The Library for the Enslaved
Coventry, by Robert A Heinlein
Really - try the link, read down a few pages and take a look at the restrictions placed upon banking by the founding generations of the USA, at least in Massachusetts. I find two things fascinating as they relate to present day politics. The fact that even with a gold standard our earliest leaders wanted very strict controls on the lifetimes of corporations, to keep them secondary in power to elected Government, and seemed very much afraid of the large corporations running the USA, vs the politics of today arguing for a return to the gold standard and less Government control of industry and finance which I believe would favor a world enslaved by corporate domination.
Especially David and Chris and Flea, I think you will find a lot of agreement with what is written here, although obviously David you will not concur that any authority should rest with an elected Government, and Chris, you will not agree that elected Government can ever be a better spender of funds on any circumstances.
David, you will find argument for your theory that all Government eventually leads to capture and corruption, while I find argument that it has been calls for less Government that pave the way.
I find this to be a very interesting and well researched perspective of early American history, that is not taught in school, runs counter to "get government out of business" ideas of early America commonly espoused on investing websites, and corporate media, and perhaps the Chicago school of economics. David I look forward to your opinion on the last statement, especially if you can find some agreement with early Government - perhaps in the matter of shareholder liability.
Anyway I hope you enjoy the article, it is not an expensive gift, as it is freely available online. And please if you find it interesting, offer a rec.