Why You Should Be a Socialist - Nathan J. Robinson

Why You Should Be a Socialist

By Nathan J. Robinson

  • Release Date: 2019-12-10
  • Genre: Political Science
Score: 4.5
From 19 Ratings


A primer on Democratic Socialism for those who are extremely skeptical of it.

America is witnessing the rise of a new generation of socialist activists. More young people support socialism now than at any time since the labor movement of the 1920s. The Democratic Socialists of America, a big-tent leftist organization, has just surpassed 50,000 members nationwide. In the fall of 2018, one of the most influential congressmen in the Democratic Party lost a primary to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old socialist who had never held office before. But what does all this mean? Should we be worried about our country, or should we join the march toward our bright socialist future? In Why You Should Be a Socialist, Nathan J. Robinson will give readers a primer on twenty-first-century socialism: what it is, what it isn’t, and why everyone should want to be a part of this exciting new chapter of American politics.

From the heyday of Occupy Wall Street through Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign and beyond, young progressives have been increasingly drawn to socialist ideas. However, the movement’s goals need to be defined more sharply before it can effect real change on a national scale. Likewise, liberals and conservatives will benefit from a deeper understanding of the true nature of this ideology, whether they agree with it or not. Robinson’s charming, accessible, and well-argued book will convince even the most skeptical readers of the merits of socialist thought.


  • Come, join the left

    By SPropps
    Quippy, fun, honest writing with heart. Robinson outlines his principles and explains why we should all join the left. Socialism is frequently misunderstood and has been co-opted by authoritarian regimes. Robinson works through these issues with accuracy and shows that a politics of compassion, solidarity, and good sense may be what’s needed to make the world a better place. Socialism is democracy, it is for all workers and citizens to have a voice in the course of their lives, from their jobs to the public sphere. Read this book!
  • Socialism: Not the evil we've been led to believe

    By gayspaceluxurycommunism
    Robinson provides an excellent overview of what socialism is and isn't and addresses common critiques of socialism in a fair and thorough way. Reading "Why You Should Be a Socialist" is like being in conversation with a smart friend who has a talent for explaining difficult subjects with clarity. His writing makes the answers to difficult questions "like how should we structure society" and "what do we owe to one another" feel both obvious and natural. He's also remarkably clear about the alternatives to socialism: capitalism is not only content with the suffering of billions of people, it depends upon this grim fact. Robinson makes a compelling case that socialism has clear answers to society's problems and is the only framework concerned with actually improving people's lives. To me, some of the most powerful passages in the book were Robinson's condemnation of conservatism as being cruel, mean-spirited, and unconcerned with people's suffering. He's right: conservatives offer no solutions to the problems people face, only scorn and derision. They kick you when you're down and say that you deserve it for being on the ground in the first place. Socialism, on the other hand is acting on the belief that none of us deserve to suffer; that treating one another with kindness, curiosity, and empathy are good ways of living. All my life, I've been told that socialists are unrealistic dreamers (and worse). But Robinson shows that a better, kinder world really is possible. Everyone, even and especially those skeptical of socialism should give this book a chance.