Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 624, June 19, 2011

"Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be a
convenience store—NOT a government agency."

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by Jim Davidson

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Si monumentum requires, circumspice.

There is an old story that there were many statues to the gods in Rome, including the many Roman emperors who were deified by the senate, including especially Augustus. However, a visitor to Rome in ancient times was hard pressed to find a statue of Julius Caesar. Remarking upon this issue, according to lore, the traveller would be told, "si monumentum requires, circumspice." If you seek his monument, look around you. Or, in less poetic phrasing, if you are looking for the great edifice erected to the memory of Julius Caesar, it is Rome itself.

Rather oddly, given his penchant for all things architectural, this same motto appears as the epitaph for Sir Christopher Wren. You can actually find any number of his monuments in London, but it is not an edifice erected to his memory. The British have often, in my estimation, rather thoroughly failed to grasp a good metaphor, presumably due to being too busy raping and murdering and planting their bloody banner in the soil of all kinds of other people.

I'm confused by the proposal making the rounds that instead of teaching classes at or doing anything else to lead people away from state supremacism, we should all give all our available money to Ron Paul's current bid to be excluded from presidential debates and fail to win the Republican party nomination. Some of the people pushing this idea do agree with me that educating people is useful. They seem to notice that I have been working with many others on a set of projects, ideas, events, and classes to do exactly that.

Then they say that the way to educate people is not to educate people, at all, but go through the motions of yet another failed political campaign. I'm confused by this thought because I was there in 2007 and 2008 when Ron Paul turned his national book tour into a failed political campaign for the presidential nomination of the GOP and then turned much of his campaign funds (so I gather) over to the Campaign for Liberty.

Being a typical rube, I followed with some enthusiasm the progress of Campaign for Liberty (C4L) and even went to a gathering in St. Louis for such enthusiasts as John Tate could muster. To my utter amazement, I found that the C4L was financially supporting through its Colorado group the (failed) candidacy of a drug war and gun crimes prosecutor named Ken Buck. The C4L also supported other pro-war and pro-drug-war candidates, such as Rand Paul.

Then in January of 2010 I was made aware of Ron Paul writing a glowing and effusive endorsement of Lamar Smith, a war mongering, drug war fighting, evil thug if ever there were one, in my view. And in so doing, Ron Paul effectively chucked liberty candidate Stephen Schoppe under the bus. I wrote then about the Campaign for "Liberty." Some may have missed my note or essay when it was published. Here:

So, I determined that there was (still) no point in pursuing politics, if the wonder of the ages, a supposedly honest politician proved to be more concerned about his own power than the liberty of other people. I guess I should not have invested so much credulity in Ron Paul after reading how he witnessed an abortion as part of his medical school training and, instead of rushing the bucket full of live infant to the neo-natal ward, watched with the rest as it died. You know, to protect his efforts to obtain a medical degree.

It continues to confuse me why I would be asked, sometimes three and four times a day, to watch this same film of Ron Paul running for the GOP nomination again. I've seen it. There are better ways to find people who are frustrated with politics and ready to awaken. And I have to ask, if educating the people is the right course of action, as I believe it to be, why don't we: educate the people. Instead of encouraging them to, say, waste 35 million of their dollars and tens of thousands of their man-years on yet another failed political escapade.

How is Ron Paul a liberty candidate? He wants to build a huge border wall, bring the military back from overseas to defend it, and deport millions of Americans who don't have agreeable transit papers. Meanwhile he wants to put up state-level barricades to reproductive freedom. If you want the best liberty candidate, try R. Lee Wrights. And yes, feel free to tell me a story about the "realism" of the GOP nomination and the lack thereof for the LP nomination. Feel free to tell that story, knowing that I am laughing my ass off about the "realism" of Ron Paul ever winning the fucking nomination of the nationalist, militarist, slavery-promoting Republican party.

As mentioned, I was involved in the Ron Paul campaign in 2007 and 2008 for precisely the kind of reasons so often cited: that people pay attention to politics, that people frustrated with the outcomes can be led toward greater liberty. So were many others I know. But I have principles. I cannot forgive Dr. Paul's many transgressions because he isn't sorry about them. And I cannot continue to promote a system that is so broken, so discredited, by pretending to care who gets appointed to lose to Obama in November 2012.

Your life is your own. Do what you choose. Choosing for yourself is the real power of your freedom.

I don't have any power to judge anyone. I have no power over you. So if you disagree with my opinion, join the many clubs out there for such people.

There are better ways to reach people. In November 2008 more Americans who were qualified to vote did not vote for either McCain or Obama. Only about 132 million persons voted at all that time.

In November 2010, more Americans who were qualified to vote did not vote for anyone. Only about 86 million Americans voted. I would like to encourage this trend, by not voting, by not campaigning, and by doing actually useful things with my time in this silly season of campaign foolishness.

If you want to get people's attention, try rallying them for the bill of rights. Bradley Manning has been repeatedly denied his rights, supposedly guaranteed by the bill of rights, including those in the first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, and ninth amendments, not to mention other important constitutionally "guaranteed" rights like habeas corpus and so forth. Why get involved in the hypocrisy of politics, again?

Is it better to live free, or to have the splendours of a national political party? I understand your desire to have a national Libertarian Party, I really do. And I've been involved. I've pitched in. Though, I don't think having angry drunk Missouri libertarians destroy the bunting of a conservative candidate's booth at the 2010 national convention in St. Louis does much to promote "splendour."

However, forty years is a long time. What is it in the progress toward a free society that the national Libertarian Party has produced? The national budget is 18 times larger than it was in 1971. The national government is involved in more wars in more countries, even if we count Laos and Cambodia with Vietnam of that day. I count Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Syria as wars with at least USA special forces involved, but you can count your own way. The national debt is over $14 trillion and unfunded federal obligations to pretend to pay retiring seniors in future years what was stolen from their pay packets in past years now runs to about $200 trillion.

How is the LP helping? It isn't even winning state-wide races for USA senate, or national races for president. All of one electoral vote has ever been cast for an LP presidential candidate and his running mate.

How much money do you wish to spend on campaigns? Party infighting? The splendid national Libertarian Party's offices in the Watergate hotel, or wherever in the infestation of DC that they plan to move next? It is your money. Use it just as you choose.

When you get tired of politics, when it is frustrating you, come visit Individual Sovereign University at or find one of our events, or some other event, to attend. There are a great many active groups involved in anti-politics.

I am still looking for the monument to David Nolan. In looking at the LP, I do not find it. Perhaps one day, I'll have to build one.

Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, and anti-war activist. His 1990 venture to offer a sweepstakes trip into space was destroyed by government action as was his free port and prospective space port in Somalia in 2001. His 2002-2007 venture in free market money and private stock exchange was destroyed by government action in 2007. He's going to Mars if he has to walk. His second book, Being Sovereign is now availble from Lulu and Amazon. He is currently working on a book about travel to Mars with John Wayne Smith, a book with international fugitive Chad Z. Hower on his story, a book on sovereign self-defence, and a book compiling his letters and essays in The Libertarian Enterprise from 1995 to 2010. Contact him at or Come visit IndSovU teams at gatherings in June 2011 in New Hampshire, September 2011 in Montana, December 2011 in Florida, and March 2012 in Austin, Texas.


Individual Sovereign University
Individual Sovereign University

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