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Socialism: The Failed Idea that never Dies

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Socialism is strangely impervious to refutation by real-world experience.
Paperback, 374 pages
Published April 7th 2019 by London Publishing (first published February 21st 2019)
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Nick Imrie
Kristian Niemietz's twitter is full of him snarking, bantering, owning, and quote-tweeting commies, tankies, and Corbynistas. I get the feeling that this book was written entirely for the purpose of engaging in twitter fights. A surprising number of twitter-tankies seem to believe that the only reason that people don't support socialism is that they haven't read enough Marx and many twitter spats end with: 'Read a book, you melt!' And now Niemietz can respond with, 'No, you read a book: this one ...more
Dimitrios Mistriotis
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
We all have met in a social occasion or at work a person who was self identifying as a socialist, when someone usually asks such a person about Soviet Union, North Korea, or Cuba, you get the answer that this was not "true socialism", or some similar excuse, while advocating that if for example Jeremy Corbyn (LOL writing it in 2020) gets in power, things in the UK will not only be different but way better.

Up until reading that book I thought that the best course of action would be to (1) grab th
Lukas Lovas
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite this not being the easiest reading, it is well worth the read. A rather short book for how much info is packed within it, it makes a good case for why we instinctually feel socialism as an ideology to have merit, but also explains, why it failed every time. Not to say it couldn't work... but the trend I'm seeing is, that it failed every time because of people, so to implement it, you would need the ideal people and with ideal people, you could actually make any system work well. A sort o ...more
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a great book explaining socialism in depth and how "intellectuals" that so many people believe what they say is true is far from it.
Give this one a read its needed especially nowdays when socialism is an idea thats getting great attraction from people who forgot the past and are living without rationality and fully governed by their emotions.

Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written book

The book examines key socialist regimes that have existed in last 100 years or so and why they failed. I have never been a fan of socialism and reading this book confirmed to me that socialism is for those who think they can have an easy life if they had a job for life, no competition and the whole world was as lazy as they are.
mark harris
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple and stylish account of why far left ideas can't work

Full of practical real world examples of why socialist ideas are well meaning but ultimately delusional and deadly. Of course if you are heavily invested in the far left world you may reject it out of hand but I implore you to read it, it might change your mind
Gerard Costello
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant book that more people should read. The author will have taken heart from the butchering that the British Communist Party (Corbyn's Labor) received at the end of 2019. The book is enlightening in explaining why Socialism does not and cannot work, and rather than depend of lofty ideals and abstract argument, as a pretentious university Professor would, he illustrates the inherent structural flaws of Socialism with real world examples from the many failed not real socialism regimes that ...more
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr Niemietz documents the trendy Western intellectuals' relationship to real-life socialist regimes.
Stage 1:
The regime's honeymoon period where it appears things are going quite well. The intellectuals sing its praises from the rooftops. They go on pilgrimages, and report back how this regime is showing the rest of the world a different way of doing things.
Stage 2:
Things start to go wrong - shortages, famines, human rights abuses, concentration camps, are either denied completely, downplayed (t
Gabriel Stein
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Socialism is an evil, vicious creed which has caused more deaths than any other ideology in history. Nevertheless, it retains a huge attraction for large sections of the population in many countries. Why? This book is an excellent attempt not only at answering this, but also showing how socialists always manage to escape acknowledging the consequences of their ideology.
Derek Vanstone
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From an academic or thesis standpoint, the book is written very well. The author explains the basic premise of the book; provides examples and legitimate sources for his basis; and then explains the mechanics of socialism applied to humans on planet earth. It’s a rock solid case for why Socialism is often so popular, and yet never works when applied.
The reasons I gave it four stars instead of five is because it is somewhat dry and boring in parts- but I think that was more the fault of the narr
Fred Savage
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dimitris Taktikos
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ο Niemietz επιχειρεί μια αποδόμηση του "υπαρκτού σοσιαλισμού", εξετάζοντας το ζήτημα, κατά κύριο λόγο, από την πλευρά της Οικονομίας.
Δεν στέκεται σε ατέρμονες θεωρητικές αναλύσεις, καθώς σε κάθε κεφάλαιο παρατίθεται και από ένα παράδειγμα κράτους που προσπάθησε, ανεπιτυχώς, να οικοδομήσει μια σοσιαλιστική κοινωνία.
Κατά τον συγγραφέα, η επιμονή στην εφαρμογή της σοσιαλιστικής οικονομικής διαχείρισης, μετά από τα αποτυχημένα παραδείγματα που παραθέτει, έχει και μια ψυχολογική παράμετρο, που την
Peter Wickenden
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bradley Endsor
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
In each chapter see how the trilogy cycle goes of praise, defence and repudiation. Not real socialism is a fallacy and Kristian Niemietz shows that in this book. Pick up and read. You won't regret it ...more
henry field
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extraordinary work analyzing the interventionist/socialist dream

Anyone interested in political ideas and parties left right and center will gain invaluable insight from this well written thoroughly thought through and researched book.
Ivan Savić
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
It has a good premise, claiming that socialist systems tend to become autocratic and collapse. But it didn't provide good and convincing explanation why that happens. ...more
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9 likes · 1 comments
“By mixing a desired outcome of a system into the very definition of that system, the idea that ‘real’ socialism has never been tried becomes unfalsifiable. It is as if we defined a rain dance as ‘a dance that causes rainfall’, as opposed to ‘a dance that aims to cause rainfall’. Under the latter definition, it is possible to conclude, after a sufficiently large number of failed attempts, that rain dances cannot, after all, cause rain. Under the former definition, that is not possible. If an attempt at a rain dance does not cause rain, then by definition, it cannot have been a real rain dance. A real rain dance has never been tried. Those who claim that rain dances have ‘failed’ are just not clever enough to understand the difference between the idea of a rain dance and a distorted application.” 0 likes
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