Veritas News Service and CAJI/IS Exclusive
by Guest Columnist Johnathan Masullo
IS COLLECTIVISM CONTRARY TO CHRISTIANITY?
There are two philosophical beliefs in the world, that is, collectivism and individualism. These two beliefs are not new; rather, these two beliefs are ancient. Equally, the battle between the tangible individual and the abstract collective is primeval. First, the author shall define these two terms since they will be used throughout this article. What is collectivism? Collectivism is an ideology and practice that adheres to the notion that an abstract group is superior to a tangible individual.1 What is individualism? Individualism is an ideology and practice that adheres to the notion that a tangible individual is superior to an abstract group.2 The struggle between these two ideologies is apparent throughout history and some people call the fight ‘the pendulum effect.’ An example of this struggle may be seen in the family. Each member is an individual and physical yet the family is collective and conceptual. Which takes precedent? The individual family member(s) or the family as a whole?
Why is a group abstract? Our five senses tell us this fact. Both the reader and the author cannot see, touch, hear, smell, or taste a group; therefore, a group is theoretical or insubstantial. Society, for example, does not exist since it is ethereal. Again, we cannot see, touch, hear, smell, or taste society. A group is merely a pensiveness of many tangible objects. Why is an individual tangible? Our five senses tell us this fact. We can see, touch, hear, smell, or taste (if the reader is a cannibal) an individual; therefore, an individual is concrete or tangible. A forest, for instance, does not exist because it is an abstraction. A tree does exist because it is physical, thus a forest is simply trees. We can see, touch, hear, smell, or taste the trees, but we cannot see, touch, hear, smell, or taste the forest. So is the difference between collectivists and individualists. Collectivists glance to the forest while individualists gaze to the trees. Collectivists believe the forest is superior to the trees. Individualists believe the trees are superior to the forest.
Fundamentally there are three major political, social, and economic collectivist doctrines; they are socialism, communism, and fascism. Each collectivist belief is implemented differently, but they are rooted with the core belief that an abstract group is superior to the tangible individual. The tangible individual is dependent or, correctly stated, enslaved to an abstract group. The very meaning of dependency is slavery. The abstract group is the master whereas the tangible individual is the slave. Put differently, the abstract group is the plantation owner while the tangible individual is the servant to toil for the welfare of the abstract group. The tangible individual has limited, or lack thereof, independence. The tangible individual shall obey the abstract group; otherwise, the individual will face punishment or, worse yet, death if demanded or necessary. The abstract group will not, or does not, tolerate dissentient.
Collectivism loathes not only Christianity but also all religions. Collectivism views religion as a roadblock to its principles, thus they shall be abolished. As Karl Marx celebrated:
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The
criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.”3
What did Karl Marx mean by his statement on religion? G. Edward Griffin explains:
“Collectivists view religion as a device by which clerics keep the downtrodden masses content by offering a vision of something better in the next world. If your goal is to bring about change, contentment is not what you want. You want discontentment. That’s why Marx called religion the opiate of the masses. Religion encourages contentment and dulls the anger and passion needed for revolutionary change. In his book, Wells said that collectivism should become the new opiate that it should become the vision for better things in the next world. He said the new order must be built on the concept that individuals are nothing compared to the long continuum of society, and that only by serving society do we become connected to eternity. He was totally serious. The blueprint in The Open Conspiracy has been meticulously followed in the Western world. As a result, worship of the god called Society truly has acquired the status of religion. No matter what insult to our dignity or liberty, we are told it’s necessary for the eternal advancement of Society, and that becomes the basis for contentment under the hardships of collectivism. The greater good for the greater number has become the opiate of the masses.”4
By abolishing religions, the principles of collectivism become the new opium of the people. This is evident throughout the world today. The people desire their dependence, or properly stated enslavement, in the name of the “common good,” which, by the way, cannot be delineated. Religion no longer provides happiness; instead, collectivism provides “happiness,” happiness at the expense and sacrifice of the tangible individual to an abstract group.
The author will be focusing on Christianity. Since collectivism scorns religion, it logically follows that collectivism violates all of God’s commandments. Collectivists are, in essence, atheistic5 and agnostic,6 thus the first three commandments are annulled.7 The fourth commandment8 is disregarded by means of mutiny. In other words, today we see that the child has power that is superior to his father and mother. The reader can see this empowerment through governmental agencies, e.g., Children Services, and the laws of the State. Why? Collectivists recognize that children are tools to sharpen the next generation of collectivists. As Vladimir Lenin noted, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”9 The author will not neglect there is factual child abuse; however, there is a fine line between abuse and discipline.10
With the raw power of government, collectivists usurped parents, therefore giving children more rights and powers. Parents are merely babysitters while the government is the true parent. Since ancient times, the family was the first government.11 The father and mother had the duty and the responsibility of disciplining their children, disciplining as in education, guidance, and punishment.12 The power and rights (or lack thereof) the father and mother have today are very restricted. The fourth commandment is profound and God commanded it for a reason. Since God cannot present order physically on earth, He delegated His authority to the father and mother. This delegated authority by God to the father and mother is sacred. No other authority on earth has the power and responsibility as the father and mother.
In the humble opinion of the author, the first three commandments are centered on God, thus they may be lumped into one per se. Then God tells us to honor our father and mother, which may be second. Does the reader see how much emphasis God applies? Clearly, all of the commandments are equal and no commandment is higher or lower than another, but when looked at this way, God values parents to the highest degree since He sees them as His agents to provide discipline. “We should fear and love God so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.”13
The fifth commandment14 has been violated numerous times all through history and presently. The author will not entertain a list for the reader may research it himself. Collectivism holds that the individual shall be murdered for the “common good” if requested or necessary. Bear in mind, the individual is a mere cog in the machine and the machine takes precedent over the individual. If the individual dissents, then death may ensue. This has occurred many times in collectivist societies, whether ancient or present. The sixth commandment15 is violated by perversion and mockery. There is an increasing faction of open relationships, swingers, affairs, and other sexual immorality. The sanctity of marriage and sex is becoming ‘old-world.’ Collectivists recognize they must pervert the institution of marriage, after all, to gain power over the people, and to destabilize any firm nation demoralization is a good starting point.
The reader may argue, “Wait a minute. Adultery and sexual immorality is nothing new. The Holy Scriptures plainly recorded such behavior. These are moral concerns to be dealt by individuals. So, where is the collectivist link here?” True, all moral questions are on an individual basis. True, government may neither legislate nor provide morality; government is purely raw power. Nevertheless, collectivists do encourage perversion through different mediums, since immorality is the commencement of destabilization. Collectivists realize if they want to subvert any firm and honorable nation, then they must strike at the foundations of it, first beginning with the family. In spite of everything, the family is the vertebrae of any society and it must be destroyed according to the collectivists.
The seventh16 and ninth17 commandments are violated by legal plunder. Collectivists desire and take their neighbor’s house, money, or possessions, or acquire them in any way via laws. Collectivists do not care to help him to improve and to protect his house, possessions, and wealth. Collectivists deem robbing A to pay B, C, D, and so on through legal plunder, whether it be welfare, housing, education, health care, food, water, retirement, safety nets, etc., is justified. Representative of rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul way of thinking, collectivism does not tolerate the tangible individual to keep and to bear the fruits of his labor as he wishes. Since collectivists are emotional and irrational, they conjure unfounded ideas such as redistribution of wealth, ‘fair share,’ tax the rich, and other legal plunder schemes and mantras, all of which are based on the emotions of jealously and anger. Certainly, collectivists will deny such truth; after all, denial is one of many strategic tactics. All of the economic principles of collectivism violate the seventh and ninth commandments. How can any Christian tolerate such theft? Since when did theft get a moral upgrade?
Everyone violates (or has violated) the eighth18 commandment. Nevertheless, collectivism violates the eighth commandment by malevolent means. Collectivists do everything in their power to tell lies about their neighbor(s), to betray him, to slander him, or to hurt his reputation if he rebels. One method, as the reader may see, is through psychological or psycho-political warfare.19 Another way is straight up denial to the opposition (legitimacy of the opposition does not matter to collectivists). If A is a collectivist (socialist, communist, fascist, etc.), and if B accurately exposes A, then A will deny the charges of B and slander him as a “conspiracy theorist,” “crazy,” and other ad hominem attacks. How often does the reader see this in the media, academia, or politics? On the other hand, has the reader experienced it himself? Denial is an excellent tactic if the one double-dealing is a bullshit artist.
Lastly, the tenth commandment states, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”20 The word covet has two meanings, they are the following: 1) “To desire or wish for, with eagerness; to desire earnestly to obtain or possess; in a good sense,”21 and 2) “[t]o desire inordinately; to desire that which it is unlawful to obtain or possess; in a bad sense.”22 Without a doubt, the latter applies here; however, collectivists see the former as good when it comes to take any property, whether it be absolute, mixed, personal, private, qualified, or real,23 and the fruits of labor of Peter to give to Paul. Such measure is often guised as “humanitarian” or done in the name of the “common good.” This is where many Christians fall prey.
The author would like to state this well-established fact: Man is a sinner. It does not matter if one sides with collectivism or individualism. We “. . . all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”24 While man is a sinner, there is a path to salvation via the Good News established by Jesus Christ. The point of this article was to show the blatant disregard of God’s law by collectivism and how collectivism cannot be merged with Christianity. Unfortunately, most Christians have fallen prey to the principles of collectivism. Has the reader heard of Christian Socialism?25 Christian Communism (a radical form of the former)? Christian Socialism and Christian Communism are oxymoronic. How can the principles of the Holy Scriptures, or Christianity in this case, be merged with the principles of collectivism? Christianity and collectivism are polar opposites. Mr. David H. Chilton (1951 – 1997) quipped Christian Socialism is “baptized secularism.”2627 This author could not have said it better.
A common argument by Christian socialists is, “Man needs man. Man is a social creature and cannot be isolated.” The author agrees that man does need man. The author also agrees that man is a social creature, but disagrees in that man may be isolated if he so wishes. The proper inquiry ought to be this: Does man need man by the use of coercion or by means of voluntary and mutual cooperation? The Holy Scriptures advocate charity, donation, volunteering, tolerance, persuasion, benevolence, and the power of good example. Christian socialists (and collectivists in general) believe the aforesaid are attainable by compulsion whereas Christian individualists believe the aforesaid are feasible by voluntary and mutual conduct.
Collectivism, no matter how “humanitarian” it may appear, is contrary to Christianity. Let us adhere to the Holy Scriptures (which are pro-individualist incidentally) to help one another, not to the principles of collectivism. The author encourages the reader to study Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt-Manipulators by Mr. Chilton, who does an excellent job dismissing collectivism in the Holy Scriptures. The author encourages the reader to study collectivism and individualism and the multitude of variants thereof. Lastly, the author also encourages the reader, if he be a Christian, to educate his fellow Christians about the dangers of merging the principles of collectivism with Christianity. God bless and Godspeed.
1 Rand, Ayn. “Textbook of Americanism.” Vigil. (1946). Web. 20 Feb. 2012. http://www.fee.org/doc/textbook-of-americanism-by-ayn-rand/
3 Marx, Karl, and Joseph O’Malley. Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. 1st ed. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1977. Print.
4 Griffin, G. Edward. “Secret Organizations and Hidden Agendas.” The Future Is Calling. Rev. ed. 2011. 3. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. http://www.freedomforceinternational.org/pdf/futurecalling2.pdf
5 Atheists do not believe in any deity, deities, or religion; essentially atheists are nonbelievers.
6 Agnostics are doubtful. They neither believe nor disbelieve. They like to keep an “open mind” as they say.
7 You shall have no other gods; You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God; and Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
8 Honor your father and your mother.
9 Olsen, Kyle. Indoctrination: How ‘Useful Idiots’ Are Using Our Schools to Subvert American Exceptionalism. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2011. Print.
10 The author recognizes there are some parents out there who literally abuse their children. The author does not condone such acts. Such acts are against God as well. Parents ought to love, to honor, to respect, and to discipline their children. Abuse violates love, honor, respect, and discipline. The author may see government, preferably local level, handling legitimate child abuse cases; however, as the author knows, child abuse laws are vague to encompass everything and to bring tyranny. That is not lawful government. Collectivists use government to pervert and to oppress the people. Lastly, collectivists value children, regardless of literal abuse or not, over parents because children are the next seed of collectivism. What may have started as a good intention, i.e., Children Services, is now beyond its scope.
11 “[H]istory and prehistoric traditions afford indicate that the family was the first government, that out of it grew the clan, the tribe, and the state.” Abbott, Lyman. “The Military Philosophy of Germany.” Outlook [New York, NY] 6 Dec 1916, Weekly ed. 780. Print.
12 “DISCIPLINE, v.t. 1. To instruct or educate; to inform the mind; to prepare by instructing in correct principles and habits; as, to discipline youth for a profession, or for future usefulness. 2. To instruct and govern; to teach rules and practice, and accustom to order and subordination; as, to discipline troops or an army. 3. To correct; to chastise; to punish. 4. To execute the laws of the church on offenders, with a view to bring them to repentance and reformation of life. 5. To advance and prepare by instruction.” Webster, Noah. “Discipline.” An American Dictionary of the English Language. 1st. ed. Vol I. New York, NY: S. Converse, 1828. Print.
13 Luther, Martin. “The Small Catechism.” Concordia Publishing House. Web. 20 Feb 2012. http://www.cph.org/t-topic-catechism-ten.aspx
14 You shall not murder.
15 You shall not commit adultery.
16 You shall not steal.
17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
18 You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
19 Brainwashing: A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psycho Politics. Merlin, OR: Newswithviews.com, 2008. eBook. http://www.newswithviewsstore.com/downloads/brainwashing_book.pdf It also details how to brainwash people and how to subvert entire populations…basically…lying to the people.
20 Exodus 20:17 (ESV)
21 Webster, Noah. “Covet.” An American Dictionary on the English Language. 1st ed. Vol. I. New York, NY: S. Converse, 1828. Print.
23 Any law lexicon will have the definitions of these types of property.
24 Romans 3:23 (ESV)
25 “The attempt to justify socialist ideals and practices on the basis of Christian terminology has a long history, with origins in the antinomian, gnostic, and communistic heresies which flourished during the early Church period.” Chilton, David. Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators. 3rd ed. Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1981. 322. Print.
26 Ibid. at page 199
27 Secularism, Humanism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Marxism, Feminism, Fabianism, etc. are all species of collectivism.