Book Review: MARKET FORCES
Richard K. Morgan dedicates his sci-fi thriller Market Forces to “all those, globally, whose lives have been wrecked or snuffed out by the Great Neoliberal Dream and Slash-and-Burn Globalization.” An appendix to the novel lists book titles by well-known "anti-capitalists" Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore. So all libertarians of a Randian “big business is a victim” bent, including most Libertarian Partyarchs, should probably steer clear of Morgan's novel. But all Libertarian Leftists — whether agorist, georgist, mutualist, or other — should thoroughly enjoy this brutal and extraordinarily well-written page-turner.
I read Market Forces on the recommendation of Bob Wallace, who warned that Morgan uses the term “free market” interchangeably with what’s really corporate-state capitalism — i.e., “mercantilism and managed trade for the benefit of worldwide, globalized corporations against the average citizen. Where it will lead in real life is a minority of super-rich, almost no middle-class, and a large mass of the poor, hopeless and violent.”
Let me quote briefly from the book’s back cover:
“A coup in
. Guns in Cambodia . For the men and women of Shorn Associates, opportunity is calling. In the superheated global village of the near future, big money is made by finding the right little war and backing one side against the other — in exchange for a share of the spoils. To succeed, Shorn uses a new breed of corporate gladiator: sharp-suited, hard-driving gunslingers who operate armored vehicles and follow a Samurai code. And Chris Faulkner is just the man Shorn needs. Guatemala
“He fought his way out of
’s zone of poverty. And his kills are making him famous. But Faulkner has a side that outsiders cannot see: the side his wife is trying to salvage, that another woman — a porn star turned TV news reporter — is trying to exploit. Steeped in blood, eyed by common criminals looking for a shot at fame, Faulkner is living on borrowed time. Until he’s given one last shot at getting out alive...” London
Market Forces is a terrific high-velocity science fiction novel. Its characters are never predictable. You’d imagine the author wants us to detest the story’s corporate suits, but they are usually both charismatic and sympathetic. Morgan’s more “politically correct” anti-globalists and socialists are all big talkers but quislings at heart. The book is full of surprises, a unique mix of Road Warrior and Wall Street. I recommend it highly.
On the Agorist Ratings scale*, I give Market Forces a solid 4.
* Agorist Ratings: -1 = statist; 0 = non-libertarian; 1 = mixed at best; 2 = mostly partyarch (political) but redeeming features; 3 = mostly libertarian; 4 = counter-economic and/or hardcore libertarian; 5 = pure agorist.-----
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