As you might guess from the fact that he wrote a book entitled The Case Against Socialism, Rand Paul is one of capitalism’s greatest defenders in America today. Unlike the many other cowardly, establishment Republican swamp creatures that inhabit the Senate, Rand Paul actually believes in something. And that “something” is free-market capitalism and personal liberty of the sort described by Milton Friedman in Capitalism and Freedom, which is, you will note, the exact opposite of the socialism and authoritarianism described by Rand Paul in The Case Against Socialism. That dichotomy is part of what makes the book so interesting in and certainly worth the time it takes to read it.
Sure, I disagree with Paul on some issues, such as national defense, but, when starting The Case Against Socialism, I wasn’t worried about that for two reasons, so you shouldn’t either if you’re in the same boat that I was.
The first reason is that I’ve slowly shifted more and more towards his viewpoints on contentious issues such as criminal reform and the evils of interventionism abroad. Those issues might seem irrelevant to the introduction of a review of The Case Against Socialism, but I think it is always worth remembering that it’s okay to shift your opinion on issues if you find someone who you agree with more.
The other reason I knew I would love The Case Against Socialism before even starting it is that it is about the one aspect of Rand Paul ideology that all Americans should agree with him on. That piece of his ideology is the idea that socialism is evil, which he defends in a superb manner in the book.
Summary of The Case Against Socialism by Rand Paul
In The Case Against Socialism, Rand Paul shows just why socialism is an evil ideology that no American should support. He does so not by analysis of political and economic philosophy, as many others have, but rather in a unique and more personal way that really allows the reader to connect with the subjects of the book on a personal level and understand what the human cost of socialism is and why that human cost, millions upon millions of dead, is the best argument against socialism there is.
So, instead of discussing capitalist and socialist economic theory in a high-brow, academic way, Paul spends most of the book going over the horrific acts socialist government around the world have carried out. In heartbreaking passages, he uses direct quotes from primary sources and paraphrased summaries of accounts of what happened in socialist states to describe the horrors of socialism. In passages as heartwrenching and gut-churning as those in The Gulag Archipelago, Paul tells the reader just how evil socialist regimes are.
And what makes it all so convincing is that it is not just his opinion on the matter. Very little of The Case Against Socialism is editorialized. Rather, like I mentioned in the last paragraph, most of it is composed of interviews and accounts of the actions of socialist governments and how those issues destroyed the lives of citizens of socialist nations.
Mao’s China was so committed to collectivism that tens of millions of innocent civilians were starved to death without remorse to pave the way forward and turn China into an industrial state. Fathers had to bury their children alive as a punishment for prematurely harvesting and eating potatoes. Children of potential dissidents were sent to work camps to engage in back-breaking labor. And the Red Guard terrorized anyone and everyone in order to break the will of China’s middle class.
Those stories were not outliers or cherry-picked to paint an unfair portrait of socialist regimes. No, they were stories and accounts that made up but a fraction of the horrific tales common to every socialist state to have existed. Millions similarly perished in the Soviet Union. Pol Pot’s odious regime murdered everyone who even looked like a threat to the socialist state. And in South American socialist states, such as Venezuela, previous prosperity was turned into misery and starvation by collectivist regimes.
All those stories are incredibly heartbreaking to read, as Paul leaves out no details so as not to cover up the brutal and horrific nature of Soviet regimes. However, they must be read if you want to understand why socialism leads to gulags. Furthermore, they show why today’s American socialists don’t really understand socialism and its true, evil nature.
As Paul notes, “democrat socialists” say that they want to create systems more like those present in Scandinavia. The problem is that Scandinavia isn’t socialist. Yes, its member states all have substantial welfare states, but they are also committed to personal and economic freedom. Capitalism is their economic system, not socialism.
The Case Against Socialism is an easy to read summary of why we can’t let socialism happen here. It won’t make us like Scandinavia or some other supposed paradise. Instead, it will make us like Venezuela; a previously stable and prosperous state that declined rapidly into a miserable hellhole once socialist policies were implemented. There’s no other way socialism can happen; each and every time it is tried, socialism fails and leads to the deaths of millions of people. That’s what The Case Against Socialism is all about and you need to learn that if you want to fight back against the socialists that are trying to destroy America.
A Young Conservative’s Analysis of The Case Against Socialism
You might be able to guess my opinion of The Case Against Socialism by the tone in my introduction and summary of it. I think it’s excellent and, like Washington’s Crossing or Coming Apart, a book that every single American should read because it is, in effect, a book about why the system of individual liberty and free markets that now exists (more or less) in America is worth keeping alive and defending from the attacks of young socialists.
An indisputable fact of history is that there’s nothing good about collectivism. Sure, it might lead to equality, but only at the cost of eradicating prosperity. And, of course, equality is often unfair and not at all actually related to prosperity. Equality is equality, nothing more. Nations with inequity can be prosperous, and often are, and nations with equality are often equally poor. Note: That is in reference to economic equality, equality of outcome, not equality under the law. A free society must have equality under the law to remain prosperous and free.
No society can be equally wealthy. The difference between socialism and capitalism is that capitalism enables the most able to accumulate wealth by convincing others to invest in and buy their products. In the process, they make everyone better off. On the other hand, socialism is predicated on compulsion. The Politburo members become wealthy and everyone else starves.
The Case Against Socialism describes that in a way that anyone can understand. Rather than delve into the minutiae of socialist and capitalist systems and then using political philosophy to explain why capitalism is a better system, as is done in Capitalism and Freedom and The Road to Serfdom, or even a full explanation of capitalism and its benefits, as is done in The Wealth of Nations, Paul uses the facts of history to show the violence that is inherent to socialism in terms that everyone can understand.
So, there’s no excuse to not read The Case Against Socialism. You’ll be able to understand it, anyone can. Rand Paul wrote it with the average person who wants to read a historical work in mind. It’s not difficult to get through in the same way that Atlas Shrugged can be, so that’s no excuse. You just have to set aside the time to read it. If you do so, you’ll have a distilled, century’s worth of knowledge about why socialism is evil.
Read The Case Against Socialism. Learn about the evil nature of socialism. Convince your friends and family to do the same. Americans need to learn that Bernie Sanders the communist is wrong; socialism won’t make America better, it will make it incomprehensibly worse. And that’s a fact that Americans of every stripe, age, and political ideology need to learn. Otherwise, we’ll end up being the next chapter in a book like The Case Against Socialism.
By: Gen Z Conservative