Skip to comments."Starving The Monkeys" book review. If you're an Ayn Rand fan...
Posted on 01/30/2010 6:29:11 AM PST by Travis McGee
Starving the Monkeys: Fight Back Smarter is about the struggle of the creative, productive members of society against the parasitic masses that author Tom Baugh refers to as the monkey collective. Monkeys are the looters and moochers who essentially dine from the plates of the producers through the tax and legal structures they have put in place. Baugh contends that the vast army of collectivist monkeys would literally starve if left to their own devices.
Starving the Monkeys refers to Baughs recommendation that the producers strictly limit the monkey diet, by withholding their productive efforts on behalf of the collective. Not by refusing to pay taxes, but by temporarily throttling back on their productive output, and thereby hastening the fall of the monkey collective, which is even now teetering on the brink. He advises retreating into a personal Galts Gulch until after the impending financial and social collapse, and then emerging with ones intellectual and productive tools intact. In the former Soviet Union, beleaguered individualists referred to this as internal emigration. Whether this strategy will be taken up by enough producers to have an effect on the collective remains to be seen, but it reflects the Atlas Shrugged meme that is echoing loudly today, as employers hold off on new hiring for just one example.
Although this is a book designed to help you survive what may be our imminent financial Armageddon, you wont find recommendations on long-term food storage or home defense firearms. Other recent titles cover that ground, such as Fernando Aguirres The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse, and John Rawless How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It. According to Baugh, by far the most critical survival weapon is the one between your ears. This book is all about honing your mental edge to razor sharpness for the purpose of surviving the collapse intact.
Starving the Monkeys is not an easy read. Its extremely challenging, not only to political correctness but to many popular dogmas, including some religious ones. No sacred cow or ox is left ungored. I guarantee that thin-skinned feminists will be highly offended. If you have a low tolerance for seeing your pet beliefs or heroes under attack, this is not the book for you. For example, if you think that Lincoln was our greatest president, you will certainly not enjoy this book, to say the least. I picked the ingrained American devotion to Honest Abe as one example among countless others. Be warned. Baugh comes after numerous cultural and social beliefs and traditions with a steel crowbar, to pry them apart and analyze their weaknesses as he sees them. In fairness, he turns the same critical analysis on himself.
So why should you read such a problematic and often uncomfortable book, by a consistently prickly and acerbic (but always hilarious) writer? Simple. For the equally consistent brilliance of thought displayed. You may disagree vehemently with many of Baughs suppositions (as I certainly did), but you cannot deny the breadth and power of his thinking. The single chapter titled The Idea Factory is worth the entire price of the book, and so are several others.
I heard the same echos.
BTW, my wife’s mother’s maiden name was Heinlein, and she was a niece of Robert.
Her father flew P-38 Lightnings in WW2, among other aircraft.
I just ordered it.
Some of it actually pissed me off, but the larger message is pretty brilliant.
Finished the book. I hope a review isn’t too revealing.
1. I was more offended by his repeated appeals to stop reading because I would be offended than by what he thought was offensive. About 2/3rds of those remarks should be removed - if I already bought the book, I don’t need to be reversed-psyched to keep reading.
I’m a religious person, but that doesn’t mean I’m so tin-eared that I can’t read/hear a different POV. If him simply saying a few things that I disagree with about religion were enough to make me rebel, then I’d be a danged liberal, wouldn’t I?
2. He’s too hard on Dave Ramsey. I understand Ramsey’s point of view - and I’m a fan. I understand Baugh’s POV as well. I think a happy medium between the two would be Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Dave is against all debt, but his focus is eliminating consumer debt. Tom is for debt as a hedge against hyperinflation, but a focus on acquiring things for survival is different than being over-extended on credit for fluff.
Dave Ramsey’s audience understands that his total attack on debt is in context of putting yourself in a position to capitalize on your ability to profit from your own work. In that, Baugh should agree - stop paying your credit masters and you stop feeding monkeys.
3. I was hoping that there would be a large section of concrete actions to take to starve the monkeys. I think it’s more a philosophical than practical guide. (I guess a real individualist can learn and move to the practical by themselves and that is part of the point.)
Things I liked:
1. The story of his arrest does put into clear context the way the system is geared against the individual.
2. I love the tweak on “subconscious” and grammar.
3. Epilogue 2, “Well, well, well. I guess we just learned something about ourselves, didn’t we?” Yes.
4. The book does spell out the real battle lines very well. Worth it to read for that alone.
Overall, it’s a good read. I recommend it and will likely buy a few copies for people I know that will get something from it.
Reading it. Interesting.
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