Why is socialism bad by Church teaching?

In Catholic thinking, the community exists to serve the needs of the individual. In Socialist thinking, the individual exists to serve the needs of the community (or state, if you like).

Ah, this all makes sense. Thank you guys!

If you are relatively young, you likely have been raised to think objectively about socialism. It has points that sound good, but the evil one is pushing the agenda. In all locations where it is practiced, human rights suffer. The faith suffers, as it is either passively or actively suppressed while the government and “society” have been raised to a higher value. Pope John Paul II lived under socialism and it’s infamous brother, Naziism (“National” socialism). Currently the world is trying to put makeup on this pig and sell it as a swan.

CCC 1883 and CCC 1185 also address the evil that are inherent in all forms of “collectivism”, of which socialism is a part.

Does anyone know history? Do you think “socialism” or a left-wing economic agenda is what made Nazism evil? To the contrary, national socialism relied heavily on the myth of Aryan superiority and racial science in its political philosophy. Is your swan laissez-fair capitalism?

You are addressing symptoms of the disease, rather than the illness itself, aren’t you? Was Soviet communism better? It killed more. First, the ideals and structures of socialism enabled Naziism to bloom. Without a socialistic government as foundation, the Nazi party could never have done the evil it did.

Second, unrestrained capitalism can be just as bad. Why do we have unions? Why did we have slavery? Take abortion, for example: whether it is profited from under capitalism (Planned Parenthood), or mandated (Chinese communism), you still have death of the innocents.

Black_Rose
Is your swan laissez-fair capitalism?

Why this moribund fetish for political terminology and confusion? When you come to see that economics has laws of cause and effect, laws discovered by reason and based on the faith and theology of the Catholic Church, you will be able to see that using labelling instead of reason clarifies nothing and is precisely why we have so many problems – caused by politicians and economists and central bankers who prostitute those laws by their foolish meddling and create injustices which plague every economy.

I thought it was just me who took that post to be an overreaction of sorts. This thread is about socialism, not other political systems. Lacking Christ, all political systems are doomed. The further America drifts away from Christ, we can see what it is becoming: the socialist reflection of robber baron capitalism. One difference: You could move away from robber barons, but you cannot from a socialist government.

Do you know what “socialism” even means or you are just using the term as blunt general epithet? Actually, Nazism can be considered an incarnation of fascism, not socialism if we use the wikipedia definition:

Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong.[15] They claim that culture is created by collective national society and its state, that cultural ideas are what give individuals identity, and thus rejects individualism.[15] In viewing the nation as an integrated collective community, they claim that pluralism is a dysfunctional aspect of society, and justify a totalitarian state as a means to represent the nation in its entirety.[16][17] They advocate the creation of a single-party state.[18] Fascist governments forbid and suppress openness and opposition to the fascist state and the fascist movement.[19] They identify violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality.[20]

Fascism is strongly opposed to core aspects of the Enlightenment and is an opponent of liberalism, Marxism, and mainstream socialism for being associated with failures that fascists claim are inherent in the Enlightenment.[22] Fascists view egalitarianism, materialism, and rationalism as failed elements of the Enlightenment.[23] In contrast, Fascists promote action, discipline, hierarchy, spirit, and will.[24] They oppose liberalism — as a bourgeois movement — and Marxism — as a proletarian movement — for being exclusive economic class-based movements.[25] Fascists present their ideology as that of an economically trans-class movement that promotes ending economic class conflict to secure national solidarity.[26] They believe that economic classes are not capable of properly governing a nation, and that a merit-based aristocracy of experienced military persons must rule through regimenting a nation’s forces of production and securing the nation’s independence.[27]

Fascism perceives conservatism as partly valuable for its support of order in society but opposes its typical opposition to change and modernization.[28] Fascism presents itself as a solution to the perceived benefits and disadvantages of conservatism by advocating state-controlled modernization that promotes orderly change while resisting the dangers of pluralism and independent initiative to order in society.

And Henry CK Liu’s summary of fascism, socialism, and capitalist democracy:

Since then, three competing political systems: socialism, fascism and
capitalistic democracy, would dominate the unfolding of modern history.
Socialism would attract popular support by promising the masses that the welfare
of the people is the responsibility of the state, while **fascism would demand
power over the people by asserting that the welfare of the state is the
responsibility of each individual.
**

Both socialism and fascism would exact from the people total obedience to state
control as the price for fulfilling each of their separate and opposing social
philosophies and political visions. However, the difference in ideology would
not prevent a similarity in methodology. Both political systems would be
required by their internal logic to be similarly authoritarian and totalitarian,
as a moral justification and as an operational necessity, though toward opposite
ends.

**Fascism, because of its contempt for equality as an ideal, would not hesitate to
enslave the masses to create an efficient state that would deliver glory to the
nation and an improved living standard to the dutiful masses. ** Socialism, on the
other hand, obsessed by its belief in the myth of equality, would willingly
suffer inefficiency in wealth-creatiing processes, even if it should result in
less income either for use by the state or for distribution among the people.
In practice, albeit history to date would only permit imperfect models, the
history of radical socialism would be frothed with examples of attempts to
achieve equality by making the rich as poor as the poor.

Capitalistic democracy would base its mandate on the individual’s acceptance of
responsibility for his own welfare through the exercise of private property
rights. Since it would promise only equal opportunity to a good life rather
than a good life itself, its ideology would require neither authoritarian
moralization nor totalitarian control, because individual failures would not
imply dysfunction of the system. Rather, such failures would be deemed
necessary in the selection process to keep the system healthy, the concept of
the survival of the fittest being the foundation of capitalistic social
Darwinism.

lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/a-list/2001-November/035090.html

Do you think Nazism would be “socialism” by the definition used by Liu? No, the wikipedia and Liu definition of “fascism” conform with the ideology of Nazism. Socialism and fascism share common characteristics such as the subordination of individual interests for another ideal and its advocacy for an increased role for the state. Fascists tend to emphasize “nationalism” more than socialism and regard it acceptable to use military force to secure resources necessary for a strong nation; socialism, in contrast, bases its nationalism in an anti-imperialist light and independence from oppressive foreign influences.

(I only quoted wikipedia and Liu for brevity since putting through definition elegantly would take too much time.)

Well, here is an analysis on Nazism from the perspective of evolutionary psychology. Its primary thesis is that national socialism is a strategy for the suppression of competition from Jews and the prosperity of the German people rather than an affirmation of socialist ideals such as a “class struggle”.

Regardless of the euphemism under which it operates, or the individuals or political structures which foster it, all such systems fall under the umbrella of “collectivism”, which is condemned by the teaching of the Catholic Church. Such systems deny, to a greater or lesser extent, the sovereignty and dignity of the human person. And, as to “laissez faire” capitalism, there is not a pure example of it on earth. Were there such an example, it would not exist in a vacuum, as market forces always bear upon it, whether there exists government involvement or no.

This thread asks a question with a answer, all the messages promote socialism as being bad,
Yet when measured against Capitalism , socialism is better, I realise there are extreme Socialist Societies they are not good,
In Australia there was a political Party, ( Catholic and Socialist/Labour) for many years they controlled the balance of power in the Australian Parliament, they used that power to raised the standard of living of the lowest paid workers, Catholic schools etc… so how can socialism be bad, look at the other side of the coin,

How? One must look at the bad that a system contains, as opposed to any good which it might contain. Socialism is condemned in all forms, by the Church, as it denies human dignity, placing the “state” above the individual. As sold to us, it is a deal with the devil. However, capitalism does not get a green light, either. With unrestrained capitalism, money becomes a god, which again causes the individual to suffer. But, and this is a big but, socialism nearly always suppresses the Church, and is a transitional form of government that trends toward dictatorship.

As always, the devil actually is in the details.

If I remember correctly, several socialist* countries do not persecute religion: Norway, Denmark, and Sweden have the Lutheran Church as their state church and there is no de jure separation of church and state.

  • I, using Liu’s definition, do not define “socialism” as pervasive state control of the economy, although it does entail some of that, but the general belief that state should play a role on ensuring the welfare of its citizens as opposed to the libertarian thought this should solely in the domain of responsible, mature individuals. I doubt that denying individuals the opportunity to exercise personal responsibility in some situations, especially citizens to particular risky situations such as being vulnerable to homelessness or lacking health care, is a threat to human dignity. The socialist welfare state relies on its citizens willing abdicating their liberty in exchange from protection of the negative consequences personal responsibility such as poverty and privation. In developed countries able to to afford an extensive welfare state and plentiful social capital, the trade-off is worth it.

Since the Scandinavian countries have extensive welfare states, they can be regarded as socialist in the above sense.

If they are such a panacea, one wonders why the whole world has not copied them. Look beyond the hackneyed hype, and a different picture emerges.

Didn’t I state why in my last post??!!

The socialist welfare state relies on its citizens willing abdicating their liberty in exchange from protection of the negative consequences personal responsibility such as poverty and privation. In developed countries able to to afford an extensive welfare state and plentiful social capital, the trade-off is worth it.

In another thread, I attempted to explain this:

No, I was referring to ethnic diversity within the context of socialism; socialism is a political ideology and has multiple dimensions aside only possessing an economic one. Socialism has social dimensions and the question of whether there could be social cohesion and solidarity in a ethnically diverse society is an important social question. As one can infer, I am by no means a Marxist or Trotskyist who believes that a global labor revolution is possible due to national and ethnic differences.

I do not deny the influence of original sin and I see the prevalence of human selfishness which must be controlled by repressive (not oppressive) social (but not political) institutions, not extolled by the ideologies of liberty and freedom. In this sense, I am more of a conservative than a liberal who has a pessimistic view of human nature, understanding and accepting the inevitably of human folly. Despite this, I have nothing but contempt for American Conservatism (although I do enjoy reading* The American Conservative* sometimes :slight_smile: ) and the American left. If I were living in Europe (let’s say Sweden, Denmark, France, or Germany), I imagine I would occasionally support right-wing nationalist anti-immigration parties over internationalist social democrats to preserve my nation’s sovereign, solidarity, and institutions. This would not be an expression of disagreement for the domestic policies of the social democrats, but rather a desire to preserve their past success against the invasive metastasis of neoliberalism and to prevent the apoptosis of our national sovereignty and democratic institutions.

[quote=Kevin MacDonald]White flight is part of the fragmented future that lies in store for the U.S. and other Western countries with high levels of non-European immigration. It is a well-established finding that the more ethnically mixed a population becomes, the greater is its resistance to redistributive policies.31 For example, a study of donations to the United Way of America charity found that white Americans give less when their communities are more than 10 per cent nonwhite. Sociologist Robert D. Putnam recently showed that the greater the racial diversity of a community, the greater the loss of trust.32 People living in homogeneous areas like New Hampshire or Montana are more involved with friends, the community, and politics than people in more diverse areas.33

kevinmacdonald.net/WhiteEthnocentrism.pdf

[/quote]

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=454811&page=7

So, despite the Church’s teaching, you’re a socialist all the way? Can you even conceive of a disadvantage of socialism?

I could conceive of some disadvantages of socialism, but how does my posts imply that I am a “socialist”? But I am socialist as in “welfare statist” as I discussed above:

I, using Liu’s definition, do not define “socialism” as pervasive state control of the economy, although it does entail some of that, but** the general belief that state should play a role on ensuring the welfare of its citizens as opposed to the libertarian thought this should solely in the domain of responsible, mature individuals. **I doubt that denying individuals the opportunity to exercise personal responsibility in some situations, especially citizens to particular risky situations such as being vulnerable to homelessness or lacking health care, is a threat to human dignity. The socialist welfare state relies on its citizens willing abdicating their liberty in exchange from protection of the negative consequences personal responsibility such as poverty and privation. In developed countries able to to afford an extensive welfare state and plentiful social capital, the trade-off is worth it.

I just noted that, in spite o Church teaching against all forms of “collectivism”, of which socialism is certainly one, you still seek to find workable examples of it. You might seek out and speak with those who have lived under, and escaped from various forms of socialism around the world. They paint a much different picture of socialism in practice.

Try to tune in to the Glenn Beck show on the Fox channel at 5pm each day to learn about Socialism. Everyone at churches in our area watch this show and are forming groups to study the Constitution and learn the difference between the two. You will learn alot on this show and will enjoy it.

Deu 5:21 “Neither shall you covet your neighbor’s wife. Neither shall you desire your neighbor’s house, or field, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

The concept of socialism goes against the 10th commandment. It is contrary to the teachings of the Bible and the Church. You cannot justify taking something from someone and giving it the another just because you feel like the former has too much. Anyway that you look at it, it is called stealing, pure and simple.

Even considering that a welfare state can be a good thing is ludicrous. It destroys the people that are in this state of living. It drains from them any desire to become a contributing member of society. It handicaps them and their children for they have no desire to better themselves.

Even in this country it is a horrible condition. Women that are already in this system learn from there mothers to pretty up early in life and have at least 3 or 4 kids to maximize their return on welfare checks then when those kids go to school have them play stupid so that they get put in special education and then they get another check from social security.

My wife is a special education teacher in a low income area and she sees these kids come to her in such bad psychological state and low self esteme with no desire to better themselves. If she asks them that old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She is just as likely get a “sit on the couch and pull a check” as she is one of the traditional answers.

Welfare is killing the souls of too many people because it has ceased to be what it was suppose to be, which was a tempory state until the person or family can get back on their feet. Now it is a way of life.

The sad thing in this country this way of life is growing pretty fast.

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