“Starving the Monkeys: Fight Back Smarter” is about the struggle of the creative, productive members of society against the parasitic masses that author Tom Baugh refers to as the monkey collective. Monkeys are the looters and moochers who essentially dine from the plates of the producers through the tax and legal structures they have put in place. Baugh contends that the vast army of collectivist monkeys would literally starve if left to their own devices.
“Starving the Monkeys” refers to Baugh’s recommendation that the producers strictly limit the monkey diet, by withholding their productive efforts on behalf of the collective. Not by refusing to pay taxes, but by temporarily throttling back on their productive output, and thereby hastening the fall of the monkey collective, which is even now teetering on the brink. He advises retreating into a personal “Galt’s Gulch” until after the impending financial and social collapse, and then emerging with one’s intellectual and productive tools intact. In the former Soviet Union, beleaguered individualists referred to this as “internal emigration.” Whether this strategy will be taken up by enough producers to have an effect on the collective remains to be seen, but it reflects the “Atlas Shrugged” meme that is echoing loudly today, as employers hold off on new hiring for just one example.
Although this is a book designed to help you survive what may be our imminent financial Armageddon, you won’t find recommendations on long-term food storage or home defense firearms. Other recent titles cover that ground, such as Fernando Aguirre’s “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse,” and John Rawles’s “How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It.” According to Baugh, by far the most critical survival weapon is the one between your ears. This book is all about honing your mental edge to razor sharpness for the purpose of surviving the collapse intact.
Starving the Monkeys is not an easy read. It’s extremely challenging, not only to political correctness but to many popular dogmas, including some religious ones. No sacred cow or ox is left ungored. I guarantee that thin-skinned feminists will be highly offended. If you have a low tolerance for seeing your pet beliefs or heroes under attack, this is not the book for you. For example, if you think that Lincoln was our greatest president, you will certainly not enjoy this book, to say the least. I picked the ingrained American devotion to “Honest Abe” as one example among countless others. Be warned. Baugh comes after numerous cultural and social beliefs and traditions with a steel crowbar, to pry them apart and analyze their weaknesses as he sees them. In fairness, he turns the same critical analysis on himself.
So why should you read such a problematic and often uncomfortable book, by a consistently prickly and acerbic (but always hilarious) writer? Simple. For the equally consistent brilliance of thought displayed. You may disagree vehemently with many of Baugh’s suppositions (as I certainly did), but you cannot deny the breadth and power of his thinking. The single chapter titled “The Idea Factory” is worth the entire price of the book, and so are several others.