THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 389, October 15, 2006
Genuine libertarianism is the opposite of an ideology.
It's the absence of ideology.
Matthew Bracken on Borders, Books, and the Future of Freedom
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
In 2003, author Matthew Bracken published Enemies Foreign and Domestic, the first novel of a planned trilogy. With its focus on a government set-up that resulted in draconian gun control measures, it gained good reviews and much appreciation from readers. As gun control advocates have continued in their efforts to disarm the law abiding, it also seemed to offer some chilling warnings.
This year, Bracken released the second novel in the trilogy. Domestic Enemies held onto the background established in the first novel, but added to it the probable result of continued unfettered illegal immigration into the country. Once again, the reality is striking even as the story holds the reader's interest.
After reading Domestic Enemies and finding myself genuinely fearful of some of the near future it outlines, I determined to speak with Matthew Bracken and discuss just how real his fiction mightunfortunatelyprove to be. Mr. Bracken kindly agreed to answer some questions, and here is the result of our recent conversation.
Lady Liberty: In your first book, the incident that led to all of the other subsequent actions was a government set-up of a shooting incident which caused, in turn, the demonization of guns and gun owners. At the timetwo and a half years agothat seemed pretty believable. As your storyline has evolved, do you still think something like that could happen?
Matthew Bracken: Sure, a false attribution sniper attack could be done. Why not? All it would take is a rifle and ammo, and a crowd penned into an easy killing zone like a packed stadium.
LL: How likely do you believe it is that it will happenor even that something similar has already happened?
MB: Stranger things have happened, such as Oklahoma City and 9-11. It could happen tomorrow or never. But if it happens, I hope my first novel will at least cause people to look into the crime very closely.
LL: Once laws are made, they're tough to un-do. But in the case of the second volume of your planned trilogy, the problem is apparently a lack of enforcement of long extant constitutional mandate. I refer, of course, to border security. We already know how likely that is because it's already happening. But do you seriously believe that illegal immigration is as great a threat as you paint it to be in your fiction?
MB: Absolutely. I'm dead serious about the threat.
LL: There are those who would tell youand I know because I've heard plenty of it myself!that illegal immigrants are nothing to fear, that they're just poor people looking for a better life. What's your response to that?
MB: So what? Visigoths invading Rome would have said the same thing: "we're just looking for a better life."
The Southwest is going to be our Kosovo, on a massive scale. For decades under Tito's rule in Yugoslavia, Kosovo Serbs tolerated massive illegal immigration from Albania. Look where their desire for "cheap" illegal immigrant labor took them in the end. Once the Serbs were outnumbered, the civil war began. Now the invaders are the masters. Our Southwest will be Kosovo on steroids.
LL: You do know that people would call you racist for that answer, don't you? How do you answer that? Are you racist or even xenophobic?
MB: That charge is bull crap, as anyone who reads the book will know. Heroes and villains, patriots and traitors, they come in all complexions. There are many Hispanic heroes and Anglo villains in my new novel.
LL: Assuming we don't get the borders under control, and pretending for a moment that we don't have to worry about terrorists infiltrating the country by taking advantage of the lack of border control, how realistic do you think the "Aztlan" scenario is?
MB: Very realistic, over the course of the next ten to twenty years. Spend some time living in Southern California; you'll see. The mainstream media is very carefully shielding the sheeple in most of the nation from the reality of what is happening today across the Southwest.
LL: Do you really think Americans living in the Southwest US will stand still for such a takeover?
MB: What alternative will this minority have? They will be outnumbered by far, and then they will be pushed out over time. Think Kosovo times one hundred.
LL: In your opinion, just how serious a problem is the influx of illegal immigrants into our country?
MB: It's as serious as a new civil war. It's as serious as the USA losing control over the Southwest. That's how serious.
LL: What would you suggest we do to get the borders under control?
MB: First of all, build a modern multiple fence system. Such systems are cheap and 100% effective where they have been built near San Diego. Starting in a dozen or twenty places at once, it could be built in under a year from Brownsville to San Diego. The nation that built the Empire State Building and Hoover Dam 80 years ago can build a simple and effective fence system! Only the political will is lacking.
It's pathetic that 5 years after 9-11, thousands of invaders per day can just walk into our country! Once the fence system was built, the present numbers of Border Patrol Agents could be effectively employed watching the very finite fence for breaches. Today, they are in the hapless position of playing "Keystone Kops," running around 100,000 square miles of desert, looking for thousands of invaders who simply walked into the country and disappeared into the scrub lands.
LL: Realistically, the story you're telling does depend on the demands of a massive population of Hispanic immigrants, whether legal or illegal, in the Southwest. But how important a role do you think the drastic gun control measures effected in the first book also have to play in what happened next?
MB: Gun control on the level of what I portrayed in my first novel would require a horrific "trigger event" to stampede the sheeple into giving up their Second Amendment rights. I think the loss of the Southwest will be an independent phenomenon, based on language, culture and demographic tribalism.
In one way, though, the subjects are related: the federal government will use a microscope to examine groups they are against for the most minute "paper" gun violations. Anyone coming to the Southwest to defend it from the invasion would be stopped and inspected, and probably would be turned away or arrested for any number of pretexts. Technical gun violations would certainly fit the bill.
The irony is amazing: the feds use a scanning electron microscope to detect the most infinitesimally small gun violations, while false-ID hawkers serve illegal aliens lined up on the sidewalks outside of every federal building. FBI, ATF, IRS and ICE Agents have to push blatantly obvious illegal aliens out of the way, to get to their offices to track down Joe Sixpack for the tiniest perceived or invented violations.
LL: Your portrayals of some government agents isn't very flattering, which I think we both have to admit isn't exactly unusual in this type of "pro-freedom" literature. But you also have a couple of people who have connections with the government who actually do respect the Constitution and do their best to uphold it. Do you see both types as being present in real life?
MB: In both books, there are really only a handful of truly evil and manipulative federal officers. They are far outnumbered by many more Constitution-defending "good cops." In the middle between them we have a vast number of "SWAT" types who are in law enforcement for a paycheck and the chance to kick down doors and shoot lots of free ammo through their MP-5s. Many of these goons could not care less about the Constitution. They figure that it is a lawyer's job to worry about the Constitutional aspects of their jobs. They will just follow orders: good or bad.
I've seen ads in military magazines directed to soldiers and Marines about to leave the service. They show a black-clad helmeted cop with a submachine gun. The caption is: "Getting out? Still want the action? Join the Your City SWAT Team!" Somehow, I don't think these guys care much about the paperwork attached to the raids they conduct. Just look at what the BATFE is doing with local law enforcement in California today on gun raids.
LL: More illegal aliens, more political correctness, and more gun laws seem almost endemic any more. Yet Congress is talking seriously for once about fencing at least portions of the border. . . .
MB: I'll bet dollars to donuts we won't see 100 miles of fence built in the next two years. It's purely election year posturing. There will be no significant fence built. It's just election cycle eyewash for the sheeple.
LL: Towns are beginning to pass ordinances that will enforce at least some immigration law locally, and a few have even had the courage to pass English-only legislation. Some gun laws now being passed are actually being passed to relax some restrictions rather than to enact more. Do you view these as good signs? Or are they just panaceas to lull us into a false sense of hope until it's too late?
MB: This is the most positive development of all. Any real change will take place at the local or state level. The federal government is totally FUBAR. With a very few exceptions, Congress is composed of Quislings and whores.
LL: In recent weeks, there have been news reports of secretive meetings held to establish a North American union of a sortone which would effectively dissolve the borders between our country and Canada and Mexico. Do you have any comment on that?
MB: Just compare what the CFR has recently written ("Building a North American Community"), to how the so-called "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (SPP) is coming about within our federal government. It's a prepared script. We are being railroaded into giving up our national sovereignty, without a single vote being taken.
Why do you think "the powers that be" are resisting the construction of a simple fence system? A fence is 180° counter to their goal of merging the three nations of North America. That's why we'll never see the fence built.
LL: You recently moved your family out of southern California. Is that coincidental, or does it have something to do with the immigration situation near the southern borders of the country?
MB: Partly coincidental, partly economic, partly cultural, and partly because of the "Aztlanization" of the Southwest. SoCal is nowhere I would want to put down roots for my children.
LL: As an author of fiction, obviously your first goal is to entertain your audience. But are you hopeful that your writing will accomplish anything else?
MB: Definitely! I hope that my fiction spreads beyond the conservative and/or libertarian "choir" so that eventually my themes will have some impact on the undecided. My novels have to be good enough to appeal to a general audience, for them to make a difference.
LL: Finally, since you mentioned it in your book in lower case, do you care to comment on the upper case real-world Free State Wyoming in any way?
MB: Thanks for asking! I'm a staunch supporter of the Free State concept. I just think it will happen organically as more and more freedom-loving Americans decide on their own that some states are more in line with their philosophy than others. Card-carrying Libertarians can serve as examples, but I don't think they will ever organize a large exodus to Wyoming or New Hampshire.
Organizing Libertarians is harder than herding catsit's like asking cats to herd themselves! But in the long run, the Free State concept will come to be. It will just happen on its own, and not by direction.
If I wasn't addicted to salt water and warm temperatures, I'd move to Wyoming, Idaho or Montana tomorrow. "If palm trees don't grow there, I don't go there." But for folks who prefer northern climates, I think those states, or perhaps New Hampshire or some others, are the best places for freedom-lovers.
LL: While we're all contemplating how best to realize freedom where we liveor where we plan to movewhat can we look forward to from the final book of your trilogy?
MB: I think the third book will be Foreign Enemies, with a subtitle like the present book. Maybe "state of emergency" or something like that. Right now, I think I'll be giving Ranya a well deserved rest. I think Phil Carson from Enemies Foreign and Domestic will carry the water as the main protagonist.