Truth and Power by Gerard Vercaemert

Truth and Power

KIRKUS REVIEW

A political treatise that warns of the creeping resurgence of socialism and surveys the devastation that ensues when power suppresses truth.

Debut author Vercaemert shows no dearth of ambition, wrestling with monumental issues from the very beginning of his work. He aims to “grasp the intricate relationships between Truth, Power, Freedom, and Worldview and to illustrate their effects on modern society.” His first chapter promises to “determine what we mean by Truth,” and his second chapter attempts to provide a “comprehensive historical overview of the ways political, economic and social interactions developed into the democratic institutions we take for granted.” The guide offers a historical account of the philosophical underpinnings of socialism and capitalism with particular emphasis devoted to the U.S. However, there are a number of more topical excursions that cover modern environmentalism, global warming, the expansion of executive power, tax reform, welfare, medical insurance and the constitutionality of personal income taxes, just to name a small sampling of the many issues explored. The author hits his stride when he applies the insights of the economist Friedrich Hayek to command economies, dissecting the oppressive ideological features of totalitarianism. Too often, however, the work devolves into a laundry list of familiar complaints that pits caricatured versions of the good guys (the American founders and libertarian economists) against straw men interpretations of the bad guys (Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, Barack Obama, et al.). Sometimes the scholarship is shaky—reducing all religion to “only dogma and doctrine” offers little insight. The primary flaw of an often lucid and historically astute analysis is that it promises so much, and it can only underdeliver.

Could be helpful for those searching for a concise, jargon-free primer on the differences between capitalism and socialism.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1479334988
Page count: 348pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:




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