(M & M Mondays are back again, thanks to friends like Keith who adamantly demanded for them to be brought back. Sorry Jesse, you will have to put up with more of my socialist tinkering…so here we go with another Marxian installment!)
When the land is thirsty, what is better a light drizzle, a steady down-pour or a massive flood from a monstrous monsoon?
When it comes to economic equity, what is better “trickle-down”, “personal flourishing and mutual generosity”, or a “revolution of the proletariat”?
The Marxist will choose the monsoon every time: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." They believe that the only way to bring the poor up to rich, the rich and their riches must be brought down to the poor - - and boy do they bring them down, just like a monsoon. In an ideal world, Marx and his followers want fairness and equity; but in a real world, his theories fall hard on a nation like a ravaging flood.
In the early 1900’s when Russia was experiencing the full flowering of Marx’ principles, the German thinker and economist Walter Rathenau saw firsthand the devastation of the ideological monsoon. In his Kritik der dreifachen Revolution (Critique of the triple revolution) he noted that:
“We cannot use Russia's methods, as they only and at best prove that the economy of an agrarian nation can be leveled to the ground; Russia's thoughts are not our thoughts. They assume that a single good, the destruction of the capitalist class, weighs more than all other goods, and that poverty, dictatorship, terror and the fall of civilization must be accepted to secure this one good.
‘Ten million people must die to free ten million people from the bourgeoisie’ is regarded as a harsh but necessary consequence. The Russian idea is compulsory happiness, in the same sense and with the same logic as the compulsory introduction of Christianity and the Inquisition.”
On a practical level, the Marxist believes that a single good, “bringing the rich and poor on an equal playing field,” is worth the destruction that naturally comes with it. Take a simple lesson I learned while visiting a couple kindergartens in Russia. All toys for the boys and girls were public property. Even the little dolly in the corner was not individually owned, but she was there for everyone to enjoy. Question: how well do you think the poor little dolly was treated? Do you think she was treated better than if she was individually owned by a single caring little girl? I think not. Actually, that little dolly became an item of tug-o-war, a pugilist stick to beat boys with, and a mop to wipe off spilled apple juice on the floor.
Poor little dolly, owned by everyone, loved by no one.
As it is with the resources of a country: When they are owned by everyone, they are loved by no one. Marxism is devoted to equality, and in this pursuit the gears of the Marxist machince doesn't mind destroying the value of property, natural resources, and even human life in order to get it. Have you ever read about how many people Stalin liquidated to realize his collective farming dreams? Estimates range from 4 million to 10 million in the Ukraine alone. (See this article for more information: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/ukra.html)
But the Marxist will counter: “So what do you want, Reagan’s silly ‘Trickle Down Economics’ that only benefit the rich while barely offering any help to the poor?" Economist Thomas Sowell has made the case that no economist has ever advocated a "trickle-down" theory of economics, which is rather a misnomer attributed to certain economic ideas by political critics who either willfully distort or misunderstand the actual stated goals of their political opponents. His praise of free-market capitalism is actually designed so that “the actual path of money in a private enterprise economy is quite the opposite of that claimed by people who refer to the trickle-down theory…money invested in new business ventures is first paid out to employees, suppliers, and contractors. Only some time later, if the business is profitable, does money return to the business owners—but in the absence of a profit motive, which is reduced in the aggregate by a raise in marginal tax rates in the upper tiers, this activity does not occur.”
The Biblical worldview sees each individual human being as an autonomous agent who is personally responsible to God. If a man wants to flourish, God allows him to flourish. And in his flourishing God wants and expects for that man to share his blessings. Like a well regulated rain shower, mankind under the care of a good God, learns to participate in fair economic exchange that helps bless everyone through mutual generosity. Yes, this too is an ideal, but when fair and democratic laws are enforced (laws that are debated on and are brought about by compromise and proper legislative processes) this goal doesn't bring with it a scorched earth policy like Marxism (Progressive Liberalism) does.
Human selfishness will always throw a wrench on human theories; but the operative question is to ask which theory has the highest potential for devastation when selfishness does rule?
In a Marxist world, since God is kicked out of any decision making, the result is that the rule of broken institutions of men must take over. Corrupt hearts become the brokers of societal blessing. And this is usually done through bureaucratic red tape, interfering with free trade, imposing punitive tariffs, bribery, kickbacks and other varied forms of corruption. The worst part is that forced equality breeds state dependency and has tremendous dehumanizing effects.
One example of this is the public transportation system. If you have never taken a Russian bus, you have never experienced the daily dehumanization that your average Russian must endure. Russian buses are rolling sardine cans where people are stuffed in like a bunch of smelly fish. Since no one pays for the bus (everything is free, and the truth is no one really has enough money to buy their own car), no one really cares about how well things are treated around them…including buses, subways, and most especially, people.
The naive Americans who currently are asking for economic equality don’t realize what they are asking for: broken baby dolls, rolling sardine cans, and people who are less than human.
Think people, think!