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Summary

Opinion polls show that many people in the US prefer socialism to capitalism. But after being declared dead and buried for decades, socialism has come to mean little more than something vaguely less cruel and stupid than what we have now. That's not exactly going to inspire millions to storm the barricades.

Danny Katch brings together the two great Marxist traditions of Karl and Groucho to provide an entertaining and insightful introduction to what the socialist tradition has to say about democracy, economics, and the potential of human beings to be something more than bomb-dropping, planet-destroying, racist fools.

©2015 Danny Katch (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susie
  • 20-04-16

Seriously Entertaining and Seriously Sincere

This is hands down the most entertaining socialist manifesto you will ever hear, well, since "Lenin's little known Big Bathroom Book of Bolshevik Jokes."

Danny Katch will do his best to persuade you that Socialism is not only a good system in theory, it's a real world alternative to capitalism. As a writer, he is bold and funny, and might convince "today's daydreamers and whiners" to embrace a different economic model.

Narrator, Dara Rosenberg delivers Danny's book with the comic timing of a seasoned stand-up comic. She hears every note of sarcasm and of real feeling. A+ job.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Zachary
  • 18-04-17

Socialism for beginners

A great tool for cutting through such a dense topic & for getting oriented on the basics of socialism, which can be hard for those new to both the concepts & the community. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 06-12-17

A sloppy argument

To be up front I’m someone who believes in capitalism, but that is not why I was disappointed by this book. I had really hoped for a good exposition of what socialism was and why that system would be better than capitalism. But what I got was a book that just made vague claims of why capitalism was bad and socialism would be awesome. The author also claims that none of the attempts as socialism are real socialism and that is why they have failed. Yet he never sets out criteria for what real socialism would look like and how the problems that caused issues previous iterations would be resolved. I really was sad this book did not have more depth as I would love to read a more cogent argument as to why socialism is good to better understand my views.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Henrique K. Sakaue
  • 15-06-16

Not so much about Socialism

I was searching for a book about Socialism which this book is not so much. It's more about being anti-capitalism and believing that just because Socialism is not capitalism, it would solve all its problems, and all other humans problems too. Like racism, sexism and such! To my opinion that's preposterous.
Most of the content of this book is just berating on the obvious problems of capitalism and almost nothing on how Socialism would work in a realistic environment. On the very contrary, when the book gets to that point, the author goes on telling a fantasy he imagines to be somewhat realistic, I think.
Maybe that's the pun in the title I didn't get before buying this book, but I don't think there's nothing serious here.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Catherine Capdepon
  • 13-07-17

IM READY FOR THE REVOLUTION

Would you consider the audio edition of Socialism...Seriously to be better than the print version?

Read or listen its great

What other book might you compare Socialism...Seriously to and why?

The First I have read about socialism but I'm ready for more
Not a lot on audible though, I was looking for Trotsky history of the Russian revolution state of revolution by VL Lenin and women and socialism class race and capital by Sharon smith

What does Dara Rosenberg bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She read beautifully

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me THINK

Any additional comments?

Comrades, I'm now ready! lets overthrow 𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐦𝐩capitalist pigs this book will get you ready too! Time for a Revolution ! No better time then with 𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐦𝐩Trump in the White House.

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  • M.
  • 02-03-18

Anyone serious about Socialism AVOID this book

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you have never been exposed to the very basics of Socialist thought, Socialism: Seriously by Danny Katch might be for you. Katch does highlight how true Socialism was not tried in the USSR, and what is stated in the Communist Manifesto - but beyond that, there is nothing of value for the "serious" Socialist or student of Socialism in here.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not sure yet...

Which character – as performed by Dara Rosenberg – was your favorite?

Dara was a good narrator. She brought life to the words written - unfortunately, there isn't much substance to what is being said. She did the best she could with lackluster work.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Socialism...Seriously?

Almost the entire book. This could have been a 1 hour primer on what Socialism is - but whenever the author tries to delve into solving the problems of Socialism, he fails to address even one major concern.

Any additional comments?

Just to frame my review here in the proper context: I am a college graduate, fairly well educated, and have been a strong proponent of Democratic Socialism for many years. I have studied the Communist Manifesto, as well as many critiques of Socialism, and understand the economic underpinnings of both Capitalism and Socialism. I think that Socialism could work - if some changes were made to it overall. The thing is, I don't know what changes should be made exactly - and so I got this book, hoping that the author might pose some new solutions to old problems, or revolutionize the way I think about classic Marxism. Also, to be up front, I stopped listening to this book with 45 minutes left (it is a 6 hour book, so I finished it - more or less) because I was so frustrated with the lack of content.

The problem with this book is that it is idealist to the extreme: Katch speaks about an idealist Socialist future in the terms of "wouldn't it be great if _____ worked?! Imagine that!" I would love it if the ideal were true, too - but it isn't. Imagination is no substitute for real solutions. Katch fails to address even ONE major problem encountered in Socialism: The Problem of Worker Incentive, how basic human greed necessitates the need for physical currency (which was discovered early on by the USSR), how a true Socialist society run by Councils (Soviets) is so filled with bureaucracy that it causes major slowdowns, etc. By the time I got to chapter 10, I was absolutely amazed that not even ONE of these issues was addressed or even mentioned in passing. It is truly astounding.

The only two things Katch tries to tackle, and fails in addressing, is the stifling of creativity in a Socialist system and the banning of religion. These two are right at the end of the book, as if they are an afterthought - but the first is one of the biggest problems in Socialism. Without innovation and creativity, the economy inevitably stagnates. This ties into the Problem of Worker Incentive - but Katch's solution is just "well, people will do their best... it is also a problem in Capitalism so why bring it up?" The brushing off of this majorly important topic and then trying to switch into how it is also a problem today is such a logical fallacy and so deceptive that this is where I started literally getting angry with this book. The addressing of religion is no less condescending to the reader: The argument is "if we were in Socialism, there wouldn't be a need for religion. This is because religion is a comfort for people, one that they NEED under Capitalism, so since Socialism will provide their every need religion will die out naturally." This is such a reductionist and insulting view of religious belief and how the human psyche works that this is where I just turned off this book in frustration. Maybe more idiotic things are spewed at the very end - but I didn't get there. It feels unfair to review a book without fully completing it - but I cannot stand one more trite, idealistic piece of nonsense read to me from here.

If I could rate this 0 stars, I would. The performance is the only thing that makes it tolerable - the rest of it is garbage suitable only for kindling. AVOID.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful