Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 551, January 3, 2010

"Perpetual tea parties for perpetual peace—and freedom."

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

One can always tell a Believer in the Government Religion: the first thing he does is advocate a government "solution" to a problem. It's even more evident when that problem is caused by government itself. Only a True Believer could believe the cause can be the cure.

Predictably, by now, El Neil calls for a Constitutional Amendment for the outrage du jour. Wow, that should help.

How many Constitutional Amendments has Smith called for during the lifetime of the Libertarian Enterprise? And before that too, presumably on things like BBS's? Ten? Fifteen? Twenty?

Who knows? Has any one of them ever gotten any farther than the latest rant? Apparently not. Proposed today, forgotten tomorrow!

Let's imagine every one of the Amendments he's proposed managed to make it through the entire, interminable amendment process. Would anything be changed? Before answering this question, consider how well the Constitution itself has been adhered to, up till now.

Of course, nothing at all would be changed—other than a huge wasting of the time of Amendment advocates. Governments don't care about Constitutions. They are just "a goddamn piece of paper!"

Let's look at areas that actually have seen an advance in freedom in the past. Did any of them result from a Constitutional Amendment? Hell no!

Instance: Homeschooling. Homeschooling continues to be more and more recognized by government, despite going against the strongest single interest group (the edu-establishment) in every state in the nation. Now some of that may appear to be the result of vigorous lobbying (by 1% of the population, keep in mind), but the real reason is that governments are frantic to keep some control of homeschoolers, even if it is nothing but pro-forma compliance of not very intrusive regulation. They know if they don't give in to homeschooler pressure, they will lose them entirely, because even with this relatively easy compliance there is a significant fraction of homeschoolers who go the non-compliant route. The increased freedom won, results from massive noncompliance or threat of such.

Instance: Guns. Why do we still have them? Because of the 2nd Amendment? Hah! It is not even incorporated by the 14th (yet). The number one priority of every government in history has been to disarm its subjects, yet we are among the most heavily armed nation on earth, and getting more so. Why? Fear, that's why. Fear among the ruling class, that is. When Clinton got his "assault weapon" ban passed, what did everyone do? Go out and buy an assault weapon, minus the flash hider, that's what. A previously obscure part of the gun market went on a long boom, still in progress. How many AR-15's did you see in gun shows before Clinton's presidency? And let's not forget the explosion in battle rifle, battle carbine and ammo purchasing that happened as a result of Bobo's election. That was American gun owners shouting, "go ahead and try to take them!" Of course some idiots still think we are armed, and seeing increasing gun freedom, because they wrote their congresscritter.

Instance: Civil rights. That bit in the 60's didn't get sorted out because the federal government flexed its muscles and trampled "state rights". It happened because enough brown people finally stopped going to the back of the bus, and to hell with what the regulations said. All the feds did, was take advantage of something that was happening anyway, and side-track the movement into federal control of state or personal prerogatives. But nobody rides in the back of the bus any more unless they want to, or all other seats are taken. Or they just take their car.

Freedom does not result from a Constitutional Amendment. A Constitutional Amendment or other legislation may result from freedom already taken.

I last nagged Neil about calling for a political solution to the "no guns on campus" problem. I won't repeat his timid response. Get a pair, Neil! Your "let's beg government some more" rants are not impressing anyone. I mean, you couldn't even point out the obvious—that some people will carry regardless what the law says!

You can't vote yourself freedom, and you can't beg yourself freedom. Neil's "cure" is no cure at all. Mencken had it right: "All I ask is freedom. When it is denied, as it always is, I take it anyhow."

My other bitch about that article is the "sky is falling" flavor. That's not the sound of the sky falling; it's the sound of the empire breaking up. The medical mess (among other things) will be the end of this government. Cheer it, don't whine about it. And ignore whatever comes out of Congress; because no matter what, it can't be good. Want health? Eat well and exercise, and take advantage of whatever black market health care you can find or gen up yourself. Small business wrecked by government medical regulations? Move to the black market and the barter economy. Atlas shrugged...

The same guy who popularized the notion of Unanimous Consent, who wrote at one time that "Smith & Wesson Must Die", who wrote "Henry Martyn" (showing how empires are sustained by theft, torture, rape and murder), is now writing his congresscritter, begging for something as improbable as a Constitutional Amendment? Say it ain't so!

Stop believing in government, Neil.

Here's Paul's cure. The analogy is the mosquito. A mosquito sucks your blood, but it can be brushed off or avoided most of the time. However it may someday happen that so many are sucking your blood that you are going crazy, or you are getting attacked by hornets. Time to fumigate.

In other words, live your life as free as you can, starting first in your mind. Bypass or ignore freedom-trampling laws and regulations. But if anyone ever decides to war on you, you have only two choices, if you are a real man or real woman: flight or fight. Anything else, including threats to write one's congresscritter, boil down to "trying to get some enjoyment from your rape".

To make this work, you have to control your fear. As Patrick Henry put it, "Fear is the passion of slaves."

Stop fearing government, Neil.


Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates.
We cheerfully accept donations!

Big Head Press