A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER
Sometime in the early 1960s, I described the European Common Marketa
predecessor to the European Unionas "the people of Europe
pooling their incompetence". I should have made that the
governments of Europe. Still, it appears that this view was
essentially correct, and that I may soon be able to chalk up another
successful prediction, possibly my earliest*, when the EU is
dissolved, probably some time next year. Don't be fooled by attempts
between now and then to drag at least some of the bits back together.
The centernor the edgescannot hold.
There's a reason for this you're not likely to see anywhere else, and
it contains a lessonand a dire warningfor the United States
of America. It is this: the 6,000 year old Age of Authority, as I say
in another place in this issue of TLE, is drawing to a close, due
principally, I think, to a 90 degree reorientation of communications
on this planet, among this species. Until relatively recently, most
communications flowed from the top down, tolling bells, shouted
commands, edicts and proclamationsand what passed for the newshanded
down from on high to the peasants below. Horizontal
communications between the peasants were of little or no importance.
Today, thanks to the New Mediaprimarily the Internetit is
horizontal communication between and among ordinary people that are
important, while vertical communications are increasingly
disregarded. The elites in every nation-state on Earth hate this, and
scheme constantly to reverse it, but it can't be done, and their days
at the top are numbered.
Here's the point: clumping obsolete political and social forms
together, as with the UN and the EU, piling them higher and deeper,
will only hasten their demise. The United States will last longer,
but only if it repairs the structure that knit it all together in the
first place: the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In Europe,
documents like this are a joke, and that's exactly what nation-states
themselves are in the process of becoming.
Destroy the Constitution, convert the Bill of Rights to mulch, and
there's no reason left to hold things togther. The statesin fact,
the countieswill be better off on their own.
Just now there's an extra-Constitutional "Super Committee" hard at
work, pooling American incompetence. We suggest instead, reducing
government to what's constitutionally permissable and reducing taxes
and regulations, ultimately to nothing, which will give people a
reason to hold the nation-state together for a little longer.
If that's what we really want.
L. Neil Smith
Publisher and Senior Columnist
L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
*At about the same time, I also predicted that England would someday
petition for statehoodand be rejected.
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