Industrial-Sized Deals Shop all Back to School Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums $5 Off Fire TV Stick Amazon Elements Sensitive Baby Wipes, Exclusive to Prime Shop Popular Services gotS5 gotS5 gotS5  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Metal Gear Solid 5 Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation STEM Toys & Games

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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 Barker in person, he and I have been corresponding via email and he has generously advised me about my own as-yet-unpublished book, a similar futuristic novel about a libertarian - although not anarchist - republic.)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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
Another reviewer bemoans the "academic naivety of the presumed 'goodness' of human behavior outweighing the obvious evils recorded through out human history." I'd point out that the obvious evils to which he refers are typically imposed from above, be it a despotic government or antagonistic Church. In Free America (as described in this book), the lack of a centralized, powerful authority and the ubiquitous nature of the Internet serve as checks on groups of people gaining such power.

The book goes into some detail on how things we now consider crimes are prosecuted. I can't say that I know it would work; but it's never been tried, whereas we have centuries of experience with the evils possible under a powerful centralized government. From North Korea to Nazi Germany to America's own Tuskegee syphilis experiment, there's not enough paper in the world to list 'em all.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2012
I saw the author of this book, David Barker, on the Dylan Ratigan show. The back story of the author was enough to get my attention - he is a former Federal Reserve economist who has written a book about how people would get along without a government. Interest officially piqued. So I run to Amazon and download the book right to my Kindle Fire, and right from the beginning I knew this book was about to confirm a lot of ideas I have had recently about the role of government in the lives of humans. Barker starts the book off with a little bit of history about the U.S., detailing the principles that this nation was founded on and where this nation has ended up today. He then goes on to hypothesize what would happen should government debt - which has already surpassed the annual economic output of the entire country - spins wildly out of control and leads to massive hyperinflation and political turmoil, much like is seen in many African or other third world nations (or, to some extent, the PIIGS nations in the Euro-zone). Barker hypothesizes that the government will collapse as an economic entity, and that the American people would have to fend for themselves when it comes to delivering the services that we normally expect to be taken care of by government. Roads, police, schools, health care, everything you can think of is totally privatized in this Free America, and people are kept in line because their reputations are valuable in their communities. Economic and personal relationships are based off of people's reputations so if someone becomes known as a thief, liar, swindler, or any other kind of general ne'er-do-well, their standing in the community is threatened and life could become very difficult. This personal responsibility aspect of freedom rubs some people the wrong way, and leads many people to think that libertarianism is a cruel philosophy, but quite the opposite is true. A voluntary society where people's interactions are based on mutual cooperation and benefit allows those who are most friendly, resourceful, and cooperative to flourish while those who have a tendency to cause trouble will quickly find that they need a reality check and will have to alter their behavior if they expect to make it in the world. The constant check and balance of reputations, relationships, and free trade seems to be a great way for society to organize around the best ideas, rewarding those who create a better value for their communities and punishing those who seek only to exploit others. While I hope the transition to a Free America isn't as tumultuous as David Barker describes it, I can only hope that we see a Free America as soon as, if not sooner than, he predicts.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2012
David Barker invites us to join him in a captivating thought experiment about a possible future without the united states government. Starting with a clear history and diagnosis of the grave and incorrigible economic crisis that haunts the u.s. government - a colossal and unstoppable debt produced by the contradictory demands of voters for lower taxes and more government spending - David Barker predicts the collapse of government and its replacement by a thriving society based on rules without rulers. Driven by the unpopularity of higher taxes and cut backs in government spending, competing political parties learn to take refuge in the less visible tactics of printing money and increasing government borrowing. But the unintended affect of this is an eventual inability of the government to pay its bills, at which point the u.s. government collapses along with the authority of government. Drawing on his specialization in economics, David Barker suggests ingenious and plausible ways in which social problems in a society without government can be solved while respecting justice and liberty. Of course, as Karl Popper argued, because of the influence of new knowledge in the future, there is no inevitability in the movement of society and we cannot give strictly a "scientific" prediction of a detailed future. But we can make educated guesses about it and even about our personal utopia (in the sense of ideal society). It could work, but even if it wouldn't work with those particular arrangements, Barker's hypothetical future can help us to view our current state of affairs more clearly. After all, we only have governments and collusions between governments and business as examples. We don't have true purely private property markets - yet. (Amusingly, some people take this as a criticism of any such proposal for a free market: as if not having a commercial airplane would have been an argument against making one!) David Barker's book is conjectural utopianism at its best. There is an eerie sense to the book due to a sound economic analysis and the fact that it is written as a regular manual for any freedom loving immigrant to the Free America. I was going to say that someone could write a great movie based on this, but perhaps the movie industry would probably place it in the dystopia genre. But even if they did, it's up to the public to decide: ideas have a life of their own. The Myth of the Closed Mind: Understanding Why and How People Are Rational
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2012
The most important thing about this book is its attempt to portray objectivity...

The author clearly shows that a "free america" an anarcho-capitalistic america in the future is very possible. He also then warns of pitfalls and benefits.

The book is a success.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2013
David Barker takes us to a world where the current government overreach into every aspect of our lives is non-existent. Oh, if only it were true today. But it is very possible that his vision will eventually come to fruition. There is a limit as to the amount of freedom government can rob from the citizenry and a limit to other people's money to finance redistribution and counterproductive activities before a revolution of one sort or another takes place. His world is a believable natural evolution of government falling by its own weight and by simply being outmoded and dysfunctional. In other periods of history, this might never have occurred, but with the advent of hyper-communication, all things are possible. I gave this book five stars only because I couldn't give it six. Thinkers like Barker are badly needed and too often ignored by those ill informed voices that are constantly hollering "What about the roads?!"
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2012
I disagree with the libertarian/anarchist perspective and believe that a society like the one depicted here would actually be unsustainable and unhappy. I also disagree with the assertion that the experiment of societies without governments and in which money rules have never been tried. Regardless, I highly enjoyed reading this book. It was a great thought exercise, which made me question my own views on society. I enjoy books that convey complex issues in a simple way, and this is a great example. The author has done a great job at depicting consequences at multiple levels. Even though I believe that the consequences of the actions taking place in this fictional society would go a very different way, I would recommend this book to anyone that cares about the effect of collective decisions on individuals and viceversa.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2013
I loved the book because it presented a number of familiar concepts into a cohesive totality that I have not seen before. This book has provoked uncharacteristically civil conversations with friends of mine, who may not agree with the author, but also enjoyed reading this book.

I found particularly interresting the authors views on the fate of real estate and housing, which is compelling given his background in the field, and I find comfortably reconcile the desires of varying economic classes.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2013
Very nice political (anarcho - libertarian) mind exercise. This is a try to show that society can survive without a government. It does not matter you agree or disagree with the concept - still worth reading (and thinking about).
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on October 10, 2014
In general, I liked this book. I am afraid that his predicted near future will come true because governments will not be able to sustain projected debt levels. I hope that some version of his libertarian America results, but I am afraid that it will more likely be a bitterly divided America with several new and weak nations.

My only reservation about no government is that in this modern world, such a land would be very vulnerable to militaristic foreign nations. The oceans cannot protect America and eventually nuclear missiles will be countered by defensive systems. IMO, government is necessary to maintain the most modern military technology to protect a population in America. Also, late in the book, he mentions a lesser interest in pure science. This could be fatal to any nation. IMO, a government is necessary to protect intellectual property rights so inventors can profit by advancing technology. The nations with the best technology and science will have the best economies, IMO.

An interesting concept, but one that, IMO, is likely to arise in the future. It might work in a smaller nation in a world in which a super power like the current US is beneficent and protective of the smaller nations in the world.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.