Exclusive to TLE Issue 226
I'm occasionally surprised by the way random chance operates. The
serendipitous nature of coincidence is what drives religious individuals
to believe in Divine Intervention.
For the last couple of months, I've been delving into the writings of
H. Beam Piper. I suppose it's unusual for someone who's been reading
science fiction for nearly forty years to have missed Piper, particularly
considering his libertarian bent. From the perspective of individual liberty,
Lone Star Planet is probably the best knownit was on the
recommendation of this book that I delved into Piper in the first place.
I'll not recount the plot of Lone Star Planet here, except to say
that the inhabitants of said world are the descendants of Texans and
practice an altogether meritorious method of maintaining their liberty.
Piperor "Beam," as his friends knew himwas a gun enthusiast,
author, self-educated scholar, and clear friend of individual freedom.
The world lost a brilliant thinker when Piper took his own life.
What struck me while reading his work, however, is his attitude toward
galactic government: a generally inept, inefficient body that often had
laudable goals but poor execution.
Coincidental with my discovery of Piper, I had correspondence with a
freedom-loving author who is among those who favored government intervention
overseas as a means of fighting terrorism. Finally, to complete the
serendipity of the situation, I visited my father last weekend. As always,
we discussed international politics. I come by my political views rather
genetically (the majority of my family several generations back are raving
individualists), and my father is a hard-headed clinical psychologist to boot.
When you've spent your life dealing with rapists and serial killers (my father's
chosen specialty), you don't have the luxury of learning to spout psychobabble
and asking, "Tell me, how does that make you feel?"
So, as with any man, when my father and two respected authors (one alive
and one not) seem to all be in agreement, I sit up and listen. If nothing
else, their viewpoints provide me with a valuable insight into how the
average individual on the street is thinking. This is something I sometimes
lack, as I have now successfully insulated myself with friends and
acquaintances who share my own views.
This, then, is how most people are approaching the War on Terrorism:
- The War on Terrorism is a long-term war, much like the Cold War.
- The War in Iraq was only one battle in the War on Terrorism, and
the stated reasons for going to war were irrelevant. The real point in
conquering Iraq was to send a message to our enemies that we're not intimidated.
- The War in Iraq's primary benefit was to convince countries such
as Korea that President Bush won't hesitate to wipe them off the face of the
Earth in the event that they crawl out from behind their borders.
Indeed, my father suggested that Iraq's fate was sealed on about September
12, 2001. It was necessary to send a message to terrorist nations, and Iraq
made a useful target of opportunity.
- The long-term goal in the Middle East is to topple all the
governments in the area and replace them with a Western-style, US-controlled
democracy. The thinking is that a democracy is less likely to harbor
terrorists, therefore the world will be all that much safer when "civilization
has been brought to the Darkies."
- The real goal of attempts to fight the nonexistent domestic
terrorists is political. Politicians have to be perceived as doing
something about terrorism, and the pointless, ineffectual Federal Rape
Centers that exist at airports are a response to this. "We care about
terrorism! See? We're searching your bags and spending billions of your
dollars to do it." Those in the FedGov know it's a pointless waste of
time, but don't want to appear to be reversing a decision by doing the
one thing that would actually combat domestic terrorism.
When taken from that perspective, I admit that it looks like the
Republicans are doing a good job. And I admit that I very much wish that
I could believe this entire line of reasoning. It would certainly make
for an easier life if I could shrug my shoulders, nod, and remark about
what a great job Dubyuh is doing protecting my freedom.
I've certainly pondered the idea that while I honestly believe my presence
in the US Senate would be beneficial to American freedom, I'll never achieve
that goal while on the Libertarian ticket. If it were possible for me to buy
into the notion that the FedGov is actually working toward a more free society,
I could drop the LP, move to the Republican side, and almost certainly be elected
It's an enticing idea. All I have to do is accept the notion that government
is a generally inept entity whose heart is in the right place.
Unfortunately, I can't accept that. Here's my answer to the prevailing
opinion as stated above:
- The War on Terrorism is a long-term war. In fact, it's a
never-ending war. Its intent is to replace the Cold War with a conflict
that need never end, thus providing an excuse for the twisted, evil,
power-mad politicians and bureaucrats to assume more and more powerright
up until America's governments collapse of their own weight and internal
- The War in Iraq does send a message: the FedGov wants Middle
Eastern oil, and it will use any pretext in order to obtain it. Fortunately,
the ceaseless bickering of a largely tribal culture combined with its reaction
to half a century's worth of Unconstitutional, immoral Federal interventionism
provides the perfect excuse for invasion.
For half a century, Americans have been conditioned that the Middle East
is filled with nothing but terrorists and uncivilized, backward towel-heads.
They accept the images they see on television without question. Lacking any
real experience with the press and how news is manufactured, most people don't
understand that very few news stories have anything but a tangential
relationship to reality.
Real life is not reality television or even TV news. Peoples' lives are
far more complicated than a sound bite or FedGov propaganda.
- The information we are fed by the FedGov regarding any foreign
country is highly suspect. Recall that the reason we were given for the
necessity of invading Iraq was the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction(™)
that were in imminent danger of being used by a madman for evil purposes. These
weapons turn out to be nonexistent, representing either a massive failure of
intelligence sources (unlikely, considering their extraordinary accuracy during
the war) or outright lies by the Bush Administration.
Therefore, is there any way to be certain that the FedGov ever feeds us
accurate information about ANYTHING? The is would include the psychological
disposition and motivations of heads of state, conditions in their countries,
and their future plans.
If Dubyuh can lie about Iraq in order to garner support for a war, could
he not also lie about North Korea? Or Iraq? Or Syria? Or domestic terrorists?
- The long-term goal of "bringing civilization to the Darkies" is
useful for one reason only: to bring massive oil reserves under FedGov control.
- The real goal of attempts to fight the nonexistent domestic
terrorists is political. Politicians understand that in real life, the
United States has no domestic terrorism. The destruction of the WTC
towers represented a simple exploitation of the fact that the FedGov has
transformed Americans into a nation of cattle ready for the slaughter.
They can't possibly do the one thing that would actually make the country
safe, (e.g. enforcement of the Second Amendment) because that would
ultimately harm their goal of total domination of every individual.
Domestic terrorism programs aren't simple ineptitude and money-wasting.
They're an active attempt to complete the enslavement of the American populace.
My father's (and the libertarian authors') viewpoints are colored by a time
in which it could be argued that the FedGov was, in fact, a largely inept
collection of politicians and bureaucrats whose heart was in the right place.
Half a century ago, for example, government schools actually provided a decent
education. Individuals could posses the means to defend themselves against
terrorists. The FedGov had prosecuted a war against a truly evil dictator
not only bent on world domination, but who actually had the means to do it.
This is not the world we find ourselves in today. This is not your father's
government. The FedGov has evolved from being a haven for the inept to the home
of the evil. It is not a collection of bumbling idiots whose heart is in the
right place, but would-be slave-holders wishing to place their boots on our
William Stone, III is a computer nerd (RHCE, CCNP, CISSP) and Executive
Director of the Zero Aggression Institute. He
seeks the Libertarian Party's nomination for the 2004 Senate race in South Dakota.