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The Secrets to Nonviolent Prosperity: The Principles of Liberty Paperback – November 9, 2011
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The new book by Trevor Z. Gamble - The Secrets to Nonviolent Prosperity (published in paperback and Kindle editions, 2011) - provides a welcoming introduction to ideas that go a long way toward resolving many of our contemporary problems and the deeper concerns behind them. Like many of us, the author realizes that something is amiss in the world. Then he takes us on a journey to find out what is wrong and how it relates to our understanding (or misunderstanding) of politics, economics, human rights - and ultimately, the idea of freedom itself.
Mr. Gamble opens his book like the 12th-century thinker, Bernard of Chartres, by acknowledging his debt to writers who came before him - political scientists, psychologists, and economists who enabled him, in effect, to stand on their shoulders so that he can see a bit farther than they did. And the first thing he sees is that we can do away with the tiresome convention of thinking about politics in terms of "left" and "right" with all of the name-calling that goes with it. And it's not enough, says the author, to point to the villains of history to find out why things have gone wrong. After all, every nightmare-toting dictator in the history of the world was able to get there because he (or she) had plenty of followers willing to do the dirty work. In other words, it's not just them...
In his next chapter, Gamble identifies the concept of "human rights" as a basic source for gaining insights into and unraveling the problems that surround us. He explains and adopts the excellent definition of rights laid out by Murray Rothbard and Hans-Hermann Hoppe: self-ownership.Read more ›
The Secrets To Nonviolent Prosperity is a book that focuses on the immensely harmful, typically unseen costs of the use of unjust coercion in our economy. Essentially, it's an accessible book for the layperson about ideas that can change the world in the most life-enriching ways, for both consumers and businesses. That's actually an understatement, on account of how much room for improvement there is in our world. This book explains how the concept of government and its implementation (the domination organization we know all too well) adversely affects our lives and well-being. The ruination is indeed vast. And to our further misfortune we've grown up not knowing anything different, other than the many tragic ways governments elsewhere have ruined those economies.
You'll be taken on a fascinating and instructive journey into the realm of economic thinking from a voluntaryist perspective, which means one in which your own choices and property are finally honored.Read more ›
This is not an academic book, yet it also doesn't just hand wave around the most important ethical and practical foundations. The writing style is very easy to read with a healthy use of analogies. I particularly liked how other authors' quotes are strewn throughout the book. A lot of authors put quotes at the beginning of chapters, but this was a really creative way to break up the monotony that any author will have, support the arguments, and give different perspectives.
The book has a long bibliography, which is great, but also quite daunting if someone wants to continue learning after this book. I think a section on "where to go next" would have been helpful for readers, broken down by topic. Also, the major ethical foundation in the book seems to be Hoppe's argumentation ethics, but I personally find Huemer's Ethical Intuitionism, along with its political implications in the Problem of Political Authority, much more likely to convince the average person of the wrongness of our current system and the rightness of nonviolent cooperation.
Overall, this is one of the best introductory books to give someone to learn more about liberty.