Mark Boyle, The Moneyless Manifesto
East Meon: Permanent Publications, 2012. ISBN: 978-1856231015.
Mark Boyle has experimented with living outside 'the monetary economy' for several years. His first book, The Moneyless Man, details his experiences, while The Moneyless Manifesto aims to provide a philosophical and practical basis for others wishing to follow his example. Boyle describes himself as a 'reluctant author' (p. xxv), inviting readers to shake off the 'chaff of propaganda [...] and keep whatever grains of truth you find' (p. xxx). His desire not to patronise is welcome, and his humorous and personable writing style is effective, but his efforts to proselytise are less successful.
The opening four chapters are theoretical, engaging, and even a little anarchist-leaning, with quotes from Chomsky and favourable mentions of Graeber's Debt. However, Boyle's position is expressed euphemistically--'monetary economy' instead of capitalism, 'gift economy' instead of socialism or communalism, 'transitional strategies' instead of resistance or revolution--and it seems the book's agenda is being deliberately obscured behind these 'fluffy' terms. This 'soft sell' was probably a deliberate choice to appeal to a large audience, but it undermines the weight of Boyle's arguments.
In short, this is an individualist guide to 'dropping-out' (euphemism: 'living a life of glorious simplicity, freedom and adventure' [p. 61]), with scant lip-service paid to wider society and collective...