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Summary

Have you ever had the nagging feeling that the problems the country faces are spiraling out of control, that the government has lost its way and that, despite its promises, nothing ever changes? Well, you're right. In every instance where government gets involved in people's lives with a desire to do good, it can always be relied on to make the situation much, much worse. Yet despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we imagine that a world without the state would be a wild and terrifying place.

With wit and devastating clarity of argument, Frisby shows in this book that human nature proves the opposite to be true. Welcome to Life After the State.

©2013 Unbound (P)2013 Unbound

Critic reviews

"Dominic Frisby has gone and done something extraordinary: written a page-turner on the economy. It's both readable and radical, a serious book that is, by turn, fascinating, alarming and contentious. At times, the book makes you want to shout its message from the rooftops; at others, it just makes you want to shout. Life after the State challenges so much of what we take for granted. It is a wake-up call for politicians, economists and us all, written with clarity, verve and, more than that, the restless passion of an intelligent, inquisitive malcontent. Read it." (James Harding, once editor of The Times, now Director of BBC News and Current Affairs)

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Less central governance equals better society

It's hard to criticise such an optimist as Dominic Frisby. But that's the problem. This is like a completely one sided view that the government should not be involved in any way in people's lives, and that people will naturally form a better society without central government interference. And he presents a good monologue to support this view. But not a good argument. "If the population was left to it's own devices, everyone's needs would be met by The Market". Unfortunately, in reality, there is no such link between the premise and conclusion. We are tempted to accept such a simple presentation, but The Market is used to explain everything as if it were a benevolent God. It is easy when listening to this book to forget that not everything in life and society is driven by an economic imperative.
It sounds great, with all life's ill's being healed by a simple reduction in taxation, legislation, laws and benefits, all state involvement in individuals lives. "Anarcho Capitalism" as it is coined, brings out the best in people according to Mr Frisby. The inconvenient truth, which isn't once even touched upon in the book, is that human beings are endowed with not only goodness and kindness, but are prone to greed, cheating, selfishness, neglect of other's needs - cruelty even, etc etc. The simplistic formula of "do away with existing situation A which will lead to much better future situation B" is entertaining and even compelling, sometimes comforting, but even with the examples presented by the author the tenuous links between A and B are often stretched very thin. The mechanics of how this change will actually happen are left to faith in Lord Market. It is nice to think of a utopia where survival of the fittest leads to an egalitarian society, but the fairies at the end of my garden have told me that this is simply not true.
Having said that, and ignoring the reality gap between theoretical diatribe and absurdly hopeful, naive solutions, this is a very interesting, well researched and thought provoking book. As Mr Frisby tacitly admits, what he is saying is at the far end of the swinging pendulum of socio-economic thought, and, as ever, our solutions will not be at the extreme but somewhere nearer the middle. Less central governance, better society. But even with my misgivings, I have to say this work is impeccably produced and worthy of anyone's attention. Highly recommended. I listened to the audio book.

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Very Good

Sadly, it'll make the establishment scowl and the "geniuses" of academia claim it's impossible but there's nothing in here that couldn't or shouldn't be done. It won't be though and that's a terrible shame.

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Opened my eyes wider than I knew they could open

A brilliant and accessible treaty and exploration of the ways in which we have been duped and that we could un dupe ourselves and make the world a better place. Thanks Dom

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Another great listen from Dominic

Really enjoyable listen. It is obviously the precursor to Daylight Robbery, so I had heard some of it before, but it didn't detract from the book.

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Life After the State

A captivating and thorough explanation of the subject. Well read by the author. I recommend this audiobook for everyone who is living in a country that has a government.

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A must read!!

This book has been the topic of many conversations since I completed it. Some very interesting facts and figures as well as solutions that could change our lives.

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Generalized Overview for Concious Living

Powerful commentry of where we need to go from here,written by an English Comedian,listened to it on Audible,read by Mr.Dominic Frisbie himself,very clear/well spoken/good cadence and meter...............cannot recommend this highly enough,I wish the author all the luck in the world making this book more and more popular as the years go by,I hope he writes more,I did read his bitcoin book,also very well written on a subject hard to understand.Do yourself a favor and read this.

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Eye opening

This is the sort of book that should be taught in school. I hope that these ideas get shared and understood .

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Even if you don't agree, it's worth a listen

I am not a libertarian but I found this books argument very interested and compelling. I will be looking up some of the data presented.

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Facinating ideas

Would you listen to Life After the State again? Why?

Yes. There are that many ideas and examples that I am bound to have missed something first time.

What other book might you compare Life After the State to, and why?

The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, sorry not on Audible but Amazon do it as a cheap Ebook.The machinery of the title is mechanisms that could enable Anarcho-Capitalism to function.This book is the why, that book the how.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Sorry but it was the blog post about EU cabbage legislation. While the EU probbaly does over legislate the cabbage "fact" has been debunked. It does mean that other "facts" will need checking.

Any additional comments?

The sad fact is that this will likely only be read/listened to by those who agree that the state is a problem (like me). If you have a different opinion PLEASE, please give the book a chance. Even if it changes your opinion not one jot, it will explain why others have a differing opinion.

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  • Richard M.
  • 05-06-16

amazing

great read. the author clearly identifies the problem the cause and many solutions. unless u believe in political corruption there is something for everyone presented in a clear well thought and described manner. the author also narrator and he is wonderful. a joy. best book ive ever read. knowing what i know now id easilly of paid double. very satisfied

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  • Mike Blain
  • 17-05-14

Unintended Consequences

When government gets involved in the economy, the reason is always to benefit some group in society. The intervention is always well intentioned, but always has negative consequences either to other groups or at a later time to the same group. This book gives many examples, and suggests some alternatives. The examples are mostly from the UK, but are relevant to everyone. For example, the UK healthcare system is funded through taxation, and the examples here are timely for the US while it is increasing its government control of healthcare.

You may not fully agree with Frisby's conclusions, but the important message is how state intervention has unintended consequences. We are unlikely to find ourselves with an economy free from state controls, but the viewpoint of this book should help us evaluate the increasingly burdensome controls we see today, most of which are designed to win votes rather than to strengthen the economy.

Money is another subject covered, as we see many major currencies losing their value today through inflation of the money supply. This causes an almost imperceptible but continuous hardship to the population, like a grain of sand in your shoe you know will eventually cause a blister. But inflation benefits governments because of their debt, and so it continues. Frisby's solution is to return to a metal-based currency, and not just gold but also industrial metals. I like the concept (but I believe gold would be the best choice), but while the people and the economy would benefit it is unlikely to happen because government could not function today without inflation.

Books like this can re-balance our perspective, as we usually look at government action from the viewpoint of ourselves as an interest group, when we should look at the effects on overall prosperity.

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  • Jason
  • 11-10-20

Good but flawed

I really liked his other book Daylight Robbery.

This one has many interesting ideas which I agree with but his solution of taxing only land is absolutely absurd. Like some quasi feudal system punishing the rich as well as enterprise.

Land is fundamental to property rights. One doesn’t truly own land if there is a large tax burden attached.

Just because it is easier to tax land due to its inability to move does not make it a moral thing to do. A better solution would be to cut unnecessary spending.

The cost of living for everything connected to land would increase. Surely it would make a great excuse for more government spending for provisions such as milk for school children...Thatcher

Business would simply leave and that would increase unemployment and available tax revenue sources.

I’d say a better solution is not taxing land but increasing sales tax. Let visitors help pay into government coffers.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-07-20

Removing the brainwashing

This is a compulsory read for free thinkers and those who hold individual freedoms as a priority for a quality life.
If this was a just world, this book should be compulsory in all schools as it encourages free thinking and genuine innovation, instead of our current society where we fear free thinking individuals.
This book demonstrates that we should have more faith in ourselves and less in the government with historical case studies and a bit of humor.

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  • John Hammon
  • 23-02-21

Masterpiece

Loved it. Not only very informative but inspirational.
This is the third book of Dominick's that I have gone through the last two weeks. Very easy to listen to. He offers a completely different perspective of government as we know it. Nothing hostile or rebel just different functionality.