In Protestors United: Alternative Solutions, author Edmond Dantes Vongehr, a progressive and passionate 88-year-old retired veteran, has assembled a strange collection of previously published materials, including news articles, letters, editorials and brochures.
The first part of the book offers 72 brief letters to newspaper editors, many Vongehr’s; most by fellow Oregonians. They are rarely dated or identified by publication. Vongehr calls them “reasons for this book” and they decry corporate greed, poverty, environmental degradation, dysfunctional government and the like. The collection as a whole amounts to a well-meaning, left-wing rant lambasting the way politicians and corporations wield power to line their own pockets, to the detriment of the majority of Americans. “Our system is collapsing,” the author writes more than once.
Vongehr is long on problems, but short on actual “alternative solutions” for better government. Instead, the meat of the book consists largely of materials from Technocracy, Inc., a Ferndale, Washington-based organization that has advocated for replacing our (currency-based) “Price System” with “government by skill” since the 1930s.
With effort, the reader can glean that Technocracy promises happiness for all, with lower energy consumption and less pollution. It will redistribute wealth and eliminate poverty. The book doesn’t explain how this will happen beyond citizens rising up and demanding these changes, thus many chapters (reprinted pamphlets, apparently) urge readers to share Technocracy’s vision and attract more believers.
While Vongehr is well intentioned, the book’s odd amalgam of items with no connecting narrative and lack of clear direction is fatal. If Technocracy has an approach to change the ills of the country, the details are not here. Interested readers can visit an oft-referenced website – which brings into question the necessity of this book.
Also available as an ebook.