15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The Best Thing Since Samuel Konkin's Manifesto,
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This review is from: Direct Citizen Action: How We Can Win the Second American Revolution Without Firing a Shot (Paperback)
If you look at most books proposing a "strategy" for the liberty movement, they tend to be very lacking in the specifics. Oh sure, there is talk about what policy platform ought to be followed, but getting there is left to one's own imagination.
Direct Citizen Action is not one of those books. Not only does Ostrowski give a good common sense platform to pursue, he gives an excellent set of tactics on how to achieve it. Instead of trying to get certain politicians elected, Ostrowski argues for what he calls "Direct Citizen Action," which some readers will find similar to the agorist tactics described by Samuel Edward Konkin III in New Libertarian Manifesto
Direct Citizen Action basically consists of influencing government power without having to use governmental avenues to do so. In that sense, what this book advocates is far more potent that traditional voting, because the tactics described produced immediate results unlike contributing a ballot to a pool of millions of others, which to be effective would require changing the minds of other people. In short, this is the primary advantage of Ostrowski's ideas. Instead of direct political participation, which entails that you get other people to agree with you (like that will ever happen amongst the Chomskyites and Michael Moore idolizers of today), you can help create a freer society by becoming self-sufficient and minimizing your contacts with government. Very rarely should we resort to voting or campaigning, unless the candidate in question is as well-rounded as Ron Paul.
The book is divided into three main parts:
First, it looks at what our present status is and where we ought to be. Ostrowski begins this part by highlighting the most significant shortcomings of our nation today in the context of governmental threats to liberty. He then explains what we ought to achieve in it's place. Here Ostrowski is far less radical than the agorists he otherwise seems to be similar to. If he is, then he certainly doesn't make it public in this book, and nor should he if he wants to draw attention to a feasibly accessible platform. From there he explains why traditional political methods of affecting the government's role in our lives are far from perfect, and that Direct Citizen Action is far more potent.
In the Second part, he explains some key points and tactics relevant to DCA. This includes everything from moving to less politically intrusive states to boycotting businesses who bankroll statist politicians. These are excellent tactics in my opinion, and they are a great add-on to any counter-economist as well as mainstream tea-partier. All in all, they are different ways of reducing the role and influence of government in your here and now. Over time they can lead to the system shrinking altogether.
Part Three is sure to raise a few eyebrows. It is intended to inform the reader on what they need to do in order to prepare themselves for what might potentially happen as more people take the actions of part two into practice. This includes forming a militia if necessary. I thought this was crazy at first, but then again what Ostrowski advocates here really isn't all that different from what might happen in the latter stages of agorist revolution. I definitely think he's onto something.
Along with the conclusion, the book also has some excellent bonuses which include an appendix detailing five key lessons everyone should know about economics, and a list of books and resources to further educate yourself for educating others.
I will say it clearly: If you are part of the self-described "tea-party movement," the Ron Paul Revolution, or are deep into Libertarian thinking in general, then you owe it to yourself to buy this book. Get multiple copies and give them as gifts, recommend it to others who happen to be interested in freedom-oriented writings. Most of all, don't forget to put this book's suggestions into practice yourself!
FEB 2013 UPDATE: I would definitely recommend buying at least five of these at a time and giving them away to anyone that wants less government intrusion than we have now. This is definitely accessible to a wide audience of people and the more individuals there are that put these things into action over time the better.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 6, 2010 12:08:57 PM PDT
Not yet convinced by Tea Party but interested, I looked up agorism and find that it fits me. Thank you for mentioning it and for your excellent review.
Posted on Jul 16, 2012 2:45:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2012 2:54:18 PM PDT
"like that will ever happen amongst the Chomskyites and Michael Moore idolizers of today"
Right on, that idiotic Chomsky and his academic and paternalistic disdain for tea partiers!
He actually said people should not ridicule teapartiers, but actually try to reason with them and respond to their grievances! Grrr the nerve
Koskin considers himself a "left-libertarian" and anti-capitalist? oh the political boundaries trembling! There's some reason to it tho.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012 3:01:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2012 3:03:18 PM PDT
RJ Miller says:
Oh get over yourself Michael!
I have been more than aware of what Chomsky said about the "tea-party" movement. What I said in the review was that this book discusses ways of influencing government policy without having to convince people like him to vote differently than they do now.
But anyone can read my review and see that for themselves.
And once again you fail to understand terms like "left" Libertarian or "anti-capitalist" in the context of how people use them. But as everyone else who has argued with you can attest, that is asking for too much from you.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012 4:41:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2012 8:02:58 PM PDT
It was a mild-humored counter-poke at your Chomskyist poke ;)
I know very well that libertarianism is Leftist in all the world except the united states. You remember me saying in some other comment that the term was created by an anarcho-communist
As for left-libertarianism in the US, it seems to be simply returning to its root or universal meaning.
this is from the US:
Anti-capitalism has an obvious meaning.
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