The Bible Assumes Private Property and Business Ownership

(Originally posted February 2011)

Here is a great quote from Dr. Grudem:

A. PRIVATE PROPERTY

According to the teachings of the Bible, government should both document and protect the ownership of private property in a nation.

The Bible regularly assumes and reinforces a system in which property belongs to individuals, not to the government or to society as a whole.

We see this implied in the Ten Commandments, for example, because the eighth commandment, “You shall not steal” (Exod. 20:15), assumes that human beings will own property that belongs to them individually and not to other people. I should not steal my neighbor’s ox or donkey because it belongs to my neighbor, not to me and not to anyone else.

The tenth commandment makes this more explicit when it prohibits not just stealing but also desiring to steal what belongs to my neighbor:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; 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” (Exod. 20:17).

The reason I should not “covet” my neighbor’s house or anything else is that these things belong to my neighbor, not to me and not to the community or the nation.

This assumption of private ownership of property, found in this fundamental moral code of the Bible, puts the Bible in direct opposition to the communist system advocated by Karl Marx. Marx said:

The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: abolition of private property.

One reason why communism is so incredibly dehumanizing is that when private property is abolished, government controls all economic activity. And when government controls all economic activity, it controls what you can buy, where you will live, and what job you will have (and therefore what job you are allowed to train for, and where you go to school), and how much you will earn. It essentially controls all of life, and human liberty is destroyed. Communism enslaves people and destroys human freedom of choice. The entire nation becomes one huge prison. For this reason, it seems to me that communism is the most dehumanizing economic system ever invented by man.

Other passages of Scripture also support the idea that property should belong to individuals, not to “society” or to the government (except for certain property required for proper government purposes, such as government offices, military bases, and streets and highways). The Bible contains many laws concerning punishments for stealing and appropriate restitution for damage of another person’s farm animals or agricultural fields (for example, see Exod. 21:28-36; 22:1-15; Deut. 22:1-4; 23:24-25). Another commandment guaranteed that property boundaries would be protected: “You shall not move your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in the inheritance that you will hold in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess” (Deut. 19:14). To move the landmark was to move the boundaries of the land and thus to steal land that belonged to one’s neighbor (compare Prov. 22:28; 23:10).

Another guarantee of the ownership of private property was the fact that, even if property was sold to someone else, in the Year of Jubilee it had to return to the family that originally owned it:

It shall be a Jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan (Lev. 25:10).

This is why the land could not be sold forever: “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me” (Lev. 25:23).

This last verse emphasizes the fact that private property is never viewed in the Bible as an absolute right, because all that people have is ultimately given to them by God, and people are viewed as God’s “stewards” to manage what he has entrusted to their care.

The earth is the LORD’S and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein (Ps. 24:1; compare Ps. 50:10-12; Hag. 2:8).

Yet the fact remains that, under the overall sovereign lordship of God himself, property is regularly said to belong to individuals, not to the government and not to “society” or the nation as a whole.

When Samuel warned the people about the evils that would be imposed upon them by a king, he emphasized the fact that the monarch, with so much government power, would “take” and “take” and “take” from the people and confiscate things for his own use:

So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day” (1 Sam. 8:10-18).

This prediction was tragically fulfilled in the story of the theft of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite by Ahab the wicked king and Jezebel, his even more wicked queen (see 1 Kings 21:1-29). The regular tendency of human governments is to seek to take control of more and more of the property of a nation that God intends to be owned and controlled by private individuals.

SOCIALISM likewise is the taking over of private property, industry, and the capital of a man’s labor. Here is a good working definition of socialism followed by Professor Richards describing it as well:

In order to have a “favorable” view of socialism one must have either forgotten what the entire world learned about socialism from the late nineteenth century on, or have never learned anything about it in the first place. The latter is obviously true of much of the younger generation.

Socialism started out being defined as “government ownership of the means of production,” which is why the government of the Soviet Union confiscated all businesses, factories, and farms, murdering millions of dissenters and resisters in the process. It is also why socialist political parties in Europe, once in power, nationalized as many of the major industries (steel, automobiles, coal mines, electricity, telephone ser­vices) as they could. The Labour Party in post-World War II Great Britain would be an example of this. All of this was done, ostensibly, in the name of pursuing material “equality.”

In the foreword to the 1976 edition of his famous book, The Road to Serfdom, Nobel laureate economist Friedrich Hayek wrote that the definition of “socialism” evolved in the twentieth century to mean income redis­tribution in pursuit of “equality,” not through govern­ment ownership of the means of production but through the institutions of the welfare state and the “progres­sive” income tax. The means may have changed, but the ostensible end—equality—remained the same.

Hayek’s mentor, fellow Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, explained in his classic treatise Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, that the wel­fare state, the “progressive” income tax, and especially pervasive government regulation of business were all tools of “destructionism” in the eyes of the socialists of his day. That is, he observed that the proponents of socialism always employed a two-pronged approach: (1) the government takeover of as many industries and as much land as possible, and (2) attempts to destroy existing capitalist societies with onerous taxes, regula­tions, the welfare state, inflation, or whatever they thought could get the job done.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 4-5.

The Democrats Lurches Left & Crazy! (RPT’s COMMENTARY)

EDITOR’S COMMENTS

Democrats lurch not just Leftward, but incestuously as well. Ilhan Omar won the Democratic primary for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District late Tuesday evening, beating her [Democrat] opponent, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, who outspent her (DAILY CALLER). Remember, she is the woman busted by POWERLINE and JIHAD WATCH for marrying her brother. She is anti-Israel, as well as being most likely against homosexuals and Jews… although she won’t speak about it.

Keith Ellison won his bid for Minnesota Attorney General. This is a man I have posted about often, as well as others regarding Keith’s racist ties (GOP, TABLET MAG, WASHINGTON FREE BEACON, WEEKLY STANDARD, NATIONAL REVIEW, and others like JIHAD WATCH). His anti-Semitism is legend (really, the anti-Semitic/anti-Israel Democrat voters in that district), as well as the newest charge of treating women like Muhammad. Alan Dershowitz even said he would leave the Democrat Party if Ellison was elected DNC Chair. I guess the number two spot doesn’t count?

NOT to mention a man (“Christine” Hallquist) masquerading as a woman who won HIS primary as well. That doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the self-described PROGRESSIVE platform he ran on. He beats around the bush (pun intended) when asked about his obvious socialism.

Add the socialist cherry on top and you have quite a mix!

Etc., etc.

(ACE OF SPADES has a good wrap up of the latest election nonsense.)

Democrats Favor Socialism Over Capitalism… Sorta

Here Dennis Prager discusses a recent poll showing that Democrat are in LOVE with socialism. USA TODAY notes the following about the poll:

According to a Gallup poll published Monday, a majority of Democrats no longer hold a positive view of capitalism, while nearly 60 percent of them feel good about socialism. More than 70 percent of Republicans, on the other hand, see capitalism positively, while only 16 percent of them have a positive view of socialism.

The positive view of socialism among Democrats, and those who lean Democrat, actually dropped a point from 58 percent in 2016. But in those same two years, positive feelings about capitalism plummetted from 56 to 47 percent

At one point Prager notes that socialism hasn’t made one dime in money… which made me think of this quote from an excellent book:

  • A 2009 study by the Swedish Economic Association discovered that the Swedish economy had failed to create any new jobs on net from 1950 to 2005. Thanks to conservative reforms, however, progress was finally being made, and Sweden’s national debt went from 80 percent of GDP in 1992 to 40 percent by 2008.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 79.

MiLENINal’s And The Ol’ Lie

Are Republicans ready to take this challenge from the far left seriously? Matt Gorman from the National Republican Congressional Committee weighs in on ‘Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream.’

In one of the funniest posts in a while, TWITCHY want to shorten Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s name:

We need a nickname for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It’s too long to type it all out. Post your suggestions here….

  • “She Guevara”
  • “Bolshichick”
  • “Bolshevik Barbie”
  • “Alex from the East Bloc”
  • “Bronxhevik”
  • “MARXandria”
  • “MiLENINal”

Michael Medved discusses the growing popularity (popularity should be in quotes) of socialism. News organizations like the AP have headlines that say “Democratic socialism surging in the age of Trump,” but what does “surge” mean? While it is still worrisome that soo many young people do not know what socialism is, the membership rates are still nowhere near the NRA, of 5,000,000[+] persons.

DNC Chair Says Socialism Future of Democrat Party

This will ALL server to splinter the Democrats.

WESTERN JOURNALISM writes about the exchange:

“What does this tell you about where the Democratic Party is going today?” Press said.

Perez responded by saying his daughters “were both texting me about their excitement over Alexandria, because she really, she represents the future of our party.”

The 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, who want to abolish capitalism in favor of an economy run by the state or “the workers.”

RUSH LIMBAUGH discusses what the turnout for this young socialist REALLY says:

CALLER: It’s just amazing that the Democratic Party is literally turning itself inside out now because of this one primary election. And I don’t know what the numbers were in terms of the turnout, but it can’t have been very large in an election where —

RUSH: It was a sizable — she beat this dinosaur by like 15 points, and the polls had him winning by 35. It was a shocker, there’s no question.

[….]

RUSH: The turnout in the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was under 20%. The caller was right. The turnout less than 20%. That was easy pickings for some dedicated Democrat socialist to take over some district. That’s easy.

[….]

RUSH: So, yeah, the turnout in that race won by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was under 20%. Folks, do you realize that if this clown, Crowley, had just got his base out, that this whole thing would not have happened? She wins this election with less than a 20% turnout. Our caller was right. The Democrats are going bonkers thinking this is the new wave in the Democrat Party.

And if Crowley, the incumbent, if your standard, ordinary, everyday Democrats, I know they’re a dwindling few, but if they had just shown up. But look at this. There’s another thing about this. We’re constantly told the Democrats have all the enthusiasm, right? The Democrats, they’re chomping at the bit! They can’t wait to get rid of Trump!

Now, I know Trump was not on this ballot. I know this was a primary. And I know it was just Ocasio-Cortez versus Crowley. But where was all this Democrat enthusiasm? I’ll guarantee you that Crowley’s voters thought he was a shoo-in because he’s the kind of Democrat that wins elections with nobody voting anyway. Just one of these guys for whom the seat has been eternal and expected.

But here comes this socialist-Marxist exciting a small percentage of that district and they’re the ones that showed up and turned out. But even if they get a hundred percent turnout of all the socialist-Marxists, that’s not gonna be enough to take back the House of Representatives. So they are, I think, what do you say, lying to themselves, fooling themselves. But it’s why the Democrats are concerned.

It’s not just that the Pelosi and the Schumer types would rather have their Marxism and socialism camouflaged. It’s not just that. It’s that they know that that wing of the Democrat Party in terms of raw numbers is really tiny. Not enough to win a national election, I mean, not even close. So you have a turnout of less than 20%, the seat turns, and now everybody’s talking about how this is a revolution in the Democrat Party? Give me a break. What it’s gonna end up doing is dividing and fracturing the Democrat Party.

POWERLINE adds to the fray!

…But most voters apparently aren’t convinced. Rasmussen Reports finds that given a choice between free enterprise and socialism, the overwhelming majority prefer freedom:

[V]oters reject socialism in no uncertain terms.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 74% of Likely U.S. Voters prefer a free market economic system over a socialist system. Only 13% think socialism is a better economic system, and just as many (13%) are undecided.

Of course, it is depressing to think that 13% of voters are dumb enough to want socialism, and being undecided between free markets and socialism is like being undecided between Bar Refaeli and Nancy Pelosi. But I suppose you could find 13% of poll respondents who will say the Sun rises in the West….

Our Founders Hated “Direct Democracy”

(Originally posted in April of 2015)

Take note of Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution reads:

  • “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government

I tell my kids that we do not have a democracy, but a Democratic REPUBLIC; and I am basing these on the Constitution and the authors (and signers) understanding of it (commonly referred to as “original intent”).  Our Founders had an opportunity to establish a democracy in America but chose not to.  In fact, they made very clear that we were not – and never to become – a democracy:

James Madison (fourth President, co-author of the Federalist Papers and the “father” of the Constitution) – “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general; been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

John Adams (American political philosopher, first vice President and second President) – “Remember, democracy never lasts long.  It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.  There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Benjamin Rush (signer of the Declaration) – “A simple democracy is one of the greatest of evils.”

Fisher Ames (American political thinker and leader of the federalists [he entered Harvard at twelve and graduated by sixteen], author of the House language for the First Amendment) – “A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction.  These will provide an eruption and carry desolation in their way.´ /  “The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness [excessive license] which the ambitious call, and the ignorant believe to be liberty.”

Governor Morris (signer and penman of the Constitution) – “We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate… as [it has]  everywhere terminated, in despotism….  Democracy!  Savage and wild.  Thou who wouldst bring down the virtous and wise to thy level of folly and guilt.”

John Quincy Adams (sixth President, son of John Adams [see above]) – “The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”

Noah Webster (American educator and journalist as well as publishing the first dictionary) – “In democracy… there are commonly tumults and disorders…..  therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government.  It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.”

John Witherspoon (signer of the Declaration of Independence) – “Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”

Zephaniah Swift (author of America’s first legal text) – “It may generally be remarked that the more a government [or state] resembles a pure democracy the more they abound with disorder and confusion.”

CATO Article:

Critics have long derided the Electoral College as a fusty relic of a bygone era, an unnecessary institution that one day might undermine democracy by electing a minority president. That day has arrived, assuming Gov. Bush wins the Florida recount as seems likely.

The fact that Bush is poised to become president without a plurality of the vote contravenes neither the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution. The wording of our basic law is clear: The winner in the Electoral College takes office as president. But what of the spirit of our institutions? Are we not a democracy that honors the will of the people? The very question indicates a misunderstanding of our Constitution.

James Madison’s famous Federalist No. 10 makes clear that the Founders fashioned a republic, not a pure democracy. To be sure, they knew that the consent of the governed was the ultimate basis of government, but the Founders denied that such consent could be reduced to simple majority or plurality rule. In fact, nothing could be more alien to the spirit of American constitutionalism than equating democracy will the direct, unrefined will of the people.

Recall the ways our constitution puts limits on any unchecked power, including the arbitrary will of the people. Power at the national level is divided among the three branches, each reflecting a different constituency. Power is divided yet again between the national government and the states. Madison noted that these two-fold divisions — the separation of powers and federalism — provided a “double security” for the rights of the people.

What about the democratic principle of one person, one vote? Isn’t that principle essential to our form of government? The Founders’ handiwork says otherwise. Neither the Senate, nor the Supreme Court, nor the president is elected on the basis of one person, one vote. That’s why a state like Montana, with 883,000 residents, gets the same number of Senators as California, with 33 million people. Consistency would require that if we abolish the Electoral College, we rid ourselves of the Senate as well. Are we ready to do that?

The filtering of the popular will through the Electoral College is an affirmation, rather than a betrayal, of the American republic. Doing away with the Electoral College would breach our fidelity to the spirit of the Constitution, a document expressly written to thwart the excesses of majoritarianism. Nonetheless, such fidelity will strike some as blind adherence to the past. For those skeptics, I would point out two other advantages the Electoral College offers.

First, we must keep in mind the likely effects of direct popular election of the president. We would probably see elections dominated by the most populous regions of the country or by several large metropolitan areas. In the 2000 election, for example, Vice President Gore could have put together a plurality or majority in the Northeast, parts of the Midwest, and California.

The victims in such elections would be those regions too sparsely populated to merit the attention of presidential candidates. Pure democrats would hardly regret that diminished status, but I wonder if a large and diverse nation should write off whole parts of its territory. We should keep in mind the regional conflicts that have plagued large and diverse nations like India, China, and Russia. The Electoral College is a good antidote to the poison of regionalism because it forces presidential candidates to seek support throughout the nation. By making sure no state will be left behind, it provides a measure of coherence to our nation.

Second, the Electoral College makes sure that the states count in presidential elections. As such, it is an important part of our federalist system — a system worth preserving. Historically, federalism is central to our grand constitutional effort to restrain power, but even in our own time we have found that devolving power to the states leads to important policy innovations (welfare reform).

If the Founders had wished to create a pure democracy, they would have done so. Those who now wish to do away with the Electoral College are welcome to amend the Constitution, but if they succeed, they will be taking America further away from its roots as a constitutional republic.

How did the terms “Elector” and “Electoral College” come into usage?

The term “electoral college” does not appear in the Constitution. Article II of the Constitution and the 12th Amendment refer to “electors,” but not to the “electoral college.” In the Federalist Papers (No. 68), Alexander Hamilton refers to the process of selecting the Executive, and refers to “the people of each State (who) shall choose a number of persons as electors,” but he does not use the term “electoral college.”

The founders appropriated the concept of electors from the Holy Roman Empire (962 – 1806). An elector was one of a number of princes of the various German states within the Holy Roman Empire who had a right to participate in the election of the German king (who generally was crowned as emperor). The term “college” (from the Latin collegium), refers to a body of persons that act as a unit, as in the college of cardinals who advise the Pope and vote in papal elections. In the early 1800’s, the term “electoral college” came into general usage as the unofficial designation for the group of citizens selected to cast votes for President and Vice President. It was first written into Federal law in 1845, and today the term appears in 3 U.S.C. section 4, in the section heading and in the text as “college of electors.”

The Free Market vs. Nationalization In Protecting the Environment

(See PRAGER U’s PLAYLIST) Here is an excerpt that the above video compliments.

It is a hallmark of socialist governments everywhere to nationalize heavy industries like petroleum, and, in the process, turn them into government-supervised environmental criminals unaccountable to property owners and consumers. For example, when privately owned British Petroleum (BP) caused an accidental oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it immediately established a $20 billion fund to pay future claims of damages and did everything it could to clean up the mess. It had legal obligations and its corporate reputation at stake. When the Mexican government’s oil company, Pemex, causes an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico—and there have been many—it claims “sovereign immunity” from any legal damages. In the first five months of 2015, Pemex was responsible for three catastrophic oil rig explosions in the Gulf of Mexico that caused several deaths, numerous injuries to oil platform workers, and generated air and water pollution. Pemex claimed that the explosions caused no oil spill, but satellite images taken by Greenpeace Mexico showed a two-and-a-half-mile long oil slick reaching from the exploded oil platform. “Pemex has proven time and time again that you cannot trust their statements,” said Gustavo Ampugnani of Greenpeace Mexico.

The United States is not immune from socialist-d riven environmental problems. Many utility compa­nies, for example, are government-owned with less than stellar results. In 2015, to take just one recent example, the people of Flint, Michigan, were alerted to a fright-cuing environmental debacle. The city government, supposedly in an effort to save money, switched its city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River, despite the fact that the Flint River had long been known to be extraordinarily polluted. The Flint city government (and the state’s Department of Environ­mental Quality, according to a class action lawsuit) failed to properly treat water from the Flint River. The result was that city residents drank and bathed in water full of lead and other dangerous chemicals.

For many intellectuals, the attraction of socialism is that it is “rational”; it is a “planned” economy, planned by people like them. In reality, the environ­mental and economic results of socialism are a litany of disaster.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 120-121.

Exactly Like The NAZI Youth

It doesn’t matter if your libertarian atheists, or Democrats (which all of the below are), if you step out of line with the end goal (socialism), violence from the Left is the consequence in and failing society.

Antifa Mob Shouts Down Dr. Yaron Brook, Assaults Students At King’s College In London (DAILY WIRE)

A mob of masked Antifa members stormed a lecture hall at King’s College in London on Monday night, shouting down — and then shutting down — an event being held by the Ayn Rand Institute featuring Ayn Rand Board of Directors chairman Dr. Yaron Brook and internet personality Sargon of Akkad.

According to The Washington Times, the event, hosted by the King’s College Libertarian Society, was supposed to be a “discussion about Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism … followed by a question and answer period.” But the event took a turn for the terrifying when Antifa burst into the hall, made their way to the stage and began threatening the speakers with violence. Fights broke out on stage.

Dr. Brooks was lucky to escape unscathed. Audience members were able to catch the shocking incident on video, but the student recording was attacked……..

  • In order to become ‘Führer’ of Germany, Hitler felt that speeches and propaganda were not enough to win him the election. His own private army, the SA, helped him; they beat Communists up, interrupted their meetings and deterred their campaigning. Next, Hitler had about 4000 Communists arrested and imprisoned. The newspapers were shut down. SA were waiting in the streets to beat anti-Nazis up. (IN)

Progressives Shout Down Christina Hoff Sommers At Portland Law School (HOT AIR)

Christina Hoff Sommers was scheduled to speak today at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. Yesterday, in anticipation of her arrival, a coalition of progressive groups led by a local chapter of the National Lawyer’s Guild announced they would be protesting her appearance. Specifically, a letter released by the group said that Sommers was a “known fascist” and that her invitation to speak was an “act of aggression and violence” toward others.

In case you had any doubt, the violence and aggression they are talking about here is speech. “Free speech is certainly an important tenet to a free, healthy society, but that freedom stops when it has a negative and violent impact on other individuals. There is no debate here.” Here’s the letter in full….

Socialism Is For Suckers

Since socialists are unwilling or unable to look at what their philosophy does to people, Firewall host Bill Whittle shows us what it is doing to the animals, and asks how the richest person in Venezuela just happens to be the daughter of the socialist former President of that starving country.