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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good writing and good insight - it should be part of all high school curriculumsPublished 4 months ago by Dr. William
Shakedown Socialism is a wonderful account by a former Russian that explains the process of going from Socialism to Tyranny. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Joseph E Botts
This is a very short read, but it's fairly profound. The author was born and raised in Ukraine and emigrated to the U.S. Read morePublished 17 months ago by prairie woman
Very educational, written from a first hand account. Fascinating reading. Might cause brain damage to leftists and academics.Published 19 months ago by Dragonryder
This is a book that everyone should read even if they don't agree with its message. At least you won't be surprised when/if the message is fulfilled.Published 20 months ago by Cynthia Johnston
Great read. I liked the practical examples of socialist failures.Published 20 months ago by Boris Obola