Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 395, November 26, 2006

"The other parties are afraid to talk about the future.
We are the future."


Back to Basics
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

The members of the New Mexico Libertarian Party have been kind enough to ask me back to address their annual convention again next spring. The dates are April 13-15, 2007, and you should consider showing up. If enough new people attend, I promise not to bring my guitar.

With a history-making midterm election behind us, and an equally crucial general, or Presidential election looming just over the horizon in 2008, I have naturally given a great deal of thought to what I want to say to my colleagues, comrades, and so-far-unindicted co-conspirators in New Mexico, regarding what I believe libertarians, both as individuals and as a political party, should be doing about it.

Perhaps a brief review of the important points is in order, here. Although the United States haven't had anything that anybody could accurately describe as good government over the past two centuries (in truth, most libertarians, including yours truly, don't believe that good government is possible), they have had quite a lot of worse government.

Placing high among the worst Presidential administrations in history is that of George W. Bush, a remarkably mediocre individual who failed shamefully to prevent the tragedies of September 11, 2001, but used them, instead, as an excuse—in the exact manner of Adolf Hitler after the Reichstag Fire—to force a disgusting bundle of unconstitutional and fascistic legislation through a Congress composed of zombies and sleepwalkers, destroying whatever tattered shreds remained of the Bill of Rights. He then set up a new Gestapo to coerce a once-free people into intimidated compliance with his decrees, and established a chain of secret prisons overseas in which those who have been designated enemies of the regime can be be illegally held and tortured.

This, of course, is not to mention two illegal, irrational, and inconceivably murderous and costly wars that Bush and his orcs lied America into, which have absolutely nothing to do with what happened on September 11, 2001—if they had, we'd have sent troops storming into Saudi Arabia—but in fact were planned cynically by an alliance of Bush's mercantilist operators in the petroleum industry and the neoTrotskyites who would eventually become Bush's intellectual palace guard, no fewer than ten years before the New York World Trade Center collapsed.

The former group merely wants to corner the world's energy market. The latter lusts openly, nearly to the point of public salivation, to control the entire planet. For now, the interests of both groups run parallel.

This is not the case for the country's Productive Class, already paying far too much for energy while watching viable alternatives get suppressed, and whose children are being maimed and slaughtered—at their exorbitant expense—in yet another of America's pointless, stupid wars. It came as no suprise to this correspondent, anyway) that, given a chance to repudiate Bush, they gave the President and all of his works what Sting once called "a humiliating kick to the crotch".

Unfortunately, the only available means they had of doing it was by embracing the Democrat Party, whose presidents and politicians are responsible for each and every one of America's stupid, pointless wars in the 20th century, including World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

At this point in history, it would be insane for anyone to believe that either of the two "major" parties actually gives a damn about peace, freedom, progress, or prosperity for anybody but themselves and their cronies. If any of those commodities can be purchased by the sacrifice of someone else, or someone else's sons and daughters, then, as Madeline Albright said of the U.S. government's deliberate murder by starvation of half a million innocent Iraqi children, "It's worth it."

History will show—too late, as always—that American voters have not improved their circumstances by putting more Democrats back into office. The wars won't stop, the Patriot Act won't be repealed, the Department of Homeland Security won't be abolished, the cameras won't go away. And if they should add the White House to the list of the Democrats' holdings in 2008, as they will almost certainly do, then this country's chances of survival as anything but a widescreen, Technicolor SurroundSound Hollywood remake of Pol Pot's Cambodia are zero.

Does this mean the voters should have left Republicans in control? Absolutely not. We were headed exactly the same direction, under Bush, that the Democrats will try to take us now. Which should be proof enough for anybody but the most brain-numbed among us that there's really only one "major" in American politics, the Boot On Your Neck Party.

What it does mean is that Americans can't afford to maintain the Democrats in power now that they have successfully supplanted the Republicans, nor can we afford to return Republicans to power in 2008. The sobering truth is that the last hope for America's Productive Class individuals and families rests with the one and only movement standing in genuine philosophical opposition to the evil institutions and ideas that would impoverish and enslave them—and with a single, tiny (and, to be absolutely, brutally truthful about it, mostly inept and horribly ineffective) political organization affiliated with that movement.

For very nearly as long as there has been a Libertarian Party (it started in 1971, I joined in 1972, although I had been a philosophical libertarian for a decacde by then), I have urged its leadership and members to pursue a strategy and to employ tactics that are completely out of reach to the various and vile minions of the Boot On Your Neck establishment.

In those early days, my urgings pretty much fell on deaf ears.

I once suggested that libertarians should organize and write angry letters—to advertisers, rather than editors—in order to change the collectivist editorial policies of major newspapers. Nobody did it, I suppose because whining is so much easier than actually doing something.

I once suggested the Libertarian Party produce typical Wednesday supermarket sale ads—on actual newsprint—as they might someday appear in The Libertarian Times (Hamburger, Five Cents a Pound), and distribute them during campaigns, but it never happened, because it was too much work, and "wiser heads" decided the voters wouldn't get it. (Recently, I offered libertarians the slogan "One Dollar Gas—Vote Libertarian", but I never saw it being used during the 2006 election.)

Finally, lacking any other course to follow, I took my own advice, and wrote my first novel, The Probability Broach, the purpose of which was to show people what might await them in a culture operating on libertarian principle. Although the story was about sideways time travel, from one historically alternative universe to another, it was also about a time to come, a time that a free people might reasonably expect to build for themselves and even begin looking forward to right now.

In short, what I offered people in The Probability Broach—what I have always urged the Libertarian Party to offer them—was the future presently being looted out from under them by Democrats and Republicans.

The key to a libertarian future is the libertarian future itself. Forget the Hollow Woman standing on what used to be Bedloe's Island offering false promises of liberty and welcome. Let us adopt the future itself—some unmistakable aspect of the future—as our logo.

True, there a lot of obstacles to overcome: crooked election laws, crooked elections, corrupt officials, deliberate legal obstructions, outright disregard for the law when it works for us and against the BOYNers. But we don't have to overcome these obstacles by ourselves. Give people a good enough reason, and they'll storm the Bastille for you, clean out the judiciary with flamethrower and firehose, and hang an election official or a judge from each and every lamppost in the city.

The key to a libertarian future is the libertarian future itself. The other parties are afraid to talk about the future. We are the future. Let the other parties and their whorish captive media laugh and make fun of us—it's free advertising, and pretty soon the people will begin to wonder "What So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding?"

Not to mention freedom.

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas was recently completed and is presently looking for a literary home.

A decensored, e-published version of Neil's 1984 novel, TOM PAINE MARU is available at: Neil is presently working on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Roswell, Texas, with Rex F. "Baloo" May.

The stunning 185-page full-color graphic-novelized version of The Probability Broach, which features the art of Scott Bieser and was published by BigHead Press has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at, or at


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