"Trulbert," which is intended to be pronounced phonetically "true liberty," is a book by Mitch Berg of Shot in the Dark Fame. It chronicles the would-be happenings of a post-economic collapse in winter-bound Minneapolis, following various characters, tribes, families, media personalities, and agency-less government bureaucrats. While the topic may be somewhat somber and macabre, the book can be summed up in one word:
What threw me off at first was the seemingly unreconcilable comical nature of the book, its characters, and its tone with what would in reality be a harsh, rapid, and deathly decline in the Twin Cities population. Specifically, the La-La-Land that Mr. Berg paints after the currency collapses is one where cell phone towers and satellites still work, electricity still runs, an effective replacement monetary system is up in a week, and the north side of Minneapolis doesn't revolt immediately when the EBT checks don't clear. However, while my part-economist, part-prepper mind was expecting a much more realistic tale full of rampant disease, an 80% death rate, and cannibalism, Mr. Berg purposely avoids this to tell an economic tale.
Well...he at least slows down the economic collapse a bit.
Well...OK, a LOT.
For in the real world Minneapolis' economic collapse would happen so quickly the vital economic lessons in this book would not have the time to be elucidated. And so Mr. Berg purposely slows this collapse down to show not only what could be achieved in absence of government, but also what would happen in the vacuum of its absence. And here his observations are not only insightful and true, but hilarious because only things that are this tragically accurate, damning, and destructive to humanity are truly funny.
For example, precisely what value do government bureaucrats such as teachers, counselors, non-profit workers, protestors, and social workers provide society? It's a hard question to answer in today's world because we see them and presume their title explains their value. "Teacher," "social worker," "librarian." But through the lens of a post-collapse world we see that these people are absolutely worthless to society, if not easily replaceable with books, a thumb drive, or nothing at all. It becomes PAINFULLY clear society merely pays additional taxes to keep these worthless people pointlessly employed.
Another brilliant skewering Mr. Berg does of a real world worthless caste of people are the academians and media personalities. As the city collapses around them (and the mob slowly takes over), these charlatans maintain their air of fabricated and self-assigned authority as to why the economy and society is collapsing around them (and the two paragraphs where a mobster explains to a former journalist why she was nothing but a whore for political powers pre-collapse, as she vainly points to her worthless awards and degrees, is by far the best piece of excoriation that aptly describes today's media and alone makes the book worth buying). Like most government workers, it becomes painfully clear just how worthless these people are both in the book and the real world.
Particularly funny is the fun he pokes at libertarian ideologues and pacifist zealots whose belief in the "non-aggression principle" gets them robbed, if not killed, especially as they're lecturing wild mobs about the irrationality of their actions. They start off sanctimonious and proud as U of MN professors, only to end up...well...few in number by the end of the book.
And the sportsball and sheeple! Don't even get me started! It's as if Mr. Berg was reading my mind about how the majority of Americans truly are dumb enough to be taken in by bread and circuses. His brilliant weaving of the NFL as a national and dominant force in the country would be laughable if the American public's IQ wasn't so low that a mafioso NFL is a real world, post-collapse possibility.
But what I think is Mr. Berg's pinnacle achievement in this book is the inevitable creation of a mob. Not so much that a mob or gangster form of government would form, that's a given. But how it would form is his true brilliance.
It would form with the legions of disaffected, unemployed, and talentless former government employees.
Without giving too much of the book away, figure heads start to form mobs who demand protection payments from the actual producers in the government-free society. It's only natural government employees, bureaucrats, academians, and non-profit workers would be starving as they offer nothing of value. Ergo, with their careers destroyed and the private sector moving on without them, they would feel entitled (and would be quite hungry) towards taking what wasn't theirs. The rationales given by the mob bosses are the same as today's modern governments, and Mr. Berg draws identical parallels with slogans and department names that are indecipherable from today's democrat and socialist agencies and non-profits. Add to this natural evolution of government employee-turned-mobster thug, that the seed by which gangs form is based about religions and churches (read- tribalism), and I wonder if Mr. Berg realizes how accurate he might be in predicting a collapse in Minneapolis.
There is certainly more to like in this book. The constant digging at stereotypes such as roller derby girls, hyphenated named women, and coffee snobs will make you think I wrote the book. The actions scenes, some spectacularly creative and graphic, will leave you wincing. Slamming on the Green Bay Packers is always fun. And the debauchery of the socialist power heads reminds you of Hugo Chavez's daughter.
About the only things missing are four:
1. I would have liked to see more on prostitution, not only because it would be a very real reality in a post apocalyptic world, but it would have provided the perfect vehicle by which to show how feminism is hopelessly dependent upon good men to protect them, so they can have such a delusional religion.
2. Slavery would at least be starting to form in some capacity or another given the progress of the mob.
3. It's not available in paperback or audio book.
4. There was no mention of "The Clarey Sniper Brigade" that would come in from White Bear Lake and charitably free the Minneapolitans from the clutches of tyranny for a weekly tribute of the city's population of big breasted, poor self-control, redheaded daughters.
But these minor shortcomings I am willing to overlook.
Regardless, if you can get past the somewhat unrealistically slow nature of the economic collapse, Trulbert is definitely a great read. You will learn more about economics than three full semesters at the U of MN, your mind will be opened towards what to expect in a collapsing society, and you will get many-a-hearty guffaws at the expense of nearly every variant of leftist as they are shown to be the worthless, tyrannical scum they are in the world today.
You can find Trulbert on Amazon.com