Cuban President Raul Castro, right, lifts up the arm of President Barack Obama at the conclusion of their joint news conference at the Palace of the Revolution, Monday, March 21, 2016, in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Why Socialism Works?


Conservatives routinely attack millennial leftists for getting their political knowledge from twitter or the Daily Show rather than actually reading a book.

This perception is validated with the “reviews” of Harrison Lievesley’s book “Why Socialism Works,” posted on Amazon. Obvious lefties have praised the work in gushing terms.

One called it a “gripping account of this complex ideology” and awarded it “5 stars.” Another reader praised the research involved:

“A perfect introduction to the crux of the matter without any messing around. In depth research backs up the argument presented. Top notch.”

Another reviewer by the name of Conor Burn complimented the readability of the work by saying, “I’m sure this will go down as one of the greatest texts ever written on the subject. I found myself furiously consuming the words on each page, totally engrossed in the text. It seemed I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough!”

But the problem is that the book is not a warm and researched endorsement of collectivism; on the contrary, it is a one sentence parody of it. The book, clocking in at 169 pages, has only the two-word attack against socialism listed on every page of “It doesn’t.”

The reader celebration of this obviously unread book affirms the shallowness of fist-clenching leftists who, rather than cracking open a book, take their politics from slogans over research.

The reviewers on Amazon have taken the common charge lodged at book reviewers of, at best, only reading meager portions of the book–they’re usually accused of skimming the first and last chapters–to a new low.

The reviewers of “Why Socialism Works” have not even skimmed the book. Had they read beyond the cover, they would have attacked Lievesley for being unable to muster a reasoned argument, evidenced by his two-word sound bite, replicated 169 separate times against socialism in his book.

It is difficult to find a similar instance of extremists being so easily duped. The closest is probably the fraudulent tome, “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” which detailed a dubious worldwide conspiracy of Jews bent on taking over the world. The book was deemed factual enough for Henry Ford, a noted anti-Semite, to financially back the printing of 500,000 copies in the United States during the 1920s. Moreover, the Nazis used it as an elementary school book.

However fraudulent, disgusting, and racist its charges, Protocols was an actual book, rather than a two-word dismissal. And those who peddled the libelous screed had actually read it.

The same cannot be said for the reviewers of “Why Socialism Works.” For them, the very word “socialism” is education enough. Of course, the reviewers could be joking—a parody response to a parody book. But given the lack of sense of humor on the Left (evidenced by the all too-serious and homicidal-minded Rosie O’Donnell), the more probable conclusion is that they did not even bother to read the book.

Ron Capshaw is a Senior Contributor to The Liberty Conservative from Midlothian, Va. His work has appeared in National Review, The Weekly Standard, and the American Spectator.


  1. Most people don’t know the first thing about socialism or any other ism and we get so many bad concepts like crony capitalism which is a form of fascist socialism.

  2. I didn’t gleen much from the article but generally socialism works in theory and the problem is that it hasn’t been done right or those things credited to socialism are generally more applicable to the wealth effect of free markets. Unbridled socialism has never worked in the long term anywhere. Hitler might be an exception but that was only about 8 years and a major war. That was fascism where business was highly regulated not owned and controlled by the state.

  3. The amazon reviews are largely by non-socialists being funny. There are actually a handful of real reviews by lefties that trash the book as in poor taste. Your article is based on an assumption that does not really hold up despite you yourself mentioning that the assumption might be false. Too bad, being vitriolic against lefties is not going to win over floaters.

  4. I’m not here to defend socialism. I’m here to tell the author they lack basic reading comprehension.

    The “Conor Burn” (sic) review of the book is clearly joking. Other zingers from the review include: “…a simple and concise, yet eloquent and complete explanation…” “I would especially suggest this seminal work to any and all supports of Bernie Sanders…” “…I promise you will have a near doctoral command and understanding of socialism.” See if you can spot the obvious tells. These are typical of the reviews for this book.

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