Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 400, January 7, 2007

"Clumsily, the world's thinking mammals move towards liberty."


Werewolves Out, Vampires In
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to: The Libertarian Enterprise

From the beginning, I was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I also appreciated Forever Knight [1, 2, & 3], and Blade. Lately, I've enjoyed Underworld and Underworld: Evolution. So I'm a little chagrined) to admit that it took me this long to recognize the situation we're in.

Think about it.

On the one hand, we have this enormous pack of mindless, snarling, hairy monsters that can never be satisfied no matter how many lives they destroy and devour, beasts that howl in delight at the vision of defenseless victims being ripped from limb from limb and head to toe, animals who slaver at the scent of shredded flesh, interminable gouts of hot, steaming blood, of entrails tumbling loose from riven body cavities.

They torture their prey and never saw an execution they didn't love.

On the other hand, we have a legion of low, cunning, underhanded half-corpses, whose pale flesh gleams foully in the darkness they wrap about themselves and all their deeds, cloaked in the lie that what they do is good for those they do it to. Using strange, inexplicable powers, they lure each unsuspecting innocent into their grasp so that they can sink their fangs into her hot, pulsing jugular, and feed on her essence until she collapses, lifeless, only to rise and become one of them, herself. The creatures shrivel, turn to dust in bright, clean sunlight.

See anything familiar? Then I'll give you a hint: U.S. Congressman Ron Paul is sort of the hairy canine equivalent of Angel, a flawed but salvaged soul fighting on the side of humanity in the hope of eventual redemption.

How about another hint: the instant I laid eyes on Nancy Pelosi, I knew exactly what she was, and that I'd never see her reflection in a mirror.

Think about it.

It may even be that we can account for the enormous popularity of movies and TV shows about entities like these because it represents recognition, at a subconscious level, of what I've just recognized consciously—that the only choice that modern democracy offers the Productive Class is between being murdered and eaten by werewolves or vampires.

Now that we can see both of these flesh-consuming parasitic collectives more clearly, does it really make any sense to choose between them? Is it really "wasting your vote" to reject both kinds of death?

Happily, there exist the equivalents of wolfbane, silver bullets, garlic, crucifixes, holy water, and wooden stakes. Most are ideas that can also be seen as the sunlight that werewolves and vampires loathe. And get this: in many instances, you don't have to actually apply them. Simply mentioning them often enough, loudly enough—and getting as many others to do so as possible—can produce the desired effect.

Here's an example: my father was a professional military man who nonetheless detested the fact that a war of some kind or another seemed to be arranged for each successive generation of Americans. He'd risked everything in a war he believed was morally imperative—although I don't think he believed that to the end of his days—while vile specimens like Lyndon Baines Johnson did their six-month show tours well behind the front lines, before being conveniently recalled by the President to their "higher duty" as congressman and senators.

It may have been from my dad that I first heard the idea—long considered a fantasy or a joke—that whenever the government decides on a war, the "deciders" get to be the very first ones to fight it. Instead of a fantasy or a joke, why not make it into a Constitutional amendment?

These days, it would have to work like this:

First, no American troops could be sent overseas without a good, old-fashioned declaration of war by Congress, requested, presumably, by the President. Criminal penalties would attend any evasion of this law.

Second, if the declaration of war passed, the instant it did, those representatives who voted for it would be required to exit the chamber, where they would find uniforms and weapons being handed out from big piles in the corridor by the military. Then, regardless of age, sex, or physical condition—if need be, we'd organize the very first wheelchair corps and call it the "Franklin Roosevelt Brigade—those who voted for a declaration of war would be sent straight to the front.

The President, in his own brand new uniform, would lead them.

Think about it.

Now here's the part that's almost magical: no such amendment would ever actually have to be passed, in order to break this seemingly endless cycle of American wars. Simply imagine the effect, when the pollsters reported (publically or not, it doesn't matter) that, say, ten percent of the American people thought this amendment was a good idea.

Now imagine the effect when ten percent became twenty.

Or forty.

Or seventy-five.

My guess, based on about half a century of history-reading and people-watching, is that things would begin to change a lot sooner than might otherwise be expected. I don't believe we'd need more than about six percent, before both werewolves and vampires saw the writing on the wall. Things would begin to change, and the really nifty part is that we wouldn't have to choose between the damn werewolves and vampires.

Or even try to get our own hogs to the trough.

I have long thought, and the last election only backs me up, that it may be a waste of libertarian resources to keep running candidates for office. The werewolves and the vampires have learned how to stop us—to any degree that we haven't just been stopping ourselves, all along.

They make the rules we're obliged to follow, so we're playing in their park, with their ball and bat (no, not that kind of bat). During the campaign, they have their Renfields in the mass media (look him up) to limit our public contect and make us look silly and unimportant. And when all else fails, when one of us wins something significant, they can always dump the ballot boxes in the desert—or these days, simply let their phony electronic voting machines do the dumping.

But nobody can stop an idea, once it gets rolling. The Nazis couldn't, and the Commies couldn't. George W. Bush may be eating from a tin plate in a dining room with steel bars someday, because he couldn't.

And this idea—if you vote for a war, you'll be among the first to fight in it—is just one of dozens it might be more useful to offer as Constitutional amendments or statutes or ordinances than continually sending our lambs to be slaughtered by werewolves and vampires.

Think about it.

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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