Down With Power Audiobook!

L. Neil Smith's

Number 870, May 1, 2016

May Day! May Day!

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Dear All,

I began my mailing list back in 1992. Since then, it's swollen to thousands of names and e-mail addresses, all held in an Access database. At any one time, ten per cent of the e-mail addresses are obsolete. Several hundred members may be dead. It's become a nuisance to try keeping it up to date.

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Re: "The Establishment's Trump Card" by J. Neil Schulman (in this issue)

This seems to me like a choice between near-term plans and long-term plans. If the Respublican Establishment backs Trump then we have a possible president who might not rush us into war [no guarantees].

If they throw money at the Libertarian party to get Hillary in we have a possible president to will continue our current middle east policy and bring us a little closer to REAL war but probably just more of our suicidal brand of altruistic imperialism.

But that would mean more fame/infamy for the LP and might lead to a real n-party system. So that could be an upside.

William Alan Ritch
Atlanta Radio Theatre Company

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Re: "Letter from William Alan Ritch" (above)


There would only be an upside for the LP if the party came off as a radical alternative, not a spoiler. That requires taking positions so far from other Presidential candidates that the LP candidate couldn't be seen as making a deal with anyone else on the Presidential debate stage.

The scenario works best if the other candidates don't have anything to offer libertarians. Hillary Clinton doesn't have anything to offer libertarians. Many of the Republican wannabes this year had nothing to offer. Neil and I are suggesting that Trump might have a little something to offer critics of the Empire, which is libertarian enough to confuse the Party of Principle.

It would be a supreme irony if the LP could be used to guarantee the election of the most Statist candidate, our beloved Hillary.

SEK3 and Chauntecleer Michael would be amused by the idea. How I miss them.

Of all the reasons members of the Power Elite dread Trump, I think I've figured out their greatest fear.

President Trump might accidentally destroy ISIS. The Pentagon might go along with that. After all, the good old Pentagon is not the foreign policy Think Tanks or the State Department.

If ISIS is gone, it can't be used as an excuse for the USA having a permanent presence in the Middle East. Something else will have to take its place. That's a lot of work when ISIS is already working. Allah knows how much trouble it was coming up with ISIS in the first place.

The Great Game goes back long before the Neocons. It's just that the Neocons have come up with the most ridiculous rationalizations for the Imperial overreach of the Great Game continuing to infinity, and beyond (if I may borrow from Buzz Lightyear). But the Empire would be doing this sort of thing, with or without the Neocons, somewhere on Earth until we have a Libertarian Revolution.

Think about the current game board.

Nasser was Hitler. Anyone remember Nasser? Arafat was Hitler. Khomeini was Hitler. Saddam Hussein was Hitler. Qaddafi was Hitler. Sadat is Hitler.

bin Laden was Hitler, but Al Queda lives on.

The great achievement of ISIS is that no leader makes an impression, but it lives on anyway without a memorable Hitler.

(Of course, I don't think any of these low level thugs rise to the Satanic heights of a Hitler or Stalin. I'm using the "H" word as a reference to Gore Vidal's arch theory of the Hitler of the Month Club.)

What if a President Trump got rid of ISIS? With no charismatic terror leader to confuse the issue, the whole organization might accidentally be wiped out because it would be the target instead of a handful of individuals.

What if Trump actually grabbed the oil that ISIS uses for money??? Our glorious leaders of the American Empire don't mind fields of dead civilians, but they think it's wrong to "steal" from oil fields. Don't ask me why.

After ISIS, the next organization to spontaneously rise from the desert sands would need money from somewhere. The drug money from Afghanistan is going to the old guard terrorists, so that cash wouldn't be available.

The new organization, maybe OSIRIS, will need money. And a bit of patience. After all, Trump might only have one term, or less. OSIRIS will need a low profile until a post-Trump President gets back to business as usual.

I don't see what the LP is ever going to do about any of the things I've brought up here, other than to be used (as Neil suggests) or ignored, as usual.

Just call me nostalgic for the 20th Century when libertarians still engaged in radical analysis.

That's before we became overly interested in politics.

What I like best about Trump is not political. I believe that he likes the challenge of Peacetime Capitalism as much as the easier War Capitalism. That's a topic for another day.

And I am selfish. I think I would get richer with Trump in the White House.


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Re: "The Royal Age of Gotcha" by L. Neil Smith (in this issue)

L. Neil and Ken,

This article by L. Neil is magnificent. I'll be linking it on Facebook and tweeting the link as soon as it's up on TLE.

I also focused in on Title 18, Section 242 in my C-SPAN broadcast speech at last year's Gun Right's Policy Conference on September 27, 2015 at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel ballroom in Phoenix, AZ. I made a libertarian-individual rights speech in front of a bunch of gun-rights supporters who lean conservative and pro-law-and-order, and as a result was given the cold shoulder. Pat Heller and I gave free copies of the Alongside Night Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack with a special conference discount order form for bulk copies to all conference attendees, many of whom headed up local pro-RKBA organizations … and not one order came in.

Here is a YouTube link to my GRPC conference address:

Youtube Embed code:

Please link this video in support of L. Neil's article.

J. Neil

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Re: "The Royal Age of Gotcha" by L. Neil Smith (in this issue) L. Neil writes: "I have always been extremely interested in 16th century England...."

Speaking of the 16th Century, I'm reading an excellent book by the late and great Jacques Barzun called From Dawn to Decadence; 1500 to the Present, 500 Years of Western Cultural Life. Barzun (1907-2012. That's right, 104 years!) is a lucid writer and this book is a history of the ideas that donimated Modern Western Culture from it's beginning around 1500 to now. The ideas, or rather The Ideas that were "in the driver's seat" at various times and the people who were driven by them. The book was published when Mr. Barzun was 93 years old, and reflects a ifetime of thinking about what is important and why it is important. He brings clarity and insight to many common misunderstandings and confusions that have crept into our historical consciousness.

As for "decadence", the condition in which we find ourself after 500 of the Modern era, he writes:

But what are the contents of the overarching culture? By tracing in broad outline the evolution of art, science, religion, philosophy, and social thought during the last 500 years, I hope to show that during this span the peoples of the West offered the world a set of ideas and institutions not found earlier or elsewhere. As already remarked, it has been a unity combined with enormous diversity. Borrowing widely from other lands, thriving on dissent and originality, the West has been the mongrel civilization par excellence. But in spite of patchwork and conflict it has pursued characteristic purposes—that is its unity—and now these purposes, carried out to their utmost possibility, are bringing about its demise. This ending is shown by the deadlocks of our time: for and against nationalism, for and against individualism, for and against the high arts, for and against strict morals and religious belief.


But why should the story come to an end? It doesn't, of course, in the literal sense of stoppage or total ruin. All that is meant by Decadence is "falling off." It implies in those who live in such a time no loss of energy or talent or moral sense. On the contrary, it is a very active time, full of deep concerns, but peculiarly restless, for it sees no clear lines of advance. The loss it faces is that of Possibility. The forms of art as of life seem exhausted, the stages of development have been run through. Institutions function painfully.

Repetition and frustration are the intolerable result. Boredom and fatigue are great historical forces.

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Highly recommended!

Ken Holder

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