Contemporary Trends, Christianity, Culture, Philosophy, Politics

On the fundamental problem of socialist thinking

Socialism has a problem:

Bernie Sanders

What? Sanders? He’s a nice guy. What problem? It’s a totalitarianism problem.

Over at CapX (an obviously biased website), this observation was made:

Obviously, not everyone feels that dictatorship and mass murder are too high a price to pay for equality. Eric Hobsbawm, the British Marxist historian, for example, was once asked whether, if Communism had achieved its aims, but at the cost of, say, 15 to 20 million people – as opposed to the 100 million it actually killed in Russia and China – would he have supported it? His answer was a single word: Yes. Even today, many people, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau among them, fawn over Cuban dictatorship, because of its delivery of supposedly free health and education to the masses.

It is true that left-wing authoritarianism is a major problem on the level of social harm caused. This can be seen in the current state of eastern European countries and the association of communist ideology and authoritarianism despite the negative results of that worldview within living memory:

The aim of this article was twofold. First we aimed to contribute to the ongoing discussion on left-wing authoritarianism. Using representative samples the relationship between authoritarianism and political preferences was examined in 13 ex-communist Eastern European countries. Employing six different indicators of left-wing/communist political orientations made clear that, despite cross-national differences, left-wing  authoritarianism is definitely not a myth in Eastern Europe. Secondly, it was aimed to survey whether authoritarian individuals in Eastern European countries might be a possible threat to transition to democratic political systems. It was demonstrated that in general the Eastern European population seems to hold a positive opinion on democracy. It becomes also clear however that the authoritarian persons in the ex-communist countries do not hold a positive perspective on the democratic political system (305).

My thought is that western liberalism (Classical Liberalism) in its left and right wing instantiations leads to two negative results in the absence of Christian theology and Christian symbolic representations in the mind:

  1. Rejecting the image of God in man leads people to not mind the death of individual human beings, particularly if those human beings do not agree with them.
  2. Rejecting the existence of God while still believing in the logical consequences of belief in being made in God’s image leads to totalitarianism(this Charlton article is really good). Why? Because one still thinks of oneself as having all the trappings of being in God’s image: innate goodness, rationality, authority over the earth, the capacity for virtue, free will, etc. But on the other hand there is no actual God (who functions psychologically as a hyper pinnacle in the human dominance hierarchy) to judge you, so your positions, moral attitudes, etc all take the role of God in the mind. So your belief system becomes total and therefore must be imposed.

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