Agorist Studies

Libertarian Movement Phoenix

Over the weekend of September 25 to 27th I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona for the Second Amendment Foundation’s 2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference. I delivered a short address from the podium on Sunday the 27th that was video-recorded both by the Polite Society Podcast and C-SPAN. In addition I was interviewed before my speech by the Polite Society Podcast and both before and after by Ernest Hancock’s Declare Your Independence radio program.

J. Neil Schulman at GRPC 2015

Copies of the Alongside Night 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a bulk order form were placed on the conference attendee’s seats.

The thrust of my presentation was also the theme of Alongside Night:

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.
–from the Declaration of Independence

The libertarian movement as I first knew it has lost its way. Disrupted by narrow ideology and petty squabbling over single issues it has been marginalized and the power of its message dissipated.

There needs to be a New Libertarian movement refocused on the original Revolution built from the ground up, and I decided a conference of activists devoted to at least one, if not more, of the Bill of Rights was a proper place to start.

Here’s my address to the conference plus my interviews.

This, and Alongside Night, are presented in the hope it will remind freedom-lovers what the libertarian movement was, and will again be, about and inspire the work needed to free us all.

Like the Phoenix of legend out of the ashes comes a rebirth.

–J. Neil Schulman



I’m J. Neil Schulman, author and filmmaker and I made this movie, Alongside Night, about the American Revolution returning in our time, and we gave copies to just about everybody who came to this conference. And for those of you watching on C-SPAN you can go to Amazon.com and buy it.

So let’s talk about the first American Revolution.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote those words about felons illegally in possession of firearms who on April 19th, 1775 used those illegal guns to shoot at police legally appointed by the governor to confiscate their illegal guns. In the exchange of gunfire three cops were killed and nine cops were wounded.

Sheriff David Clarke, I have bad news for you.

This country was founded by cop-killers.

Roughly 226 years later, on September 11th, 2001, four commercial jetliners filled with passengers, flight attendants, and flight crew – all of them disarmed of firearms by United States federal law – were overpowered by Jihadi militiamen armed only with box cutters, four per aircraft. Two of those captured aircraft were used as weapons to crash into New York’s twin towers financial headquarters, one crashed into the U.S. military headquarters in Washington DC, and one flight – where the disarmed passengers, none of them with military or police uniforms or badges – fought the jihadi militiamen who rather than surrender crashed the plane into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The casualties that day were just under 3,000, but in subsequent years wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere costs the United States thousands of more lives, trillions of dollars, and a wounded warrior class.

Gun control gave us 9/11.

I’m a writer and filmmaker who has sold stories and screenplays to Hollywood production companies, including an original script for the Twilight Zone, broadcast by CBS in prime time, March 7, 1986. My new narrative feature film, Alongside Night, based on my first novel published in October 1979, was given out to participants at this conference, as a counterpoint to the usual Hollywood movies that treat privately held firearms as dangers to public safety.

Hollywood writers and producers led by Harvey Weinstein hate private gun ownership yet the entertainment industry makes movies and TV shows full of guns. Hollywood gets past its own objections by having these guns be either futuristic ray guns or ordinary guns used to shoot the heads off zombies, or by having the guns be used by cops. Prime time U.S. television is dominated by shows featuring law-enforcement officers and military service personnel as the armed heroes.

On the other side is a political right-wing dominated by politicians who assign absolute human rights only to the unborn. Anyone breathing air has only government granted privileges – driving licenses, gun licenses, work permits, and so forth. They talk about a “right to work” but want to build a wall to keep out workers.

They want gun rights only for the law-abiding – in other words, anyone who meekly complies with thousands of tyrannical regulations.

I’m here to agree with the signers of the Declaration of Independence – a legal document more binding than the Constitution — that when any government’s police and regulations become oppressive of the people’s rights the people have the moral right to resist abuse of their rights under color of law – and existing federal law agrees with me. Look up Title 18 US Code Section 242 which says that any official – local, state, or federal – who violates constitutionally protected rights is acting as a criminal and has zero legal authority to do so.

Title 18 US Code Section 242
Title 18 US Code Section 242
Title 18 US Code Section 242

By the way, the Second Amendment in a recent Seventh Circuit decision, applies to illegal immigrants.

And I need to tell you something that is not going to be pleasant for a lot of you to hear. It also applies to drug gangs because nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is the word “drug” mentioned and according to te 9th and 10th amendments if it ain’t listed in the Constitution as powers of the federal government anything they do on this subject is void ab initio.

That’s how Black Lives Matter and defenders of the Bill of Rights – you in this room — can get together.

Thank you.




2015-09-25 Hour 3 J neil SCHULMAN from Ernest Hancock on Vimeo.


2015-09-29 Hour 1 J Neil Schulman from Ernest Hancock on Vimeo.


Alongside Night Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

Due to the college campus shooting today at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College I decided to add two additional videos.
–JNS





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Divided and Conquered


Are you “Black Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter”?

Black Lives Matter protest

Do you think a Christian baker should be fined if he doesn’t provide a wedding cake for a same-sex couple — or that a county clerk’s job descrption requires providing a marriage license to a same-sex couple despite her own religious beliefs?

Kim Davis

Do you think the “right to work” applies only to persons with permission from the United States government or is the right to make an honest living a universal human right that applies both to the person who offers paid work and the person who accepts it?

Border Warning

All of these are current controversies that exist only because government creates them.

“Black Lives Matter” is juxtaposed with “All Lives Matter” on the proposition that blacks are targeted by police powers more than other ethnicities, especially those perceived as “white.”

Obviously a Venn Diagram based on universal human rights would include “black lives.” Whether that happens in everyday life is a matter not of acknowledging abstract rights but of political reality. But there would be no division if there was not first a division between “law enforcement officers” and “civilians.” Just watch an episode of the CBS network series Blue Bloods in which the TV script writers reflect the premise that the killing of a cop is worse than the murder of us lowly “civilians,” the protection of whom is in theory the raison d’être for police departments in the first place.

The Declaration of Independence states “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.” The word” men” in that statement means human, not anatomically endowed with a penis. It’s a declaration of universal human rights.

It took a bit more than a half dozen decades before legal reality caught up with this universal intent to include blacks, and more decades before it included female humans. Today it’s moving in the direction of including LGBT individuals, but still legally excludes persons not deemed by a bureaucratic class to be “citizens” or government-approved “legal residents.”

Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis sits in jail for violating a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses inclusive of same-sex couples. This is a legal controversy only because marriage is licensed in the first place by government bureaucrats. I posted on a website frequented by Christians who side with Kim Davis for standing up for their commonly held belief that marriage requires one-each penis and vagina. My suggestion that marriage arrangements be entirely separated from government was ignored. The website posters were too invested in taking sides in a current political controversy that exists only because it is subject to public policy and not left a matter for people to decide entirely in the private sphere.

Colorado baker Jack Phillips faces massive fines because he’s not allowed to choose his customers according to the principle of both free association and free disassociation. The private sphere of commerce has been invaded by bureaucrats. It was tyrannical when legislators first forced lunch counters not to serve black customers then later made it mandatory. It’s tyrannical now when legislators make it mandatory to violate one’s own beliefs and be a slave required to work for anyone who demands service. The LGBT who were first discriminated against, when they gain political favor, replace victimization with victimizing. They betray the principles of free association and free disassociation. They make themselves just one more class of thugs, dividing us.

The ancient Romans faced off Christians with lions.

Current day Americans face off Christians with lesbians.

Government exists by sucking up all human decision-making into the public arena — our economic and social life — then making us all gladiators fighting for our share of the loot stolen from us.

Government makes us war against each other to the benefit only of those who use government to rob and rule us.

You want to get out from under this mega-scam, stop playing a game rigged against you. Don’t acknowledge their right over your life or property. Refuse to play. Opt out. Don’t demand political privileges granted by force that deprives other human beings of their natural rights. Enact only your right established in the first legally binding document — the Declaration of Independence — to run your own life without the permission from a despot or tyrant.

That belief in universal human rights is the meaning of American Exceptionalism — not as Fox News pundits would have you believe that “exceptionalism” means being the Imperial Power who bullies the rest of the world into compliance.

And if you’re looking for a handle on this, we who stand up for those indivisible principles call ourselves libertarians, voluntaryists, and Agorists.

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The Most Libertarian Movie Ever?

I’ve been writing about the Alongside Night Movie for over five years, starting when I was still trying to put together casting and financing to get it made. I’ve sold it hard on the libertarian content in the movie and how I believe a feature-length narrative film can be effective in approaching people — especially young people — to consider libertarian principles and comparing libertarian approaches with far-more-popular government-reliant policies.

The Alongside Night Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack just hit the market. We just started running the first radio commercial, beginning on Art Bell’s return to radio, Midnight in the Desert.

I’ve dedicated my career to the belief that storytelling can convey complex ideas to large audiences.. I became a libertarian because I read stories by Robert Heinlein. Many libertarians started with Ayn Rand.

This approach is called show-and-tell or to use an older term, a parable. History’s most effective teachers — Buddha, Jesus, Aesop, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Robert A. Heinlein, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ayn Rand — have taught by storytelling.

Masters of totalitarian propaganda including Goebbels, Lenin, Stalin, and FDR all understood that movies have been essential in mass communication.

Libertarians, Agorists, Voluntaryists, lend me your ears — and eyes.

Watch these clips from Alongside Night.

–J. Neil Schulman, who wrote the novel and made the movie

Most Libertarian CardMost Libertarian Icon
The Most Libertarian Sequence in Any Movie Ever!

Libertarian Rally CardLibertarian Rally Icon
The Most Libertarian Rally in any Movie!

Economics in One Minute CardEconomics in One Minute Icon
“Economics in One Minute”

Legal Tender Deniers CardLegal Tender Deniers Icon
“Legal Tender Deniers”

Meeting the Cadre CardMeeting the Cadre Icon
Meeting the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre

Free Talk Live Card
Free Talk Live Icon
Free Talk Live in Alongside Night

Magnesium CardMagnesium Icon
“Magnesium!” — An Action Sequence in Alongside Night

Dr. Ron Paul in Alongside Night CardDr. Ron Paul in Alongside Night Icon
Dr. Ron Paul in Alongside Night

Alongside Night Teaser Trailer CardAlongside Night Teaser Icon
The Alongside Night Teaser Trailer

60 Second Commercial CardDr, Ron Paul in Alongside Night Card
The Alongside Night 60 Second Radio Commercial

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Grief as a Pointed Gun


Let’s start with the plot from the most recent episode of the TNT series Proof, a paranormal drama about researchers attempting by scientific means to prove or disprove the reality of life after death.

In Season 1 Episode 6 “Private Matters” (July 21, 2015) one of the researchers — reminiscent of the 1983 movie Brainstorm — dies while wearing equipment recording his brainwaves and sophisticated computer algorithms record not only life memories but imagery suggesting transmissions from the afterlife. But when the researcher’s grieving widow is brought into the lab to separate memory imagery from possible afterlife imagery she freaks out that her late husband’s brainwave recordings of their life together is violating her privacy and sues to destroy the recordings.

I was immediately reminded of how — in a tabloid campaign reminiscent of The Banner‘s campaign against Howard Roark’s architecture for Enright House in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead or real-world yellow-paper campaigns conducted by Pulitzer or Hearst or Murdoch-owned newspapers — FNC’s Bill O’Reilly has been exploiting the grief from family members of murder-victim Kate Steinle to promote a new law cracking down on serial violators of U.S. immigration law.

O'reilly Factor July 13 2015
Bill O’Reilly interviews Kate Steinle’s parents, James Steinle and Elizabeth Sullivan

This vile use of grief as a weapon is nothing new. Inflaming public passion by parading grieving family is business-as-usual for proponents of all sorts of more restrictive statism. After the Empire of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor hysteria about Americans of Japanese ancestry — with nothing other than race linking them to the enemy — led to American citizens’ property being seized while they were imprisoned in American concentration camps.

Every time a perp uses a gun to cause havoc gun-ban advocates parade out victims’ family members and use their tears as weapons to promote their totalitarian civilian-disarmament agenda.

If the perp can be associated with a foreign faction such as in the case of Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez who on July 17, 2015 committed a multiple-fatality shooting of Marine and Naval personnel in Chattanooga, TN, military officials will be brought on camera to express their teary-eyed rage.

The agenda is always the same: to take a criminal and his vile acts and — instead of focusing on how the public can arm themselves against future attacks — to inflame public outrage against some larger class of despised outsiders by recruiting the tears of family, friends, and co-workers as weapons stockpiled in the cause of tyranny.

No doubt there were some actual Russians who died at the hand of Ukrainians to justify Stalin’s mass starvation Holodomor and Nazis who were murdered by actual Jews used by Hitler to justify deporting Jews to Dachau and Auschwitz.

Letting one’s grief be the reason one becomes the pawn of master manipulators is understandable. They get you, like any other heartless con man does, when you’re at your most vulnerable.

But those in the media who use grieving to get ratings or, worse, to gain more power for their puppet masters, have no excuse. They are the very devil.

I revisit this topic in my article Weaponizing Grief

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Cowards, Heroes, and Servers


Let’s get one thing out of the way. Like the Hero Oscar Gordon in Robert A. Heinlein’s 1963 epic fantasy novel Glory Road, I’m a coward. Whenever possible. That doesn’t mean I’m not trained in arms and will use them to defend my cowardly life if necessary to remain alive and cowardly. I’m just too old to run away anymore.

The Cowardly Lion

I’m not a supporter of Donald Trump, or any other political candidate for that matter. I’m not only a coward but I’m an anarchist. Most people, even a lot of fellow anarchists, don’t know what the word means. It doesn’t mean not respecting the rights of other people and favoring chaos. That would be the nihilists. I mean that I’ve studied governments, empires, and statism and concluded the human race could do far better if affairs were organized in free marketplaces and other organization that doesn’t start with someone threatening someone else with violence or killing someone as an example to scare others into non-resistant compliance.

But I agree with Trump’s initial statement about John McCain. John McCain is no hero to me.

That doesn’t mean McCain isn’t brave and endured hellish conditions as a Vietnam War POW he chose not to escape for the sake of his fellow captured Americans. It does mean I don’t consider the job John McCain was doing as a soldier in an ultimately useless war that ended in the enemy’s victory was in any way service to the American people. McCain followed the orders of poltroons and by the trial standards established at Nuremberg his “just following orders” was no escape from moral turpitude. Certainly there is little virtue in McCain’s suspending his presidential run to lobby fellow senators to give unearned taxpayer billions to still unindicted financial criminals.

But even by the standards legendarily preached by General George Patton, there’s no “E for Effort” in warfare. Patton, like Trump, preferred winners. Alvin York in World War I and Audie Murphy in World War II — both Congressional Medal of Honor winners — are by the rules of warfare more entitled to be called heroes than service members who got captured and spent their service as prisoners. That’s not the opinion of this cowardly anarchist who never spent a day serving in the military. (If you don’t count the year I spent at age 14 wearing the United States Air Force uniform as a cadet information officer in the Massachusetts Civil Air Patrol, the Air Force Auxiliary.) That’s how the American government itself hands out ratings for military heroism.

My dad was found 4F and never recruited when he reported for duty after his World War II draft notice but if my dad had been accepted he likely would have played violin in Glenn Miller’s Army Air Force Band — Dave Schwartz, my dad’s roommate at the Curtis Institute of Music who played viola in that band, would have arranged for Colonel Miller to request him. Instead, my dad toured military bases in the U.S. as a solo violinist and played in war bond concerts. Does that make my dad’s “service” less worthy than my uncle Murray who spent the war as a U.S. army med tech in New Guinea? I don’t think so.

One of my first jobs was as a uniformed security guard for Holmes Security in New York City. Somewhere I can’t find it easily is a photo my dad took of me in my guard uniform, which if you didn’t know better could swear was the uniform of a Nazi SS officer. On one occasion I was assigned to join U.S. Secret Service, Israeli Mossad and New York City police as the protection detail for Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, on a visit to New York. I was the guy who was detailed to look for bombs. Does my working in the private sector mean I wasn’t “serving”? Does that make me a hero? I don’t think so.

There is a mythology of Service applied only to those who serve the State that questioning their heroism or service is unpatriotic. Donald Trump tripped that wire and that makes him briefly worthwhile to the libertarian cause. Someone’s job description is always up for rational analysis and there are no protective halos — not for soldiers, not for a president, not even for a Saint Mother Teresa or a Pope Francis.

Robert A. Heinlein graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served on a peacetime U.S. destroyer; during World War II he was a civilian worker in high-tech (for its time) defense work.

Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein

None of this is anywhere near as important service as Heinlein’s work as a science-fiction writer (author of the pro-military novels Starship Troopers and Space Cadet, if that matters to you) whose work on the movie Destination Moon helped inspire the Apollo moon landings.

Or my dad’s work as a concert violinist.

Or, to be hoped, this cowardly anarchist’s work as a writer, publisher, activist, and filmmaker.

This desperate statist veneration of its armed forces and police as somehow being more valuable to a free society than civilians in a host of other jobs — and on this point I disagree with Heinlein — puts the world out of balance and leads to needless destruction.

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Flag Banning


I’m a native New Yorker. Had I been alive in the past centuries with my current beliefs I would have been a slavery Abolitionist and if possible both an activist in the Underground Railroad smuggling slaves to freedom in Canada and an agitator for slave rebellions against slaveholders in states where slavery was legal.

That said, I oppose the current move by retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Sears and eBay to ban sale of merchandise displaying the Confederate Battle Flag and of Warner Brothers to stop making toy “Dukes of Hazzard” cars carrying the Confederate flag decal.

Dukes of Hazzard General Lee
Dukes of Hazzard General Lee

This wiping out of American history, putting the Confederate flag into an Orwellian Memory Hole, can only benefit a totalitarian view where the honoring of any rebellion against central government is tagged as unallowable. The cause of preserving slavery was an evil motive for rebellion but the Constitution as permitting no exit clause for dissenters against hegemonic centralism is also evil.

I would have agreed with abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison that, if anything, the non-slave-owning states should have seceded from the Union and been a haven for slaves escaping from the slave-holding states.

Libertarians make a mistake if we believe our freedom can only be lost to government edict. The surrender without a fight to trendy historical censorship is as quick a path to tyranny.

When private companies ban merchandise because the fragile among us object, it will never stop. Banning sales of firearms and ammunition when evildoers use them against the innocent will follow. The battle flag of the American Revolution — the “Dont Tread on Me” Gadsden Flag — will disappear if some demented Tea Party zealot commits a lone-wolf act of terrorism and embraces that symbol while doing it.

And when we see drone-strike “collateral damage” burning the Stars and Stripes should Americans pull down their national flag in sympathy as well?

Abandon your past and you condemn your future.

If flags can be banned, so can books and movies.

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Schooling the Academics


As I write this Cinemax is running the 1986 comedy Back to School.

The movie stars Rodney Dangerfield, the brilliant stand-up comic whose theme was always, “I get no respect.”

The theme of Back to School is Dangerfield’s, who co-wrote the story, about a successful self-made multi-millionaire whose only schooling is the School of Hard Knocks, versus snobbish and entitled academics with no real-world accomplishments who give the real-world achiever no respect. As Dangerfield’s movie portrays, the feeling is mutual.

Back to School poster

I dropped out of college, the only community college that would accept me based on a certificate of completion from a private tutorial academy, in my second semester. It wasn’t only that I was bored by instructors who couldn’t write or argue as well as I already could from what I’d learned in my own reading and teenage entrepreneurial pursuits, but the academic atmosphere itself offended me. A psychology course expected me to share my personal life with other students, all strangers, as if this were group therapy. I’d already undergone several years of private psychiatry which had been personally beneficial and knew what issues were mine to resolve, but nobody else’s business.

As well, after years of sitting in classrooms that taught me far less than days reading books I’d chosen from visits to libraries, I was impatient to test myself in the real world. I’d already achieved minor success as a photo-journalist who beginning at age 14 had sold photography to local newspapers and portrait photography to individual clients. Now, pursuing writing as my new profession, I was more interested in making sales to newspapers, magazines, and book publishers. Delaying this by sitting in classrooms that had nothing to teach me that I couldn’t teach myself more efficiently had no appeal to me. The social approval of others who would judge me not on my actual work but on academic degrees struck me as remnants of an aristocratic Old World that I thought the American Revolution was fought to disestablish.

Today, after decades in the real-world marketplace, I can acknowledge lost opportunities because I didn’t pursue academic degrees. I wasn’t entirely allergic to classrooms and audited Murray Rothbard classes in economics he taught in Brooklyn. I’ve taken extension courses in subjects that interested me at UCLA. I achieved a certificate from college courses in police work that qualified me to become a California peace officer, though I never was offered employment in the field. And I even taught a graduate course in digital publishing for the New School, based on my own early entrepreneurship in the field, to students seeking a Masters degree. One of my students was a vice-president at Prentice-Hall publishing.

Nonetheless, when in the 1990′s I applied for a full-time editorial position at Reason Magazine after having been published in Reason, National Review, the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times Op-Ed page; had two award-winning novels published by major New York publishers; and had written for prime-time network television, Reason editor Virginia Postrel told me in a phone follow-up to my job application that I didn’t even make her top-ten for the position because I didn’t have a Bachelor’s degree.

The only paid editorial office position I ever scored in my career was working for a soft-core porn pulp magazine published by Screw Magazine’s Al Goldstein.

Today — even having achieved endorsements and praise on my writing from numerous doctorate-wielding university professors — academics with no publishing credits nearing my own in both popular media and academic journals, dominate conferences from the Independent Institute, Students for Liberty, CATO, the Reason Foundation, and conferences like PorcFest leaning to the left and FreedomFest leaning to the right — and I haven’t received a main-program-track speaking offer at any of these events for years.

I have friends like Brad Linaweaver — who holds a Masters Degree in English from the ivy-league Rollins College — who has real-world publishing credits as long or longer than my own. Academic achievement does not preclude real-world results.

But my disgust and contempt for supposedly libertarian publishers, conference organizers, and organizations that give out grants and awards for writing, publishing, and producing serious works encompassing free-market and libertarian ideas — preferencing academics over marketplace achievers like myself — makes me want to aim projectile vomit over their revanchist Old World Class.

This, alone, loses the libertarian future, and don’t think this autodidact doesn’t hate their guts because of their discriminatory lack of respect.

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When Law is Outlawed Only Outlaws Will Have Law


What?

The title of this article reads like a Zen Kōan, the best-known being “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

I don’t mean my title as a mystery or a riddle. I mean it exactly.

You don’t need to focus on police killings of black men such as Michael Brown, Eric Garner, or Freddie Gray to conclude that there’s an underclass vulnerable to homicide under color of law. If we look no wider it’s facile to adopt a narrative that the Civil Rights movement failed to move the United States past institutionalized white supremacy, paradoxically at a time when Freddie Gray’s Baltimore has a black mayor and police chief and both the two-term current President of the United States and both the current and previous Attorney General of the United States are black.

The evidence alone demands we look further.

Spending a few minutes looking at the CopBlock project website tells us it’s not just black men who are on the business end of thuggish police. There is no race, gender, or age that is not regularly the subject of harassment and brutal tactics at the hands of law-enforcement officers — local, state, and federal. I’m not talking about bad apples generally unrepresentative of their departments, sadists failed to be weeded out. I’m talking about officers trained in official use-of-force policies that exonerate sworn officers when they use weaponry and tactics justified with the argument that any fear of harm to an officer exonerates lethal or barely sublethal violence for even the most minor offense or generalized suspicion.

This is the sort of official lawlessness under color of law that brings out news trucks, protesters, political hucksters, wannabe nihilist revolutionaries armed with bricks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails, fire fetishists to whom a burning building is orgasmic, and opportunistic looters.

There’s a federal law supposedly addressing this: Title 18 USC Section 242 — which can be found on the Department of Justice website:

DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW

Summary:

Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

If this law alone was enforced, we’d be halfway to the restoration of law and order because the assumption of Sovereign Immunity that protects the police — a concept antithetical to the concept of an America freed from monarchy — would no longer shield the shielded from more obvious cases of officious criminality.

Nonetheless that kind of obvious lawlessness is the least of our current abandonment of law.

Justice in Blind

When in the Course of human events …

  • The Fifth Amendment is nullified and any non-cooperation or technically false statement to an official investigator can get one imprisoned — and Martha Stewart was neither black nor poor — there is no law and order anymore;
  • And when

  • Not complying with tax laws or mandated accounting;
  • Failure to return library books or failure to pay parking tickets;
  • Allowing your child to walk home from a park unaccompanied by an adult;
  • Non-compliance with any of hundreds of thousands of obscure and contradictory local, state, and federal regulations and paperwork;
  • Possession of substances or objects arbitrarily prohibited
  • Civil forfeiture of private property without a conviction of a crime, approved by the Supreme Court;
  • Death by drone, detention without charges, official spying without limit;

makes what is claimed as law a chute into court, seizure of one’s property, arrest, extortion into a plea, and imprisonment for even the top one-percent — much less the other 99% who barely scrape by and can’t afford expensive accountants and lawyers, or worse, the grave …

Then the claim we live under reasonable or fair law demanding obedience is a God damned lie.

We live in an age of patchwork customs and legality, some based on legislation, some from bureaucratic rule-making bought and paid for by lobbyists, some from court ruling and precedent forged by a class of professional philosophunculists.

Nobody is “equal under the law.”

Some people have established privilege and protection.

Some people have extra risk and liability.

Sometimes the difference is a yard or two crossing an imaginary territorial line.

Sometimes it’s race/class/gender/shifting popularity.

Sometimes it’s looking at someone powerful the wrong way.

Sometimes it’s just confusing, like whether a Native American has more brownie points than a Transgender or a Veteran.

It’s heaven-made for lawyers, a priestcraft who navigate our way through this established insanity for hundreds of bucks per billable hour.

It’s also confounded by statistics everybody knows which aren’t true and partisan divisions that are moving targets.

There is no law. There is only power and market and what Ayn Rand delightfully called the Aristocracy of Pull.

Equal under the law? There’s law?

You conservatives are just kidding, right — and you liberals are just in denial?

I never thought I’d see the day when Michael Moore, the filmmaker of Bowling for Columbine would agree with me that the reason for the Second Amendment is to arm the public so it can defend themselves. But Moore tweeted on April 30th, four days ago, “Next demand: Disarm the police. We have a 1/4 billion 2nd amendment guns in our homes 4 protection. We’ll survive til the right cops r hired”

Michael Moore tweet

When police commit crime under color of law, the law dies and the lawless rule.

Usually councils of business leaders are the most vocal supporters of police and government in general. How long will it take for business leaders to remember that the American Revolution of the 1770′s was supported by business leaders for the obvious reason that sending capricious and bureaucratic “swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance” is bad for business?

And if the costs of complying with evermore government regulation doesn’t wake them up to the cost of official lawlessness, could arson and looting trashing their businesses — following just about every instance of police lawlessness — possibly make the small business a revolutionary vanguard again?

When business relies not on government to provide law, but the rules of business itself to provide a stable market, we might get going a coalition to get our country back from those liars who claim that anarchists like me are the foes of law, when the opposite is true: the most dangerous enemies of law today are those who claim to enforce it.

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Making Liberty Go Viral


In the 1970′s, as a young radical-libertarian fiction writer, I had the thought: What If — instead of setting the struggle for liberty in the past, or on another world, or in a parallel dimension or alternate timeline or post-apocalyptic future — I played that story on streets barely changed from ones outside my own window?

I didn’t write Alongside Night to be another Atlas Shrugged or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I wrote it to say that you didn’t need to go to the Land of Oz if you wanted to see the wizardry of freedom. It could be right on the sidewalks you walked every day and you didn’t need any ruby or glass slippers.

I believe that in seeking liberty stories are far more important than either elections or marches. Ideas without the imagination to visualize them remain stillborn.

I knew right from the beginning that Alongside Night would have to be more than a novel. I wrote my first draft of a screenplay adaptation before the first book came off the printing press.

Today, Alongside Night is the novel which was its first expression; but it is now also a movie, a graphic novel, an audiobook, and a song. All versions tell pretty much the same story.

I tried and failed to get the major film festivals and Hollywood studios to put my movie onto hundreds or thousands of movieplex screens. They didn’t want it. Knowing their politics, in which sugar and safety rank much higher than liberty, that should not have been a surprise … but I’m always an optimist.

More disappointing to me were people whom I thought prized liberty as much as I do only to discover their conventionality and timidity when courageous imagination was needed.

I did meet some heroes along the way, too — both old friends and some new ones.

We who love liberty, whoever we are, have to get the word out ourselves and if they’re to be deeply ingrained not just words, but pictures, voices, music, and ideas.

Alongside Night is already in distribution as a novel, graphic novel, and audiobook. You can find all of those for sale on Amazon.com if nowhere else. In a few months the Blu-Ray and DVD of the movie will be just as available — we’re aiming at Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, and Redbox.

If you’re a blogger, a podcaster, or just have Facebook friends or Twitter followers — hey, maybe you even have a face, voice, or byline in the Big Media — you don’t have to wait. I just made a secret web page with links to watch the full Alongside Night movie, to read the movie edition of the novel, to read the graphic novel, and to listen to the audiobook.

If you want to write or talk about Alongside Night in any or all of these versions you just need to email me (jneil[at]jesulu.com) or send me a Facebook message promising me you’ll keep the page and its links secret and I’ll give you the secret URL.

Yours in liberty,

J. Neil Schulman

Alongside Night The Movie

Alongside Night The Movie Edition

Alongside Night The Graphic Novel

Alongside Night The Audiobook

It’s the near future and America is in trouble. Hyperinflation and disorder reign in the towns and cities of the nation. The government doesn’t have money to pay the military. A revolutionary group inspired by the Declaration of Independence is fomenting a second American Revolution and the director of a futuristic FEMA is arresting political enemies without court-issued warrants and imprisoning them in a secret prison.

This is the nonstop action and suspense in award-winning indie filmmaker J. Neil Schulman’s latest production, Alongside Night, based on his award-winning 1979 novel endorsed by Nobel-laureate Milton Friedman, A Clockwork Orange author Anthony Burgess, and Dr. Ron Paul.

Starring Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), Said Faraj (Green Zone), Contact 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.

“J.Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night is at the forefront of libertarian cinema.” — Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly

“I’d like to mention to the viewers, hopefully when you get the chance take a look at this movie, read the book. Neil’s worked hard in the libertarian movement. And we’d like to move it along and get it a lot of attention because that’s exactly what we want to do on this program, on this channel, is to promote the cause of liberty and I believe Alongside Night will do that.”
–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

“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, Mondo Cult

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.

Alongside Night has had successful paid ticketed theatrical screenings in Santa Monica, CA; Las Vegas, NV; Dallas, TX; Austin, TX; Columbus, OH; Scottsdale, AZ; Spokane, WA; Apple Valley, MN; Schaumburg, IL; Lansing, MI; Okemos, MI; and Lehi, UT.

Official Movie Website

Official Facebook

Official Twitter

YouTube Short Video Play List

Alongside Night Freedom Poster

Las Vegas Weekly article by Josh Bell

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Citizenfour is a Real Life “John Galt”


Watching Citizenfour in its HBO premiere Monday evening, a day after it won the Oscar for Best Feature-Length Documentary, leaves me with the perception that I haven’t watched a documentary but a work of dramatic fiction.

This is not to criticize documentarian Laura Poitras for deliberately slanting coverage of her subject, Edward Snowden, toward the sympathetic. She’s entitled to an editorial point of view.


Edward Snowden. From Citizenfour
by Laura Poitras / Praxis Films

The trouble is with Edward Snowden, himself, as much in this film as in Brian Williams’ NBC interview with Snowden that aired in May 2014.

Edward Snowden explains his actions in terms common to fictional heroes, and when non-controversial characters like these are found in real life they’re usually decorated military, police, or firemen.

What makes Edward Snowden come across as a fictional character is that he as an individual – with no institutional backing – took unilateral action with global consequences and justifed his actions on moral grounds. In real life when this happens it’s usually a terrorist – a bomber, assassin, or violent psychopath – pitting his moral claims against a society he sees as wrong. But Edward Snowden is not a nut job, rather a sane and reasonable man who found himself with an unique opportunity to act against grand institutional criminality that he saw could not be corrected within an existing institutional framework.

That makes Edward Snowden the rarest of real-life characters: a noble and effective revolutionary.

In real life it’s exceptionally uncommon to find a man like Edward Snowden, facing felony charges of violating espionage laws, and living a relatively low-profile life in exile.

Edward Snowden reminds me of no fictional character so much as Ayn Rand’s John Galt in her novel Atlas Shrugged, an engineer who decides to sabotage a state growing toward totalitarianism, by first withdrawing his personal sanction then convincing others of talent and expertise to do likewise.

But Edward Snowden is not a fictional character out of Atlas Shrugged … or my own novel and movie about a current-day rebellion against the United States government, Alongside Night. He’s a real-life current day American Revolutionary in the direct tradition of the Founding Fathers.

Edward Joseph Snowden seems to be aware of his place in history. Reacting to Oscar host Neil Patrick Harris’s joke about treason directly after Citizenfour won its Oscar, Snowden quoted Patrick Henry: “If this be treason, make the most of it.”

Patrick Henry made that statement in 1765, eight years before the Boston Tea Party, ten years before Paul Revere’s ride and the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and 11 years before the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence triggering the American Revolutionary War.

Make no mistake: if America is not to degrade into totalitarian fascism then Edward Snowden is a harbinger of a re-upped American Revolution. His explanation in support of his having revealed what he regards as unconstitutional criminal acts by the United States government is based on the same principles as the Declaration of Independence’s explanations for refusing to obey the laws of Britain’s king and parliament.

Snowden is a hero to me because I share with him the libertarian values of the American Revolution and do not see anything short of a revolutionary refusal to abide violation of fundamental human rights under color of law as a remedy.

I don’t know what’s more frightening: that we have a real-life John Galt declaring in our own time the reasons for rebellion against a burgeoning American tyranny that betrays its Enlightenment foundations … or that we need one.

J. Neil Schulman discusses the legality, morality, and purposes of Edward Snowden’s revelations of classified government documents regarding massive government spying on American citizens in the radio podcast The Real Side with Joe Messina interview J Neil Schulman (December 16, 2014)


Citizenfour Trailer

J Neil Schulman is the author of 12 books, including three novels, and a Twilight Zone writer. He’s writer/producer/director of the near-future suspense feature film Alongside Night (out in a limited release), which he adapted from his 1979 award-winning novel of the same name. The Prometheus Hall of Fame novel was endorsed by Nobel-laureate Milton Friedman, A Clockwork Orange author Anthony Burgess, and Dr. Ron Paul http://alongsidenightmovie.com

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