Most helpful positive review
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A well thought-out blueprint for a society without government
on January 8, 2012
"Welcome to Free America" by David Barker is a fictional guidebook to how things are done in Free America, after the collapse of governments in 2031 and an anarchist free market system emerges.
(Note: Although I have never met Mr. Barker in person, he and I have been corresponding via email and he has generously advised me about my own as-yet-unpublished book, a similar futuristic novel about a libertarian - although not anarchist - republic.)
Therefore, I have been researching exactly the same topics from a similar point of view, and I can say that Mr. Barker has done a very thorough job in describing how a market-anarchist system would function, mentioning some details that I had not run across. The section about the economy is particularly well-done, as would be expected from a former Fed Reserve economist, although the description of how gold-based money works as its value constantly fluctuates was difficult for me to grasp (even with degrees in economics myself).
The book does make a good case that his system would likely work at least as well as our current system, especially as time allows markets to improve things as he describes has happened.
However, if I had one quibble, it would be with the overall tone of the book. Perhaps this is because it is presented as a technical guidebook, not a book trying to convince people of the advantages of living in Free America, which presumably the millions moving there would not need. But most of the book does not reassure real (not fictional) readers that life in Free America is in fact better than it was under a governmental system, however flawed.
Its clinically detached references to baby farms and child labor camps, protection contracts and health insurance that are clearly inferior for poor people, and long-term labor contracts that are little short of slavery - even when he makes it clear that these situations are improving - illustrate, perhaps erroneously, a lack of egalitarianism and humane charity that most Americans believe we should strive toward (if not with government enforcement) and makes the whole system seem rather sinister and more alien than it probably would be in reality.
It is not until the last chapter that Mr. Barker emphasizes the positive changes, both economic and social, that have transpired as a result of leaving government behind. This is the most interesting part of the book for me, and when he makes the point at the end that most residents wouldn't go back to government for anything it is also the most satisfying and ultimately the most convincing.
I recommend this well thought-out blueprint for a society without government to readers who are interested in political philosophy, futurists and free market advocates.