Down With Power Audiobook!

L. Neil Smith's
Number 814, March 22, 2015

I don't know exactly what it is, but there
is something in democracy that selects for
the very worst in humanity: the craziest,
the most stupid, and the most evil.

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By What Right?
by L.Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

I seem to have developed a habit of asking questions that nobody wants to answer. At least a decade ago, maybe longer, I asked—mostly of conservatives—think of Hadrian's Wall, think of the Great Wall of China; think of the walls of Rome; failures all. Nobody ever slowed the movement of great masses of people across the face of the planet; if America is being flooded by an unstoppable tsunami of immigrants, why not accept it, resign yourself to the inevitable, and use your finite resources more intelligently, to create institutions dedicated specifically to absorbing those immigrants into the genuine, historical American mainstream, so they won't all automatically vote Democrat?

Ten years, and I never got a answer.

I have another question, rooted in half a century of fighting with all my heart and all my mind against the idiotic and evil forces of "gun control" (more accurately known as victim disarmament). It is this:

What gives the government of the United States, which possesses thousands of nuclear weapons of its own and is the only government on Earth ever to have actually used two of them on anybody, the legal or moral authority to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons of its own? By what right do we prohibit to the Iranians weapons that we own, ourselves?

Don't bring up the pallid ghost of non-proliferation. It died with the Rosenbergs. Thanks to them, Russia has a bomb. And China has a bomb. India and Pakistan both have bombs, pointed at each other. For God's sake, North Korea has the bomb. England has our bomb. France has the bomb. Germany, who executed fifteen million prisoners half a century ago, could have the bomb in a day and a half if they wrinkled their brow and concentrated. Israel has the bomb, which they developed in partnership with the once-fascist, now-communist Union of South Africa.

But if Iran gets the bomb it's gonna be the end of the world.

How come? I can't say I never met an Iranian I didn't like, but they have always seemed to me like a square-thinking, industrious, honest-dealing folk, most of whom want desperately to join Western Civilization (which they started—look it up) and the Twenty-first century.

Most Iranians I have known were refugees from the ugly and violent regime of the Shah (whom we sicced on them) or of the repressive ayatollahs who replaced him. Sometimes both. In my experience, people like that call themselves "Persians". Most Iranian women I have known want exactly the same things womem the world around want: to have a job, to drive a car, to be brain surgeons, if they like, or nuclear physicists. They sincerely want to be friends with Americans (although considering everything we've done to them I don't know why) or to be Americans.

Please do not try to appeal on religious bases to me. The menace of Islam? I can see no difference, in principle, between a collared Catholic priest, an Episcopalian minister, a Southern hard shell Baptist Bible-thumper, your friendly neighborhood Rabbi, and an Imam (Hmmm ... sounds like the start of a good joke, if they all walked into a bar.) From the viewpoint of the strict rationalist/materialist that I've always been, all religions are equally irrational, erected on faith (which is the act of believing what you know damn well isn't so) instead of cold reason, and leaving me to wonder, if it doesn't come out of your head, what part of your anatomy does it come out of?

It is not my intention to offend anybody (he says, having just offended everybody). I have many, many friends who are religious whom I like and respect and admire enormously. I very seldom write or speak on this subject out of consideration for them, and because I love puppies and bunnies and unicorns and rainbows, too. But the question has brought itself up, and the idea of mixing competing religions with nuclear weapons sounds a bit like handing a loaded .357 Magnum to a chimpanzee. It worries me that France, a Catholic country, has a bomb.

So let's not make this an argument about religion.

Why no bomb for Iran, then?

Because they're badguys who hate Western Civilization (even though they started it) and want to destroy it? I believe I've demonstrated, it all depends on exactly who you mean by "they". At the moment, the Iranian people are bullied murderously by the moral equivalents of Pat Robertson, Robert Schuller, Al Sharpton, Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts (and his little brother Anal), Jerry Falwell, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jesse Jackson. Garner Ted Armstrong, Jeremiah Wright, Jim Jones, Hal Lindsey, Billy Sunday, Both Grahams, and Aimee Semple McPherson.

And you think Congress is bad now.

Over the years, the United Nations has only managed to make things worse. It should be crystal clear by now they're building a world empire all for themselves, on the bowed and backs of destitute and helpless people all over the world (as well as the usual hordes of dull-witted corporatists trying desperately to work off their liberal guilt). I guarantee the U.N. will someday want an atomic bomb of their own.

It's hard for me to write about people in the aggregate, sorted out by race, religion, or anything else. I see them as individuals, each with his (or her) own views and tastes, inclinations and talents. Whenever I hear some radio moron going on and on about what an evil and violent collection of ideas Islam is, I want to stand on both his feet, grab him by the lapels, and shout up his nose, "Don't you know anything about the history of your own religion? When Christianity was the same age as Islam, its leaders and cults were burning folks to death."

If I were more collectivistically inclined, and knew the truth about the national make-up of the 9/11 hijackers, Saudi Arabia would be a glass parking lot, and I would regard former congressman Tom Tancredo's threat to nuke Mecca with greater favor. As it is, we must ignore demagogues, recognize the decent, admirable character of most Moslems, and patiently give the religion, as a phenomenon, time to mature.

As for Iran, they'll get their bomb, and nothing will change. The world will be a little more dangerous, but only a little. We boomers have lived with that all our lives. Other people all around Iran have the bomb. Why shouldn't they?

Besides, as we all know, no form of gun control has ever worked.

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