Monday, August 15, 2005


Sure, I’m a diehard non-political, non-voting, anti-party, Left-Rothbardian anarchist. But I’m still gonna recommend Anthony F. Lewis’ political novel, The Third Revolution, even if it does exhort using political means to reach libertarian ends. In an era when TV networks grind out Beltway-worshiping pap like “The West Wing” and the upcoming “Commander-in-Chief” (about the first — gasp! — female U.S. president), Lewis has written a novel that convincingly talks about the Real Deal: what liberties Americans have lost and how they might get them back.

In a nutshell: it’s 2013, and President Robert Henderson pushes through his “One Nation” legislation, federalizing everything and leaving the states and their legislatures powerless. Only one state, Montana, fights back. Encouraged by a group of fed-up state lawmakers, libertarian Governor Ben Kane goes head-to-head against the president. Montana votes to nullify the federal law. The Supreme Court, unsurprisingly, declares the One Nation law fully constitutional. Powers in Washington consider military options and even martial law. Montana moves toward secession. The novel’s scenario is absolutely credible, its characters are well-drawn, and the suspense is nail-biting.

You might expect lengthy Galt-like political speeches in a story like this. There aren’t any. You might expect black-and-white good guys and bad guys. Well, there’s no question who we’re meant to root for in this book, but solutions aren’t presented as simple, and Lewis’ characters are driven as much by messy circumstances as they are by ideology.

The Third Revolution didn’t convince this anarchist to vote Libertarian, or to participate in electoral politics at all. But it did give me a couple of days of feverish reading. And it’s good to hear that Lewis is now working on a sequel. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
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At 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see I'm not the only anarchist who enjoyed The Third Revolution!


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