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Not serious or funny enough
on 8 December 2013
It is difficult to review a book when you agree with almost all it says but where, sadly, it didn't engage on an intellectual or a `reader' level. Remarkably I ended up speed-reading much of the second half. So what went wrong?
Given the author, I did think that it would be written with humour - preferably the kind of cartoon-like, dark humour that illustrates the absurdity of our situation - perhaps the funny side was edited out - but why? If it wasn't going to be funny, maybe Frisby should have concentrated more seriously on two key questions - how, given the manifest failings of the over-large State, did we end up with one? Frisby grumbles but does not ask any big existential questions and prefers to concentrate on gold. Is it possible that universal suffrage leads to the welfare state - which inexorably leads to the overlarge state? Perhaps the abandonment of gold is just a tool in the process? And, secondly, what about that "Life AFTER the State? Well, not much on that either except to say how well we will organize ourselves. I agree with that (to a large extent) but how we will transition from where we are now (treated as farmed animals) to that life in the wild agrarian after is a key undelivered promise of the book. It will be a horrible shock, no doubt, but some wider speculation (taken from history) on population levels, freedom and social structure might be both amusing and informative.