Dealing With Your Alien
By J. Neil Schulman, D.oC
Dedication: To Be Figured Out Later
The idea for this book came to me in a dream I had early this morning, November 6, 2016, the Sunday just before the presidential election between Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Yes, I know some people will be voting for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Green presidential candidate Jill Stein. Yes, I know some people who are eligible to vote in this election will decide not to vote at all. I live in Nevada, which has early voting. I already voted.
In my dream I was talking with Dennis Prager, the radio talk-show host. I was not calling in to his show. I no longer listen to talk radio nor call in to talk-radio shows.
In this dream I had just been a guest on Dennis’s radio show and I was talking to him in the studio parking lot afterwards.
This was not something that ever happened in real life but it’s close to things that happened in my real life.
Back in the 1990’s I was an in-studio guest on Dennis Prager’s radio show.
On one occasion afterwards my parents and I had dinner at Dennis’s house along with his wife Fran and step-daughter Anya, and on another occasion I visited Dennis at home along with my friend and fellow author, Brad Linaweaver. I also ran into Dennis a few times while eating at Souplantation.
In my waking life I haven’t seen or spoken with Dennis in almost two decades. Anya is, however, one of my Facebook friends, although we haven’t written to each other in about a year and a half.
Back to my dream.
In the radio studio parking lot (in my dream) I was discussing with Dennis the important difference between what people said they believed ideologically and how they treated other people in real life.
I’ve spent time hanging around (physically or on line) people who despise welfare and speak out for rugged individualistic capitalism, yet when I’ve been unable to pay my bills have generously given me thousands of dollars with no desire or expectation ever to be repaid.
I’ve spent time hanging around people who consider themselves socialists, progressives, and liberals who have also been generous to me.
I’ve also spent lesser amounts of time hanging around people who consider themselves socialists, progressives, liberals, or rugged individualistic capitalists who wouldn’t give someone a sip of water if they were dying of thirst.
In my experience – I was telling Dennis Prager, in my dream – what people claim they believe is not a reliable predictor for how someone acts in their personal life.
In political discourse – especially in this year’s presidential election – people have said the most awful things not only about the presidential candidates but about their supporters. I, myself, have done this – gleefully. But I’m also confident that while no doubt there are people who would drive by a motorist stranded with their children without stopping because of a bumper sticker for the opposing candidate, there are also people who would ignore the bumper sticker, pull over, and do whatever was needed to render assistance and make them as comfortable as possible.
Why was Dennis Prager in my dream? Maybe it’s because both Dennis Prager and I have frequently quoted Viktor Frankl who wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning:
From all this we may learn that there are two races of men in this world, but only these two — the “race” of the decent man and the “race” of the indecent man. Both are found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society. No group consists entirely of decent or indecent people.
Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist. An older term for this is “alienist.” This older term suggests that study of the inner human finds something inhuman and alien.
Alienigena (Grey Alien) by LeCire
I think that’s true in the sense that the ideas people believe – in politics, in religion, even in what people consider science – constitute an alien influence on human behavior. Ideologies – ideas – act as alien influences on human beings, and to one degree or another separate us from the empathy that allows us to recognize others as fellow humans.
As I started writing this I thought it would take a book to say that.
I now realize it doesn’t.
Once you know that the ideas you believe are standing in the way of your acting like a human being you’ve dealt with your inner Alien, whom you can regard as a body snatcher, a puppet master, or a zombie.
Oh, the “D.oC” after my name means: Drop out — College. I have no degrees.
Later in the day, in response to email:
My article wasn’t about absorbing a set of ideas by joining a party or a religion or a cult. It wasn’t about getting ideas from voices in the head. It was, I suppose, about what Max Stirner called “wheels in the head.”
I’m not identifying the source of the Alien within us as anything other than human nature as a thinking being. Desmond Morris, the zoologist who turned the tools of his primate studies onto homo sapiens in The Naked Ape and The Human Zoo, focused on what behaviors we have in common with the other higher primates, apes and chimpanzees. I’m injecting what both Rand and Korzybski would notice first, that which we don’t have in common with the other primates — intellect.
It’s when we are at our most human — as abstract thinkers — that we invent the State, and War, and Politics — as well as limited government, Bills of Rights, property, and Agorism. Intellect can do both. Intellect may, possibly, invent the religions or ideologies of Good and Evil as Stirner, Nietzsche, and the God-awful Crowley would note.
But Stirner, Nietzsche, and Crowley would all miss what C.S. Lewis taught us about the Tao that precedes any intellectual formulation of codes of ethics or morality. That Good and Evil is perceived, not conceived.
It was the point I was making, mostly directed at my own life’s history, when I wrote the first part of The Heartmost Desire, “Unchaining the Human Heart: A Revolutionary Manifesto.” Autobiographically, the second part of The Heartmost Desire — “I Met God” — came first, but the point I was making (again, mostly to myself) was that human decency does not arise in our species as an intellectual exercise, but in experiencing feelings. I will admit one unresolved issue in my self-examination. I think the feeling of love is not intellectual. I consider the possibility that the feeling of hate requires a base of intellect.
My fellow Americans.
No, wait. This is written also for the unAmerican.
What happens at the polls on November 8, 2016 in the U.S. presidential election simply does not matter.
It’s not unimportant because balloting itself will be tampered with, which is how the media spin it when Donald Trump says the election is rigged.
Uh-uh. The fix is in for the popular voting because both the major political parties and the free press necessary for anything approaching “honest” elections have been corrupted, not allowing for a fair process — for example, not including Libertarian Gary Johnson, a candidate on all 50 state ballots, in the crucial televised debates.
Additionally, none of the cultural traditions that kept debates focused on policy issues exist anymore.
At this moment the media are focused on making the October 18, 2016 final presidential debate mostly about Donald Trump’s sex life.
The major media ignore all the Wikileaks documents from Hillary Clinton and her supporters, just as the Obama/Lynch Justice Department earlier directed the FBI to do.
The Clinton campaign — in coordination with major media — accuse Donald Trump of being paranoid when he talks about their obvious coordination while, simultaneously, Hillary and her supporters talking about Trump conspiring with Putin sound like Robert Welch of the John Birch Society accusing President Dwight Eisenhower of being a Russian stooge.
In a coordinated attack designed to bury Hillary-damaging Wikileaks the major media are obsessing over the endless Clinton-supporters claiming Trump molested them. Liberal/feminist attorney Gloria Allred getting involved is a clear indicator of the set-up.
Then consider the episode of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 18, Episode 6: “Rape Interrupted,” scheduled to air Nov 2, 2016 — six days before the election. Here’s IMDb’s description of “Rape Interrupted”: “A politician’s campaign is jeopardized when several women come forward with damaging accusations.” Such an episode had to be scripted months ago. NBC, the network which aired The Apprentice series and was the employer of Billy Bush, certaintly knew about the Access Hollywood tape for a very long time.
Update/Correction October 26, 2016: The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode I referenced is “Unstoppable” and was originally scheduled to play tonight, two weeks before the November 8th election; as of this writing it has been re-scheduled to play November 16, 2016. — JNS
The coordinated media-smear strategy was simple.
Step One was release of the illegally made Access Hollywood tape. Unless the recording was made with all parties’ explicit consent the taping was illegal under California law. On this private recording Donald Trump bragged to Billy Bush about what a stud The Donald thought he was, even as Trump told Bush a story about a married woman who said no and whom Trump did not have sex with but whom Trump says he ended up taking furniture shopping.
Step Two was when Anderson Cooper relentlessly asked Trump in Debate 2 — interrupting Trump three times to force an answer — if any of the braggadocio on the tape was true. Cooper and his handlers had to know Trump would have no choice but to deny committing anything that could be spun as sexual assaults.
Then in Step Three major media unleashed what the Clintons charmingly called “bimbo eruptions” when it was about Bill Clinton — female accusers.
Nazi Germany’s propaganda master Joseph Goebbels would have been more subtle.
But here’s the ultimate reason the November 8, 2016 election doesn’t really matter.
The American people do not elect the President of the United States the way they elect United States senators, federal, state, and local representatives, governors, mayors, sheriffs, and dog catchers.
The real and only binding presidential election in 2016 takes place on December 19th when the Electoral College votes.
The 538 Electors chosen by voters to cast presidential and vice-presidential ballots in the Electoral College have zero legal obligation to vote for the candidate they’re theoretically pledged to vote for. There is no penalty if they don’t.
If somehow, despite the media’s best efforts, Trump’s November 8th popular vote is like the surprise upset of Great Britain’s Brexit vote and despite media-commissioned polling is greater than Hillary Clinton’s numbers, then changing the Electoral College electors’ vote will be trumpeted as necessary by all major media.
If the electors selected don’t give Hillary Clinton the 270 pledged votes she needs to win I have zero doubt that the Democratic/ liberal/ progressive/ Clintonista/ left would encourage electors pledged to other candidates to come over to them.
Another long-standing American political tradition will be dead.
Republican Elector Roger MacBride taught us the freedom of the Elector in 1972 when he broke his pledge to vote for Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, instead casting his electoral ballot for Libertarians John Hospers and Tonie Nathan.
2012 Electoral College Votes by State
The media is currently so focused on the November 8 balloting they’ve forgotten the popular vote is not how the United States elects its president and vice president.
The Electors of the Electoral College pick the president.
Just because electors have traditionally voted as they have promised in the past means absolutely nothing in the unprecedented presidential election of 2016.
Every instinct tells me that the only people who have to be convinced of anything this time are the electors.
And nobody has even polled them.
Note: After reading the above several correspondents in email and on Facebook have pointed me to articles discussing 34 states that “bind” electors and impose legal penalties (usually fines maxing out at $1000) for “faithless electors.”
First, most legal scholars conclude such laws are unconstitutional and unenforceable, Second, not a felony. Those states usually max out with a $1000 fine — and withdrawing money prematurely from a CD or prematurely switching to an alternate satellite TV or cell phone company usually has the new company picking up the penalty. Out of the 538 electors only several might have to go against their state law and with a 4-4 Supreme Court it’s all politics anyway.
“Indeed, when it comes down to it, electors are ultimately free to vote for whom they personally prefer, despite the general public’s desire.” — Fair Vote — States that Bind Electors
As I wrote in response to an email earlier today:
Party pledges of supporting the party’s nominee were obtained from all primary candidates including Jeb Bush and John Kasich, both of whom reneged on supporting nominee Donald Trump with no party penalty. Such party pledges from electors are likewise meaningless and unenforceable beyond an elector perhaps not being selected again and that’s a big, “So what?”
Fines likewise would be paid by the team acquiring the elector’s vote, just like a new cell phone company offers to pay the remainder of your contract to your old cell phone company if you switch.
Nullification of a “faithless elector’s” vote? That will be decided by a 4-4 Supreme Court — that is, left undecided and the vote left intact.
The first life lesson I had in how a witch hunt works was when I was an elementary student at Center School in Natick, Massachusetts, 41 miles and less than an hour’s drive from Salem. But in my case it wasn’t 1693 but 1963.
Our fifth-grade teacher, Miss Masterson, stepped out of the classroom for a few minutes and we were instructed to remain at our desks. When she returned a pile of books had been pushed off a table at the front of the room onto the floor. Miss Masterson asked the class who did it. The entire class pointed at me, sitting at my desk near the back of the classroom.
I was sent to the office of Principal Paul Wadleigh. For close to an hour Mr. Wadleigh grilled me to get me to confess that I had gone to the front of the classroom and pushed the books onto the floor. I denied it, but with an entire class as witnesses against me, why should he believe me?
Why should the class accuse me if it wasn’t true? I didn’t know.
I didn’t know about anti-Semitism from a classroom full of Protestants and Catholics when I was the only Jewish student in the class, the only student not reciting the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of class.
I knew I was frequently bullied and beat up after school but didn’t know it was because I displayed a vocabulary in class beyond any of the other students. (Two years later the entire Natick K-12 student body was tested for reading level and I had the highest score in the entire system.)
So I was grilled. “Confess!” and I could go back to class and nothing more would be said about it — no punishment.
I would not admit to doing something I had not done and stubbornly pled innocent despite the principal’s plea-bargain offer.
Finally, Principal Wadleigh relented and sent me back to class.
A family member who’s a supporter of Hillary Clinton suggested to me that the reason I defend Donald Trump against his detractors is that I have a soft spot for the underdog. I don’t deny it because the underdogs I defend are the victims of mass hysteria driven by mass media.
I wrote an entire book — The Frame of the Century? — defending one such underdog, O.J. Simpson, who the entire mass madia attacked as a murderer, despite the only evidence and testimony against him in court indicating that he might have been at the crime scene. Could Nicole have called him there with the murderer’s knife at her throat — the murderer intending to use O.J. as his alibi — and Simpson arrived to walk into Nicole’s blood with Nicole already dying or dead? Could Ronald Goldman have seen O.J. standing over Nicole’s body, attacked him, and O.J. picked up the murder knife, stabbing at Ronald Goldman in self-defense?
It could explain all the blood evidence. But what I just wrote is a fictional construct as much as Marcia Clark’s prosecution theory, and just as open to interpretation and skepticism.
I have never seen a shred of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” that O.J. Simpson had a motive to kill his ex-wife. What I just wrote is not even one of the half-dozen equally-valid alternate scenarios I put in my book that explain the evidence presented against O.J. Simpson in both a criminal and civil trial.
Even before the Simpson trial we have had other media-frenzy cases which turned out to be bogus. Among the most infamous are the McMartin pre-school trial prosecuted by Los Angeles District Attorney Ira Reiner. There were other such trials in Florida and Massachusetts. They all used testimony from children led into making up stories — the same prosecution methods used on adults to generate witness testimony for the actual Salem witch trials.
After the Simpson trials we have the Duke lacross case where student athletes were accused of rape and convicted in the mass media — only to have it come out that the accuser was a serial liar. This is the only such case I can think of where the prosecutor, himself, ended up fired, disbarred, and even going to jail — for one day.
President Bill Clinton was brought up on charges of impeachment — and cleared in a Senate trial — for perjury he committed while denying various sex acts — and his accusers have even accused Clinton of rape — a charge on which he has never been arraigned or tried.
Anita Hill was brought in by opponents of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas to accuse now Justice Thomas of serial sexual harrassment. Today whether you believe Hill or Thomas depends entirely not on indisputable facts but on political leanings.
So we get to 2016 Republican candidate Donald J. Trump, bragging to Billy Bush of being sexually aggressive (in Trump’s own words ending not in a sexual conquest but in furniture shopping), and now what the Clintonistas referred to as a “bimbo eruption” is bringing forth accusers, many years later, accusing the current Republican candidate of unwanted sexual assaults.
As I write this there are 27 days until the populist presidential balloting. The actual presidential electors selected on November 8, 2016, vote on December 12, 2016 and are legally unbound to vote for a candidate; they can elect whom they wish.
For either election there is no time to investigate these brand-new charges against candidate Donald Trump and find out whether there are any truth to these women’s allegations or alternatively their fantastic political constructs.
What we do know is that major media made up almost entirely of liberals, progressives, and radical leftists who find Donald J. Trump poisonous to their agendas will obsess on these charges to the exclusion of any discussion of policy debates and charges against their own preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, defender of Bill Clinton.
I can only hope that — unlike all the other times — the witch hunt is exposed and foiled before it’s too late to matter.
Las Vegas, NV-AZ (OPENPRESS) The presidential campaign for Republican candidate Donald J. Trump began today sponsoring showings of the libertarian movie “Alongside Night” — based on the Prometheus-award-winning 1979 first novel by J. Neil Schulman endorsed by Nobel-laureate Milton Friedman, “A Clockwork Orange” novelist Anthony Burgess, and Dr. Ron Paul — on the Roku 24-Hour Movie Channel.
The movie, released in limited theatrical runs in 2014 and subsequently playing on iTunes and Amazon Video/Amazon Prime, as well as release as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack — began playing October 3, 2016 on The 24-Hour Movie Channel, with sponsorship mostly by the Donald J. Trump for President campaign.
The movie stars Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, God’s Not Dead), Said Faraj (Green Zone), Jake Busey (Starship Troopers, Contact), Tim Russ (Spaceballs, Star Trek Voyager), Garrett Wang (Star Trek Voyager), Gary Graham (Alien Nation, Star Trek Enterprise), Mara Marini (Parks and Recreation), and introduces Christian Kramme.
The movie’s description by The 24 Hour Movie Channel: “In a collapsing near-future U.S., brilliant high-school senior Elliot Vreeland’s (Kramme) search for his famous missing economist father (Sorbo) and family puts him between an out-of-control federal government and a revolutionary anarchist underground.”
The movie presents in dramatic form the philosophy of Agorism — advocacy of black-marketeers building a free society by avoiding taxes, smuggling off-the-books workers from Mexico, trading in guns and drugs, and even private ownership of nukes — presented by the late libertarian theoretician Samuel Edward Konkin III, a severe critic of the Libertarian Party and the Koch Brothers.
Alongside Night the movie was adapted to screenplay by the novel’s author, J. Neil Schulman, whose previous screen credits include the 1986 Twilight Zone episode where a time-traveler stops the JFK assassination, creating a self-destructive timeline. Schulman also directed the Alongside Night movie as his second feature film after 2008′s Lady Magdalene’s starring Star Trek: The Original Series’ Lt. Uhura, Nichelle Nichols.
@JNeilSchulman thanked the Trump campaign for sponsoring his movie in a tweet today in which he wrote: “Thank you @realDonaldTrump campaign spots for sponsoring @AlongsideNight the movie on the 24-Hour-Movie channel! Make Agorism great again!”
Samuel Edward Konkin III, and I, co-founded what today is called Agorism or the Agorist movement.
Sam was Agorism’s chief theoretician in published works such as The New Libertarian Manifesto (1980) and The Agorist Primer (1986). Before that Sam introduced counter-economics in his talks to the CounterCon conferences I organized in fall 1974 and spring 1975.
The first printed explication of Agorism was in my novel, Alongside Night (Crown Publishers, 1979).
The first explication of Agorism in a movie was my adaptation of the Alongside Night novel into the Alongside Night movie, previewed to libertarian and science-fiction venues in 2013 showings and released in limited theatrical showings in 2014.
The Alongside Night movie is an independent film produced for under a million dollars. Compared to studio productions for theatrical or network television release that’s ultra-low-budget. Nonetheless, the Alongside Night movie achieved production values including starring actors who have appeared in major theatrical movies and network television series, visual effects produced by artists whose work has appeared in blockbuster movies, a musical soundtrack composed, orchestrated, and conducted by a musical artist whose work has been used in numerous major studio movies and recorded by a major symphony orchestra — and additional music licensed with a major recording artist and another full symphony orchestra — and both interior and exterior locations worthy of a studio picture.
This is not debatable opinion. These are provable facts.
Yet the only explicitly Agorist-content movie has been relentlessly denigrated by persons calling themselves Agorists. They not only attack every aspect of the movie’s production they go on to attack the Agorist content of the movie itself. Sometimes these attacks on the movie are by persons claiming to like the novel — but the attacks on content in the movie are on content that originated in the novel.
Here is a new example.
On the Agora Club Facebook page, “Agoristball” writes, “The book was pretty good but… just… wow… As far as libertarian message is not subtle at all and beats you over the head with liberty in ever frame and honestly it seems to glorify a lot of libertarian straw men. Like at one point the main character goes to buy nuke from a market. Not exactly the film I’d want representing my ideology.”
So let’s compare the sequence from the novel, and from the movie, that “beats you over the head with liberty,” glorifies “a lot of libertarian straw men,” and which this man claiming to represent Agorism writes is “Not exactly the film I’d want representing my ideology.”
Keep in mind that both the novel sequence and movie sequence were written by one of the founders of Agorism and the novel version was vetted by Agorism’s universally-acknowledged theoretician, Samuel Edward Konkin III.
The guard looked them over, and saw they were genuinely confused. He motioned with the Taser. “Come on.”
He led Elliot and Lorimer to the security alcove, and told the commandant — a different one from the previous night, “Two for Aurora Proper.”
The commandant then asked them, “Anything you want from the lockers?”
“I have a pistol,” said Elliot. “Do you think I need it?”
“I couldn’t say,” he replied. “Cadre are not allowed on the trading floor.”
“Why not?” Lorimer asked.
“Privacy,” the commandant explained. “The allied businesses in Aurora have delegated to the Cadre the right to monitor incoming and outgoing goods and communications, to ensure that the location is kept secret. To make sure that the Cadre can’t try to use this authority against them, they forbid us to enter into their domain and maintain their own security force to keep us out. Their guards are armed; except during emergencies we are not allowed to be.”
“Well,” said Elliot, “if I’m allowed to, I guess I will take my revolver.”
“Right. Surrender your badges, please.”
Taking their badges and feeding them into a collection slot, the commandant then got Elliot his revolver. After Elliot had put on his holster, the guard led the couple down the same corridor through which they had entered the Cadre complex initially, retracing the 45-degree bend around which was the steel door defended by still another guard. The door was opened for them, and they were instructed to walk to the Terminal corridor’s end and wait at the large portal opposite the Terminal. They did — Elliot meanwhile noting the Terminal door locked — and a few minutes later the portal slid open.
They were facing a freight elevator.
After they had got on, the door automatically slid shut, the elevator creeping down. When the door opened again, they were looking down the main promenade of what looked to be a small village.
Elliot and Lorimer faced a carpeted mall — daylight simulated by sunlight fluorescent panels in a low acoustic ceiling — twenty-feet wide and stretching ahead over twice the length of a football field. On each side of the promenade was an array of storefronts and offices the likes of which Elliot had never seen, and shopping in the mall were over a hundred persons obviously of widely varying nationality, creed, and custom.
“This is clearly impossible,” said Elliot. Lorimer did not disagree.
They began down the promenade, on the left passing the Black Supermarket (it looked like a supermarket); next to it, offices of the First Anarchist Bank and Trust Company — AnarchoBank for short; farther down, NoState Insurance; and beyond that, a post office: The American Letter Mail Company, Lysander Spooner, founder.
On the opposite side of the promenade were The Contraband Exchange (jewelry, novelties, duty-free merchandise), Identities by Charles (makeup and disguises), and a restaurant, The TANSTAAFL Café. There were several dozen more shops and offices that looked even more intriguing.
“Well, what do you think?”
Lorimer paused a moment before answering. “I think it might be easier to hide the Lincoln Memorial.”
“We might be under it.”
They walked farther, passing The Gun Nut and an office for Guerdon Construction, coming to a door marked “The G. Gerald Rhoames Boarder Guard and Ketchup Company.” Elliot and Lorimer took one look at it — then at each other — and decided to go in.
A bell of the door tinkled as they entered; the shop was old-fashioned, almost Dickensian in style, with a small, well- dressed man seated behind a glass counter. He stood as they came in. “Yes?”
He bowed slightly.
“We were wondering what you sell here,” Lorimer asked.
“My sign does not convince you?” He spoke with a British accent contaminated by overexposure to Americans.
“Surely not. Gentlemen should deal neither in frontier guards nor ketchup. I am a cannabist.”
“You eat human flesh?”
“Good heavens, no, dear lady. I am a cannabist, not a cannibal. A cannabist deals in Cannabis sativa, the most select parts from the female hemp plant. I am a seller of the finest hybrids from Colombia, Acapulco, Bangladesh.”
“Wholesale or retail?” Elliot asked.
“Both,” said mr. Rhoames, “though naturally my store here is quite limited. Over three kilograms entails outside delivery.”
“What would an ounce of Acapulco go for?”
“Very well, then. Thirty-three.”
Elliot pulled out his wallet, extending a blue. “Do you have change of a hundred?”
Mr. Rhoames looked at it with disdain. “Surely you do not think I was pricing in fiat? The price is thirty-three cents aurum.”
“Well, how much is that in dollars?”
Mr. Rhoames shrugged. “I’m not a clerk.” He pronounced the word clark. “I suggest you utilize a bank here and exchange them.”
“Thanks,” said Elliot. “Come on, Lor.” They started to the door.
“I say — on the subject of dollars . . .”
They turned back to him.
He reached behind the counter, his hand returning with a small box. Inside were five manufactured cigarettes with gold dollar signs engraved on the paper. “A house blend, grown hydroponically in my own tanks.”
“I’m sure they’re excellent, but I can’t do anything until I get my currency exchanged.”
“No, no, no,” said Mr. Rhoames. “On the house.”
“Why, thank you,” said Lorimer. “That’s very kind.”
“Nothing at all. Come back anytime.”
When they were fully out the door, Lorimer turned to Elliot and just said, “Well.”
“I’ll reserve my opinion until I see how these others are,” Elliot replied.
A two-minute walk returned them to the AnarchoBank, inside three tellers’ windows with a half-dozen customers in line, and a sign on the wall: “Offices in AURORA, AUTONOMY, AUCTION, AURIGA, AUDACITY, AUBERGE, AUSTRIAN SCHOOL, AUNTIE, and AUM.”
Elliot and Lorimer bypassed the line, instead walking over to a good-looking black woman behind a desk marked “New Accounts.” “Excuse me, but who do I see to exchange New Dollars?”
“Do you have an account with us?” she asked pleasantly; Elliot shook his head. “Then I’ll take care of it. Won’t you sit down?” After Elliot and Lorimer had been seated, she asked, “How much would you like exchanged?” Elliot took out his remaining currency, counting out twenty-seven hundred in blues. “You’d like gold or eurofrancs?”
“Uh — gold, I guess.”
She made use of a desktop computer console, then said, “We’ll have to buy your New Dollars at what we estimate is Monday’s rate.” She explained, “That’s the earliest we can sell it. And at 28.165 New Dollars per milligram gold, we can offer you ninety-six mils.”
“How much will that buy around here?”
“Not very much. A carton of cigarettes at Black Supermarket or a light lunch at TANSTAAFL Café. As a reference point, a dime vendy trades at par with four mils, a quarter vendy at ten mils — that is, one cent.”
Elliot thought a moment, then said, “My money will buy me two dozen phone calls?”
“If there were pay phones in Aurora — which there aren’t — yes.”
“In that case,” said Elliot, “I’m interested in another transaction.”
Concealing his motions from both the woman and Lorimer, he unzipped his belt slightly and pulled out a 50-peso piece. He placed it on the desk.
“For eurofrancs,” said Elliot.
Ten minutes later, Elliot had exchanged his blues for a handful of vendies and had been given 405 eurofrancs for his gold piece — ten eurofrancs per gram gold and an 8 percent premium for the coin. The New Accounts officer also showed them AnarchoBank gold coins of various weights, including a one-gram wafer so thin it was sealed into plastic.
“Listen,” said Elliot, after he had been given a thorough sales pitch for minimum-balance checking accounts, interest- bearing time deposits, and a small pamphlet called “The Wonderful World of 100% Gold Reserve Banking.” “I don’t mean this to sound nasty — honestly — but how can I be sure this isn’t a fly-by- night outfit?”
“That’s a fair question,” she replied, though I’m afraid the best way we can prove ourselves to you requires that you simply do business with us long enough to be assured of our honesty. Short of that, you can receive a copy of the auditor’s report from the Independent Arbitration Group, or check with any of our overseas correspondent banks. AnarchoBank is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Union Commerce Bank in Zurich, and does business through it with aboveground banks throughout the world.”
Elliot and Lorimer got up. “Well, thank you,” said Elliot.
The New Accounts officer extended another pamphlet to him. “Your application for a Bank AnarchoCard,” she said.
For the next hour, Elliot and Lorimer window-shopped, looking at duty-free Swiss watches in the Contraband Exchange, picking up a prospectus for Project Harriman, a countereconomic lunar mining venture, and scrutinizing the wide range of illegal chemicals on sale in Jameson Pharmaceuticals, displayed as in the patent-medicine counters of a discount drugstore. A sign on the wall announced: “NO PRESCRIPTIONS REQUIRED ON ANY PURCHASE — Consult Your Physician for Indications.” And past rows of morphine, paregoric, methadone, and heroin was another smaller sign on the wall, but reproduced on each package: “WARNING: Narcotics Use is Habit-Forming.”
Another counter displayed LSD 25 . . . THC . . . Mescaline . . . cocaine . . . Sweet & Low . . .
In Nalevo Personnel Lorimer was told by a placement manager that they could guarantee her employment at twenty grams gold a week in one of the finer bordellos.
The Black Supermarket impressed them not for what it had — aside from tax-free liquor and cigarettes its merchandise was the kind any supermarket would sell — but for what it did not have: no shortages, no rationing, no listings of “lawful” ceiling prices. Elliot felt a momentary twinge when he saw a shelf stocked with Spam; he had pushed his family to the back of his mind and felt guilty for enjoying himself.
It became evident that the trading floor was primarily a convenience for wholesale countereconomic traders, who shook hands on huge deals here, and made their deliveries outside. It was only slightly unusual to see a person walking around with face masked, though Elliot suspected that most of the people shopping on this floor were “expendable” agents of the actual buyers, whose faces would never risk being seen.
After a five-minute wait for a table, Elliot and Lorimer were seated in the TANSTAAFL Café, a sign on the wall translating the word as There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, and rightly crediting the acronym to E. “Doc” Pournelle. The special luncheon for Saturday offered split-pea soup, sandwich, french fries, and beverage, all for seven cents. After brief discussion, Elliot ordered it for both of them.
While waiting for the food, they paid a visit to the restaurant’s old Wurlitzer jukebox, finding it stocked only with classical music. Elliot inserted a quarter vendy and pushed I-23; the machine responded by playing the Heifetz recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.
Elliot and Lorimer spent another ninety minutes drifting around the floor — talking with document forgers, electronics technicians, and arbitration agents — and visiting, at Elliot’s urging, The Gun Nut. On display was a weapon fancier’s dream, everything from pistols, bazookas, and M-21 automatic machine pistols, to grenade launchers, subsonic generators, and lasers. Its real attraction for Elliot was a fifty-foot-deep shooting range behind a soundproof glass panel. After donning ear protectors, Elliot fast-drew into a Weaver stance at a paper target in the shape of an armed assailant. Afterward, he brought his target up to the front counter.
“The proprietor said, “That’ll be ten cents. How’d you do?”
Elliot showed the man his target. He had shot a number of bull’s-eyes, fewer holes farther out, none out of killing range.
The proprietor nodded respectfully.
“Lor,” said Elliot as they exited to the promenade, “after this place I’d believe you if you told me someone was here hawking nukes.”
The display mock-up had a sign underneath labeling it: “100 KILOTON ATOMIC FISSION DEVICE.”
The salesman in Lowell-Pierre Engineering was telling them, “. . . but of course much smaller than the megaton capabilities of the hydrogen fusion devices.”
“You provide the plutonium?” Elliot asked him.
“No, of course not,” said the salesman. “You’d have to find your own source. But even if you did, you’d have to accept one of our supervisors to ensure that the device would be used only for excavation or drilling, before we would sell you one. We don’t hand over nuclear weapons to fools who want to blow up the world.”
“But you’ve sold these things?” asked Lorimer. “Really?”
“Of course,” said the salesman. “Do you think we’re in business for our health?”
Now here’s the same Agorist shopping floor sequence in the movie:
Speaking as the surviving co-founder of Agorism who came up with this sequence in close consultation with the other co-founder of Agorism, Samuel Edward Konkin III, I think the movie sequence is as representative of Agorism as the novel sequence. If you press me, I think the movie does an even better job at explicating core Agorist ideas than the novel did.
So here’s what the living Original Agorist says about this.
If you don’t like the expression of Agorist ideas in Alongside Night, the original novel or the movie the original author made from it, you’re not an Agorist.
If you don’t recognize and like the Agorist content of the first Agorist movie Alongside Night you have failed the litmus test identifying genuine Agorists and weeding out the phonies, poseurs, dilettantes, communists, fascists, racists, anti-Semites, unfunny comics, belching podcasters, illiterate critics, confidential informants, oppo trolls, and all variation of stealth statists from both left and right.
You can’t claim to be a fundamentalist Christian and hate the Bible. You can’t claim to be a Muslim and declare the Quran is a piece of crap. You can’t claim to be a Student of Objectivism and say Atlas Shrugged is the worst novel ever written. You can’t claim to love America but think half of American voters belong in a basket of deplorables.
If your esthetics are such that a clear expression of Agorist content in a more-than-competently made low-budget indie film turns you off, please stop calling yourself an Agorist, because you’re not. You can claim to be any other flavor of free-thinker you like — minarchist, Libertarian Partyarch, anarcho-communist, mutualist, AnCap, Voluntaryist, distributivist, etc. — but you are not an Agorist.
That’s not an argument from authority, or a claim of trademark.
It’s just cutting through a pile of deviationist claims to reach the historical facts witnessed personally from this guy who was there when it started.
I recently posted on Facebook, then as a web page, a request for voluntary compensation (“donation” implies I’ve done nothing to merit it) for the content I’ve given away free for many years.
My request for financial support during a life crisis when I can’t pay my bills hasn’t brought in a dime.
I conclude I’m unpopular. I conclude I’ve been rejected.
It’s logical and not all that surprising.
I’m pro-gun and have written major newspaper and magazine Op-Eds and articles, books, and made two movies supporting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, but because I’m not also an anti-abortion / pro-police / close-the-borders cultural conservative the Second Amendment activists won’t support me.
Because I’ve written in favor of regarding creative works as deserving property rights I’ve pissed off most of the current “anti-IP” libertarian movement.
Because most libertarians are atheists, as I was into my 30′s, then I talked about how “I Met God,” I’ve generated intense hostility from libertarians and atheists; but my stating I now believe in God got me no support from any religious affiliation since I say my change-of-mind came not from “religion, scripture, or faith” but instead from direct experience.
Because I won’t endorse the Johnson-Weld ticket of the Libertarian Party the LP supporters reject me.
Because I’ve said I’m voting for Donald Trump despite my being in favor of open borders, off-the-books workers, and Edward Snowden, the Trump supporters don’t like me.
Because instead of rock or country music I chose classical violin music for the soundtrack of my movie Alongside Night, I alienated a lot of potential fans.
J. Neil Schulman, directing Alongside Night
Because in my “brothel-meets-Jihadis” comedy Lady Magdalene’s I have no nudity or sex scenes, I disappointed adolescents who expected a movie set in a Nevada brothel would have both, but because I linked modern prostitutes to the biblical whore Rahab I also tick off Christian fundamentalists.
Libertarians are fish-out-of-water to both liberals and conservatives. Despite my having won praise for my libertarian writing from Milton Friedman, Anthony Burgess, Charlton Heston, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Neil Smith, Robert Anton Wilson, F. Paul Wilson, Colin Wilson, Poul Anderson, Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, Gregory Benford, David Brin, Nathaniel Branden, Ron Paul, Thomas S. Szasz, Grover Norquist, Silk Road founder “The Dread Pirate Roberts,” Jeff Riggenbach, Walter Block, Kerry Pearson, Dyanne Petersen, Doug Casey, Wendy McElroy, Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Michael Medved, Walter Williams, Piers Anthony, Brad Linaweaver, Samuel Edward Konkin III, and prominent others, I’m a fish-out-of-water even to libertarians like Lew Rockwell, Jeffrey Tucker, and John Stossel.
It would have been so simple to be more popular.
All I would have had to leave behind was my mind.
Want J. Neil Schulman’s Free Stuff?
Help Pay His Bills!
For many years I’ve been giving away books and other things I write, research, and produce for free.
- Alongside Night, now both the latest PDF edition of the novel and an online link to watch the full action movie.
- My full-length comedy “brothel meets domestic-terrorist” movie, Lady Magdalene’s.
- A personal website with articles, photos, and more rich content.
- The PDF edition of my trade paperback book Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns.
- The two-volume history of my first venture into eBook publishing back in 1990, SoftServ, in the eBook Book Publishing in the 21st Century.
- My website The World Wide Web Gun Defense Clock.
- The complete audiobook I Met God.
- Two blogs with years worth of articles, short stories, and complete books.
Keep on reading. All these free links are further down.
All free, no charge, no registration, nobody’s name, Facebook, Twitter, email address, or other online personal info collected for future marketing. Hundreds of thousands of views and downloads, possibly well into seven figures because I never kept close track of a lot of it.
Today I made sure everything of mine I sell on line on Amazon has an up-to-date affiliate link.
I am arranging to fix broken automatic download links that vend seven PDF editions of my books for sale so that I don’t have to email books when a Paypal payment is made.
I also made sure that on every page I give away my work for free (other than on Youtube) there’s a “Like it? Reward it!” Paypal link. Some of my websites aren’t compatible with the link so I link them to this page, which is.
I have to do this. I’m 63 and it has come to my attention that “the golden years” require a stash of gold I don’t have.
My daughter informs me it would be unseemly to go into details. But in an age when everything I have produced in a long career has been displaced from brick-and-mortar stores and competes with an ocean of free entertainment digitized as my own creative output has been, I am in serious danger of not being able to sustain my continued ability to pay my bills.
Here are some links to where I give away free stuff, not all with “Like it? Reward it!” Paypal buttons:
Watch here: Alongside Night the Complete Feature-length Movie. Written and Directed by J. Neil Schulman.
Watch here: Lady Magdalene’s the Complete Feature-length Movie. Written and Directed by J. Neil Schulman.
The World According to J. Neil Schulman personal website, with his book links, articles, photos, bio info, and much more!
Free short and full-length videos — movies, interviews, speeches, music, historic videos, and much, much more! Celebrity guests include Kevin Sorbo, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Walter Cronkite, Alex Jones, Ron Paul!
I appreciate your patronage.
J Neil Schulman
August 27, 2016
Until now the Alongside Night movie has been available only in limited theatrical showings, the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and streaming on iTunes and Amazon Video/Amazon Prime.
The movie has been pirated and is being offered free on pirate movie websites.
Alongside Night as an independent film is as good an adaptation as the original novel’s author was able to make on a low-budget, first writing the screenplay adaptation then producing and directing the movie.
Speaking first person, I — the novelist — like the movie we made very much.
But the movie has been trolled endlessly on IMDb and IMDb’s parent company, Amazon.com, which allows endless down-rating of the movie by anonymous sock-puppet accounts. I believe this is an organized campaign of disinformation to give the impression to as wide an Internet readership as possible that the movie sucks. I strongly suspect but have no way of proving that statist enemies of libertarian information and entertainment media are behind this. If I succeed, it opens up the floodgates to other libertarian authors and filmmakers — even some who themselves spend their energy trashing this movie.
This ends now. Watch the movie and make up your own mind.
The movie is now free to watch on the web. Share this.
But please also make as big a contribution as you can afford to support the author/filmmaker — me. Without such contributions I can’t continue to do my part for the libertarian movement. Also consider this my audition for making more libertarian movies and books.
The Like It/Reward It link is on this web page.
Also, you might want to buy this movie at even higher quality with all the extra features.
Here are the contents of the Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack currently on sale on Amazon for $12.99:
Disc 1 — Blu-Ray
First Play is Liberty Coin Service Infomercial leading to Main Menu
Alongside Night feature film in HD quality with audio options of 2-channel stereo or 6-channel Dolby 5.1 surround
Available captions: English SDH, Spanish, French
Director’s Commentary with J Neil Schulman interviewed by radio-talk-host Ernest Hancock
Special Feature: Alongside Night Graphic Novel Movie — the graphic novel accompanied by selections from the Alongside Night motion picture musical soundtrack
Disc 2 — DVD
First Play is Liberty Coin Service Infomercial leading to Main Menu
Alongside Night feature film in SD quality with audio options of 2-channel stereo or 6-channel Dolby 5.1 surround
Available captions: English SDH, Spanish, French
Director’s Commentary with J. Neil Schulman interviewed by radio-talk-host Ernest Hancock
Disc 3 — DVD
First Play is Video Extra “Al Laughs”
Video Extra Features
Hot Dog Cart
Welcome to Auxiliary
More Video Features
A Very Personal Message to Glenn Beck
Kevin Sorbo Interviews on Alongside Night
J. Neil Schulman Speech 2012 Libertopia
Alongside Night Teaser Trailer
J. Neil Schulman Presents
Alongside Night Stills Movie
Uncut Adam Kokesh Rally Speech
Ron Paul Interviews J. Neil Schulman
Reason TV Premiere Interview
Red Carpet Interviews
Alex Jones Interviews Sorbo & Schulman
Rick Amato interviews J. Neil Schulman
Vegas Inc interview wih J. Neil Schulman
Silicon Assassin Teasers
Adam vs The Man Cast Interviews
Samuel Edward Konkin III on Agorism
Anarchast Interview with J. Neil Schulman
Audio Extra Features
Unabridged Alongside Night Audiobook
Radio and Podcasts
Glenn Beck on Alongside Night Novel
Tony Conley Promo
Sam Sorbo Show interview with J. Neil Schulman
Free Talk Live interview with J. Neil Schulman
Lansing Radio Spot
Declare Your Independence (Ernest Hancock) Interview with J. Neil Schulman & J. Kent Hastings
The Peter Schiff Show interview with J. Neil Schulman
Ed Morrissey/Hot Air Interview with Kevin Sorbo
Asylum Radio Interview with J. Neil Schulman
Pat’s Town Square Media
Crypto Radio Show interview with J. Neil Schulman
Joe Messina interview with J. Neil Schulman
Things You Know with Pat Heller
Larry Elder Show interview with Kevin Sorbo
Cragg Live interview with Gary Graham
Seavy & Perry interview with J. Neil Schulman
Cragg Live interview with J. Neil Schulman
2nd Joe Messina interview with J. Neil Schulman
Declare Your Independence (Ernest Hancock) Interview with J. Neil Schulman
Computer-Accessible Extra Features
J. Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night — The Graphic Novel — MP4 Movie and PDF eBook
Alongside Night Unabridged Audiobook — MP3 files suitable for transfer to a personal media player
Musical Selections from the Motion Picture Soundtrack as MP3 files
Alongside Night — The Movie Edition novel as PDF eBook
Starring Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, God’s Not Dead), Said Faraj (Green Zone), Contact‘s and Starship Troopers‘ Jake Busey, Star Trek Voyager‘s Tim Russ and Garrett Wang, Alien Nation‘s Gary Graham, Men in Black 3‘s Valence Thomas, Parks and Recreation‘s Mara Marini, Lady Magdalene’s Ethan Keogh, Adam Meir and Susan Smythe, Kevin Sorbo’s real-life wife, actress Sam Sorbo, singer/songwriter Jordan Page, and real-life activist Adam Kokesh, as well as up-and-coming actors Christian Kramme, Reid Cox, Kyle Leatherberry, Rebekah Kennedy, Charlie Morgan Patton, and Eric Colton, this is a film far more current than The Hunger Games or Divergence series.
This is the story of Elliot Vreeland (Kramme), son of Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. Martin Vreeland (Sorbo). When his family goes missing and while being shadowed by federal agents (Faraj and Leatherberry), Elliot, with the help of his mysterious companion Lorimer (Cox), explore the underground world of the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre to find them. It’s a story of romance, intrigue, action, adventure, and exhilarating science fiction thrills.
“Neil, Your novel and film ‘Alongside Night’ are both powerful works of art that promote Liberty.” — Grover Norquist
“J.Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night is at the forefront of libertarian cinema.” — Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly
“Seeing the novel adapted into a full length movie was a dream come true.”
–Sean Gangol, The Libertarian Enterprise
I believe Alongside Night will advance the cause of liberty.”
–Dr. Ron Paul, Ron Paul Channel, June 16, 2014
“The story is, by turns, touching, suspense-filled, violent when violence was called for, highly polemic, and altogether satisfying.”
L. Neil Smith, The Libertarian Enterprise
“ It’s a handsomely produced film for its low budget. Well-acted and ingeniously directed.”
– John DeChancie, best-selling author
“J Neil Schulman’s film Alongside Night is just as brilliant as his original novel and it may be even more so with all of the anarcho-capitalist and libertarian visual Easter eggs placed in the background that are a treat and supreme delight for all of those in the know.”
– Justin Ptak, Facebook
“A movie dedicated to promoting liberty and warning about a too powerful government.” — Coos County Democrat
“Abundant professional talent …supported the making of this fine movie. The result is visually bright and stunning, laced and layered with great music and pregnant with the theme of the unquenchable human spirit seeking liberty.”
–Jerry Jewett, Prometheus Newsletter, Mondo Cult Online
Alongside Night has been recognized as an important projection of near-future crises on such diverse mass media as Fox News’ Red Eye, ABC’s On The Red Carpet, The Ron Paul Channel, Alex Jones’ Infowars, Reason.TV, the Larry Elder Show, Las Vegas Weekly, the Libertarian Republic, the Sam Sorbo Show, and many blogs, local TV and radio shows, and podcasts. With recommendations from Ron Paul and Alex Jones to their millions of listeners and viewers this movie has a fan base eagerly awaiting it.
I think many of us who followed the criminal and civil trials of O.J. Simpson will never forget Fred Goldman, father of the slain Ronald Goldman, standing alongside Simpson’s L.A. County criminal prosecutors as an accuser; later, when the criminal prosecution failed, personally suing O.J. Simpson in a second, civil trial. Ronald Lyle Goldman died a few weeks short of his 26th birthday.
Fred Goldman & Ron Goldman
More recently we’ve seen family members of Kate Steinle, victim of a ricochet bullet allegedly fired by undocumented immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, suing the “Sanctuary” City of San Francisco for wrongful death. At the time of her death Kathryn Steinle was 32.
Liz Sullivan and Jim Steinle
At the 2016 Democratic National Convention and interviewed afterwards we’ve heard “Gold Star” parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan accuse Hillary Clinton’s Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, of failing to appreciate the sacrifice of their son U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan who died during a 2004 deployment to Iraq. Captain Khan died at age 27.
Khizr and Ghazala Khan
Very recently we’ve learned of a lawsuit filed by the parents of movie actor Anton Yelchin against Fiat-Chrysler, manufacturers of an SUV that self-shifted into gear due to poor engineering design and crushed their son to death. Anton Yelchin died at age 27.
Victor and Irina Yelchin
It’s an odd notion that the parents of an adult have legal standing to recover monetary damages from the death, wrongful or not, of their offspring, as has been sought in three of these four instances.
It’s an odder notion, still, that the parents of an adult who died while in military service have some special grace, and media-granted immunity from counter-criticism, when they choose to stand before a national political convention to make a personal attack against the character of another political party’s nominee.
Fred Goldman never conducted a personal investigation into the death of his son. He has never known anything other than representations made to him by lawyers, trial witnesses, media pundits, and — frankly — bigots who were certain that his Jewish son was killed by a famous schwartze.
Yet with no special knowledge Fred Goldman has been allowed with no media criticism to denigrate a man whom a criminal jury acquitted and file a lawsuit for wrongful death after that criminal acquittal to recover damages on behalf of a grown-up son.
The parents of the adult Kate Steinle have been pawns used in a media campaign by Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly to pass federal legislation.
And whether or not the wonderful actor Anton Yelchin was killed due to incompetent automotive engineering, why are the parents of this adult entitled to a pay day?
In our progressive-minded legal system grief has become an entitlement. Grievers have become another victimized class, not to be criticized, but able to throw political and legal assaults with a political and media-manufactured code that says it’s wrongful to fight back.
This is utter statist villainy and it’s got to stop.
I wrote on this topic previously: Grief as a Pointed Gun
In her strident reply to a May, 2013 Senate committee question whether a YouTube video was the cause of the deadly assault on the United States mission in Benghazi, Libya, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answered the question with a question: “What difference at this point does it make?”
I’m going to widen the context of Hillary Clinton’s question to the November presidential election, itself.
“What difference at this point does it make?” can well be applied to asking whether anyone elected President of the United States can do a thing about rescuing an economy in which the federal government’s accumulated national debt, continuing payments of legal entitlements such as Medicare, Social Security, and Veterans’ benefits, and treaty commitments are far beyond what the base of American taxpayers can service.
When there is no point on a Laffer Curve of Taxation where incoming taxes are equal to paying the interest on the national debt, much less future commitments of government spending, “what difference at this point does it make?” can be applied to the very question of who will sit in the Oval Office beginning January 20, 2017.
Government by its nature is parasitic on the private economic sector where goods and services are traded. Government makes nothing nor offers any benefit not paid for by taking wealth from people working and making things in the private economic sector. Government can spend nothing without removing it from the private economic sector, whether that taking is by taxes, fees, or the particularly pernicious method of expanding its fiat money or credit such that anyone calculating their holdings figured in that fiat money has their wealth transferred to the government by the stealthy theft of monetary devaluation.
Of course I’m being if not outright dishonest, then at least disingenuous — because, of course, there is indeed something the President of the United States could do to pay for things the American taxpayer can not afford.
The President, as Commander in Chief, can use the U.S. military, or at least use its muscular threats, to plunder foreign wealth and give it to Americans.
Even that, however, has its limits. Every Ponzi scheme has a tipping point where the availability of new suckers is less than the requirement of new suckers to maintain the cash flow needed to keep the scheme afloat.
We can observe that the continuing viability of the U.S. dollar as an international reserve currency demonstrates that inevitable point of collapse has not yet arrived. What we can not readily observe is how close we are to a tipping point when foreigners recognize their victimhood and — by switching to a reserve currency other than the U.S. dollar — decline to be further victimized.
It’s an open question in my mind whether there could possibly be an “economic miracle” to change this equation. That’s historical language for such a sudden creation of new wealth that it dwarfs the existing accumulated debt and demands for future government income to pay for future commitments. Economic history of post-World-War-II Germany suggests that economic freedom can produce gobs of new wealth quickly.
Before that, the relative economic freedom of the Industrial Revolution also suggests such a possibility.
A technological breakthrough such as anti-gravity or “warp drive” — enabling cheap and robust space industrialization — could theoretically create such an economic “miracle” as access to solar energy and minerals outside the earth’s atmosphere provides a new frontier to plunder — this time without natives needing to be displaced.
But that’s why it’s called a miracle. You can’t count on it. And if such a miracle happens, it’s highly unlikely anyone sitting in the Oval Office will have done anything to let it happen.
My fellow Americans, the hope for your future well-being is to be found in that part of the social order out of reach of the politicians.
So if you feel compelled to vote, vote for the presidential candidate most likely to be an incompetent blowhard.
I have no witnesses I know of to what I’m about to relate, so you can believe me or not.
I once had a conversation at a science-fiction convention with Isaac Asimov, whom I knew advocated a one-world government. Isaac knew I was a libertarian science-fiction writer.
I asked Dr. Asimov, “If you can’t get a one-world government, would you settle for a world anarchy?”
Dr. Asimov replied, “Yes.”
UK Brexit Ballot
I write this right after the British people in national referendum voted to extract the UK from its decades-long immersion in the European Union. I suspect when Britain joined the EU they saw the advantages to border-irrelevant trade, travel, and freedom of migration with European countries. Instead what they got was an overriding bureaucracy and a mass influx of Muslims to a country that still has an established Christian Church and a Christian monarchy.
I’m a libertarian. I’m entirely for doing away with national borders that restrict the free movement of people and trade goods. But I understand entirely why the British people thought the European Union tyrannical. My own country came to that same conclusion in 1776 regarding a British monarch and parliament.
Today when governments make trade agreements it’s called “free trade.” It isn’t free trade. It’s an expansion of mercantilism, by which one national power historically used troops and warships to install economic monopolies on other nations.
The European Union is a trade cartel and an aggressive multinational bureaucracy with a fiat currency not backed by any real commodity.
In theory I favor knocking down barriers to free migration and free trade. But I also favor the principle of eliminating, weakening, and decentralizing statist power to whatever extent possible.
In a politicized world that is not free — and in which there are vast affiliations of nationalists, ethnic groups, and religious identities — there are often nothing but conundrums for people like me who just want more freedom for as many people as possible.
Which is why I see the British exit from the European Union as a good thing. I see it as decentralization of power.
Whether the British people use that decentralization of power to submit to a more-localized oppression, or to institute a new era of real free trade and cultural values based on their historic expansion of enlightenment-based human rights, is something I will just have to wait and see.
I favor world freedom, which I believe comes about by recognizing, as did a universalist document written in 1776:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
–The Declaration of Independence
My British friends, you have just voted to be American. Facing toward the future, I hope you adopt the above principles better than we Americans have.