|Cool words! So when do we get our jackboots?|
It's the principle of collectivism behind Marxist movements that is problematic. Collectivism doesn't work unless everybody is on board. A socialist state must force everyone to be socialists or the system won't work. Eventually, a socialist society must take 80 to 90% of the income of its citizens in order to redistribute it according to the whims of the commissars who run the state.
Christianity is always being accused of forcing people to be Christians. Save for the political Christianity of the medieval Roman Church and fanatical groups like the Puritans and some cult groups, Christians by and large force no one to participate. You can't say Christians force you to do anything until you see people being herded into churches on Sunday by stormtroopers. That's forcing people to serve God. We don't do that. Admittedly we're not quiet about thinking everyone should serve God, but we're quite capabable of serving God all on our own without anyone else's participation. Now your mother may have made you go to Sunday School, but your Mom is not the church and she also made you brush your teeth. You were a kid then and had no rights. Get over it.
But no socialist state can exist, where anyone is permitted to opt out because they don't like socialism. It doesn't work. It's like unions. They require everyone in the place to be a union member in order for the union to have the power it needs. Collective bargaining doesn't work without everyone in the collective. Serving the state is not an either/or proposition in collectivist states.
How intrusive the state is, varies according to how long the socialist system has been in place and whether the state has run out of wealth to redistribute yet. It's possible that the vaunted "European-style" socialism isn't overly intrusive yet, but still. Even European-style socialist states wouldn't let you get away with not paying your taxes, even if you think 90% is a bit high. Even in our ostensibly capitalist country, the government requires a certain level of forced participation. That's been so since the invention of the IRS at the beginning of the 20th century. We can't drop out of the collective anymore either. It's not the best situation, but it leaves us with a helluva lot more freedom than your average socialist state does.
Only in the Christian Church and certain Eastern religions can you choose not to show up on Sunday or (Saturday in my case) or not put your tithe in the offering plate and not have to fear being arrested. You can even quit altogether and nothing bad will happen to you other than your mother and her friends might start praying for you on a regular basis. If you're Muslim and drop out, you can be killed for it.
Christians get a lot of crap from progressives that we don't deserve. The Christian church is the world's number one supporter of freedom of choice. You don't get to be one of us unless you choose to be. That doesn't mean some jackass with a dog collar won't try to play power games, but then, for all his efforts to mind control you, all you have to do is get up and walk out of the church. That's what a whole lot of people did just with David Koresh's little group when things got dicey. Even that megalomaniac wasn't able to hold back anyone that really wanted to leave except for the children.
And by the way, I belonged to the church that kicked David Koresh's fuzzy butt to the curb when he tried that "I am Jesus, obey me!" malarkey in our church. My son's the head elder and my daughter runs the youth program there. We don't tolerate people who try to insert themselves between us and God. We see them as evil and Satanic...pretty much what we think about anyone who would try to control anyone else through physical force to do that which is agains his or her conscience.
And progressives can say we don't have to believe in socialism, right up until this country goes socialist. Then, whether you believe in it or not, you have to act as though you do because like I said, the socialist state is not something you can opt out of without fleeing the country and then, where in hell would you go? We're probably going to be the last even remotely free country to fall.
That's why we on the conservative side of the bench get so riled up about this stuff.
I'm not a libertarian. I think they have just the same kinds of problems because man is corrupt. The one non-socialist state that has risen to power is the United States and possibly Canada and Australia, although they are in the process of drifting down the socialist trail along with Great Britain. The great problem with both libertarianism and socialism is that both depend upon man being innately good. Sadly, he is innately bad. It takes an incredible lot of exercising your free will to change that.
I'm just saying that a republican form of capitalist-based democracy has proven to be the most successful at corralling man's corruption. It's not always been a perfect solution, but I don't believe anything done by human beings can reach a perfect state where everyone is happy and good. The only way to fix the problem to my way of thinking is for the world to wind down to the point where we blow ourselves to bits, turn the surface of the Earth to a puddle of molten glass and Jesus comes to remove the people who have opted to become good people. He can always let the Earth rest a bit and bring us all back later to rebuild.
Free will is a dangerous thing. That's why God made the sacrifice that we demanded to give us a way to reach that perfect world we all dream of. The devil's whole original lie was that we wouldn't die and we'd be like gods. Collectivism tries very hard to make that lie come true. Because man has chosen to make himself the center of his or her universe, (we call it sin), the whole thing is going to work itself all the way out to a very sticky end. God warned us that sin would inevitably lead to death. For the first time in history, man has the power of universal death at his fingertips; the power to destroy himself completely. Looks like God knew something about sin after all.
We do live in interesting times. I personally believe that Jesus is gassing up the bus to come get us before it all hits the fan! Hope He gets here soon. Things are getting ugly out there.
(c) 2015 by Tom King