Friday, May 05, 2006

Why should I make this blog?

This blog is the result of a realization that socialism, despite it poor track record, seems to be growing in popularity worldwide. Even though the Nazis (National Socialist Workers Party) were defeated in WWII and the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) desinegrated in the Cold War largely due to U.S. efforts, the U.S.A. continues to embrace socialism. Ironically, socialism continues to attract people with it lofty goals and fools people into believing that more government control will not be used to exploit them, but to help them.

If socialism did not: enslave people under a command economy, destroy the right to own private property, limit rights such as freedom of speech and conscience, usurp the right of parents to educate their children, attempt to control the social decisions of people, ruin work ethic by discouraging initiative, waste monies that could be spent more wisely to help humans worldwide, and create a false trust that the government, and not God, is sovereign, among other vices, I would not have created this blog. However, socialism does all of that and more and I think I am responsible to speak up for my fellow human beings.

Furthermore, I think that Christians need to actively oppose evil and love our fellow humans by sticking up for them. Sharing the gospel is primary; but without deeds to support faith, will the world really see much of a difference? "Is this not the kind of fast I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke. Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter...? Then your light will break forth like the dawn..." (Isaiah 58:6-8) Socialism, as I will attempt to record on this blog, actually causes poverty and oppression despite its claims to alleviate them. By God's grace, Christians need to love neighbors enough to help them physically and spiritually. By doing good and challenging evil God can work through us to better the world.

So here it goes....


Phugebrins said...

Hello! From what you've written, it's not all that clear that you're writing in opposition to socialism. You're critical of totalitarianism, but so are most socialists. See, contrary to the popular message, the USSR is not generally considered by socialists to have been socialist, seeing as it wasn't democratic. See, at the core of socialism is a belief in democracy: the belief that ordinary people should have a say not just in the narrow field of politics, but in the whole of the economy as well. I'm proud to be a socialist, and I'd earnestly protest that the USSR was neither democratic nor socialist. Unfortunately, in this day and age, where the world is drven not by compassion and concern for others but money and self-interest, the honest ideas of ordianry people - be they socialists, christians, both, or neither, are quickly twisted by charlatans and politicians for their own ends.

Citizen said...

Phugebrins, thanks for the comment on my first posting. I am glad you brought up that point. There certainly are two broad types of socialism. One is democratic and the other is totalitarian (by force). I was remiss in mentioning that I think both the totalitarian variety and the democratic variety have been detrimental to human progress. Let me explain.
Democracy has been elevated to a great height in modern times. The "rule of the people" has been given the ultimate approval in many circles. Take President Bush's State of the Union Address in 2006 for example. He practically idolized the idea of democracy as if it is the solution to the ills of the world. Historians, such as Gary Nash, presuppose democracy to be the standard by which we can evaluate if an action was good or not. To apply it to our discussion, "democratic socialism is fine, because it includes the untouchable value of democracy." Some people use this principle to support the election of Hamas in Gaza. Democracy is presupposed to be the great validator of government in this thinking. Of course, a democracy will only be as good as the people voting in it. That is why the United States was established with protections from mob rule, protections such as the Constitution and federalism. James Madison said, "Democracy is the most vile form of government." Without any moral compass (this implies absolute turth) democracies turn sour.
That is the reason that I state that socialism is the problem, regardless of the method of getting there. Socialism is a system in which the government (the collective people) controls the economy (and other aspects of society). In democratic socialism the majority force the minority to accept socialism. Government control then hurts the economy and society, and the majority of people willing approve of their own destruction. A program can not be jusitified, just because the bulk of the people want it. My high school teacher of English had a banner in her room that stated "What is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular." So, we must evaluate socialism according to its merits and vices and not whitewash it as long as it is "of the people"
That critic is what I hope to focus on during the future of this blog...Thanks again Phugebrins!

Gary G. said...

Nate, your criticism of socialistic governmental policies is right on. The undoing, however of now generations of "entitelement" focused people in the west will take a major correction. In the arena of ideas, socialism sounds good and plausible. However its track record in history is fraught with trajedy for every country that has embraced it. Keep us informed on more examples of the folly of socialism.

Shane said...

Well said. What political party in America isn't socialist in nature though?

Citizen said...

Thanks Shane. I am not an expert on political parties, but I would guess that perhaps some smaller parties reject socialism. The Liberatarian Party, the Conservative Party and the Constitution Party come to mind. The Democrats, followed by the Republicans, and most other parties are quite socialistic, I would say.

Phugebrins said...

As a socialist, I'd say none of them that I've heard of except maybe some really minor ones like the Socialist Party. The rest seem to observe state-capitalism (Democrat and Republican) social-democracy (Green), and libertarian-capitalism (Libertarian).

Nikodemos said...

Government control of the economy, on its own, cannot logically be called socialism. This is because government control of the economy has been practiced for thousands of years, since the earliest human civilizations, while the word "socialism" was only invented in the 19th century, and it originally described a variety of Christian (yes, Christian) movements promoting social equality.

Simply put, all socialists advocate a publicly-owned economy, but not everyone who advocates a publicly-owned economy is a socialist. In order to be a socialist you need to support 3 things (and not just one or two of them):

1. Social equality. This is the core of socialism.
2. Public ownership over the means of production.
3. Popular control over the government (democracy, plus checks and balances).

Now, you say that in socialism the majority force the minority to accept socialism. By the same logic, in a democratic capitalist society the majority force the minority to accept capitalism.

You will never get everyone to agree on everything. There will always be a majority opinion and several minority opinions. And you must choose between them. Society has to be organized SOME way. The majority may not be always right, but neither is the minority.