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 Post subject: Why is socialism bad?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:31 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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The final studying of my awful Humanities course is The Communist Manifesto. My teacher had us read his essays on all the misconceptions people have about socialism, communism, and capitalism. It's all sounding just fine to me... to some extent.

I mean I am SO against the redistribution of wealth (or so I thought :shock: )... that I felt guilty accepting the Child Tax credits on our tax returns. I won't get on WIC even though we could certainly use it... but I just don't think it's the government's responsibility to feed my children.

Anyway, so I'm reading Marxist ideas and wondering what is so bad about all of it? I realize that the implementation of a completely socialist government would be near impossible but the ideals sound noble enough.

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The vision of communism was very similar to that of anarchism: a stateless society in which central government had "withered away," local, ground-up control of all affairs by strictly democratic processes based at the place of work, abolition of the market system (no money, no buying and selling) and its replacement by a system according to which people would voluntarily work for the common good to the extent they were able under the understanding that they could receive whatever they needed for free ("from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"). National boundaries and governments having been eliminated, war would cease.


I feel stupid even admitting that I'm not convinced it's so bad anymore... what makes it so wrong? :oops:

btw, he's trying to use biblical evidence of socialism (Acts) to appeal to us Christians.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:03 am 
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You might find Rerum Novarum helpful. I'm sure it's online in many places if you google it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:33 am 
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Find a copy of Peter Kreeft's Socrates Meets Marx. The short answer is that Marx's economics and philosophy are based on a destructive and degrading view of the human person.

FWIW, don't let your instructor cow you with the Book of Acts. There's a reason that "having all things in common" is mentioned only in that passage, I think--the disciples quickly found out it wasn't workable.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:30 am 
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or you could determine it with the help THE LORD has given you----

what does HIS word say about helping the needy-----

who should be the one helping the needy?

is the government the one?

james 1:27
Religion that God our FATHER accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

God says we are GOING TO HAVE POOR with us ----ALWAYS...

its NOT A SIN TO BE POOR---- it is a sin in some of the ways that make us poor----but especially a child born into poverty---what sin has he/she committed to "justify" the situation they had no control over....?

there are MANY, MANY passages in scripture concerning HELPING THE FATHERLESS AND WIDOWS AND POOR.....

the poor is HOW GODS WORK IN HIS BODY can be seen .....

if poor arent being helped, THAN I, MY FAMILY, MY CONGREGATION, YOU, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR LOCAL CONGREGATION ARE NOT LIVING THE RELIGION God EXPECTS...

its not the government that should be doing this....

but let me say this also---we work, we pay taxes, and those taxes go for what?

WIC is one of the programs THAT IS BENEFICIAL FOR EVERYONE---it doesn prejudicize with just the poor---

and its not a crime to receive a "benefit" one has payed into----if one has an abundance and receives this benefit, who are we to judge anyone?

they may be the ones putting the bulk of money to charity or "privately" building homes, or buying food for soup kitchens.....or being a "big brother/sister"....

if WE know of someone in need----THAN God HAS REVEALED THAT PERSON TO ME.

what am I going to do---wait for the government----or am I going to perform the 'WORKS' that the book of JAMES points out we should do with our faith.

now it IS a sin---if we give so much that we BECOME needy----in these cases God'S word says to "encourage" and "pray" for them....if we are not able....

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 Post subject: Re: Why is socialism bad?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:50 am 
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me3rd wrote:

I feel stupid even admitting that I'm not convinced it's so bad anymore... what makes it so wrong?


The first Christian communities were communes.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:13 pm 
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Thanks for the book tips... I'll add them to my ever-growing list. :shock:

Obi- It sounds kind of like a weak argument to say that just because something is discussed only once in the Bible... that it became void. How are we supposed to infer the ineffectiveness of apostolic communes from just that? And even if they were difficult to work out... does this necessarily mean they weren't the ideal?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:40 pm 
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me3rd wrote:
Obi- It sounds kind of like a weak argument to say that just because something is discussed only once in the Bible... that it became void. How are we supposed to infer the ineffectiveness of apostolic communes from just that?


That's not the whole argument. A further piece of it is that we find (as far as I know) no trace of such things ever again in the early Church.

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And even if they were difficult to work out... does this necessarily mean they weren't the ideal?


Necessarily? No. But they essentially required that humans leave behind concupiscence. In the earlier days of enthusiasm, it kind of worked. But it's as good as impossible for large groups to maintain that sort of thing for an extended period.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 6:24 pm 
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The Child Tax Credits aren't need based (or, if they are, the threshold is pretty high.) Because it's important for every child to be well-nourished, no one should ever feel bad about accepting WIC.

Did it ever occur to you that rich people have all sorts of perks you don't? Low-income people pay through the nose for credit and checking accounts. The well-off have free checking, low interest rates, and "rewards" accounts with flyer miles. They can get free vacations just for listening to a 90 minute time share presentation (we did that twice.) Many inner city stores charge higher prices than suburban stores, because of the danger of theft. Discounters such as Wal-Mart hardly ever locate in the inner city. Car insurance costs are just awful in urban areas (my son just moved into an area that's becoming gentrified, and his car insurance doubled.) The really wealthy have even bigger perks.

I have some needy friends, and I am always struck by how expensive everything they do is. If they move, they need deposits on their apartment, on their phone, on their utilities. If you're better off, no one asks for deposits other than the landlord. (Home ownership, square foot for square foot, is less expensive than renting, too, and their are tax breaks.)

So don't feel guilty about WIC.

I think that the social needs of today's world are greater than private charities can address. During the Great Depression, when everyone was suffering, FDR realized that people needed protection against life's crises....that's why Social Security, welfare, unemployment insurance, state disability programs, and Medicare came into being.

The highest standards of living are found in countries that provide their citizens with these basic protections (as well as a strong universal education system.)

I would not call most of these countries socialistic--they're democracies.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 6:35 pm 
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Let's not stray off into politics, please.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:49 pm 
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Keep in mind that these local communities were NOT miniature nations. They still belonged to the Roman Empire. Thus, this is not socialism per se. Socialism is a governmental system. Instead, these were local communities that agreed to live in a certain way, and which obviously was appropriate in that economy. As times changed, so did the structure of the community. The basic principles have remained, ie. support one another, give from your income to support the Church, etc... But, the structure of it changed as the Church grew, and eventually as the Roman Empire crumbled.

So, to make the argument that somehow the Church was socialist, is a bit of the fallacy of applying current understanding of things to ancient cultures and civilizations...

Back then, if you were poor or sick you were REALLY poor or sick. And there wasn't any public assistance, or Rerum Novarem. The Church had to operate underground, and probably had HUGE travel expenses. They had to build Churches as there were none yet. It was a completely foreign civilization then we can know, and as a part of that civilization, the Church decided the best way to function for a while was to live as they did in the book of Acts.

FJ

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 8:49 am 
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we shouldnt confuse "socialism" with "provision" either...

socialism is a way of "control"---not provision.---provision CAN BE CUT OFF, just ask any former member of the Soviet Union.....

and to say the "church" was socialistic some times----MOST DEFINITELY.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:02 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
the disciples quickly found out it wasn't workable.


Would that be before or after Ananias and Saphira were killed?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:20 pm 
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QUOD APOSTOLICI MUNERIS
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO Xlll ON SOCIALISM


http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13apost.htm


QUADRAGESIMO ANNO
ON RECONSTRUCTION OF THE SOCIAL ORDER
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS Xl MAY 15, 1931


http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11QUADR.HTM

GRAVES DE COMMUNI RE
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON CHRISTIAN DEMOCRACY


http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13grcom.htm

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 11:55 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Find a copy of Peter Kreeft's Socrates Meets Marx. The short answer is that Marx's economics and philosophy are based on a destructive and degrading view of the human person.

FWIW, don't let your instructor cow you with the Book of Acts. There's a reason that "having all things in common" is mentioned only in that passage, I think--the disciples quickly found out it wasn't workable.


I think it is workable when it is done "in the Spirit" voluntarily outside of mechanistic, brutal cohersion. There is a vast difference between a small loving community of the baptized fallen persons who recognize the need for grace and a "eutopia" of individuals who a clueless about the human condition.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 2:39 am 
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The ideal society will have a blend of capitalistic and socialistic aspects.

There has been little said in this thread about the dangers of exploitation and dehumanization of workers in a purely capitalistic society.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:30 am 
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allegro54 wrote:
The ideal society will have a blend of capitalistic and socialistic aspects.

There has been little said in this thread about the dangers of exploitation and dehumanization of workers in a purely capitalistic society.


Well, of COURSE there would be some aspects of socialism. But total socialism outside of a Catholic theocracy would be VERY problematic if not immoral to join. To hand over your property to a secular state for them to do their bidding would be a very dangerous thing to do morally. Even a Catholic Theocracy would be imperfect, so I think it best for the individual to retain some of what is his by justice.

And, of course, I would agree with you about a total capitalistic society as well. I think there is a reason why Christ established his Church on earth. And it goes beyond what we do on Sunday mornings.

FJ

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:59 pm 
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Socialism, by definition, requires compliance.

Is it a moral good to compel a person to choose between surrendering their property or being throw in jail\gulag?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:25 am 
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what, has everyone who lived during the cold war been "hypnotized" or what?????

wake up america----

too late---- :(

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