Socialism in the Old Testament

Chapter 31 of Genesis gives an amazing example of the evils of Socialism and what the Producers must eventually do to get out from under that oppression.

This past Sunday, my preacher delivered a fascinating message today based on Genesis chapter 31 and the theme of that message was to keep pressing on toward our long term goals and eventually we’ll reach them even though it may take a very long time.  It was an inspiring message but being someone who thinks about stories in terms of their economic and political implications, I came away with a different take on the same passage of Scripture.

First let’s review the story told in Genesis chapter 31.  Jacob, son of Isaac, was employed by Laban, who was Jacob’s uncle, and Jacob was involved in the popular profession of the time – raising sheep and goats.  For 20 years Jacob labored in the fields, amassed great wealth, married Laban’s daughters (Rachel and Leah) and kept Laban’s family wealthy even though Laban’s family never worked but instead lived off the profits of Jacob.  For 20 years, Laban was constantly changing the rules on Jacob which amounted to more of Jacob’s hard earned money going to fund Laban’s family and less to fund Jacob’s family.  After 20 years, Jacob received a message from God to take his family, livestock and fortune away from Laban and leave the oppressive climate.  After a few days, Laban realized Jacob (and his means of production) was gone and he was angry (now his family will have to work!) so he pursued Jacob.  After a confrontation, the two parties made a treaty to part in peace and the story has a happy ending.

Does this story have a frightening similarity to events happening in the world today?  Do we have a climate where the Producers are getting upset because they are paying taxes to a large group who choose not to work? 

From the recent report from The Heritage Foundation , America now has half its eligible citizens not paying Federal Income taxes and over 70% of US Government spending goes to fund dependence programs.  To put it another way, over 90% of Federal Income tax revenues go to fund Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare and Unemployment Insurance.   So called “Entitlement” programs like Social Security, Welfare and now Obamacare are unsustainable and will eventually bring America to the breaking point.

Greece is out of money and forced to finally undergo painful austerity measures to compensate for decades of government handouts and what do the citizens do?  Riot.

All over the world, governments are slowly starting to understand the truth that Margaret Thatcher so eloquently stated many years ago:

“The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

As the Laffer Curve and John Galt taught us, there is a point where the Producers will get tired of having all their profits drained to support the lazy and they will eventually leave the system which will cause it to break down.

This is how Socialism always fails.  It was true 4,000 years ago with Jacob and it is true now with the world now waking up to the evils of European style socialism.  Let’s hope that we are waking up in time to save our civilization because the longer we wait, the more painful the solutions become.

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4 Responses to Socialism in the Old Testament

  1. The point you made later on in the post about the Producers leaving the system is not how socialists see it, and is also the reason they claim that socialism will only succeed when there is nowhere else to run.

    Socialists, of course, believe that only workers are the “producers,” and that all profits exploit labor. They make no accommodations in their belief-system whatsoever for intellectual property, risk-taking, investment, efficiency, management methods – it’s all about the “workers” (which, you see, doesn’t include those people who set up and run the business). In the Socialist worldview, there is no such thing as private property and all ideas belong to humanity.

    Anyone who disagrees with the Socialist point-of-view is inherently selfish, and should be removed from society, lest the mental defective contaminate the “worker’s paradise.” Peace becomes the absence of opposition to Socialism.

    Great post, and appreciated the tie-in to the Old Testament.

    • cosmoscon says:

      Thanks Rogue, I always appreciate your thoughts on this topic as I see you as a Subject Matter Expert on Socialism. I’m diving through your recent posts on The Marxist Left tonight. Good stuff.

  2. swissecon says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

    I did not know about any relationship to the old testament before.

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