This is the third of a three-part series. Here are links to the first two parts.
- WHY ARE EVIL POLITICAL SYSTEMS SO ATTRACTIVE? — PART 1
- WHY ARE EVIL POLITICAL SYSTEMS SO ATTRACTIVE? — PART 2
The theme of this series revolves around Busybodyism (see first part), that is, how does Busybodyism relate to Fascism and Communism. What busybodies do? They try to feed their egos by controlling other people. What are Fascism and Communism about? These ideologies provide different excuses and schemes for busybodies to control other people.
What is the topic here?
How Does Communism Justify Busybodyism?
Check the dictionary => https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communism. Since it is all about sharing, the first definition sounds attractive.
- a : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed
b : a theory advocating elimination of private property
This first definition sounds very similar to the definition of Socialism. In fact, unless we use the capitalized Communism and use the word Communism to refer to the ideology that Karl Marx developed, communism and Socialism are different words for much the same thing.
How do Communists justify doing away way private property? Here is a portion of Marx’s argument from the Manifesto of the Communist Party.
You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.
In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend.
From the moment when labour can no longer be converted into capital, money, or rent, into a social power capable of being monopolised, i.e., from the moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property, into capital, from that moment, you say individuality vanishes.
You must, therefore, confess that by “individual” you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.
Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriation.
It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property all work will cease, and universal laziness will overtake us.
According to this, bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness; for those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquire anything, do not work. The whole of this objection is but another expression of the tautology: that there can no longer be any wage-labour when there is no longer any capital.
All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating material products, have, in the same way, been urged against the Communistic modes of producing and appropriating intellectual products. Just as, to the bourgeois, the disappearance of class property is the disappearance of production itself, so the disappearance of class culture is to him identical with the disappearance of all culture.
That culture, the loss of which he laments, is, for the enormous majority, a mere training to act as a machine.
But don’t wrangle with us so long as you apply, to our intended abolition of bourgeois property, the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, etc. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will, whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class.
The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and of reason, the social forms springing from your present mode of production and form of property-historical relations that rise and disappear in the progress of production — this misconception you share with every ruling class that has preceded you. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property, what you admit in the case of feudal property, you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own bourgeois form of property. (from here)
What is the problem with Marx’s argument? If the government owns everything, none of us own ourselves. If all the fruits of our labor belong to the state, then we don’t have the right to make use of any of our productive labor for our own purposes without the permission of the state. In a socialist or communist state, because private property is banned, everything we do, from taking a vacation, finding a house, choosing a job, having children, spreading our religious and political beliefs, and so forth, becomes a state decision regulated by bureaucrats.
Why would anyone want to live under such a government? Well, there are busybodies. If you are a member of the vanguard of the proletariat and a busybody, the kind of power that Communism gives bureaucrats over other people could be attractive. Yet that does not explain why the people of a nation would want such an absurd government, but the Bible suggests an answer. The operative word is “covet”. How does covetousness relate to government?
2 Peter 2:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
Of course, Communism qualifies as a destructive heresy. Its adherents vehemently deny God. Eventually the hateful ways of Communists brings havoc and woe. So why would the people of a nation support Communism? Too many of us covet what others have. Instead of striving for a system of government that allows us to keep the rewards of our own hard work, too many of us are temped by what seems easier, redistributing the wealth of the “rich” to the “poor”. This problem is so serious the Framers of our Constitution had to deal with it. James Madison describes how the Constitution deals with the problem in The Federalist, Paper # 10. (see my post, THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY).
Note that Madison does not speak of covetousness. Instead, Madison speaks of our tendency to form factions, but consider how he defines the word.
By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.
Coveting what belongs to someone else is not rational behavior, but it can become a passion and a cause for forming a faction. When we yield to our desire for what does not rightfully belong to us, our actions become “adversed to the rights of other citizens”. Moreover, Communism never produces the desired result. What usually happens is that the people running the government, those busybodies who call themselves the vanguard of the proletariat, get rich. The vanguard of the proletariat is not immune to covetousness.
To protect us from the sin of covetous, the Ten Commandments include a prohibition.
Exodus 20:17 New King James Version (NKJV)17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
The Bible also provides examples of the sin. Genesis 4:1-15, for example, tells of the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. Why did Cain murder Abel. Cain coveted or envied Abel’s relationship with God. However, Cain’s murder of a Abel is not the worst crime anyone has committed because they envied what belonged to another. Long ago, when Pontius Pilate’s sentence Jesus to crucifixion, he tried to persuade the mob to let Jesus go, but envious men wanted Jesus dead.
Mark 15:6-15 New King James Version (NKJV)
Taking the Place of Barabbas
6 Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. 7 And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. 8 Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. 9 But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.
11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. 12 Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?”
13 So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!”
14 Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?”
But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!”
15 So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.
Are envy and covetous the worst of sins? No, but these sins cause no end of trouble.
James 4:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
Pride Promotes Strife
4 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
What James observed is that covetousness stems from pride. When we think too much of ourselves, we start desiring too much things we have not earned.
To Be Posted
- What Wisdom Does The Bible Offer Busybodies?