Ripping the Disguise Off Government
Woods Removes the Veil
by Jeffrey A. Tucker
I’m very happy that my copy of Rollback arrived today. It is a very different book from what you would expect. Once again, Thomas Woods dealt with a publisher that packaged his book for a particular niche market but if you pay attention to the packaging, you miss the substance. In this case, and probably once again, the target is the Tea Party. But the substance? This is the book that tracks its target like a hound on the chase, and the prey is the central government and the myths that surround it. In some way, I really do hope that Tea Party people buy it. They will leave this book much enlightened, changed, and even radicalized.
This book is certainly going to make most readers uncomfortable and that’s all to the good. It takes on both liberal and conservative conventions and their habits of mind. The objective of the work is dramatically ambitious but never quite stated outright. I would describe it this way: Woods works with relentless precision, like an intellectual surgeon, to convince the reader that the government is not what it says (the source of security, prosperity, peace, justice, health) it is but is rather the opposite and thereby we can and should do without it precisely in the name of promoting security, prosperity, peace justice, and health.
He strives to completely lift the veil that covers the state, and he does so not through rhetorical bombast or libertarian theorizing but through careful, fact-filled argumentation on the issues that most people think about.
The success of the book owes something to its extremely creative organization. He begins with the general theme and jumps straight into the big issues that are being debated right now. So the first target is health care, and here he goes back to the beginning of government involvement and takes us straight up to the present, showing that the entire sector is half-socialized as it is and it is precisely because of this that there are so many problems. Then he demonstrates the gross error of proceeding further down the socialist path, and argues for repealing the existing apparatus, not in the way that Republicans are imagining but in a way that goes beyond what anyone in public life is willing to say.