Nobody knows what socialism is anymore

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Darrell Post's picture

It seems to work on the chalkboards of university professors. It doesn't work anywhere else.

Bert Perry's picture

Famously noted that there are some ideas so dumb, they could only thrive on the campii of prestigious universities.  Sad to say, it appears that some of those ideas are metastasizing to the political world. 

But really, what isn't to like about a political ideology that killed over a hundred million people in the 20th century alone?  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry Nelson's picture

At the University of Minnesota, circa 1986 (?), I took Political Geography (think: "Geopolitics") as an upper-level elective.  I really enjoyed the class, and I believe I got a lot out of it.

Many years later I found out that the professor who taught it was a literal "card-carrying" socialist.  To his credit, I can't say that his personal ideology skewed his teaching in that class (it didn't strike me as such then, and it still doesn't to this day).

Larry Nelson's picture

"Having been a Christian who used to read and admire Jim Wallis and who once mistakenly believed that the Bible teaches socialism, I am grateful for Peter Heck's articles. It's necessary to push back on the erroneous belief that socialism is taught in the Bible. Sadly, many Christians conflate the commands of Jesus that we are to care for the poor with the failed economic theory named socialism.

A friend recently asked me if I still believed the Bible teaches socialism. Immediately, and without equivocation, I responded, "No."

Using my own past words and arguments to push back, he mentioned Acts 4:32-37, the passage that relates how the early Church "had everything in common" and that "there was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands and houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet and it was distributed to each as any had need."

Before he could finish, I interrupted, "They weren't compelled by the government, but gave willingly." 

John E.'s picture

I didn't pay attention to your subject heading before reading your comment. As I read, I thought, "Man, Larry and I have a lot in common."

As I kept reading, I further thought, "Wow, this is uncanny. We've had almost identical experiences."

Getting to the end of your comment, I noticed the link to the PJ Media article and clicked on it wondering which of my fellow writers had written it.

It was only after I saw my name at the top of the article that I realized I had been reading my own words.  


Bert Perry's picture

One of the questions I've got regarding the communal giving in Acts is whether people in the early church had become aware that the persecution (e.g. Peter and John in prison) they were experiencing was going to result in them being expelled from Jerusalem to fulfill Matthew 28, and perhaps they had even heard a prophecy that this would happen.  (and that would make Ananias and Sapphira guilty of not just lying, but apostasy, no?)  In other words, those in the church were aware that it was "use it or lose it"?

A bit of speculation, but given that you don't see communal ownership either before or after, you've got to wonder what was different at that time, and whether our situations are similar.  And as John notes, it was all voluntary, not forced by government.

Back to the topic, the world is littered with the ruins of collective societies.  The only one I can think of that succeeded to the modern day is the Hutterites.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.