L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 928, June 25, 2017
One end of the Great Wall of China
by L. Neil Smith
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Recently, out of the blue. I received a Facebook communication from an old friend of perhaps 30 years who has apparently become another Precious Snowflake. It was nothing but one long, hysterical rant, as you will see. I decided to answer the man point-for-point, not because I thought it will do him any good. I think he’s too far gone in his snowflakitude. But I do think it may help the rest of us to make the important arguments over the next few months. I withhold his name so the poor guy won’t appear to be any more of a fool than he already is. Let’s just call him “Will”.
“A Great Wall Of America,” Will asserts without preliminaries, “is technically impossible and utterly irrelevant.” He adds, “People are smarter than walls.”
Well, what can I say? I disagree with both of those bald assertions and have been offered no supporting evidence for them at all. Such an undertaking is far from impossible, as you will see, and far from irrelevant. Any cop will tell you that barriers (door locks, for example) can’t stop intrusions altogether, they slow them down so the culprit can be caught. Even if it failed as a barrier (it won’t) it is a bold symbolic statement of our intentions as a nation. Our borders have been abused for decades and our citizens regularly victimized by intuders. Now, at long last, that will stop.
Will’s non-sequitur about people being smarter than walls, is an absurdity; of course people (non-Democrats, anyway) are smarter than most inanimate objects. However, if the Wall becomes the foundation for advanced electronic defenses, things may turn out a little different than Will expects.
“It couldn’t possibly be planted deep enough,” Will says, “They already come in through tunnels. Dig deeper.”
And I would give exactly the same advice to the builders. At least since Vietnam, our defenders have gathered experience in dealing with tunnelers, which I suspect Clinton and Obama forbade them to use on the border. Nevertheless, tunnels get detected and destroyed every day, and our expertise will only increase.
“It is technically impossible to build a wall 2000 miles long through every kind of terrain known to Man. Impossible. Just come in anywhere the wall isn’t.”
Oh, Will, you are so wrong again. The Great Wall of China was started around 700 B.C. when your ancestors and mine were still painting themseves blue. It was “made of stone, brick, rammed earth, wood, and other materials”, according to Wikipedia, and was (and may still be) 21,196 kilometers or 13,171 miles long. While it failed, in the end, to keep the Mongols and other baddies out, it worked for a long time, as have many other walls in history, Robert Frost to the contrary, notwithstanding. It also prtected the Silk Road.
“The wall would have major areas unguarded.”
I don’t know why Will says that, between drones, satellites, and TV monitors. The Border Patrol is being enlarged and will continue to exist.
“Destroy it in places. They won’t be building it out of titanium,”
Actually, I saw a discussion about using titanium just the other day; it could be the making of that industry.
“And explosives aren’t exactly hard to procure in Mexico. Everything has a breaking point.”
And explosives are so useful in being sneaky. What a great way to summon a squadron of hovering F-35s! Who are you writing about, Wile E. Coyote?
“Beyond that … Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ! Leave a Great Wall Of America as a permanent landmark?! The entire notion sickens me. SICKENS me. I cannot imagine a more horrific thing to leave to my daughters and their progeny. A fucking WALL across the middle of North America, Neil. A fucking WALL forever dividing North America in half. FOREVER.”
I didn’t know He was a tap-dancer, and I don’t give a rat’s ass about your aesthetics, Will, which I find peculiar, to say the least. Do you also hate transcontinental highways, railways, and suspension bridges? Wacky aesthetics keep glasses off the noses of people who need them. They keep guns out of the hands of potential victims. Aesthetics are feelings, Will, and feelings are the enemy of rational thought, as you’re clearly demonstrating, here.
“Forever, Neil. If you get what you want, North America will be forever divided politically, socially, culturally, and economically. FOREVER.”
Yeah, you said that. And as John Wayne would put it, that suits me right down to the ground. Most people are unaware that the first “successful” Marxist revolution occurred in Mexico (“Viva Zapata!”) and our neighbors haven’t learned a damned thing since then. I like most Mexican individuals very much, and I’ve appropriated as many of their customs and traditions as I could. But their government is a giant leach that yearns to fasten itself on the jugular of our civilization. I’d build that Wall half a mile tall and a hundred yards wide if I could.
“I’m positively sickened,” Will complains. “Moreover—and I’m sorry to say this … ”
No, you’re not.
“ … but your recent writing makes it clear you’ve gone Full Trump.”
Whatever that means to a guy who’s gone Full Nutcase
“I know you voted for him.”
Because I said so.
“I know both you and Cathy are emotionally invested in him.”
Yes, my wife and I both voted for him and I rther like him and his splendid family. But you’d better leave Cathy out of this; she can take care of herself.
“I know his stance on your single-issue gets you excited.”
What single issue is that, Will? That he wasn’t (and apparently still isn’t) Hillary Clinton?
“But he’s a Statist. A goddamned fucking Statist like all the rest of them. He’s made that utterly clear.”
Perhaps, just like the two half-wits who ran impersonating libertarians. I voted to stop Clinton, Will, the fact that I’ve enjoyed the results in other ways since then fails to invalidate my choice.
“He’s convinced you that a fucking WALL forever marring and crippling all of America is GOOD thing.”
I reject your aesthetic observations as irrelevant Will. What infantile nonsense this is. The Wall will do nothing but slow down illegal and undesirable traffic and improve conditions in America for Americans. Just the idea has made most people happy again. Ask anybody who hasn’t already flipped his wig. Besides, it will be pretty and historically interesting, just like the rail line in Atlas Shrugged. (I confess, that was the only part of all three movies I liked.).
“Neil, I’m sorry, but I cannot square this with the man who wrote The Probability Broach and made me an anarcho-capitalist.”
Will, I’m sorry to see that you’re not the same man who read my first novel, which is still in print, by the way.
“A fucking WALL. As a libertarian, the concept sickens me.”
Yeah, you said that already. Our aesthetics differ, and I won’t listen to an argument from your viscera.
And then, insanely: “The real political answer isn’t a wall. It’s to annex Mexico.”
Right. Like the Mexicans won’t have something to say about that. Like hard-working, industrious Americans will welcome that loser-state, hanging around their necks like a bankrupt brother-in-law. I once suggested offering American staehood to any Mexican state that ratifies the American Bill of Rights by two-thirds, but that’s a very different proposition. What do we do, Will, send in the 82nd Airborne?
“If you prefer a fucking wall forever marring North America and crippling it, then you have simply gone Full Trump.”
Oh, so that’s how you define it. Will, you’re repeating yourself. Better go lie down somewhere dim and quiet and try to figure out where you brains have gone.
Publisher and Senior Columnist L. Neil Smith is the author of over thirty books, mostly science fiction novels, L. Neil Smith has been a libertarian activist since 1962. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essays were originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use them to fight the continuing war against tyranny.
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