My review of James Rickards ‘The Death of Money’…

As a writer of science-fiction stories, along with atheist comedies, I have a keen interest in the shape of the future and in the changes that appear to be coming to our world very soon. Things like the creation of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), the loss of jobs due to automation and driverless cars that are being rapidly developed and thus the need for a Universal Basic Income (UBI) to offset the loss of these jobs, as well as the impact of humans on our world interests me. I read books like Paul Mason’s ‘Postcapitalism’ (review here: to inform me of what is to come and how I can incorporate it into my writings but also because I have a genuine interest in this subject and ‘The Death of Money: the coming collapse of the international monetary system’ by James Rickards fits squarely into that category.

This book details some of the events that the author thinks are likely to occur and that will shape our world and society during the coming decades, most notably a collapse of the US dollar, but Rickards also covers many other topics including the rise of China, along with the expected fall of that country’s economy, the use of gold by Central banks, and the manipulation of the markets by terrorists among other things. One of the implications that intrigued me most was the way in which countries like the US manipulate their own interest rates to pass inflation onto other nations, something that strikes me as deceptive but, given the number of ways that the US maintains its dominance of the world, this is actually pretty tame. And given that we have been living in a period of exceptionally low interest rates, combined with quantitative easing on a massive scale, also not the biggest issue we face.


This book was published in 2014 and the signs that Rickards thesis is correct continue to mount. Recently, several Chinese companies were downgraded by Moody’s leading to fears of a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy ( The UK housing bubble and economy looks set to collapse should we actually go through with the whole Brexit debacle. And the effect of having Donald Trump as US president, and all of the insanity that appears on a daily basis, are yet to really be seen and felt. I was convinced before reading this book that we were heading for a financial meltdown and now I am even more certain that this will happen in the near future.


Rickards wonders how much longer the dollar will be the reserve currency, not long by the sounds of it, and then the impact on the US will surely be felt. I’m also very curious to see what the resultant fallout will be with the author airing a cautious note in the last few pages about the possibility of America turning into a fascist state with its militarised police, surveillance mechanisms and easily controllable road network. The UK is comparable to the US is a great many ways but personally I am grateful that we have not followed them in adding SWAT teams, drones and APCs to our police forces. And with Donald Trump now in the White House that possibility seems ever more realistic.


My feeling is that we are indeed heading for a financial meltdown and that the world that needs to follow it, one where neo-liberalism is no longer the driving force of our economy, AI runs much of our world, UBI is implemented along with shorter weeks, and we put the emphasis on sustainability in a finite world is one possible outcome. Unfortunately, there are other, far more scary outcomes too and there seems to be no way of knowing exactly where we are heading. We shall just have to see. Cheers!


‘Only an atheist can help God save the world’ now has TWELVE reader reviews with an average of 4.4 stars and is available from all electronic retailers including Amazon UK here: The sequel, ‘Jesus Returns: here he comes again’, will be out soon! Also check out my other “Rambling” blogs posts for articles on being an indie author, comics, politics, and reviews of books and movies! Finally, follow me on Twitter @onlyanatheist1. Cheers!


My wife and I are going vegetarian by stealth…

Since beginning a weekly Riverford vegetable box scheme my wife and I seem to be gradually going vegetarian which came as something of a surprise. We have been heading that way for a while but it is not something that I actually expected to happen having eaten meat all my life. I have previously written about the wonder of Riverford here: and if you have any interest in lovely, organic vegetables grown without the use of pesticides and eating seasonal produce that reconnects you with the changing year then I can’t recommend them enough. The interesting thing for me is that we haven’t made a choice to stop eating meat, our diet has changed without us really thinking about it, and now that it has it feels like it is for the better and I am glad that we have. We even bought a Riverford meat box to enjoy their organic, free-range produce but even that has lost some of its appeal and has sat in our freezer for many months.


During this period our diet has become more varied, we are eating more beans, pulses and grains along with our veggies, we cook a significantly wider range of meals (including tofu, something I had previously dismissed) and we have rapidly reached the point where the thought of eating meat is much less appealing than it used to be. Another driver of this change is my wife’s fondness for the Minimalist Baker blog ( and the subsequent purchase of the author’s cookbook and many times when we need a recipe, an internet search leads us to her blog and the meal that we end up cooking. So far, they have been universally excellent and I recommend it as a source of useful recipes.

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We still do eat meat and I think this will continue for a while but the idea that it is required for a satisfying meal has also become odd. We cook the occasional roast chicken or a slow roasted joint and duck gumbo remains our favourite dish but then we began to lose our taste for bacon and, yes, I am aware that many say that they could never give up bacon, that is the one thing that keeps them carnivorous. We use a little for cooking quiches or to top pizzas, but I can now see a day when we won’t even eat that. Brunch now consists of eggs, fried mushrooms and tomatoes, and toast with sausages also having been dropped from our diet.


Going vegetarian is not only good for you but it is also, in my experience, cheaper and it leads to a more varied diet. It is good for the environment and if you try to buy only organic meat and dairy, like we do, then it is good for the health of the animals involved. You are also contributing less to the varied crises that we face from the intensive farming of animals including the huge production of CO2 that this industry requires, the overuse of antibiotics in industrial farming and the destruction of natural habitats for the grain required to feed them. All in all it is a very good thing and getting away from the idea that it needs to be a choice you make to do all of these things is also good.


Currently, my wife and I are not fully vegetarian, and we don’t we ever actually intend to be, but eating meat is already something that we indulge in much less and it may be that we never make that choice but that it happens anyway. Eating meat may be something that we only do when we are in a restaurant or at a party where there is little choice. Actually, eating out has become more difficult due to the paucity of choices for vegetarians with often only one option on the menu. Oh, and it has also been suggested to me that I go vegan but I can never see that happening for my love of cheese is far too strong. I know that you can get vegan alternatives but the loss of all of the cheeses I love would simply be too much, I think. We shall see.


‘Only an atheist can help God save the world’ now has TWELVE reader reviews with an average of 4.4 stars and is available from all electronic retailers including Amazon UK here: The sequel, ‘Jesus Returns: here he comes again’, will be out soon! Also check out my other “Rambling” blogs posts for articles on being an indie author, comics, politics, and reviews of books and movies! Finally, follow me on Twitter @onlyanatheist1. Cheers!