Review (Guest): Juggernaut — Why the System Crushes the Only People Who Can Save It

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5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary, Compelling Piece of Outside-the-box Thinking and Analysis, February 17, 2011

By Robert Donovan “Author: Blueprint for Prosperity” (California) – See all my reviews

Mister Morse has done an exemplary job here.

First, Juggernaut is a well thought out, level-headed, and refreshingly non-partisan look at the evolution of western political-economic thought from the 1500s and the discovery of the New World to the present. The author discusses Marxian critiques of capitalism, the School of Salamanca, robber-barrons and laissez-faire capitalism, the effects of the division of labor championed by Adam Smith, the interventionism of Keynes, the ascent of money as a preferred medium of exchange, the perils of interdependency created by a closed economic environment, and many more emotionally charged subjects with an admirably dispassionate tone. In each case equal time is given to the benefits and inherent problems of each of the ideas presented. This serves well to define the problems we face in the modern political and economic environment and to illustrate how the US and other developed nations got into their current messes and why there is such great difficulty in untangling them effectively.
Second, in light of this historical and theoretical backdrop, the book puts forth the thesis that the first requirement for a free society to develop and thrive is individual self-sufficiency, the idea that people can't free themselves from a system if they depend on it for their basic survival needs. He asserts, quite convincingly in my opinion, that when an economy is open and people are free to reject or withdraw from participation in it, as happened with the discovery and colonization of the New World, it promotes freedom, ingenuity, innovation, and independence because the individual is not dependent on others for basic survival needs and has a wide array of alternative choices, the most important one being to choose none of the alternatives and to provide for himself. This, the author maintains, tends to result in mutually beneficial surge in individual productivity and a higher standard of living for all over time. When an economy closes, as with the closing of the American frontier, it causes a stifling interdependency that limits choices and forces people to choose one of the limited choices on offer, even if none of them are really in the individual's best interests, and how many efforts to fix the problems caused by this forced interdependency have only made people more interdependent, making the problem worse. One may agree or disagree with some of his examples and conclusions, but it makes for very interesting and thought-provoking reading to the objective observer of today's domestic and international economic and political circumstances.

Lastly, this book is not merely another tiresome list of complaints and grievances offering a lot of analysis and no real solutions. Having presented a thorough examination of what he sees as the problems, after looking thoroughly at all the ramifications of living in a closed economy, the last hundred or so pages of the book offer common sense, concrete steps people can take right now to learn how and begin to make themselves more self-sufficient and less dependent on “the system,” “the Juggernaut,” as Morse refers to it. Rather than try to create a single plan for everyone, this section gives readers many useful references and resources they can use as a starting point for their own research to create their own personal plan for freeing themselves from interdependency.

You should absolutely get this book if you want a truly fresh perspective on political economy and the current problems we face in these areas and want to do something to promote individual freedom for all by taking control of your own economic destiny back into your own hands.

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