L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 96, October 30, 2000
Two Dates Worth Noting
From: "JACK JEROME" <email@example.com>
I was pleased to read Neil's response in TLE, and (not) shocked to hear of Mr. Brown's dissembling as far as the Bill of Rights. He shows repeatedly his colours as a true politician. That such a viper in our midst can exist and be so successful is infuriating. I have been for years an ardent speculative fiction reader, and have long ceased apologizing for it. I can't believe that Mr. Brown actually thought pointing out that Neil is a writer of Science Fiction (and a goddamn good one) would shame him in some way. I really can't recall any single work of literature that Harry (really) authored.
The ideas of SF have the unique ability of standing the tests of time. Some ideas first found their way onto SF books before they were possible technologically. Like the TV, space flight, geosynchronous communication devices, L.A.S.E.R.s (influenced by SF, I spoke with Gordon Gould about it), the Chunnel, black holes, cellular telephones, and many others have their origins in speculative fiction.
Concepts survive in SF, concepts that you can actually use in your day-to-day taxpaying lives. Like the idea that freedom isn't just a word in the dictionary comes to mind. These concepts that escape the pages of Suzanne and Shelton are that we men and women are free to chose the course of our lives. We can interact with our technology in a positive way, and make indepedent lives. Without Big Brother (another SF concept) up our butts with a microscope. Without being beholden to a government doling out scraps to us to live on.
I resent the sarcastic intimation of another reader that suggested we have to "hide in our homes", that we suffer under some great delusion. It's not a dream, baby, it's real. One way or another the right of self determination is being undermined, on many fronts.
Companies have sneakily decided that businesses (particularly retail) are "Gun Free Zones", terminating employees if they dare to think that they are Constitutionally protected. Clerks have been fired for defending themselves against armed aggressors. One clerk in a 7-11 in West Virginia was fired for attacking an armed robber, while he himself was unarmed!
But we can't fight this most un-Constitutional concept without a unified front. It's obvious that we need a strong leader that has both a strong persuasive personality, and holds the Bill of Rights as the law of the land. Neil is both a man of good character, and has a realistic grasp of the World as it is now. I told Neil that if I lived in Arizona, I'd vote for him, but I don't. So I can't. You folks in Arizona can though, and in so doing make a statement about the LP. Don't kid yourselves, cameradas , there's already a war on. Pick the right side.
From: "Roy J. Tellason" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ernest Hancock <email@example.com> writes:
< Rather than, "Would local control of public education be
Now this is some scary shit!
Not only do we have an incredible degree of indoctrination going on now, but we have Gore not all that long ago calling for "universal preschool", and today I heard some bit on talk radio about a similar initiative to push the same agenda at the state level all over the country.
These folks do NOT appear to be interested in giving up, or even in slacking off their agenda, not one bit. "For the children", indeed!
I particularly like those last five words up there -- "Separation of Child and State" -- sorta has a nice ring to it.
As is not uncommon among free souls, L. Neil Smith is much better at composing fantasies than dealing with reality. He has manufactured horrific monsters out of petty quibbles regarding organization and style. His outrage is much more important to him than civil communication or persuasion.
As the Republican Party continues adopting more and more libertarian positions, those with "the truth" will likely focus all their wrath on those with "lesser truths" who are enjoying some success. Changing minds and the common political wisdom is an evolutionary process. Some will find it more pleasing to curse the darkness.
William Westmiller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
From: "Nicholas Weininger" <email@example.com>
To the Libertarian Enterprise:
Since tomorrow is October 23, I thought it might be worth noting in tomorrow's TLE issue that October 23 is the anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. This is an anniversary that we who love freedom should reflect upon.
On October 23, 1956, Hungarian students, workers and "just plain folks" decided they had endured enough from their Soviet occupiers and the Stalinist puppet government of Hungary. After a series of peaceful demonstrations produced no change, they took up arms against their oppressors.
The first fighting occurred between demonstrators and agents of the AVO, the puppet government's secret police; but the revolution quickly grew to battles between Hungarians armed mostly with Molotov cocktails and the Soviet occupying forces' tank regiments. Amazingly, in every case the Hungarians won. The Soviets, momentarily unsure how to deal with effective resistance to their tyranny, withdrew their occupying forces. For a few days it seemed as if Hungary had been completely liberated from Communism; a free press and independent political parties sprung up overnight.
Unfortunately, the story does not end happily. On November 4, the Soviets invaded again, this time with overwhelming force. They shot civilians indiscriminately, rounded up and executed several thousand "counterrevolutionaries," and reimposed Communist rule in Hungary. Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians fled to Western Europe.
(The above is the shortest condensation I can give. For a more detailed account go to http://www.rev.hu)
The anniversary of this revolution is worth remembering in part for the same reason that the Warsaw Ghetto revolt is worth remembering. It is incredible that a small group of people, ill-armed and ill-prepared, had the courage to rise against the enormous might of a tyrannical power. It is even more incredible that they did so well. Their bravery is worth honoring.
But, for those concerned about the growth of tyranny in our own place and time, I think the Hungarian experience may hold an important, if troubling, lesson. For the revolutionaries of Hungary, in one important sense, did not die in vain. The events in Hungary displayed to the Western world the true nature of Communism, and thereby undermined the credibility of Western European Communist parties. For many who had bought into the lies of the Soviet leaders, the Hungarian revolution provided a final disillusionment. The Soviets tried to spread more lies about "counterrevolutionaries fighting to reverse the progress of the Hungarian people," but nobody believed them.
The question now confronting us is: what events will be required to make plain to the general population the true nature of the modern American federal government? Evidently, the slaughter of eighty innocents at Waco wasn't sufficient; most people seem to have bought the Feds' lies on that one. The various atrocities against individuals, so well documented by TLE's writers, can all be swept under the rug or explained away. What will it take to convince people that the Feds are a real threat to their liberties? How much damage must they do before they are exposed and stopped?
I don't know whether to be more worried that I don't know the answer -- or worried that, sometime soon, I will know.