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Shakedown Socialism: Unions, Pitchforks, Collective Greed, The Fallacy of Economic Equality, and other Optical Illusions of "Redistributive Justice" Paperback – August 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Press (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882514912
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882514915
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 7.9 x 4.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #784,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Oleg Atbashian, a writer and graphic artist from Ukraine, currently lives in New York. In the USSR he was a teacher, a translator, a worker, a freelance journalist, and at one time a propaganda artist, creating visual agitprop for the local Party committee in a Siberian town. He moved to the United States in 1994, hoping to forget about politics and enjoy life in a country that was ruled by reason and common sense, whose citizens were appreciative of constitutional rights, the rule of law, and the prosperity of free market capitalism. But what he found was a society deeply infected by the leftist disease of "progressivism" that was jeopardizing real societal progress. The result is this book, as well as many more essays, political parodies, and cartoons, published in various media in America and around the world. Most of it is collected at his satirical website ThePeoplesCube.com - a spoof of "progressive" ideology, which Rush Limbaugh described on his show as "a Stalinist version of the Onion."

More About the Author

Oleg Atbashian is a writer and graphic artist from the former USSR. Born and raised in Ukraine, he used to be a teacher, a translator, a construction worker, a freelance journalist, and at one time a propaganda artist, creating visual agitprop for the local Party committee in a Siberian town.

In 1994, he emigrated to the USA hoping to live in a country that was ruled by reason and common sense. Ironically, he now lives in New York City. He is the creator of ThePeoplesCube.com, a satirical website where he writes under the name of Red Square.

Customer Reviews

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Easy to read and understand.
Bootes
The concise length of this book, and clear real-world examples, allow for wide accessibility for readers who have limited time.
narley
You need to read this book and wise up.
Moriarty

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Karen Lingefelt on August 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have the privilege to know Oleg Atbashian through membership at his hilarious and satirical website, The People's Cube. There, through the prism of his own firsthand experience under Marxism, he leads us in skewering liberalism, progressivism, socialism, hope and change . . . or whatever label the Professional Left is using these days to cover the ragged holes in that hundred year old package of phony goods they keep pushing on America.

Truth is at the heart of good satire, and a sense of humor is the lifeblood for keeping one's sanity and perspective in times of tribulation--and beyond. Oleg has the unique ability to not only look back and see the absurdity of life in a Communist regime--but to cleverly use satire and humor to educate and even warn others of its perils.

Recent events make those warnings more dire, as it becomes harder to laugh in the face of increasing danger to our liberties. Recognizing that hideous face--as well that patched up, smoldering old package leaking something foul on America's doorstep--Oleg has taken a more serious turn with this book.

The text originally appeared as a series of essays at Pajamas Media. First thing each morning I'd read the latest installment with my coffee--though what Oleg wrote did a better job of waking me up than the caffeine. Had I waited till late evening to read his work, I doubt I would have been able to sleep that night. He wrote things that alarmed me and tore at my heart--not only because they once happened to human beings in another time and place, but because I see them happening here and now--in America.

And it's not just the increasing power and corruption of unions--the centerpiece of Oleg's book. It's something that's everywhere now.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Gary Wolf on September 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Mr. Atbashian has given us a clear and concise primer on the fallacies of socialist thought in all of its myriad incarnations. With crushing logic, he picks apart (or, shall I say, deconstructs) the philosophical sleight-of-hand that has produced Leftist gems such as welfare dependency, affirmative action, union extortion, political correctness, and dictatorial regimes around the world.

In this sense -- exposing the normally well-hidden kernel of collectivist ideology -- Shakedown Socialism is reminiscent of Hayek's Road to Serfdom.

One particularly instructive aspect of the book is the ongoing comparison between contemporary "Progressive" practice and that of the Soviet Union. Here we benefit from Mr. Atbashian's personal experience from deep within the belly of the beast. The parallels are chilling, to say the least.

Thoughtful, well-written, witty. Highly recommended.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Puterbaugh on January 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some books (good books) contain a thought which you can take away, and make your own forever. This book, aside from a lot of other excellent thoughts ("Why should union members earn twice as much as non-union workers??" Good question!), contains one really excellent thing.

A few years ago, I was thinking about a situation where I had employed two different people to work on making a few buildings in an empty lot. One of them was dedicated. He worked very hard, and took every job as a personal responsibility. He refused to leave before the job was done. The other was his son-in-law, one of the laziest boys I ever saw. When I told him to go help his father-in-law, I discovered him a few hours later lolling on the grass and watching his father-in-law work.

I concluded that the father-in-law was worth easily 1,000 a day, while the son-in-law would be lucky to be paid 200-300.

And this is where I got stuck. It struck me as obvious that each person was getting paid fairly and justly, and that "social justice" must be some completely different sort of justice.

Well, this book completes that thought. It states, as an obvious fact, that if you pay people justly, they will be unequal. But if you pay them all equally, the result will be injustice. (I would only add the missing premise, which is obvious: people are not all equally productive.)

In other words, "justice" and "equality" in wages are like oil and water: they do not and cannot mix. They are in fact contradictory.

Coming from a man who spent many years under Communism in the USSR, this is an idea whose time has come. (Actually, it came long ago, but political windbags have done their best to conceal it.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By 1J9F7K6 on September 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
ive bought books on amazon for awhile but never felt the need to write a review before. this is not a typical anti-socialist book at all. none of the familiar rhetoric you might be expecting. while not an academic work by any means, he makes some of the most compelling arguments ive ever read.. and from an angle you seldom think about. his anti-union argument is so perfect, i will be repeating it in conversation for the rest of my life. some serious mental ammunition for arguments with any unfortunate, collectivist leaning friends you may have... even if they refuse to read it, the images (on practically every page) might catch their attention if you can get them to flip through it.

do not click off this page without buying this book.
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