The Water Thief

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Profound… sure to spark a reaction” and “scathing, ceaselessly engaging
Kirkus Reviews

A brilliant rebuttal of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged
Clarion Reviews

“Enough to scare readers into activism”
Truthout

A powerful saga that deserves to be in every school and debated by any
who question authority and elements of freedom in society
Midwest Book Review

CHARLES THATCHER is a private citizen, which is to say that he’s the private property of the Ackerman Brothers Securities Corporation. He’s got problems: the cost of air is going up, his wife wants to sell herself to another corporation, and his colleagues are always trying to get him tossed into the lye vats.But when he discovers a woman stealing rainwater, he sees his chance to move up in the world, maybe even become an executive. He reports her, spinning a picture, not just of a thief, but of a seditionist and revolutionary, someone who believes in that long-dead institution called “government.”Then she vanishes.

Overcome with guilt, he tries to track her down. What he discovers is an underground movement every bit as seditious as the one he had imagined.

But as he becomes enamored with their cause and with life outside his corporation, Charles must contend with a larger truth; in a world where everything is for sale and lies are more profitable than the truth, even a group of revolutionaries can have something to hide.

  • Winner, Kirkus Star
  • Kirkus Best of 2012
  • Bookworm, Best Fiction, 2014
  • Winner, Clarion Foreword Science Fiction Book of the Year
  • Runner-up, Clarion Foreword Book of the Year

For Rights Contact: [email protected]

Kirkus: Best of 2012    Bookworn Best 2014     Finalist 1012 Book of the Year     The Kirkus Star midwest-book-review

 

257 Comments

  1. This 2013 review of THE WATER THIEF led me to your work. I am convinced you are one of the great living science fiction writers and I am hoping you can get another book contract. My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that you should attempt to portray future life during the coming time when “climate change” accelerates.

    October 16, 2015
  2. Pamela Sue said:

    Vote blue, & help people to register & vote!

    July 13, 2015
  3. I ordered it just now in Nook Book format. Thank’s for posting this, Kim.

    July 13, 2015
  4. Lyn Speakman said:

    Have you read William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. Worth a spin.

    July 13, 2015
  5. Steven Bell said:

    It’s already here. We are under its grip now. Don’t believe anything else!

    July 13, 2015
  6. Dick Chase said:

    They are preparing to put down a civilian uprising Dan. Government is completely out of control.

    July 13, 2015
  7. Dan McGraw said:

    Hey Dick Chase, thanks for thinking of me and this recommendation. I often think of writing doubles like this myself. I think A plot around a Frak Ing disaster and spillage into a large water supply precipitation of earthquakes a long those fracturing lines would make a great thriller… When I hear of the Jade home exercises I wonder exactly what the Department of Homeland Security is preparing for. It seems like Katrina was a test case for them of something drastic ecologically. Michael Creighton pursuit such an idea in his novel state of fear which I found pretty compelling

    July 12, 2015
    • Steven Bell said:

      I believe the government is using HAARP for nefarious reasons. Katrina was one of them. Yes, conspiracies do exist.

      July 13, 2015
  8. Dick Chase said:

    This is the future that’s coming Dan McGraw. I have no doubt it.

    Justin Chase

    July 12, 2015
  9. James Haas said:

    Wait! Isn’t that Tom Selleck who steals water?

    July 11, 2015
  10. The futuristic Brave New World. Excellant book.

    July 11, 2015
  11. Mike Pod said:

    Worth reading, but literarily on a par with Atlas Shrugged, i.e., tedious. Not long enough to really confront Rand, but does establish a number of recognizable culminations of current economic notions…not pretty.

    July 10, 2015
    • How can I follow your page Mike Pod?

      July 11, 2015
    • Mike Pod said:

      Heck…go right ahead Eric. ?

      July 11, 2015
  12. A good book—I would recommend it!

    July 10, 2015
  13. Michael Dunn said:

    I wonder if they know Nestlé?

    July 10, 2015
  14. It seems as if things are heading in that direction. Things we took for granted are no longer permitted in the business world.

    July 8, 2015
  15. Nola Thacker said:

    I picked this up at my library today. Will start reading tomorrow.

    January 1, 2015
  16. Carole Scott said:

    Quite a book. I see so many similarities today, it is scary.

    December 30, 2014
  17. with Christy about to allow corporate entities to buy municipalities in New Jersey, the statements of Hershey’s ceo (that water is not a human right–i.e., rather, a commodity), the future has come to pass.

    December 30, 2014
  18. Good read but so short and I didn’t like the ending

    December 29, 2014
  19. Mike Stagg said:

    Who needs dystopian novels when you live in Louisiana?

    December 28, 2014
  20. Danny Brewer said:

    Sherie, let me know your thoughts if you read it before I get to it.

    December 28, 2014
  21. The real water thief is city if San Francisco stealing Beth Getty.

    December 27, 2014
  22. Harry Tru said:

    Water is and has been the next OIL…Watch for the Wars to begin.

    December 26, 2014
  23. Things go better with corporate water

    December 24, 2014
  24. PEOPLE still have a bit of control. Move your funds.. savings, loans, checking to a local credit union! Fees are lower and they treat you better. Stop doing business with the “to big to fail” Banksters. Buy from local merchants your say is worth a few cents in pricing!. Do what ya can besides whine on the internet!

    December 20, 2014
  25. Ann Coleman said:

    DIDN’ T THIS JUST HAPPEN IN DETROIT?

    December 18, 2014
  26. Corporate controlled future? We’ve been living in a Corporate controlled PRESENT for a long while now.

    December 15, 2014
  27. I was pretty disappointed in it. Very lightweight, no real important questions and definately no answers.

    December 3, 2014
  28. Not really sci-fi. That’s what’s scary.

    December 1, 2014
  29. Bill, you are a wonderful promoter. Read the book and liked it. Thx!

    November 28, 2014
  30. Andrew Laux said:

    Have you read this book?

    November 23, 2014
  31. someone’s got to clean up the mess of those that came before

    November 19, 2014
  32. Not to distant future….:(

    November 17, 2014
  33. Jessica Crum said:

    Jessi Hixson we must download and read!

    November 16, 2014
  34. I was very disappointed in it. Very wishy washy and not nearly realistic enough. Way too vague.

    November 15, 2014
  35. I just downloaded on your recommendation will let you know.

    November 12, 2014
  36. I was disappointed. It never took a stand or explained the characters thoroughly enough. They seemed washed out and maleable. No explanations for changing attitudes.

    November 2, 2014
  37. Sue Wipp said:

    I LOVE THIS BOOK! I am around half way through it.

    October 21, 2014
  38. Cori Grant said:

    You should read Hugh Howey’s Silo Saga, staring with Wool.

    October 9, 2014
  39. Bill Maisch said:

    Charlie, I couldn’t agree more

    October 5, 2014
  40. Rv Branham said:

    hell, it could be taking place as of just a few years ago. many cities & counties in this country (mostly in red states) make it illegal, punishable by fines & jail, to have rain barrels to collect the water runoff from yr roof.

    September 29, 2014
  41. Joe Kraher said:

    Is this really “fiction”?

    September 16, 2014
  42. I read this book. I can’t say it was all that great, sure brought up some interesting ideas

    September 16, 2014
  43. Bill Hines said:

    A different take….wortrh a read…..

    September 15, 2014
  44. An important and unforgettable book. Must read!

    September 14, 2014
  45. People have rights: to potable water, breathable air, assembly and speech, life, liberty, a chance at happiness, which requires livable employment with equitable wages.

    In addition we have the right and responsibility to hold our government liable for allowing and participating in the destruction of the planet and those rights guaranteed by our constitution.

    We are instructed by our founders to right this ship.

    When Money is Speech, Bribery is Legal.

    http://www.GoProgressives.com

    September 7, 2014
  46. This is a great book. Soutter needs to land a real publisher with real promotion, real sales staff, real reviewers, a real catalog, real distribution, real publicity and real access to bookstores.

    September 4, 2014
  47. Ken Fiallos said:

    have not read the book but sounds alot like the Series “Continuum” available on Netflix

    September 2, 2014
  48. Interesting. I will get it. (What’s depressing right here is the abundance of misspelled words in the commentary.).

    September 2, 2014
  49. I’m just starting this. I’ll let you know what I think of it, but I can tell you now that the companies that are buying up water sources right now to make a profit later raise serious issues.

    August 30, 2014
  50. Tim Phares said:

    BTW, “The Giver” is a good dystopian movie.

    August 29, 2014
  51. I still remember Mr Gregory’s first fast… amazing self discipline and scruples this man has…

    August 27, 2014
  52. Ken Fiallos said:

    The reminiscent of the “Continuum” on Netflix

    August 27, 2014
  53. Don Nelson said:

    Corporatism is the government!

    August 26, 2014
  54. Fantasy-The citizens have far, far more to fear from our governments than from corporations. Disgrace!

    August 26, 2014
  55. Hilde Tapley said:

    Beats “Atlas Shrugged” in the first 5 pages. Makes you want to laugh, but instead it chokes you up through the realization that corporations are just as powerful as we let them. It’s time to step back for a while before we can go forward. Ayn Rand was a romantic dreamer and her wishful thinking of a world full of moral heroes, who don’t need to be regulated,….. is very naïve. She, herself admitted, that “Atlas Shrugged” was meant to be a love story. Although the statement could be found on Wikipedia, it has later been deleted. In an interview with Mike Wallace, Ayn Rand stated the following.:

    Mike Wallace: “You are out to destroy almost every edifice of the contemporary American way of life, our Judeo-Christian religion, our modified government regulated capitalism, our rule by majority will. Other reviews have said you scorn churches and the concept of God. Are these accurate criticisms?”
    Rand: “Yes”……….The attempt to restrict voters right is exactly what we can observe now. No more majority will, no more Democracy and there goes the Republic. Our modified government regulated capitalism has already gone Galt and I wonder if we are able to stop the downward spiral through new laws? Let’s vote, as long as we can.

    August 23, 2014
  56. oh, thanks for the read darling larry very 47% and counting

    August 22, 2014
  57. what they do to their own they will do to you and your loved ones when they come, its always been that way and counting

    August 22, 2014
  58. and the medical profession they’ll have all the gunia pigs they need and then some, but the insurance claim money won’t last forever, very short sighted on their parts

    August 22, 2014
  59. don’t think the political infrastructure is gona do anything either cause they paid by lobbyists that could care less what you drink

    August 22, 2014
  60. and it won’t be the corporations either cause they never lived here but they did invest here

    August 22, 2014
  61. some one will have to pay for the cleanup and it won’t be the citizens cause their broke

    August 22, 2014
  62. Gayla Miller said:

    I am a child of “1984” and seeing to much of it in action- need to read this one!

    August 22, 2014
  63. Kevin Sells said:

    And we don’t even see it coming…

    August 21, 2014
  64. Sounds interesting and depressing

    August 21, 2014
  65. Dave Decker said:

    .”..the corrupted police system, which makes more money creating criminals, than catching real ones.” Everyone realizes that we have a large number of soldiers and former soldiers that have been well-trained and are now underemployed unless we continue to fight endless wars. Employment as security personnel of all stripes is and will be a desired position for these folks…jest sayin’.

    August 19, 2014
  66. World Bank and others tried to privatize water (including rain) in Bolivia. But, they dad to stop after people rose up. Yes, we must be vigilant.

    August 19, 2014
  67. Republicans are already talking about it. If a commodity (water) is priced so high, consumers will adjust their consumption. Already happening. Fracking and drought are two activities involved.

    August 18, 2014
  68. Brokered by Jenna Bush….they are all set for the future, imagine the $$ they’ll make once the fracking, algae blooms, Monsanto and Coca-Cola get through contaminating the world’s water reserves!!

    August 18, 2014
  69. The USA under President GHWB built an air strip capable of handling the largest of planes, on top of the world’s largest fresh water aquifer in Paraguay. This air strip sits right next to a 100,000 acre plot owned by the Bush family. The rich will never run short of water.

    August 18, 2014
  70. Did you know that its actually illegal in some States right now to collect rainwater or to have a cistern? How has this happened?

    August 18, 2014
  71. John Roberts said:

    URINETOWN was on Broadway 12 years ago. A great musical with the same idea.

    August 18, 2014
  72. Corporate Thievery of water is a fact in India and other Nations!

    August 18, 2014
  73. Jim Davis said:

    Sounds like a rip off of tank-girl

    August 18, 2014
  74. Jim Davis said:

    i am tried of dystopias! how about a new era of utopias?

    August 18, 2014
  75. Nancy Dodd said:

    Nightmare time….thought only Stephen King could give me nightmares !!!

    August 17, 2014
  76. If we can dream it up, we can dream it down Reverend Ike

    August 17, 2014
  77. Is this where the U.S./World is heading?

    August 17, 2014
  78. The Water Thief just may be this century’s 1984. Soutter scripts a believable projection of the near future which causes readers dismay over what we knowingly accept could happen to our world. Kudos for displaying the inhuman ruthlessness of crony capitalism and the path it is herding us down.

    November 14, 2012
  79. Jodi Houts said:

    I am looking forward to reading this book. I also feel some areas of government are necessary. Unfetterred capitalism is quite dangerous when profits become more important than basic human rights. I would think most people would be able to see this on a daily basis in our own society.

    November 9, 2012
  80. can I make other people do it? no. but I can. and I can refuse to accept any less form anyone else, including the government and big business.

    November 5, 2012
  81. and the important part is we leave them and their property alone after that point. no retaliation, no judicial system or military, just defense and then back to being sane again

    November 5, 2012
  82. I call a spade a spade, or in this case- a government. Then My allies and I will fight them off of our property. When they stop fucking with us we turn swords back to plowshares….

    November 5, 2012
  83. “autonomy and voluntarism is the real alternative”
    So what do you do when 10 guys get together and decide – hey, if we work together we can take what doesn’t belong to us—and begin ganging up on people and taking their stuff?

    November 5, 2012
  84. war happens because of government- actually as I see it in your novel the future society hasn’t eliminating government at all, it is just a form of capitalist feudalism. Still very much a top down hierarchal structure with a strong ruling class enforced by violence against the people….That’s government to me any way… corporatism and federalism are both government, so it’s a false dichotomy

    November 5, 2012
  85. There are anthropological studies done of prehistoric violence. they have more or less concluded that warfare is a product of government. tribal societies did have minor skirmishes the worst prehistoric battle maybe 59 people died. It has absolutely no comparison to the 100 million that dies during the 20th century.

    November 5, 2012
  86. Okay, but by that logic, you couldn’t show me to be wrong, either. So in the interest of intellectual discourse, how do you suggest we proceed?

    November 5, 2012
  87. history, meaning written recording of events, has only existed (until now) under the watch of governments…you are comparing governments to governments. so you can’t prove your point about government, since all of those societies you are comparing ours to also had governments (and the same problems that come with them)

    November 5, 2012
  88. All time. From recorded history to now. As we as humans better learn to govern ourselves, human suffering has gone down. The link I gave answers most of the questions you just asked.

    November 5, 2012
  89. right, what segment of time are you comparing to now? what’s the control where there was no government? only prehistoric and non-western tribal societies can even count. And yes they die of disease- because they don’t have germ theory. But you can have germ theory and decentralization at the same time. It’s a false dichotomy

    November 5, 2012
  90. Look, We’re talking about whether or not government works, period. Let’s call an Apple an Apple. We have historic lows in the percentage of people on this planet who are suffering (at the same time as having a record high people on the planet). This is the result of organization, and government.

    November 5, 2012
  91. look at raw numbers, making it per capita distorts that. 100 million dead in the 20th century don’t care that they are less as a percentage. To truly compare our view points you have to take prehistoric war and compare it to now….

    November 5, 2012
  92. It seems that way, but as a percentage of global population, starvation, genocide, police brutality – they’re all down. I linked my source above for you.

    November 5, 2012
  93. I’m curious- are you counting war, police brutality, and genocide in your word violence? because never has the World seen so much war at one time as now…

    November 5, 2012
  94. the government isn’t the baby. the government is the person throwing it all out.

    November 5, 2012
  95. 1) Science is a big contributor to the lifespan issue, yes, but so is law enforcement.

    2) Violence, world wide, is at its lowest point in human history (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=history-and-the-decline-of-human-violence)

    Governments cause violence, yes, and it is beamed into our homes on television, making it more proximate. But Human beings are happier, healthier, and live longer than at any point in human history, and a method for agreeing upon and enforcing laws is a part of that. Can we improve? Absolutely, but lets not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    November 5, 2012
  96. The lifespan issue was helped by science not the government….

    November 5, 2012
  97. You seem to forget the trail of tears, and all the indian wars that were perpetrated but eh government. And the mass extermination of jews,gypsies and other “undesirables” perpetrated by the german government in WW2. You can not perfect mankind, we are an essentially morally broken species. But power structures like corporate control and government end up amplifying our moral corruption, not making it go away….think of all the atrocities committed by governments..hiroshima, nagasaki, drone strikes on civilians, rawanda, the holocaust, institutional slavery, etc- all were caused by the government and big business. I don’t accept your dichotomy that to reject corporatism I have to accept federalism. I support autonomy, and I’ll accept the problems that come along with it on account that individuals can never do as much harm as governments.

    November 5, 2012
  98. For the sake of argument, for the moment, I’ll grant that you are more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist.

    That notwithstanding, the times of greatest violence committed against man, and the times of the shortest human lifespan, have all been times when there has been no law enforcement.

    The town of Deadwood (settled by Americans but outside the US, in what would later become South Dakota) had no laws at all (being on Indian territory). In a town of no more than 5,000 people there were over 5 murders a day. This was common in western frontier towns without law enforcement.

    While I agree that a police force always comes with problems, that alone is no reason to disband them entirely, and historically as the enforcement of laws goes up, so does life expectancy. In other words, they help far more than they hurt (and when they go away, you see violence like rioting, looting, rape and murder skyrocket).

    November 5, 2012
  99. only if you count murdering people without trial as a deterrence to violence and not a perpetration of violence. You are more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist…

    November 5, 2012
  100. So an active police force is not a deterrence to violence?

    November 5, 2012
  101. if you think the government PREVENTS violence you are sorely mistaken….But the short answer is the only violence you have control over is the violence you commit…You can’t use violence to prevent violence. If that’s an unsatisfying answer than too bad, because it’s the truth.

    November 5, 2012
  102. @Ryan

    “autonomous free people don’t’ need anyone to rule them, whether they are from business or government”

    Then how do you prevent violence?

    November 5, 2012
  103. @Ryan: Which is the false dichotomy and why?

    November 5, 2012
  104. I apologize for the confusion. Let me attempt to clarify.

    You are correct, that’s not what you said, and that’s not what you meant.

    However, when I was speaking about the removal of government oversight as being Laissez Faire, your reply was “Nor do I think you understand Ayn Rand’s. She already mentioned the courts and police.” Since I have always stipulated that she believed in courts and police, it appeared to me asif you were using “Laissez Faire” in two ways – one correctly (when you were using it for yourself), and another incorrectly (suggesting I was saying and meaning things I was not).

    I’m not sure that I’ve clarified. But it simply seemed to me that when I used the word “laissez Fair” in relation to Ayn Rand, you countered that I was wrong because she believed in courts and police. But since that’s not what Laissez Fair means, then that’s not what I meant. You seemed to think it was, so either you were using the word incorrectly, or just being difficult.

    November 5, 2012
  105. autonomous free people don’t’ need anyone to rule them, whether they are from business or government…

    November 5, 2012
  106. I’ll add that one of the major characters in the book is named Corbitt. 🙂

    November 4, 2012
  107. Government is a necessary evil that is needed to keep order, but must be kept small to avoid becoming a big evil as it is today in the USA.

    November 4, 2012
  108. Well, Mr. Corbitt seems to use Laissez Fair to include the removal of all government (which Rand did not advocate, and I never said she did). But along those lines, I would add that what we have today was the direct result of the better system winning out in a pure Randian fashion. The wild west- towns like Deadwood, had no government at all, none. What did they do? Created government, FAST! People decided, in much as Hobbes described, that life without some form of regulation (even above and beyond simply a court system, but economic regulations to protect people) was not a good idea. And we as a people choose to keep government. How do I know? Because we haven’t revolted. Rand believed that in the market-place of ideas the best would win out. Well, so far, hers has had a hard time finding traction.

    November 4, 2012
  109. Peter Ash said:

    Singapore – pretty authoritarian from what I understand. My point is that freedom and capitalism don’t go together quite as nicely as Ms Rand would have us believe.

    November 4, 2012
  110. Peter Ash said:

    Ok, America in the 19th century. Sure, pretty Laissez Faire, but freedom was also pretty limited. Most of the populace couldn’t vote and like I said earlier, when everyone got to vote, we got the welfare state.

    November 4, 2012
  111. Mr. Corbit… You haven’t read the book, so you don’t know what I do or do not understand, save for what I put on these forums, and I’ve already granted that she allows for courts, and explained above (and in another thread) why that is insufficient to prevent a dystopia. For the second time, you are arguing positions I’ve already addressed.

    If I was objecting to Ayn Rand, wouldn’t you insist I at least have read her?

    If you continue to insist on taking positions others have argued (far better than you, I may add) in this very thread, to which I’ve ALREADY replied just posts above yours, without reading those posts or this book… THAT is wasteful, and I’ll stop your posting here.

    November 4, 2012
  112. Peter Ash said:

    Why bother formulating a leftist critique of “Objectivism” when the standard conservative objections suffice?

    November 3, 2012
  113. Peter Ash said:

    Here we are, a perfect example of utopian ideology in action… we have to get back to the lost ideal society, everyone freely enjoying the fruits of their labors freely. Ok Scott, can you give us an historic example of capitalism as you define it? A significant period of time without any large state intervention in the economy?

    November 3, 2012
  114. @ Scott – Sigh…

    First of all, you’ve used the words Corporatism and Capitalism incorrectly. In this forum we use those words as they are defined in the dictionary (and so does the book). It’s important, because if you start confusing words like “corporatism” with “crony capitalism”, or “capitalism” with “Objectivism”, we’re no longer speaking the same language, and it makes honest and fair discussion difficult.

    Now my short answer to your post is that I agree with you that Capitalism (as you used the word) and Corporatism are not the same thing.

    This book, however, makes that point. But you haven’t read it, so you don’t know that.

    The argument I make is that, what you called “Anarchy” (also not used correctly in the Objectivist sense, but fine) is the inevitable result of lassie-fare capitalism (the dictionary definition and in the Objectivist sense).

    Every point you made, however, has already been made above. You haven’t said anything someone else hasn’t said, and I’ve already answered this.

    If you have a new point you’d like to contribute, or fault in my previous arguments, I’d be very interested in hearing you.

    But for the sake of having an honest and productive discussion, lets agree to 1) Use words as they are defined in the dictionary (not an unreasonable request, and keeps people from putting words I didn’t mean in my mouth), and 2) Not re-posit old arguments.

    November 3, 2012
  115. This is right out of today’s headlines. Liberal Environmentalists are claiming all rain and water belongs to the collective and therefore have made it illegal to collect rainwater and grey water in many cities and I think states.

    November 3, 2012
  116. Peter Ash said:

    but as long as it’s “corporatism” not “capitalism” we’re after, the utopian dream can stay alive…

    Tony, back 200 years ago when we had “true laissez-faire” most of the populace was excluded from the political process. Flash forward about a hundred years, women are starting to vote and welfare states and unions creep in…

    The marriage between democracy and capitalism is over.

    November 1, 2012
  117. Jeez Louise….I’m wondering where on the political spectrum many of you lie…

    October 31, 2012
  118. @Kenneth Olsen we can only dream your statement is true. laissez-faire is one of the biggests blights on democracy.

    October 30, 2012
  119. I look forward to reading it! Also, I am impressed with your willingness to calmly engage in a defense of your book with someone who attacks your premise before reading the book! It’s also a relief to read a discussion where both parties remain respectful despite disagreeing!

    October 29, 2012
  120. Governments charter corporations. Corporations cannot exist without the existence of government. Obviously governments have the right to regulate corporations. In a perfect Libertarian utopia, corporations would not exist. Everyone would be required to take individual responsibility. I doubt we would ever move from where we are to laissez-faire capitalism.

    October 27, 2012
  121. I am so opposed to laissez faire capitalism; why have we been so accepting of it as a way of life? i can’t wait to read The Water Thief.

    October 25, 2012
  122. Tony Smith said:

    I’m looking forward to reading your book.

    October 23, 2012
  123. While I would disagree with the point, I have enjoyed the debate as well. Thank you.

    October 23, 2012
  124. Tony Smith said:

    I think my point is that your Oversight already exists and the result is both rampant corporatism AND crony capitalism. The two go hand in hand. It has been more than 200 years since we enjoyed true laissez-faire in this nation. Still, as a professional editor, I admire anyone who writes a book, even when I disagree with its premise. Thank you for the lively debate.

    October 23, 2012
  125. People make more of Atlas shrugged than it is. It was a story about a power crazed woman who is no different than the secretary that sleeps her way to the glass ceiling. That in fact was what the old Jewess was. She was no prize yet she thought herself one. We have all met them who have rose through the ranks legitimately. They hate women who help each other up the ladder who work legitimately. Didn’t she marry a playwrite or producer? Chastity and monogomy meant nothing to her, she was an atheist and in the end a liar who lived on the social security she wrote against and spoke out against in Atlas. What an old hypocrit.

    October 23, 2012
  126. Well, every bureaucracy, including police and military, are rife with potential for abuse (and examples with the police and military are stunning and numerous). If potential for abuse is all you need to abandon a system, there would be no systems left. Regardless, I do tackle the problem of those abuses and others in the book, and while you may disagree with the 4th function premise, that is the thrust of the argument made.

    October 22, 2012
  127. Tony Smith said:

    The quote you cite by Rand can be condensed to this: The only proper functions of government are to protect your rights and your property from injury or fraud. In fact, I have often heard Judge Andrew Napolitano say exactly that. Oversight is a illegitimate function of government and one rife with potential for abuse and manipulation . . . precisely as we see occurring today. I can think of no better example of abuse of such oversight than the EPA, as corrupt a bureaucracy as ever existed.

    October 22, 2012
  128. Oversight is not included in Laisse-fair either. I would take it a step further and argue that oversight is actualy a part of Objectivist system since in fact it is required for government to survive, but Objectivists (Libertarians and Rand) would not concur, so I add it as a 4th role and argue from that position.

    October 22, 2012
  129. Ayn Rand said “The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breaches or fraud by the others”. But what I argue is that without a 4th role, that of oversight, corporations as entities (as opposed to individuals) will become larger than the government and economically leverage it out of existence (as nearly happened in 2008). Then all government will be gone, and you have Corporatism.

    October 22, 2012
  130. Tony Smith said:

    But that is where your premise is flawed, at least to the extent that it claims to rebut Rand’s philosophy and laissez-faire. Citing to Webster, laissez-faire is “a doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights.” Laissez-faire presupposes a government strong enough to enforce those property rights, which also encompass individual rights, since every individual has a right of property in his own life. The setting for your book, however, is a society in which no such government exists. Therefore it follows that laissez-faire capitalism also cannot exist in such a society. Besides, to my knowledge, Rand never advocated absolute anarchy.

    October 22, 2012
  131. BINGO! You hit the nail on the head. I argue that if you had true laissez faire capitalism as Rand suggests, you’d necessarily devolve into Corporatism (Webster’s) which would be no different than (well, actually far worse than) government. That’s the point. Thus, I argue, her system is unsustainable.

    October 22, 2012
  132. Tony Smith said:

    In other words, a de facto government.

    October 22, 2012
  133. Contracts are enforced by private police/military, paid for by corporations.

    October 22, 2012
  134. Tony Smith said:

    I will give it a read.

    October 22, 2012
  135. Tony Smith said:

    If there is no government in your book, then what entity enforces contracts? A rose by any other name . . .

    October 22, 2012
  136. Oh, I misread your earlier post. You HAVEN’T read the book. Okay, explains a lot. There is absolutely no government in the book (none at all, not anywhere), so your objection is non-sequitur.

    October 22, 2012
  137. The book does not rebut or comment on corporatism in the context you specified (which I would call crony capitalism), so an objection on those grounds would be non sequitur.

    So, for the second time…given that I am rebutting Corporatism (as defined by Webster’s), and I am arguing that lack of any government creates Corporatism (as defined by Webster’s), can you please explain where my premise is flawed.

    October 22, 2012
  138. Tony Smith said:

    If your book opposes corporatism, in the context I specified, then it does not rebut Rand at all, but rather concurs with her. Rand did not oppose government, she opposed the encroachment of government into the sovereign realm of the individual. She opposed any government where the rights, freedoms and creative force of the individual are subjugated to the will of the government. As Rand warned, “We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” I think we have arrived.

    It is too much not too little government that leads to corporatism. Again turning to Rand, “Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.” If that is not an indictment of corporatism, I don’t know what is.

    October 22, 2012
  139. Okay. So what my book opposes is Corporatism, as defined by Websters. I concede that ALL LIBERTARIANS, Rand included, would oppose it at least as strongly. What the book argues is that, without at least some form of government, society would necessarily devolve into corporatism. So now, could you re-explain to me where my premise is flawed. Just trying to understand.

    October 22, 2012
  140. Tony Smith said:

    I understand. I should have specified the context. Solyndra and GM, in the present administration, and Halliburton and Bear-Sterns, in the former, are excellent examples of the kind of corporatism I am talking about.

    October 22, 2012
  141. Tony Smith said:

    Because corporatism, or corporate welfare, as it is most commonly called today, depends on governments to provide the subsidies, regulations, tariffs, spending, and protections that corporatists desire.

    October 22, 2012
  142. Why not? Why is government needed for corporatisim?

    October 21, 2012
  143. Tony Smith said:

    Nick, corporatism — what the Brits called mercantilism and what Lincoln, Clay and Webster euphemistically called “internal improvements” — cannot exist without government.

    October 20, 2012
  144. Just giving a little grief for the Romney Comments – I actually read the book and while I am a Capitalist and a corporatist – based purely off of being a Science Fiction Buff I give it good marks. Sometimes its just best to go with what it is a good book with a sound story and if you wrote it as an answer to Aynd then good luck. If it was just an idea then run with it. Stay out of the political arena with it as its to good to get caught up in the BS that is our Political system.

    October 20, 2012
  145. @Patrick: Well, I’m quoting Kirkus and Clarion. Specifically Clarion (the second largest industry reviewer) called it “A brilliant rebuttal to Atlas Shrugged”. Kirkus (the largest and most respected industry reviewer in the country) called it “Profound…scathing, ceaselessly engaging”. These reviews can be found online at the respective websites.

    In particular, I’m quoting the Kirkus review above. Please look it up (google it), and if I’ve quoted it out of context or inappropriately, let me know.

    Otherwise, come on. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a book where the author didn’t tout good reviews. You’re just being silly.

    October 20, 2012
  146. @Tony

    Well, I’m glad to be having a discussion with someone who’s read the book, thank you.

    I agree that every libertarian does, for the most part, oppose corporatism. I also concur that the distinction is rarely made in the book. It is, however made, and I think you’ll find that Kate concurs that the world as they have it is not what capitalists intended.

    The argument I make (especially towards the end) is that without government, capitalism must necessarily devolve into corporatism.

    October 20, 2012
  147. The fact that he has to tout it as a Rebuttal for Atlas Shrugged means it can’t stand on its own merits anyway!

    October 20, 2012
  148. Tony Smith said:

    I think your premise is flawed, Nick. Ayn Rand championed capitalism, not corporatism, and she was vehemently opposed to the idea that any entity, whether a government or a corporation, could own an individual and his labor. While I have not read your book, from the reviews and its synopsis I have read your book appears to oppose corporatism, as does virtually every libertarian I know . . . including this one.

    October 20, 2012
  149. Maggie Gatza said:

    I’m glad you’re getting such positive reviews, Nick!

    October 18, 2012
  150. Well if you missed the constitution , then missed A.S. completely as well, which makes you perfect to come up with a laughable idea to take her work apart. It hurts the liar because the truth is his deadly enemy, that once his customers find out about the scam, they would not bring law suits against this person . An objectivist ‘s first comitment is to the truth , the fact is that your theory is true for any social system from the federal gov. to your dentist’s promise to help you take care of your teeth : how about a cheating wife or husband think the truth is their friend…

    October 4, 2012
  151. Also I would like to note: Atlas Shrugged and this novel seem to warn us of the same thing. They warn us against the LOOTER and the MOOCHER. Government can take that form, and if so, then so, too, can Corporations. Government IS an important facet of Law and Order. Ayn Rand recognized this fact and was adamant about it (she praised the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and its principles). And for those debating her discrediting her philosophy through her actions… Yes, she did so. But what if you were in her shoes, wanting to be able to live how you hoped you could when you’re playing by the looter’s/moocher’s rules? It would have been better she died a martyr, but she didn’t really like that idea to begin with, unfortunately.

    September 27, 2012
  152. Objectivism aside… Isn’t it true in Christianity that the liar is hurt more than the victims? (This is coming from a Catholic).

    September 27, 2012
  153. First, we hire an author. Then we get him to write about the awful consequences of unbridled corporate growth and power maybe even having someone prosecuted for “stealing” an item that is traditionally free like maybe rainwater or sunshine. At this point I would like to leave it to the moderator.

    September 18, 2012
  154. @Stephen Well, I think you make a fair point. There are, I think, more people who-by hard work-have tremendous success, than people on my side of the argument give credit for.

    I think where you live informs your views on this. I come from Massachusetts. I know families where there’s no father, the mother holds down three jobs, and the son has a job, goes to school, and takes care of his baby sister, and I get offended (naturally) when people say that the reason they’re in trouble is because they’re not working hard enough.

    And much of my time is spend mingling with the 1%, a number of whom relied on welfare at one point or another in their lives (supporting each of our points. They, as you point out, were able to make it with hard work, but also couldn’t have made it without welfare).

    One of my best friends was born and raised in New Mexico. A reliable source, he tells me that 2/3 of the people he sees on welfare are abusing the system, have no interest on working. He knows people popping out babies just to get more money.

    My position on this tends to be closer to yours than you might think. I agree that too many people are gaming the system, and that a number don’t work hard and say “Hey, I want the American dream, why hasn’t someone given it to me?”, but I think a social safety net has benefited far too many people to abandon it.

    I would argue that the system needs to be improved. How would I do it….?

    I’ll post that in my next post in a few hours.

    September 18, 2012
  155. I guess I know too many Vietnamese who came here with nothing and are now very wealthy from their hard work work and sacrafice.

    September 18, 2012
  156. Thanks Doug. I would add, that the notion that anybody can pull themselves up from their bootstraps, and compete in any meaningful way against the beneficiaries of a privileged life, is simply a means by which those with power to justify tyranny against those without.

    September 18, 2012
  157. It’s called barriers to entry, Stephen, and it is the mantra of the corporatocracy.

    September 17, 2012
  158. It appears to be. She required lung surgery, and was eventually unable to pay all of her medical bills. Her law firm asked her to go on Medicare and Social Security to avoid bankruptcy, which she ultimately did, collecting under the name Ann O’Connor (Her husband’s family name).

    September 16, 2012
  159. Bob Perry said:

    She’s been exploited just like most religions are. Look at Jesus. Whether he was real or not 90% of the Bible teachings are against what the MOST IMPORTANT DUDE in the Bible said. Jesus has been exploited by rich people too. In fact, they have so much money they have a little city that has countries rites. And they can protect pedophiles for centuries and cover it up and no one can do a damn thing about it.

    September 11, 2012
  160. Bob Perry said:

    But they don’t see it that way Lysa. That’s the point I think you’re missing. You see her as she wanted to be seen and I’m saying that people with bad intentions have used her and the semi-intellectual have backed them because they see her in a positive light also.

    September 11, 2012
  161. Bob Perry said:

    I understand your frustration Lysa. You have studied her and read all of her works. Especially if you have studied her in college. That really gives you deep emotions and a feeling of ownership. But I’ve heard that you can’t make a decent movie of her books, or at least, one’s never been made. Why she chose to right in fiction to express her philosophy makes me wonder about her intent. I know she was a screenwriter that had moderate success at best and had a play or two produced, but no hits. I still say that some Rich men saw her as an opportunity and exploited her. I don’t believe she ever realized it, of if she did, she never wrote about it, maybe out of embarrassment. They needed her ideals to take control IN REAL LIFE part of the American political field. What better way than to convince young men who thought they were intellectuals that she was the new Socrates. The rich didn’t make money directly off of her, but they have amassed Billions using her to convince half-wits like Paul Ryan. But theres been hundreds of politicians and worse that have had a belief in her. Greenspan being the worst person of all since he has affected the whole financial world and all he comes back with is, “I can’t believe that financial institutions would lie and cheat”. REALLY? What part of humanity did you miss while you had your head up Ayn’s ass?

    September 11, 2012
  162. Lysa Fisk said:

    p.s. the koch brothers & all the other corporate clowns? they are Randian VILLAINS.

    September 11, 2012
  163. Lysa Fisk said:

    i’m a hopeless Romantic. i just read Gardner’s Moral Fiction for seminar. glad i did. rand’s version, the romantic manifesto, was much better. but, i feel so much better about everything that we are going to be discussing Romance.

    September 11, 2012
  164. Lysa Fisk said:

    i wish people would stop admitting that they’ve never read ayn rand & then go on to discuss ayn rand as if they had when everything they say demonstrates that they haven’t.

    September 11, 2012
  165. Bob Perry said:

    I will admit that I’ve never read Ayn Rand. I’ve read books about her that praised her. I started to read her Playboy interview in around 1965, which they just recently republished for some reason. I will say I agree wholeheartedly with Bud Spence on this. I couldn’t finish the interview. When a philosophy has become a religion, and in my opinion her’s had by the 1960’s, it’s all bullshit. Her answers were bullshit and the questions never challenged her. Religion and Philosophy although put next to each other in book stores, are two separate things that shouldn’t cross over. At least they don’t for me.

    September 11, 2012
  166. Lysa Fisk said:

    she majored in history & philosophy, if memory serves. & she warned us about the specter of fascism creeping over this land… was she human & fallible & not always right? of course. & i would have to agree with the water thief on this… However, Alice Rosenbaum did have a rather rosy view of the american people. turns out we’re just as human as the russians were… just as likely to game the system & it doesn’t matter what the system is.

    September 11, 2012
  167. Lysa Fisk said:

    <--- avid reader of Ayn Rand. it looks to me like the water thief has actually read the stuff. & as a matter of fact... Alice Rosenbaum, aka Ayn Rand, was a russian jew. she was subject to the russian pograms against the jews which meant that she was persecuted for being a jew. her family owned a factory which they lost in the war. Alice Rosenbaum was from a middle class family & she went to the University before she fled russia. she had a classic liberal arts education from a russian university. she worked very hard. anyone who thinks writing a book of over 1000 pages in your second language is not WORK does not understand WORK at all & perhaps ought not to have a keyboard until he/she does the work of learning to actually find out about something before opening his/her mouth & showing his/her ignorance.

    September 11, 2012
  168. Dan Hébert said:

    “Objectivism” is a crock anyway, devised by some bourgeoisie Russian Jew who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and never had to concern herself with something as mundane as, oh, working for a living.

    September 10, 2012
  169. @Colin – you are, yourself, pretty good at that “talking down” to somebody.

    September 7, 2012
  170. Bud Spence said:

    I agree that I spelled Ayn wrong and stated that things I’ve heard said about her made me form an opinion of her idea’s about how only people that agreed with her had any rights and screw the rest. These opinions may be based on someone else’s statements and totally wrong. That said, I find her repulsive, based on her interview with Charlie Rose and I didn’t listen for very long. It was enough to make me pass by anything that had her name attached to it. You still are an ass to trash me for my spelling skills, I don’t claim to be a scholar. I do know that Paul Ryan lied over and over, so based on what I’ve seen here, Paul Ryan is wrong. Wrong in her eyes and wrong for America. Also Ryan claims to be a “Christian” and based his life on her, an atheist. Based on that Paul Ryan is wrong in her eyes and is wrong for America.

    September 7, 2012
  171. — Chris: She said harsh things about her critics, but it was all true in her world, and I never saw her be mean spirited about it or say things out of spite. I’ve never seen her mock people (if she did, I’d love to see an example of it), or use sarcasm to make a point (“Who the hell is Ian Rand”). I hope I’m not wrong, I’d loose a lot of respect for her if I am.

    September 6, 2012
  172. — Terry…. I would probably agree with you, but in a roundabout way. Rand may have been a psychopath (incapable of remorse or guilt), I don’t know– I don’t think she was psychotic. But her first principal what that there was no god. Her second was that you should never, ever (EVER), lie, cheat, steal or take advantage of anyone – ever. That covers most of the 10 commandments (murder is both theft and taking advantage). I think anyone who believes those central tenants (as I believe Rand did) must be called a moral person. But she felt those rules shouldn’t be violated because they damaged the self. My problem is that, for Objectivism to work, the vast majority of people must agree that that lying, cheating, and stealing is worse for the aggressor than the victim. But with the human ability to rationalize, I’ve never seen any evidence that vast majority believe that (I don’t think that even half the population believes that). Indeed, even Daggny Tagget in Atlas Shrugged commits murder (though an attempt is made to rationalize it, it’s clearly murder). If you can’t get the vast majority of people to accept that all lying is reflected back on the liar worse than on the victim, Objectivism becomes EXACTLY what you call it — fascism. In that respect Ayn Rand is identical to Karl Marx. Their theories looks GREAT on paper, but are catastrophic in real life because they rest on the false assumption that the majority of people won’t take advantage of the system.

    September 6, 2012
  173. Sorry you misstated the question. The answer still applies. I won’t mock you for misspelling Objectivist. Rand “mocked” wrongheaded thinking and people in the harshest terms, both in person and in her writing. People who see “pernicious evil” in her writing see it only because that’s what they are looking for, a closer definition of “psychotic,” Terry.

    September 6, 2012
  174. — Michael…. Thanks for the clip… Man, it SUCKS that they couldn’t get the actors from the first movie back. 🙁

    September 6, 2012
  175. – Colin: You seem to suggest that it’s a binary state, that we either have absolute freedom or tyranny. Is it realy that black and white? No shades of grey?

    September 6, 2012
  176. I ask, because even against her harshest critics, Ayn Rand never mocked them, tried to humiliate them, or used sarcasm. She never got emotional, just used reason.

    September 6, 2012
  177. — Chris, you are correct. What I meant to say was not “misspelling”, but for “misspells”. So on what Objectiveist, Randian principal of engaging in the process of reasoning are you relying when slamming someone for who misspells Ayn Rand or suggesting that they don’t read?

    September 6, 2012
  178. Terry Baker said:

    Fascists are indifferent as to means, and they generally don’t care about the victims of their governance and power. There’s a lot of common ground with this inside so called “Objectivism.” AS for the idea of people being in effect moral or amoral gods in their own little universe, this has a lot of appeal for some undeveloped minds. Rand, it turns out, was a rather ordinary psychotic. Her philosophic rambling pernicious and dripping with evil. Those supporting her ideas range from deluded to very much actively evil themselves. I can’t imagine any society much based on Rand’s distortions of reality that would be anything but a tyranny.

    September 6, 2012
  179. Look carefully and you’ll notice he got it wrong twice. That’s NOT a mispelling, that’s not knowing who or what the hell you’re talking about. Defend that if you think he agrees with you for the right reasons, not simply because he agrees with you. Phyllis, if you didn’t understand it at 17, that’s defenseable. It’s time to grow up, my dear.

    September 6, 2012
  180. Mr. Campbell… Ayn Rand treasured, above all other things, reason. The act of reasoning, of thinking for yourself. Tell me, on what Objectiveist, Randian principal of engaging in the process of reasoning are you relying when slamming someone for misspelling Ayn Rand or suggesting that they don’t read?

    September 6, 2012
  181. I read “Altas Shrugged” as a 17 year old. It didn’t make an impression on me. Many other books have over the years. Chris Campbell, please try not to make an ass of yourself while you are using my name……………….

    September 6, 2012
  182. Damn, Bud, you obviously haven’t even read any of Rand’s works, if you read at all. And who the hell is Ian Rand?

    September 6, 2012
  183. Bud Spence said:

    Thank you for having to patience to explain these things to an old fart like me. Ian Rand is a sick person, if that is not “over reaching” to call her a person. I wish more folks new what she taught fools like Paul Ryan, as it might open their eyes to the dangers of voting for these guys, before it is too late.

    September 5, 2012
  184. OTFL – On The Floor Laughing… As in, “That was really funny!”

    September 5, 2012
  185. Bud Spence said:

    I guess OTFL is the new secret?

    September 5, 2012
  186. Bud Spence said:

    I give up, what does OTFL mean?

    September 5, 2012
  187. Bud Spence said:

    Screw Ian Rand! And not in a sexual way… Ug!!

    September 4, 2012
  188. Mike Ohfive said:

    In the middle of this book and enthralled. Great book so far!

    September 4, 2012
  189. Heidi Hanson said:

    Read it, liked it very much.

    September 4, 2012
  190. You have a booboo on your site – the Twitter link is malformed. (I’m not an admirer of your project but I’m interested in all things Rand.)

    September 4, 2012
  191. Ian – Why did you not put together a group and get a loan and purchase the publishing company? Why is it somebody’s else responsibility to provide you a job?

    August 29, 2012
  192. Vote for Romney and keep me rich and untaxed.

    August 24, 2012
  193. I love the whole idea of stealing water from Ayn Rand!

    August 20, 2012
  194. Philip Boddy said:

    Well, it also sounds like Bechtel in Bolivia with Rummy… The flick, Quantum of Solace, came close to hitting it on the nose.

    August 16, 2012
  195. Philip Boddy said:

    Has the makings of a Matt Damon and George Clooney movie!

    August 16, 2012
  196. Ian Brewer said:

    Your book sounds great, just what’s needed. I’m unemployed and broke right now (a private equity corporation bought out the publishing company I worked for and sent my job to the Philippines), but when I have the money, it will be on top of my list. Best of luck to you.

    BTW, if you ever need a book designer, I’m available. 🙂

    August 13, 2012
  197. Maggie Gatza said:

    I’m so excited for you and your success!

    July 18, 2012

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