This article is an opinion piece from Bill Lockwood. Catch American Liberty with Bill Lockwood weekly at 11 a.m. Saturdays on NewsTalk 1290.

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The "bare bones" definition of socialism is normally thought to be a broad category of economic or political theories advocating collective control over ownership of means of production. The Soviet Union confiscated all factories, farms, and the machinery of production. This general concept, however, falls far short of what socialism has come to encompass.

Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992), the Austrian-British economist explains that "socialism has evolved in the twentieth century to mean income redistribution in pursuit of 'equality,' not through government ownership of means of production but through institutions of the welfare state and the 'progressive' income tax. The means may have changed, but the ostensible end — equality — remained the same."

For example, if socialist Bernie Sanders wanted to be entirely truthful about healthcare, he would not say that government can offer citizens anything for free, but that he wants health care to become a government-run monopoly financed entirely by taxes.

Max Eastman

Max Eastman (1883-1969) was a prominent editor, political activist and "prominent radical" who, like many in President Woodrow Wilson's "progressive" America, became infatuated with Marxism. Eastman traveled to the Soviet Union to learn firsthand how to be a good socialist and became friends with Leon Trotsky.

Years later, when Eastman became convinced that socialism is void of validity, he reflected upon his time as a Marxist in his book "Reflections on the Failure of Socialism."

“I sadly regret the precious twenty years I spent muddling and messing around with this idea," Eastman wrote," which with enough mental clarity and moral force I might have seen through when I went to Russia in 1922."

Would that more “progressives” could open their minds to come to that obvious conclusion. Eastman reflected in his book "Marxism — Is It Science?"

"Marxists profess to reject religion in favor of science, but they cherish a belief that the external universe is evolving with reliable, if not divine, necessity in exactly the direction in which they want it to go," Eastman wrote. "They do not conceive themselves as struggling to build the communist society in a world which is of its own nature indifferent to them. They conceive themselves as traveling toward that society in a world which is like a moving-stairway, but walking in the wrong direction. This is not a scientific, but in the most technical sense, a religious conception of the world."

Eastman knew whereof he spoke.

When its doctrines are examined, socialism more closely resembles a religious concept than anything else. The only difference between socialism and Christianity is that the latter is grounded upon historical fact while socialistic faith is founded upon unproven assumptions. Communism particularly is a philosophy of faith in the dialectic — the zig-zagging of history onward and upward to a more perfect society.

Dr. James D. Bales was an authority on communism/socialism who taught at Harding University in Arkansas. He authored more than seventy scholarly works, including dozens on socialism, and lectured both in America and foreign countries on the dangers of communism.

“Communists represent the antithesis which the dialectic has decreed will destroy us, the thesis. It is this faith,” Bales said, “which helps keep the rank and file members at their tasks when the going is difficult.”

This is also, we might add, why myriads of collegiate students, trained by their Neo-Marxist professors, continue to march fanatically to the drumbeat of socialism.

Norman Thomas

Because of the religious nature of socialism, it was a simple matter for Norman Thomas (1884-1968), to trade his ministerial garbs and Presbyterian beliefs for a heaven-on-earth utopia strategy of socialism. He became known as "Mr. Socialist" in America.

Thomas, in turn, was heavily influenced by the nineteenth-century social gospel “theology” developed by Walter Rauschenbusch. Rauschenbusch was himself a Baptist preacher of the nineteenth century who mixed a version of modernistic "Christianity" together with Marxism to craft what became known as the "social gospel."

The key to Rauschenbusch’s theology was his concept of the Kingdom of God. To him, this Kingdom was not located in another place called heaven or in a future millennium, but could best be described in modern terms as a level of consciousness in which one recognized the immanence of God in human life and the interconnected, interacting, interdependent nature of the entire human species.

So writes Dr. Elizabeth Balanoff, professor of history at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, in her paper, "Norman Thomas: Socialism and the Social Gospel."

"Walter Rauschenbusch was convinced that this was the original Christian vision which had been distorted and lost with time," Balanoff wrote, "and that it was possible to regain it."

Because of the religious nature of socialism, H.G. Wells stated: "Socialism is to me a very great thing indeed, the form and substance of my ideal life and all the religion I possess." Mr. Edmund Optiz, writing in "Foundation for Economic Education, published in 1969, observed that, "as a religion, socialism promised a terrestrial paradise, a heaven on earth." This is why Optiz called socialism "a fanatic faith."

For this reason the devotees of socialism in America, whose number continues to grow through colleges and universities, continue to trumpet what the glories of socialism will do in America — but this is blind faith.


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