Friday, December 10, 2021

Five books that might adjust your attitude

When I was a teenager I read Atlas Shrugged at the urging of a friend.  For one of the few times in my life I was reading a book I couldn’t put down.  I read Ayn Rand’s other works, studied Objectivism, majored in philosophy (a disappointing experience), and vowed to advance the view of a free society.  

Along the way I discovered Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, and their treatises on free market economics and social commentary.  Their prolific, lucid writings led me to others, among which were Frederic Bastiat, Hans Sennholz, Benjamin Anderson, Thomas DiLorenzo, Robert Higgs, Albert Jay Nock, Burt Folsom, Joseph Salerno, Gary North, Robert Murphy, G. Edward Griffin, and Lew Rockwell.  The list goes on and on.

I developed a serious interest in American history, and among the authors of early America I found Thomas Paine’s straight-shooting radicalism appealing.  I read biographies of Paine then discovered Paine’s complete works available for a download on (here and here).  I recall shooting off an email to someone at Mises Institute thanking him wildly for posting Paine’s works.  Judging from his reply I think he saw me as slightly mad for getting so excited.

Then I discovered Ray Kurzweil and his essay, The Law of Accelerating Returns.  Among those works justly categorized as “must reads” Kurzweil’s absolutely ranks near the top.  Though posted twenty years ago, it is the best single essay I know of for explaining where we’ve come from as a species and where we’re headed.  His insights into he power of the exponential have guided his many predictions, almost all of which have proven correct or partially correct.  Over the course of his career as a highly successful entrepreneur, he’s received 20 honorary doctorates. Kurzweil’s books, especially his magnum opus The Singularity is Near, develop and support his ideas further.  The world impatiently awaits the sequel, The Singularity is Nearer, currently scheduled for release February 7, 2023.

As I digested the writing of others I wrote articles of my own, along with a few books.  I now wish to humbly but proudly recommend five of them to the reading public, with the hope readers will find them enjoyable, educational, and motivating to help fight for what the world has never known, a truly free society.

The five are most profitably read in the following order . . . 

1.  Eyes of Fire: Thomas Paine and the American Revolution (script)

Kindle: $2.99   Paperback: $10.95

As one biographer put it, “When the British fired Thomas Paine it cost him his marriage, but it cost the British their American colonies.”

On January 10, 1776 in Philadelphia, a self-educated Englishman and virtual unknown published Common Sense, which argued forthrightly for American separation from England.  Congress, until then deadlocked on the issue, voted for independence six months later, and the war, ongoing since April 19, 1775, finally had a purpose.

And Thomas Paine was no longer an unknown.

As winter set in, his troops hungry, ragged and demoralized, Washington exhorted Paine to write another essay.  Working at night in the cold and snow, Paine wrote The American Crisis with its renowned opening line, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”  Published on December 19th, it rapidly spread throughout the colonies.  After Washington ordered the essay read to his troops two days before Christmas, their spirits came alive. On December 26, after crossing the Delaware and marching through the night, they registered their first victory after capturing hung-over Hessian troops at Trenton.  

As John Adams wrote: “Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain.”

2.  The Jolly Roger Dollar and the pirates who made it

Kindle: $2.99  Paperback: $8.09

How your money — gold and silver coins — long ago became theirs (unbacked fiat bills), and the terrible consequences that followed, are are still following, with the Federal Reserve cartel controlling its value for the politically connected.

3.  The Flight of the Barbarous Relic (novel)

Kindle: $2.99  Paperback: $10.95

Can one man save civilization?  He can at least get it started if he’s the right man.  In this work of fiction a Federal Reserve chairman decides to expose the cartel for what it is, the great destroyer of civilization, masquerading as its savior.

4.  Do Not Consent: Think OUTSIDE the voting booth

Kindle: $2.99  Paperback: $7.99

Voting for politicians keeps the political racket going, and with their wars and cronyism brings civilization closer to Armageddon.  Only the free market can create lasting prosperity and peace for all humanity.

5.  The Fall of Tyranny, the Rise of Liberty

Kindle: $2.99  Paperback: $5.99

As government gets bigger and more intrusive, it carries the seeds of its own destruction: central banking, unsound money, and debt. Technology, meanwhile, powered by the inexorable law of accelerating returns, is bringing to people wonders from the pages of science fiction.

It is technology and the free market, not coercive government, that will create the peaceful and prosperous societies we dream about today.

Retail price for all five books:

Kindle: $14.95

Paperback: $43.97

These would make excellent gifts for those struggling to understand the world and wondering if there is a rational basis for hope.

Backbones and knowledge are required, but there certainly is. 

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