L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise | Reparations for All!

 

L. Neil Smith

I have been listening to collectivists of differing descriptions yammer and whine and bleat about “reparations” for black slavery since I first became politically aware, going on sixty years now, even though not a single living American has ever been a slave — not in the conventional sense, anyway — nor has any living American ever owned slaves.

The notable exceptions are the military draft (one historian I know maintains that the Thirteenth Amendment was written, in part, to forbid conscription), income taxation — if you are looking for the modern institution of slavery, you need look no further than the way the American Productive Class is treated — and human, mostly child sexual trafficking These are subjects for an altogether different set of essays, which I will eventually write.

Temporarily overlooking various logical and practical difficulties, however (for example, I just heard a TV pundit pondering whether Barack Obama could expect any payments, since his mother was lily-white, and his Kenyan father’s side of the family was never enslaved) any individual of my particular ethnic background has to wonder, is my check in the mail, as well?

My ethnic background? It turns out, you see, that according both to genetic evidence and genealogy (my wife’s hobby), that I am overwhelmingly _Irish_. I only recently discovered this salutary fact.

My hardy ancestors have a long, dismal history of subjugation and exploitation by their next-door neighbors, the English — including being reduced to chattel slavery — which they have been fighting against or attempting to escape for eight hundred fifty years.

Talk about consistency!

The English invaded Ireland in 1169, and the Irish never forgot they had once been free or forgave the hated _bodach_ (look it up). The Irish people became feudal _property_, often forbidden to speak their own language or practice other elements of their culture. When the English spread their vile influence to other parts of the world, the more useful specimens among their Irish serfs were selected and sold to planters in their various colonies.

If you want to know what it looked like, more or less, get a copy of my favorite pirate movie, Michael Curtiz’ fabulous _Captain Blood_, where a physician (played by Errol Flynn) who makes the mistake of treating casualties from the wrong side of the English Civil War, is arrested, enslaved, and sold south to the Caribbean as a field-hand._Captain Blood_ was deeply influential on my space-pirate novel, _Henry Martyn_, which concerns itself with many of the same issues and has some swell battle scenes, if I say so, myself.

To summarize, then, the English invaded, abused, exploited, and cruelly enslaved my ancestors, the Irish. Read up about the Potato Famine, sometime. To whatever extent American blacks living today are owed some kind of payment from innocent taxpayers for their ancestors having been slaves, _to exactly that extent_, I, along with every other Irish person in the world, am owed reparations by the English — and I intend to bring up this embarrassing demand, as loudly and obnoxiously as I can, every single time that reparations of any kind are mentioned.

If you find the idea of reparations as insane as Maxine Waters, feel free to post this essay where you will, provided it’s unchanged and proper credit is given will make an unbearable nuisance of myself, so help me Spike Lee and Bridget Moynahan!

Pay up, John Bull! I will graciously accept cash, checks (or cheques), money orders, or whatever, in dollars or in pounds.

Former slave ownership in Senegal, Gore Island


Award-winning novelist and essayist L. Neil Smith is a retired gunsmith, Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise and the author of over thirty books. Look him up on Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon.com and watch for the forthcoming ONLY THE YOUNG DIE GOOD and ARES. He is available, at professional rates, to write columns, articles, and speeches for your organization, event, or publication, fiercely defending your rights, as he has done since the mid-1960s. His writings (and e-mail address) may also be found at L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise, at JPFO.org or at https://www.patreon.com/lneilsmith, to which you can contribute, directly. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may also be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essay was originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use it to fight the continuing war against tyranny.


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