Free education. Equality. Helping the poor. Doesn’t get much better than that, right? Isn’t that is what socialism is all about after all?
In today’s divisive political landscape, Bernie’s openly honest remarks can sure feel like a breath of fresh air, especially to someone who only sees a vague resemblance of socialism in various modern “socialistic” Scandinavian countries today and is keenly aware the disparities that exist in our American society.
There’s greater prosperity, more rights, and more freedoms in these countries compared to the United States, right?
Well, not quite. There’s a catch.
Let’s check the facts. Let’s get serious about socialism for a second.
As Christians, Bernie’s open call to help the poor and provide equality for the less fortunate can sure be a welcome reprieve from the toxic political environment and the social and economic disparity and inequality in our today’s society.
But as Christians, we also need to be properly educated on these issues.
Does socialism really help the poor?
Proponents will say yes, and point to modern Scandinavian countries as the example for the United States to follow.
But none of them will talk about the truly socialist countries in South America, or the Eastern European countries that were under Soviet rule.
Bernie supporters are quick to point out that Sanders considers himself a “Democratic Socialist” rather than a “full fledged” socialist.
But is it not true that Bernie’s ideas largely rest on the foundation of socialist thought?
If we are to support his views that rely so heavily on socialism, shouldn’t we know what socialism is to begin with?
For college students like us today, it is sometimes difficult to truly grapple with the impact of communism and socialism since we haven’t witnessed the disparities and atrocities that many of our parents did during the Cold War.
Furthermore, our education on these issues in our modern public education system is truly alarming. If students have learned very little in their school about socialism or communism, and haven’t been fully exposed to the real impact that socialism and communism precipitates, can you really blame them?
Well, to an extent.
Don’t support a candidate or leader that promises these things until you truly develop a meaningful understanding of what socialism is.
Those who ascribe to socialist thought may have honest intentions of helping the poor and less fortunate, which indeed is a Biblically-sound principle.
However, to truly help the poor in an effective manner by lifting them out of poverty, Christians ought to support a free-market enterprise system as this promotes real opportunity through productivity.
Furthermore, “Christians should be particularly skeptical of socialism as history clearly shows that socialist governments often emphasized atheism and “replaced faith and community with government.”
“Socialism is not only politically and economically restrictive, but also “hurts the human spirit because it takes the drive out of people and makes them dependent, thereby undermining their self-worth and self-efficacy,” as former President Ronald Reagan once stated.
It’s interesting that in multiple studies, millennials “don’t like the true definition of socialism–the idea of government running businesses” yet support a candidate like Bernie Sanders.
Maybe we before we start voting for a socialist candidate, we need better education on what socialism actually is.