Editor’s Note: This limited series is adapted from the 2021 Defender book by Lt. Col. Robert L. Maginnis, Give Me Liberty, Not Marxism.
Socialism focuses on an earthly (material) heaven and rejects a spiritual heaven. Further, it defines salvation in terms of material goals rather than the biblical teaching of a spiritual salvation. It assumes that sinful man can overcome the effects of sin through social engineering.[i]
Socialism’s materialistic worldview contradicts biblical Christianity, which teaches that man’s problems are mostly spiritual. The cause of human suffering is sin, and salvation is found only in Christ, who came to earth to die for mankind’s sin.
Socialism also distributes resources without regard to need and effort. After all, Marx said, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”[ii] That means the socialist punishes those who excel in industry and rewards those who don’t necessarily contribute to the common welfare by working hard. By contrast, the Bible says that anyone who refuses to work ought not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
Translation: Socialism approves of stealing from the more prosperous (hard-working) and then turns over resources to the less fortunate. Famously, former president Barack Obama expressed that socialist view to a young girl: “We’ve got to make sure that people who have more money help the people who have less money. If you had a whole pizza, and your friend had no pizza, would you give him a slice?”[iii]
Obama evidently endorses the forced redistribution of wealth, which is a socialist value, not a biblical value. After all, as illustrated above, socialists don’t believe in ownership of private property. By contrast, the Bible calls on Christians to protect private ownership while encouraging believers to share their resources with the less well-to-do as God’s Spirit directs.
Socialism also creates class warfare by blaming the wealthy for all problems. Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders illustrates the point. He said:
Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America.[iv]
That view is contrary to the teachings of verses in Scripture such as Proverbs 14:31 (NIV), which states, “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for his maker,” but socialists like Sanders condemn the wealthy as a class and encourage revolution to overthrow them, what Hillary Clinton called “toppling” the top 1 percent of Americans.[v]
Socialists like Sanders and evidently Clinton misunderstand that the wealthy are not stealing from others, but create products and jobs for the broader population. Further, Scripture doesn’t demand the transfer of money from the wealthy, but it teaches us not to covet (Exodus 20:17) and to be content in all circumstances (Philippians 4:11–13).
Socialists are not pro-marriage and family. Marx’s coauthor of The Communist Manifesto, Fredrich Engels, proposed government strive for a future whereby “the single-family ceases to be the economic unit of society. Private housekeeping is transformed into a social industry. The care and education of the children becomes a public affair.”[vi]
Socialist Sanders said much the same. He called for a “revolution” in childcare beginning with all six-week-old children.[vii] Besides he’s a proponent of so-called “gay” marriage as a means, perhaps, to destroy traditional Christian marriage.[viii]
In conclusion, socialism has a violent, bloody history and offers no hope for humanity either in this life or the next.
The Black Book of Communism (1999) chronicles that there have been at least one hundred million victims of socialism (communism). That volume documents that every Marxist socialist regime to date exclusively existed thanks to the muzzle of a gun and forced labor camps—no exceptions from Cambodia’s Pol Pot to China’s Mao Zedong and to the present socialist regime in Venezuela.
Let there be no doubt that socialism is a religion itself grounded in political tyranny where its god (big government) failed, a theory (Marxism) that never worked, and a social structure/political system that always fails the people it was set up to support.
There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.[ix]
—Ayn Rand, twentieth-century Russian-American writer and philosopher
Many people use the terms “Marxism,” “socialism,” and “communism” interchangeably, perhaps because they mistakenly believe they are the same philosophies. It is true that these philosophies are related, and in fact Marxism provides the foundation for the economic and political philosophies of both socialism and communism.
A major distinction between socialism and communism is the necessity for the public to own all property and means of production and services. The centralization of ownership gives everyone a chance to develop their very best—or so the theory contends.
Karl Marx believed there is a natural progression from socialism to communism. The first step is for the proletariat (the workers) to push the bourgeoisie (the wealthy owners) out (translation: “kill them”), then society would evolve into a classless utopia without a government, a concept found in Marx’s and Fredrich Engels’ book, The Communist Manifesto. That text states:
[Communists] are, on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.[x]
Communism is the extreme version of socialism, which, like the original ideology, Marxism, is atheistic to its core. Invariably, socialism given license eventually morphs into communism marked by tyranny, suffering, and death.
The biblical differences noted earlier between socialism and Christianity also apply to Marxist communism, but on steroids. History exposes the bloody path of communism’s march through Russia, China, Venezuela, and elsewhere. Fundamentally, that toll is the result of communism’s stark failure to recognize a higher moral authority, and without a constraining god, even mass murder is permissive as the means to pursue the communist’s utopian social goal.
Unfortunately, there are some rather naïve people who believe that communism is in fact somewhat acceptable. They express that view by offering a sympathetic portrayal of communist ideology and try to reconcile it with Christianity. One such person is Dean Dettloff, who wrote in America, a Jesuit magazine, an article that attempted to reconcile the similarities of communism and the Catholic Church’s teaching.
Mr. Dettloff compares the communist view about the class struggle with that of the Catholic Church when he writes:
For communists, global inequality and the abuse of workers at highly profitable corporations are not the result only of unkind employers or unfair labor regulations. They are symptoms of a specific way of organizing wealth, one that did not exist at the creation of the world and one that represents part of a “culture of death,” to borrow a familiar phrase….
Although the Catholic Church officially teaches that private property is a natural right, this teaching also comes with the proviso that private property is always subordinate to the common good. [xi]
Long ago, comparisons like that above between communism and Christianity were condemned, however. Paul Kengor, the author of The Devil and Karl Marx (2020), wrote:
In 1846, Pope Pius IX released Qui pluribus [an encyclical subtitled ‘On Faith and Religion’], affirming that communism is “absolutely contrary to the natural law itself” and if adopted would “utterly destroy the rights, property, and possessions of all men, and even society itself.” In 1849, one year after the [The Communist] Manifesto was published, Pius IX issued the encyclical, Nostis Et Nobiscum, which referred to both socialism and communism as “wicked theories,” “perverted theories,” and “pernicious fictions.”
Communism and religion—especially Christianity—are incompatible, as history demonstrates. That’s because communist tyrants refuse to share their authority over the people and all social institutions with any other group, especially the Christian God. This all-encompassing authoritarian focus explains why the world’s best-known communist regime failed, a surprise to many.
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WAS KARL MARX AND HIS INCREASINGLY POPULAR TEACHINGS DEMONICALLY INSPIRED? IS IT GUIDING MANKIND TOWARD A SATANIC END TIMES CONCLUSION?
At the beginning of 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed, it was the largest country in the world (one-sixth of the earth’s land surface), with 290 million people. It had tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and a massive military presence that extended deep into Europe. But it failed because of many flaws directly attributable to its Marxist foundation.
First, the Soviet Union collapsed because politically it didn’t have the tools to right its failing economy. Mikhail Gorbachev became the secretary of the Communist Party in 1985 and quickly tried to jump start his flagging economy. That failed, so he instituted policies of openness (glasnost) and restructuring (perestroika). Gorbachev’s openness created a groundswell of criticism for the entire Soviet apparatus. That restructuring welcomed the lifting of Soviet-era price controls, but the overseeing of those controls was left to the well-embedded Soviet bureaucracy, who vigorously resisted the new approach, which resulted in its failure because the corrupt bureaucrats didn’t benefit directly.[xii]
Second, as late as 1990, the Soviet economy was the world’s second largest, even though it suffered from major shortages of consumer goods. That explains the Soviet Union’s massive black-market economy that perhaps accounted for at least 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Besides, the nation was crippled at the time by economic stagnation, which was exacerbated by the government’s mismanaged fiscal policy (a Marxist economy) and accompanied by a sharp drop in the price of oil, the country’s prime source of foreign currency.
Third, the Kremlin accelerated its defense spending in response to President Ronald Reagan’s announced Strategic Defense Initiative, an ambitious project to construct a space-based anti-missile system dubbed “Star Wars.” That 1983 announcement shocked the Kremlin and pushed it to invest in defense the nation could ill afford. At the time, the military budget already consumed somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of the GDP, which ignored the other critical needs of the nation, and quickly the fiscal weight of new defense spending became an unsustainable drain on the country’s dwindling resources.
Fourth, Gorbachev’s glasnost awakened Soviet citizens to just how bad things were at home in comparison with the West. That openness brought new ideas and experiences to a Soviet citizenry accustomed to bland food, shabby clothes, and hopeless lives. Meanwhile, Russians began to explore, thanks to glasnost, ideas about democratization, and they experimented with Western-style food and other imported goods. Quickly the population became disillusioned, mostly disgusted with the country’s endemic corruption and poor quality of life.
Aleksandr Yakovlev, Gorbachev’s adviser, described the problem. “The main issue today is not only economy,” he said. “This is only the side of the process. The heart of the matter is in the political system…and its relation to man.” That was the legacy of Marx’s idea about socialism, its view about the nature of man and the state’s role, and its objection to religion, a source of hope for a desperate people.[xiii]
Finally, the Soviet Union was humbled by its nuclear industry. Throughout the Cold War (1947–1991), the world teetered on the edge of mutual nuclear destruction, but it took the implosion of a civilian nuclear reactor, the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine, to expose the world to Russia’s serious shortfalls. That disaster released more than four hundred times the amount of radioactive fallout as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, but communist officials in Moscow at the time suppressed the truth about the disaster.
The Kremlin responded to the unprecedented catastrophe using the same approach it always employed when faced with a serious problem: It lied. After all, the entire Soviet society was based on so many lies that no one knew the truth, and thus that flaw characteristically hobbled most decision-making. Meanwhile, Western media and governments accused Moscow of “malicious lies” for what the Kremlin characterized as a “misfortune.” As a direct result of Moscow’s lies about the reactor incident, much of the world quickly lost all trust in the Soviet’s account. According to Gorbachev, who marked the anniversary of the disaster decades later, the regime’s misinformation campaign “was perhaps the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union five years later.”[xiv]
In conclusion, what’s clear is that communism is the most extreme version of socialism. The demise of the Soviet Union demonstrates that view in terms of its economic and political failures, especially in terms of the trust it squandered with its citizens and much of the world.
Progressivism is the cancer in America and it is eating our Constitution, and it was designed to eat the Constitution, to progress past the Constitution.[xv]
—Glenn Beck, an American political commentator
Contemporary progressivism is the new communism with a twist. It is a social and political movement that promotes unreason and irrationality through the guise of various social justice causes.
Progressivism didn’t start out that way, however. In fact, it had many redeeming qualities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Progressive ideology at its origin was about making use of or being interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities. It was, as I explain in Progressive Evil (Defender, 2019):
…about the advancement and adoption of social reform for the amelioration of society’s ills. Progressives through the ages have come from all backgrounds, claiming they promote freedom of the individual to compete in fair conditions while championing the progress and improvement of society.
That has all changed.
Modern American progressives flushed out the good from the original movement and embraced a Marxist approach to changing society not that different from past communists. Much like the old Marxists who gave the task of leading a revolution to overthrow the capitalists to revolutionaries, today’s revolutionaries are progressive politicians, social justice reformers, and civil rights warriors who permeate our media, government, education establishments, and workplaces.
Their goal, like the goal of the old Marxists, is to set things right through social change in order to create a more just society by advancing equality between men and women, immigrants and citizens, people of color, heterosexuals and homosexuals, the disabled and able-bodied, and more. These postmodern progressives share a vision of a society free of all the modern social “isms”—sexism, nativism, racism, heterosexism, and other so-called perceived communal injustices.
The individual’s ability is not a discriminator for the progressive, which is also an aspect of Marxist theory. For the progressive like the Marxist communist and the socialist, private property ought to become taboo in favor of state-controlled resources.
A key aspect of postmodern progressivism is the use of the central, big government to force these changes. Progressives need government to advance civil rights laws, maintain a living minimum wage, provide housing, ensure guaranteed income, and much more. After all, for the progressive, big government is the blunt instrument that advances equality for all citizens and ultimately leads to utopia.
It’s not surprising that postmodern progressives are truly intolerant when it comes to conservative views. They reject our constitutional safeguards (rights)—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms—which explains their efforts to rewrite our Constitution in order to grow the government’s control over every aspect of life, from healthcare to managing our economy.
They also, in the name of social justice, favor radical directives that put women in frontline ground combat and require public schools to allow K–12 transgender students to use the bathroom or locker room of their choice.
Progressives want to subordinate our national sovereignty to leftist supranational bodies like the United Nations and welcome the introduction of Islamic law (sharia) into our communities, which is contrary to our Constitution, and they also welcome oversight from international tribunals (courts) at the expense of our own sovereign judiciary. Then there is the matter of welcoming a flood of illegal immigrants, and they expect the US to embrace global strategies to address issues like climate change.
How do progressives intend to reach these lofty outcomes? As I said earlier, much like socialist and communist revolutionaries who replaced the so-called oppressive class (the bourgeoisie), progressives intend for the heavy hand of government to create overseers (bureaucrats) who inevitably become corrupt and eventually morph into little tyrants and dictators. Also, they enlist the support of nongovernment radicals like BLM and ANTIFA (so-called anti-fascists) to do their bidding.
We shouldn’t expect postmodern progressives to be any better than communists at restraining the tendency to embrace tyranny, because both suffer from the same ideological deficiencies. For example, communist and progressive ideals of equality aren’t realistic because they ignore the true, sinful nature of mankind. After all, fallen man is competitive by nature and he will never settle on being an equal among his peers. Rather, he will always strive to improve his lot first, whereby the stronger man always subjugates the weaker—the ingredients of dictatorships.
Just like the communists who built their utopian “proletarian state” in the former Soviet Union through a corrupted bureaucratic class that denied basic freedoms, the social justice progressives today will use the strong arm of big government to enforce affirmative action that tolerates certain types of racism and allows so-called gay liberation activists to trample the rights of Christians.
You see, progressive politics ultimately divides people through identity politics and results in intergroup conflicts across various religions, races, sexual-orientations and economic groups.
Postmodern progressivism is also as anti-biblical as its fellow isms—Marxism, socialism, and communism. It hates the true God and His followers. It will do everything the other isms endorse that advances an anti-religion future and targets Christians who are a harbinger of ill content for the dedicated progressive.
In conclusion, postmodern progressives are nothing like their forefathers who sought change to improve their lives. Rather, they are dead set on weakening our constitutional rights to fit their radical Marxist ideology. They seek to destroy our key institutions—family and faith—to fit their social justice agenda, and ultimately, they will lead this country to ruin, much like the former Soviet tyrants did to communist Russia.
Consequences of the Isms for Future America
The consequences of this milieu of isms for future America are rather breathtaking. Literally, America’s foundation could be rocked by the changes should the isms have their way with our republic.
I anticipate that Biden and his leftist advisers following their ism ideologies will certainly revise the interpretation of our Bill of Rights to address their version of faith and speech rights, our right to privacy, and our right to bear arms.
We saw in this chapter the significant social influences across ism-based societies, particularly the impact for key institutions such as family, education, the media, and the economy. No doubt, with the power of big government in their sails, leftists will pervert the definition and roles of the American family; education will be far more of a state-based mechanism for molding our children into faithful socialists or worse; the media will make no pretense about becoming the propaganda arm for Washington; and our economy will sour as it quickly abandons capitalism in favor of socialist policies to control the means of manufacturing and distribution. They will destroy the entrepreneurial spirit and send more jobs abroad.
Leftists infatuated with these isms will cravenly embrace globalism on steroids as well. Consider that in late 2020, we learned to expect President Biden to embrace a globalist Great Reset plan to use the coronavirus pandemic as cover to transform the world’s economy, according to former Secretary of State John Kerry.
Mr. Kerry told the World Economic Forum audience:
The notion of a reset is more important than ever before. I personally believe…we’re at the dawn of an extremely exciting time.
Translation: Unelected global bureaucrats will usher in a New World Order.[xvi]
These globalists will ride the fear and uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 lockdowns and the predicted economic downturn some economists promise will be worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s. But even if that economic tragedy doesn’t happen, according to Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, globalists elite, which include President Biden and his handlers, will act jointly and swiftly to “revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.… In short, we need a “‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.”[xvii]
The consequences for America of the imposition of the isms is radical and all-encompassing. The America we know and love may well become little more than a distant memory, and in its place will be a new reality our founders long ago sought to prevent.