Review of The Gunpowder Coast
Originally published at Gen Z Conservative.
All around the nation, people are stuck in quarantine looking for something to do. You can only “work” from home all that much each day. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to waste your life away for the next month and be idle. Instead, you can spend it usefully by getting out of bed and doing something, such as reading. I recently gave a list of 5 books to read during quarantine, but, those are all non-fiction, so they might not appeal to everyone. If you’re the type of reader that prefers fiction, then I have the book for you: Gunpowder Coast, written by Joseph MacKinnon.
Gunpowder Coast, set in England a few decades into the future, provides a terrifying glimpse into the future. In that future, socialists based in Communist China have taken over all the world except for America and Russia and are working non-stop on destroying all vestiges of individuality and even humanity in the name of saving the environment and holding up the collective. It’s a terrifying future to behold, but if we take Gunpowder Coast as a warning rather than a prophecy, then perhaps it can be averted.
Summary of Gunpowder Coast
Few books have drawn me in like Gunpowder Coast did. The heroes, villains, world-building, and general plot line made it a difficult book to put down. That’s not only because of MacKinnon’s genius for writing, which is evident in the book but also because the story seems so plausible.
Imagine this: after a vast and hugely destructive world war, America and Russia are focused on building empires in space and Communist China has implemented socialism in most every other nation on Earth. And not any rainbow and unicorns “democratic socialism,” but real, murderous, authoritarian socialism. You know, the type of socialism that actually exists, real communism. As a result, everyone under Chinese rule is oppressed. They have neural links to the government, which reads and deletes their memories so as to keep them docile and AI-powered drones and faceless thugs enforce the state’s will everywhere. Furthermore, no innovation or even basic luxuries are allowed because of the negative effect those might have on the environment.
Luckily, there is still a resistance left alive in MacKinnon’s world. A few brave English patriots are willing to risk their lives in a desperate gamble to bring the US back into their struggle and hopefully lift the yoke of socialist oppression off the Western world. The only question is if their courage and desire for liberty will be enough to overpower the reprehensible agents of the state… It’s a story that will really draw you in.
Other than the story, Gunpowder Coast is an excellent novel because of how well MacKinnon does at making the socialist England of the future seem like an actual socialist government. Everyone is treated equally terribly except government bureaucrats, who are permitted a slightly less miserable existence because they’re the ones who socialism is meant to benefit. Similarly, the state’s oppressive observation of its citizens, willingness to use violence against them, and inability to properly manage anything feels all too real.
Analysis of Gunpowder Coast
When I was first introduced to Gunpowder Coast over email, it was described to me as a book that:
[points] out the mountains of bones leftism has stacked in the name of equality (in servitude contra liberty) and the responsibility of free people to suffer no evil. In this novel, and inspired by the works of Tocqueville, Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Mises, Solzhenitsyn, Hayek, and Chesterton himself, MacKinnon has written a pop defense of individuality and freedom, making appeals to Christian themes of redemption, Truth, and liberty, while condemning totalitarian socialism.
To me, that sounded too good to be true. Sure, Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky was able to communicate libertarian values reasonably well, but, other than it, 1984, and Atlas Shrugged, I’ve read few fictional books that communicate political values well.
I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading Gunpowder Coast. Now I can add it to that list of novels that communicate conservative/libertarian values well. In it, MacKinnon shows not only how socialism leads to totalitarianism and why liberty can’t exist without capitalism, but also why socialism is morally wrong. It permits no contrary opinions, is inherently opposed to religion, and leads only to misery.
Best of all, I heard about it at just the right time; Gunpowder Coast is an important book to read in light of the current world situation and American politics.
China lied and people died around the world from the Chinese Flu. Like the socialist government in Gunpowder Coast, the current Chinese communists can permit no perceived failures on the part of the state.
So, they lied about the flu in Wuhan and now the world is sick and its economy is collapsing. When reading Gunpowder Coast, it’s important to remember that the socialist government in it is no more evil than the real socialist governments described in Socialism Sucks and The Case Against Socialism. The socialist regimes were used to are just better (sometimes) at hiding their crimes.
Finally, Gunpowder Coast is an important book to read in light of American politics. While we are lucky to have Trump in office, we still have socialists around, such as Bernie Sanders and AOC, who would love to create a government like the one in Gunpowder Coast. We need to be able to shut down their ideas. Reading books like this one or Atlas Shrugged help show them what their ideas will lead to; tyranny and misery.
If you want to imagine what living in the world created by MacKinnon in Gunpowder Coast would be like, then imagine, in the words of George Orwell, “a boot stamping on the human face- forever.”
Socialism is an evil ideology that always fails. It, like any form of statism always does, leads to economic stagnation, totalitarianism, and mass death. To me, it’s incomprehensible that anyone would support such a system. But, there are. Reading books like Gunpowder Coast isn’t just entertaining; doing so also helps you combat those delusional socialists.