Liberalism, Socialism and Communism

Liberalism, Socialism and Communism

Hello Friends!

One of Freedomthirst’s readers posted a comment on the post “The Day Socialism Comes to America” that I decided to respond to with a full post instead of just a reply.

Casper said:

To be a conservative, you must believe that every person who works for government is lazy, foolish, shiftless and corrupt, and that the result of any efforts these people make will be a tragedy and a farce.

My Response:

Hello Casper!

I don’t believe every person working for the government fits your description and yet some have called me a conservative. 🙂

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” — John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton

“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it” — William Pitt the Younger

I want to research the word “liberalism.” I don’t consider the word an insult or a “name”, but a description of a way of thinking. My observation is that liberalism almost always equals secular humanism. Some who label themselves “liberal” have embraced a secular humanist world view. Others simply call themselves liberal because they prefer some of the list of beliefs that liberalism espouses.

As a general rule, it appears to me that “liberals” and “secular humanists” believe in pursuing some degree of a Socialist Economy.

I recently re-read the Communist Manifesto. The Manifesto mentions a number of goals such as, for example, “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax” that seem to me to be very similar to liberal beliefs.

These observations are what led me to be quite interested in Joseph Farah’s article!

It is interesting to me that you responded the way you did. I think one of the essential viewpoints of Conservative belief is that power entrusted to government tends to corrupt, yet freedom entrusted to individuals tends to reproduce more and more freedom.

As always, thanks for your participation!

🙂

ThirstyJon

4 thoughts on “Liberalism, Socialism and Communism

  1. Hi Jon,

    I’ll do a brief rebuttal – since your posting rules don’t allow me to say much.

    Liberalism – Socialism – Communism. A listing of political philosophies starting slightly left of center and progressing further to the left – interesting. Let’s continue the continuum a little – (I’ll reverse them so they’ll run left to right literally and figuratively).

    Communism – Socialism – Liberalism – Centrism- Conservatism – Laissez-faire – Austrian Libertarianism – Anarchy

    I will agree with you that if you continue leftward beyond Liberalism you’ll eventually get to Socialism and Communism – neither of which has proven to be a workable system of government. Will you agree with me that if we continue to the right beyond your Conservatism we’ll get to Laissez-faire (little kids working 18 hour shifts) and eventually to the complete “Freedom” of Anarchy (Seen a Road Warrior movie lately?)?

    So really Liberalism and Conservatism are not so far apart – and it is no more correct for you to call me Lenin than it is for me to call you Mussolini. I will disagree with your writer (who is famously far-right and far more politically radical than I’ll ever be BTW). Very few of we Liberals wish for full Socialism. We would like to see changes – yes, a little closer to the Finnish model maybe, but full East German Socialism doesn’t work and everyone knows it.

    I do not have room to rebut specifically the charges of creeping socialism, or to argue that a little collective effort is not necessarily a bad thing. I will just remind you that under our current free market health care “system” we pay more money for less care and worse care than the rest of the industrialized world.

    My point is that the extreme of the left and the extreme of the right can’t work – the right answer is in the middle (as it always is). We’re just arguing over fine points. For example – you fear the unrestricted power of government bureaucrats. Well I fear the unrestricted power of corporate CEOs (and I’ll note that when 8 year old girls were tied to industrial machines to keep them from running away it was not a civil servant handling the rope). There’s a compromise somewhere that will leave both of us just a little unhappy – and that’ll be the best choice for society as a whole.

    ~~~~~~ Tildes 🙂

    How is your note about “Secular Humanists” related to your larger topic? Yes – many Liberals are also Secular Humanists (as I am personally BTW), many are also Bill O’Reilly’s hated “Secular Progressives” â„¢. Many are also Christians (as I am personally BTW). Secularism and Humanism are philosophies that many people of good conscience can get value from. So what’s your point?

  2. Hello Casper!

    Thanks for your comments, and sorry about the space restrictions. I am working on solutions (slowly).

    I understand the scale theory you are presenting (Left to Right) but I am not convinced it is accurate to truth. I do believe that a large number of Americans are coming to their conclusions within the context of a worldview that sees government policies along such a scale!

    I brought up Secular Humanism because I see liberal ideas about every area of society flowing out of that worldview. A brief viewing of two main Secular Humanist website reveals that this world view is looking for solutions that do not include God or the Supernatural! (americanhumanist.org & secularhumanism.org)

    I am looking to discover a Biblical Christian Worldview with which to evaluate and ultimately conform my beliefs.

    Another way of looking at it is this: A Biblical Christian Worldview would see the Left to Right Scale through completely different colored glasses than a Secular Humanist Worldview would!

    I believe that a Biblical Christian Worldview of government will lead to Freedom for those who are Free Internally and Restraint for those (which is most of us at one time or another) who are not!

    The Bible is filled with talk about justice for the poor, the oppressed, orphans, widows and aliens. The Socialism that flows out of a Secular Humanists worldview assumes that Equal Distribution of Wealth is a justice issue.

    I don’t see Equal Distribution of Wealth as important in a Biblical Christian Worldview. The Bible seems to present wealth as the fruit of labor, integrity, and God’s blessing. Equality in amount of wealth is not the goal.

    The primary solution to poverty, then, is missional. It involves kindness, generosity, advocating justice if injustice is causing the poverty, and teaching and training (with humility).

    So a simple scale of Left to Right doesn’t really work when actually even that will have entirely different meanings when people are wearing such different colored glasses!

    🙂

    ThirstyJon

  3. Jon – please expand and clarify this:

    ” I believe that a Biblical Christian Worldview of government will lead to Freedom for those who are Free Internally and Restraint for those (which is most of us at one time or another) who are not!””.

    Please explain – in plain english – just what it is you would like to see. What does this mean exactly? Are you calling for a Theocracy?

    Mind you – I’m not talking about the world after the second coming. When Jesus shows up in Maryland, walks across the Potomac, turns the reflecting pool into wine, feeds half the eastern seaboard out of a child’s “Elmo” lunchbox, and tells George Bush to get out of his chair – then he will be President and King and Czar, no quarrels. I’m talking about in the mean time…

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    BTW – “equal distribution of wealth” is not part of the Liberal point of view – or part of the humanist point of view. It is a part of the Communist worldview that you’re expecting to see in us when you look through your Rove-colored glasses, but it’s just not there in modern Liberalism/Progressivism. We do believe that children should not starve to death in a world where “Pet Psychiatrist” is a valid career choice.

    Question Jon, and I really want to know. If you’re short for time, please ignore the rest of my post and just answer this question. Some people are well off – and others are not. Why? What determines who shall have plenty and who shall do without?

  4. Hi Casper!

    Part A) I once used the word Theocracy and a friend thought I was referring to an Islamic style Theocracy where the religious leaders are also the political leaders. I am not calling for the Church Institution to run the state.

    In fact, ANY “form” of government could make choices that tend to free up those who do right and restrain those who would harm their neighbor. When Jesus referred to the government not bearing the sword in vain but rewarding good and punishing evil His people were under the rule of a foreign power!

    I am advancing a worldview about government. The more people see government this way, eventually the actual form of government will morph into different things. Americans organized themselves a certain way as a result of their own internal freedom. That is the goal. A greater and greater percentage of the population becoming free on the inside (spiritually, emotionally, and in every way) and that freedom flowing out into the form of things.

    Part B) See this post: https://freedomthirst.com/2008/02/28/government-or-individual/

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