Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Socialism and Christian faith: the difference

Norman Horn offers another well-written critique of the oft-repeated allegation that somehow socialism is the appropriate expression of Biblical principles:
The quintessence of modern Socialism is government ownership of productive property and the centralized management and direction of economic life. Socialists are divided into parties, sects and hostile factions, but beneath the clash of labels they all advocate the planning of economic affairs by political authority — control over production and exchange being the key to leverage over other sectors of life and the means of achieving national goals.
Such practices as voluntarily pooling goods, sharing the common tasks of a community, working with the hands, reviving interest in folk arts, do not constitute Socialism. And it goes without saying that concern for justice is not limited to socialists; the noblest work in behalf of slaves, prisoners, the sick, the handicapped, children, and animals has been done by non-Socialists. When it comes to improving man’s lot on earth, the influence of Adam Smith probably did more to upgrade the poor than any other single factor, and the major thrust of Classical Liberalism maximized civil, intellectual, and religious liberty for all men by limiting government to the tasks of policing.
As with most of the posts on his site, it's worth reading the whole thing.

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