SOCIALISM: THE OUTSOURCING OF CHARITY
It is sacrilegious to claim Jesus was a Socialist. One of the pet arguments coming from the Left for increasing government control is the canard that Jesus Christ espoused a philosophy of Socialism. This is a blasphemy, not simply because it takes lightly the name of The Lord, or because it trivializes The Son of God by using His image as a front for big government, but because socialistic government is in direct opposition to the intent and purpose of The Savior Jesus Christ, the author of Liberty.
Socialism is not a hybrid of charity and government, which may secure wealth given freely by its citizens to administer alms to the downtrodden. Socialism is the muscle of the state used to effectively steal from one man that which he has earned to give to another. The Lord’s directive to be charitable was to the individual, not the state. We are commanded to engage in the godly act of giving our time, love, kindness, and substance, when compelled by our own consciences. As Jesus exemplified this throughout His life and ministry, not once did He require one man to take the substance of another in order to give to a fellow in need.
Socialist redistribution is supposed to ease the suffering of a class of people, the have-nots, by taking wealth from the haves who, in theory, possess more than they need to live and have access to worldly comforts. In practice Socialism is a shoddy counterfeit of charity. The socialist may feel smug, believing that there is less want because he has succeeded in his efforts to assert the taxing and spending powers of the state. But Socialism makes enemies of the producers and the takers. The producers’ time, intellect, muscle, passion, ingenuity, the stuff of their lives, has been spent to produce their private wealth and to acquire personal property. In a very concrete sense their rights to life and property are infringed upon by the government because the substance of their lives is then taken with no recourse on their part, and given to those who are, for whatever reason, non-producers. Unlike charity, which both enlarges and humbles the giver and recipient, socialist redistribution is a two-edged blade that foments contempt within the givers, who mistrust the indolent class, and the getters, who always hate the property and wealth class.
Socialism is not a mere counterfeit of charity, it is antithetical in almost every way. Charity is a principle of righteousness which requires the individual to stretch his own heart, to give with the goal of temporarily lifting and aiding another. The Christ-like nature of the individual develops as he responds to a humane impulse and gives when and what he deems to be of benefit to the fellow being whom he finds to be in an occasion of need. When the state becomes the compulsory hand that takes and gives without the consent of the producer, the spiritual effects are opposite of Christian instinct. This quenches the better inclinations of individuals to aid, teach, and protect one another. The socialist state displaces both the duties and blessings that come from the practice of discrete humanitarianism.
Classical Liberal thought extolled, with liberality, confidence in the individual to manage his own creature, drawing upon his natural wisdom, industry, and charity. The Classical Liberal trusts man to strive on his own for the noble improvement of his own station as he reacts to the godly impulse to improve the stations of those who languish in a season of need. The progressive push for ever bigger, more invasive government mistrusts the individual, and abolishes the notion that man is born with a component of divinity, and will act upon that divinity within the circumscription of a free and moral society.
Modern Liberals and Progressives find themselves in a rhetorical conundrum, in which they hold up Jesus Christ as the ultimate example of their favorite governmental ism. But it is the American Left that otherwise rejects the civil relationship between man and God, and attempts at every juncture in social functioning, to jettison the name, image, word, and Divinity of the Lord and Savior. They’re trapped in the rhetorical contradiction that all men are equal, yet they foster the fascist thinking that the state is the arbiter of equality; that men are not inherently equal but that rights, privileges, and perquisites may be doled out according to favoritism, social trends, and political expediency.
The Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ hung on the cross flanked by two thieves, one who rebuked Him, and the other who recognized and confessed His majesty. The thieves, like all who have lived, or ever will live, have access to His grace. But never once in His entire ministry did Jesus Christ grant permission for one man to steal from another. The tenet is no different when speaking of Socialism vs. charity. The government does not, and never will, have a divine directive to become a thief to its citizenry.