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Democracy Society Paperback – August 6, 2011
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About the Author
John Christmas was born and raised in the United States and earned degrees from Dartmouth College and Cornell University. He left several democratic countries because of bad quality government. Most notably, he was ejected from Latvia for blowing the whistle on a bank fraud. The democratic government proceeded to enlarge the fraud by hosting promotions in embassies and eventually destroyed the national economy, requiring an IMF bailout.
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"Democracy Society" is one of those rare books that blend ideas and action into an integrated whole. In fact, this book may be one of a kind, and it's hard to compare it to any historical style.
George Orwell and Ayn Rand come to mind. Yet it's more fun and enlightening than Orwell and more fun than Rand. The only things I think it can be called in fairness are Juvenalian and Swiftian: "Democracy Society" is "A Modest Proposal" for an America on the road to democratic socialism. With bold, broad, and sometimes blunt strokes of his satirical brush, John Christmas virtually demolishes the contradictions that deadlock today's economics and politics.
There are only two quibbles I have with this book. First, the satire is sometimes so over the top as to become surreal and hard to believe. Yet that is not entirely the author's fault, as he merely takes the contradictions and fallacies of contemporary politics to their logical extremes.
The second point of criticism is that a key element of the plot is revealed already in the prologue. I would have preferred to keep guessing a little longer.
Then, of course, there would appear to be some plot holes, and the dialogues are often more romantic than realistic, so to speak. But these are minor points that do little to detract from the satirical brilliance of "Democracy Society."
Anyway, before you ever vote again, you should read this book. You'll never look at concepts like "taxation without representation" quite the same again.
Economic theories are explained with a jester's wink. Political absurdities are laid bare and exposed. The hopes of socialism and the supposed selflessness that drives it are both lampooned. Honestly there are times when the dialogue seems forced and artificial. But this too can be considered part of the inside joke.
At it's worst "Democracy Society" reads like a Monty Python sketch that's a little too long. At it's best it reads like "A Confederacy of Dunces." That's high praise.
But I can do even better. In this title John Christmas has attempted to add to a genre that is all but dead. And so he must be lauded for his literary bravery!
I would recommend this book to any high school or college teacher wanting to inform young voters or contrast modern satire with the classics of Swift.