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L. Neil Smith's
Number 668, April 29, 2012

"The cops are now the standing army the Founding Fathers feared."

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Internet Freedom: A Clarion Call
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

After many previous attempts on the part of different groups for a variety of reasons, the United States House of Representatives has passed a bill that could result in the destruction of freedom on the Internet.

And the erasure of the First Amendment.

I won't bother you with this week's misleading acronym for such an atrocity. This specimen is likely to fail in the Senate—because it doesn't go nearly as far in muzzling each of us as that "parliament of whores" wants it to. The Faux President declares he will veto it, but we've heard that before from a criminal imposter who couldn't move his mouth to speak the truth if his life depended on it—because he couldn't recognize the truth if it came up to him and pissed in his ear.

What I will tell you is what a lifetime of fending off similar assaults on the Second Amendment—and the unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right of every man, woman, and responsible child to obtain, own, and carry weapons—has taught me. I know what has to be done now, and what will happen if we don't do it.

First, don't be relieved or satisfied if this particular bill doesn't pass this time. Others will be introduced, one after another, until they wear down our resistance, unless we make every attempt cost them something they can't afford to lose. We must make our freedom to communicate a political "third rail" and aim for nothing less than total eradication of the very notion of censoring the Internet in any way.

For the Tea Parties, I have a particular message: you've been rolled. You've been publicly sodomized by the people you elected to restore individual liberty in America. What are you going to do about it?

Every politician, bureaucrat, and bludgeon-wielder in government has his own understandable reasons for trying to eliminate Internet freedom.

We are living at a unique moment in human history: a change has occurred in the way human beings relate to one another, more important than any previous change—the adoption of agriculture, the creation of cities, the development of democracy, the invention of the printing press, even Edison's miracle of electric light—that has ever come before.

For perhaps ten thousand years, important communications among people were vertical in character, information—mostly in the form of edicts and demands—flowing downward, and very little flowing upward.

In only a couple of decades, however, the Internet has changed all that, by rotating it ninety degrees. The most important communications between people are now horizontal in character, lateral, egalitarian, reciprocal, and "peer-to-peer". Human beings everywhere can visit with one another freely, one-on-one, or by the dozens, hundreds, thousands, or millions, their privacy protected, their individuality enhanced, and with absolutely no need for any kind of intermediary official de-facilitator.

It's a little like the Reformation, in which people decided they could visit with God all by themselves, without the assistance of a priest. But it is not a good development for politicians, bureaucrats, or bludgeon-wielders. Look at the way a cell phone photograph of a policeman beating somebody up flashes around the world in a matter of seconds.

Thanks to the Internet, and other phenomena, the Age of Authority is ending. Clearly this is too important an historical event to be left to the tender mercies of politicians, bureaucrats, and bludgeon- wielders

All of this is very important. But it's equally important to keep in mind that most of the momentum—and the money—for these attacks on our freedom is coming from corporate entities that, rightly or wrongly, for better or for worse, perceive our gains as their losses.

What is to be done? well, I've learned from hard experience that I'm not much of a leader, so I have had to adopt what might be called the "Edgar Friendly Method" (from a great libertarian film Demolition Man). I will go wherever I have to go. Sometimes others will go with me.

To begin with, I will solicit the assistance of others who know more than I do about certain subjects to accomplish a number of things. I want to learn, and tell the world, exactly what companies are backing this assault so strategies can be devised to discourage them.

At the moment, I know that movie studios and music corporations, hiding behind their various professional associations, are major players. This is extremely stupid of them, because most of them are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy (a situation in which Internet censorship represents a kind of government bailout). If a significant fraction of the purchasing public were to stop going to the picture show, stop renting movies, stop buying DVDs and CDs—say just until the next election—it's highly likely we'd see a change in their attitude.

L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE will organize and coordinate just such a boycott, and advise people of what companies might be exempted because they have refused to try to damage our rights.

We might even add software outfits to the list(s).

At the same time, with appropriate help, we will compile and post a list of representatives elected specifically to advance the cause of freedom, who then treacherously betrayed it, not only by voting for this specific Internet act, but for the NDAA and other such treasonous outrages.

We will also promote restorative measures—like a 100-year Legislative Moratorium, the repeal of Article I, Section Six (giving legislators immunity for their heinous behavior), and an amendment establishing thoroughly Draconian criminal penalties for politicians, bureaucrats, and bludgeon-wielders caught violating the Bill of Rights.

If you can help, contact the editor of L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Winning our freedom back will be a lot of work.

L. Neil Smith is the Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE, as well as the author of 33 freedom-oriented books, the most recent of which is DOWN WITH POWER: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis:
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