- “PHILOSOPHICAL opinion is heavily weighted against the notion that members of a large community can care about one another except in cases of extreme emergency, such as war or natural disaster... Humans are simply born with a limited amount of caring capacity...Marx disagrees. He thinks that an unalienated society is possible. It is a society in which members of the community take an interest in the interests of their fellow citizens non-instrumentally.” The Possibility of Communist Altruism J. L. Jenkins History of Philosophy Quarterly Vol. 12, No. 1 (Jan., 1995), pp. 95-109
What if 'members of the community take a covetous interest in the interests of their fellow citizens'?
It is not the system that saves society but the morality. Morality is a choice made by individuals. You cannot enforce morality or altruism without becoming a Cain, Nimrod or Caesar of the world. You can seek to protect your neighbor from falling victim to the abusive choices of others by seeking the Kingdom of God, which is the right to be ruled by God in your heart and mind and by seeking the righteousness of God whose son came to serve.
Early Israel was a large community that operated entirely by freewill offerings. It had no king or ruler, no property, sales or income tax. It did have a tithe but you chose to whom you would give it and there was no enforceable penalty for failing to do so. It had an all-volunteer army and was virtually invincible. It did not oppress the stranger in its midst and had good relationships with many of its neighbors because of the sacrifice of the "Red Heifer".
Modern Christians and most Jews have little understanding of how that system of government worked and functioned. Even Israel forgot the secret of their success and chose a king, a ruler which was a rejection of God. God allowed them to pick someone to rule over them but listed five things to write down and read to him every day as a reminder of his limitation.
Any constitution that tries to set up a government without those limitations on those who will be in power would not be a biblical constitution.
But who is aware of those restrictions and why they were to be written down. Karl Mark certainly did not. Marx thinks a communist society will be able to operate according to the principle “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need.”
The operating word here is “from”.
Who decides the “from”?
Who should decide the legitimacy of a “need”?
In basic capitalism the one who sweats and toils to produce gets to decide the fate and distribution of the products of his labor, sweat and blood, but in communism someone else who did not travail and toil to produce will decide for those who do. Certainly their can be abuses created by individuals who start out practicing capitalism because capitalism leaves the choice in the hands of the individual.
Communists, socialists and other progressives want to take choice away from the individual and give it to the collective or its representatives. There can be little or no Communist Altruism because the system itself is predicated on the principle of taking choice away from the individual which is the primary characteristic of basic capitalism.
Personal selfishness allows society to neglect their neighbor. This is why both Jesus and Moses said you must love your neighbor as yourself and why Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their system of Corban and their failure to attend to the weightier matters.
- “Freedom is the Right to Choose, the Right to create for oneself the alternatives of Choice. Without the possibility of Choice, and the exercise of Choice, a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing”. Archibald MacLeish was an American poet, writer and the Librarian of Congress. (1892 – 1982)
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