Melissa's Reviews > The Freedom Manifesto

The Freedom Manifesto by Tom Hodgkinson
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's review
Aug 15, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: political
Read in August, 2010

I don't really need convincing when it comes to ditching soul-sucking jobs, government, institutionalized schooling, banks, big chain stores, and the many other "perks" of capitalism, and if you feel similarly, little of this book will seem revelatory, but it is interesting to learn more about the historical roots of our current, crappy system and to see plenty of successful examples of alternative modes of life.

Beyond that, Hodgkinson is endlessly entertaining, and even though I didn't entirely agree with him on certain points, I thoroughly enjoyed his sense of humor. One passage that seems to sum up the entire aim of the book rather well:

A docile population which is terrified of authority in its various forms, whether supermarket, bank, school or boss, and afraid of other human beings, will more likely depend on objects and institutions to give them guidance, solidity, security and a sense of meaning. If you are fearful, then you are unlikely to riot and very likely to work hard and spend hard.

And a few passages that I found to be quite hilarious:

(Here he is discussing mobile phones, laptops, and the like.) Again, what is truly amazing is that we buy these electronic tagging devices, these digital manacles, at our own expense. We increase the profits of another to be interrupted by some self-important jackass on the other side of town...

One thing that depresses me greatly is the argument I hear totted about with tedious regularity by other parents, usually said about boys. 'He'd better toughen up, because it's a tough world out there. It's a competitive place...' Why not say, 'It's a wonderful world out there, so let's make him wonderful?' The solution to the world being full of arseholes is not to add to the problem by making your son into an arsehole.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Wayne (new)

Wayne Interested to see read your review of this one.

Melissa It's quite entertaining so far.

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