Life Without Our Wise Overlords
by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
The first 24 hours after a book becomes available to the public are anxious ones for an author. Will people love the book, hate the book, or be indifferent? And so you wait.
I was in that very position earlier this month. And then I read what Jeffrey Tucker wrote about my new book, Rollback:
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) 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. … I can easily see this book as this generation’s Common Sense: a book that enlightens and emboldens people to see the practical urgency of liberty in our times and in our world.
That was a relief.
The book proceeds as if peeling layers from an onion. The first layer involves facts and interpretations that are in effect disputed by no one. (You can read the first chapter online.) Here is the fiscal crisis Americans are facing. It will force us to make wrenching changes. The situation, though, is an opportune moment to go back and reexamine the myths by which we were sold the ongoing expansion of government in the first place. I announce at this point that I intend to describe the crisis as an opportunity to be seized, not a calamity to be deplored.
What the book is saying, in short, is this: given the collapse that is staring us in the face, we can’t afford to think about government like sixth graders anymore, even if we should want to. And what we were taught in sixth grade about our allegedly selfless and indispensable political class was a pack of lies anyway. It is not the case that without the political class (1) we’d have no art or science, (2) our limbs would be blown off by exploding consumer products, and (3) we’d all be working in a mine for a dollar a day.
The book then proceeds to one of its least controversial claims: the policies of Barack Obama have been a disaster. I probably don’t need to elaborate on this here.