Magazine December 31, 2019, Issue

Rand Paul’s Case against Socialism

Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., May 22, 2018 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
The Case against Socialism, by Rand Paul (Broadside Books, 368 pp., $28.99)

Just three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, socialist political activism has undergone a remarkable rehabilitation. Survey data show the label’s growing popularity among college students, while Karl Marx holds the title of the most frequently assigned author from the philosophical canon in American university classrooms. Far from bearing the stigma one might reasonably expect to accompany a movement that killed 100 million people in the 20th century, socialist ideology retains a position of high esteem in elite academic, journalistic, and intellectual circles.

One recurring source of the problem is the intentional cultivation of a definitional fluidity that operates

To Read the Full Story

This article appears as “Reckoning with Socialism” in the December 31, 2019, print edition of National Review.

Phillip Magness — Mr. Magness, an economic historian, is a senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of more than two dozen scholarly works on the economic dimensions of slavery and the American Civil War.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners



Okay Stupid

Some cadets made a gesture during the Army–Navy football game, and that led to an investigation of their ‘intention.’


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