“Some Christians have become enamored with the ideas of socialism and even communism.”

"First, when the terms are left undefined, they seem to describe "kind" and "benevolent" economic systems that will help the poor and raise people out of poverty. They seem equivalent to the good "social programs" in our republic. Second, there is a seeming connection with the early church as described in Acts 2:44-45 which legitimizes these systems in the minds of some Christians." - Matt Postiff

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Joel Shaffer's picture

What I've realized is that the current political narratives of the past 20 years have redefined "socialism." Recently I had an argument with a long-time family friend that claimed that the US has always been democratic socialist because of public services that are provided such as Police, Fireman, Roads. She completely left out the point that Socialism has much more to do with a government-controlled economic system vs. a Free-market economy.  In her mind, an expanded "Welfare-State" =Socialism.  Therefore, Socialism is good.  She based alot of her arguments off of Bernie's insistence that Sweden and Denmark are model democratic socialistic countries for the US to emulate. And for her, socialism =social justice. The problem with that narrative is that it's simply not true.  My relatives and Sweden hate that they are referred to as a democratic-socialist country by utopian-minded Americans.  My relatives insist that Sweden is a free-market country with a strong social safety net.  In fact, there are many more government regulations in business in America than in Sweden. It's much easier to start and maintain a business in Sweden.  Also, Sweden has no minimum wage.  Employers and Unions negotiate wages based on the market.  Therefore, some jobs have higher wages, while some jobs that require less skill have lower wages.  Sweden uses a voucher-like system for their education, allowing parents the choice to either send their kids to public or private schools.  Those economic and social aspects of Sweden are never brought up by Bernie and other advocates of "democratic-socialism."

Bert Perry's picture

....as a kind of memory of what socialism actually results in, much like the Israelis often offer to send Holocaust deniers to Auschwitz to learn a bit.  Of course, even that wouldn't help fools like Bernie Sanders, who didn't even clue into bread lines and political prisons when he honeymooned in the USSR.  What do you do when people don't clue into pretty obvious history?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

is the attitude and expectations of most 20-ish today. Last semester I had a class where around 50% were not attending most classes. One day almost everyone was there. So I mentioned that it was up to you, the student, to learn this material. It was not my job to help you beyond the lectures and the normal things I did to teach them. I said the ball was in your court. They should not expect make-up opportunities.

I am not exaggerating when I say the class was irate. One students claimed to be having a panic attack, no joke. He seriously was. He left class and went and complained to the vice president of student life. I had to explain my "actions" to him and to file a report. I was reminded that it is my job to help them in every way to make this school a "safe place" to learn, and I had not done that.

Most 20 somethings expect to get everything their way, no questions asked. That is not a joke. And the powers that be are enforcing that they should get it their way! It is scary.

 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Bert Perry wrote:

Should have kept part of the Berlin Wall....as a kind of memory of what socialism actually results in, much like the Israelis often offer to send Holocaust deniers to Auschwitz to learn a bit.

I went to Berlin in 1990, not quite a year after the wall fell.  It was still about 3-feet high in places, and I borrowed a hammer and hacked off a couple pieces for myself.  I still have one on my desk at work, and one in my curio cabinet next to the fireplace.  Interestingly, I occasionally get asked about them by folks over 30.  As far as I can remember, 20's and younger have never once asked.  I taught my kids about the wall and the cold war, but I suspect many of their generation know nothing about it at all, because if I ever bring it up, I seem to get mostly blank looks.  It's kind of scary how quickly that has been forgotten, and as you said, that lack of knowledge is probably part of the reason some of them think socialism is such a "great" thing.

Dave Barnhart

Bert Perry's picture

....is when I went past Checkpoint Charlie.  I still tell the stories of my visit to East Berlin--the Trabis, the chocolate that was to Hershey what Hershey is to Lindt, the aluminium coins I was forced to buy with Deutschmarks....to whoever will listen.  I've also had the opportunity to work with a lot of Russian Jews who emigrated during the 1980s....some of the best engineers I've ever known, and of course their stories make mine pale in comparison.  

And yes, you've got a lack of knowledge, but it strikes me (then as now) that something that's even bigger is almost a willful suspension of belief--people seem to be able to read about the death counts, or read Solzhenitsyn, but without cluing in to the concept "if we try what Lenin and Stalin tried before, the Holodomor or Gulags could happen again."  Sadly, I see it sometimes in my own kids on other issues--foreseeable consequences do not seem to register with them in any number of areas.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

see NO CONNECTION between government freebies and socialism. They want a pretty high ceiling of safety and protection and "fairness". That, to them, is not anything like what happened in the Cold War days. That to them is "boomer nonsense."

Bert Perry's picture

Mark, I think there's something more going on, and I'm not quite sure whether it's something new or not.  I certainly remember a LOT of Democrats back in the 1980s claiming that Communism wasn't that bad, so it's clear that Solzhenitsyn and Valladares hadn't really gotten through to them, nor were they paying attention at what Communism entailed.

But that noted, I'm noticing that, even in the church, people are starting to argue some of the most obvious points.  Some examples: I've had to actually argue points like "that boating accident would not have occurred in that way if they'd been wearing life vests", "when you see shiny roads in Minnesota in February, it's time to slow down", and "you will not get a good feel for campus if you're only there for a six hour pep rally."  So there seems to be almost a willful disconnect with reality in a lot of areas these days.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.