L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 37, June 12, 1998
Prometheus Bound -- And Gagged
by L. Neil Smith
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
Consider, for just a moment if you will, all of the myriad things
poor "liberals" have to be against these days, simply in order to
retain their social credentials and remain "politically correct."
First and foremost, I suppose, comes smoking. Every bigoted
gaggle of prune-faced prudes desperately needs some poor fool to pick
on constantly and feel superior to -- usually because they have so
many things to feel inferior about, themselves. Eventually, if they
are able to gain enough political power they can beat him up and kill
For Hitler, it was Jews.
For fat southern 1950s deputy sheriffs in mirrored sunglasses, it
For their Volvo-driving, wine-and-cheese gobbling equivalents
today, it's those who enjoy tobacco. Never mind that nobody hurts
anybody with tobacco but himself -- that there's no scientifically
respectable evidence that "secondhand smoke" hurts anybody. If these
fascist geeks so much as glimpse somebody smoking a cigarette,
downwind and five hundred yards away, they fall into a gasping stupor,
and when they come out of it, can be heard to demand in a lapse of
self-control that smokers "go back to Virginia where they came from."
It's hard to choose, but I guess the private automobile and the
internal combustion engine usually occupy the next place on the list
of "liberal" hate fetishes, although for some -- apparently our
soon-to-be ex-Vice President is among them -- these items of 19th
century technology take first place on the hit parade despite the
countless blessings of swift, reliable transportation, personal
self-sufficiency, and privacy -- not to mention employment -- they
provide us with.
I really ought to stop trying to put these things in any kind of
rational order; there's nothing rational about them. Let's just agree
that another thing you hear lefties whimpering about all the time is
the individual right to own and carry weapons -- with a particular
emphasis on firearms. Very few left-thinking folks have the moral
courage to swim upstream on this one, even though the widespread
ownership and use of guns has been proven -- Florida is a fine example
of the phenomenon -- to dramatically reduce violent crime. And never
mind that the mindless prohibition of such useful artifacts works an
unfair, often deadly hardship on women, the elderly, and minorities --
while giving criminal gangs and individual brutes the upper hand.
Judging by their usual performance in the appropriately-named
"criminal justice system" -- not to mention West Side Story --
"liberals" have a certain fondness for criminal gangs and individual
Then there's the highly respectable two-million-year old human
practice of eating red meat, rare, medium, and well done. "Real food
for real people." The worst way you can offend "liberals" in this
area is by insisting on cooking it yourself, over a shimmering
charcoal grill in your own back yard -- more guff about secondhand
smoke, I presume.
And don't forget the sorry, self-contradictory specimens who enjoy
whining about the accumulation of garbage in America's precious and
dwindling landfills -- or was that wetlands? -- but who demonstrate
vociferously against doing the intelligent thing and incinerating it.
Last, but certainly not least, is that ultimate of "liberal"
bugaboos, nuclear power.
Now in case you missed it, what do all of these "horrors" have in
common? Well to begin with (consider this a hint) most people --
although by no means all -- have to ignite tobacco in order to enjoy
And modern personal weaponry employs smokeless gunpowder,
consuming it as a fuel to propel bullets toward burglars, rapists,
and freelance tax collectors in America's alleyways and municipal
The key political word in the phrase "internal combustion engine"
seems to be "combustion". Almost every one of the lame-brained
substitutes "liberals" adore so well would eliminate the use of that
foul four-letter word, "burn", which is also inextricably involved in
eating meat (unless you're a lot braver than I am), cooking it indoors
or outdoors, and properly disposing of the refuse afterwards.
And while nuclear power doesn't really burn anything, most of
the feebs who oppose it think it does. It's especially interesting to
note, in this connection, that during the late and largely unlamented
1960s -- that period of greatest "liberal" hatred and distrust of
computers -- these now ubiquitous devices (I'm using one right now)
were invariably portrayed as failing in a shower of sparks and
curtains of black smoke.
Get this: when it became clear, even to "liberals", that this
doesn't happen, computers somehow miraculously became acceptable.
Clearly then, today's "liberalism" consists principally of a
delayed emotional reaction to the discovery, somewhere around a
hundred thousand years ago, of fire. The question that comes to
mind -- to my mind, anyway (although I will confess, to quote Tom
Hanks in a much better role than Forrest Gump, that they pay me to
be this way) -- is, "what the hell took them so long to find out about
Put that way, over and over again, perhaps today's "liberals"
will eventually get the message. Of course once they do, they won't
be "liberals" any more.
Novelist and political essayist L. Neil Smith has been characterized
by one disgruntled reader as having written the "single most repugnant
... piece of tripe ... ever seen in an American newspaper." In his
spare time, he's also the Prometheus Award-winning author of 19 novels
(and counting), as well as founder and publisher of The Libertarian
Enterprise http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/index.html. Order his books
from Amazon.com at his home web site "L. Neil Smith's Webley Page" at
http://www.lneilsmith.org//index.html, from Laissez Faire Books
at http://www.laissezfaire.com or call toll-free at 1-800-326-0996.
There is no "thin blue line", only a deep red stream -- the productive
class -- that cops and crooks wade through alike, without a thought or
care to the lives, liberties, or property of those they're destroying.
-- Mirelle Stein, The Productive Class
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