I’ve heard this term flung around quite often, especially when Bernie Sanders was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination. I also heard it Thursday night during the presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden.
I’ve read through Joe Biden’s vision on his website and have a hard time finding overtly socialist language. Republicans criticize the Democratic party specifically for their “Medicare for All” and the “Green New Deal” visions for leaning towards the socialist agenda. Joe Biden claims that he is not a socialist and is a moderate. But let’s consider if Joe Biden gets elected as President. The House of Representatives has a Democratic majority, which houses some outspoken democratic socialists aka Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), as part of the “squad.” These four women, including Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, are on the left-wing of the democratic party meaning that they support social equality and egalitarianism to eliminate differences in status, power, and wealth. The Senate, right now, has a Republican majority, but some of these Senate races are close and that majority could fall. So, if the House of Representatives’ majority is Democratic, the Senate is Democratic, and the President is Democratic, what is going to stop the radical leftist agenda from being passed through? Would Joe Biden veto a bill that passed through his House of Reps and Senate if it didn’t align with his moderate views or would he slowly permit radical leftist legislation to permeate the United States?
With this in mind, I thought it was time to briefly discuss the “S” word. Today, we’ll talk about what it is and then next time we’ll discuss why socialism is unbiblical.
Socialism is a doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership of property, goods, and services. These goods, services, and property are for the benefit of the collective, not the individual. The government, not the individual, collects and redistributes the wealth to the people. This is contrasted with capitalism in which the individual determines their own means of production and distribution of those means.
There are many types of socialism, let’s briefly discuss four of them.
- Democratic Socialism: This is the doctrine of Bernie Sanders and AOC. There are two, economic and governing, principles of democratic socialism. Economically, this doctrine holds that the means of production of goods and services should be in the hands of ordinary working people. The governing principle states that political power should be in the hands of the people. Adherents to this doctrine attempt to accomplish democratic socialism through peaceful means, i.e. elections, so they gradually transform a capitalist economy and government into a socialist one. Now, the word “democratic” seems palatable. This doctrine sounds nice and friendly because it emphasizes the people. But, in reality, power is extracted from the people (they call them “workers”) and given to the government. This type of socialism is like a frog in boiling water. The frog doesn’t realize that it is slowly dying because the water is gradually boiling. But before the frog realizes what has happened, it’s too late.
- Revolutionary Socialism: This is similar to democratic socialism, only this doctrine does not accomplish its’ goals through peaceful means. The recent Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots, insurrection, and agitation are examples of this. They attempt to transform the country from capitalism to socialism through revolution.
- Eco-Socialism or Green Socialism: This doctrine advocates for the non-violent dismantling of capitalism. It focuses on giving the state the collective ownership of the means of production to mitigate social exclusion, poverty, and environmental degradation supposedly brought about by capitalism, globalization, and imperialism. The “Green New Deal” as advocated for by AOC is an example of eco-socialism.
- Christian Socialism: This doctrine refers to Christians on the socio-political left whose worldview is a hybrid of biblical Christianity and socialism. They see the egalitarian and anti-establishment message of Jesus Christ as an example for us to support the tenants of socialism. These professing evangelical Christians often identify under the banner of the “social justice gospel.” The primary reason many confessing Christians are buying into the idea of socialism or the social justice gospel is that they are under the mistaken impression that societal egalitarianism is the primary goal of the gospel. That is, they believe that the church should actively endeavor to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth, a utopia. They believe the church should not only meet the spiritual needs of people but also should meet all of their felt needs as well so that no one is in want of any material thing. They hold to the socialist principle that this should be accomplished through means that include the confiscation and redistribution of individual wealth and private property by all levels of government. Next time, we’ll focus on biblical reasons why professing evangelicals that hold to the tenants of socialism are mistaken.
For now, consider these four forms of socialism as you decide who to vote for in this presidential election. It is called the “S” word for a reason. No Democratic political candidate who wants to appeal to their moderate base will admit any entanglement with the socialist agenda. Albeit, many radical leftists openly hold to the socialist agenda, Joe Biden has not overtly come out in support of it. However, do consider how the radical left socialist players have and will continue to influence the Democratic party and policies if Joe Biden becomes President.
- Joe Biden has not yet overtly expressed that he is a socialist or has a socialist agenda.
- However, it would make sense that Biden would be greatly influenced by the socialists in the Democratic party if he is elected President.
- Democratic, revolutionary, green, and Christian socialism were discussed briefly as these four types of socialism are prevalent today.