Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 554, January 21, 2010

"We don't need permission."

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James Hansen's Disease: Leprosy of the Mind
by L. Neil Smith

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

Climate hero Marc Morano's latest at is all about NASA "scientist" James Hansen's endorsement of a book that calls for "ridding the world of industrial civilization... razing cities to the ground, blowing up dams and switching off the greenhouse gas emissions machine".

It's extremely interesting, in a depressing sort of way.

For one thing, it attempts to ignore the recent complete, total, and utter discreditation of global warming. As Sting once sang, it's been a humiliating kick to the crotch for the entire "climate change" industry.

The fact that this "policy" would lead to the immediate deaths, by starvation, exposure, and disease, of hundreds of millions of innocent individuals, outstripping the atrocities of Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot rolled into one, confirms my own long-held theory that conceits like Hansen's stem from an affliction characteristic of the socialists who call themselves liberals in general, and militant environmentalists in particular. It is a deep, churning, bitter, corrosive self-loathing that invariably winds up being generalized to include everybody and everything.

They hate themselves, they hate their families, they hate their neighbors, they hate their country, and they hate their species. Most of all, they hate their lives. I often hear people like Hansen assert that "what the world needs is a really good plague". The real question—mostly for future historians—is how a murderous psychosis like this one managed to get itself elevated to the status of a political philosophy.

One answer may be that it serves the interests of an altogether different population, a corrupt, avaricious political elite committed to poisonous ambitions like the United Nations' infamous Agenda 21, a program altogether too reminiscent of Britain's brutal eighteenth and nineteenth century "highland clearances" which removed the Scottish people from the land on which they'd raised their big, shaggy cattle for more generations than anyone can count, and dumped them on the cold, rocky coast where they were encouraged to "gather seaweed" for a living.

People like us (once we were disarmed, of course) would be driven from our own homes and herded together into gigantic "cities of the future" called "arcologies"—concrete tenements or concentration camps hundreds of stories tall—while the land was bulldozed and dynamited clean of every trace of humanity and permitted to "return to nature".

Can I say with absolute mathematical certainty that this sort of thing is bound to happen? Of course not. I can't say with mathematical certainty that the Sun will set tonight or rise tomorrow. But I have a pretty good track record at this sort of prognostication. I sort of do it for a living—or at least it comes with the job. I predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union in my 1983 novel The Nagasaki Vector and my 1980 novel The Probability Broach predicted the Internet, wall-size computer/TV screens, laptop computers, computer-aided crime-scene forensics, and much of the ecofascism we suffer under today.

I also predicted in the 70s that violations of the Bill of Rights becoming standard operating procedure at the nation's airports would soon spread like a disease and destroy freedom in the rest of the country.

Most of the time it isn't brain science or rocket surgery. In this particular case, it's simply a matter of taking the U.N. at its word. And listening carefully to Barack Obama and his vile, toxic orcs.

Of course the same political elite—the Soviets called them the nomenklatura—would allow themselves to use the empty countryside as a reward for their "selfless service to humanity". And naturally, hordes of attractive young people—our children and grandchildren—would be "encouraged" to attend upon these aristocrats in their country dachas and cater to their every whim. You can see this sort of collectivist wet dream playing out at the beginning of socialist author Arthur C. Clark's The Fountains of Paradise, in which a government-approved civil engineer is granted a lot of unsocialistic and rather unegalitarian privileges because his work is valued by the State.

One of the most glaring ironies is the way that Ronald Reagan was criticized by this class of latterday advocates of mass murder for his choice of James Watt as Secretary of the Interior, because the man's born-again Christian religion led him to expect the end of the world Real Soon Now. It's difficult—for me, at least—to perceive any significant difference between Watt's crazed apocalyptic visions and the festering criminal insanity of born-again worshippers of Mother Gaia.

It is no longer morally acceptable for one individual or group—be they environmentalists, victim disarmers, anti-marijuanistas, anti-smokers, censors, or anybody else—to manipulate other human beings by means of force or the threat of force. If, against all odds, we manage to work our way out of the mess we presently find ourselves in, we must make sure that it is no longer politically acceptable, either.

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 more than 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 is currently running as a free weekly serial at

Neil is presently at work on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Where We Stand: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis with his daughter, Rylla.

See stunning full-color graphic-novelizations of The Probability Broach and Roswell, Texas which feature the art of Scott Bieser at Dead-tree versions may be had through the publisher, or at where you will also find Phoenix Pick editions of some of Neil's earlier novels. Links to Neil's books at are on his website


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