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Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Reading List: Jennifer Government

Barry, Max. Jennifer Government. New York: Vintage Books, 2003. ISBN 1-4000-3092-7.
When you try to explain personal liberty to under-thirty-fivers indoctrinated in government schools, their general reaction is, "Well, wouldn't the big corporations just take over and you'd end up with a kind of corporate fascism which relegated individuals to the rĂ´le of passive consumers?" Of course, that's what they've been taught is already the case--even as intrusive government hits unprecedented new highs--but then logic was never a strong point of collectivist kiddies. Max Barry has written the rarest of novels--a persuasive libertarian dystopia--what it would look like if the "big corporations" really did take over. In this world, individuals take the surname of their employer, and hence the protagonist, Jennifer, is an agent of what is left of the Government--get it? It is a useful exercise for libertarians to figure out "what's wrong with this picture" and identify why corporations self-size to that of the predominant government power: the smaller the government, the more local the optimal enterprise.

Posted at November 9, 2004 01:42