Copyright 2016 Clifford N. Ribner.
The following is an excerpt from Clifford Ribner’s book, Freedom’s Last Stand.
The Complete Moral Bankruptcy of All Forms of Collectivism
Disbelief in God and, when they are candid, outright repudiation of all religion – especially Judaism and the various Christian churches of the West – have always been central, defining features of Collectivism since its birth as a political movement in 18th Century Revolutionary France. This is all discussed at length below.
However odd it may strike God-believers, that fact – the utter loathing of religion at the heart of Collectivism in all its forms – has never prevented Collectivists of all varieties from insisting that they personally, and all political positions they advocate, are morally superior to all alternatives. Indeed, they invariably view all opposition to them, and all of their opponents personally, as morally and existentially reprehensible.
Those among Collectivists who are forthright Marxists insist that the supposed quasi-divine force of History (yes, Marx actually insisted on this notion) compels absolute, unquestioning, ipso facto obedience to everything they advocate. Those Collectivists self-aware enough to recognize the religion-without-God nature of their ideology often insist, hubristically, that their self-characterized “reasoned and scientific” quasi-eschatological analysis permits them, objectively, to “advance” or” progress” beyond the Stone Age or Iron Age superstitious foolishness – that being how they invariably characterize all Western religions.
Recently, the most rigidly-anti-American Marxists (including people in very high political offices who invariably disdain the Marxist label, while undeniably propagandizing for the very ideas championed by Marx himself, as plainly shown in Chapter 6 below) have spouted new, faux-moral, and even faux-patriotic, claims in angrily demanding that Americans acquiesce in manifestly self-destructive Obama policies which are obviously so purposeless and catastrophic that it is inconceivable that any previous American politician, however dedicated to the Counterrevolution he may have been in his heart, would ever have promoted them. These policies so promoted constitute clear, direct assaults on the very safety, security and integrity of the nation itself.
Specifically, these policies have consisted of (1) providing massive financial assistance (over $150 billion) to a self-identified mortal enemy of America – Iran – which has been officially designated a terrorist state for decades, and has the blood of hundreds, if not thousands, of American soldiers and allies’ lives on its hands and has sworn to annihilate both America and Israel, (2) in that same agreement with Iran, guaranteeing its unopposed development of nuclear weapons and sophisticated ballistic missiles to deliver them, (3) insisting on America accepting tens of thousands of military-age Muslim men as “refugees” without the slightest ability to determine how many of them are actually terrorist plants – while simultaneously refusing to accept genocidally-threatened Christians from throughout the Middle East, including Iraq, Syria and elsewhere as genuine refugee immigrants into America, and (4) unilaterally reducing all of our offensive nuclear capabilities, and terminating all development of our previously-advanced defensive (anti-ballistic) ones.
No plausible pragmatic argument whatsoever in favor of any of these policies has been advanced by the Obama administration. Instead, the nonsense-“moral”-and “pseudo-patriotic” language used in support of these monstrous policies has been baseless claims that “this is who we are” or “America has always done this” or words to that effect. That these are “moral” arguments is undeniable. That they have no basis in any known moral authority or facts is equally apparent.
The fact that Collectivists’ arguments in favor of their positions are accurately described as moral, instead of, or in addition to, any utilitarian or pragmatic ones they may advance, is revealed by the particular language they use – or abuse – in making them: they typically claim their positions will produce greater “fairness,” or what they call “social justice”– which supposedly is morally-superior to ordinary justice; or they morally-shame opposition to them by claiming it is racist, or bigoted, or regressive, or xenophobic (always pretending themselves to be innocent of such allegations), or unecological, or simply beyond the pale for allegedly-civilized nations (claiming, for example, that ”all other nations” have adopted their position) or, again, “that is who we are,” or something similar.
They might even invoke the supposed authority of religious leaders who they claim, often correctly unfortunately, agree with them – Including bishops, rabbis, churches, and even Popes.
But they can point to absolutely nothing in the 10 Commandments, nor any other undeniably-morally-authoritative text in support of their supposed-moral claims.
The following biblical discussion/analysis proves the patently-frivolous nature of all Collectivist’s’ supposed moral claims, and the overwhelmingly-powerful argument, derived from the 10 Commandments themselves, that socialism and the welfare/administrative state they invariably promote are inherently immoral and directly contrary to all relevant directives in both the Old and New Testament:
The Old Testament’s Political And Legal Wisdom: God’s Mandatory Demands, And the Bible’s Teachings regarding “Experts”
America remains a nation which has always believed, and still in the 21st century, overwhelmingly (by no less than 70%+ according to polling data) believes, in the God of the Old Testament and the divinity of Jesus Christ and, accordingly, the divine scriptural authority of both the Old and New Testaments. This is true even for those Christians and Jews who do not, like fundamentalists, believe every event described in the Bible must be accepted as literally and historically true.
And there is no denying the central importance the Old and New Testament ascribe to the 10 Commandments: of all God’s many commandments throughout the entire Bible, the 10 Commandments alone were written in stone, and not simply spoken even to Moses himself: They alone were written in stone by God Himself by His own hand.
In just a handful of pages, Exodus provides divine (literally, to believers) wisdom regarding each and all of the following:
(1) the 10 Commandments themselves – a comprehensive, and necessarily-exclusive, description of all behavior-policing laws which are mandatory – according to God Himself – for a free people to remain free,
(2) by implication, everything a free people who want to remain free must demand of the policing features of their government, as the necessary enforcement vehicle for the 10 Commandments, and
(3) how all peoples should view all priests and other priesthoods (i.e. self-proclaimed “experts”) claiming for themselves any special authority or insights regarding any subject, including the 10 Commandments themselves and morality.
All this information is contained in the few pages consisting of Exodus chapter 20 through Exodus chapter 32 (the importance of the 10 Commandments is further revealed both by its complete repetition in Deuteronomy chapter 5, and the multiple miracles attributed to the physical tablets on which God wrote them, elsewhere in the Bible).
Perhaps this important information is so condensed out of necessity since, as God says many times in the Old Testament, the people He is providing all this to are “thick-necked,” and so require everything to be spelled out as simply and concisely as possible. And it is unlikely that He thought Jews different from other humans and uniquely dense in that regard.
First, Exodus’ wisdom regarding the third of its three, above-enumerated divine teachings:
Exodus’ and the Gospels’ Divine Lessons Regarding Priests, Priesthoods And Any Other Supposed “Experts” – i.e. Any Human Claiming To Be As Smart As, Or Smarter Than, God About Anything
Exodus chapter 28 explicitly describes Moses’ brother Aaron as, uniquely (with his sons) he who should have the role of God’s priest. Chapter 31 verse 18, states explicitly that God gave Moses the 10 Commandments physically, as well as through verbal commands: “two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”
Although Exodus chapters 28 through 30 describe in great detail the rituals the priest is to preside over, and the tabernacle in which he is to do so, nowhere does it suggest that he would have any particular insight regarding the contents of the Commandments – nor, indeed, any ability or duty whatsoever to comment on them or provide “expertise,” or preach to the people, on that subject – nor anything else.
Among the first few Commandments is one which forbids making any graven image – especially of any other God.
Nevertheless, in the very next chapter – Exodus chapter 32, verse 2 et seq.— Aaron not only violates that Commandment by making a golden calf as an object of worship, but also corrupts others to participate in that clear violation by leading the effort to do so: “And Aaron said unto them, break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me….And he [Aaron] received them in their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf…”
Thus, the “priest/expert’s” own actions prove his utter moral and intellectual lack of trustworthiness even with respect to his supposed area of unique, specialized, God-ordained expertise: instead of supervising the worship of God, he supervises the compound insult to God of violating that explicit Commandment and directing the creation and worship of the God-forbidden golden idol.
Thus, that biblical story of Aaron and the golden calf teaches that anyone – such as Aaron – pretending to have specialized knowledge regarding the 10 Commandments – particularly if he attempts too-cleverly to modify or change any of them – must be recognized as an evil scoundrel who, though God may forgive him, must not be followed or trusted in any manner.
Exodus’ lesson regarding the invariable, false pretensions of priests and other “experts” claiming special wisdom is repeated in multiple ways, and even mirrored, in the New Testament Gospels.
Jesus explicitly declaims against the pretensions and misleading directives of all the different rabbis (i.e. priests), denouncing them both for claiming to sit in Moses’ chair, and for issuing commandments for the people which are, at best, distractions from what He explicitly describes as the only two real commandments – which accurately condense and summarize both the 10 Commandments – “love your neighbor as yourself…” and “love… God,” thereby condensing the verbal commandment which follows them – “Hear O Israel… Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy might…”
Additionally, Peter, who Jesus explicitly names personally as the foundation of His church, exactly as Aaron was appointed by God as his priest, betrays Jesus three times in a single night, and is explicitly called “Satan” by Jesus Himself.
The 10 Commandments’ Directives And Their Purpose
Regarding the 10 Commandments’ requirements themselves and their importance to us as Americans: even liberal Democrat President Harry Truman observed in 1950 that,“The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.”
And such was the power of the stone tablets which the Commandments were written on that later, when the ancient Jews, guided by Joshua, simply marched around the walls of Jericho carrying them, that alone was sufficient to bring those walls crumbling down.
The first few Commandments make explicit the authority, love for His people and liberating desires for them of He Who is the source all the 10 Commandments – God himself – His purpose in providing them to people who He explicitly designated as His chosen people, and directives regarding how such people were to interact with Him (i.e., completely accept His exclusive divinity, eschew graven images, not take his name in vain and honor His Sabbath).
God’s expressly-stated, in the first Commandment, purpose in providing the 10 Commandments arises directly out of His then-recent liberation of the Jews from slavery. In them He provides simple, comprehensive, unambiguous rules of conduct for moral, free people to show appropriate respect both for Him and to each other – rules, in short, intended both to prevent them from ending up as slaves again, and to enable them to live decent, moral, God-obedient lives.
The Commandments are necessarily the exclusive laws to govern the peoples’ behavior for that purpose: any additional rules imposed on them – necessarily by men alone and not God – policing their interpersonal behavior would necessarily overly-constrain them, and so reduce, if not completely eliminate, their freedom from the slavery God had recently rescued them from. And the idea that God would forget or overlook any necessary Commandment is literally an insult to Him and His intelligence – an insolent, immoral and hubristic claim by anyone asserting such of being superior to God!
In other words, in the interest of promoting and securing the liberty of the people, the 10 Commandments spell out all behavior which is forbidden – with all other behavior necessarily permitted for the now-free people. Obviously, forbidding any behavior not expressly forbidden in the 10 Commandments necessarily can only reduce, or even destroy, the peoples’ liberty.
Again, the first few Commandments make plain that they have nothing to do with how people are to interact among themselves, nor with the state, and are almost exclusively concerned with the recently-liberated people’s interactions with God alone, and restate (for the “thick-necked”) who He is (the God who rescued the people from slavery). I say “almost” in that regard because one of those Commandments provides the enforcement method to ensure the integrity of the word, or promise of any person – including anyone assuming public office: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”
That Commandment alone is what makes any oath in the Lord’s name so powerful and reliable among God-believers: that Commandment makes such an oath a sacred commitment, so that breaking such an oath means damnation from violating that Commandment.
In one of His few statements with even arguable political implications (His life and teachings manifestly were devoted to providing the means and path to individual salvation for all human souls, and not to worldly matters) Jesus made plain that man’s interactions with God and religious matters are, quite simply, none of the state’s business, when he stated, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.”
As important as those words by Jesus are in themselves, of equal importance is the fact that they clearly contain, implicitly, a command to Caesar: do not intrude in any manner on God’s business.
I submit that the first few of the Commandments, similarly to that “hands-off” directive to Caesar from Jesus regarding the (lack of any) role the state should take in religious matters, implicitly demand that moral people and their state be tolerant of all religions so long as their followers obey the 10 Commandments, as is required of all Christians and Jews. As undeniable proof of the divine wisdom of such tolerance: think of all the religious strife and warfare that could have been avoided if Europeans (claiming all along to be good Christians) had obeyed and understood those clear directives from God and Jesus.
And note that we the Americans were the first ever legally to require such religious tolerance – in our Constitution’s First Amendment, which both expressly forbids any establishment of religion by the federal government, and mandates the free exercise of all religions in America. And the English Common Law behavior-policing laws of every American state, which the founders and our Constitution legally prescribed would be the only citizen-policing laws (as proven in a later chapter below) in the nation, were, as the founders well knew, all based exclusively on the 10 Commandments, thereby legally-requiring conformity to the Commandments by all citizens regardless of their religion.
The next Commandment similarly involves matters which are none of the state’s business and relates solely to how each person should interact with his parents: “honor your father and your mother.”
All the rest of the Commandments contain very simple, unambiguous moral directives on how we all are to interact with our fellow citizens – again, if the people are to remain free and not find themselves enslaved once again. The plain implication from those Commandments is that the state is indeed required to perform the role of policing and enforcing at least some of them (see below); and, in so doing, the state itself must follow those commandments as well, and never become a vehicle for violating them – or else it would be a completely immoral state due to its participation in such Commandment violations.
Jesus’ only other political statement in the New Testament consists of His (clearly-approving) succinct summary of all these Commandments: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” In other words: respect the individual dignity of the life, liberty and property of your neighbor – just as you would want him to respect yours. Are your neighbors’ property rights as important as any other of his rights? How would you feel about having your property forcibly taken from you? According to Jesus, that answers the question.
The Commandments, Churches and Religious Leaders, And the Welfare State
Although these Commandments are, by divine design, simple and easy to understand, it is manifest from the actions of religious institutions and religious leaders over the past few centuries that their true import is rarely fully-appreciated, even by supposedly religious people and institutions, and their supposedly-learned and godly leaders.
Specifically, virtually all organized Christian and Jewish sects have, since the 1870s, with varying degrees of official formality, publicly embraced the supposed morality and virtue of the welfare state, which was first created in its modern form at that time under the absolute rule of the German Kaisers and their minister Bismarck. Its purpose in 19th-century totalitarian Germany, as always, was to completely subjugate and ensnare the people under the absolute control of the Kaiser and his centralized regime.
Under the welfare state, there and always, property is taken by the state from some citizens and redistributed to others who have not earned it themselves, regardless of the desires of its original owners, with the (windfall) recipients made to feel entitled to, and dependent on, what they so receive from the state, no gratitude required or expected – except to the Kaiser.
That last point – the gratitude to the Kaiser alone structurally-compelled by state welfare – itself leaves no doubt concerning state welfare’s utter immorality and injustice under the moral dictates of the Bible. Specifically, the Bible teaches that each individual has his own immortal soul, which must be rewarded and punished on earth exclusively for his own actions – and neither be punished for the actions of others (which would be unjust), nor steal rewards rightfully due another (“thou shall not steal.”).
Under state welfare, the only action of the Kaiser consists of stealing – for his own political advantage – property rightfully owned by some citizens, and then unjustly and gratuitously bestowing it upon others to whom it does not belong. Charity it is not. And the fraudulent pretense that welfare amounts to charity – God’s work – violates Jesus’ mandate to Caesar not to intrude on God’s Kingdom.
Gratitude by welfare’s recipients to the Kaiser is additionally immoral in precluding legitimately-earned gratitude to the property’s true owners, who thereby suffer a double injury of having their property stolen and the loss of gratitude from its recipients. And even the welfare recipients suffer injury by their misdirected gratitude to a Kaiser who has not earned it and was simply serving his own interests through the welfare. And that is not even mentioning the numerous other poisonous effects welfare has on its recipients, including the fact that funding it harms the real economy, thereby reducing their opportunities to support themselves.
Religious leaders and institutions – notably, the Catholic Church – who have so embraced the welfare state have usually stated their reason for doing so is based on the supposed benefits of it to the poor, and their claim that welfare’s wealth redistribution is akin to charity, with charity being a frequently-praised activity throughout the Bible. Somehow, the fact that the welfare state reduces the opportunities, and incentives, for the poor to improve their lives Invariably goes unmentioned by its apologists.
But, as I have already shown, for multiple reasons, welfare is not charity. Real charity is inherently a private transaction between the voluntary giver and the donee. Welfare is, in fact, the state-enforced socialisation of charity and, as shown below, because socialism invariably relies on multiple violations of the 10 Commandments, to advocate it is to advocate for their violation.
In fact, Welfare is charity’s opposite. Unlike genuine charity, which is virtuous and involves no violation of the 10 Commandments, there is nothing voluntary about welfare. Even its recipients are effectively forced to abandon their dignity and accept it since, as mentioned above, the crushing taxes imposed by the state to finance it, and the state control over the economy that invariably accompanies it, eliminate genuine economic opportunities for those recipients to earn their own money to finance their own needs.
And welfare’s necessary forcible taking of property from its true owners to finance it is indistinguishable from the theft which is explicitly forbidden in the 10 Commandments. For that reason, it makes the state itself immoral.
Moreover, welfare is inherently unjust, both because of that involuntary theft, and because the recipients of the property have done nothing whatsoever to earn it – and it may even constitute a reward for (immoral) sloth.
And, unlike charity, those from whom the property is taken – its rightful owners – play no role whatsoever in its distribution. Moreover, the entitlement nature of the redistribution renders it morally poisonous to its recipients since, unlike real charity, it provides no moral incentive to them to take the initiative to try to reclaim their dignity and improve their own lives: they are entitled, so why bother?
The One Commandment-Forbidden Emotion
Returning to the 10 Commandments: they unambiguously forbid one and only one emotion – envy. They notably do not forbid hatred or anger.
They recognize that envy is unique among the emotions both in the fact that we each have the power to magnify or suppress it to a greater extent than any other emotion, and that it is uniquely toxic and capable of overwhelming the minds of those who succumb to it – rendering them susceptible to manipulation by demagogues whose true purpose always is to use the envy they incite to enslave them – the precise result the 10 Commandments are intended by God to prevent.
Envy is the poisonous emotion that drives people to want to harm their neighbors – In direct violation of Jesus’ commandment to “love” them – precisely because those neighbors have achieved or acquired more than those who envy them. It is the emotion that every demagogue seeks to incite among the people to turn them into angry enemies of their more-successful neighbors – and into self-loathing, immoral victims.
It is precisely the poisonous emotion which demagogues, who want personally and unjustly to profit from the gratitude of the recipients of welfare’s property redistribution, incite to demand redistribution of wealth to the envious from its rightful owners.
In short, envy is the vehicle always at hand for Caesar — or some supposed “experts” — fraudulently to masquerade as God.
In forbidding that emotion, the 10 Commandments announce that those who experience that emotion and fail to suppress it literally enslave themselves – regardless whether they succeed in also harming their neighbors as their envy compels them to do.
The Remaining Commandments
The next Commandment — “thou shall not bear false witness” — is far more than a directive simply not to commit perjury – as a “witness” – in trials. It is a sweeping directive forbidding fraud in all interpersonal circumstances. Again, nothing is more common among demagogues seeking to turn the people against each other for the demagogue’s empowerment than to commit fraud in all their communications.
The remainder of the 10 Commandments are unambiguous directives mandating respect for the life and all the property of all fellow citizens. Murder is forbidden, as is all theft of another’s property – equally with murder itself.
State Enforcement of the Commandments – How Much?
The 10 Commandments are silent concerning the manner and extent to which the state should be involved in their enforcement. Except for their undeniable implication: no state can claim to be moral if it outlaws any conduct not expressly-forbidden in the 10 Commandments.
I believe it is clear that some of the Commandments involve conduct exclusively between citizens and God (the first four). Because of the ecumenical directive I have inferred from them – that the state should honor and permit all religions that demand obedience to the 10 Commandments – implicit in that directive is a prohibition on the state intervening to enforce the first three. The fourth commandment – to “remember the Sabbath day” – similarly, among the rest of those, should not be enforced by state action both because different religions which respect the 10 Commandments have selected different days for their Sabbath, and because the command to “remember” does not provide any particular guidance on any particular, observable behavior required to do so, beyond the purely-internal experience of the memory itself.
Similarly, the commandment to “honor your father and your mother” says nothing about how one should do so, and involves purely intra-familial actions – ones that should not be intruded on by the state’s monopoly on violence, particularly in the absence of any directive regarding the behavior required from children to so honor their parents when they are old enough to defy its self-enforcement by the child’s own parents.
Of the remaining Commandments, it is clear that state involvement should be required to enforce the prohibitions on murder, theft and bearing false witness (i.e. fraud inflicting harm on others). Those Commandments all forbid various forms of clearly-violent misconduct against others, for which the state’s monopoly of violence is clearly required – and to prevent the vigilantism which otherwise would become their only enforcement mechanism.
With respect to the prohibition on envy, state enforcement of such against individuals who simply experience that emotion internally, but do not otherwise act on it, would seem to be an unnecessarily-intrusive thought-crime type of state policing, for no public purpose, since the only one genuinely harmed by it would necessarily be the person experiencing the forbidden emotion himself. State policing of the Commandment forbidding envy would seem appropriate, if at all, only against persons attempting to incite that emotion in others, since only then is there a clearly-observable forbidden action by someone with a direct, harmful consequence to others.
The only sexual activity forbidden in the Commandments is adultery – that is, consensual sex in which at least one of the participants is married to someone else who does not condone it. Note that the Commandments have no such prohibition against any other sexual behavior – including homosexual or premarital sex, nor any act between non-adulterous heterosexuals.
Because of the married state of at least one of the participants, adultery always presents uniquely explosive problems for children, entire families, and the community – and for the injured, non-condoning, nonparticipating spouse – well beyond any other sexual acts, particularly in a very old-fashioned, patriarchal or tribal society, like that of the Mosaic Jews.
Even today, in our world blessed with effective birth control, the potential intra-familial destructiveness of adultery cannot be doubted. Should the state be involved in enforcing that particular Commandment? I believe it is ambiguous and unclear. Since marriage is a public, as well as a private institution, state involvement in enforcing that Commandment at least in the context of divorce seems perfectly permissible, if not required. I believe personally the criminal law should not be involved in enforcing this Commandment, as it often has in the past; but I honestly do not know what the Commandment requires in that respect.
A Few Words About Property Rights And Theft:
Translated from legalese into plain English, citizens possess what are known as “property rights” to the extent that they possess any or all lawful power(s) with respect to whatever is the tangible or intangible subject of those rights – i.e. the asset which comprises the property itself – including specifically the powers to control, enjoy, and/or direct its use.
Of all of these various possible powers with respect to property, by far the most significant is the power to control it and its use, since whoever controls that also controls its enjoyment and management – and its continued existence and utility. Businesses constitute the property and, indeed, the very work or industry, of their owners.
A central feature of the administrative, regulatory state, which invariably is wedded to a welfare state, is the legalized seizure by the state of all control of businesses from their owners – euphemistically called “regulation” – invariably without the payment of any compensation to them for that seizure. Once a “regulator” has control over any business, the regulator’s ability to destroy the business in his discretion renders that control absolute.
In America, our Constitution unambiguously requires payment of compensation by the state whenever it takes any citizens’ property. Our welfare administrative state, with the full approval of the politicians on the federal courts, has refused to pay business owners any compensation whatsoever when it imposes regulatory control over their businesses – based on the nonsensical claim that their ouster from actual control of their property is too minor a deprivation to be considered the “taking” of any of their property. In fact, the enormity of the value of that political taking is proven by the very eagerness of the politicians who effect it to do so.
Furthermore, lest there be any confusion regarding the fact that “mere” control of any asset indeed constitutes valuable property, consider: is there any doubt that stripping a common-stock owner of his voting rights would constitute a clear taking of his property? And, except in a one-man corporation, mere stockholders have nowhere near the controlling authority over a business which the state takes when it “regulates” it, necessarily armed with the power to destroy it and any of its agents who fail to comply with all its directives.
Thus, it is no exaggeration to state that when any business is “regulated” by administrative agencies, the most significant property right of all, which its owners formerly possessed, is stolen from them – in violation of the Commandment – and our Constitutional provision – forbidding theft.
Nothing in any of the Commandments suggests that, if one or more citizens are able to take sufficient control of the state to be able to use its power over their fellow citizens in a manner which would be forbidden to each of them individually to do in the 10 Commandments, such would be morally acceptable. Again, that is precisely what happens in the welfare/administrative state – property (Including control of the operations of businesses) is forcibly taken/stolen by the state from citizens who are its rightful owners, and given to others (including the politicians and bureaucrats who thereafter control it completely) who have not earned it, and have no moral right to it.
Clearly, a moral state must enforce the 10 Commandments, not use its power to inflict violence to violate them for the supposed benefit of some citizens to the detriment of others. Thus, a state that steals from one group of citizens for the purpose of bestowing what is so stolen on other citizens is no better than a thief – or a murderer.
Charity, State Power, Socialism And the Welfare/Administrative State
Genuine charity is a blessed, voluntary giving by citizens of their own property to assist others experiencing difficulty; using state threat of violence to force them to make such transfers violates justice – and the 10 Commandments itself. Again, it is nothing like actual charity; it is immoral, enslaving injustice and theft.
Indeed, since all of the final group of Commandments clearly require political/state power to facilitate their enforcement, it is clear they require the state’s role to be limited to their enforcer – and never to itself become their violator.
This fact alone proves the utter immorality of socialism and the welfare/administrative state, and their direct conflict with the 10 Commandments: they both require the state to have the power to take – that is, to steal – and then gratuitously to bestow, whatever it chooses from its citizens, in complete disregard for all property rights and, indeed, destroying all property rights: When one citizen’s property rights are extinguished by the state itself, no citizens’ property rights are safe,
And all citizens’ rights depend on the strength of their property rights as their underlying foundation: a serf or slave is, by definition, a man with no property rights. That is why the 10 Commandments absolutely forbid harming or taking another’s property.
Moreover, socialism is the politics of envy itself. Without envy to drive it, invariably promoted by demagogues’ fraudulent promises of the benefits which stealing from one group of citizens will provide the other, socialism rapidly implodes. So too the welfare/administrative state.
The 10 Commandments leave no doubt: morality and God demand that the state and all its citizens respect – and never envy – the property rights of all other citizens. Quite simply, socialism and the welfare/administrative state, on the one hand, and private property rights and obeying the 10 Commandments, on the other hand, are inherently mutually exclusive.
And it is a fact that advocates of socialism and the welfare/administrative state invariably rely on multiple violations of multiple Commandments: they lie about the supposed morality, justice and benefits of what they advocate – and so “bear false witness” – and do everything in their power to incite envy among the people.
There is not a single example in history in which either socialism or welfare/administrative states have produced anything other than destruction of citizens’ freedom and prosperity. But that is a mere practical fact, in addition to the moral facts considered in this chapter.
Moreover, in the 10 Commandments, it is clear that God implicitly mandates that the power of the state never be greater than the absolute minimum necessary to enforce those Commandments: since that minimal state power is all that is necessary to preserve the freedom of the people, any additional state power over its people beyond that amount would necessarily reduce pro tanto the people’s liberty.
It is as if God stipulated, together with Thomas Jefferson, that “that government is best which governs least” – as long as it enforces the 10 Commandments, and so preserves the life, liberty and property of all the people.
Thus, in our unprecedented-in-human-history founding documents – the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution – America became the first nation in history legally and institutionally dedicated to achieving the goal God Himself provided, millennia earlier, the 10 Commandments to achieve – setting up a national government dedicated to preserving the life, liberty, property, security and individual dignity of all its citizens in every single respect, to the maximum extent possible under law, explicitly preserving all power to police individual behavior in the states alone (since the federal government is given no enumerated police power whatsoever in the Constitution, except with respect to treason, Counterfeiting, piracy and insurrection), pursuant to the English/American common law which itself consisted of the legal application of the 10 Commandments to specific, real-life situations.
Copyright 2016 Clifford N. Ribner