Down With Power Audiobook!

L. Neil Smith's

Number 852, December 20, 2015

The important question is not
"What's your religion?" but
"How do you feel about the Bill of Rights?"

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E-Book Round Up: A Libertarian and Objectivist Christmas Carol
by Sean Gangol

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Some Spoilers

Considering the time of year that we are in I thought that it was appropriate to a do a review of an E-book that reimagines Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol." While I admit freely that I have never read the original Dickens short story, I have seen countless versions that have appeared on both the big and small screen (my favorite is Scrooged with Bill Murray [Blu-ray, DVD, & Amazon Instant Video]). When I found this version in the Nook book store I was reminded of the article that Russell D. Longcore wrote five years ago, titled "Ebenezer Scrooge and Economic Freedom." The funny thing about that article is that it made me see Scrooge in an entirely different light. It brought into question whether people's hatred of the man was even justified.

In this particular E-book, "A Libertarian and Objectivist Christmas Carol" written by Aaron Bariccini, it is actually the entrepreneur who is the hero of the story and not the misguided soul that we have seen in every other version of "A Christmas Carol." The protagonist of the story, Scotty Scaturro, is a brilliant entrepreneur who runs an advertising agency that he inherited from his best friend and partner. Instead of being the bitter old man that the Scrooge character is usually depicted as, he is a relatively young man that is dedicated to his own work. He is also generous, which is a trait that many people use to take advantage of him.

First we have "The Community Organizers" who demand a donation as a way of giving back to the community, but when Scaturro offers to supply them with turkeys and other side dishes instead giving them a check, they storm out of his place of business. Then he has relatives who sponge off of him, and ungrateful employees who complain about not having Christmas bonuses or even a Christmas Party, despite Scotty doing everything in his ability to avoid laying off workers during a bad economic downturn. He is repaid for his generosity by getting stuck with having to correct the half-hearted work of his employees and later finds out that there is one particular employee who has been plotting to sell his trade secrets to a competitor.

As the old story goes Scotty is visited by the spirit of his old partner, but instead of being a repented spirit that warns about what will happen if he doesn't stop living a life of greed, he tells Scotty that he needs to stop allowing the parasites in his life to leech off him and to take some time out for himself. Of course it wouldn't be a Christmas Carol without the three spirits that come to visit him. The Ghost of Christmas Past, a 19th Century Industrialist, who once owned a railroad line, shows Scotty his tragic past and how far he has come thanks to his talent and hard work.

The Ghost of Christmas Present is a Billionaire Computer Geek who appears to Scotty as a 3D animated figure. He is then shown that his free loading relatives and his ungrateful employees are not only bad mouthing him, but some are also plotting to steal from him. The Ghost of Christmas Future is referred to as a Mid-20th Century Novelist and is described as a middle aged woman with a Slavic accent. Gee, I wonder who Bariccini had in mind. Like in the old Christmas Carol fashion, Scotty is shown what the future will hold if things don't change.

I won't go into too much detail about the conclusion of the story, but I will say that I enjoyed this version of "A Christmas Carol" more than any other, including "Scrooged." It was heartfelt without being too sappy and at times it was quite funny. It is also helps that it doesn't have the cartoonish "Eat the Rich" theme that just about every other version of the Dickens classic has [including the original version—Editor]. I strongly recommend this read for all Libertarians and Objectivists alike.

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