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The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism (Politically Incorrect Guides)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  198 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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 gove

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Published January 1st 2011 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published December 20th 2010)
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James
A solid addition to the catalog of works that expose socialism's inexorable, axiomatic failure. Williamson correctly defines socialism's pre-eminent characteristic as central planning, not redistribution of wealth, and takes the reader on a tour of modern and historical centrally planned catastrophes.



Most impressive was his run-down of Ghandian swadeshi socialism that India is only recently recovering from, North Korean Juche, Venezuelan socialism, and the slow rotting of that much-toted parago
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Walter Kuriger
I love truth. This book shows the continued falacies of socialism, and the refusal to accept the true impact that socialism has on cultures, people groups, and even the earth. Socialism is a plague that should be eradicated. An excellent book.
Patrick
Great. Williamson shows how socialism (defined as central planning of non-public goods/services) is always disruptive at best, deadly at worst. The past century has made it clear that socialism is simply inconsistent with how the world works, which makes its advocates either arrogant or naive (or both). I also enjoyed Williamson's thoughts on what we really ought to be doing to reform healthcare. Highly recommended.
Elizabeth
I think I hated this book. While I am no socialist or even a democrat, Williamson makes even the choice to drive a Prius instead of a Hummer a socialist choice because to do so is to reduce the amount of oil you consume personally. I don't think that a capitalist society is necessarily the one that consumes as much as they possibly can regardless of their wants or needs. A person is generally going to spend their money on something, that has been make clear. Spending it on oil is not necessarily ...more
Joe Chernicoff
Kevin D. Williamson's great book on a historically (fact history) and relevant topic for today's political world should be read by everyone. As I have written before, my four decades on this planet have allowed me to appreciate the facts within this text. Easy to read, and most interestingly written, "Politically Incorrect..." is another book, which read in tandem with the other books I am reading, and have read, helps cement a very styrong picture of realty in this geo-political world.
Christopher Stevenson
Intellectually dishonest. Central planning isn't socialism. Central planning is model of organization, which nearly every single group or enterprise uses. It's cute to run around quoting libertarian or Austrian economists, but taking snippets out of context is pretty dishonest and lazy.
John
Great book. Great series. This guide will enlighten you as to all the ins and outs of Socialism: why it's inherently flawed and why it still lays claim to legions of enthusiastic proponents despite its truly abysmal track record.
Richard
Socialism is even more evil that I thought! ;-)
Jacob
I would probably give this 2.5 stars if I could go half way. I liked it but not a whole lot. It suffers from what I suspect is too narrow a focus (much like the Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming, which was just fine as a chapter in the PIG Science book). Similarly, this could probably have been a chapter in the PIG Economics book. In its efforts to comment on the current state of the US, it has unfortunately dated itself with the sheer volume of references to the Obama administration ...more
Boris
Nice book. Sometimes it makes too much Milton Friedman style arguments for my taste. However, it is a detailed analysis about the false assumptions of socialism. Specially, it helped me to understand how flawed socialism is about pricing and their romanticism about how the world works. I had an intuition about its extreme romanticism after reading the communist manifesto. But now all my intuitions were confirmed: "Socialism is (a) a romantic denial of economic facts, (b) a moralization of econom ...more
Jeff
A bit uneven in its clarity, chapter by chapter, but a very enlightening book. Some of the best chapters involve the oil industry and the current US pursuit of "energy independence", of our supposed overspending on health care and overconsumption of energy, and the economics of the public education system. Not quite as top-notch as Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Facism", but at the same time a more readable and a more topical description of socialist theory and practice, and the history and limitatio ...more
Ray
If you found yourself wanting more background as to why Obama was labeled as a socialist, or compared to Hitler, or a called a communist, this book may help address your questions. It's more than that, of course, but does give good background explaining failed socialist policies from around the world, and explains the concerns of many regarding the Obama Administration, Obamacare, and the reasons conservatives would be against those policies.
Alan
Tremendously informative read on the general failure of socialism. Communicated persuasively and objectively, it effectively outlines why socialism is, by far, the worst economic system ever developed. Its benefits on humanity fall ridiculously short when compared to the economic and social tragedies its brought the world over the last century.
Leonardo Bruno
Se há uma preocupação central por parte do autor ao longo do livro, eu diria que esta é a de mostrar o quão desastroso é para as pessoas (e, consequentemente, para as nações) o planejamento centralizado — seja da economia, seja da educação, seja da saúde pública. Afinal de contas, essa expressão (e sua correlata "planejadores centrais") aparece nada menos do que 124 vezes ao longo do livro, permeando praticamente todos os capítulos. Desmontando as principais falácias socialistas – inclusive a de ...more
Anna


I wish this book had been around when I was taking my poli-sci classes. Williamson deconstructs the theory and gives real life, historical and contemporary examples of socialist thinking, enacted policies and their consequences.
José Eduardo Amaral Leal
Leitura recomendada para todos aqueles interessados em obter uma melhor compreensão, com base em análise de fatos e exemplos atuais, não só das estratégias e truques ideológicos da esquerda, mas também dos resultados práticos de sua adoção em pequena, média e larga escala. Destaco os capítulos em que se discute a situação da Índia, da Suécia, da Coréia do Norte e da Venezuela, além das discussões sobre "soluções" nas áreas de educação, ecologia, energia e saúde, algumas delas sendo implementadas ...more
Logan R
a very good descipitipn of socilalism
Carlos Henrique
It's a good book but out of my social context (As a brazilian). I don't know much about free market or bad policies of the socialism, but this book gave me better perspective than other brazilian books about the same matter (Such as "Esquerda Caviar" by Rodrigo Constantino).

There is an excert about Brazil, showing my country as a free market which is wrong. The political context in brazil, as matter of fact, is a state capitalism.
Joe
Kevin D. Williamson's great book on a historically (fact history) and relevant topic for today's political world should be read by everyone. As I have written before, my eight decades on this planet have allowed me to appreciate the facts within this text. Easy to read, and most interestingly written, "Politically Incorrect..." is another book, which read in tandem with the other books I am reading, and have read, helps cement a very styrong picture of realty in this geo-political world.
Void lon iXaarii
To be honest I started the book expecting a historical bend, so I was surprised at how brilliantly the author picks up on contemporary examples in many countries of socialism flourishing, to the point that people have begun to take it for granted. It reminds me of Murray N. Rothbard's call for the good kind of "extremists" because as he explained society always gravitates towards the average, but socialism has had so many and so influential extremists coming at it from so many different angles t ...more
Radostinski
The author rejects socialism by pointing to the failures of central planning and the socialists' tendency to fix prices. That being true, I still find the book pretty biased nevertheless.
Jason
I was looking for a balanced view of marxism, socialism, and communism. This wasn't it.

It was an anti-central planning rant using the same kind of broad strokes as Ann Coulter.
Mauro Kleber
Muito maniqueísta e quase infantil. Merece ser lido para se entender o pensamento neo liberal
Tyler
An interesting read. I learned a lot.
Richard Lowe Jr
Richard Lowe Jr marked it as to-read
May 26, 2015
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Kevin D. Williamson is National Review's roving correspondent. He is the author of The End Is Near and It's Going To Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure, The Dependency Agenda, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism, and contributed chapters to The New Leviathan: The State Vs. the Individual in the 21st Century and Future Tense: Lessons of Cult ...more
More about Kevin D. Williamson...

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“It would be difficult to find in the United States any profession so dedicated to socialism as that of educators, and difficult to find any argument for socialism as popular as the cause of public education.” 1 likes
“The United States in the twenty-first century is not very much like nineteenth-century Prussia (Prussia today isn’t much like Prussia then, either), but we still use its educational methods. We would never think of using its transportation methods (horsepower was literally horsepower), its communication methods (telegraphs), or its military technology (muzzle-loaders and bayonets). But government-run systems have a way of preserving themselves well past any rational point, which is why the United States still maintains the helium reserve it established for dirigible warfare—presumably to fight those nineteenth-century Prussians.” 1 likes
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