Photo By Filip Bunkens
When I was younger I paid no particular attention to politics. When one is young, and with very little responsibility, politics seem to have no affect on one’s life. However, as I reached the age of 30 I became strategically more aware of politics. In the relatively short period of time I have lived upon this Earth as a naturally born citizen of The United States of America I have witnessed extreme swings in our political landscape. Some of the largest swings seemed to have happened most recently within the last five years or so.
I am persuaded that America does in fact need at least two parties and most importantly there needs to be a balance between them. I am personally a conservative and as such, I can still recognize the importance and need of the Democratic Party and the left in general. It would be incredibly naive, arrogant and ignorant of me to assume that a country full of conservatives would solve all of our problems. Vice versa for those who hold a “left leaning” position. We do in fact need one another, but what we need most is a constant flow of communication between both parties. Said communication needs to be constructive and cordial, not visceral and damning. I would hope that any thinking person, at the very least critically, would agree that demonizing those who hold opposing views benefits no one.
There are many things going on in our current cultural climate in America that are of grave concern to me, and I will be writing more articles about them in the future, currently however there is one single pathology that is of most concern to me… the rise of socialism in our ethos. Before I go any further let’s define what socialism actually is:
- any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
- a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
- a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
- a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
In essence, under a socialist system or government, individuals are no longer seen as individuals nor treated as such. Private property is abolished and everything is controlled by the government. Now this might not be so bad if you actual trusted in the integrity and moral superiority of your government. I however am deeply skeptical of any large government whatsoever. As a Christian I hold to the view that the human heart is desperately wicked and deceptive (Jeremiah 17:9). So to put my sole trust, dare I say “soul trust,” in the government and relinquish my rights as an individual is absolutely ludicrous.
I am also gravely concerned with the fact that we as human beings have not reconciled with the 20th century. I too must admit that I have not fully wrapped my head around the misanthropic destruction that took place during those fateful years. The 20th century stands as a milestone in our “evolution” and progression towards enlightenment in separating ourselves from religion and God. By in large however, I find more and more people completely oblivious and ignorant to the calamities that took place not so long ago.
It as if we as a species looked into the mirror, saw ourselves for what we really are and ultimately decided that the reflection looking back at us was a lie. The way in which we have dealt with such atrocities, which we ourselves are the only ones to blame, is by denial. In fact we have even gone so far as to make everything relative, including truth, and we are now “progressing” even further by stating there is no such thing as truth. So the way we have chosen to deal with our moral ineptitudes is to not only deny them but to admit that they don’t even exist. Case in point, Holocaust deniers. If truth does not exist than what ultimate meaning is there? None.
According to Information is Beautiful communist ideology claimed the lives of some 94 million people in the 20th century alone! You can find more specific statistics in a book called, “The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression” (Harvard University Press 2015)
Many people today who desire to bring this ideology to America are, not surprisingly, very unaware of these facts. Those who do know what happened in the 20th century, in one way or another, believe that communism was not “executed” correctly. If these modern proponents of communism were able to bring this pathology to America they would somehow get it “right.” So the fact that close to 100 million people were mercilessly murdered in the name of communism bears no weight on their desire to bring it to America. As a side note, irregardless of what country you want to bring communism to, how reprobate does your mind have to be to want to inflict this upon any civilization?
Communism has been tried in numerous countries over the past hundred years and has always, without question, ended with unnecessary death. Not only physical death, but death of the integrity of mind, heart and soul.
I recognize that I have been more or less using the terms socialism and communism somewhat interchangeably. Socialism is a pre-cursor to communism and therefore the way I see it, using them interchangeably is acceptable due to the fact they both ultimately lead to the same end given enough time.
The latest version of socialism masks itself under the guise of “democratic socialism.” As if the idea that those under such a regime are comforted by the fact that they still get to vote. How much weight would a single citizens vote carry underneath a government whereby an individuals rights are denied and controlled by the state. What good is your vote in a system that believes in equality of outcome?
Many people quote the success of the Scandinavian countries on how effective and wonderful democratic socialism is. Things however may not be as wonderful as them may seem under the surface. Let us also not forget the wonderful living conditions the people in Venezuela have now grown accustom to!
All forms of socialism, given enough time, including democratic socialism, ultimately lead to tyranny and totalitarianism. Many European countries that proponents of socialism regard as successful examples, are not fully socialist. Their citizens by and large still have private property rights and partial capitalist economics in part.
Another aspect of socialism that I find utterly deplorable, which very few people seem to mention or take notice of is the immoral aspect of it. What gives you the right to take from someone else what is rightfully theirs and give it to another simply in the name of supposed “equality.” What I truly believe underlies and undergirds socialist thought and provocation is jealousy, envy, bitterness, hatred, indignation and resentment. Essentially a socialist looks at another human being who possesses more than they, regardless of their standard of measurement, and disguises their envy in the name of equality. Why should that person have more than me? What is rightfully theirs should also be mine. It is in essence, a completely unethical an immoral way of making things supposedly “fair.”
Why has this supposed “fairness” become the supreme ethic? Since the beginning of time there have existed human beings with plenty and those with lack. I am not saying this is neither wrong nor right, it simply is what it is. Is it really wrong or a form on injustice for people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk to possess so much wealth? The socialist would say yes. The capitalist would say no. So who is wrong and who is right then?
These men whom I have listed, in so far as I know, have not amassed great wealth by stealing from the poor in order to make themselves rich, have they? The majority of these men created tremendous value which you and I and millions of other people agreed with and voluntarily gave them our money. Should we criminalize Bezos and Amazon Prime and the fact that we can pretty much order anything we want and have it shipped to our doorstep within 2 days? Many of the people reading this article at this very moment are using the Windows operating system to do so, and you spent your hard earned money voluntarily on your computer and operating system and Bill Gates received a portion of it. Why is that such a bad thing? Did either one of these men coerce you into buying their products or services? I didn’t think so.
My final point along this line of thinking is this, and it is by far my most favorite recent discovery, in regards to the loudest and most outspoken proponent of democratic socialism. Bernie Sanders owns three homes! Let that sink in for just a moment. The “poster child” for the democratic socialists movement owns three homes! That right there in my view, takes him completely out of the conversation. How in the world does someone with three homes promote an ideology that prevents people from owning private property? Do you think Bernie will be more than happy to freely give away his homes if socialism is adopted? I highly doubt it! Bernie Sanders is enjoying a very cushy lifestyle because of capitalism! He would never have been able to acquire three homes under a democratic socialist government! The stupidity and hypocrisy of these people is truly unprecedented.
So why then would anyone want to bring socialism to America? What exactly is so terrible about our country and why do we need to radically overthrow everything this country stands for? Where have we as a nation gone wrong? To answer these questions, we need to take a step back and reflect upon what America actually is.
America is not just a country, it is an idea… and a radical one at that! Our forefathers wanted a country in which the people governed themselves, as they witnessed that the larger a government is, irrespective of the country or people, the citizens under that government ultimately suffered. Why?
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.” – Lord Acton
I am persuaded that ultimately what will be the downfall of our country, and I must confess it makes me extremely uncomfortable making such a statement, is in fact our success. To me, America is the greatest country in the world, not just the world, but in all of human history. Never before has there been a country with such freedom and liberty for all of its citizens. Since our country has been so incredibly successful, in nearly every measure by comparison to others, we have forgotten just how far we have come in light of previous civilizations and organization of societies. We seem to have forgotten just how good we have it here. We are ignorant, sometimes intentionally so, to history. I don’t understand how any thinking person can honestly condemn The United States of America. If you are of the type that is chasing after a utopia then every single country, government and civilization will fall short. The problem with utopias is that they do not exist. Although I admire one’s devotion to constantly improve, we must not forget where we have come from.
The Constitution in many regards acts like a fence. In the words of G.K. Chesterton, “In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.” – https://www.chesterton.org/taking-a-fence-down/
Before we abolish the foundational underpinnings of our great nation, it might be wise of us to take some time to reflect upon what America actually is and what it stands for. Upon doing so, I truly believe that many people on both the left and right can be satisfied. The problem therefore lies not in our Constitution but in our drifting further and further away from it.
Going even deeper, much deeper, we must also realize that our Constitution cannot and will not ever satisfy the iniquities of the human heart, mind and soul. To understand what truly lies underneath everything under discussion in this article we need to understand sin and the complete and utter depravity of man.
I am fully and whole heartedly convinced that the issue plaguing our nation, and the world at large for that matter, is not political, but spiritual. Since our so called supposed “enlightenment” we have estranged ourselves from the very thing that provides a moral framework for our rational. Without the bedrock of God, we are at once lost at sea. We are endlessly floating to and fro being tossed by waves and wind without any sense of direction, certainly not up and down. We are instead left with… well right and left. In so removing the vertical aspect of our lives, that is communion and relationship with God, we are now only left with politics, the left and right. As human beings we are not solely horizontal creatures rather we are creatures that encompass a 360 degree sphere, the vertical is in fact of utmost importance. Without a sense of the up and down, we cannot make sense of the left and right.
Many people like to quote Nietzsche and his famous saying, “God is dead” as if he said this emphatically, triumphantly or victoriously. He in fact said this with grave concern as he prophesied the immediate decline of man and western civilization as a whole. In turn, the 20th century proved him to be correct. If we continue to buy into the idea that we as humans do not need God, but we can pull ourselves up by our own moral bootstraps, then I am afraid we are condemned.
We, as human beings, are immoral. Born into original sin, we detest the things of God, and as unregenerate people we are His enemies. Everything God stands for we stand against in our unregenerate state.
The only hope then is a savior. Someone who can save us from ourselves, since history has shown over and over again we are incapable of saving ourselves from ourselves. This is what the gospel message is all about. God in His compassion, love, tenderness and even His wrath, has sent us a savior, namely Jesus Christ. God does not merely look the other way at our sinfulness, He detests it. God hates sin. We are therefore condemned by our wickedness in light of a God who is described as Holy, Holy, Holy.
God in his infinite love determined that the only way to save us mere mortals from our rightfully deserved damnation was to send His Son to die in our place. Christ bore the full weight of the Father’s wrath in our place and He alone satisfied it. He is our substitutionary atonement. The full weight of our rightful condemnation was placed upon Him. In so doing, the Father’s wrath was fully satisfied and now salvation is offered as a free gift to anyone who chooses to accept it, by putting their faith in the person and works of Jesus Christ.
Could this really be? It sounds to good to be true. This is in fact the greatest news and it is in fact true. You mustn’t take my word for it, read it for yourself. Read the Gospel of John, and read it seriously. Take time to meditate upon the words and teachings of Christ. Focus then your thoughts upon human history, and the wickedness that exists within your own heart. I have yet to meet any person or teaching that so perfectly describes the human condition. No philosopher comes even close! Many philosophers are aware of the issue, but they have no answer or cure for it. Christ does.
“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV)
What if you and I actually did this? What could our land and civilization be like? I would argue it would be greater than any human idea or utopia. As we would finally understand what it means to be human and what it means to be children of God. In light of these facts and truths the issues between the left and the right become trivial, as we would have a greater perspective of our purpose and meaning. To do so requires humility and surrender. Are you and I willing to do it? Or are we simply going to ignore the truth and continue adrift at sea?