Critical Book Review

For the sake of dialogue, critique of THE TAXMAN COMETH from a different perspective:

“Only in the perfervid imagination of a tea-party anarchist like Jim Greenfield could the hero of a novel be the ‘twenty-seventh richest man in the world,’ a lemon-selling used-car salesman who deals solely in cash, specializes in fraud, doesn’t do refunds, and considers it his patriotic duty not to pay taxes for seventeen years. In this addled, sexist, politically incorrect book – as subtle as Ayn Rand, as nuanced as a sledgehammer, and as likely as Sharknado – the only interesting segments are the parts dubbed “Optional” when Greenfield actually expounds on the flawed philosophy behind his Randian views.

Although Greenfield is ridiculously paranoid about the Internal Revenue Service (and IRS Commissioner Darth Nader), some of his wild conspiracy theories do hit a bit too close to home. Warrantless government spying on American citizens in the era of the NSA, elected officials who do only what special-interest lobbyists legally pay them to do, and digital ballot-counting without a paper trail are just a few of the Orwellian realities that liberals and conservatives should join together to thwart. Without the ridiculous plot and gratuitous sex and violence, this could have been an interesting polemic and not a cartoon. But THE TAXMAN COMETH prefers snark over legitimate debate. It thus well represents the current intellectual state of the tea-party movement.”

– Mark Levine, liberal talk radio host and former Legislative Counsel to Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA)

Jim Greenfield’s  Reply to Mark Levine’s Humor-Challenged Critique:

“As likely as Sharknado?” “Wild conspiracy theories?”  “Prefers snark over legitimate debate?”  Hey, Mark, it’s not a debate.   It’s a novel! It’s fiction!  It’s satire!   It’s not supposed to be “likely.”   Get it?  You probably thought “Star Wars,” and “The Matrix,” and “Young Frankenstein” were “unlikely, wild conspiracy theories” too.  Or for that matter, how about “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?”  How likely was that?  Or “Hamlet,” an unlikely story about a guy sent on a mission to murder his uncle by a ghost claiming a “wild conspiracy” of assassination against the king?

Mark Levine claims he graduated summa cum laude from Harvard, and went to Yale Law School, so I guess he’s smart, but he clearly lacks the perspicacity to recognize great literature.  To put his sardonic commentary about this masterpiece, The Taxman Cometh, in context, bear in mind that Mark made similarly dismissive remarks about the complete works of Shakespeare.  Okay, not really; that’s satire also.  Maybe they don’t teach satire at Harvard.

Mark accuses me of being “ridiculously paranoid” about the IRS, as if that were possible.  Apparently he’s oblivious to what the IRS does to real people in the real world.  See, Mark, these people make a living seizing other people’s money and property; putting  people in jail, and scaring the shit out of the entire population.  Is it paranoid to point out that people who are out to get you are out to get you?  We’ll see if Mark feels the same way after his first IRS audit, which won’t happen to such a prominent liberal as long as his fellow Democrats are running the country.

And speaking of preferring “snark over legitimate debate,” what does calling me a “tea-party anarchist” sound like?  Does that fall under “snark,” or is it “legitimate debate?”  Apparently neither Harvard nor Yale taught Mark the meaning of “anarchist” either. People like Mark Levine, who think they are “liberals” but are actually totalitarians, are prone to conflate constitutionalism with anarchism.  By the way, Mark, I’m not involved in the tea party movement.  But I do believe in the same principles of limited constitutional government and individual liberty that the founders of our nation believed in.  So if I’m an anarchist, what about Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, and Madison?  Were they anarchists also, Mark?  Try reading “The Federalist Papers.” Anarchists don’t found nations.  Anarchists don’t write constitutions.  Anarchists don’t create governments and write laws.  It’s a glaring self-contradiction to accuse constitutionalists of anarchism, a frequently used, and desperate ploy by the extreme left, intended to obscure the fact that they no longer believe in the United States Constitution.

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