We have now discussed how violence is inherent to Socialism, and we have discussed how this violence is thus also inherent in our most socialistic institution, public schooling. We have also seen how this is connected to a larger culture of violence perpetuated through the State, or civil government. We need to drink in these truths more deeply and meditate upon them.
Christians and conservatives rightly decry some things that Scripture calls an “abomination.” Nothing leaps to mind in this context more readily that sodomy and homosexual marriage. Perhaps nowhere in American life has the word “abomination” been used more frequently, with the possible exception of abortion.
But Scripture applies the same word “abomination” to a great many things. Some are specific. Of these, some are familiar, like sexual deviancy. Others are less familiar, like unjust weights and measures (Prov. 11:1—think Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking). These less familiar ones are nevertheless every bit as much an abomination, and we are not even aware of them, or we wink at them.
Then Scripture applies it to violence: “Do not envy a man of violence, and do not choose any of his ways, for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence” (Prov. 3:31).
Here Scripture warns us against the man who relies on violence and crookedness to get his way. It tells us not to envy this guy (we usually do). It tells us this person is an “abomination”—same word it uses for sexual deviancies, etc. Same word. We ought therefore to abhor the crookedness and violence inherent in the system every bit as much as we do the sodomite parades and feminazis. But we usually do not.
It warns us not to choose any of his ways—the ways of fear, intimidation, and threats of the barrel of a gun, i.e. violence. But we do choose them.
Scripture goes on to tell us that such is the way of a centralized bureaucracy:
If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them (Eccl. 5:8).
Such officials do not care for those below them, or for the law of God. They care about submitting to the will of the agents above them. They care about doing their duty and collecting their pay. They will enforce unjust laws because they serve the system and themselves rather than God and justice. They will work very hard to convince us that it is for our good, the common good, for the children, for public safety, healthcare, care, compassionate conservatism, etc. But it is violence imposed by compromised people.
This is precisely the thinking Christ demands we break:
And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:25–27).
It’s all too easy to see the authority of the barrel of a gun in people whose politics we overtly despise (and rightly so). Marx’s partner in crime, Friedrich Engels, was quite open about it:
A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets, and cannon—authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionaries.1
Mao was even more overt:
Every Communist must grasp the truth, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party. Yet, having guns, we can create Party organizations. . . . We can also create cadres, create schools, create culture, create mass movements. . . .
All things grow out of the barrel of a gun. According to the Marxist theory of the state, the army is the chief component of state power. Whoever wants to seize and retain state power must have a strong army. . . .
Again, it’s easy to see when we’re Christians and conservatives scoffing at these rabid, murderous Marxists. But it’s easy to see only because they were more honest about their socialism than we are about ours. Imagine that.
Socialism, redistribution, is obtained and maintained through the barrel of a gun. This applies to all forms of it, including our precious public schools (and no, your schools are not different), corporate welfare, subsidies, advantages, investments, etc.
This is the violence inherent in the systems of socialism. We justify violence in the name of the “common good” or some beneficent law. If redistribution of property lies at the heart of the cause, violence is there. What results from this, eventually, is a whole culture of violence. People imbibe coercion and force as normalities rather than extreme defensive exceptions. Our whole society becomes based on the way of Cain rather than Christ.
Again, the biblical alternative is liberty. But the first step in getting there is to repent of the violence we have allowed ourselves to accept as normal, and in which we are thus complicit. That mental and spiritual break is tough. Ans we need to meditate hard upon not envying or copying the man of violence.
- Frederick Engels, “On Authority,” Basic Writings on Philosophy: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, ed. by Lewis S. Feuer (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1959), 485. [↩]