Socialism Violates the Ten Commandments
A Millennial explains why she could never be a socialist.
The Christian left claims that socialism is compatible with the Bible. In fact, leftist Christians often claim the moral high ground by asserting that socialism is more Christian than our American political system and market economy.
“You know, God himself would be a socialist,” they often say. So if we want to be good Christians, we should embrace socialism too. Right?
What is ‘Socialism’ Exactly?
To start off, let’s define what socialism actually is.
According to Merriam-Webster, socialism is defined as, “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”
So essentially, there is no private property, and the government, not the people, owns or controls the economy.
Does the Bible Have Anything to Say About These Socialist Values?
How does socialism hold up to the Ten Commandments, the basis of our Judeo-Christian faith? That should be our first test.
If a Christian is going to advocate for a political and economic system in the name of Christianity, it should at least align with the Ten Commandments. It is, after all, God’s most basic rules for life on earth for believers.
Socialism Violates the First Commandment
The very first commandment states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
Right there, socialism violates the very first commandment.
Socialism is essentially atheistic. After all, Karl Marx did say, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”
In a socialist system, the worship of God is replaced with the worship of government. The state basically becomes God. We look to the state to give us our rights, our freedoms, our livelihood, our wages, our jobs, our meals, our education, and our healthcare — that is, if there’s any of it to go around once the government takes over! There is no appealing to a higher authority because the state is the final authority.
But as Christians, we don’t serve the government, we serve God. God is our Heavenly Father and our ultimate authority. Our inalienable rights come from him and the state should conform to His natural law.
Is it any wonder then that socialist and communist countries have tended to be atheistic? In countries like the Soviet Union, North Korea, Cambodia and China, religion has been discouraged and heavily persecuted under socialist rule. Instead of worshiping the one and only God, it is the leaders of these oppressive regimes that are revered as saviors and gods in their respective countries.
Socialism Violates the Eighth Commandment
The eighth commandment says, “Thou shalt not steal.”
But what is the basis of a socialist government? Stealing! Theft! Or as, Frédéric Bastiat, the 19th century French economist, called it, “legal plunder.”
When one thinks about the idea of “plunder,” one may conjure up images of pirates plundering ships, and victors of war plundering the defeated. But socialism is basically plunder that’s been made legal.
Government should protect our right to the fruits of our labor, not take it from us.
Now I’m not saying that those who get things from the government are guilty of it. No, the state itself has taken on the role of the thief. It takes the property of those who earned it and gives it to those who didn’t. It legalizes and legitimizes theft, and anyone who opposes this “legal plunder” through taxation or outright confiscation of private property is an enemy of the socialist state.
However, God tells us to not steal! That presupposes and affirms the right of private property. Government should protect our right to the fruits of our labor, not take it from us.
Socialism Violates the Tenth Commandment
The tenth commandment says, “Thou shalt not covet.”
That means no, we should not feel it is our right to have other people’s stuff.
But socialists even tell us to feel good about our covetousness. Socialism encourages jealousy, envy, and strife between the rich and poor. It paints those that have more than us as the bad guys, that somehow, they owe us something.
It may be easier to think we are the victims if we don’t have what other people have. But socialists are exploiting and elevating our natural, though sinful, desire to covet. But God has expressly told us not to do that.
Is Socialism Compatible With the Bible?
So how can socialism be compatible with the Bible when it violates three of God’s most basic commandments? It can’t.
And we know that God doesn’t contradict himself in his word. After all, Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
Upon even the most rudimentary analysis of socialism, we can safely conclude that the Bible does not support a socialist political or economic system.
So as a Christian millennial, I cannot support or embrace socialism.