by Norbert J. KukJesus calls us to serve others in His name, but He wasn’t referring to a state of servitude (slavery) that strips us of our God-given personal freedoms. Socialism, which has been around for ages in one form or another, would take us down that road. Here’s what distinguished Austrian economist Ludwig Von Mises said about socialism in his 1944 book, Bureaucracy: The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight! Are things any different in 2020? Today, the murderous and tyrannical past failures and ongoing menaces of socialism are more well documented than in 1944. Back then, on a large scale, we had national socialism (Nazism) and communist/Marxist Russia. Added to those after 1944 were, among others, Russia’s absorption of its neighbors into the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, North Korea, Soviet satellites (Poland, Balkan states, East Germany, etc.), and more recently, the workers’ paradises of Cuba and Venezuela. Of course, in the early 90s, the Soviet Union collapsed – but a few former components such as Russia itself have drifted back into varying degrees of autocratic rule. So far in history, there are no successes recorded for socialism. None! But what about those Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden and Denmark, often cited by leftists like Bernie Sanders as successful socialist countries? The answer is that those countries are not socialist – they are basically free market economies, and not centrally planned economies. Indeed, Denmark’s prime minister has publicly and clearly refuted the claim that his is a socialist country. And while it’s true that Denmark and Sweden are big welfare states with high taxes and too much regulation, they have openly recognized that those policies have been hurting economic growth. Now, they are trying to cut back on welfare, taxes, and regulations, especially after some high earners exited to more favorable tax locations. Another frequent pro-socialist claim, even by many who call themselves Christians, is that Jesus Himself was a socialist, because He was continually advocating for the poor and exhorting others to do likewise in a tangible way. The same people may also cite various Old Testament references to helping the poor (widows and orphans, etc.) to reinforce their point. The problem with that claim is that nowhere in the Bible does Jesus advocate for a government to help the poor – it’s always individuals on a voluntary basis (love your neighbor as yourself). That’s called private charity, not socialism. In the Old Testament, the best of the kings of Israel and Judah typically destroyed the trappings of idol worship and re-established Mosaic Law, which basically called on (but didn’t require) more prosperous individuals to share with others who had less. Again, it was individual charity and not government redistribution of wealth, an exception being a decreed forgiveness of debt every seven years (Deut. 15:1-3). The fact is, as radio host Jerry Newcombe puts it: Socialism is a form of theft – theft by the government. Socialism stokes the flames of envy and covetousness. Socialism violates at least two of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not steal and Thou shalt not covet (Townhall, 1/30/20). That succinctly describes the immorality of socialism. On an economic level, a socialistic government will eventually control the means of production, not only by fixing prices and wages but also dictating what can be produced, how it must be produced, and (except for the elite) what people can consume. With a top-down economy – as worker productivity, competition, and entrepreneurism decline or die – the inevitable results are (1) shortages of virtually everything and (2) endless waiting in lines, even for basic necessities like food, shelter, health care, clothing, etc. In addition, your property may become state property. This has always happened under socialism, eventually forcing many ordinary people to rely on risky black markets just to survive. Is America on the road to servitude today? And if so, how far along are we? Recent polls should give us pause. For example, a 2019 Harris poll of young Americans age 18 to 39 indicated that 73% believe government should provide universal health care; 67% believe government should provide tuition-free college education; and 49% prefer a socialist country. Moreover, 70% would vote for an openly socialist candidate. Other polls support these numbers. Undoubtedly, we can attribute that age group’s sentiments largely to the many Marxist professors who have infiltrated our university system. And now, the subversion is aimed at younger children. According to Marina Medvin, a D.C. lawyer and political commentator who grew up in the Soviet Union: American elementary schools have spent the past decade rapidly introducing leftist and socialist curricula into classrooms of little children. This type of leftist propagandization was previously reserved for older children in colleges and high schools. But the Obama era, followed by the shock of Trump’s election, [has] catalyzed a more emboldened approach for leftist pedagogy. Ms. Medvin calls it sugarcoated Marxism that’s force-fed to children as “equity” – i.e., the guarantee of not just equal opportunity but also equal results, leading to “fair” outcomes. It’s pure pied-piper manipulation of innocent, impressionable minds. Of course, the number one target of Marxists is still religion in general and Christianity in particular. In every country where atheistic communists/socialists have taken power, they have declared war on the Church. Over 100 years ago, Vladimir Lenin wrote in an essay titled Socialism and Religion: “We must combat religion – this is the ABC of all materialism and consequently Marxism.” And true to his word, as soon as he took power, he ordered 70,000 churches destroyed. But another Russian, noted intellectual and Nobelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who spent 10 years in the gulag for an offhand minor criticism of Stalin, understood the folly of the atheistic socialist state from personal experience. Sometime after his release from the gulag, he was able to emigrate to the US and in 1978 was asked to speak to the graduating class at Harvard. In his speech, he said pointedly that all the world’s troubles, including the evils of communism, were traceable to excluding God from our lives – and he made a clear plea for people to return to God. For that, the Harvard kids roundly booed him. Later, he reportedly told a friend that “the negative response hurt him more deeply than his suffering in the gulag.” Because atheistic socialism in the US would, as one pundit ironically declared, “promulgate ideas so good that they would have to be mandatory,” we would certainly become “a gigantic post office with every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.” And if we start to push back, the government’s guns would have to come out, assuming we’ve let them take away ours. Then we’d be under full-blown communism (also known as socialism with a gun). How will you vote this November? How will you pray now?