Christian Communism-the truth is out there. UPDATED
by Albert 1

# 1. 7/16/09 8:20 AM by Jim - Rochester
To some extent, a family unit could be considered communist.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need

Karl Marx

Editor's Note: Although Peter avoided a point by point response that of course he wasnt expected to do. A study of any religious order of Monks or Nuns proves my contention of the type society that were and are considered examples of Christian Communism.

I Am not speaking of the Early Church Peter responded with but today in the 21st century. The monks and nuns have limited self rule but the big rules come from the top down. Its their way or the highway. This almost mirrors Communism as practiced..

The Marxism you refer to is an example of where human nature is the sticking point and an individual wants to accumulate wealth and have more privileges then his fellow citizen. Even in the worst of Communist regimes there always exists a privileged class contrary to Marxist theory.

# 2. 7/16/09 8:23 AM by Jim - Rochester
With further reading I find this

"The phrase may also find an earlier origin in the New Testament. In Acts 4:32-35, the Apostles lifestyle is described as communal (without individual possession), and uses the phrase "distribution was made unto every man according as he had need"[6]:

“ 32. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

33. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

34. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

35. And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

Editor's Note: That is exactly on point. Thanks for the input.

Just think the early Christians seemed to have invented Socialism (just kidding) (maybe)

# 3. 7/16/09 9:36 AM by BF
What our friends on the right, while they are vilifying communism, do not seem to realize, is that the Communist political party in the United States is not illegal.

And who among us has suggested that it be made illegal? Revere's Ghost.

Sounds to me that trying to make opposing political parties illegal is something that Hitler did, not something a real American would want.

Editor's Note: When I was hired by AT&T in 1957 I had to affirm that I was not a member or had ever belonged to a large number of political and social groups. The Communist Party was one. Whether it was illegal at that time I have no idea

When I later received much higher security clearances for my military duies I was thoroughly investigated including the FBI checking every place I had ever lived and talking with some of the neighbors...

# 4. 7/16/09 10:05 AM by roger
My sense here is that Christian Communalism, or in LDS parlance, practice of the United Order, could be successful in providing for the material needs of a limited population over a brief period of time. I raise the United Order in response to your reference to early Mormon communities. Indeed the success of Orderville, Utah as established in 1870, which demonstrated successful commerce for some 10 years shows that communalism can successfully translate communal theory into practice. It must remembered however that these are self selected groups of highly motivated individuals. Much like the Galilean kibbutzim of the 20th century.

To translate the cooperative model to a much larger population and impose such a practice upon a population which is not motivated to cause the theory to prove successful, will demonstrate the weakness in the communal practice even if the theory is pure. You raise the example of Cuba, population some 11.5 million. This population is something fewer than the population of the state of Pennsylvania population 12.5 million. While it may be possible to successfully impose a type of cooperative socio-economic model on the 12.5 million, the question arises what to do with the other 288 million US citizens?

It is not the pure theory of Communism which elicits the antagonistic response in most persons. It is the abuse of the theory in practice as evidenced by the Soviet and Chinese experiences of the 20th century.

Editor's Note: Surprised to say I agree with your analysis 99.9 percent. Any system will have flaws. To attempt to counter things like greed and class warfare by legislation is easier said that done.

I remember "Small is Beautiful and Eric Hoffer's book that Jerry Brown supported,

That is why I claim that even Capitalism doesnt work on a large scale, No efficient government can and at the same time allow individuals close to unlimited freedom.

I repeat that for those espousing true conservatism that they had better get busy working towards negative population growth.

More people need less government? I dont think so.

# 5. 7/16/09 10:53 AM by roger
“ That is why I claim that even Capitalism doesnt work on a large scale, “

That depends on what you mean by “works”. It appears that Exxon made some $45 billion in 2008.

Now is this profit an exploitation of the masses and the environment by a powerful business entity or is this profit the vehicle by which the population gains access to wealth in the form of wages and retirement benefits and the means by which a valuable commodity is processed and brought to market for public use?

The potential for benefit to the population seems much greater under Capitalism.

Editor's Note: potential, of course but I heard an interesting exchange that showed the real world problem.

Corporations make profits and individuals can own mutual funds and stocks as I , my pension fund and my IRA all do but how about the millions who live handeto mouthand have to pay for their health care that includes that profit margin?

percentage wise I would suspect that securities ownership does not include the majority of the citizenry.

I recall some really nice profit numbers on health care stocks and funds.

Paid for by who?

# 6. 7/16/09 10:58 AM by Hawkeye - East Rochester, NY
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Jim followed what has become widely accepted and incorrectly assigned that quote to Marx. His hero Karl was, in fact, quoting Louis Blanc the French utopian socialist who published that line in 1839 in his study on L'Organisation du travail 9 years before the communist manifesto was published.

Editor's Note: Good ole Hawk saves the day and educates Albert and Jim. Thanks as it's a great trivial knowledge bit.

# 7. 7/16/09 12:10 PM by Nick - Irondequoit, NY
It's not the first time biblical socialism's been brought up. Early Acts indeed commanded a communal living arrangement of believers. At the risk of boring you with how to rightly divide what the bible meant by that, here goes: At that time in history the Kingdom Church believed Jesus' 2nd coming was going to take place almost immediately with the Great Tribulation soon to follow. Thus the Jewish believers were told to share their common belongings. God put on hold the 2nd coming and communal living as well.

Editor's Note: For the third time I mention that most religious orders are communal in 2009. They also have to be obedient rather than function democratically for the most part.

True, they can opt out but I thing after forging emotional ties with a lifestyle that is not so easy to do.

Roger brought up the major factor that such systems dont work well on a large scale.

Its interesting how well Cuba's system works even with US trade embargo that lets very few goods be traded.

That Island has some tremendous diving and snorkeling sites and tourism is a bargain. Our Canadian neighbors take full advantage of it.

# 8. 7/16/09 4:32 PM by Nick - Irondequoit, NY
Yes, one religious order you mentioned are the catholic monk. However, comparing it to communism is a stretch. Don't you think the big differences are:(a)a person can join freely and (b)a person can freely leave?

Editor's Note: I mentioned that difference at one point. I also mentioned when one is emotionally tied to something they are not that free to leave.

There are two ways to look at something Nick, How they are similar and how they differ.

# 9. 7/16/09 7:15 PM by Nick
Yes Albert, you did mention the emotion factor and the emotion factor is real. Just don't know how that ties into communism.

Editor's Note: Communism is a lifestyle. After one is engaged in a lifestyyle on becomes emotionally involved with it. You make friends and become what I call part of a level of entities in this case it would be a society of communists that share a similar outlook on life.

I dont know if you have a strong social group you belong to but if so how would you feel to have to leave it?

That feeling is emotion. All people identify winth being part of entities greater than ther selves. The firt entity a person identifies woth is their immediate famoly. Mosy leave that for a smaller one called a couple or pair. No matter what size the entity you form emotional bonds.

I wrote a column on this that did not mention communism as something one could identify a group with but it would be very valid to do so.

# 10. 4/19/16 11:11 PM by Tom Thomas - NY
It is very hard to give any credence to anyone who does not know the difference between "than" and "then". I do not often correct writer's spelling or grammar but in your case, I will because you are a Mensa member.Perhaps you rely too much on spell check which does not correct this mistake.

Editor's Note: I Am more impressed with the effort of the spirit of my old English teacher who lurks in the shadows of WOTL.

If I had asked her for a synopsis of my article rather than just listen to her superior ability to show me why I must concentrate on form while ignoring substance I might be a successful proofreader today rather than having to be satisfied that I might have actually related a positive experience in writing.

I wonder how e.e. cummings ever made it out of the starting gate without capitalizing his own proper name.

Some will never get the fact that I seek no credence, just the right to be free to do my thing for the others who are not as tortured in spirit.

For those whoare still conflictedo I hope they understand that my arrogance in forcing them to find an error in my grammar before they can justify avoiding the substantive philosophy my paradigm represents. My effort may not be purely unintentional.

I AM, Tom Thomas, the same person you, under many other pseudonymns, have vowed not to read beyond any evidence of my using the I Am.

I will say in closing however that I will stay with my vow to accept constructive criticism in hopes of someday be seen as a Brother I Arms, and perhaps even a fellow fan of the Son of Man who walks eternally after being free from the Cross of Space and Time

# 11. 4/20/16 2:06 AM by Mk
You still mistakenly put communism in the same camp as my faith. Bless your heart, I am not going to even try to explain the difference. :). Think what you may, but you are fundamentally missing so much, I have no way to bridge the gap between erroneous assumptions and truth. I love you dearly Albert and I don't want to be contentious. This is all I can offer you in way of comments.

Editor's Note: You still have tried to put words in my mouth that a careful analysis would show as not applicable. The words I use are used as part of a larger context that your averision to the word communist seems to be interfering with.

The Communist systems you seem most familiar with are totalitarian socialistic economic and political systems with little or no bottom up input into the governments.

The communal living exemplified by Catholic Monks are also communist in nature and in fact are quite totalitarian.

I of course am not as experienced with the LDS as you do but I can read and have read of various social control techniques various cults and other entities employ that you on the inside would not but an observer would classify quite differently.

You claim freedom of a very different sort than someone not of your community might agree with. Social shunning is not an either or practice. It can be employed at a very subtle level. In fact when done so can be observed in the faiths of many societies. The communal spirit I have observed with LDS adherents is not something I look down upon despite the feeling I seem to generate with you that I Am attacking your faith by recognizing from my perspective certain activities and practices..

I get it much more from Right Wing Borne Again Evangelicals who claim I attack Christianity.

I Am by nature both very observant and outspoken so what I observe I often do not hold my tongue about.

I have no need to attack what I do not fear. When I recognize or am concerned with a specific danger I usually find a way to deal with it.

Some faiths are more authortarian than others. That does not make them evil in my eyes but might cause me not to want to live under such authority. If you want to use words I would accept perhaps I could praise Mormons for a very strong sense of community.

It is what I observe. It is very Christian and good example of living in the spirit that was taught by Jesus. You claim not wanting to be contentious but as long as what I offer is misread as an attack I don't see how you would do otherwise. The gap to bridge exists in your perception of me. There are truths we share but others are being seen from two very different perspectives. I Am always open to factual information but reserve the right to apply my own perspective and intelligence to what I become aware of. When you see me with a misstated fact, enlighten me. Its like when I saw you claim Obama was an idealist. I couldn't hold still but forgot what my specific response was. We are, MK two independant individuals with decidedly differing perspectives on life. Why not do as I have found possible with some others and exchange these views rather than consider anything that doesn't match your paradigm as an attack?

include comments