11 June 2013

Bourbon for Breakfast

"This man's spiritual power has been precisely this, that he has distinguished between custom and creed. He has broken the conventions, but he has kept the commandments." -from Manalive by G.K. Chesterton

Bourbon for Breakfast is all about breaking the conventions and keeping the commandments. Jeffrey Tucker discusses hacking your showerhead to outwit the federal government's tampering with water pressure, using higher flush toilets than can legally be bought, rolling stop signs in quiet neighborhoods, cooking with lard instead of fat-free spray, and following the old southern aristocratic tradition of drinking your morning coffee with a shot of bourbon. All of these things are taboo because of either societal convention or government meddling. But are any of them actually wrong?

Along with these essays, Tucker also teaches his reader how to dress like a man, discusses intellectual property laws (hint: he's against them), waxes eloquent on capitalism and laissez-faire economics, and posits that maybe the police aren't really there for your protection after all.

Tucker is an interesting man. He is a Catholic anarchist. He wears a suit every day and lauds the glories of McDonald's He is the executive editor at Laissez Faire Books and is a leading proponent in the Catholic church for the restoration of Gregorian chant. He has been a roofer and a dishwasher, he has sold and tailored men's clothing, he has been a jazz musician, and he has worked for Ron Paul.

I found the first half of the book incredibly entertaining. The last couple of chapters, made up of book and movie reviews, were kind of draggy for me; I can't say I share Tucker's taste in film and literature. Politically, I would put myself somewhere in the neighborhood of a libertarian-leaning distributist, so I agree with Tucker's ideas about 70% of the time. Everything he says, however, is stimulating and presented in a witty and clever way, so I was happy to go along for the ride and learn something new. If you're in the market for a sometimes whimsical, always thoughtful case for anarcho-capitalism, pick up a copy of Bourbon for Breakfast.

4/5 stars

No comments: