Socialism is not just an ineffective economic system and philosophy, it is an objective moral evil. As such, it cannot be defeated by employing superior statistical and empirical academic argumentation. It’s time to put our calculators to the side, bring out our Bibles and act like it’s the authoritative word of God that we say we believe it is.
For a long time I’ve been a big fan of libertarian “free market” economists like Hayek, Mises, Friedman, Hazlitt, Sowell etc. I thank God for these guys, and they’re a big reason for a lot of the economic freedom we enjoy today in America.
Basically these academics have discovered a glimpse into how God’s world is supposed to function in this one area of economics, and been advocates for individual economic liberty. They’ve sought to prove that these policies are the best – mainly through observation of human and government action within various economies throughout history, the long term effects, unintended consequences etc….natural revelation if you will.
But because they are failing to base their philosophies on the clearer light of God’s transcendent standards in scripture, and because the fall distorts even the ability to reason, they are all missing something HUGE, which is a ***transcendent moral basis*** for any of these theories.
In order to make claims about what “ought” to be the case in society, we must appeal to a transcendent authority if our claims are to have any teeth.
The long term success of any economy is predicated mainly on the observance of one simple principle which is ignored by these academics… That an all powerful, all knowing transcendent God with all authority has spoken. Loudly, clearly and unmistakably:
You shall not steal your neighbor’s property.
God is the owner of all, and he has delegated to *individuals* subordinate ownership (stewardship) over property which we are to use to glorify Him. To enforce this, he has also given subordinate authority to the civil magistrate to ensure private ownership is respected, and punish those that don’t.
The fundamental reason why we can proclaim socialism is morally evil, and not merely inadvisable in the interests of a healthy economy, is because of the 8th commandment in light of Christ’s total Lordship.
***It is immoral for majority groups of individuals to band together to plunder the property of smaller groups of individuals on the basis of “societal ownership of the means of production” as democratic socialism maintains*** (whatever the stated purpose).
Appealing to “societal ownership” in order to plunder one’s neighbor is a vile warping of God’s design for how individuals are to behave as it relates to their neighbors property. This always leads to a usurpation of God’s separate institutions of the Family, Church and State.
The hordes of Bernie Sanders supporters are screaming mainly a moral argument, not an economic one. They appeal to our emotional and moral instincts….They ask, “How is it “fair” that millionaires and billionaires have so much money, and “we” have so little?” It’s an effective approach because it appeals emotionally to our deep-seated desire for justice which all image bearers are created with.
Sure they occasionally throw around a half-baked statistical argument or deceptive one-liner to muddy the waters on the actual economic arguments. But we need to show up to the fight with a moral argument, rooted in the authority of scripture, testifying to the good news of the gospel, the Lordship of Christ and the command that all nations would obey him.
We need to point out that justice is not achieved by abandoning the law of God, and seeking our own carnal schemes to achieve it. Scripture is filled with warnings to rulers who oppose the needy or ignore their plight.
Therefore because you trample on the poor
and you exact taxes of grain from him,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
but you shall not dwell in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
but you shall not drink their wine.
For I know how many are your transgressions
and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
and turn aside the needy in the gate.
Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time,
for it is an evil time.
The commands to rulers are to uphold laws that protect the poor, to refuse to enslave them and to not tax their sustenance. Nowhere in scripture do we have God advocating that one group of people band together to plunder another group of people at the point of a gun, and call it “charity” or “economic justice”.
We know that what is objectively good for all societies emanates from God’s law. We need to be more passionate about our commitment to see true justice as they are. Check out Amos 5 and see how passionate God is about economic justice for the needy. But being salt and light, we must testify to the fact the remedy is not the plunder of our neighbor at gunpoint.
If you’re showing up to a worldview battle armed only with a calculator, it’s going to go badly for you. So bring your Bible along, and remember the 8th commandment. If you truly want “social justice” then call socialism what it is (evil) and don’t skirt the issue.