By Rev. R.J. Rushdoony
It is important for us to face up to the growing problem of confiscation, since it is an ever-threatening fact on the modern scene. Taxation is increasingly becoming confiscation. Many people who own their homes are paying what almost amounts to a rental fee in taxes. And the end is not yet near.
Confiscation, in a variety of other ways, is a political and economic fact or threat. It is inescapably so. Socialism offers people the promise of paradise on earth, but socialism cannot deliver on its promises because it is an economically bankrupt system. Instead of plenty, it leads to poverty. The Ukraine under the tsars was “the breadbasket of Europe”; [with communism] Russia [had to] import grain to avoid starvation. Great Britain was once a center of world commerce and a prosperous people; socialism has made the life of the average Englishman a poor one. Socialism is a parasitic economy. It must rob, it must confiscate, in order to give; it cannot create new wealth, but it destroys existing wealth.
As a result, socialism steadily begins to founder and falter and move towards total collapse. When this happens, socialism is faced with a choice: who shall survive the people or the state? Socialism claims to seek the people’s welfare, but, faced with the question of survival, it sacrifices the people. For example, inflation develops, and the state has a decision: sacrifice socialism and its money management, or sacrifice the people? Stop deficit spending, or control private spending by inflation, taxation, and regulation? The socialist choice has always been to sacrifice the people.
But no sacrifice helps to prop up socialism more than briefly. More sacrifices are [always] needed. Instead of admitting gross error and, going out of business, socialism puts the citizens out of business. It confiscates by inflation, taxation, regulation, and finally seizure. The citizens, private property, civil liberties, all things are steadily sacrificed to make the continuation of socialism possible. The promise of plenty, which seemed possible in the earlier stages of welfarism, begins to give way to the certainties of disaster. As long as it can confiscate and live, socialism will confiscate and live. This is socialism’s historic answer to its economic problems: progressive confiscation.
According to Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Socialism confiscates not only man’s possessions but it strikes also at God’s sovereignty over the earth. It is an attempt of men to be gods, to be the re-creators of man and the earth. And God is jealous of His honor and power. The law of God’s creation is thus totally against the socialist planners, and they are therefore doomed to fail. Their “new order of the ages” is the repeated failure of the ages and the condemned order. Because socialism cannot confiscate God’s sovereignty, it is inescapably doomed to failure and destined to collapse.
We are therefore clearly living at the end of an era. Socialism is finished, and no desperate remedies will keep it alive indefinitely. It has taken the world’s economy past the point of no return and is thus headed for total disaster. What we face is the worst phase of socialist desperation to keep its failing order alive. There will thus be a difficult period of survival, and then the fresh air of God’s free world. We must prepare for survival and for reconstruction. Important to such a preparation is a sound Christian faith, a trust in His grace and mercy and His providential care, a use of godly wisdom and common sense, and the confidence that, although the times are difficult, we are on God’s side, the winning side. Basic to such a preparation is the creation of Christian institutions, godly schools and colleges, and a deepening of our faith. The socialistic revolutionaries of today shout, “We shall overcome!” but God, according to David, laughs and [holds] them in derision, for the victory is God’s (Psalm 2). Martin Luther commented on Psalm 2:
“What a great measure of faith is necessary in order truly to believe this word: For who could have imagined that God laughed as Christ was suffering and the Jews exulting? So, too, when we are oppressed, how often do we still believe that those who oppose us are being derided by God, especially since it seems as if we were being oppressed and trodden under foot both by God and men?
…We should…fortify our hearts and look toward the invisible things and into the depths of the Word…I also shall laugh with my God.”
(Taken from Roots of Reconstruction, p. 566; Chalcedon Position Paper No. 7)
[Bracketed items inserted by Pete Coker for updated clarification and emphasis]
Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916-2001) was the founder of Chalcedon and a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical Law to society.
Article from Chalcedon.edu