Commentaries for Sharon Hughes
The Difference Between Socialism & Communism

Based on some of the emails I receive on shows we've done on the economy, it is clear that there are some people today who are not clear on the difference between Communism and Socialism, and in some cases, the difference between Socialism and Capitalism. Some have asked, "So, what's wrong with socialism?"

With the fairly recent BBC survey showing that 1 in 4 people today believe that Capitalism is failing and that Socialism is a good alternative, I believe all of us need to engage in this conversation...with the facts.

So, here are some 'talking points' on the differences:

Socialism & Communism in a Nutshell
Socialism
, the cousin of Communism, refers to an economic system, which seeks to control the market, essentially for "the redistribution of wealth." Karl Marx, father of Marxism, the foundation of socialism and communism, said, "From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need. Some confuse this view with Christian compassion, however, in reality Socialism is really 'Communism-lite."

Communism refers to both an economic and a political system, which seeks to manage the economy and the society by controlling the distribution of property and wealth, in order to "achieve both classlessness and statelessness."

Socialism seeks to manage the economy through "deliberate and collective social control." Communism on the other hand, seeks to manage both the economy and the society by controlling the working person, who is paid "according to their abilities and needs." In other words, the government determines each citizen's abilities and needs. Their slogan is, "Workers of the world unite!" a phrase we see painted on banners and signs in protests across America, more and more.

Communism does not value private property. Karl Marx, said: "You reproach us with planning to do away with your property. Precisely; that is just what we propose."  And in the Communist Manifesto we find: "Point 1: Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public
purposes." Marx bottom-lined it with, “The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property."

Both socialism and communism are anti-Capitalism.

In their Communist Manifesto Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels outlined the goals of Marxism, which is a vision of "a future society free from class antagonism, which will purportedly be brought about by the establishment of communism and the demise of oppressive capitalism." Thus, the end goal of Marxism is a future one-world communist, capitalistic-free, utopian state.

Capitalism is an economic system based on the free exchange of goods and services, without fraud, theft and breech of contract; it is a free market economy.

Karl Marx also said,       “Democracy is the road to socialism.” That's why it's important for all of us to understand the difference between a democracy and a republic, which our kids are not being taught well in school. America is a Republic, ie "...and to the Republic, for which it stands...one nation under God..."

Which brings me to one last thing on Marx...his idea about God. He said much on the subject including, "Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand” "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." And for our topic, probably most important, "My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism."

Believe it or not, the historical goal of 'social justice' comes out of the Marxist worldview. That's not to say churches that are using the phrase today for social action are following Marx, but then again, some are. A quick research on the subject will reveal the Marxist 'liberation theology' roots. Frankly, this is why we call our radio show "Changing Worldviews," because worldviews change with each generation, and often those worldviews are just old views repackaged. History does repeat itself. But, that's a subject for another time.

Back to the BBC survery -- this is not the first time a country rethinks it's economic policies when dealing with a huge financial crisis. It is also not the first time that Marxist/Socialist advocates are extolling their view and criticizing Capitalism, using the argument of -- "FAIRNESS." But, is Marxism fair? Let me answer with a question: Is life fair?

If you are interested in more on this subject, I recommend my interview with Dr. Jay Richards of the Discovery Institute, on his book, "Money, Greed & God," where he gets into the issue of Christian compassion vs. government redistribution. You can listen to it online on our website, just look for "MONEYTalk: Right vs. Left on Socialism & Capitalism" dated Nov. 7, 2011 in our broadcast archives at www.changingworldviews.com.



Other Commentaries by Sharon Hughes

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Author Bio

Sharon  Hughes is President of The Center for Changing Worldviews, and veteran radio talk show host of Changing Worldviews Talk radio, formerly eminating out of the San Francisco Bay Area, now from the Sierra-Nevada foothills of No. California. Aired on stations across the country, and around the world on the web, she has also appeared on FOX News and other national radio programs.
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