L. Neil Smith

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Lester Neil Smith III (12 May 194627 August 2021), also known by his nickname El Neil, was a libertarian science fiction author and political activist, whose works include the novels Pallas, The Forge of the Elders, and The Probablity Broach, each of which won the Libertarian Futurist Society's annual Prometheus Award for best libertarian novel.


  • People accuse me of being a single-issue writer, a single-issue thinker, and a single-issue voter, but it isn't true. What I've chosen, in a world where there's never enough time and energy, is to focus on the one political issue which most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any politician — or political philosophy — is made of, right down to the creamy liquid center.
    Make no mistake: all politicians — even those ostensibly on the side of guns and gun ownership — hate the issue and anyone, like me, who insists on bringing it up. They hate it because it's an X-ray machine. It's a Vulcan mind-meld. It's the ultimate test to which any politician — or political philosophy — can be put.
    If a politician isn't perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash — for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything — without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn't your friend no matter what he tells you.
  • [I]f a politician won't trust you, why should you trust him? If he's a man — and you're not — what does his lack of trust tell you about his real attitude toward women? If "he" happens to be a woman, what makes her so perverse that she's eager to render her fellow women helpless on the mean and seedy streets her policies helped create? Should you believe her when she says she wants to help you by imposing some infantile group health care program on you at the point of the kind of gun she doesn't want you to have?
    On the other hand — or the other party — should you believe anything politicians say who claim they stand for freedom, but drag their feet and make excuses about repealing limits on your right to own and carry weapons? What does this tell you about their real motives for ignoring voters and ramming through one infantile group trade agreement after another with other countries?
    Makes voting simpler, doesn't it? You don't have to study every issue — health care, international trade — all you have to do is use this X-ray machine, this Vulcan mind-meld, to get beyond their empty words and find out how politicians really feel. About you. And that, of course, is why they hate it.
    • "Why Did it Have to be ... Guns?" (3 August 1999).
  • A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.
    • Zero Aggression Principle ("ZAP"), from "Who is a Libertarian?"
  • What I want to accomplish artistically amounts to nothing more than fulfilling the promise of the American Revolution.
    • Statement of purpose, L. Neil Smith's "The Webley Page"[1]
  • Forget 'redeeming social value,' dirty pictures are fun. When I die I want my ashes sprinkled over a nudist camp.
    • The Venus Belt, 1980.
  • Every man, woman, and responsible child has an unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon — rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything — any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission.
  • My current novel, Pallas, is all about that culture war - in fact it's been called the Uncle Tom's Cabin of the Sagebrush Rebellion - and yet what I hear all too often from libertarians is that they don't read fiction.
    • "Merchants of Fear"[3] Presented to the Boulder County Libertarian Party, 20 February 1994.
  • As a novelist, I have a somewhat higher soapbox to stand on than most people do when it comes to talking back to the merchants of fear.
    • "Merchants of Fear".
  • Poverty is a solved problem - all they have to do is abolish taxes and regulations which cripple those intelligent, capable, and responsible men and women and destroy their productive capacity, then stand back and watch the economy boom.
    • "Merchants of Fear".
  • Violent crime is a solved problem - all they have to do is repeal the laws that keep those intelligent, capable, and responsible men and women from arming themselves, and violent crime evaporates like dry ice on a hot summer day.
    • "Merchants of Fear".
  • The function of government is to provide you with service; the function of the media is to supply the Vaseline.
    • "Some New Tactical Reflections"[4] 15 January 1998.
  • Choose your allies carefully: it's highly unlikely that you'll ever be held morally, legally, or historically accountable for the actions of your enemies.
    • "Some New Tactical Reflections".
  • Choose your enemies carefully: you'll probably be known much better and far longer for who they were, than for anything else you ever managed to accomplish.
    • "Some New Tactical Reflections".
  • The fact that nobody asks you to sing is not an indication that you should sing louder. This sounds obvious until it's applied to matters like mass transportation. There are virtually no private mass transit companies. This does not represent the failure of the market to provide a needed service, it represents the failure of an unneeded service to go away!
    • "Some New Tactical Reflections".
  • Great men don't 'move to the center' — great men move the center!
    • "Some New Tactical Reflections".
  • If there were a generic one-word expression for 'one whose fear of the uncertainties of success moves him to surrender at the very moment of victory', it would be 'Republican'.
    • "Some New Tactical Reflections".
  • Once you've taken a public stand you know is right, never back down; anything less than a rock-hard stance will let your enemies nibble you to death.
    • "Some New Tactical Reflections".
  • Those who sell their liberty for security are understandable, if pitiable, creatures. Those who sell the liberty of others for wealth, power, or even a moment's respite deserve only the end of a rope.
    • "Some New Tactical Reflections".
  • Try never to speak of your enemies by name. Any publicity is still publicity — and there are those for whom your disapproval constitutes a recommendation.
    • "Some New Tactical Reflections".
  • You cannot force me to agree with you. You can force me to act as though I agree with you — but then you'll have to watch your back. All the time.
    • "Some New Tactical Reflections".
  • Money, first and foremost, is a medium of communication, conveying the information we call 'price'. Government control of the money supply is censorship, a violation of the First Amendment. Inflation is a lie.
    • "Some New Tactical Reflections".
  • I'm tired of being considered some kind of criminal or dangerous throwback for no other reason than that I value, exercise, and defend my rights under the first ten Amendments to the United States Constitution.
    • "I'm Tired (With Apologies to Pearl Bailey and Madeleine Kahn) Presented to the second annual Liberty Round Table Conclave near Estes Park, Colorado, 2 July 1998[5].
  • The first and most important thing to understand about politics is this: forget Right, Left, Center, socialism, fascism, or democracy. Every government that exists — or ever existed, or ever will exist — is a kleptocracy, meaning 'rule by thieves'. Competing ideologies merely provide different excuses to separate the Productive Class from what they produce. If the taxpayer/voters won't willingly fork over to end poverty, then maybe they'll cough up to fight drugs or terrorism. Conflicting ideologies, as presently constituted, are nothing more than a cover for what's really going on, like the colors of competing gangs.
    • "Why Aren't We There Yet?"
  • (1) Every year, in this nation of more than a quarter billion individuals, a few thousand (three quarters of them suicides) are killed with firearms, while millions of Americans successfully use personal weapons to save themselves and others from injury or death. Guns save many, many times more lives than they take.
    (2) In every jurisdiction that has made it even microscopically easier for individuals to carry weapons, violent crime rates have plummeted by double-digit percentages. Vermont, where no permission of any kind is required to carry a gun, is named in many respectable surveys as the safest state to live in.
    (3) More telling and urgent, every episode of genocidal mass murder in history has been preceded by a period of intense disarming of the civil population, usually with 'public safety' or 'national security' as an excuse. According to Amnesty International — hardly a gang of right wing crazies — in the 20th century alone (in events entirely separate from war), governments have slaughtered more than a hundred million people, usually their own citizens.
    • "Murder by Gun Control"[6] 31 March 2000.
  • What kind of mind would sacrifice millions for the sake of a few thousands, especially when it's been demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that victim disarmament can't save even those thousands?
    What kind of mind wants a return to mean streets and ever-soaring crime rates?
    What kind of mind collaborates with agents of mass murder and genocide?
    Make no mistake: you victim disarmament types are sick, sick people, in the words of T.D. Melrose, who'd rather see a woman raped in an alley and strangled with her own pantyhose than see her with a gun in her hand.
    • "Murder by Gun Control".
  • You're people, in short, who must be stupid, insane, or evil to continue arguing — in the face of indisputable facts and irrefutable logic — that others must be forced into a state of helplessness and victimized by individual criminals or the state.
    Stupid, insane, or evil.
    • "Murder by Gun Control".
  • Let's make it clear for the dimmest bulbs among you: the kids at Columbine High didn't die from too many guns, they died from too few. I'm not suggesting that the teachers should have carried guns — not as franchised agents of the state. They should have carried guns as ordinary individuals, exercising a sacred right, and in performance of a solemn duty to protect the young lives that were placed — very foolishly, as it turned out — in their hands.
    • "Murder by Gun Control".
  • Worse than thieves, murderers, or cannibals, those who offer compromise slow you and sap your vitality while pretending to be your friends. They are not your friends. Compromisers are the enemies of all humanity, the enemies of life itself. Compromisers are the enemies of everything important, sacred, and true.
    • "Am I the NRA?" collected in Lever Action (2001) and republished online in 2007[7].
  • Gun ownership is a problem, not because it represents any physical danger to [the IRS]. Americans have proven dismayingly forbearing in that regard. But people who own guns often look at the world differently than those who don't. That's the real danger to social and political parasites. Roughly 25% of Americans own guns. The number increases each time there's widespread discussion of more gun control - call it what it is: 'victim disarmament'. If the figure ever rises to 50%, I suspect the widespread discussion will be about repealing the 16th Amendment.
    • "Vermont Fudge,"[8] originally published in The Sierra Times 18 March 2002.
  • It is individuals who must be encouraged to undertake the unprecedented - and unprecedentedly profitable - effort to prevent the annihilation of the human race.
    • "How Many Americans Does It Take to Change a Dim Bulb?" Presented to the Second Annual Freedom Summit, Phoenix, Arizona, 12 & 13 October 2002[9].
  • Like the government, corporations must be bound with the chains of the Constitution, and especially of the Bill of Rights.
    • "How Many Americans Does It Take to Change a Dim Bulb?"
  • We must oppose programs that would take food from the mouths of younger generations to buy prescription drugs for old people, and we must do it... for the children.
    • "How Many Americans Does It Take to Change a Dim Bulb?"
  • It's often been observed that the first casualty of war is the truth. But that's a lie, too, in its way. The reality is that, for most wars to begin, the truth has to have been sacrificed a long time in advance.
    • "Empire of Lies" Presented to the Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 15 June 2003[10].
  • Thanks to guys like Boss Tweed, famous for saying, 'I don't give a damn who does the voting, as long as I do the nominating,' there hasn't been an honest election in the USA since sometime around the War Between the States.
    • "Libertarians: The Connies Speak Out (Part Two),"[11] 2 October 2005.
  • To politicians, solved problems represent a dire threat — of unemployment and poverty. That's why no problem ever tackled by the government has ever been solved. What they want is lots of problems they can promise to solve, so that we'll keep electing them — or letting them keep their jobs in a bureaucracy metastasizing like cancer.
    • "Of Pharaohs and Firearms"[12].
  • I grew up in the Bible Belt — not the buckle end, as the cliche goes, but the other end where all the holes are. You know what kind of holes. I don't mean to underestimate them, but if you laugh at these idiots enough — show them up as the phonies most of them are — they'll go away.
    I'm concerned about another kind of religious fundamentalism: environmentalism. The Greenies have no more respect for scientific truth and individual liberty than the Goddies do. Both operate on faith, rather than fact. And neither of them has any qualms about dusting off the rack, the pincers, the Iron Maiden, and the red hot branding irons in order to see their mythology ensconced as beyond question.
    • Interview, Ari Armstrong, "Catching Up with L. Neil Smith," [13] 7 December 2006.
  • We're all a bunch of badminton birdies who just got batted from the Republican side of the court to the Democrat side. We'll eventually get batted back again, of course, unless libertarians can manage to do something about it. If your principal concern, like mine, is freedom, there's absolutely no discernable difference between the two 'majors,' and for all practical purposes, they're one big party — the Boot On Your Neck party — pretending to be two.
    • Interview, Ari Armstrong, "Catching Up with L. Neil Smith".
  • The Bill of Rights must be subjected to no 'interpretation' of any kind except in terms of the original intent of the Founding Fathers, a group of individuals who had just barely defeated the most overbearing, ruthless, and dangerously violent government in the history of the world. Even the British people were having trouble with it at the time.
    The Bill of Rights represents an historic bargain between those who advocated a strong central government — and whose political ideas and wishes are expressed in the main body of the Constitution — and those who did not. Without the Bill of Rights, the Constitution ceases to be valid; any legitimate authority that derives from it ceases to exist.
    • "Toward an International Bill of Rights Union,"[14] 31 August 2007.
  • As we all know, socialism failed. At the height of its popularity it caused widespread starvation and deprivation, wrecking whole economies wherever it was applied. It inspired childish, petulant dictators — ideologues who were eager to do anything except give up an idea that didn’t work — to put millions against the wall and send millions more to places like Siberia because the people couldn’t (the dictators said 'wouldn’t') gladly transmogrify themselves into New Collectivist Mankind, or whatever the slogan was at the time. In the end, it finally destroyed the most enormous empire history had ever known.
    • "New Maps of Bulgaria,"[15] 26 October 2007.
  • We live in times of wonderful technology and crappy politics. The task before us now is not to let the latter destroy the former.
    • "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Des Moines,"[16] 29 June 2008.
  • ...[T]ry not to be too angry or disappointed with your fellow Americans. Most of them don't care about politics as much as the majority of my readers, and the education they have received about it from the government's public school system is nothing more than a septic tank full of warmed-over self-serving statist lies and leftist propaganda.
    • "Only Nixon,"[17] 9 November 2008.
  • Barack Obama is the pampered pet of Chicago gangsters. He is good buddies with a murderous African dictator. And his wacko leftist academic background evokes memories of the style of sideways thinking that inspired the death marches in Cambodia.
    The man burns to have a private army all his own. During the election campaign, he threatened to create a 'domestic security force' as large and well-funded as the entire U.S. military, just the thing to send door-to-door (as the police attempted in the Chicago projects) searching for privately-owned weapons. Sure enough, the very first item to appear on his website www.change.org following the election was a proposal to require 'mandatory community service' — 50 hours a year from junior high school and high school students, 100 hours from those in college — or the individuals in question needn't expect to graduate.
    • "Only Nixon".
  • Over the years, I've made a lot of predictions that have come true. Remember this one: two years from now, even those who supported Barack Obama most enthusiastically will be feeling a certain nostalgia about George W. Bush and secretly wishing they'd voted for John McCain.
    Yeah, I know, disgusting. But that's the way the world works. Nobody alive today would willingly admit to voting for Adolf Hitler, although the third or fourth worst mass-murderer in history (behind Mao Tse Tung, Joseph Stalin, and, on a per capita basis, Pol Pot) won by a landslide. Once the outrages to come have ended and there are thousands — perhaps even millions — of Obama's crimes to account for, would you want to admit to having voted to make those crimes possible?
    • "Only Nixon".
  • Socialism is, among other things, the political habitat of low self-esteem, incompetence, self-loathing, and a willingness to steal – or have stolen for you — what you are unable or unwilling to work for. Socialism is a philosophy fit only for slugs, leaches, and mosquitoes.
    • "Alice Shrugged,"[18] 18 December 2008.
  • Most libertarians agree that all rights are, in effect, property rights, beginning with this fundamental right to self-ownership and control of one's own life. As owners of their own lives, individuals are completely free to do absolutely anything they wish with them — provided, of course, that it doesn't violate the identical right of others — whether the people around them approve of what they do or not.
    • (with Rylla Cathryn Smith) What Libertarians Believe, "Introduction: The Zero Aggression Principle,"[19] 4 January 2009.
  • A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation.
    Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.
    • (with Rylla Cathryn Smith) What Libertarians Believe, "Introduction: The Zero Aggression Principle".
  • Conventional politicians almost never think their philosophy through and set it down for everyone to examine. In most cases, they don't dare. Republicans would soon discover that they're actually socialists. Democrats would discover that they're actually fascists.
    • (with Rylla Cathryn Smith) What Libertarians Believe, "Introduction: The Zero Aggression Principle".
  • Ask yourself this question: if you were one of America's Founders, and you'd just surprised the world (and yourself) by winning a war of secession against the most powerful and heavy-handed government on the planet, and the last thing in the world you wanted for yourself, for your children, or for your grandchildren was to fall beneath the heels of its jackboots again, what would you want the Bill of Rights to mean?
    And if the first act, under martial law, of that powerful, heavy-handed government had been to try to take your guns away at Lexington and Concord, would you have written a Second Amendment to guarantee its 'right' to own and carry weapons? Would you have written a Second Amendment that was subject to whatever government claims is 'reasonable regulation'? Or would you have written the Second Amendment to forbid government from having anything to do with your guns?
    Anything whatever.
    • "Police Reform,"[20] 11 January 2009.
  • Politicians must be taught, in no uncertain terms, that the only real way to economically 'stimulate' the Productive Class is to stop stealing their fucking money! If the government announced a total tax amnesty, as well as a complete, permanent end to individual and corporate taxes — repealing all unconstitutional economic regulations would help, too — this depression would be over by the end of the week.
    • "Collectivism's Last Stand,"[21] 18 January 2009.
  • Government is doing the exact opposite of what really needs to be done. George Bush and Barack Obama have pumped trillions more in counterfeit currency and credit into an economy already deathly ill from such treatment. If it goes on, we stand to suffer hyperinflation (all inflation consists of, no matter what they told you in Economics 101, is government generation of phony money) followed by another, very possibly terminal depression. Before it's over, the country — if not the whole world — will be locked down under brutal military rule, and our species likely will never again know freedom, progress, or prosperity.
    • "The Unnecessary Depression,"[22] 1 February 2009.
  • Taxes are a barbaric remnant of ancient times in which early farmers, tied to the land, no longer able to roam freely, unable to fight back with awkward agricultural tools the way they once could with hunting implements, became victims, first, of itinerant plunderers, then of bandits settling down beside them to become the governments we know today.
    • "The Unnecessary Depression".
  • All real libertarians are dedicated to the eventual elimination of all taxes. That's one way you can tell them from the fakes. If anyone asks what government will run on, tell them it's not our problem. If they can create a 'government' that doesn't initiate force and steal from us, that doesn't break things and kill people in the enforcement of the will of parasites, that doesn't subsist by beating individuals up and killing them, they're welcome to try. Just leave us out of it altogether.
    • "The Unnecessary Depression".
  • I have long argued that we need to reopen Alcatraz to house government criminals, and let tourists on excursion boats in San Francisco Bay pay to chum the water with meat with an expired sell-by date that would otherwise have to be discarded.
    • "It Has to Cost Them Something," [23] 8 February 2009.
  • One of the nastiest aspects of the 'no-fly list' — and believe it or not, its authors are proud of this part — is that you can't find out whether you're on it until you've paid for your ticket and are standing in line to get your boarding pass. Denied the service that you paid for, to my knowledge there is no way to get your money back. Nor is there any way to find out why you're on the list, or how you can get off. It is known that civil rights advocates of various kinds have been placed on the list, apparently because they're civil rights advocates.
    • "It Has to Cost Them Something".
  • Just about everybody in politics has something to hide. The higher they rise in the system, the more skeletons they have stuffed in their closets. And as we have all come to appreciate, this goes double — or perhaps even squared — for politicos who got their start in Chicago. And because the system no longer cares about our rights (to the extent it ever did) we can no longer focus solely on issues related to them, but must cast about more widely to ensnare and defeat the enemies of liberty.
    • "It Has to Cost Them Something".
  • I have a recurring daymare that when the Glorious People's SWAT Teams smash their way in, most of us — by which I mean members of the general freedom movement — will be caught flatfooted, sitting in our underwear behind our computer monitors, guzzling Jolt and gorging on Cheetos, while arguing with our friends and enemies online about immigration or abortion, two of the issues that the Lefties know they can always rely on to keep that general freedom movement divided and powerless.
    • "Pushing Rope,"[24] 15 February 2009.
  • I do know enough about economics — and so do you — to understand that the 'stimulus program' of Barack Obama and his ravenous parasitic hordes, supposedly designed to 'repair' America's broken economy, reveals him to be unimaginably stupid, gibberingly insane, or simply the biggest, most barefaced criminal thug ever to occupy the White House.
    And that's saying a lot.
    • "A Little Austrian Flea,"[25] 1 March 2009.
  • Only someone as puffed up and demented as John Maynard Keynes, every left wing fascist's sainted mentor in this connection, could manage to convince himself that taxing America's Productive Class can restore it to prosperity. In point of fact, it's like screwing for chastity, guzzling alcohol for sobriety, or gorging to fight gluttony. It's like killing indiscriminately for peace — oops, Democrats, Republicans and their moral and spiritual ilk have devoutly believed that particular bit of perverse nonsense since at least the War of 1812.
    • "A Little Austrian Flea".
  • The trouble is with socialism, which resembles a form of mental illness more than it does a philosophy. Socialists get bees in their bonnets. And because they chronically lack any critical faculty to examine and evaluate their ideas, and because they are pathologically unwilling to consider the opinions of others, and most of all, because socialism is a mindset that regards the individual — and his rights — as insignificant, compared to whatever the socialist believes the group needs, terrible, terrible things happen when socialists acquire power.
    • "Cambodian Road Trip,"[26] 15 March 2009.
  • It seems that Wikipedia.com, that splendid source for all kinds of information, is no longer dedicated to the truth, assuming it ever was.
    Individuals who have tried to edit the pages about Barack Obama — to reflect the incontrovertible fact that he is not God, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, or Ronald Reagan — report that their contributions have vanished within minutes of posting them, and that they, themselves, have been suspended for three days following each 'infraction'.
    When some sort of official at Wikipedia was contacted about this, she stonewalled, claiming that this censorship was the work of 'volunteers', implying they were somehow beyond control of Wikipedia itself.
    Like the Red Guard and the Khmer Rouge were 'volunteers'.
    • "Announcifications From Your Publicatorialist: Wikipedia, Missouri, and Ceres,"[27]
      15 March 2009.
  • Many individuals spend a considerable portion of their lifetimes in terror of one imagined catastrophe or another. The classic is that your immortal soul will be consigned to eternal torment in the never-ending subterranean barbecue if you fail to follow the whacky edicts of one particular set of puckered dogwhistles or another. You may recall from the great movie Strange Days that a "dogwhistle" is a guy whose asshole is so tight that when he farts, only dogs can hear him.
    • "The Bad Guys,"[28] 28 April 2009.
  • Nobody would claim that America has never made mistakes, never failed to live up to its own rhetoric. Nothing in the universe is perfect. There isn’t a nation anywhere on the planet whose record for slavery and slaughter isn’t worse. What the British did to the Irish and the Scots would have had their leaders doing the hemp dance right along with the Nazis at Nuremberg. And even the Swiss thought it was acceptable to inflict unspeakable cruelties on Gypsies and their children.
    The difference, for better or worse, is that America never seems to stop examining and reexamining its historical failures, while other countries do their damnedest to sweep theirs under the rug and forget them.
    • "Wanna Buy a Future?"[29] 2 June 2009.
  • "Global Warming" represents the last gasp of so-called "scientific progressivism", a mass of pitifully transparent falsehoods being employed to justify reducing mankind under the absolute despotism of "experts", the obvious implication being that we can’t even breathe responsibly. Environmentalism, Gaianism, is a religion on the basis of which — illegally under the First Amendment — public policy is being generated. Exhaling carbon dioxide is Original Sin, a reliable source of unlimited power and wealth to a Parasitic Class of politicians, bureaucrats, and cops with which our civilization now finds itself infested.
    • "Wanna Buy a Future?"
  • There’s a big difference between keeping the peace, which is something folks do pretty well themselves, and enforcing the law, which is another thing altogether.
    • Ceres, Chapter Fourteen[30], 2009.
  • Economists tell us that the 'price' of an object and its 'value' have very little or nothing to do with one another. 'Value' is entirely subjective — economic value, anyway — while 'price' reflects whatever a buyer is willing to give up to get the object in question, and whatever the seller is willing to accept to give it up. Both are governed by the Law of Marginal Utility, which is actually a law of psychology, rather than economics. For government to attempt to dictate a 'fair price' betrays complete misunderstanding of the entire process.
    • Ceres, Chapter Eighteen[31], 2009.
  • The War on Drugs is over. Drugs won. It's time to stop wasting money, destroying lives, grinding up the Bill of Rights, and giving greater and greater power to the jackbooted thugs, in an unnecessary and futile attempt to enforce one group's ideas about what chemicals and vegetables some other group ought to manufacture, cultivate, distribute, purchase, possess, and consume. Repeal the drug laws, and prices will drop a thousandfold, driving most participants out of the business.
    • "The Brontosaurus in the Broom Closet".
  • Any politico who's afraid of his constituents being armed, should be. Leaders of the anti-gun movement (for the most part, politicians who enthusiastically advocate confiscatory taxation and government control of everything) realize that a populace is much easier to herd, loot — and dispose of — if it has been stripped of its weapons. The naked fraud and transparent fascism of victim disarmament must be eradicated through the repeal of all gun laws at every level of government.
    • "The Brontosaurus in the Broom Closet".
  • We must agree right now that the Bill of Rights takes precedence over everything else and may not be suppressed by a pall of political correctness on campuses, in the media, in corporate life, or anywhere else. There is no right not to be offended by the free expression of others. Those of us who can afford it should sue those who try to deprive us of our freedom of speech. Mine is worth at least ten figures.
    • "Revenge of the Cookie Monster"[33] 31 January 2010.
  • Most of us agree that the United Nations is the vanguard of a foreign invasion and must be driven from our shores. LiberalismProgressivism — all forms of left wing collectivism, are equally alien to the Founders' America and must be extirpated, root and branch, laughter and derision being the most effective weapons. Look at the way they have reduced Hillary Clinton to an insignificant greasy spot on the pages of history, turned Albert Gore into an object of merriment, and are accomplishing the same for Barry and Micky Obama.
    • "Revenge of the Cookie Monster".
  • If conservatives really believed in individual liberty, as they endlessly claim — and if they used both halves of their brains — then they'd be libertarians. Instead, they sabotage themselves, and their cause, by constantly generating one spurious reason after another to deprive other people of their freedom.
    • "Revenge of the Cookie Monster".
  • Just as liberalism is the main force that drives conservatism and maintains its popularity in some quarters, conservatism is the reason liberalism continues to enjoy the traction that it does in our poor civilization.
    • "Revenge of the Cookie Monster".
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives reports that there are 250,000,000 privately-owned guns of all kinds in America. The firearms industry says that there are three times that number — three quarters of a billion guns — 'of modern design in good working order'. Americans are better heeled than most foreign armies.
    And that's exactly the way it should be.
    • "Tastes Like Chicken"[35] 28 March 2010.
  • I always said that in a country where a legislature, its sessions limited by statute, could alter reality by turning back the clock (I actually saw this done, once, with a long pole pushing on the hour hand), any travesty was possible. I see nothing lately to prove me wrong.
    • "Tastes Like Chicken".
  • For the Second Amendment to do its job, the other side must become much better informed. I watched an action-adventure program last night that asserted that the famous AK-47 — the original peoples' rifle (and Authority's greatest mistake) — is rare in this country, and that the only ones here were originally smuggled in from the Middle East, or possibly from South America. The idiots who wrote this mess seemed unaware that after legal imports — mostly from China — were illegally cut off by executive order, they began to be manufactured here.
    • "Tastes Like Chicken".
  • Our early ancestors in Africa were arboreal troop-monkeys, living on a diet of fruit (to quote Yogi Bear, 'Nuts and berries! Nuts and berries! Yech!') and insects. When you wander around the house, not particularly hungry, but looking for something to munch on idly, what you are most likely seeking unconsciously are bugs. Most of our most popular snack foods (Fiddle-Faddle comes to mind, and small pretzels) resemble and have the same 'mouth feel' as bugs. You can take the monkey out of the trees, but you can't take the tree monkey out of humanity.
    • "Back to the Trees!"[36] 11 April 2010.
  • I suspect that our ancestors adapted to bipedalism for the view above the level of the grass, as much as for anything else. Later, they discovered that they could carry things if they remained upright.
    Change of posture brought other changes. Notice, for example, that human beings court face-to-face. Then they marry and see each other mostly in profile for the rest of their lives. But see each other they do, while animals, at least judging from my cats, hardly ever look one another in the face. Ultimately, I believe that eye contact changed everything.
    • "Back to the Trees!"
  • Socialism, whether it's the 'soft tyranny' of the EuroAmerican management state or the murderously repressive forms taken by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot, is all about disindividuation, a steady, relentless erasure of the individual differences among us, everything that makes us who we are. 'Everybody in, nobody out!' is the marching mantra of militant collectivized medicine, but it accurately describes all other aspects of collectivism, as well. No alternatives allowed, no choices, no individualism, no individuality, and ultimately, no individuation.
    • "Back to the Trees!"
  • There's nothing noble or selfless about politicians and there never has been. Putting it charitably, Profiles in Courage is a compendium of Democratic mythology, ghostwritten for an ambitious young Massachusetts Senator who never did a thing for himself if he could pay to have it done by others.
    • "Pursuing Invariably the Same Object"[37] 18 April 2010.
  • Make no mistake, the Democrats are socialists (Republicans are, too, but that's another story). Socialism is the doctrine that the wants and needs of the group come before the rights of the individual. The fact is, over its 180-odd years, socialism has failed abjectly everywhere it's been tried, in country after country, and most people are now aware of it. This is the last shot socialists are ever going to get before history finally closes the door on them forever, and the hysteria of their actions during the past two years proves they know it.
    • "Pursuing Invariably the Same Object".
  • Of all the groups that sometimes claim to own your life, family is the hardest to defend your individual sovereignty from.
    • "To Reduce Them Under Absolute Despotism"[38] 2 May 2010.
  • Conservatives — Republicans — are socialists.
    True, they may desire to hold you down atop the stone altar and cut your still-beating heart out with an obsidian knife for a set of entirely different reasons — national security, Judaeo-Christian traditions, 'common' decency — than the liberals or 'progressives' or Democrats do, but to you, the important part is cutting your heart out with an obsidian knife, not whatever excuse they may offer for doing it.
    This is why, no matter which political party happens to be in power, ordinary people — whose thinking and hard work maintain this civilization each and every day — never seem to get an even break with regard to their individual liberty or holding onto the fruits of their labor. It's why the late philosopher Robert LeFevre referred to Democrats and Republicans as 'Socialist Party A' and 'Socialist Party B'.
    • "To Reduce Them Under Absolute Despotism".
  • Other common names for fascism are 'crony capitalism', 'state capitalism', 'corporate socialism' and 'mercantilism'. Sometimes members of the mercantile class become partners with the state and, in certain circumstances, even end up controlling it. The whole thing looks like a different system than ordinary socialism until you apply the ethical definition. What's more important in a fascist society, the needs and wants of the group, or the rights of the individual? As Mr. Spock once famously observed (in the original James Blish novel Spock Must Die), 'a difference that makes no difference is no difference.'
    • "To Reduce Them Under Absolute Despotism".
  • A border is a completely imaginary line on a paper or cybernetic map that has no genuine counterpart in the real world. Do not mistake it for a property line. It is possible, in some instances, for a border to be congruent with a property line, but they are not the same thing at all. One represents the geographical limit of a military and political claim to authority over a given territory. The other is part of the description of something — in this case, land — lawfully owned by an individual or a voluntary and contractual association of individuals.
    • "Only Nixon"[39] 16 May 2010.
  • Even if drugs are fully as destructive as they are usually claimed to be, it is morally wrong — and demonstrably more destructive — for government to deprive people of their unalienable, individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to make an utter mess of their own lives. Since human beings are inclined to learn more from the mistakes they make, rather than from their triumphs, the right to fail, for individuals and groups alike, may be even more important than the right to succeed, and it must be fiercely protected at almost any cost.
  • Importantly, there is nothing in the Constitution — by which, under Article 6, Section 2, officials at every level of government are obligated to abide — that authorizes the banning of any substance or enforcing that ban with the threat of injury, incarceration, or death. The lawful powers of the federal government are enumerated in Article 1, Section 8, and they do not include forbidding drugs or any other substance. Politicians early in the 20th century understood this, and passed a Constitutional amendment allowing them to outlaw alcohol. No such amendment has ever been passed, or even proposed, with regard to drugs.
  • America didn't have a drug problem before it passed drug laws.
  • Many individuals in government don't seem to understand the laws of economics. Most of them — aside from those in Congress — seem to be concentrated in the area of 'drug enforcement'. They often brag at news conferences that their interception of drugs between producer and consumer has raised the 'street value' of the drugs, meaning that the drugs are now scarcer than they were. What these statists stubbornly refuse to acknowledge is that this only increases the market incentive to cash in on those higher prices by making up for the artificial scarcity.
  • Repealing drug laws would remove the risks involved with producing and distributing drugs, bringing 'street prices' crashing down (it's estimated that a 'spoon' of heroin would cost about a quarter in the free market), thereby eradicating any incentive that criminals might have to compete with legitimate businesses, and greatly reducing — if not eliminating altogether — any economic reason to 'push' drugs on children.
  • Despite the Internet's origin in the late 1960s as a government sponsored means of communication between the Department of Defense, private industry, and academia, it has been at its best — and generated the greatest economic, social, and technological benefits — since it was 'liberated' by the hordes of 'geeks' who were originally hired to run it by employers who were not themselves conversant with computers, and couldn't tell when their employees were exchanging official traffic or trading dirty jokes and recipes for marijuana brownies.
    • "Keep Your Filthy Hands Off The Internet"[41] 20 June 2010.
  • The quintessential exercise of free speech in a culture supposedly built on that concept and dedicated to it, the Internet's development is as historically important to humanity — perhaps even more so — as Gutenberg's invention of the printing press.
    • "Keep Your Filthy Hands Off The Internet" 20 June 2010.
  • Possibly worst of all, from the standpoint of the dedicated enemies of freedom, the Internet is a world that libertarians — having been marginalized for three decades by the establishment media — have made their own, almost without effort. It's an alternative reality (unlike 'meat-space' we live in) in which — exactly like intelligence, bravery, or virtue — the human capacity for violence is not additive, and in which it's impossible to initiate force against anybody.
    • "Keep Your Filthy Hands Off The Internet" 20 June 2010.
  • The only hope we have is the Internet.
    We must strive to keep it free.
    • "Keep Your Filthy Hands Off The Internet" 20 June 2010.
  • Corporations are properly associated with mercantilism, rather than capitalism. Mercantilism is a system under which government grants special status to one or more company at the expense of its competitors. The British East India Company, for example, possessed an exclusive, royally-granted 'right' to conduct trade between India and China, on the one hand, and the British Empire for more than 250 years.
    Private capitalism, by contrast, is a system under which various enterprises compete in the marketplace by offering the highest quality goods and services they can, at the lowest possible prices. Progress occurs as individuals and companies strive to raise quality and lower prices.
    • "Corporations, Mercantilism, and Capitalism,"[42] 27 June 2010.
  • If I were Osama, and the United States government were actually looking for me, I'd be clean-shaven by now, crewcutted, wearing jeans and a ZZ Top T-shirt, and living in a nice little house in Lincoln, Nebraska.
    • "Enquiring Minds and the Oil War,"[43] 11 July 2010.
  • Incidentally, the next time some war-mongering wise-ass tries to tell you that one reason we're in the middle east is to enhance the civil rights and social equality of women, remind them that we very enthusiastically destroyed the most secular country over there, where women could dress as they liked, have good jobs, be literate, and vote.
    • "Enquiring Minds and the Oil War," 11 July 2010.
  • You must understand that terrorists, although they may ultimately derive their financial resources or other assets from a government or governments, are theoretically stateless themselves — they're rather like international corporations, in their way — because they reject the idea of a state, they don't wish to be controlled by a state, they have had their state taken away from them or destroyed, they have been denied a chance to create a state of their own, or they were created to provide some government somewhere with what's called 'credible deniability'.
    When individuals not affiliated with a national government commit violent acts, they are — and ought to be dealt with as — criminals, nothing more and certainly nothing less. Rather than indiscriminately destroy entire nations full of innocent people in retaliation for the criminal behavior of a few, guilty individuals should be pursued and either killed, or captured, tried, and on conviction, appropriately punished.
    • "Enquiring Minds and the Oil War," 11 July 2010.
  • ...the miserable specimens who call themselves 'liberals' are really conservatives: they're desperately — even hysterically — defending a welfare-warfare kleptocracy that is now at least four generations old, against growing numbers of us (unlike Republicans, who seem to become more ignorant with every passing year) who have actually managed to learn something from history and are struggling to dismantle said kleptocracy.
    • "A Matter of Definition,"[44] 8 August 2010.

  • The Bill of Rights isn't about us, it's about them. It isn't a list of things we're permitted to do, it's a list of things they aren't allowed even to consider.
    • "To Hell With Public Schools," [45] 13 May 2012.

  • A lot is said, by foreigners and the left, about America being a violent society. Yet if you subtract the crime statistics for its largest cities — places that have been under the strict political control of so-called "progressives", sometimes for many generations — what remains, the real America, is the most peaceful, productive, prosperous, and truly progressive civilization in all of human history.
    • "In Praise of Social Benefactors," [46] 18 August 2013.

  • The Bill of Rights was, unfortunately misnamed. It was not a list of things Americans were allowed too do, under the Constitution. It was and remains a list of things government is absolutely forbidden to do — like set up a state religion, or steal your house — under any circumstances.
    The Bill of Rights was the make-or-break condition that allowed the Constitution to be ratified. No Bill of Rights, no Constitution. And since all political authority in America "trickles down" from the Constitution, no Constitution no government. And, since the Bill of Rights was passed as a unit, a single breach, in any one of the ten articles, breaches them all and with them, the entire Constitution. Every last bit of the authority that derives from it becomes null and void.
    Let's review:
    No Second Amendment, no Bill of Rights.
    No Bill of Rights, no Constitution.
    No Constitution, no government.
    • "The Deal," [47] 1 December 2013.
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