Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 380, August 13, 2006

"When you let people do whatever they want, you get Woodstock.
When you let governments do whatever they want, you get Auschwitz."

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from Michael T. Bradshaw

Letter from valentine michael smith

Letter from Matt Bortz

Letter from Spencer J. Hahn

Letter from Dennis Lee Wilson

An open letter to Dennis Lee Wilson.

Mr. Wilson,

Re "A personal journey from Objectivist morality to political "anarchy" by way of L. Neil Smith's Covenant of Unanimous Consent!" by Dennis Lee Wilson in issue 379:

I find it interesting and incongruous that a purported signatory of the Covenant of Unanimous Consent, who properly uses quotation marks and cites his references to and quotations of L. Neil Smith, Scott Bieser, Ayn Rand and Butler Shaffer, should steal my work by cut-and-past from a previous TLE article and claim it for his own. And then have the unmitigated gall to send it for publication to the very same journal!

I refer, of course, to your plagiarism of my article "Home of the Slave?" in issue 362.

It is ironic that you should say in your essay "As in all matters, the proof is in the person and his deeds, not just the act of signing."

I wonder if you see yourself as superior in principle or morality to the young Master Steinsvold whom I addressed in the above referenced article, and if so, how you may justify that judgment. If you intend to use a red herring argument about the universality and lack of ownership of scientific, and in this case economic laws (which would be valid, if true), you may stick it back up your ass. If, that is, you can get it past those jug-handle ears of yours. I am not accusing you of stealing the laws of nature but, rather, of stealing my property, however small a part. You did not even do it out of "need", as you are a good writer.

In short, Mr. Wilson, you are a common thief and stand in violation of the Covenant. The fact that the theft was not life threatening or of great monetary value does not in any way negate the moral judgment that people of good will shall make about you.

The fact that "your" article was, for the most part, well reasoned and espoused good philosophy and morality only brings disrepute to the libertarian movement by associating your bad name with it.

I must therefor shun you and cast you out. I will not buy from you or sell to you; and I recommend that other people do the same—until such time as you have made public apology and paid restitution.

Or starved.

Yours in High Dudgeon,

Michael T. Bradshaw, S.B.
Signatory of the Covenant of Unanimous Consent
speaker [-at-]

Since the LP has been taken over by the nerf libertarians. Those of us who remember the old LP should consider a new package for selling principle. Here is a label that won't confuse them and I think will spell out our message so even they will understand it.

The libertarian party is anti-socialist.

Nothing like the moral high ground. Of course we'll be told that we are being negative but it is my considered opinion that it is a position that needs no defense. I believe we need to put a positive spin on socialism. Socialism is the idea that people should be forced to live in a prescribed manner. It is not about prohibiting behavior that harms others. But about forcing people to live by rules (laws) decided by others. These rules dictate peaceful behavior. We are diametrically opposed to socialism. The essence of socialism is the use of force. Those who force others are socialists. If you believe in forcing others to live by your rules you are a socialist.

Question "What is a Libertarian?"

Answer "A Libertarian is one who opposes the socialist doctrine of forcing others to live their lives by socialist rules that are contrary to individual liberty."

valentine michael smith

To Mr. L Neil Smith,

Re: "Inventing the .41 Special"

Sir I respectfully submit that someone already invented the .41 special, or maybe the .41 Magnum "lite". I am refering of course to Winchester's 175 grain silvertip. Out of a four inch model 57 it clocks at about 1136-fps. (I am quoting John Taffin's fighting handguns pat 4).

I used to own a model 57 with a four inch tube (never should have sold it for it was a work of art) and the silvertips were vary easy to control in this gun and quite accurate to boot.

I am not sure what this load measures out to on your scale but I has a good reputation on the street as far as everything I have read. Even more great news is winchester also makes a similar load in 10mm. Three full mags in a Glock 20, if you need more than that to stay alive on the street you might need to move.

Just my humble opinion. Thanks for the great articles.

Matt Bortz

Reply from L. Neil Smith

Thanks for writing!

I was aware of the .41 SilverTip load when I wrote the article. It's very good, and I use it, myself. I'm not sure where Taffin got his numbers for it, though, mine are a bit higher, 1250 feet per second, 607 foot pounds, for an "Efficacy" of 80.

Efficacy isn't a difficult calculation. Just multiply the energy (given Taffin;s number it would be 502 foot pounds) times the cross-sectional area of the bullet (A=piR^2). That gives this load an F=66.

BTW, I use the 10mm SilverTip load almost exclusively in my G20, and my Witness, and feel very well protected, indeed. .40 Liberty, as well. The fact is, I use SilverTips in every caliber I can get them in, except .45 ACP, where for various reasons, I prefer Federal HydraShoks.

May I post your letter on my blog?

L. Neil Smith

Come Join the Free State Project's First 1000

I haven't seen mention of it yet in the TLE, but the Free State Project, which was born in the pages of the TLE (Announcement: The Free State Project in TLE 131), has inspired a pledge for those who want to get to the FSP before 20,000 sign up: the First 1000.

The First 1000 is the brainchild of FSP Participant and Free Talk Live host Ian Bernard. It is his promise to move to NH by December 31, 2008, if 999 other people sign up to do so by December 31, 2006. You do not have to sign the FSP's statement of intent in order to sign up for the First 1000, and if the 1,000 mark is not met by the end of 2006, then anyone who signs is not committed to move.

Anyone who is interested in the FSP (whether a current participant or not) is encouraged to check out this inspiring new pledge.

Help achieve "liberty in our lifetime" by signing pledging to be one of the First 1000.

Spencer J. Hahn

This is a composite of some of my answers to responses about my article in last week's The Libertarian Enterprise.

Any concept, such as "anarchy", that arouses such immediate ire in people, deserves to be more closely examined.

Self-rule or self-government by an individual is technically political anarchy because there is no centralized authoritarian structure. I am definitely an advocate of self-rule, using the Covenant of Unanimous Consent as a public declaration of rules that I embrace as governing my actions. Perhaps I should resurrect "autarchy" as Jim Davidson mentioned in last week's TLE:

    "For my own part, I do believe in a form of government. I refer to that form of government as self-government. It is the government of me, by me, for me. In its general case, self-government is, in my view, the government of the individual, by the individual, for his or her own benefit. Self-rule ought to be called autarchy or auto-archy, but that word has been usurped by the socialists to describe dictators."

I do not see myself or define myself in terms of negatives, such as things that I am against. Rather, I define myself by positives, by what I am for, what I advocate. I place very little importance on being known as an anarchist or an atheist. Both "an-archist" and "a-theist" are—by definition—negative positions in their respective fields and I prefer to emphasize positives. Being against Statism does not automatically make a person in favor of freedom nor provide the knowledge needed to be free, nor the structure of a free society.

I am not so much an atheist as I am an advocate of reason, and I am not so much an anarchist as I am an advocate of the Covenant of Unanimous Consent. As it happens, being an advocate of reason and of the Covenant also fits within the definitions of atheist and anarchist, but not all atheists are rational or even pretend to be, and not all anarchists are Signatories to the Covenant of Unanimous Consent or even want to be.

Furthermore, being an atheist and an advocate of reason does not mean that I am immoral, amoral or without ethical standards. Religionists promote that package deal in an attempt to be the sole authority on morality, but morality is not a monopoly of religion. Ayn Rand defined a morality based on reason. She named it The Objectivist Ethics and it is the first chapter of her book The Virtue of Selfishness.

Likewise, being an anarchist and an advocate of L. Neil Smith's Covenant of Unanimous Consent does not mean that I am apolitical or favor chaos, disorder, destruction, gang warfare, world wars, etc. Statists promote that package deal so that their subjects will continue to believe that they need—and are getting—"protection" in exchange for all the taxes that get extorted from them and the regulations that they must endure along with their loss of freedom. Although the cause of the events of September 11th may be in question, the NORAD stand down is NOT. That stand down by itself should have adequately demonstrated how much State protection to expect from billions of dollars worth of extorted tax money, and billions more that—for the last 100 years—the people in charge of the government of the U.S. have spent creating enemies by meddling in the politics of every country in the world. And that meddling continues to this day in blatant defiance of the express intentions and explicit warnings of the founding fathers.

I hear that the Covenant is idealistic, simplistic and unworkable. Yet at the time of America's founding, the same was said of Jefferson's Declaration and the entire American "experiment". Nothing like it had ever been tried before, how could it possibly work? But the founders knew how the old ways worked and wanted something better. After two centuries, we can see how the old ways have corrupted Jefferson's dream. What we have today is the tyrannical result of Lincoln's usurpation of the Constitution. Pretending that the Constitution still "works" or can work after what Lincoln did, is just denying that the real world exists.

If consent is to mean anything, it must mean the explicit voluntary consent of each and every person over whom government exercises control. Since no government can document that it rests on individual consent and since payment of taxes is not voluntary, no government can demonstrate that it has the consent of the governed (otherwise the imposition of physical force, and the threat of physical force, to collect taxes would not be necessary). [see letter in next issue—Editor]

The Covenant solves the consent problem and looks like a very good way to attempt to fulfill the promise of individual freedom contained in Jefferson's vision. If a better alternative is available I sincerely want to hear of it.

I prefer to select my own "night watchman" from a group of private enterprises rather than have one imposed on me by an overbearing, monopoly State that contends that it is immune from liability for failure to perform and that its failure to perform is an excuse for imposing MORE taxes and MORE regulations on me and my activities and my freedom.

I resent being punished for acts of aggression that I did not commit. I am sure that there are whole countries full of people who feel the same way.

Dennis Lee Wilson
Objectivist & Sovereign Individual
Signatory: The Covenant of Unanimous Consent

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