Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 456, February 17, 2008

"Just Say No—To Victim Disarmament!"

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The Last Test of Democracy: Part One
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Something is deeply wrong with the American political process.

That's the only way to explain why, despite polls showing that 70% of us want the wars in the middle east ended and our troops brought home now, the probable nominees of the "major" political parties are a warmongering lunatic and a "peace candidate" who says he wants to bomb Pakistan.

At the same time, the only potential potentate who wants what we want—and also promises to force the government into compliance with the Constitution, which was supposed to be its basic operating system—has been as crudely and blatantly shut out of the corrupt electoral process, by both government and mass media, as if he were a black political activist in Selma, Alabama or Oxford, Missiissippi in the 1950s.

Tammany Hall's notorious 19th century Boss Tweed may have said it out loud in public first: "I don't give a damn who votes, as long as I do the nominating," but the sentiment is straight out of Alexander Hamilton's personal philosophy of power above anyone and anything else.

Little wonder, then, that our civilization presently finds itself in worse shape, politically and economically, and in greater danger of some kind of violent and bloody Wagnerian collapse, than at any other time during its long, ugly, war-torn history, including World War I, World War II, the Great Depression, and the egregiously misnamed Civil War.

There was nothing civil about it.

In the wake of whatever happened on September 11, 2001 (whether anybody likes it or not, the facts of that event, including who was responsible, are far from settled), a fat, lazy, corrupt, rubberstamp Congress passed the so-called "U.S.A. Patriot Act" apparently without even reading it (some politicians claim there were no copies available to read—which should have caused them to reject it on the spot) destroying financial, communications, and medical privacy in this country, and with them, the tattered remains of the fundamental human right to trade with anybody for anything. Among many other new lows, for the first time, the law restricted constitutional and other rights during the period of an undeclared (and therefore totally illegal) war.

In addition to creating a new category of crime called "domestic terrorism", the act allowed the indefinite detention of a steadily widening variety of individuals, secret, warrantless searches of people's homes and businesses, and other violations of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. (Freedom to travel without harrassment or intrusion had already been obliterated more than a generation earlier.) In short, with one stroke of a President's pen, America completed what had been, until then, a slow, steady, gradual descent into police statism.

The act (and supporting legislation that came later, such as the deceptively-named "Military Commissions Act" and H.R.1955/S.B.1959) mandated "studies" of biometric identification systems—I recently wrote an article about the way "studies" rapidly become law—the early origins of the notorious "No-Fly list" at airports, and fat "security" contracts for fascistic corporations like Halliburton and Blackwater, the latter of which has since become a worldwide military power with a greater armed presence in Iraq than the United States government.

Meanwhile, a brand new and overwhelmingly powerful secret police establishment with the Joseph Geobbelsian monicker "Department of Homeland Security", arose to prominence and has come to dominate all other American law enforcement organizations, Constitutional or otherwise.

But that was only the beginning. The Patriot Act, scheduled to sunset in 2005, was renewed with disgusting haste and followed by Patriot II, giving the government even more power at the expense of what had been unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human rights.

All in all, it has been a time of bitter disillusionment. The nation's courts, for example, particularly the United States Supreme Court, have revealed themselves to be fully as corrupt and unreliable in their stewardship of the Constitution, especially of the Bill of Rights, as Congress, or even the mass media Thomas Jefferson believed—falsely, as it turned out—would preserve them. If somebody set out from the beginning, with the deliberate intention of destroying American civilization, he would be following exactly the same policies—running the Abraham Lincoln playbook—that George W. Bush is following.

Allow me to repeat that, because it's important. If somebody set out from the beginning, with the deliberate intention of destroying American civilization, he would be following exactly the same policies—running the Abraham Lincoln playbook—that George W. Bush is following.

Notably it was Dishonest Abe who first suspended habeas corpus, but Republicans are nothing if not pathetic creatures of nostalgia and will do absolutely anything to bring back the "good old days" of Lincolnofascism.

Cures? The list of cures is endless: abolish sovereign immunity, disarm the feds; demilitarize the cops; outlaw the secret ballot; send the politicians (including the President and his Cabinet) into combat first; abolish limited liabilty, outlaw fractional reserve banking, repeal every law passed since September 11, 2001, repeal every law passed since 1912. And no, I'm not kidding about any of those or a half a hundred more I could have written down here. But the problem remains the same as it was before: no real reform effort can get any traction when the system is run by crooked politicians and the whorish media.

Face it: in the kingdom of bananas, he who has the most bananas is king.

The 2008 presidential election is the last test of the Democratic Experiment in America. So far, it's failing badly. If Ron Paul and his message of peace and the rule of law continue to be excluded, that will be the end of a political system that was probably phony to begin with.

It will be our task—that of America's libertarians, and those individuals who waged the Ron Paul campaign, to decide upon the next step. I have three ideas for getting the traction we need and using it to change things for the better, forever, whether those who falsely believe they own the country—and our lives—want them changed or not.

Anybody interested?

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.

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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