Discussion Topic: Socialism

Dave Warn suggested we dedicate this next discussion to specifically review socialism (since most of our discussion last time focused on capitalism).

Discussion Questions:

  1. How has socialism become so popular in the USA again? With the Democratic Party turning hard to the left (and the emergence of Bernie Sanders as a young person’s populist). Especially with the next generation, under the kindler friendlier guise of “Democratic Socialism”?
  2. So, what is Democratic Socialism, how does it differ from historical socialism, communism, and marxism?
  3. Is there “socialism” in the bible? We examine “they held all things in common” in the early church and the book of Acts (Acts 2:44 & 4:32).
  4. Why is secular humanism (even atheism) so closely tied with socialism? And why has the Democratic party moving away from God (yet trying to retain some mentioning of God in the general elections). Witness the democratic conventions past several cycles.

Since we used Milton Friedman as somewhat of a foil as a “villain” in our discussion of capitalism, let’s now turn to him as a foil discussing socialism as a “sage”. As I mentioned last time, while I disagree with Friedman’s puritan Adam Smith philosophy, I I actually think Friedman was a brilliant mind (and debater) who had some great points especially about freedom. Here is one of them:

A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.

Milton Friedman

Finally, how do we deal with socialism’s valid criticisms of the current capitalistic system? The wealthiest 1% vs. the 99%? The greed and corruption? The crony capitalism? The abuse of the poor?

If these are valid issues (sin in God’s sight), do we need to repent and course correct in the USA / Western Church?

And how does all this relate to God’s people being commanded to “come out of Babylon” in Revelation 18:4?