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7966Sean Gabb Reviews Keith Preston's New Book on Anarchism

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  • Dr Sean Gabb
    Feb 5, 2014
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      eview Article by Sean Gabb

      Attack the System: A New Anarchist Perspective for the 21st Century
      Keith Preston
      Black House Publishing Ltd, London, 2013, 473pp, £16.50 (pbk)
      ISBN: 978-0-9927365-0-7

      I first came across Keith Preston in October 2008. In those days, the Libertarian Alliance was able to put up £1,000 every year for a prize essay. The title I had set for that year was “To what extent can a libertarian utopia be described as Tesco minus the State?” I wanted someone to analyse the frequent identification of libertarianism with the defence of big business. Though I had my own view of the question, the conclusions reached were less important than the quality of the analysis. Sadly, my question brought me a flood of autopilot defences of big business, all in the house style of the Adam Smith Institute. One of them began something like: “I’ve never heard of Tesco, so I’ll write about Wal-Mart.” It continued with a love letter so gushing, even Madsen Pirie might have given it a funny look.

      One morning, while brooding over which of these submissions was least undeserving of our £1,000, another big envelope arrived from America. It was by Keith Preston, and its title was “Free Enterprise: The Antidote to Corporate Plutocracy.” I read it with astonishment and delight. I set aside that I agreed with it, and read it as I would an undergraduate essay. Even so, long before the final page, I knew that this had to be the winning entry. It had a clarity and force of analysis that placed it and its writer in the highest class. Indeed, if there had been no other payback for the six years that we ran the prize essay, being able to give £1,000 to Keith would in itself have justified the enterprise. [Read more]

      Or read and leave comments on the LA Blog
      Sean Gabb
      Director, The Libertarian Alliance (Carbon Positive since 1979)
      sean@...  Tel: 07956 472 199 Skype: seangabb

      Postal Address: Suite 35,  2 Lansdowne Row, London W1J 6HL, England

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      Sean Gabb's  latest book, Freedom of Speech in England: Its Present State and Likely Prospects, is a defence of freedom of speech without exceptions. A free pdf version can be downloaded from here. Or look here to see other books by him, or here to see books by Richard Blake.