemies carefully: you'll probably be known much
better and far longer for who they were, than for anything else you
ever managed to accomplish.
The fact that nobody asks you to sing is not an indication that
you should sing louder. This sounds obvious until it's applied to
matters like mass transportation. There are virtually no private
mass transit companies. This does not represent the failure of the
market to provide a needed service, it represents the failure of an
unneeded service to go away!
The function of government is to provide you with service; the
function of the media is to supply the Vaseline.
Give the other guy an Angstrom unit, and it'll be reported that
you gave him a parsec.
Great men don't "move to the center" -- great men MOVE the center!
The great secret of life lies in choosing the right woman. It's a
mother's job to tell you not to play with fire. Marry the girl who
tells you, "Go ahead."
I was surprised to discover that children have to be taught to
tell the truth. Lying, as a path of least resistance, is easier and
comes more naturally. Children also have to be taught that life is
more important than television.
If there were a generic one-word expression for one "whose fear of
the uncertainties of success moves him to surrender at the very moment
of victory", it would be "Republican".
In this world we live in, there are good ideas and there are bad
ideas; those who can't tell the difference conduct opinion polls.
It is moral weakness, rather than villainy, that accounts for most
of the evil in the universe -- and feeble-hearted allies, far rather
than your most powerful enemies, who are likeliest to do you an injury
you cannot recover from.
Just what "life" is being defended here? I seriously doubt
whether 99.99% of the anti-abortionists who wave their gory photo-
placards around at demonstrations could tell a human fetus from that
of a rabbit or a rat.
Once you've taken a public stand you know is right, never back
down; anything less than a rock-hard stance will let your enemies
nibble you to death.
One of the sadder facts of human existence is that power will get
you through times of no brains better than brains will get you through
times of no power.
The only way to beat the government is to become the government.
The people who worry most about "controlling their appetites" are
the very people who least need to. And the people who need to most --
"The perfect is the enemy of the good", you say? I say that if
nobody ever insisted on the perfect, there'd never be any good.
She never said a word during labor, but four and a half years
later, as we stood in my daughter's bedroom, hip-deep in toys and
trying to clean the place up, my wife glared at me and said, "You did
this to me, you sonofabitch!
Sometimes stereotypes are 180 degrees off-course and common sense
isn't worth the paper it wasn't written on. For example, see who goes
on longer having a good time -- and who, by contrast, is the first to
get tight-lipped with indignant outrage -- an individual secure and
unbending in his principles, or a compromise-prone "moderate".
Stereotypes can be a would-be objective observer's undoing: in
terms of surface area alone, for example, is it human males or females
Those who sell their liberty for security are understandable, if
pitiable, creatures. Those who sell the liberty of others for
wealth, power, or even a moment's respite deserve only the end of a
To be human is to live by means of the artifacts that humans
devise. To build a home, and scorn a weapon, is hypocrisy. It's also
a good way to lose the home.
Try never to speak of your enemies by name. Any publicity is
still publicity -- and there are those for whom your disapproval
constitutes a recommendation.
What about GATT and NAFTA? If an agreement is more than a
paragraph long -- and it's between two governments -- then it
ain't about free trade!
When you boil it down, all group behavior is about eating, and all
individual behavior is about sex.
You cannot force me to agree with you. You can force me to act
as though I agree with you -- but then you'll have to watch your back.
All the time.
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 Martyn 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.