Freedom's Phoenix – "Uncovering the Secrets and Exposing the Lies"


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By: L. Neil Smith

The question before us, as I understand it, is what will it be like on the other side, not of this plane of existence, but after we finally get rid every political threat to our lives, liberty, and

Psychologist Nathaniel Branden once asked a libertarian gathering
-- a group who had spent most of their lives fighting for freedom -- a
similar question: come the revolution, assuming its successful
conclusion, will you have anything else worthwhile to do with your
life? As a writer, I knew what I would do, although the topics might

I never know, whenever I write articles like this one, whether my
readers will be aware that I'm principally a novelist, a science
fiction writer to be exact. Over the past 33 years, I've written about
that number of books, specializing in stories about the libertarian

I do not write stories like 1984 or Brave New World, bitching
about how rotten things are or will probably get, unless a sliver of
that kind of stuff provides necessary contrast or helps to set up the

I do not write stories about anti-authoritarian revolutions, like
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress or If This Goes On ... " because it's
not what I want my books to be about. Revolutions are all pretty much
similar to one another, even though no two are exactly alike. I don't
want to write war stories or about people hunkering down in cellars,
plotting sabotage over candles guttering in empty wine bottles. I
don't even care much for offerings like Serendipity (now the truth
can be told), because an evil government still has the good guys on the

I believe in the eventual inefficacy of evil. The Soviet Union
collapsed of its own rotten weight, not because Ronald the Great told
them to, and Hitler's empire of depravity would have, too. I greatly
prefer to write about well-matured, stable, successful libertarian
societies, long steeped in peace, freedom, progress, and prosperity,
so that I can examine in detail how such an enterprise might actually

One thing I know for certain about this former Utopia: things
can't go on the way they have, with one stupid, crooked, or insane
glorious leader after another, pretending to sail the "ship of state"
safely through the perilously narrow gap between the Scylla of
socialism and the Charybdis of fascism -- only to discover, when it's
too late, that there is no gap, that they are exactly the same thing,
and that the keel has been broken on the rocks of political illusion.
The one bright spot is that more and more folks seem to understand

Regardless of how we get there, the society to be desired (we're
not talking about anything political here, but about a culture, a
civilization, bound by customs, rather than by laws) will be easily
recognizable by certain core characteristics that it may arrive at all
together, or over a span of time, by any one of a number of avenues. I
calculate that there are seven, which I present here in no particular

First, it will stringently observe the Zero Aggression Principle,
or something like it, which holds that nobody (including government,
to the extent that we permit it to exist) has a right, under any
circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any

Second, it will employ something -- perhaps several somethings --
of genuine, intrinsic value for money, something that can't be faked,
forged, or counterfeited by government or any other such rapacious

Third, it will leave the very basis of civilization, private
property (including intellectual property) absolutely unmolested, and
refrain from taking property or money from anybody to give to somebody
else. In fact, there must be no taxation of any kind for any reason

Fourth, it will encourage individuals to be adequately armed, to
deter both freelance criminals and those representing themselves as
government. Crime will be a legend of a past young people will not
believe. Nor can there be any limits on what people own and carry
beyond the indiscriminate destruction forbidden by the Zero Aggression

Fifth, it will recognize no "legal fictions", particularly that of
corporate personhood, but insist on holding genuine individuals fully
responsible for their own trespasses, as well as those of their

Sixth, it will not interfere in relationships of any kind between
consenting adults, nor define or categorize those relationships in any

Seventh, people will be free to educate their children any way they

Above all, a genuinely free society will be easily recognizable
because it will be a great pleasure to wake up every morning just to
see what new opportunity or wonder the world is going to present us

We are not entirely without a place to start. The great 19th
century abolitionist and Constitutional lawyer Lysander Spooner
famously held that the United States Constitution was invalid, null
and void, and "of no authority" because none of those individuals who
had signed it was still alive, and because no right exists, under any
just system, to bind one's heirs and successors in perpetuity to any
contract, social or otherwise, without their specific, informed

Spooner was right about contracts, but he was dead wrong about the
Constitution, which is a valid political contract between those who
have consented to it over the centuries, by pledging to uphold and
defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The Constitution
isn't binding on me or anybody else who hasn't taken such an oath, but
it is on every politician, bureaucrat, policeman, soldier, sailor, and

Perhaps the place to begin, getting from here to there, is to hold
all those people to the terms of their oath, and prosecuting those --
like every officeholder who advocates victim disarmament -- who betray
it. At first our attempts will be rejected as the State defends its
own, but eventually some cynical somebody will perceive that there is
something to be gained by arresting and putting these criminals on

And we'll be off to the races.

In the end, what happens "on the other side" of this epic struggle
for individual liberty we're engaged in is entirely up to you. The law
-- even the highest law of the land -- cannot enforce itself, and
those who expect it to, or who criticize it because it can't, are

But ... Bloomberg behind bars -- sounds kinda catchy, doesn't it? 
L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of 33 freedom-oriented
books, including The Probability Broach, Ceres, Sweeter Than
, and  DOWN WITH POWER: Libertarian Policy In A Time Of Crisis.

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