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L. Neil Smith's
Number 466, May 4, 2008

"LP Abandons Libertarianism"

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Time for a Purge?
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

In an official press release dated April 25, 2008, two "spokesmen" for the national Libertarian Party—which in this case means hired hands, un-elected by anybody—surrealistically called for "increased coordination and communication between federal and state law enforcement agencies" in the matter of child pornography. The document heavily quoted Robert Mueller, current head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"Libertarians Call for Increased Communication to Combat Child Pornography"

The two culprits in question are Executive Director Shane Cory, and somebody named Andrew Davis, grandiosely titled "National Media Coordinator". Both should be out looking for new jobs and other employers to misrepresent and disgrace. But more on that subject later.

Rumor has it that this was a ploy—part of an internal power struggle—to damage at least one of the current candidates for the LP presidential nomination. (Another potential candidate has already sacrificed my possible endorsement by congratulating these two cretins on their press release.) I believe the idea was that anyone who opposed the issuance of this press release could be denounced as favoring child pornography—an idiot's strategy to influence other idiots.

I have some doubts: this sort of half-witted public relations maneuver has occurred more than once in the party's shabby internal history, and is perfectly capable of standing on its own, as yet another example of the suit-and-tie clique—whose unspoken motto has always been "respectability above everything, especially including principle"—looking to suck up to whatever they perceive as the Establishment. I doubt they're smart enough to hatch this as a power play.

But let's get a couple of things straight.

It is undeniably true that any decent human being despises child pornography and all those who produce and distribute it. After all, it is the job of grownups (in a Darwinian sense, it is their only job) to nurture children and protect them from harm, rather than exploit them. As the father of a daughter for the past 18 years, it's been my job.

It is a very different thing to hand that job off to a collection of statist bullies who have been assembled without Constitutional authorization—their very existence as an organization is a blatant and egregious violation of the law, as well as the Zero Aggression Principle—and whose many crimes include the wholesale slaughter of eighty-odd individuals in their home and church near Waco, Texas, in 1993, including around two dozen innocent, helpless little kids. This is the way that the FBI "protects" children. They are unfit even to utter the word "children", let alone to make any pretense of helping them.

LP founder David Nolan is nobody's radical—something that has been a point of contention between him and me on occasion over the years—but he is a man of unswerving principle, nearly always right in its proper application. He's been quoted on sites denouncing the Cory/Davis press release and the kind of thinking it represents. I first ran across Dave's statement here, posted by Stephan Kinsella on the splendid The Lew Rockwell Blog as "LP Abandons Libertarianism, Constitution":

You will also want to see "But What About the Children?" by Lew himself:

For those who claim to be libertarian to call for greater activity on the part of the FBI—in any context except its abolition—is not only utterly disgusting to every libertarian of good conscience, it's exactly like Jews calling on the Gestapo to take care of Jewish children.

There is this consideration, as well: as far back as the 70s, some individuals—notably the creators of the BBC science fiction series Blake's Seven understood perfectly how a totalitarian regime's false accusation of crimes against children might be used against political dissidents. It is exactly this filthy tactic that Cory and Davis are encouraging.

And you can see why, for the past 25 years or so, since it was first called into question by creatures like these, I've maintained that the first priority of any real libertarian is to ensure everybody knows and thoroughly understands that anyone who refuses to take the Zero Aggression Principle seriously, as the central, indispensable tenet of the movement—or in the case of the LP, to take the oath of zero aggression—should not be regarded as a libertarian at all, but just another thug reserving a right he mistakenly imagines he has to initiate force against his fellow human beings whenever he finds it convenient.

I don't know enough these days about the internal politics of the national LP to say whether these specimens have anything to do with the vermin who raped the party platform last time around (in the 70s, the platform called for the abolition of the FBI), but they are of exactly the same ilk, not "moderate" libertarians, not "gradualist" libertarians, not even "neo" libertarians, but anti libertarians, whose effect—whether they intended it that way or not—is the single most destructive force against individual liberty that I know of.

If this was indeed meant to embarrass all those pesky radicals out of the party, then it's bound to misfire. The trouble is, by "radical" this collaborationist trash means anyone standing on principle, rather than navigating by perceived political expedience (which, as I've demonstrated on numerous occasions, usually proves incorrect in a practical, as well as ethical sense). "Radicals" have been fighting this particular fight (some of them for half their lives or more) for better than three decades. They are hardened to an extent their opponents can't conceive. If anybody's going to get embarrassed out of the party, it's going to be these Vichy Quisling concentration camp trustees.

If they really want to play it this way—accusing anyone they dislike of favoring child pornography—then let them stand accused in public of ethically signing off on Waco, Ruby Ridge, the FLDS raid, and every other evil, murderous thing the state has ever done to children.

On the other hand, if this sort of ugly struggle is to be avoided, what needs to be done—and immediately—is for the LP board of directors to hand Cory and Davis their walking papers, and then to publicly retract and apologize for their original anti-libertarian statement. If the board fails with regard to principle in this affair, they, too, should be replaced, at the upcoming national convention in Denver.

To that end, THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE is asking you to join us in rectifying this sorry situation. We will shortly have an online petition up. Check back for it, look it over, and add your name to those demanding what's right.

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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