Thursday, June 04, 2009

Time For The Iron Web

Book review by Tim Wingate

Larken Rose has in just 363 pages written what is sure to become an instant classic in the pantheon of American dystopian alternative future fiction genre.

Larken echoes thematic paradigms and has blended some familiar plot characteristics of Jack London's The Iron Heel, arguably the first 20th century dystopian novel, Taylor Caldwell's classic The Devil's Advocate, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and the recent Hope by L. Neil Smith and Aaron Zelman.

Some of the familiar themes are the history of an America that has or will develop differently. A country where citizens gave up their rights and freedom slowly until an authoritarian/socialist/fascist/theocratic/state developed. Freedom of thought, religion, speech, personal defense and republicanism are replaced by militia, secret police, and a few men's reign of terror. Usually they are self-serving oligarchic tyrannies where induced State and “law” worship abound. Imagine a world in which the United States and or remaining parts thereof, have been reduced to a totalitarian state; a world in which your neighbors may be spies; a world in which what passes for modern political correctness has run amok.

Most of these books and short stories in this genre have abundant soliloquies of ideological import decrying the history and failures of the past and present generations to abate the tide of tyranny. This book is no exception to that.

However, Larken Rose in the dialogues he has written explores the root causes of the problems that exist and suggests a solution that could exist in the real world apart from the plot twists in the novel. This is why this book is important. This is why this book and the next one need to be read by as many as can be induced to read them.

Samuel Adams said, “It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority, who keep on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

This is what The Iron web does. Ideas power men. Men power cultures. Cultures power civilizations. Civilizations power history. Ideas are the fuel of man's mind. The Iron Web is an idea of liberty.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”

Larken Rose questions the legitimacy of the god of law. He strikes right at the root of the problem of man's worship and servility to man's created idol of paper and ink. Why law? What is law? Whose law?

In The Iron Web on pages 151-154 (1st edition) one of the main characters presents a series of questions in the form of a brilliant Socratic syllogism. It is one that needs to be memorized and applied in today's world with family, friends and acquaintances. When one works through the reason and logic of this syllogism to the naturally sound and true conclusion, one will understand the nature of the mental, emotional and social “burqa” that has encumbered those “yearning to breathe free” for years.

The Iron Web is an idea whose time has come. Many of the novels and short stories in this genre have made similar ideas as parts of the story. Some people are preparing to or are already “gulching” as in Atlas Shrugged. Some are planning to be “urban survivalists.” Rather than a how-to book of future survivalism Larken Rose gives us an entertaining and engrossing story line that provides a nascent philosophy for the next step for freedom and liberty.

What the “freedom movement” needs today is a coagulating freedom philosophy rather than attempts to create hierarchal umbrella organizations to shadow government. We need a freedom meme, “brushfires of freedom,” or a liberty virus. We need an Iron Web to counter the creeping crud of authoritarian fascist socialist statism.

“It is not a question of whether man chooses to be guided by [philosophy]: he is not equipped to live without it.” - Ayn Rand.

America’s future requires a second revolution—but not before Americans are ready to do it right and do it completely.
Our forbearers told us the “what”: “The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule”; and “Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can." - Samuel Adams.

Ayn Rand has given us the “why”: "Anyone who fights for the future lives in it today…man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

As for the “how”: The Iron Web provides the philosophical basis in an engaging, easily readable pleasure for the eyes, heart and mind.

Buy a box and give them away to all the graduates you know.
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