I’m in “H. Beam Piper mode.”
If you’ve never heard of H. Beam Piper, you’re not alone. However, if you consider yourself any stripe of libertarian or any level of science fiction fan, go read his body of work on Project Gutenberg. It’s all there — for free.
You’ll find Kindle, EPUB, and HTML formats. Read it via dedicated e-reader, a handheld application, or right in your Web browser. E-reader formats can be saved to your favorite cloud storage service with a single click.
(One should note that Piper was one of Mr. Smith’s major influences. Indeed, Smith named his daughter after one of Piper’s characters.)
Piper was a libertarian by the standards of his era. He wrote extensively of the benefits of the free market, and it figures prominently in most of his work.
He wrote of governments with extremely limited powers. In his classic novella Lone Star Planet, Piper weaves a story based around a representative Republic in which it is legal for any citizen to kill anyone in government — for any reason
It would be a completely spoil the novella to reveal how this figures into the story: read it for yourself. Suffice to say that the government of Lone Star Planet does as little as possible because their next vote could literally be their last.
In his seminal novel Little Fuzzy, Piper offers a definition for “sapience” that should be taught in law schools worldwide. Using his definition makes it easy to differentiate between people and animals — even if the “people” happen to be three-foot tall neolithic aliens covered in fur.
Piper was an avid and knowledgeable gun collector. Weaponry is often prominent in his stories. His descriptions of how specific types of weapons impact strategy and tactics are those of an obvious expert.
I suspect that had Piper lived to see what the United States has become, he’d be an anarcho-capitalist.
Financially destitute, Piper committed suicide in 1964. Immediately prior, he burned any of his works in progress, as well as anything finished but unsold. In spite of this, he left behind a fairly large body of work.
Following his death, all but one of his works fell into the public domain. The remaining novella, “When In the Course …” became the basis of his Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen series (which is in the public domain).
(If you look hard, you can find “When In the Course …” online. Bittorrent is your friend.)
Set aside a few weeks to read his body of work. Your brain will love you for the rest of your life.
I’ve been in wondering: WWHBPD?
Specifically, how would Piper deal with the alarming refugee problem on the United States’ southern border?
To begin with, Piper would see that it’s not an immigration problem at all. It’s a refugee problem. People are fleeing third-world hell-holes, and for good reason: horrific living conditions almost anywhere between the U.S. and South America.
They’re fleeing by the tens of thousands. The total number is in the tens of millions. Those are refugee numbers by any sane definition.
There’s a simple solution. It would be unanimously embraced. Whichever Party does it can write their own ticket for generations:
State by Mexican State, hold votes of Annexation to the United States.
I guarantee unanimous — indeed thunderous — votes of “Si!”
Bring Mexico, State by State, into the United States. Let freedom work for the New States the way it works for Old.
Better still, allow the New Americans — the ones who previously had no rights whatsoever — to digest the meaning of “Constitutionally-protected rights.”
Then let them mull over the Bill of Rights.
People will be freed to follow their own pursuits, own property, exploit local resources for profit; alongside businesses from the Old States expanding to an enormous new market with people desperate for jobs.
I guarantee a near-instantaneous and massive increase in the standard of living.
Keep working south, holding votes of Annexation until all of Mexico is the United States. It could probably be done in two years. If you really wanted to rush it, it’s possible in six months.
When you’re done, keep going — preferably to Panama.
The result: no more illegal immigration and a border that can actually be defended.
(One negative side-effect is that Fort Lauderdale might lose its status as Spring Break capital of the United States. The New U.S. would have some exciting vacation destinations, unlimited by border or passport restrictions.)
Furthermore, by instantly raising the standard of living of their neighbors, Guatemalans will want the same thing. There might be some shooting, possibly even a civil war.
By the end of a decade, I think we’d reach Panama.
There’d be some fighting along the way. There are a lot of rats’ nests to be flushed out — most of them in government. I would expect Martial Law in some of the New States until State Constitutions were drawn up and free elections held.
However, in the process of flushing out the New States’ rats, we’ll flush out their conspirators in the Old States. Things haven’t gotten as bad as they are in Mexico without a lot of American “help” over the decades.
One can easily imagine Congressmen, Senators, and even Presidents put on trial for their lives.
Yes, it means a sudden influx of American citizens. That’s going to happen anyway.
There’s no version of this where the illegals are deported. Sending them home isn’t possible because both Parties want them here.
The Democrats want the illegals because it means a complete stranglehold on government at every level. They’re perceived as the ones letting the illegals in. They’re the ones the illegals are going to remember when it comes time to vote.
Yes, they will vote. Oh, there’ll be plenty of talk about not letting them vote, but it will just be talk. In the end they’ll vote the same as they always have.
The Republicans want the illegals because they foresee the looming collapse of the Social Security Ponzi Scheme. The Boomers retiring are in the process of killing it.
The Republicans are tacitly allowing the flood of people across the border because they think it will keep Social Security afloat for another generation — which it probably would.
In exchange, however, the Republican Party would become utterly irrelevant. Their only hope of survival are votes of Annexation. Amazingly, it will never occur to them.
The New Americans are going to want to exercise their new Constitutionally-protected rights.
They’ll notice that nowhere is their cash crop mentioned in the Constitution, therefore under the 10th Amendment, it’s not a Federal power.
It would force the Federal Government to get out of marijuana prohibition. It would be a State or Local issue — and probably commonplace in at least half the country (Old States included).
It would also force the Federal Government to retreat from gun control.
People from third-world hell-holes understand the utility of self-defense against government depredations. They understand it personally. For their entire lives, they’ve been denied the ability to defend themselves from their own governments.
Given the opportunity to defend themselves, there can be no doubt that they would choose to do so. And again, at least half of the country — Old States included — would follow suit.
Yes, we’ll all be learning a lot more Spanish. Sorry, but that was a foregone conclusion.
Remember, there are only two choices:
- Treat this as an immigration problem and allow it to change the nature of the country.
- Treat this as a refugee problem and create a more stable, more prosperous, larger, more defensible, more free United States.
There is no choice three where they get kicked out. That’s not happening.
We can either make things worse by letting it happen illegally, or we can make things better by totally reforming an entire country. All that needs to happen is allow Mexicans to do what they want:
To be Americans.