GOVERNMENT ANARCHY AND THE NOGO ALTERNATIVE by Theodore L. Becker

GOVERNMENT ANARCHY AND THE NOGO ALTERNATIVE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A short, neat ran-through of lawlessness on the part of public officials -- the police and prison officials and their harassment and brutality; the military with its cost overruns, stockade torture, and My Lai; the bureaucrats who twist or ignore welfare and housing laws; prosecutors; Boards of Regents, as in the Angela Davis case (there was a ""no firing for political reasons"" rule). Becker proposes a ""counter-government"" for the sole purpose of keeping tabs on officials, and a government anarchy law, with gloriously stiff penalties for official murder, mayhem, mendacity, and the like. Objections and refinements are discussed in a genial fashion. On second thought, readers may have further objections: what about unofficial anarchy by corporations against health, wealth, and the environment? Instead of having an anti-government monitor Rockefeller so he won't shoot up Attica, why not have a more humane governor in the first place? The answers are found in Becker's premises which imply that there is nothing wrong with the laws themselves of the policymakers or the social system that a dose of ""higher ombudsmanship"" won't cure, and the truism that power necessarily corrupts, etc. But such sobersided cavils apart, the descriptions of ""government anarchy"" are sharp, nicely complementing Jethro Lieberman's How the Government Breaks the Law (p. 518). Becket will make the college circuit this spring and the book should do quite well.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Stein & Day