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L. Neil Smith's
Number 610, March 13, 2011

"Much food for thought"

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Eight Out of Nine
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

I found myself invited, this morning, to participate in an online poll concerning the Texas School Board's planned purchase of "science" textbooks giving undeserved acknowledgement and respect to that great stinking mountain of superstitious Neolithic garbage called "creation science".

This issue has always been important to me, although I haven't written about it nearly as much as I probably should. In high school in northern Florida, my biology teacher was a Baptist lay-minister who refused to accept the established body of scientific fact regarding evolution by natural selection. Me, I would have fired the guy, not because his opinion differed (like that of a Flat-Earther) from the truth, but because he was committing a fraud when he claimed to teach science.

I did offer the poll-takers my cheerful thought (at least I think it's cheerful) that bigpicturewise, what's going on in Texas is a good thing, as it brings us a step closer to the long-overdue abolition of the public schools. The humorous and ironic thing is that, on further inspection, I discovered that my bright, colorful outlook is rather unlikely to be shared by those who put the poll out there in the first place.

Under the heading "Campaigns", they listed the issues they're most worked up about; for the most part, they were concerns they share with libertarians:

Fight Internet "Kill-Switch". Check.

Let the PATRIOT Act Expire. Check.

No Mandatory Internet IDs. Check.

Protect Whistleblowers at Big Banks. Check—and while we're at it, whistleblowers everywhere else, for that matter.

Don't Let Them Outlaw Wikileaks. Check.

Stop the TSA's Nude Scanners. Check. (Personally, I want the TSA scanners stopped whether they happen to be wearing any clothing or not.)

Stop the Internet Blacklist. Check.

Fight the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Che—what?!?

According to these worthies, self-named, "The US Chamber of Commerce's radical right-wing agenda—no environmental regulation, no health care, no social security—is out-of-step [sic] with most businesses, which is why companies like Apple and Exelon have quit. Can you tell your local chamber of commerce to do the same?"

Well, no, I can't.

It's extremely difficult explaining to specimens like this that the United States Constitution is more than some peculiar and obsolete article of ritual or faith—like the many idiotic things that they themselves believe in for no reasons that make any sense. These are "progressives", who dirtied up the word "liberal" so badly that it can't be used any more. They believe things for no other reason than that they want to believe them, and when the facts get in the way, it's the facts that get tossed out the window, not their erroneous beliefs.

Nevertheless, if only for the intellectual exercise, let's take a look at these claims about the US Chamber of Commerce. At the least, we can raise the blood pressure of any "progressives" who happen to see this by a couple of points, make their stomachs churn, cost them a night's sleep, and maybe shorten their life expectancy by five or ten minutes.

A small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

To begin with, describing this group as "right wing" is hilarious. What these "progressive" are trying to say is that it's capitalistic, and therefore worthy of condemnation. My experience with this and other organizations is that they're mercantilists, not capitalists, constantly on the lookout for any advantage that government at any level can give them over their competitors in the marketplace. Their "agenda" is anywhere the wind blows. They're not John Galts or Hank Reardens by any means, they're James Taggarts, the very creatures whom Adam Smith was complaining about and denouncing in his Wealth of Nations [Kindle eBook for $0.99 or ePub from Project Gutenberg for $0.00].

That's one reason I was surprised to hear that the Chamber opposes the things our little "progressive" friends claim they do. But let's take them at their word (always a risky proposition when dealing with the left) and consider each item in turn. The first is "environmental regulation".

Look: the United States Constitution is far more than either side of the conventional political spectrum claims it to be. It is nothing other than the basic operating system—analogous to CP/M, DOS, Unix, Windows, OS/2, Linux, and so on—for the political aspects of our civilization.

It isn't perfect—I myself have written hundreds of thousands of words on how it needs to be overhauled (especially in terms of a stiff penalty clause in the Bill of Rights)—but if it's followed to the letter, everybody knows exactly what to expect, a basic necessity in any society. And, no matter how much it gets ignored or violated by increasingly lawless governments, it remains the highest law of the land. It will remain so until it is legally rejected by the electorate or the nation is utterly destroyed which, I have very reluctantly come to believe is the actual objective of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama Administration.

But, as usual, I have digressed.

The only lawful functions of the federal government are spelled out clearly in Article I, Section 8. Nowhere do they include—or hint at—"environmental regulation" as a legally acceptable task. Most of those who pretend to be concerned about the environment are liars and frauds whose real goal is to establish a dictatorship with the power to control the entire world—maybe even the Solar System—right down to the tiniest, most microscopic aspect of your personal life. Among other things, these would-be genocides want to reduce the human population by anything between a billion individual lives—a desire Bill Gates has proclaimed openly—and 90 percent of the human species.

If we were not already convinced, simply by statements that they have made, themselves, it would be enough to know that for a century or more (long before the establishment of the hideously misnamed Environmental Protection Agency) it has been against the law, meaning that courts have colluded and will not hear such a case—for an individual to bring a lawsuit against anyone who pollutes the air or water.

If environmentalists cared about the environment, they would help to abolish the EPA and other counterproductive and unconstitutional bureaucracies, and (with a little tort reform as a precaution against frivolous litigation) lift the bizarre ban on private environmental lawsuits, leave this matter entirely to tort law, and shut the hell up.

But they don't, so they won't.

Another part of the US Chamber of Commerce's "radical right-wing agenda" that these "progressives" whimper about is the Chamber's rejection of government "health care". Set aside what is admittedly a collectivist argument that, like everywhere else it has been applied, government "health care" will finish the job of utterly destroying the nation's economy. It is—just like "environmental regulation" flatly illegal under Article I, Section 8. And, exactly like "environmental regulation" only worse, it would subject every move we make and every breath we take to the malign scrutiny of bureaucrats whose principle duty is it discover or create excuses to deny us medicine and let us die.

Except, of course, for certain privileged members of the socialist Nomenklatura among whose number "progressives" invariably include themselves.

Finally, our little "progressive" friends are incensed that the Chamber, according to them, opposes that glittering crown jewel in the collectivist diadem, Social Security. I sincerely wish I believed that were true. Times are changing and perhaps it is. But, in addition to being just the first of many socialist jimcrackeries, in addition to being completely unlawful under Article I, Section 8, in addition to the unavoidable historical fact it will be gone in another decade, Social Security is a criminal fraud, commonly known as a "Ponzi scheme" (look it up) that was doomed from the beginning and had only one purpose: redistributing what people have earned to people who haven't.

Make that only two purposes: maintaining that tired sagging old douchebag Franklin Delano Roosevelt in office for twenty-two too many years.

I can't testify as to the Chamber being "out-of-step with most businesses". I often despair that American businessmen are a cowardly lot when it comes to standing up for what's right. I do know that most American individuals understand that environmentalism, especially "global warming", is a racket, will not tolerate Obamacare or anything like it, and don't expect Social Security to last any longer than I do.

I leave it as an exercise for my brighter readers to look up "companies like Apple and Exelon" and figure out why they've quit the Chamber. Why MicroSoft and Ben & Jerry's are still hanging in there (provided, in fact, they are) is a mystery as great as the Pyramids themselves.

Let's add it up.

Opposing "creation science" in the nation's schoolbooks. Fighting the Internet "Kill-Switch". Letting the PATRIOT Act Expire. No Internet IDs. Protect Whistleblowers at Big Banks. Don't Let Them Outlaw Wikileaks. Stop the TSA's Nude Scanners. Stop the Internet Blacklist.

Many well-meaning individuals would say, eight issues out of nine ain't bad, is it? Why, these "progressives" are "almost libertarians", aren't they? Shouldn't we reach out and see what we can accomplish together?

Of course they detest the Constitution, regard the Bill of Rights as an a la carte menu, and never heard of the Zero Aggression Principle. And that, of course, is exactly how the Libertarian Party ended up dragging Bob Barr's useless carcass all through the 2008 election.

The same guy who has now reached out to Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. I wonder what it is they think that they can accomplish together.

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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