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50


L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 50, July 4, 1999

L. Neil Smith's Fourth of July Announcement

by L. Neil Smith

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

Audio version on The Webley Page

          Happy Independence Day!
          Let me get right to the point.
          Borrowing from former President Cory Aquino of the Philippines, I've chosen the 223rd anniversary of American independence to say that, if those who want me to do it will collect 1,000,000 petition signatures to convince me I'm not wasting everybody's time and energy, I'll run for President of the United States in the year 2000 as an independent.
          Decades ago, when I was my nine-year-old daughter's age, I calculated that I'd be 53 years old when the year 2000 arrived. I envisioned a brilliant, colorful future, based on the science fiction I was reading and possibilities I'd learned to imagine for myself. (I never considered the possibiliy that we'd be less free than we were in the 1950s.) I assumed that by now we'd all be flying to work in personal helicopters or even on flying belts, visiting with each other by videophone, living in undersea domes, vacationing on the Moon or Mars. Aging and disease would be wiped out.
          Instead, over the next 40-odd years, most possibilities like that, (and many more I failed to foresee), were eaten up by taxes to support the "Welfare-Warfare State" and by regulations that were insane and unconstitutional. Government terrorism began turning my daydreams into nightmares, having begun (although I didn't know it at the time) with Operation Keelhaul and the persecution of Wilhelm Reich (to pick two examples), and climaxing (but certainly not ceasing) with Ruby Ridge and the butchery we all witnessed at Mount Carmel in 1993.
          Don't ask when it's going to happen, America is a police state now. At this point, instead of a brilliant, colorful future, it's likelier to be a future resembling Beirut at the fiercest of the fighting there, or Dachau at the worst moment of the Holocaust. All of my adult life, since I was a politically precocious 14, I've worked as hard as I could to prevent that kind of future, and the bitter, bloody civil war -- a war both Republicans and Democrats seem hell-bent on provoking -- that many of my wisest friends now believe is inevitable.
          But I still want my 21st century, not the Clintons' or the Bushes'. And I suspect you want it, too, or I wouldn't be doing this. I want it for myself, for my wife, and most of all I want it for my little girl. Like me, she writes. I want her to write, while she's a child, about sunshine, butterflies, and flowers, not machineguns, razor wire, and Ferret missiles. I want her to live as an adult and raise her own children amidst the peace, freedom, progress, and prosperity I grew up believing were the birthright of every American.
          Of every human being.
          Over the past decades I've personally tried many approaches -- and observed many more -- to reclaiming our Revolutionary heritage and advancing, once again, the cause of liberty. Every one has failed and we are worse off than when we started. From that long, disappointing experience, I've come to believe that the best "flag" to rally round is the one left to us by our 18th century ancestors.
          Indeed, I've said in print and at the lectern that any difference between a society created by the most radical Libertarian Party platforms I helped to write in the 70s, and the society that would arise from stringent enforcement of the first ten amendments to the Constitution would merely be a matter of "fine tuning".
          The first ten amendments to the Constitution.
          The Bill of Rights.
          My platform is enforcement of the Bill of Rights.
          My first act as President would be to order the arrests of Bill Clinton, Janet Reno, and Webster Hubbell for what they did at Waco, to round up everybody else responsible for what happened there, and put them on trial for their lives.
          I would also invite Michael New, the young soldier who refused to obey United Nations commanders, to the White House to give him a medal and appoint him to oversee our military disentanglement from NATO and the UN.
          I would then empty America's prisons by turning the White House into an Executive Clemency factory, if necessary, with the proper forms stacked to the ceiling, until the War on Drugs, America's 25,000 gun laws, and all other victimless crime laws were repealed or nullified.
          And, like the ancient Roman senator Cato the Elder who demanded after every speech that "Carthage must be destroyed", I would end my every public utterance, no matter what else it had been about, by reminding potential jury members across the country of their 1000 year old right and duty to judge the law itself, as well as the facts of the case.
          I want to make it clear that I don't believe I'll be sleeping at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue any time in the next century. My goal (a realistically achievable one) is to establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that there's a constituency for the Bill of Rights too large to ignore -- or to abuse any further.
          Rely on me to tell the truth and remain within the principles that have guided my life for nearly 40 years. There's no mythical "Great Unwashed" to be fooled or coddled here, no "gentle sensibilities" to be protected. It's far too late for that. There's no need for "outreach" in any conventional sense. All we have to do to change the course of history -- although it's a huge task -- is to find and gather together everyone who already basically agrees with us.
          Over the coming months, I plan to make heavy use of the internet, and to supplement that with occasional video and audio tapes. Although I'll be dealing with specific issues each time, my basic message will always be the same: if you want to see the Bill of Rights stringently enforced, tell me, by signing my petition.
          Some folks are asking if they can give me money. Technically, I'm not a candidate, just somebody whose friends are trying to persuade him to run. Accepting political contributions is complicated, and I have no mechanism for doing it at the moment. Later, proper and legal arrangements will have to be made. For now, if you wish to help, buy my books. I've attached a list of them, the various forms in which they're published, and where they can be purchased.
          I've been asked about my independent candidacy -- whether I'd refuse the nomination of the Libertarian Party, which I joined in 1972. (I've learned only recently of a group who want to draft me as the LP candidate for President.) I believe the LP has reached a point where, if I were to walk into its convention with a million petition signatures, or five million, or ten million, the clique that owns the party would still find an excuse to reject my candidacy.
          But if the laws of physics and human nature were repealed and the LP membership did ask me to be their candidate, after all these years, I couldn't find it in my heart to say no.
          A last item. My friends will actually be collecting 2,000,000 signatures, just to make sure. This allows me a personal indulgence. One of the dreams that stirs me most is an International Bill of Rights Union to counterbalance the New World Order. My father was in the Air Force and I grew up in Canada. For those reasons, I'll accept petition signatures from there, from Great Britain (because we have British comrades who are being oppressed), from Australia, and from New Zealand.
          We're still working on technical details concerning our online petitions, but I wanted to get this announcement out on what is, for me, the happiest and most important day of the year. I'll send out a follow-up message when we're ready. In the meantime, if you have any questions, write to me lneil@lneilsmith.org, or to my friend and associate John Taylor john@johntaylor.org, who's kindly agreed to help me.

         Sincerely yours,

         L. Neil Smith


L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of more than 20 books, mostly highly political science fiction. Those presently available include:

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The Probability Broach, Tor Books, 1996

Widely considered the definitive libertarian science fiction novel, back again to ruin the sleep and shorten the lives of socialists everywhere. In a deadly conflict with murderous federal agents, Denver homicide detective Win Bear is accidentally blown "sideways" in time, into the "North American Confederacy", where the Whiskey Rebellion succeeded in 1794, and government has grown less powerful ever since. 1980/81 Prometheus Award winner.

(Originally published by Del Rey Books in 1980.) Available from Laissez Faire Books http://www.laissezfaire.org, at bookstores like B. Dalton and Barnes & Noble, and from Amazon.com.

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The Wardove, Pulpless.com, 1999

Earth was destroyed in 2023 and only Lunar colonists survived. Nine hundred years later, in a star-spanning "nation" without conscription or taxation, Captain Nathaniel Blackburn of Coordinated Arm Intelligence must find out who's killing rock musicians raising money for the War Against the Clusterian Powers. Includes lyrics to a dozen songs written by the author. Prequel to Henry Martyn.

(Originally published in 1986 by Berkley/Ace.) Electronically available from Pulpless.com and in paperback from Laissez Faire Books http://www.laissezfaire.org and Amazon.com

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Pallas, Tor, 1993

In the persons of Gibson Altman, exiled liberal United States Senator, and Emerson Ngu, a young Vietnamese/Cambodian immigrant boy who aspires to manufacture firearms, socialist "East America" and entrepreneurs of the West American "Jackelope Republic" fight for control of a whole new world, the second largest of the asteroids. Lots of action, romance, RKBA polemics, plus metallic silhouette shooting! Winner of the 1994 Prometheus Award.

Available from Laissez Faire Books http://www.laissezfaire.org, at bookstores like B. Dalton and Barnes & Noble, and from Amazon.com

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Henry Martyn, Tor, 1989

A thousand years from now, in the depths of interstellar space, there will be sailing ships -- and pirates! Vast empires clash as young Arran Islay fights for freedom, and to regain a legacy brutally stripped from his family by the "Black Usurper".

Available from Laissez Faire Books http://www.laissezfaire.org, at bookstores like B. Dalton and Barnes & Noble, and from Amazon.com (Apparently this one has just gone out-of-print -- The Webmaster)

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Bretta Martyn, (also in hardcover)Tor, 1997

Fifteen years after her father's adventures, Robretta Islay sails to the stars in order to expose the source of Oplyte slavery and stamp it out. Along the way she travels across half a galaxy, faces hideous perils, suffers grievously, meets many wild and wonderful characters, and eventually rediscovers the homeworld of the human race. (Also a sequel to The WarDove.)

Available from Laissez Faire Books http://www.laissezfaire.org, at bookstores like B. Dalton and Barnes & Noble, and from Amazon.com (Also out in an electronic edition for the "Rocket eBook" device from Barnes & Noble.com.)

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The Lando Calrissian Adventures, (Omnibus), (also mass-market paperback) Del Rey, 1994

Youthful adventures of Star Wars' famous gambler before Han Solo won the Millenium Falcon from him.

Available from Laissez Faire Books http://www.laissezfaire.org, at bookstores like B. Dalton and Barnes & Noble, and from Amazon.com

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The Mitzvah, (with Aaron Zelman), Mazel Freedom Press

A middle-aged Catholic monsignor learns he's actually a Jewish orphan of the Holocaust and must choose, not just between church and synagogue, but between liberal pacifism and a philosophy that proclaims, "Never again!"

Available from Mazel Freedom Press Mazel Freedom Press, P.O. Box 270014, Hartford, WI 53027 http://www.jpfo.org/mitzvah.htm

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Forge of the Elders

The American Soviet Socialist Republic claims the asteroid 5023 Eris, but somebody (or something) is already there! The Elders are from Earth ... sort of. They aren't human, but they're individualists and capitalists! (So politically incorrect the original publisher cancelled the third volume!) Forthcoming in one volume from Baen Books, early in 2000.

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Lever Action (political non-fiction) twenty years of L. Neil Smith's best essays and speeches forthcoming from Mountain Media (publisher's of Vin Suprynowicz's Send in the Waco Killers late in 1999.

For more information see "The Webley Page" at http://www.lneilsmith.org/


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