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The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age Paperback – August 26, 1999

4.1 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The computer revolution, in the authors' dire scenario, will subvert and destroy the nation-state as globalized cybercommerce, lubricated by cybercurrency, drastically limits governments' powers to tax. They further predict that the next millennium will see an enormous decline in the influence of politicians, lobbyists, labor unions and regulated professions as new information technologies democratize talent and innovation and decentralize the workplace. In their forecast, citizenship will become obsolete; new forms of sovereignty reminiscent of medieval merchant republics will spring up; electronic plebiscites will decide legislative proposals; mafias, renegade covert agencies and criminal gangs will exercise much more behind-the-scenes power. Davidson and Rees-Mogg, who publish Strategic Investment, a financial newsletter, present an apocalyptic exercise that is unconvincing. Appendices offer advice to "Sovereign Individuals" (members of the information elite) on how to invest, find tax shelters, avoid criminals and list one's business on the World Wide Web.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Following up their equally visionary Blood in the Streets (LJ 5/1/87) and The Great Reckoning (S. & S., 1993), the authors offer a sweeping analysis of the implications, especially financial, of the information age. According to Jupiter Communications, a research firm specializing in emerging technologies, in the year 2000 online transactions will total about $7.3 billion, and new payment methods such as electronic money will be used for almost half of that amount. The authors explain that such developments are driving a "megapolitical" level of societal transformation similar in scope and significance to the end of the Roman Empire or the 15th-century gunpowder revolution. The key result of this information revolution will be the advent of the "sovereign individual" and the death of mass democracy and the welfare state. The authors are serious, conservative thinkers whose advice will attract attention on Wall Street. A major work; strongly recommended for academic libraries.?Dale F. Farris, Groves, Tex.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1St Edition edition (August 26, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684832720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684832722
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ng Chon Hsing on July 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad recommends The Sovereign Individual as one of the must-read books for those who want to be Financially Independent. I like this book for its contribution to future-trend-watching. It ranks as one of the essential readings for those who want to be Financially Independent.
James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg are experts at predicting future trends and tailoring financial strategies and self-reliant measures to protect oneself against the future. The Sovereign Individual is about self-accountability and taking action. The Sovereign Individual is not beholden to his government and looks out for himself/herself and his/her loved ones. The Sovereign Individual takes steps to ensure his/her physical safety, job/business and finances.
This book challenges the concept of nationhood and all the propaganda fed to us. The concept of nationhood as we have come to known is a relatively young one and not necessarily a good one. Governments, spouting patriotism, can make use of its people for its own ends e.g. burdensome taxes, raising armies for wars, treating its citizens like low-classed employees - all for the benefit of a select elite few.
A warning for the interested would-be reader. The Sovereign Individual is written in the typical Davidson/Rees-Mogg famed-style - alarmist, paranoid and hyberbolic. I urge the reader to see pass this style because there is much to be gained from reading this book.
For the interested reader, I would also recommend The Roaring 2000s by Harry Dent.
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Format: Hardcover
Keep in mind that this book was written around 1997, before 9/11/2001.
It is summer 2008 and the "US empire" is in decline.
The US debt is quickly approaching the $10 trillion mark.
(that is a one with thirteen zeros behind it)
The US dollar is in decline.
The US financial markets are in meltdown mode.
The FDIC has taken over IndyMac, more banks to follow.
The government is talking about a bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
(how high can the US deficit go?)
The government has enacted the so called "patriot act".
The government has expanded the FISA rules.
The housing market is in deflation mode.
The commodities market is in inflation mode (oil approaching $150).

Here are few quotes from the book:
Page 20: "Governments will violate human rights, censor the free flow of information, sabotage useful technologies, and worse".

Page 23: "All nation-states face bankruptcy and the rapid erosion of their authority".

Page 29: "We forecast and explained why militant Islam would displace Marxism as the principal ideology of confrontation with the West".

Page 137: "You can expect to see crises of misgovernment in many countries as political promises are deflated and governments run out of credit".

Page 196: "Governments that tax too much will simply make residence anywhere within their power a bankrupting liability".

Page 197: "Paper money also contributed significantly to the power of the state, not only by generating profits from depreciating the currency, but by giving the state leverage over who could accumulate wealth".

Page 198: "Control over money will migrate from the halls of power to the global marketplace".
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Format: Hardcover
This book is the third in a series of predictive essays by this duo of financial wizards. It is another attempt to estimate future events using trends from the present and historical analyses. As with any philosophical exercise, it is crucial to identify the project, or standpoint of the authors to place the work in perspective. They are well-known in the world of offshore finance and financial services and one is a former editor of the London Times. Both would appear to be independently wealthy and from previous works, supporters of the entrepreneurial movement which pervades the Western world currently.

The book begins with a fascinating interpretation of the changes in society over recorded history. The authors argue a convincing case for a common, economically based theme running throughout history: one which has persisted despite great discontinuities in the organisation of society. They argue that the principal determinant of societal structures throughout history is the economics of the use of violence, by individuals or groups. They go on to describe the alterations they see in that equation consequent upon the introduction of microcomputing and the interconnectivity of the Internet.

Early in this book they make the point that an enormous amount of the revenue of nation-states derives from a tiny portion of its inhabitants and that the state redistributes this income to their disadvantage. The changes they foresee will remove any benefits to such contributors who will be in a position to seek newer and more favourable jurisdictions.
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