The liberty movement lost one of its most unique and effective communicators on Saturday, August 10 when J. Neil Schulman died at the age of 66. Neil was the author of 11 books and a filmmaker who founded his own production company Sisulu Productions. While he write some nonfiction—including two collections of essays on the Second Amendment: Self Control Not Gun Control and Stopping Power: Why Millions of Americans Own Guns—his main focus was as a writer of libertarian-themed science fiction.
Neil had a unique ability to incorporate libertarian political theory and Austrian economics into his stories without being heavy handed or boring. Instead, he worked the ideas of liberty into his stories in a way that made the story more entertaining while wanting many readers to learn more about libertarianism and get involved in efforts to restore our lost liberties.
His most well-known work was 1979’s Alongside Night. Alongside Night takes place in the near future where America is suffering a major economic crisis featuring hyperinflation thanks to power hungry politicians, reckless central bankers and crony capitalists. As the government assumes more power to deal with the crises, a libertarian revolt springs up seeking not to overthrow the government, but simply to get the government to leave them alone.
I have previously disused how reading Alongside Night inspired me to learn more about the freedom philosophy and become active in the movement.
In 2014, Neil wrote, produced, and directed a film version of Alongside Night. The film was made on a shoestring budget but was more entertaining (and certainly more pro-liberty) than most Hollywood blockbusters—and not just because it featured a cameo from Ron Paul.
I go to know Neil thought helping him do some promotion for both the film and the 20th Anniversary edition of Alongside Night. In person, Neil was friendly and witty. In the last conversation I had with him, he managed to keep his good spirits up despite suffering some financial setbacks. Anyone who followed him on social media knew that his comments on the news of the day where sure to bring smile to your face and a thought to your brain.
J. Neil Schulman helped inspire many people and others to become active in the liberty movement. I am grateful I had the opportunity to call him a friend.
Here is Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul’s statement on the 20th Anniversary edition of Alongside Night:
“J. Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night may be even more relevant today than it was in 1979. Hopefully, the special thirtieth anniversary edition of this landmark work of libertarian science fiction will inspire a new generation of readers to learn more about the ideas of liberty and become active in the freedom movement.”
You can purchase J. Neil Schulman’s books here.
You can download the Alongside Night movie here. .