More Political Science

by L. Neil Smith

Thu, 21 Mar 1996 14:41:03 -0700

Dear NOBAN (and especially Jim):

         I've been offline for the past several days, struggling to complete my current novel within the next few weeks, before my publisher sends somebody to break my legs -- "but never the typing fingers", they're always quick to add.
         What little I've read of traffic on the list leads me to see something I haven't seen before: that many of us, discussing our values and goals -- and the field on which they must be fought for and won -- aren't speaking the same language. So I decided to steal a moment from Bretta Martyn and TOR Books (don't tell my editor!) to try establishing some kind of common basis for future action ...
         I don't know what you think politics is. Too often we act as if the professionals we're dealing with on both sides have the same desire we do to be fair or logical or decent. They don't. Believe me, I've been around, and I can number the exceptions on the fingers of one elbow. To understand the nature of the political process, you must first understand the nature of politicians themselves, who are a lot like the not-quite-yet-evolved protein-string entities swimming the vile organic soup of the Precambrian Era.
         The schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders we encounter in life (not to exclude the doles and armeys and gingriches and gramms) simply slither from one affinity to any other, from one attachment to any other, from one bonding to any other, without anything resembling higher principles embedded in their primitive neural nets and ganglia. The schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders are guided by absolutely nothing but the chemistry of the moment.
         The schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders don't believe in anything -- and always poke nervous fun at people who do. The schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders don't stand up for anything -- and are mortally afraid of anyone who does. The schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders aren't motivated by anything except a churning, acidic hatred of everything and everybody -- most especially including themselves -- and a compensatory psychopathology that leaves them with an unquenchable appetite for raw, naked power.
         You can't persuade the schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders of anything. The facts, any appeal to what's right, are insufficient to penetrate the stinking miasma of mental and emotional sickness that they carry with them and spread wherever they go. They want to run your life -- they desperately need to run your life -- and they aren't interested in anything that interferes with that.
         You can't bargain with the schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders. In order to make up for the fundamental inadequacy of their character, they struggle, each and every day, to be able see you as far, far beneath them. (They have to, just to keep from blowing their own brains out in self-disgust.) And who, they tell themselves, feels obliged tp keep promises of convenience made to a garden slug?
         It's extraordinarily difficult to dislodge the schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders through any conventional political effort: that process is the sewer they swim through, every day, and they know it vastly better than you ever will. What's more, any conventional politician you decide to rely on to defeat them is likely to turn out to be a whole lot more like the schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders -- and to share their vital interests and lack of genuine substance -- than he is to be like you.
         Or your own people, in a misguided and always unproductive effort to become "pragmatic" and "practical" may begin imitating the schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders, invariably by throwing out all of the pesky principles that have been "slowing us down" or "getting in our way" -- and with them, all the reasons you started fighting to begin with. We're having problems like that in the Libertarian Party right now, with what I've called "Nerf Libertarians", and I don't know how it's going to turn out. You may end up hearing about "The Real Libertarian Party (TM)".
         All I know is that I will never, never, never give up. I've been doing this for 34 years, and although I have no regrets for myself, I don't want my daughter having to battle like this all of her life, too. I'd much rather she did something real, like digging up dinosaurs with a phaser, or flying to the asteroids on photon sails, and never have to give politics a thought. Because I've helped to make a world where it's safe never giving poltics a thought.
         But where was I? Oh, yeah: you can't put the schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders away in a cell somewhere -- yet.
         All you can do is rearrange life so that the schumers and waxmen and clintons and schroeders (not to exclude the doles and armeys and gingriches and gramms) can't hurt anybody any more, basically because there isn't anything for anybody to vote on. In short, we need a politics-free America. A schumer, waxman, clinton and schroeder-free America. And that, more or less, is what political Libertarianism is all about, as far asI'm concerned, and what makes us different from Band X and Brand Y.
         Just thought you'd like to know.


L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of 19 books including The Probability Broach, The Crystal Empire, Henry Martyn, The Lando Calrissian Adventures, Pallas, and (forthcoming) Bretta Martyn and Lever Action. An NRA Life Member and founder of the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus, he has been active in the Libertarian movement for 34 years and is its most prolific and widely-published living novelist.

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