#106 Karl Marx and the Devil
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There is no biblical basis whatsoever for socialism, either in the Old Testament or in the New Testament. because socialism is totally at the opposite end of the spectrum from what it means to be a God-fearing person.
You’ve probably sensed that there’s something wrong with the entire Marxian idea that the proletariat should overthrow the bourgeois, but there’s now further support from a pastor and author who has investigated it.
In his new book, Where do we go from here? Dr. David Jeremiah clearly states: “Karl Marx was a cheerleader for the Devil.” He continues, “Marx’s socialist theories are all based on a fundamental belief in the existence of God, but a hatred and opposition to everything God has taught.”
A Deadly Virus
Dr. Jeremiah explains Socialism as a deadly virus. The problem is most people don’t understand how deadly it is. He says, “socialism is “a deadly virus [that] is quietly spreading throughout our nation—far more lethal than COVID-19.” But he warned that most Americans are totally unaware of the threat that it poses to our way of life. It’s like smoke coming under the door. You just see it a little bit, but it’s no big deal. If we don’t become aware of it, it’ll be very destructive.
In his book Defending the Free Market, Father Robert Sirico writes, “Karl Marx summed up socialist theory in the single phrase, “Abolition of private property.” He goes on to point out, that the eighth commandment, “Thou shalt not steal” assumes private property. You cannot steal something, after all, if no one owns it.
Oh, one of my favorite quips is “The book in which Karl Marx called for the end of private property has been copyrighted. You see, at heart, everyone is a free-market capitalist. They just like to talk like Marxian Socialists.
Socialism sounds so good. It’s being social something positive? No, not really. It’s all based in power.
The government has no money, so it must take before it can give.
At a conference last week, I heard a speech by Charles Payne from the Fox Business channel. He quipped, “You can only vote for Socialism once.” Meaning, after the socialists take power, voting stops. Another way to phrase it is, “Socialism: You can vote your way in, but you have to shoot your way out. Ask the people of Venezuela. In my lifetime, they have been the third richest country in the Americas. And they still have more oil and gas reserves than any country in the world. Socialist price controls have so limited the supply of goods, that 30% of the population has fled. A year ago, Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Life in the once-prosperous country has now officially become hell.” Socialism only works in heaven where they don’t need it, and hell, where they already have it.
“Capitalism is a system that begins not with taking but with giving to others,” write George Gilder in Wealth and Poverty. That’s why it’s consistent with the Christian worldview. In Capitalism, power is dissipated throughout the economy. In Socialism, power is centralized where via corruption, it can do its greatest harm.
Ok, with the following quote, it’s possible that Thomas Sowell might become the most quoted author in the Christian Economist series of podcasts. In Wealth, Poverty and Politics, he writes, “Marxism is based on the assumption that the poor are poor because the rich exploit them. Yet none of the Communist countries ever achieved a standard of living for ordinary people equal to that in free-market capitalist economies.
Being the good economist that he is, Thomas Sowell concentrates on the end or the outcomes. And, he’s right. Marxism does not work. What he’s stating in this quote is summed up by Milton Friedman’s summation, “Most economic fallacies grow out of the zero-sum myth.” That’s the basis of Marxism, that someone got rich by making others poor. That happens to be true in Socialism, but not in free-market capitalism. Because, when there is competition, the supplier must satisfy the demander at a higher level than the competition.
Although the Bolsheviks called for the abolition of private property, their real goal was spiritual: to translate Marxist ideology into reality. For the first time, a state was created that was based explicitly on atheism and claimed infallibility. This was totally incompatible with Western civilization, which presumes the existence of a higher power over and above society and the state. That’s a direct quote from the article, 100 Years of Communism and 100 Million Dead: The Bolshevik plague that began in Russia was the greatest catastrophe in human history by David Satter. The article was published in the Wall Street Journal in 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution.
Returning to the recent work of Reverend Jeremiah, “One of Marx’s key phrases was to wipe God out of heaven and capitalists off the earth. That was his two-fold program.”
Because Marxism eliminates God, it won’t work. It’s never worked. And it never will work. Or as I said in a speech recently, “Socialism always works in the future, but never in the past.”
The continued failures of Marxist socialism are expressed in the following way by RC Sproul in his book Biblical Economics, “The failures of the Soviet economy are not due to failure in applying Marx’s ideals. They are due to the country’s success in applying them. Under socialism, the rich get poorer and the poor get poorer. Under capitalism, the rich get richer and the poor get richer.”
I won’t spend much time making the case today that the ideas of Christianity align with free-market capitalism. That’s really the underlying assumption of all my work in Christian Economics. But, if you want more information, there’s a very good, very small publication by the Foundation for Economic Education titled Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist?, by Lawrence Reed. But, trust me, Jesus was not a Socialist, so I will return to today’s subject about Karl Marx.
Dr. Jeremiah makes this fascinating connection between Socialism and the tearing down of monuments. “It’s just not a bunch of rowdy kids out there trying to have fun knocking monuments down. The Marxist objective is to completely obliterate history so you can write a new one; that’s all part of how this whole thing works, that’s all a part of socialism.” That was the idea of Karl Marx: Eliminate the old culture, so you can start a new one. I give a pretty good overview of this circular shooting spree in podcast #13 titled No Crash Diets. Sorry for terribly mistitling that one. It’s based on Yuval Levin’s book The Great Debate. A quick summary is that each revolution must be followed by another revolution.
Dr. Jeremiah continues, “Get rid of the things people hold dear, destroy the things that are at the core of who they are as people—their family, their church, their marriage—and then come into that vacuum, and bring all of this rottenness called socialism.” Wow, that’s a pretty strong criticism of Marx. It makes you wonder, who is for that?!
Black Lives Matter is for it. If you don’t see Marxian thinking in the Black Lives Matter movement, you should look closer. Or, listen to one of the founders, Patrisse Cullors, who stated it very clearly, “We are trained Marxists.” I explain more of this in podcast #35 titled Black Lives Matter. Since I recorded that podcast, Ms. Cullors reportedly bought her fourth house, for $1.4 million, near Beverly Hills. Seems like maybe she’s redistributing wealth from the poor to her. Isn’t that always the way of Socialism? Those who take power get richer, and the masses get poorer. We’ve seen this play before, and it always ends badly. So badly, as a matter of fact, that it’s considered nihilism.
Dennis Prager says, “Leftism destroys everything it touches. Well, he’s mostly right about that. “It leaves them empty,” he said of what often happens when socialism takes hold of a person’s psyche. “It takes them to a place where they don’t want to go, and they don’t realize it on the journey.
George Gilder in Wealth and Poverty had this to say, “As Marxist despots and tribal socialists from Cuba to Greece have discovered to their huge disappointment, governments can neither create wealth nor effectively redistribute it, they can only expropriate it and watch it dissipate.”
That’s why, eventually, all Socialists one day wake up and find that Marxism has nothing to breathe into them because it’s nihilistic. In his research, Dr. Jeremiah said he hasn’t found one good story about socialism. “All the reading I did and all the stuff I studied, everybody talks about it, I can’t find one good story that ends right because socialism is evil, and it takes people down, it doesn’t lift them up,” he said.
Hmmm, that’s interesting. I’ve often said, “You can’t find a one-armed economist, because she will always say, “on the other hand.” But Dr. Jeremiah says there is no “Other hand” in Socialism. It’s all bad. It’s anti-God, destroys everything, and leaves people without hope. So why do about 64% of college students say they would vote for a Socialist? Because they are feeling instead of thinking. Socialism feels good. Capitalism thinks good.
I’ve said it so often, that it’s almost become my mantra, “The intersection of Christianity and Economics is Freedom.” John 8:32 says THE truth shall make you free. That means there’s only one. So rational, logical people will argue toward truth, because there is one. If you believe everyone has their own truth, then there’s no need to argue. That’s what has produced today’s “cancel culture.” It’s based on the idea that everyone has their own truth. I unpack some of those beliefs in podcast #59 The Intolerance of Tolerance.
Here’s how Dr. Jeremiah expresses it, “There’s nothing that is really true that should be afraid of challenge,” Dr. Jeremiah challenged. “If it’s true, it’s true. It shouldn’t be an issue for it to be challenged, because truth will win, no matter what the challenge is.” You see, he is assuming there is ONE truth.
Perhaps this summary statement from David Jeremiah is the best closing for today’s podcast, “There is no biblical basis whatsoever for socialism, either in the Old Testament or in the New Testament … because socialism is totally at the opposite end of the spectrum from what it means to be a God-fearing person.”
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Read Along with #TheChristianEconomist:
- Where Do We Go From Here
- Defending the Free Market
- Wealth and Poverty
- Wealth, Poverty, and Politics
- Biblical Economics:
- Biblical Economic Policy
- Rendering Unto Ceasar