Rand Paul’s new book, The Case Against Socialism, provides clear and compelling evidence as to why socialism begins with alluring promises and ends with starvation and even death for some.
Socialism is being promoted this political season with the appealing argument that the government can provide endless amounts of free entitlements. The promises are disingenuous because someone has to produce the goods and services as well as pay the taxes on those goods and services.
During his lifetime, Andrew Carnegie grew wealthy, but so did the economy. This was because the Industrial Revolution reduced poverty as wages rose. Thanks to free markets in much of the world, “extreme poverty” has now been reduced to 10 percent. While Carnegie may have been significantly wealthier than most of the population at the time, his wealth also benefited most of the U.S. population: he gave away most of his money before he passed, creating the modern library system, hospitals, scientific research centers, and universities. Without the wealth of Carnegie, many would have continued to live in abject poverty.
Rand Paul states, “Despite income inequality, the poor have made incredible gains.” Many times, the poor make incredible gains because of the wealth of the top earners, like the poor benefiting from Carnegie’s wealth. Paul then goes on to quote Deirdre McCloskey: “millions more have gas heating, cars, smallpox vaccinations, indoor plumbing, cheap travel, rights for women, lower child mortality, adequate nutrition, taller bodies, doubled life expectancy, schooling for their kids, a vote, and a shot at university and respect.”
Money invested in the private market with entrepreneurs increases production and reduces prices. This is why America has a greater abundance of goods and a very high standard of living, despite various levels of income inequality. Socialism seeks to abolish any type of inequality, especially income inequality, but ultimately ends in tyranny as the top socialist leaders continue to nurture their greed for power.
Rand Paul points out, “Socialism promises equality and leads to tyranny.” He quotes Richard Ebeling saying, “under a regime of comprehensive socialism the ordinary citizen would be confronted with the worst of all imaginable tyrannies.” A prime example of this is found in Venezuela, where starvation and death have been the order of the day in recent years. Paul emphasizes this when he explains that “the terrible constellation of ideas called socialism … reached its pinnacle under Chavez and Maduro that devastated Venezuela.” Venezuela is quickly headed towards the fate that Russia once faced: the death of millions of citizens due to the socialist policies of the country’s leaders.
Socialism promotes bloated government because the leaders control all aspects of life. Eventually, citizens lose all freedom, which is the outcome in Venezuela. The results of Bolsheviks, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Castro, Kim Jong-un, and Mao Zedong are all destructive to society. Cambodia’s Pol Pot (a socialist) caused the death of over two million of his citizens in one of the worst genocides in world history, murdering over 20 percent of the entire Cambodian population.
Current American politicians contend that the socialism they want is different, that the socialist leaders who promise income equality are not interested in more power. Rand Paul reminds us of hundreds of years of history and quickly disabuses this argument.
Centralized government wouldn’t simply provide your health care, your child care, your college education, and your employment; it would control your health care, your child care, your college education, and your employment. Socialists want you to believe that if you put the needs of the whole before the needs of the individual, society will be better off and completely taken care of. What they fail to realize is that individuals are what make up the whole. A byproduct of self-reliant individuals is their contributions to the whole.
This Nazi slogan rings true with many socialists today: “the good of the community before the good of the individual.” The road to hell for a country is filled with concern over the common good before the good of the individual, and Paul explains why this is so: “As long as socialists continue to promote the will of the collective over the rights of the individual, it remains a danger that the determiners of the ‘collective will’ may determine to carry out policies for their own self-interest, their own power, or even their own petty prejudices.”
We must work hard to make sure we continuously protect the rights of the individual. Without the rights of the individual, free markets and entrepreneurs cannot thrive and make the lives of underprivileged citizens vastly better.
Rand Paul warns, “Socialism as an economic and political system is an avoidable disaster,” but he concludes on a positive note: “My hope is that the next generation will understand that free markets and free people have produced better health, longer life expectancy, and reduced poverty and suffering around the world. My hope is that they will choose liberty.”
Rand Paul’s The Case Against Socialism is a must-read for every voter, politician, and student in America.
Bob Luddy is the Founder and CEO of CaptiveAire.