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The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism (Politically Incorrect Guides (Paperback)) Paperback – January 10, 2011
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\\bit.ly/fXILVJ --Prudence Paine, prudencepaine.com
"Eviscerating. Williamson outlines the fine hashes socialism and Communism have made in the countries in which they have been imposed." --National Review
"Required reading." --Mark Levin Show
From the Inside Flap
What’s the central characteristic of socialism? That’s easy—it’s failure.
From North Korea to the American public education system, from Venezuelan oil companies to ObamaCare, the reports of socialism’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Although the Soviet Union collapsed in ignominy, the central planning impulse that guided it endures in countless industries and government policies throughout the world. As Kevin Williamson explains in this myth–busting book, socialism never works because it can’t work. It assumes the authorities have all–knowing planning abilities that human beings don’t possess—and can’t possess. This central flaw has resulted in crushing poverty, devastating famine, and even mass murder. And yet the socialist dream” is spreading—including here in America.
Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Williamson writes that the central fallacy of socialism is the lack of real market prices that reflect the desires of consumers and the buyers of producers goods. Flexible market prices provide economic information that is impossible for a socialist sector or socialist economy to obtain. Contrary to socialist theorists, prices are not objective in the sense of representing labor used or some other abstract concept of value, but innately subjective, representing the felt desires and need of consumers and producers. Mr. Williamson refers to Ludwig Von Mises' book SOCIALISM (Lib Works Ludwig Von Mises PB), as well as demonstrating how lack of real prices work in practice.
Mr. Williamson then demonstrates the failures of several socialist sectors and economies. He includes in his discussion the American public education system and the health care bill of 2010, as well as such almost totally socialist countries as North Korea and Cuba.
There is one criticism of the work of Mr. Williamson.Read more ›
During his interview he seemed very smart and knowledgeable about the subject of socialism. One point that caught my attention was his discussion of Sweden. The people who like more government often point to Sweden as the country whose government that we should follow. Kevin Williamson points out that "if Sweden were a U.S. state, then it would be the poorest state in the country." There are several other reasons that Sweden is not a good example, and he went over them in the interview.
To some extent this book is teaching to the choir when I read it. I was hoping to find more facts, statistics, and sources with which I could debate those who favor more government. I was disappointed to find that this book is poorly laid out and its facts are not sourced in a way that would make it easy for you to look at the sources for yourself.
Another complaint that I have with this book is that he wrote the first chapter with the idea of defining "socialism," just like I would have done, but he never really comes up with a definition. Even in chapter 5, ostensibly about India, he spends the first half of the chapter still trying to define "socialism."
I don't disagree with anything that is written in the book, but I was very unimpressed with it. I doubt that anyone who is pro-socialist would change their minds after reading it; even though they should.
This is not to say that all of the Politically Incorrect Guides are bad, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal" is very good and full of the stuff that I was hoping to see in the PIG to Socialism.
Looking at socialism from a decidedly Austrian perspective, Williamson tackles a range of issues from the inherent flaws of central planning to Labor Theory of Value, as well as socialist/progressive sacred cows like public schooling and universal healthcare.
Great for the casual reader as well as the seasoned political veteran. Another fine addition to an already great series of books.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
VERY WILL EXPLAIN/// WAS IN RUSSIA FOR 4 WEEKS//BULGARIA FOR 4 WEEK// SYSTEMS HAS NEVER WORK AND NEVER WILLPublished 2 months ago by Ronald L. Fruend
Socialism has never worked. It weakened the Roman Empire, and it does not work today in programs meant to help the poor. The U.S. War on Poverty increased and multiplied poverty. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mukti
More than just good writing and research, it was good fun.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you are one of many readers who claim they are "red", please watch this movie about socialism:
[... Read more
I have admired Kevin Williamson's writing for some time now and this book is exceptional. It contains an incredible amount of information presented in Williamson's persuasive and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Daniel E.
Socialism, quite successful as seen from atop the mountains of murdered citizens by the controlling few because it was for "their own good. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
At last, now I can argue with my liberal socialist friends and impart some knowledge to the discussion. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Daniel E. Beougher
Well written by witty and knowledgeable author. Good overview of our current state of affairs.Published 6 months ago by Terry L. Vaughan