Socialism: its Violent Impulses and Fallacies

Liberal godsThe Violence Inherent in “Christian Socialism”

by Dr. Joel McDurmonoccupy and the elite


Socialism means the denial of private property to a great or even total degree. It means the use of State power—violence inherent in the power of the sword and gun—to redistribute property according to the dictates of some officer or committee of officers. Violence is therefore inherent in Socialism. Why some Christians see this as a means of fulfilling God’s will defies both reason and revelation.

[To explore “Christian Socialism” further, see the author’s book God versus Socialism: A Biblical Critique of the New Social Gospel.]

The “Christian” Wedge

The Social-Gospel historian C. H. Hopkins notes that Unitarians formed the seedbed of the Christian Socialist movements and planted some early seeds in it.[1] To those familiar with the liberalism associated with Unitarianism, thatfall fashions 2 socialistic activism grew out of it will come as no surprise. I would like to mention the links between socialism and violence in the context of allegedly Christian activism. In short, since violence is inherent in socialism, “Christian” socialism—whether its proponents call it by that name or not—will necessarily rely on violence as well. To the extent it relies on violence beyond the few instances God’s law allows the civil ruler to exact punishment, to that extent—which is nearly the whole of it—we must understand Christian socialism to be anti-Christian in the rich 2

As early as 1826, although the idea of redistribution of property already abounded, but few Christian or Unitarian representatives had begun calling for State coercion to effect it. Instead, Unitarian ministers (and others) organized private Christian social services, such as Joseph Zuckerman’s “ministry at large.”[2] In fact, some Unitarians vehemently defended the sanctity of private property. Harvard Professor of Moral Philosophy Francis Bowen wrote in 1856, “No nation has ever been discovered on earth, so low and brutal in their inclination and habits, so destitute of any idea of right, that the institution of property, to a greater or lesser extent, does not exist among them.”[3]

The literary critic and radical abolitionist William Ellery Channing some twenty years earlier had argued from the principle of private property against socialist movements among workers in Boston. He urged them not to be “so insanely blind to their interests [or] so deaf to the claims of justice and religion,… as to be prepared to make a wreck of the social order, for the sake of dividing among themselves the spoils of the rich.”[4] Channing, in fact, argued against the ownership of slaves by acknowledging private property as a sacred law, not merely a civil law. In this sense, some of the pro-slavery crowd subverted society by making property rights (and thus the right to own slaves) dependent upon civil legislation:

Of all radicals, the most dangerous, perhaps, is he who makes property the creature of law; because what law creates it can destroy. If we of this Commonwealth have no right in our persons, houses, ships, farms, but what a vote of legislation or the majority confers, then the same masses may strip of them all.[5]

This devotion of the sanctity of individual property unfortunately did not stick. Channing’s nephew, William Henry Channing, who had moved into Transcendentalism while remaining a Unitarian minister, had a greater appetite for government force and even violence if necessary to bring in a socialistic society. In 1848 he published The Christian Church and Social Reform—his opinion that a collectivist society would be the literal fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom on earth.[6] When pulpits and scholarship would not be enough to persuade, the radical nephew would set the tone for revolutionary activism: “The next thing is guerilla war … at every chance.”[7]

The Secret Six

A little-known story of terrorism and revolutionary causes in American history involves the abolitionist John Brown and the “Secret Six.” The Six was a group of Boston Unitarian ministers (a point rarely emphasized) intent on using and financing agitation, violence, and guerrilla tactics in order to advance their cause. They imposed themselves in more than one theater, notably in raids in Kansas in 1856, and Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, 1859—a bloody confrontation that hastened the War. One of the six, the Rev. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, made little secret of his inclination for armed conflict. Master-historian James C. Malin notes,

  1. W. Higginson announced to [financier] Gerrit Smith that he intended to “start a private organization of picked men, who shall be ready to go to Kansas in case of need, to aid the people against any opponent, state or federal.” He confessed that he wished “to involve every state in the war that is to be.…”[8]

Higginson had “prophesied” the war he spoke of, calling for revolution if need be. Malin tells of Higginson’s prophecy, that whoever was elected president that year,

the administration would be “resisted as one. If that is treason, make the most of it. Such treason as this is fast ripening in Kansas. Call it Revolution if you please. If the United States Government and Border Ruffians are to mean the same thing, the sooner the people of Kansas have revolution the better.” Before the conflict was ended, he declared, the two Nations, North and South, would be separate.[9]

Higginson had been the ringleader of early agitation and violent actions that foreshadowed the secret six. His beginnings in Boston with several others of the six included an organized campaign of violence to buck the fugitive slave laws. Hearing news that a U. S. Marshall had just imprisoned an escaped slave, Higginson organized some sixty men to storm the courthouse and free him. The group bore at least one pistol and wielded a dozen axes freshly purchased by Higginson at the local hardware store. In the short version of the story, the plan failed as armed guards subdued the invaders with clubs and cutlasses. One guard was shot dead and Higginson escaped with a slashed chin which he thereafter wore proudly as the scar of a hero-martyr for the cause. Not long after, Higginson delivered a powerful sermon that was printed and influenced a broad audience.[10]

The U.S. Marshall who arrested the slave later encountered an attack in Worcester. Abolitionists somehow conjured a warrant for his arrest, though his mission was legal. At trial he was rushed, beaten, and threatened with calls for lynching and tar and feathers. When a judge acquitted him, abolitionist crowds pelted him with eggs and spat tobacco upon him. By the time he reached the train to Boston he might have counted himself lucky to be alive, save that Rev. Higginson had been among the crowd and now traveled back to Boston at his side “to lecture him on the evils of his ways.”[11]

It is no surprise, then, that when the famous vigilante and known terrorist murderer John Brown came to Boston, Higginson and his circle were drawn to him. Brown had come seeking money for his radical raids; he found much more. He met the Unitarian ministers Higginson, Parker, Howe, and Stearns, all of whom were “either famous or wealthy men who shared a common despair of the wisdom of their countrymen; each seemed to believe that slavery could only be ended by revolution.”[12] Higginson, at least, among them knew of Brown’s murderous past. Many people did. “In accepting that knowledge—and by silence and protection accepting the principle that innocent lives could be destroyed in the name of Higher Law—all these men darkened their cause and altered its essence.”[13]

Otto Scott explains how matter-of-factly John Brown approached his revolutionary violence: “Brown’s project was fairly simple. He wanted thirty thousand dollars to ‘fight for freedom’ in Kansas and ‘carry the war into Africa.’”[14] Rev. Higginson had expressed his revolutionary violence just as plainly: “Give me a convention of ten … who have drawn their swords and thrown away the scabbard and I will revolutionize the world.”[15] Playing off his abolitionism as the central cause (perhaps it was), he argued for violence in general to get political control. He said,

Give us the power and we can make a new Constitution … how is that power to be obtained? By politics? Never. By revolution, and that alone.[16]

Nearing the beginning of Brown’s most famous raid—upon the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry—his train’s engineers heard the tracks were blocked ahead. They scouted ahead to see but were met by gunfire. Hayward Shepherd, the Negro baggage-master at Harper’s Ferry, ventured out, was shot, and hit.”[17] His wounding was the first in the raid, and turned out fatal. In an ironic twist of fate, symbolic of the tyranny of good intentions, “The first casualty of John Brown’s blow for black freedom was a free black man.”[18]

Otto Scott’s masterful work on the subject suffers from that bane of all hard-truth-telling: it was ignored by the establishment literati. Though Scott’s book was still in print and had long since been entered into the Library of Congress, a New England journalist named Edward J. Renehan, Jr., wrote another with the identical title, The Secret Six.[19] Coming some sixteen years after Scott’s, Renehan’s book has the nerve to boast, “The existence of the six has been known to scholars, but there has never been a book devoted to them.”[20] He includes a bibliography: notably absent are Scott’s far superior work as well as Malin’s two-volume masterpiece.

Despite all of their talk about equality and freedom, at least one of the Six, Rev. Theodore Parker (also a Unitarian Minister), expressed his rank elitism in absolute disdain for the black race. Near the end of his life, he penned to fellow Six-man Rev. Howe, “What a pity that the map of our magnificent country should be destined to be so soon torn in two on account of the negro, that poorest of human creatures, satisfied, even in slavery, with sugar cane and a banjo.”[21]

Elitism expressed as racism is bad enough, but the greater expression of elitism is the violence in support of one’s cause. As long as man thinks he is the great liberator (and that was the name of the Boston abolitionists’ newspaper—The Liberator), and that his [violent] agenda for liberation is justified, he will have no problem imposing his will on other men, using violence if necessary, in an attempt to further that agenda. And he will easily convince himself that whatever blood he sheds, or has shed, is justified by the goodness of his cause.

Justification for Violence

This justification of violence—be it for abolition or redistribution of property (as with the Socialists)—appears in all of the great exponents of revolution. A few come to mind. Karl Marx, in his earlier writings (around 1844), expressed his ultimate reliance not to be persuasion, but force: “The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism by weapons, material force must be overthrown by material force.…” His preferred version of force was to agitate the masses into mob action: “theory also becomes material force as soon as it has gripped the masses.…”[22]

Marx lamented the fact that in his situation in Germany no one had a strong enough grip on the masses to effect a violent revolution:

But no particular class in Germany has the consistency, the severity, the courage or the ruthlessness that could mark it out as the negative representative of society. No more has any estate the breadth of soul that identifies itself, even for a moment, with the soul of the nation, the genius that inspires material might to political violence, or that revolutionary audacity which flings at the adversary the defiant words: I am nothing and I should be everything.[23]

Note how Marx called for the “me” generation over a century and a half ago, urging people to think that “I am a nobody in society, but society owes it to me to give me everything.” Socialism is institutionalized envy and selfishnessinstitutionalized, that is, by government force. With the promise of the use of material might to achieve his ends, Marx provided a powerful incentive to realize the workingman’s envy of greater wealth.

Likewise, Marx’s partner-in-crime Friedrich Engels argued against Socialists whose theory got too consistent. Certain Socialists were beginning to take the idea of equality literally (a no-no for elitists who know the word is just a useful illusion). They thought that since they believed in abolishing all material difference, and leveling everyone to the same status, they should get rid of hierarchies in the workplace as well. End oppressive authority of man-over-man altogether. Engels saw this as unrealistic. Who will organize and schedule? We need some authority! Someone (guess who) should make the rules after all. In advancing his argument, however, Engels might have spilled the Socialist beans:

Have these gentlemen ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets, and cannon—authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionaries.[24]

He might have been saying this in hyperbole, but the truth of revolution rings out through his words. Even if he ultimately denied violent revolution—oh nooo…we’d never call for violent revolution to seize and redistribute property—he nevertheless expressed it pretty clearly in this passage. Socialism, redistribution, is obtained and maintained through the barrel of a gun. This is authoritarian, Engels argued. To call for an end to this authority, he finished out his essay, would be to sell out the cause of the working masses.

A final example comes from Chinese Communist murderer Chairman Mao Tse-Tung. In 1926 he expressed the exact same sentiment as Engels:

A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.[25]

This is the violence inherent in the systems of Socialism. Violence is justified by proponents when an elitist acts in the name of the “common good,” or some beneficent law. If redistribution of property lies at the heart of the cause, you can bet they will need violence to enforce it.

An Oxymoron

It was a split from orthodox Christianity that paved the way for ideas like this to take hold in the Christian world. It was a combination of atheists, radicals, Unitarians, and liberals—all groups that could care less about God’s commandments—that brought [the pagan ideal of] socialism into the modern world. But the quasi-Christian groups made it sound acceptable to Christians. This continues today.

None of these proponents, old or new, can justify their implicit appeals to violence in light of God’s law, so they ignore that law. They speak of benefits, care, loving one’s neighbor, welfare, help, aid, etc.—but they call for the use of government guns to fulfill those values. It is a subdued, modern version of John Brown and the Secret Six, of Marx, of Engels’s and Mao’s calls for the barrel of a gun. Except it is no secret—except insofar as Christians in public schools and drawing from welfare programs either do not know better, or refuse to admit it. There is no greater oxymoron than Christian socialism.

Socialism IS Mob Violence

It just seems commonplace to us, I guess, that Europe is a Continent of adolescent children who throw things and break stuff, writhing in tantrum, when they don’t get their way. And they have a common phrase over there, “Crazy Americans.” We could reciprocate, but choose to ignore.

What no one seems yet to have pointed out in all the recent news reports is the obvious: socialism itself is by definition mob rule. It is the most powerful organized and collected interests in society leveraging government force to sate their lusts. To do so they extract wealth from other members of society, divvy the loot amongst themselves (the pirate image is too mild—it is more like hyenas over a carcass), and stuff their gullets.

Socialism is the political embodiment of plunder. It is the denial of the rule of law, or private property, individual liberty, and therefore of Christianity.

This system of governmental piracy unleashes at least two important aspects: the lusts of the mob, and the police-power of the mob.

The lusts of the mob manifest the depravity of man: rebellion against maturity, responsibility and honesty. The curse of the fall—the thorns and sweat—are, consciously or not, assumed to be overcome not through godly ethics, but through political policy. That is, through man’s legislative fiat, not God’s—man’s law-order, not God’s. By passing a law limiting work hours, price controls, wage rates, etc., the mob proclaims itself free of the need to work, build, plan, save, sacrifice, etc. This is fallen man’s futile proclamation that he is free, and free indeed. It is futile and blind—blind to the fact that this alleged freedom must be imposed by force of government. “Free at gunpoint.”

But someone has to pay the bills. So the rich get soaked; then they quit producing as much as they would in a free market; then general productivity declines; then national living standards decline; then the State prints and borrows to maintain its promises; then the debts start to get called. Someone has to pay those bills. You can’t just legislate them away indefinitely.

Eventually, someone, somewhere, must sacrifice, work hard, and produce. And those unnecessarily receiving an unnecessarily generous dole must take some cuts.

This means “austerity.” But austerity means backlash from the lustfully entitled mob. The conversation goes like this:

“We need cuts.”

“Yes we do.”

“Who will take the cuts?”

“Not me. You take the cut.”

“No, not me. You take the cut.”

Someone has to decide where and when cuts will come. But when they are announced, then the police-power of the mob comes into play. By “police power” I simply mean mob force, mob violence. The mob riots, burns, shatters, breaks, murders. The message: “Not me. You take the cut.”

Let us review this scenario in the recent events:

Recently, the Greek national debt threatened to sink the entire Eurozone currency, and even possibly the good will among the European Union itself (a socialist political organization self-consciously and officially symbolized by a divine rapist, Zeus, who in mythology raped “Europa,” the namesake of today’s victim). Debt burdened by state employees’ unions, pensions, and other entitlements, was simply unsustainable.

Austerity was announced. People would have to cut back—a drastic cut of 7 percent for public sector employees’ bonus pay, cuts in extra bonuses called “holiday” bonuses, a few percentage tax increases here and there, and no more automatic increases for state pensions. These cuts are planned to last two whole years! It is a horrible thought—temporary cuts of no more than seven percent, most no more than two.

A Greek mob of unionists rioted, tossed Molotov cocktails, burned down a bank, and killed three people including a pregnant lady.

Not much was different in France, although fickle French socialism moves its radicals to erupt over matters much less austere. Two main groups have rioted: labor unions and students. Labors unions strike and riot over government mandated increases in retirement age. French students riot because, well, they’re French students.

The French simply want their socialism. Remember, in 2005, they voted against a European Constitution because it was not Marxist enough in favor of French entitlement.

But the bills, like all socialist bills, will come due.

Someone had to decide on some cuts. So, French president Nicholas Sarkozy, with nerves of steel, just signed into law the brazen step of raising the minimum age requirement for government-sponsored retirement by a ghastly and oppressive two years. Poor hapless French workers can no longer eat cake at 60, they must wait until 62.

Imagine these oppressed workers toiling in a slavish environment a whopping government-mandated 35 hours per week, and receiving on average only 40 paid vacation days per year, and now having to bear the added opprobrium of enduring this burden an extra two years. Two more years! Two more years before going from a government-funded workers’ paradise to a government-funded retirees’ paradise.

Strikes and even riots broke out all over France, especially with vandalism in the wealthy town of Lyon, and suburbs of Paris.

By comparison with the French, the Greeks have it much rougher. They only get 37 paid days a year.

British austerity beats them both. It only offers its poor huddled masses only 36 paid free days by government mandate.

In the teeth of such a bestial abandon of capitalist exploitation, poor Brit students have—as any sane and self-respecting individual would—stood up against outrageous reform measures. Parliament announced a plan to cut public debt by $128 billion by targeting one of its high public costs—higher education. The plan is to raise student fees at public universities to an exorbitant $14,000 per year—still less than the average resident ride at an American state university (imagine going to Oxford or Cambridge for the price of, say, West Virginia University). The thought of paying one’s own way to college was too much to bear:

British students rioted violently, bashing the conservative party headquarters in London, breaking glass, injuring people.

“Not me. You take the cut.”

In a letter to Supreme Court Justice Thomas Johnson, dated June 12, 1823, Thomas Jefferson praised the American system of representation, Constitution law and amendment: “And it has been the peculiar wisdom and felicity of our constitution, to have provided this peaceable appeal, where that of other nations [of Europe] is at once to force.”

Despite a few nuances in the style and justification of force applied, not much has changed.

America is still fundamentally different than Europe, for now. While we had heated town halls for a couple years, we focused our energy on the lawful event: the election. The only real violence came in reaction from union members on the left, paired with plenty of lies and propaganda trying to demonize the forces of freedom. We endured, we waited, we elected; now we live with the results as long as we must. We pray for a better day when God in His Providence will give us an even better opportunity, and we plan and prepare for that day to come. Christian political “activists” avoid violent mob action as it is a direct sell-out to socialism and a denial of Christianity.

Crazy Americans.

As I wrote in God versus Socialism:

Socialism is the belief . . . that stealing is acceptable as long as another man or group of men says so. Socialism believes in theft by majority vote, or theft by a majority of representatives’ votes in Congress. Socialism is the belief that it’s OK to steal from your neighbor if you do it by means of the government’s gun. Socialism places man, and ultimately the State, in the place of God. Man becomes owned by other men, instead of by his Maker. Socialism is an entirely humanistic, God-denying, God-usurping belief. (p. 9)

We see merely the logical extension of this plundering group of men in the European mobs. They essentially skip Congress, parliament, the State, etc., and go straight to the source—the lusts and power of the mob. This is socialism incarnate. It is unredeemed and satanic.

The Christian has so much more to offer. The vestiges of Christian federalism still restrain our system, even if Courts and lawmakers have long-since abandoned the ideal; and even if socialistic interests—pensioners, private-public corporate deals, labor unions, social security, agricultural subsidies, the military industrial complex, and the pharmaceutical-medical-insurance-industrial complex—have torn at the seams of the system for decades. We still have a slim view of the path back to peace and freedom, should we have the will and integrity to take it.

Socialism’s Fallacies

Dean, perhaps is best remembered as Howard “yeeeeeeaaaaaahhhh” Dean from the yell that cost him a 2004 Democrat nomination, has now surfaced in a hidden-camera video clip from a town-hall forum he recently gave in Paris, France. To a European Socialist audience—far from American soil and, perhaps he thought, from American earshot, too—Dean courageously affirmed the virtues of European Socialism and the belief that capitalism must simply give way. God bless those little advances of unbridled capitalistic technology called cell-phone cameras.

Here’s what Dean had to say about capitalism and Socialism:

There’s not so much of a debate on the Left anymore about capitalism, whether we should have it or not. There’s a debate about how to have it. I think capitalism is always going to be with us because capitalism represents part of human nature. But the other part of human nature is communitarianism. There’s a natural tendency in human beings—in addition to wanting to do things for themselves—they feel a great responsibility in wanting to be part of a community. And so I think the debate for the new generation is instead of capitalism or socialism, is we’re going to have both, and then which proportion of each should we have in order to make this all work. It’s a much more sensible debate.

Thankfully, he’s only talking about a debate “on the Left.” He’s not saying that the debate in general is over. And who in the world thinks there ever was a debate about capitalism on the Left? (At least not in the last century.) Dean is simply appealing to the image his French Socialist Party audience still holds of America—an image in which even the Leftist party believes in capitalism. Ha. So much for the idea that Europeans are so much more enlightened about politics and history than Americans. “Capitalism is always gong to be with us…” but don’t worry, “It will be tempered by as much socialism as we see necessary.”

But what of Dean’s argument—that capitalism and socialism are both justified since they both grow out of human nature? The idea is fallacious on two major counts: first, just because human beings have a “natural tendency” for something does not mean we need government to enforce it or that it even pertains to government to begin with. And second, no tendency is justified as good or right just because it is “natural.” Let us look at these two points.

First, granting that humans do have natural impulses towards both individuality and community, this does not logically entail, or even merely imply, that we should have government policies to enforce or regulate the economy according to socialism. What Dean is actually saying here is shown to be absurd when we state it plainly: “People sometimes have a natural tendency to work in groups; therefore, the government should own most of the property and distribute it according to its dictates.” How in the world, by any standard of logic, does this follow? Why does natural human cooperation imply the need for government theft?

If anything, a natural human tendency towards community would imply the opposite—that we do not need governments to coerce people to work in groups, we do not need government to force people (with threats of violence) to socialize and work together in the marketplace in order to meet each other’s needs. If the impulse is natural, why should we need artifices—laws, regulations, courts, armed policemen, etc.—to enforce the impulse? If it is natural, it should happen without these things.

In fact, this is the way community should be—free. We already have a fundamental Constitutional law, after all, that allows the people “peaceably to assemble” as they see fit. The First Amendment denies to Congress the power to keep us from assembling (working together) whenever, however we wish. Is it a far stretch to say that this recognizes the fundamental human right to be free from coercion in regard to whom we wish to engage in business, in charity, in communication? Is it a far stretch to see this Constitutional freedom as the negation of the government’s power to enforce any given community upon freely associating (or dissociating) individuals? Seen this way, it becomes clear that Socialism actually works against nature and against law.

Inherent in Leftist thought (and that of many conservatives, too, unfortunately), is the fallacy that while that which is “individual” obviously pertains the individual, “community” somehow means “government.” This lies at the heart of Dean’s fallacy here. Liberals pretend that since we have a natural impulse towards wanting community, therefore we have a justification for government regulation. But this is hardly true. Community by no means automatically implies government power. The best and most productive communities are free communities, ones we create, join and/or fund voluntarily: churches, charities, non-profits, and business. In the past, this list included schools and universities, which are still available in voluntary forms, as well as medical care. We should also mention families, which, while not joined voluntarily, are created and funded voluntarily—and are certainly the nuclear community of humanity. Government is not necessary for any of these to be productive and good for society.

The only way government can compete with these voluntary forms of community is to tax the productivity of those who do voluntarily engage in community. Government cannot fund itself, it produces nothing. It must steal (tax). It consumes the produce of hard-working, voluntarily associating people, usually in behalf of non-working people in artificial, government-enforced “communities.” Dean is right: the real debate today is over how much socialism versus how much capitalism. The Left won’t let capitalism fade entirely because it needs capitalism to pay its bills. It needs hard-working people to tax. It must feed on the blood of hardworking people, but it must keep its bleeding victims alive to feed again later. Socialism is, yes, a Vampire.

The best thing “the Left” could do to reap the greatest benefit from both of our natural impulses is to get government more and more out of the picture. For people best to “do things for themselves” while at the same time most efficiently and productively to “be part of a community,” government should cease trying to tax and regulate how people act and work as both individuals and communities.

Secondly, Dean’s statement is fallacious in that in enshrines a natural human tendency as a government policy simply because that tendency is natural. How absurd is this notion? Rape and murder are also natural human tendencies. Fraud and conspiracy are also natural human tendencies. Case closed. Many human tendencies are abjectly evil. The question of “What form of government and economics is right?” is not answered merely by recourse to natural tendencies. We must have a higher law which discerns human tendencies and teaches us right and wrong before we create socio-economic policies.

But this fallacy pretty much explains Socialism, doesn’t it? Socialism elevates the basest natural human instincts—murder, fornication, theft, lies, and covetousness—as the duties of public office and law. It wants to enslave the people to its will against their will if necessary, and this requires physical threats of violence. Socialism wishes to be the sole community of man, and thus it attacks the nuclear unit of the family. This involves the glorification of sexual lust, the legitimizing of easy divorce, adultery, homosexuality, etc. Government does not produce its own wealth, thus Socialism must steal that of others. Socialism wishes to define truth so must deny the truth of what exists and what works already—lies and permanent propaganda. Socialism wishes to control the future, thus it forces educational policy—what we must believe as “correct” about the world—and it redistributes wealth to those whom it sees fit. Thus it covets the life and property of others and schemes to steal it and further its agendas.

To maintain such a racket, Socialism requires constant propaganda. It must continually brainwash and reeducate the people in order to keep itself in power. This is the thrust of the second part of Dean’s fallacy:

[T]his is a new innovation from Obama, and I think it’s a great thing for the Democratic Party. Remember I talked about the “Permanent Campaign”? Well, before I got to the DNC we didn’t have a permanent campaign. You would campaign for one year while you had a candidate, and then if you win you wouldn’t campaign for the next three years. No wonder we’d lose.… Now we don’t just have a permanent campaign for electing democrats, we have a permanent campaign for influencing policy. It brings us a little closer to the European model.

It’s clear that the Left in America wants European style socialism. Exactly what about European socialism actually justifies this admiration no one ever really says. It can’t be the productivity or freedom of it, for there is little. Either way, in order to have their Socialist way, Dean says, they need a “permanent campaign” to influence policy. In other words, they must wage a continual war with the ideals and values of American life, history, culture, and religion in order to brainwash them into accepting Eurpoean-style socialism. This means more lies, and actually requires a good bit of leader-worship (idolatry) on top of it. The Left has plenty of both.

Any Christian that has a biblical bone in his or her spine will have to stand against the pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-moral scam of Socialism. I have written God versus Socialism in order to illustrate, in a very simple way, the radically anti-Christian nature of Socialism. God mandated the institution of private property. Socialism is the negation of private property. God alone shall be worshipped and obeyed, and He institutes divine law; Socialism is the usurpation of God’s rule by earthly rulers, and the rejection of biblical law in favor of secular humanism. There is no simpler way to put it. Socialism is rival god. It is by nature a Satanic worldview.

The question of how to have capitalism is not one of how much Socialism to temper it with. Any Socialism is the destruction and negation of capitalism. Where the State gains a foothold in society, it makes society its footstool. Dependence on coercive power to further political agendas is an infectious disease born of sin and lust. The only answer is to roll back the power; remove the temptress of Socialism, and deny the lusts of those using government power to plunder their neighbors. For Liberals this is a tall order. For Christians it should be a no-brainer.


Articles from

[To explore “Christian Socialism” further, see the author’s book God versus Socialism: A Biblical Critique of the New Social Gospel.]


[1] Charles Howard Hopkins, The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism: 1865–1915 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940), 4. [2] Charles Howard Hopkins, The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism: 1865–1915 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940), 4. [3] Quoted in Daniel Walker Howe, The Unitarian Conscience: Harvard Moral Philosophy, 1805–1861 (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1988), 230. [4] Quoted in Howe, The Unitarian Conscience, 230. [5] Quoted in Howe, The Unitarian Conscience, 273. [6] Hopkins, The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism, 5. [7] Quoted in Otto Scott, The Secret Six: John Brown and the Abolitionist Movement (New York: Times Books, 1979), 15. [8] James C. Malin, John Brown and the Legend of Fifty-Six, 2 vols. (New York: Haskell House Publishers, Ltd., (1942) 1971), 2:698–699. [9] Malin, John Brown and the Legend of Fifty-Six, 2 vols., 1:226–227. [10] Otto Scott, The Secret Six, 10–13. [11] Otto Scott, The Secret Six, 14. [12] Otto Scott, The Secret Six, 228. [13] Otto Scott, The Secret Six, 227. [14] Otto Scott, The Secret Six, 229. [15] Quoted in Scott, The Secret Six, 231. [16] Quoted in Scott, The Secret Six, 243. [17] Quoted in Scott, The Secret Six, 288. [18] Quoted in Scott, The Secret Six, 288. [19] New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1995 [20] From the dust jacket front flap. [21] Quoted in Scott, The Secret Six, 285. [22] Karl Marx, “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law, Introduction,” Karl Marx Frederick Engels Collected Works (New York: International Publishers, 1975), 3:182, 185. [23] Karl Marx, “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law, Introduction,” Karl Marx Frederick Engels Collected Works (New York: International Publishers, 1975), 3:182, 185. [24] Frederick Engels, “On Authority,” Basic Writings on Philosophy: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, ed. by Lewis S. Feuer (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1959), 485. [25] Mao Tse-Tung, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, 23.


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