Saturday, February 22, 2014

L. Neil Smith on Finding Founders

L. Neil, unlike all too many libertarian intellectuals, has a feel for history and culture, without which one can come to some pretty goofy conclusions. That's not to say that we don't disagree here and there, but it is to say that we agree on the importance of culture. And though I've never heard him say it in so many words, Neil is well aware that there are cultural prerequisites for libertarianism.

For example, although Neil is explicitly in favor of open borders, which I am not, he's also clear that their is and should be a citizen/noncitizen distinction, and that there should be requirements for citizenship. And the fact that he actually means this, and isn't just saying it, puts him far to the right of the liberals, neocons, and most libertarians, who have a childlike naivety about (or cynical deliberate indifference to) the desirability of welcoming every sort of human flotsam and jetsam.

Well, this is about a lot more than just immigration.  Read and enjoy:


Not a Jefferson Among Them
by L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com


Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

It could be said that all of us are living in times when too much history is being made. Or when too much history is being made too quickly.

Most of us were born in the shadow of World War II, when nuclear weapons were a proven technology. Our childhood saw war in Korea, our teenage years the war in Vietnam. Together we watched the rise of the superstate, international corporations, and the United Nations. After a long, dark, bloody struggle we foolishly believed we'd won, Western Civilization was taken over by welfare-warfare socialism. fascism, and communism.

But the West wasn't lost because of the intelligence, competence, courage, or moral integrity of its enemies, although the absolutely putrescent corruption of the major mass media helped it along, as did their mockery and marginalization of that tiny number of brave, lucid, honest, intelligent, and decent human beings who arose within the West or immigrated here from time to time. The mass media are populated, almost exclusively, by liberals, and all liberals are suicides at heart.

No, Western Civilization was lost owing almost entirely to the consistent and unfailing stupidity, cupidity, insanity, inanity, duplicity, timidity, and outright criminality of its so-called "leaders".

"Four more years ... "

The peculiar thing about civilizations, though, is that they don't have to remain lost forever. When I was a young man, about to change my psychology major to anthropology, I read an unforgettable book by Anthony F. C. Wallace, focused on "cultural revitalization", most specifically among the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy or the "People of the Longhouse" and their great Seneca prophet and teacher, Handsome Lake.

When Handsome Lake came on the scene, his people had been beaten down by fighting the wrong wars for the wrong people and by alcohol and isolation, to practical extinction. They had ceased to exist as a civilization. Handsome Lake brought them back with a code that allowed them to adopt portions of white civilization without giving up their traditions.

His code is still practiced to this day.

Unfortunately, we upholders of American civilization don't seem to have any Handsome Lakes among us, nor any Thomas Jeffersons, Thomas Paines, Benjamin Franklins, George Washingtons, nor even any Alexander Hamiltons. What we appear to have are Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee. What we need are thinkers and heroes. What we are stuck with is politicians.

We do seem to be going through a painfully slow, gradual process that might be called a "Cold Revolution", in which each side prepares to fight, but (I think commendably) is unwilling to fire the first shot.

Of course all that could change tomorrow.

Or this afternoon.

We are also going through the same process by which Whigs were supplanted by Republicans in the middle of the 19th century. I don't know much about the period; it usually gets crowded out by the loud noises and bright colors of the War Between the States that followed immediately. I've often thought of writing an historical novel about it, if only to learn more. I know what the issues were: slavery, tariffs, "internal improvements" (commonly known today as "pork"). But to what extent, for example, did the Whig and Republican memberships overlap?

However, I digress.

By similar processes, the Republicans will now morph into Tea Partiers. Or die. The Republican Party as we know it, has no future. It is over. It may try to claim victories to come in 2014 and 2016, but they will be Tea Party victories if they are to be victories at all.

The Tea Parties—and I emphasize again the plural for this delightfully leaderless, centerless movement—have been the only ones with the intelligence and courage to stand up to the Mussolinoid Barack Obama and his Chicago bully boys. In almost every instance, the Republican country-clubbers have denied them or tried to shut them down. Colorado GOP suits and ties, to offer an example, were against the recent, splendidly revolutionary recall of three state senate gun-grabbers.

Republicans are first and foremost, despicable cowards. They can watch a Democratic administration brutally slaughter a whole church full of innocent men, women, and children in Texas, and then help to ensure that nobody—except for the surviving victims—is ever punished.

Yes, the Branch Davidian Massacre happened twenty-one years ago, an entire generation ago at this writing. And yet Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal kept hunting Nazis until 2003, shortly before he died, nearly 60 years after World War II came to an end. America can never heal until the Waco killers are brought to justice. With regard to what happened there, we must borrow the motto, "Never forgive, never forget".

And it isn't as irrelevant as it may seem to those who didn't live through those horrifying fifty days. We now know that then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, as "co-president", literally called the shots at Waco. She is a mass murderer who must never be allowed to occupy public office again. Republicans are too timid to do anything about it then or now. Have we ever heard Ted Cruz, a "naturalized" Texan, Rand Paul, a son of Texas, or Mike Lee, whose Mormon ancestors received exactly the same treatment from the U.S. government, utter a single word about Waco? (Apparently Rand Paul prefers to snigger about Monica Lewinski.) Republicans are therefore, ultimately responsible for those deaths.

Morally speaking.

Tea Party candidates have their own weaknesses, notably their introduction of religion into politicial conversation, and an adamant resistance to abortion, homosexual civil rights, and open immigration. The Founding Fathers—witnesses to a European history filled with violence and destruction over religious dogma—knew what they were doing in separating church and state. Tea Partiers—conservatives mostly—must learn all over again to keep their religion in their pants.

As for abortion, gay marriage, and immigration, I was taught in college (and have since confirmed) that the populist Grange Movement of the nineteenth century never quite got off its knees because white farmers didn't want to share their cause with black farmers. The Tea Parties are demonstrating exactly the same kind of suicidal short- sightedness.

In the eighteenth century, most Americans were either passionately for or against slavery. When the Framers wrote the Constitution, they came to a compromise about the issue: slaves would be counted as three fifths of a person for the purpose of representation. They have been severely castigated about this compromise for a couple of centuries, but without it, there would never have been a United States of America.

I'm saying that similar compromises are possible regarding two of the three issues I've mentioned, and I have a question about the third.

Abortion first: I know that one side thinks it's murder and doesn't seem aware that half the population—with equal passion and sincerity—considers laws against it to represent expropriation and slavery.
A few years ago, I ran an admittedly unscientific abortion survey on my personal website for three years, asking this question: "Could you be satisfied with a compromise under which abortion would remain legal, but not a single cent of tax money would ever used to pay for it?"

The result was that an overwhelming eighty-five percent responded "Yes", leaving, I assume, a disgruntled seven and a half percent at either end of the curve, who believe that women—or at least their uteruses—belong to the State, or that abortion ought to be an entitlement. Beyond the palest ghost of a shadow of a doubt, the issue is settled, then. We just need to pound it into our "leaders'" thick skulls.

As to immigration, I favor open borders because I believe nobody has a right—barring private property—to tell anybody else where he may travel on this ball of rock. I draw a line, however, at, shall we say, "informal visitors" voting or collecting various forms of welfare.

I see absolutely nothing wrong in letting newcomers learn English, study our unique political history, and earn their citizenship, over the same grueling nine years it took Aunt Olga back in 1888. One way or another, that's how most of us ended up being born here. However, any identification such people are issued should clearly indicate their legal status, and any individual who attempts to get around the law—especially by voting for Democrats—should be promptly deported.

To Antarctica.

The question I have about the third issue is this: by precisely what mechanism is my marriage of thirty-odd years to my lovely and talented wife in any way damaged or diminished by letting my friends George and Fred get married, too? I'm talking about nuts and bolts, here, palpable connections. I don't want to hear about the Bible or your religion. Under the First Amendment, that's excluded from the conversation.

Their taxes help pay for the courthouse and the judge's salary. They are entitled, by virtue of that payment, to exactly the same services that you and I expect. What we're talking about here is leaving George and Fred alone to live the same dream that Cathy and I have been able to live, I can't find it in myself to deny them that hope.

Grow up, fellow Tea Partiers. Find a way, and we can put an end to this authoritarian nightmare, sweep our country clean of Republicns and Democrats and their cult of insatiable looting, eternal war, and death.

For perhaps as long as ten thousand years, governments have used people to make history the same way vintners use grapes to make wine. It may very well have started with nobly-posed "heroic" conquerers on horseback, itinerant super-burglars like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon. It has ended in the circus filled with mutant animals and evil clowns that the modern nation-state has become.

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