Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Why I'm Not a Socialist

Again, neither am I, for much the same reasons as Mr Holdsworth

If you were to look around at the world in which Karl Marx, the founder of Marxist Socialism, lived in, it would be easy to detect the disparity that he railed against. In the case of Europe, it was also still a very Christian continent which meant that the teachings of Jesus about caring for the least and the last were well known among people at every level of society. So the fact that so many went without the material well-being that they needed was an easy sore spot to level accusations by would-be revolutionaries. Marx called for a simple and almost obvious solution. He sees the problem as a mathematical one. The reason some people have their basic needs met and some don’t isn’t because there isn’t enough wealth or resources to go around. It’s because some have far more than they need. And that’s a true. So for Marx and his supporters, the solution is simple. All we need to do is balance the equation. The problem is, the reason some have too much and some have too little isn’t because we’re bad at math and it isn’t because our political systems are inept, even if they are. The problem that Marx completely overlooks is the hearts of men which are easily corrupted as Galadriel recites in the opening of the Fellowship of the Ring. Wealth, power, and honor are among our greatest temptations and when they come into our grasp, we are confronted with a profoundly moral choice to either keep it all for ourselves (which is the wrong one) or to do what we can to make sure it is distributed to all who need it and are willing to collaborate in it’s generation and cultivation (the right one). But Marx couldn’t address these kinds of moral questions because they belonged to the world of metaphysics and religion. Marx wanted a purely materialistic and atheistic solution to what he saw as a merely material problem. But questions of morality cannot be explained through the physical sciences or observation of the material facts. The physical sciences tell us what always happens and then interprets from those observations certain laws. Morality is the definition of what ought to happen, whether or not it does. To address moral difficulties, you need to go beyond the material facts into the realm of the transcendentals like truth and goodness which brings you to the fringes of religion and with it, a concessions that reality describes far more than just the material facts. So, the mathematical question for Marx and his advocates has always been the same. It’s a mere material and mathematical redistribution of wealth. Create a political and economic system that confiscates all wealth generated and redistribute it according to the quantities of x and y. Then nobody will ever go hungry or live in poverty again. But in every attempt to implement these good intentions, that has not been the case. What we have seen instead has been starvation, oppression, fanaticism, mass murder and a complete disregard for the dignity and rights of individual citizens. So why is that? Well, I would say it’s obviously due to the inherent blind spot Marx and therefore socialism has always had for the frailty of our resolve to do the right thing. We are easily tempted to greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, and pride. We crave wealth, honor, and power for ourselves. As an atheist, Marx’s anthropology rejected religious notions of humanity’s fallen nature. Again, this was merely a mathematical problem to be resolved systematically, but the glitch in every system is going to be humanity’s moral defects. In order to redistribute wealth, you have to commission and invest a minority of people to do the work of balancing the equation. That minority will have access to all the wealth, and therefore power, and then be entrusted to redistribute it. Instead, what happens, every time this has been tried, is that this minority keeps an inordinate amount of it for themselves and their friends and then uses the very system that was supposed to exist to guarantee justice for all as a tool to protect their own interests against the masses. St. Thomas More, who was a statesman and one of the many victims of Henry the VIII coined the term utopia which literally means nowhere land. He recognized that there will never be a paradise on earth because a necessary ingredient in human society is our moral infirmity. Atheist revolutionaries of the modern age rejected all aspects of the preceding religious ideas and along with it the doctrine of the fall. After discarding them, they went on to try to implement a system that would either prove they were right or that previous Christian generations were right. If you asked me, the failed experiments of 20th and 21st century communism confirm that it was the Christians who were right.

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