You are hereA Kind Reminder: Socialism Kills

A Kind Reminder: Socialism Kills

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By Virgil - Posted on 14 December 2005

by Virgil Vaduva
Willingness to fight poverty and minimize suffering across the globe is a noble goal and a serious matter, but most if not all groups fighting poverty are going about it the wrong way and are advocating a dangerous forms of socialism, government-sanctioned theft and redistribution of wealth by force. So why do Christians support these organizations and their calls to action?Willingness to fight poverty and minimize suffering across the globe is a noble goal and a serious matter, but most if not all groups fighting poverty are going about it the wrong way and are advocating a dangerous forms of socialism, government-sanctioned theft and redistribution of wealth by force. So why do Christians support these organizations and their calls to action?Earlier today, while looking at Brian McLaren’s website, a new item caught my eye: he is participating in the Prayer and Action for a Moral Budget, a vigil-based social action program aimed at encouraging the federal government to implement social programs to help the poor. From the website, we read:

"This holiday season, Congress will face a decision about whether to cut vital services, such as food stamps and child care, from low-income working families. We must make sure they do what is right. Here's our vision: We want vigils at every senator's and representative's district office on Wednesday, December 14th. Imagine people from diverse faith traditions gathering together to call our leaders to demand a budget that prioritizes the needs of the poorest among us. It will be a collective voice no lawmaker can ignore."

The statement "we must make sure they do what is right" implies that it would be wrong for the government to cut food stamps and child care from low-income working families. But there are serious problems with this kind of logic.

It saddens me to say this, but these are the times when I am glad Christians do not run our great country. A Christian theocracy using these pseudo-socialist theories to eliminate poverty would destroy the United States within several decades. The bottom line – and it does not take an economic genius to figure this out – is that a government does not have any money; only its citizens do. Therefore all funds in our government’s budget come from taxes imposed by force upon its citizens. I say by force because the barrel of a gun is the ultimate motivator and enforcer for paying taxes in the United States.

With that said, when our government institutes a given social program to help one group of people, that social program uses funds taken from a group of individuals with a higher income than the first, thus in essence all social programs are simply a redistribution of wealth by force; and it is by force because one cannot elect to be exempt from the process.

A secondary issue to be considered, is the fact that many of the Christian groups advocating social programs to fight poverty are justifying their actions by the fact that Christ Himself appeared to have fought poverty when He was incarnate. That certainly seems to be the case, but Jesus never advocated taking wealth from one individual by force in order to give to the poor. In fact, Jesus used miracles to create food out of nothing (or out of a limited amount) in order to feet great multitudes. Creating something our of nothing is impossible in the marketplace, so if anything, Christ’s own actions teach us that free markets, creativity and ultimately capitalism and manufacturing is what truly helps the poor. Simply put, socialism would split a loaf of breat among a group of people while capitalism would sell the bread to the highest bidder in order to create more bread in order to satisfy the demand, which will eventually lead to the entire group having enough bread at all times.

Furthermore, these same Christian socialists seem to teach that Christ’s primary mission was to solve poverty. This could not be further from the truth. When asked by Pilate if He was a king, Jesus answered: "You say correctly that I am a king For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." (John 18)

Jesus was born to be a king – not a king in flesh, dealing with matters of food and drink and poverty, but the king of a Spiritual Kingdom, where our realities are turned upside down and where love, not other people’s money is used to fight poverty and injustice.

Frédéric Bastiat in his magnificent book The Law, identified – rightly so – wealth redistribution as "legal plunder." Bastiat defined legal plunder: "See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime." (Frédéric Bastiat , The Law)
Bastiat also recognized that once the law is on the side of the plunderer, there is little those plundered can do about it. And that is why Socialism kills. When the law is used to enforce plunder, people will die. I have seen it take place firsthand myself in Europe, and it will happen here too eventually. Like Bastiat, I also recognize that plunder violates ownership, and since ownership is a fundamental principle upon which the United States is founded, plunder, and therefore redistribution of wealth strikes directly at the heart of free market and the ownership-based society. Bastiat wrote: "I do not, as is often done, use the word in any vague, uncertain, approximate, or metaphorical sense. I use it in its scientific acceptance — as expressing the idea opposite to that of property [wages, land, money, or whatever]. When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it — without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud — to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed." (Frédéric Bastiat , The Law)

It constantly amazes me how quickly people forget even the more recent history and how arrogant some are to think that their version of socialism if implemented will work and will create some utopian society where poverty will be no more. If they only tweak it a little here, and a little there, they may perhaps justify theft in the name of Christ.

So yes, Socialism kills. People have lost their lives because abusive governments and people who call themselves Christians saw it necessary to use the power of the law to enforce some new commandment "plunder thy neighbor."

There are three choices before us:

1. The few plunder the many.

2. Everybody plunders everybody.

3. Nobody plunders anybody.

Which one would Christ have you choose dear reader? Like Frederic Bastiat, I choose the last: "This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate)" (Frédéric Bastiat, The Law).

So dear Christian, when you consider dealing with poverty, consider using your own money to help the poor; after all, it is a lot easier and safer to reach into your own wallet than that of your neighbor and perhaps then, all citizens of this great country will have more wealth available to give to the poor, on their own terms, in an effective, legal and moral manner. Try opening your own wallet this holiday season, rather than putting your effort and time into a vigil aimed at convinving politicians to do what you think is right.

Windpressor's picture

Whether for the ruling status quo or insurrectionists, ideology matters only to the extent that it is useful for plunder.

The following is found by Google on numerous sites. Note the 10th plank

ARE Americans practicing Communism?
Read the 10 Planks of The Communist Manifesto to discover the truth and learn how to know your enemy...

Karl Marx describes in his communist manifesto, the ten steps necessary to destroy a free enterprise system and replace it with a system of omnipotent government power, so as to effect a communist socialist state. Those ten steps are known as the Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto… The following brief presents the original ten planks within the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart for each of the planks. From comparison it's clear MOST Americans have by myths, fraud and deception under the color of law by their own politicians in both the Republican and Democratic and parties, been transformed into Communists.

Another thing to remember, Karl Marx in creating the Communist Manifesto designed these planks AS A TEST to determine whether a society has become communist or not. If they are all in effect and in force, then the people ARE practicing communists.

Communism, by any other name is still communism, and is VERY VERY destructive to the individual and to the society!!

The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are...

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
[Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership)]

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
[Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State "income" taxes. We call it "paying your fair share".]

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
[Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.]

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
[Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public "law" 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of "terrorists" and those who speak out or write against the "government" (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc...).]

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
[Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking.]

6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
[Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver's licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.]

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
[Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read "controlled or subsidized" rather than "owned"… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.]

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
[Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two "income" family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920's, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.]

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
[Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public "law" 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China.]

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
[Americans are being taxed to support what we call 'public' schools, but are actually "government force-tax-funded schools " Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based "Education" . These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated with the government propaganda, like "majority rules", and "pay your fair share". WHERE are the words "fair share" in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is "fair share" even suggested !! The philosophical concept of "fair share" comes from the Communist maxim, "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. ... America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC ... Teaching ourselves and others how to "fish" to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be "needy"... Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.]

Do changing words, change the end result? ... By using different words, is it all of a sudden OK to ignore or violate the provisions or intent of the Constitution of the united States of America?????

The people (politicians) who believe in the SOCIALISTIC and COMMUNISTIC concepts, especially those who pass more and more laws implementing these slavery ideas, are traitors to their oath of office and to the Constitution of the united States of America... KNOW YOUR ENEMY ...Remove the enemy from within and from among us.

VOTE LIBERTARIAN, the only political party in America that still firmly supports and diligently abides by the Constitution of the united States of America.

None are more hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free....

G-Juan Wind

houndsforever's picture

Thank you, thank you, thank you. As you point out, Virgil, the hard fact is that socialism does *plunder* at gunpoint (bless you for quoting Bastiat!). There is an excellent text entitled *The Soviet Tragedy* by an English Don named Martin Malia which grinds through Soviet history to demonstrate that socialism will inevitably degenerate to despotism, given the true nature of humanity.

I am always at a loss that so many Christians, including my childhood pastor, are totally absorbed in *social justice* on the theory that that is what Jesus was all about. The naivete and guilt-tripping became tiresome a long time ago, to the point where I now bristle and have difficulty containing myself as fellow believers attempt to lift my wallet *in the name of Jesus*, or generally misrepresent the faith as some kind of social paradigm.

Thanks again for the article.


Islamaphobe's picture

I enjoyed this piece very much and feel that it is inspiring me to write another piece on economics for this site in order to deal with some of the issues it raises.

Some years ago, Marvin Olasky (Word Magazine and Prebyterian Church in America) pointed out in The Tragedy of American Compassion that the tragedy got its impetus from the Progressive Era around the turn of the nineteenth century. The Progressive movement ultimately succeeded in transferring the responsibility for taking care of the "poor" from voluntary associations to government. One of the greatest challenges confronting Christians today is to recognize that this transfer of resposibility was a tragedy. Another challenge is to reverse it. Meeting these challenges can only be done through a major political party, so I suggest to some posters that they hold their nose and vote Republican. Meanwhile, perhaps the Democrats will literally crack up and clear the way for a major political reorganization.

I do suggest that a huge obstacle to accomplishing what needs to be done is the popularity of rampant conspicuous consumption among the wealthy. I was reminded of that point the other day by a Wall Street Journal article about a million-dollar sport car being produced by, get this, Volkswagen. In my judgment, such consumption violates what Christ preached, and it arouses envy that political demagogues find it easy to use to their advantage.

More later.

John S. Evans

Waidmann's picture

I thought this was very well said. Unfortunately, it's not only the wealthy who practice "rampant conspicuous consumption". It's the middle class as well, and perhaps even the poor.

So I hold my nose and vote Republican.


daveedwards's picture

Good point! I've seen enough "high dollar wheels" on "low dollar cars" around here to make me puke!

David William Edwards

Virgil's picture

John, I am looking forward to your article... :)

Writerx's picture

I also pick up in the New Testament that taking care of the needy was primarily an action of the local church amongst its own members. I have no trouble with charity, but God's ten percent that he tells us to give back belongs to the betterment of a local congregation.

I tried having this very discussion at school the other day. Some yokel was telling me that it was the government's job "to protect the welfare of its citizens." I almost slapped him. To protect the welfare of the poor citizens at the expense of the so-called "rich" is what he really meant to say. Or even better, pickpocket the hardworking American so that the lazy can get free food.

This discussion was along the lines of socialized healthcare. These people think of the government as their friend. A Big Brother, if you will, who spots you when you're short. Except as Virgil just mentioned, Big Brother has no dollars of his own, so he must extract some from elsewhere in order to help the poor person.

The Bible talked about this. The book of Leviticus, I believe. Goes something like "Thou shalt not steal."

Fool, thy name is Liberal.


MiddleKnowledge's picture


Socialized healthcare was greatly expanded under the current Administration. Do you consider the current administration "liberal"?

Tim Martin

Writerx's picture

Too liberal for my liking, yes. I'm not a republican, if that's what you mean.


Waidmann's picture

Actually, I used to be a Republican. I'd argue that our current President isn't, and never has been. He somehow managed to get the Republican nomination and run as a Republican, but he sure ain't one.


Virgil's picture

Neal Boortz put it very well...something like this: The Republican Party of today is the Democrat party of the 40s and 50s. The Democrat Party of today is the Communist Party of the 40s and 50s.

Republicans today are losers - they have no fiscal sense, no backbone, no self-control. They need to get their act together.

Writerx's picture

Right now I'm very intrigued by the Constitution Party. I looked at most of their platform and it has me impressed. You kind of have to overlook some dispensational/amillenial theology at places, but politically speaking I like them. They keep the government where it belongs; away from me.


Ed's picture

The Constitution Party was basically founded by Howard Phillips, the father of Doug Phillips, the postmillennial founder of Vision Forum. Howard is also a postmillennialist, and theonomist (follower of Rushdoony).

The problem I have with the Constitution Party is their viability. But also their snobbery (as evidenced on this website some time ago by those posting demeaning the rest of us who didn't vote for their party) is not helpful to the cause of Christ. The party has also been hijacked by premillennialists.

Many here who identify themselves as Libertarians should read the CP's platform very closely. Unlike the theonomist, the late, Greg Bahnsen, they want to outlaw and regulate certain moral behaviors (such as drugs and porn), whereas Bahnsen saw those as moral choices, NOT civil or criminal.

For all those slamming Bush...he is a Republican. For those of you who don't like that, you have two choices - hold your nose and vote for his party, or choose another party (Libertarian, Constitution, Democrat, Green).



Papa is especially fond of us

Virgil's picture

Ed, thanks for pointing these things out. I still remember the flaming discussions before last year's elections when all Republicans and Democrats were Satan incarnate, and those preaching the Constitution Party were the saints. I hate to put it that way, but that was basically the attitude. And how many votes did they get? How many house and senate seats? Come on...there are plenty of good conservatives out there.

Heck, I would much sooner vote for Neal Boortz for president than a Christian who thinks he has the right to federally regulate porn, TV, drugs, etc.

Writerx's picture

I think some of the animosity on their part has to do with the "waste my vote" mentality. As though a Christian's responsibility is to jeapordize his concience for an election. Says a lot about God's sovereignty, no?

I can see what you're saying about the futurism stuff, but to be honest, so far in my reading of their stuff it seems hardly a footnote to their actual plan of attack. How could you have time (or motivation?) to bring us closer to the end of the world when you're trying to hack down over half the government?

And on that note, just a question: is it better to have a party that regulates porn and drugs, or one that regulates everything––except porn?

Anyway, I'm not making any statements. I appreciate your input, fellas.


Virgil's picture

AJ - actually the "regulating" part of it is not what bothers me. What bothers me about people like these guys is the fact that they want to regulate these things at a federal level, which is unconstitutional. The war on drugs for example is destroying entire communities and cities in this country, with the lives of both cops and dealers being ruined. The feds need to get out of the business of telling me what I can watch on tv, what I can put in my body, and how much water my toilet can flush. They should stick with national defense and commerce.

Now, you really think that a Christian political party will really do that? Come on...:)

Think about it - under the libertarian paradigm, everyone wins, especially Christians!

Writerx's picture

Afraid I'm not familiar with that party :(...sorry. I really don't like politics that much, but I am fed up with the so-called Republicans.


P.S. Mormons are coming at 4:00 today! Whoo hoo!

Virgil's picture

AJ - do you really want a bunch of futurist Christians to run this country?

Writerx's picture

I'd prefer them to Hillary Clinton :)

I'm not going to run out and join the Constitution campaign, but after reading their platform section I couldn't help but sigh with relief that at least there is ONE sane political party.

Lord knows what they'd do in the Middle East––maybe if it was a partial preterist president things would go so bad?


Virgil's picture

They would probably turn over our government to the Israelis...that would be a sight wouldn't it?! :)

daveedwards's picture

I firmly believe in help the truly poor, but Jesus said that the poor would always be with us. Does this imply that any government action toward eliminating poverty will never succeed, by the Lord' own words? We are a truly generous people and I think there would be much greater outflow of money if our tax burden wasn't so high. My biggest concern is not the government's use of my money helping the poor, but it's use for so-called social change...

David William Edwards

Virgil's picture

Dave, most people believe in helping the poor. The current welfare state we live in is antagonistic to providing help to the pooor. More social programs will actually make it WORSE not better. And yes, my paycheck would be much bigger without income tax, and a lot of that money would go to a church or charity instead of a government that is using it for all kinds of unethical and unchristian things like war, abortion, corruption...etc.

MiddleKnowledge's picture


That's precisely why the system is designed the way it is.

They do not want competition to their hold on the reigns of power. If the poor looked elsewhere for help, do you think the federal and state systems would retain legitimacy? It has to be that way to justify the ongoing plunder.

Tim Martin

Islamaphobe's picture

Tim, your comment is dead on. As Marvin Olasky brilliantly pointed out some years ago in The Tragedy of American Compassion, the progressive movement that began in this country around 1900 brought with it the substitution of government for the churches as the primary instrument for "ministering" to the needs of the poor. Your term "ongoing plunder" pretty accurately sums up the way government operates.

John S. Evans

Virgil's picture

Tim, you are absolutely right. I don't know if the system was "designed" that way, but it certainly evolved to be what it is today. And I am sure the politicians will not let go of it. The only solution is an implementation of free-market, libertarian policies that are designed to take power away from Washington and give it back to the people. HOW to do that is another story :)

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