L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise: Sticks and Stones


By L. Neil Smith

We have come to be living in a world where the use of the wrong word (or even worse, the right one) can be regarded as a criminal act.

Refer to a member of the sexually-confused profession by a pronoun they didn’t make up, and in some places (Canada, for example, where the light of the First Amendment never shines, or California, where it’s about to be extinguished) and you can end up in the slammer, or owing some voracious loonie a whole lot of money.

At the same time, ever since Hollywood impresario Harvey Weinstein was “outed” (the term “predator” offers the man too much dignity — lions are predators; dolphins are predators.), most observers, especially in the “news” business, appear confused and unable to adjust to the Brave New World it all seems to portend. It’s kind of like the limerick that ends, “And they argued all night/ Over who had the right/ To do what, and with which, and to whom.”  What is “inappropriate behavior”, and who decides? What is “molestation” and what does it consist of? What is rape?

Libertarians — real ones, I mean, not that embarrassing pair of stooges who ran for the Presidency last time, or the parliament of halfwits and pimps who nominated them — have an advantage sorting out what’s going on in Hollywood, Washington, New York, and elsewhere these days. It’s called the Zero Aggression Principle (otherwise known as the ZAP), and, properly wielded,  it can allow us to discriminate swiftly and accurately between genuine criminal activity and the “merely” nasty and unpleasant.

The ZAP is the heart and soul of what it means to be libertarian; it is that movement’s central tenet. The ZAP holds that nobody has a right, under any circumstances, to initiate physical force against another human being for any reason whatever. Al Franken, for example, the Unfunny Comedian and Slimy Senator, allowed himself to be photographed as if he were about to put his hands atop the breasts of his sleeping (and battle-armored) USO co-performer, Leeann Tweeden. It’s unlikely that he actually touched her in that moment, or ever intended to. Juvenile and tasteless, yes. A criminal violation of the ZAP, no. On another occasion, however, he forcibly “kissed” the same woman and tried to stick his tongue down her throat, which probably qualifies as rape.

Weinstein became famous for genitally exposing himself to multiple young women (nothing they wouldn’t be “exposed to” in a Vatican statuary hall), which may be disgusting, and even criminal in some jurisdictions (check with former Akansas Governor Bill Clinton about that), but is contactless and ethically very different from physically cornering and attempting to sexually penetrate English actress Lysette Anthony (Amanda Fitton in the _Champion_ adventure “Sweet Danger”) among others. Speaking of Waco Willie, some females he “merely” exposed his bent and crooked schwanzstucker to (the condition is known as “Peyronie’s disease”) and suggested they kiss it, and at least one he raped on a hotel bed (“Better get some ice on that.”).

Just as an aside (my wife and daughter assure me that these outrages are all about wielding power, not being horny, and for various anthropological and psychological I’m inclined to agree with them), are none of the accused miscreants tall, handsome regular-featured fellows?

I know that women see these things differently. It’s hard to imagine females in general being offended by amorous approaches from Chris Evans or Tom Selleck (who once offered “free mustache rides for the ladies” in one of his movies. But Harvey Weinstein is a big, fat, prickly hump, kind of like Mount Everest with five o’clock shadow. John Conyers looks like Yoda after a particularly bad day at the office. If somebody were to dye Al Franken’s face  green, he would closely resemble Pepe the Frog.

But as usual, I have digressed.

The point (I had one around here, somewhere) is that just as the difference between sex and rape is consent, the difference between assault and non-assault is the initiation of force. Matt Lauer is apparently a pretty bad guy, a corny movie villain like Oilcan Harry (look him up).  The electric lock on his office door, operated by a switch in his desk once he had a potential victim nearly in his evil liberal clutches, is called “false imprisonment”; it’s a felony.

However, telling somebody that they look good in a sweater, or even that their bending over presents a nice view, is _language_. It is words. It is vibrating air. It is not assault, it is not rape, it is talk. The attempt to make it anything else is Stalinist feminazi propaganda, a blatant attempt to wreck our medium of communication. I had to confront a publisher once, over my continued use of the word “girl” (originally, a Shakespearean-era term for a youth of either sex– keep that in mind the next time you say “You’re such a girl!”. I won, editorially, and still use it, but it’s probably one thing that cost me a much more lucrative career than I’ve enjoyed.

And I would do it again.

L. Neil Smith

Celebrated and award-winning author of over 30 books and countless shorter pieces, L. Neil Smith is available, at professional rates, to write articles and speeches for you or your organization, providing that our principles are compatible. Contact him at lneil@netzero.com.


“Any official, appointed or elected, at any level of government, who attempts, through legislative act or other means, to nullify, evade, or avoid the provisions of the first ten amendments to this Constitution, or of the Thirteenth Amendment, shall be summarily removed from office, and, upon conviction, deprived of all pay and benefits including pension, and sentenced to imprisonment for life.”


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One Response to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise: Sticks and Stones

  1. William Hicks December 4, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Interesting, but too often assault starts with words and a wise person considers, and measures, those words.


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