The Case Against Socialism

The Case Against Socialism free audible

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ebook, Pages: 368

Genres: Politics, History, Nonfiction, Economics

Language: English

Reads: 14

Downloads: 851

Rating: Rated: 417 timesRate It

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Book Summary

A recent poll showed 43% of Americans think more socialism would be a good thing. What do these people not know?

Socialism has killed millions, but it’s now the ideology du jour on American college campuses and among many leftists. Reintroduced by leaders such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the ideology manifests itself in starry-eyed calls for free-spending policies like Medicare-for-all and student loan forgiveness.

In The Case Against Socialism, Rand Paul outlines the history of socialism, from Stalin’s gulags to the current famine in Venezuela. He tackles common misconceptions about the “utopia” of socialist Europe. As it turns out, Scandinavian countries love capitalism as much as Americans, and have, for decades, been cutting back on the things Bernie loves the most.

Socialism’s return is only possible because many Americans have forgotten the true dangers of the twentieth-century’s deadliest ideology. Paul reveals the devastating truth: for every college student sporting a Che Guevara T-shirt, there’s a Venezuelan child dying of starvation. Desperate refugees flee communist Cuba to escape oppressive censorship, rationed food and squalid hospitals, not “free” healthcare. Socialist dictatorships like the People’s Republic of China crush freedom of speech and run massive surveillance states while masquerading as enlightened modern nations. Far from providing economic freedom, socialist governments enslave their citizens. They offer illusory promises of safety and equality while restricting personal liberty, tightening state power, sapping human enterprise and making citizens dependent on the dole.

If socialism takes hold in America, it will imperil the fate of the world’s freest nation, unleashing a plague of oppressive government control. The Case Against Socialism is a timely response to that threat and a call to action against the forces menacing American liberty.

Reader Reviews
  •    Shakanos Casoli
    2020
    I found this book got better about a hundred pages in, after Senator Paul got some zingers out of his system. The first two parts of the book made me worry, for this reason and for the writing style, which was pretty consistently of the form: "As so-and-so says," then the remainder of the paragraph a quote from an article Paul found on the Internet. Often, he cites the same source for most of the chapter, and in several places was repetitive or ranty with his argument. And there's the occasional non-sequitur. This is unfortunate, as these parts discuss the socialist (or not-so-socialist) systems in place in Venezuela and Scandinavia, and could have used a better treatment. Paul just couldn't restrain himself with injecting Fox News style one-liners aimed at progressive champions Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and their "merry troupe" of socialists. Maybe this was by design, but I can't help but think the book was harmed by this, and that the intent was to fan the flames of division and/or give critics juicy nuggets to quote in their reviews.

    But, like I said, it gets better. The remaining two-thirds of the book is quite good. In fact, it got better around the time he brought the Nazis into the picture. :D I enjoyed his discussion of the socialist aspects of National Socialism, and how Hitler essentially transferred the scapegoating of the bourgeoisie to that of the Jews. The chapters on Asian socialism, including Cambodia and China, are absolutely chilling, as are the chapters toward the end devoted to the surveillance state and the hyperpartisan nature of our political discourse:

    "I refer to this terrible episode [Republican baseball team shooting] not because it is the fault of the left or the right but because both sides need to acknowledge that in a country of 330 million citizens there are unstable, violent people among us and we must all consider our rhetoric when debating what we believe is best for the country."

    Paul's central thesis that socialism, meaning centralized control of production and planning, requires force to implement, is well articulated throughout the book, and provides ample food for thought. As a liberal with libertarian tendencies, I appreciated Paul's perspective, even on the subject of climate change. The link between climate activism and wealth inequality is not something I had considered.

    If I can record one more issue I took with the book, it's Paul's impetus for writing it. Perhaps this is just my ignorance, but I would have liked more exposition on the rising popularity of socialism on college campuses. This seems to be the main reason why Paul wrote this book. However, he asserts that young people don't know what socialism is, only feeling that they deserve "free stuff." I think this ignorance cuts both ways, as I have seen a tendency of conservatives to label just about any new government program as "socialism," even if it has nothing to do with centralizing production. Paul admits that we already have a "mixed economy." So really, making this to be a capitalism vs socialism thing is taking it to the extreme; what we are arguing about is where we set the mixture.

    Still, this book is well worth reading.
    Reply
  •    Mazushura Knoshal
    2020
    Excellent -- far exceeded my expectations. Thoroughly edifying and worth one's time and attention. Highly recommended. I am likely to regard this volume as a favored text that I will refer back to time and again.
    Reply

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