Back Again on the Road to Serfdom

Socialism has been tried on six continents and in numerous countries, but always with the same failed result. Despite geographic, economic, and other national differences, the experience of socialism follows a consistent trajectory, with its trademark features – poverty, shortages of resources, and repression – always on display.

Senator Rand Paul’s new book, The Case Against Socialism, is a timely response to the misguided enthusiasm for socialism that’s taken hold in the United States. From well-known members of Congress to college students, there is a growing fervor to go down the road that inevitably leads to serfdom. Senator Paul directly refutes the popular argument that socialism’s failures are simply the result of poor execution or improper implementation.

The 20th century was the bloodiest in human history, in large part because of the totalitarian governments committed to socialism.

Paul’s book is concise and informative, carefully researched and easy to read. I recommend it to all who are interested in understanding the popular deceptions that mask the true evils of socialism.

George D. O’Neill Jr. is chairman of the Committee for a Responsible Foreign Policy.

91 thoughts on “Back Again on the Road to Serfdom”

  1. Now is doing advertisement for ghost written books ?

    Take a look around Senator Paul, the world is a capitalist market and as corrupt as the day is long.

    He evidently still doesn’t know what socialism is since the state is broke and the oligarchs have quadrupled their share of wealth, own almost all of the new economic growth and are completely above the law.

    Perhaps we should take a look at Chile if we want to see what a free market economy does over the long run.

    Ever decade or so when capitalism fails yet again due to it’s inherent flaws, the elite just brand it socialism and grab even more for themselves and further enslave everyone around them as they continue to produce nothing but political and economic corruption. Not to mention ecological suicide and some pedophilia just to keep things totally disgusting.

    I guess Senator Paul just can’t wait to become one of Bezos’ hand servants so he can wipe his ass for him and get that penny tip.

    Can’t believe would sell out like this………..

    1. Spoken by a true believer in socialism. Some people will continue to believe in socialism in spite of all its failures. Rand Paul also speaks out against crony capitalism. There is a difference between crony capitalism and laissez faire capitalism.

      1. “There is a difference between crony capitalism and laissez faire capitalism.”

        Yes Herb, there is. The former is the only one that has ever existed and the latter is a fairy tale full of unicorns and pixie dust.

        Here’s a clue for you Herb, capitalism IS cronyism and it always has been since there’s no way it can’t be.

        Unless you can point to a time when it wasn’t….

        So funny how folks can, without laughing, say that more deregulation(neoliberalism) is the cure for neoliberalism.

        1. Given a choice between capitalism, even crony capitalism, and socialism, I’ll take capitalism. At least you have more choices and a more vibrant economy. Socialism is arrogance. Socialists think they know more about running the market than business people and consumers.

          1. Kinda funny how the state is broke and all the capital is private hands just like capitalism requires now isn’t it ?? LOL !

          2. And it’s been a global capitalist economic model since when ??

            Or is there a socialist or communist super power that is independent of or not a slave to the dollar ??

          3. Our system is a mixed system. If you compare mixed systems such as ours with countries with more of a socialistic system, people are a lot worse off in the more socialistic systems. More jobs are created and more wealth created in the more capitalistic systems.

          4. So funny how you buy into the CIA propaganda that sanctioning other countries and weaponizing our food, medicine, energy, and credit has no effect on any other country……..

          5. I don’t believe I sanctioning. Sanctioning is not a product of free enterprise. Trump is certainly not a supporter of free enterprise with his sanctioning and tariffs.

          6. There’s no such thing as free enterprise in capitalism since production can’t take place without labor which cuts in on profit. Capitalists have smashed labor to the point it’s no longer lucrative.

            Capitalism is socialism’s best friend since it concentrates wealth into the hands of the rentier class who produce nothing and collect rent on everyone not born with the blue blood.

          7. Capitalists have produced plenty. They have used their capital taken the risks to bring products and services to the market. Without that capital and risk, we would have a lot lower standard of living such as they have in socialist countries. Why did the Soviet Union collapse? It’s because a command economy cannot create the wealth to last very long.

          8. And they haven’t created any wealth? Why are capitalist countries wealthier than socialist countries? Why did West Germany do better than East Germany?

          9. How does capitalism kill millions of people? Our life spans are much longer and happier because of all the health benefits of capitalism. Not all wealth is created through corruption. And speaking of corruption, are not the leaders of socialist countries not corrupt?

          10. What site are you on again Herb ? Holy cow you’re not very bright are you !
            Do you think we’re destroying every country on earths economy for kicks ?

          11. Capitalists don’t take risk Herb, they risk other people’s money so that when things fail they get to keep their money. But if things work out then they take an out sized share for don’t nothing but collecting rent.

            You see Herb, if a really good idea isn’t profitable capitalists aren’t interested in it.

            Take a look around at all the problems in the world and you’ll find it’s more profitable to not solve them than it is to solve them.

            That’s why capitalism is insufficient going forward for humanity. That’s why capitalists are killing folks all over the planet right now.

            Capitalism means exploiting everyone and everything while maximizing profit for those in control of the capital.

          12. In the case of the bailouts, you could say those people didn’t have to pay for bad economic decisions. I am opposed to bailouts. Bad business decisions should be allowed to fail.

          13. So I’m sure how you feel will compensate for their losses Herb.

            Funny thing is the worker didn’t make those bad decisions because in a capitalist economy they suffer the bad decisions made by capitalist dictator business owners or small boards of completely overpaid extortionist called “executives” that ruin the business by borrowing as much as they can so they can file bankruptcy and steal all the pension money and leave everyone else poor.

            So you see how capitalism has no moral component, and in the end is really just theft from the worker who creates the profit but doesn’t get to share all of it.

          14. If you risked a million dollars and your company made ten million dollars, how much do you believe the workers are entitled to? They didn’t put up any of the money. Now if it turns out to be a bad investment, the capitalist loses a million dollars and probably accrues additional debt. The workers lose nothing. All they have to do is find another job.

          15. If the workers did nothing then why would you employ them ?

            You’re not very wise to how business works are you Herb ?

          16. I didn’t say the workers did nothing. The suppliers of the money, management, and the workers all have a part to play.

          17. Suppliers meaning the people that didn’t earn their money via actually producing anything ?

            You see Herb, you’re trying to defend feudalism by saying it’s better than socialism when neither one is worth a shit.

            You are so indoctrinated that you can’t even imagine the next economic system. It’s as if you were a trust fund baby and were scared you might actually have to work for a living instead of collecting a rent check that your daddy or grandpa arranged for you.

          18. Our system was a mixed system at one time until capitalism began eating itself just like Marx said it would.

            Now that labor is totally redundant capitalism doesn’t work since most folks are forced into selling the labor that automation and AI has taken away from them.

            Time to get rid of this totally corrupt and morally bankrupt system. It was never more than modified feudalism anyway, which came from slavery and the divine right of Kings.

          19. Automation has created more wealth. It has brought about better paying jobs and has dropped prices allowing for more affordable goods and services which has improved the standard of living for everybody. Or should we go back to hand labor which will lower wages and increase prices?

          20. LOL ! Got any proof of that Herb ? LOL !!

            Wow you are one indoctrinated fool !

            Please show us some proof of your outlandish claims…

          21. Every where I look I see under employed people who’ve lost most of their wealth due to a capitalist ponzi scheme that has been running for centuries.

            The fact is that capitalism has eaten itself.

          22. How so ? I don’t see anything but a claim with no supporting evidence to back it up.

            Capitalism has only ever worked well for 30% of the world at it’s best. Now it only works well for billionaires, multimillionaires, and their useful idiots who cover up their corruption and mass murder.

          23. It has benefitted everybody. Just look at our higher standard of living compared to people living under socialism.

            This reviewer of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism” says it well: The final test of Communism is what happens when the gates are raised. If those in the Soviet Union, Cuba, Vietnam, and China had been given a chance to leave in the twentieth century, millions would have fled. Conversely, apart from a tiny handful of eccentrics, no one would have left a capitalist country to go “live” under Communism.

          24. “Our system isn’t true capitalism, but to the degree it is, it is far superior to socialism.”

            How so and why do you defend it by saying its better than instead of saying it actually is good for everyone ??

          25. You mentioned that Karl Marx said that capitalism was doomed to fail. Well, how long did the Soviet Union last and the US hasn’t collapsed yet, but if it does, it won’t be due to laissez faire capitalism. Regarding people being better off under capitalism, I pointed out to you that we don’t have the long lines and waiting lists that they have under socialism. There were long gas lines during Carter’s term in office, but that was due to his price controls which he later admitted that they were the cause of the long gas lines.

          26. ” the US hasn’t collapsed yet, but if it does, it won’t be due to laissez faire capitalism.”

            True, if only because “laissez faire” is an opposite of “capitalism.”

          27. What the hell does that have to do with capitalism Herb ? Why can’t you understand that we’re not limited to either or ??

          28. WOW ! Do you really believe that horse shit Herb ?

            You really need to ask yourself who receives all this wealth, what price we pay for exporting all our jobs over seas in order to destroy labors power and steal it’s capital, as well as what got cheaper and what got more expensive.

            Evidently you haven’t been to the grocery store or paid for housing, college, or healthcare lately have you Herb ?

          29. Explain how hand labor lowers wages please…… or do you mean lowers profit margins for the oligarchs….

          30. You can’t produce as much with your hands as you can with a machine. The more you are able to produce, the more wealth you create. The more wealth you create, the more valuable is your labor.

          31. And that’s how capitalism steals from the worker and rewards the rent seeker.

            As a capitalist business owner your responsibility is to replace the worker with cheaper labor or a machine.

            That’s what is known as controlling the means of production.

            The worker creates the surplus and the rentier gets to keep that surplus despite having taken no part in creating it.

            Exploitation through and through.

          32. The capitalist does not steal from the worker. He provides the worker with a job. The capitalist provides the capital that makes it all possible.

          33. I’m old enough to know when someone is indoctrinated by capitalist propaganda.

            The worker creates the surplus and the owner steals the surplus from the worker instead of sharing it with him.

            The capitalist steals the surplus created by the worker every day by demanding more production for the same wage.

            The capitalist is constantly trying to replace the worker with cheaper labor or a machine.

            Production and time spent at work have increased dramatically over the past few decades, yet wages have been stagnant for 40 yrs now.

            Pensions have been eliminated, benefits gutted or eliminated, and worker safety, life expectancy, and even infant mortality have increased.

            Are you a trust fund baby Herb ?

          34. Life expectancy has increased.

            I don’t know where you get all your “facts”. Are you not a victim of Marxist propaganda?

          35. Really ? Can you give us an example of one where the capitalist system isn’t sanctioning the crap out of it ?

            Actually no Herb, the wealth is being created for less than 30% of the population while it starves the remaining 70%.

            At it’s best capitalism has never worked for more than 30% of the globe while it exploits the 70% or commits mass murder in order to maintain the status quo.

          36. What world are you living in, Willy? 70% of the people in America are starving? In you want to see starving people, check out socialistic countries like Venezuela.

          37. Funny how all the socialist countries are just as broke as the capitalist countries that dictate policy, yet they have happier, healthier people in them…..

          38. What socialist country has happier healthier people? Are you talking about Scandinavia, because Scandinavia is not truly socialistic in every respect. They have lower corporate taxes than the USA. 90% of the wealth is owned by the private sector. They have no minimum wages. People in true socialistic countries like Venezuela are starving in the streets and leaving the country. I don’t call that being happier and healthier.

          39. Too bad the US and it’s allies are directly responsible for the economic hard time in Venezuela Herb.

            I can’t believe you’re that ignorant, you have to be a DC lobbyist or something.

          40. You really think everything would be hunky dory in Venezuela if it weren’t for our sanctioning? A command economy has no price system. You need a price system to determine supply. Without a price system, you have shortages such as you have in socialistic countries.

          41. Do you think it would be as bad as it is now ?? How would we ever know when this capitalist country is at war with the entire planet for the sole purpose of keeping the people on top on top ???

            LOL, you really have no clue what your country is up to do you Herb ?

          42. Our economy is on the ropes because of the easy money policies of the Fed. We are due for a big correction. Trump’s trade war certainly isn’t helping either.

          43. “Our economy is on the ropes because of the easy money policies of the Fed.”

            You mean private banks full of capitalists or do you honestly believe they are going to split all this money with us later Herb ??

            Capitalism was cronyism before the fed was ever conceived Herb.

            It’s nice you have a scapegoat besides socialism to blame for capitalism’s inherent flaws though.

            I was getting bored with the “everything wrong with capitalism is socialism’s fault” trope.

          44. Created by private capitalist elite’s who knew that if they controlled the money supply they would control the entire population.

            Once again, capitalism is one of the most corrupt systems ever thought of. Just because the other ones are corrupt, doesn’t make it any less corrupt.

            Capitalism rewards corruption faster and more thoroughly than honest hard work, it always has and history proves it. At least what little we are allowed to see.

          45. And guess what Herb, it sucked when we didn’t as well.

            Capitalism is merely modified slavery or feudalism since it was designed by feudal lords who no longer wanted to be responsible for the peasants they had to provide for.

            They kept the means of production and we’ve been screwed over every since.

            Private capital bought our government Herb, that’s one of the reasons why it’s not the 1950’s any more.

          46. Spoken by a Marxist who seems to not be aware of all the mass murder by Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot.

          47. And you speak to not be aware of what’s going on around you right now or why this site even exists that we’re corresponding upon……

            Bad news Herb, capitalism has surpassed socialism and communism in mass murder and war crimes so badly that the capitalists have had to stop counting how many they kill or lie about it.

            Please tell us again who is unaware………

          48. I agree with you about all the wars. That’s why I’m a loyal reader of and why I plan to vote for Tulsi Gabbard in the Democratic Primary. But capitalism doesn’t have to be this way. I am opposed to the military industrial complex and all the wars it creates through trying to justify its existence and make huge profits. The public needs to lose its apathy and start voting out of office these warmongers. Either that, or our economy will collapse and we will be forced to bring our troops home and stop this meddling foreign policy.

          49. It’s already collapsed Herb. There’s not enough work and too many workers as well as too many parasitic ruling elite seeking rent off everything we do.

          50. Spoken like a true follower of murderin’ Milt.

            And you seem to have forgotten about Pinochet so please stop with the whataboutism BS.

            Time to face the music Herb, capitalism is a murderous greed centered and slavish system that needs to end before it uses up all our resources so that 2500 or so lazy entitled assholes can live like kings and queens.

          51. Pinochet was a military dictator, not exactly what we would consider a capitalistic democracy. By the way, I don’t agree with the CIA’s overthrow of a democratic socialist as was the case with Allende.

          52. Pinochet was a capitalist. It’s so nice how you think not agreeing with coup’s excuses capitalism while you demonize socialism for it’s abuses……

            So according to Herb, it’s better when capitalism kills or enslaves people and far more evil when socialism or communism kills them……

            Not at all logical.

          53. On page 11 of Rand Paul’s new book: In contrast, consider another South American country, Chile, which abandoned its flirtation with socialism back in 1973. At that time, Chilean income was about 36 percent of Venezuela’s. Operating under free markets and capitalism, Chilean incomes have increased by 228 percent, while Venezuelan incomes have declined by 21 percent. Capitalism has left Chileans 51 percent richer than their Venezuelan counterparts, who now starve despite the vast resources of their country.

          54. “Given a choice between capitalism, even crony capitalism, and socialism, I’ll take capitalism.”

            Nothing like choosing between losing models due to emotional thinking…….

          55. Where’s the proof and the pudding then ? You keep making the claim without any supporting evidence that isn’t CIA propaganda.

          56. Compare our standard of living to Venezuela and Cuba. We don’t need CIA propaganda to see the difference.

          57. How is that relevant when we are sanctioning them and trying to overthrow their government ?? LOL !

            Wow Herb, you really need to engage in some critical thinking before you post.

          58. I am opposed to regime change and sanctions. I don’t think Venezuela is bad off just because of our policy towards them. As I said, socialism is an inferior system because it has no price system and Venezuela would be bad off regardless because of it.

          59. Don’t change the subject Herb and don’t pretend that capitalism isn’t just loot and pillage like feudalism is. Capitalism is merely modified feudalism anyway, which is modified slavery.

            Capitalism has used up its usefulness and it’s time for new system since technology has rendered labor totally redundant.

            What’s funny is how indoctrinated capitalists like you cannot even imaging a system better than all the past and current murderous economic systems……

          60. LOL ! You don’t even know the difference between the two do you Herb ?

            McCarthy much ??

            We can see how well Chile has turned out for a great example of tinkle down Ray-gunomics now can’t we ?

            What’s even funnier is how indoctrinated capitalists like you will pick their favorite losing economic model over the other losing economic model just like the oligarch owned CIA taught you to.

          61. “Given a choice between capitalism, even crony capitalism, and socialism, I’ll take capitalism.”

            “Crony capitalism” is the only form of capitalism. And “capitalism” is a socialist construct (defined by Hodgskin, et al. and popularized by Marx as the precursor to the dictatorship of the proletariat in his theory of history).

            So, like it or not, you get all three.

          62. And they all suck because they’ve all been the construct of the elite and are merely modified slavery that allows for the few to exploit the many.

            It’s time to free the worker and quit paying folks that don’t produce and only skim off the top of everyone else’s effort and ideas.

          63. Workers certainly aren’t freed under socialism. Socialism is literal slavery. Monopolistic capitalism is only similar to slavery.

      2. How much I wish I had your assuredness — your belief in your own knowledge and righteousness.

        I strive to learn, and not listen to labels. Labels are here to deceive us.

        And I feel that the more one knows, the more one despairs. As Byron said, knowledge is sorrow. Those who know the most, must greave the deepest. Knowledge is not the tree of life.

        But the alternative is to be a fool. American people are good natured and can tolerate a great deal of abuse. Until they learn, and partake some of the sorrow and reflect upon the reality.

        Rand Paul is underestimating people. They will ultimately not give a penny for this or that definition of -ism. But will grasp the magnitude of mismanagement.

  2. Considering that Rand Paul is a partial advocate of socialism, being at least as socialist as he is free market oriented, this is a strange title for one of his books. I think what he meant was “The Case Against Socialism When Proposed By Liberal Democrats”. We have to remember that State interference in a market economy, when proposed by conservative Republicans, is known as “capitalism.”

    1. At least it’s better than believing magic pixie dust will keep billionaires from owning the entire economy and everything you stand on, eat, and drink.

      Libertarians forget our armed forces are mercenary forces for the elite already. And everything that is inconvenient for them to explain is a result of socialism.

  3. Socialism has never been given a chance to exist w/o interference by the U.S. If the U.S. would completely lift sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela for example, they might very well do quite well. Maybe not though, but give them a fair chance. As for capitalism, it permits–even thrives with–huge amounts of corruption. Take the U.S. for example, by far the most corrupt country in the world. Top to bottom corrupt. So much corruption we have to export it. It’s our 1st or 2nd largest export running neck and neck with war. By contrast, socialism requires honorable government and corporate officials–hard to find in this world.

    1. Socialism has been tried in plenty of places. It doesn’t seem as efficient, nor as able to grow, as are the less regulated economies we call “capitalist.”

      I think you’re right that socialism would require honor. “Who will guard the Guardians?” You’re basically giving absolute power to a little elite, which can then do *anything* with that power. Often those in power in poor, foreign polities seem to use that power to amass huge fortunes. Whether they’re “socialist” or using some other title, they’re really just after the money.

      What I dislike the implication that capitalism is better than everything that has come before it, and socialism is the only possible alternative to capitalism. As a result, few options are presented.

      I very much like Universal Basic Income as an alternative to putting the government in charge of everything. With UBI, people would have the power to spend as they see fit. They wouldn’t rely on the government. It’s not an ideal solution, but it’s better than Bernie’s ideas.

      1. You’re just surrendering to the elite……….

        Once again you fail to see the problem is making everyone accountable and as productive as they can be.

        It’s remarkable how capitalists just automatically assume the blue blood should keep everything they have stolen, remain in power, and continue to exploit resources as long as they give out enough welfare to keep the ponzi going……

        1. What’s truly remarkable is your assumptions about my positions.

          There is more to politics than capitalism vs. socialism. I am outside that paradigm.

          Standard political science in the US today: “There can only ever be two positions taken: Minimal government (capitalism) or maximal government (socialism). Any other thoughts are *verboten*”

          Well, I think other thoughts… Exit the elite’s dichotomy.

  4. What he means to say, disturbingly too many people are appalled at the levels of corruption snd plundering of nation’s wealth and resources.

    So, it is socialism — whatever that means.

    The problem today is not in defining “-ism” of any sort, but understanding that NOBODY is protecting public interest. We, the people, have wealth that we outright OWN, in capital, assets, and various licensure. And who is protecting it? Who is seeing to it that this CAPITAL is treated as such, not a giveaway to corporations.

    Look at Microsoft “contract”. We the idiots. are giving them billions and Microsoft is not investing a penny. We the idiots will then for free provide Microsoft with teams of experts to define conceptual
    design, write specifications, underwrite the entire venture, bear costs. Microsoft will provide teams of experts using OUR advanced capital. And when the project is over, we the idiots, get our contractually prescribed deliverables, while Microsoft will be selling any and all technologies developed with our money, while specific military products will be sold to approved clients, using White House and State Department as sales force.

    There should be no contracting unless we are buying existing commodities. When US government partners with private sector for the development of new products — this should be managed as joint venture , with everyone’s share of investment being clear, and everyone’s expenditure to the paperclip be clear. And so should the profits flow not only into private coffers, but also into our depleted Treasury.

    Otherwise, we are just giving our capital and assets to generate private profit — while taxpayer gets nothing for its investment.

    This is socialism? No this is capitalism — with everyone’s capital being treated equally. This capitalism is practiced by China, and their coffers are full.

    We have nobody protecting TAXPAYERS’ CAPITAL. Nobody. Our system is still a feudal system of giving away public assets, so the lords of our realm — Amazon Microsoft and others — will theoretically provide services to the sovereign. Like provide serfs with employment (that we pay for with our money), provide means of war (weapons, planes, shops and hi-tech gear). Like the lords of old — Amazon or Microsoft do not need to compete in the market place, just compete for the sovereign’s largesse.

    1. At least someone gets what I’m trying to say here for the most part.

      We must learn how our very language has been stolen from us as well as our time and effort.

      The most entitled people on this planet are worth the most, and the worst thing about capitalism has always and will always be capitalists.

      The Reagan/Thatcher “there is no alternative” delusion must end.

      We should(everyone) decide by what rules the economy runs upon and not the other way around. All this BS about free markets and invisible hands is just elitist propaganda designed to keep the ponzi going.

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