Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Socialism Isn't Moral and Isn't Compatible with Christian Thought

This author has said clearly what I've been struggling to say for a long time now. Simply put, just because I should help the poor does not mean it is moral to force me to help the poor. Do you force your neighbor your neighbor to help the poor? Probably not.

His most interesting point is that socialism has made us spiritual lazy. "That's not my responsibility. Why doesn't government do something about it?"
But the welfare state does not operate by the principle of moral generosity: it relies on a legalized form of theft (forcibly taking from some to give to others) and is driven by greed and envy. The welfare state breeds greed by offering wealth without work and generates envy by promoting class warfare.

The Christian principle of special consideration for the poor is a clarion call for the individual, not for the state. Jesus did not have the Good Samaritan in Luke's Gospel tell the injured man in the road to seek a government social worker. The Good Samaritan gave of what was his own willingly, not under the duress of the state. The welfare state actually encourages a spiritual laziness by implying that helping the poor is the responsibility of the state rather than a responsibility of the individual.

Consider the example of a small community of a few people to sharpen the moral clarity of this issue. Four men are stranded on a deserted tropical island. Two work hard to gather more pineapples and coconuts than they need. A third is unable to work because he has a broken leg, and a fourth is too lazy to work. While the working men have a moral obligation to share with the injured man, neither of the two who did not work have a right to take by force what is not theirs.

To claim otherwise is to deny all right to property and to make the two working men slaves of the other two. The commandments "thou shalt not steal" and "thou shalt not covet" establish a right to ownership of property. If we can't own property, giving of ourselves becomes impossible - as does real almsgiving.

Back on the island, if the lazy man steals pineapples from the two working men by force, then he commits a crime and violates the commandment "thou shalt not steal." Socialism is the theft and redistribution of wealth through force, whether it's done for a society of four people or one containing millions. That's why all totalitarians, from Lenin to Hitler, adopt broad socialist policies in order to enslave society. The liberals are misleading people into believing that forcibly redistributing wealth, something that would be a crime if one individual did it to another, is a moral good and a foundation of "democracy."

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