The Case Against Socialism

The Case Against Socialism by Rand Paul with Kelley Ashby Paul. Book review by Ron Bream.

The Case Against Socialism by Rand Paul and his wife Kelley Ashby Paul was released last year.  The good news is that people are in the queue to read this library book so there is still hope!
The book is an easy read broken up into six parts with anywhere from three to ten chapters per part.  It’s great to read while on the go as each chapter is relatively short and can pretty much stand alone on its own.
Rand and Kelley compare socialistic and capitalistic economic systems.  Socialism is based on the idea that the means of production and distribution are collectively or state owned; typically a centrally planned command economy.  Capitalism is based on the idea that the means of production are owned by individuals or private organizations; typically a market based demand economy.  Kelley takes Bernie Sanders to task on his stated assertion that Scandinavian countries are examples of Democratic Socialism.  These countries self describe themselves as Capitalistic.  A large majority of citizens are unionized and have a say in corporate governance and also, pay high taxes which are then used to support their large welfare state.
Bernie doesn’t shy away from the word “Socialism” but his idea of Democratic Socialism is the achievement of political and economic freedom in every community.  He rails against the wealthy as being greedy and having excessive political influence.  He believes that economic rights are human rights.  He calls for an economic bill of rights; health care, affordable housing, racial equality, a clean environment and a living wage.  He sees his mission as extending FDR’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.
Classical liberalism and libertarians promote negative rights versus positive rights.  Negative rights are typically the entitlement to be left alone; freedom from something.  Whereas, positive rights places duties on others; freedom to something.
The Pauls’ delve into the real world consequences to countries that have attempted to implement Socialism or its brethren Communism such as Russia, China, Cambodia and Venezuela which has resulted in hundreds of millions of deaths through starvation, imprisonment or killing of political dissidents.  In an effort to establish equity (equality of results), they squash the human spirit and traditions through conformity, amplify negative characteristics such as envy and promotes societal distrust which eventually leads to tyrannical state governance that confiscates privately owned property.
With political discourse at a generational low in old and new Media, Rand finishes with the idea that political opponents can find common ground with the recently passed “First Step Act” legislation which implements criminal justice reform.
This book dispels the notion that Socialism should be the path forward for America.  The sad fact is that today’s collectivist believe that real social democracy hasn’t been tried; their version would be kindler, gentler and fairer!
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