Forced vs. Voluntary Collectivism, Sometimes I’m Surprised In a Good Way

There is a huge difference between opposing someone based solely on race or national origin, and opposing someone’s flawed ideology.  I really, really don’t care about a person’s race or ethnicity, or sexual preference or any of that crud, as long as people don’t use race or ethnicity or sexual preference to gain some sort of preferential status for themselves.  I may disagree with certain lifestyles and don’t think certain choices should be encouraged, but if that is the person’s preference so be it.   Just don’t try to shove such deviations down my throat as being “normal,” or worse, “protected.” 

I care about people’s character and integrity.  This being said, I believe there is nothing wrong with people working together to help each other and the greater society.  In the Book of Acts, Christian believers formed a collective community that appeared to work rather well.  Some people use this early Christian community as an argument for “Christian socialism,” but they miss an important point.  The community spoken of in the Book of Acts was a voluntary collective community.  No one was going around requiring the working poor who can barely  provide from themselves to starve and do without basic necessities so that those unwilling to work would have luxuries provided for.  No one was throwing people in jail if they chose not to contribute. There was nothing mandatory or punitive about the collective system of the Acts believers.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  Acts 2:42-47 (NIV) (italics and bold mine)

Yes, the believers sold their possessions and shared their goods, but their charity toward others was in response to what God was doing in and through them.  God is good, God provides, therefore let’s share and celebrate and likewise care for each other. No one was levying higher and higher taxes from them, taking from those who do not have enough for their own needs,  or taking their possessions and goods by force.  People chose to give and contribute to the common good- as they were praying and praising and loving God.  This is the part that the forced collectivisms of history deny and leave out, which is why forced collective systems always fail.  They leave God out of the equation.  The only way that collectivism works is when the sharing of resources is  done in response to the goodness and love  of God.

This being said, the Constitution does not provide for the reverse Robin Hood system that is currently operating in this country today.   The role of the Federal government was supposed to be limited to a very few things.  The broad aims for the role of the Federal government are stated in the Preamble to the Constitution: 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,  promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

“Welfare” used in this context does not refer to a monthly government check, by the way.  It means “common good” or “greater well-being.”  Just thought I should clarify that. 

Article 1, Section 8, of the US Constitution pretty much sets forth the specific limited role of the Federal government:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

Pretty much everything else was supposed to be left to the states.

Anyone with any sense of justice should be outraged that a working person can’t afford utilities or food or medical care because they are taxed to death and billed outrageously for insurances with outrageously high deductibles -while those tax dollars being extorted from them are used to pay for illegal aliens, welfare bums and other scum who are unwilling to work but who get all of the above for free.  

Sometimes I’m surprised in a good way- I see that some people are finally reading the Constitution for the first time and realizing that the Federal government is not supposed to be a reverse Robin Hood- stealing from the working poor to give to their own fat pockets and to the entitlement crowd that sucks off that teat.

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