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March 23 1978. Thought for the Week: "Gustave Le Bon, whose writings remain the keystone of the arch of modern psychological warfare, discerned that the unconscious action of crowds may be exactly contrary to the character of the individuals composing them. Thus a crowd may be hysterically brutal, whereas the individuals of which it is formed may be actually slow to violence ... His monumental discovery was the fact that it was the unconscious action of crowds which had substituted for the conscious activity of individuals in determining the political character of the present age."
The Gentlemen Talk of Peace, by William B. Ziff.
The Easter Season seems an appropriate time for us to devote some attention to a question we promised to answer some weeks ago: "Can a Christian be a Socialist?" Large numbers of people who call themselves Christian answer this question in the affirmative, revealing that they do not understand either Christianity or Socialism.
The formal definition of Socialism is a society in which the State controls the means of production, distribution and exchange. This means a State monopoly of all power. That cynical but frank Socialist, George Bernard Shaw, who was so eulogistic about Stalin's Russia, said that Socialism means that every individual shall work under compulsion, with the death penalty for those who will not accept direction. The Soviet Union is not a Communist State even by definition; it is described as the United of Soviet Socialist Republic. It is a Socialist State, which all Marxists claim is the first essential step towards Communism, where the State will allegedly wither away.
While it is true that many misguided people calling
themselves Christians have eulogised the Soviet Union, the cruel oppression
of the individual by the State and its instrumentalities, as described
so graphically by Solzhenitsyn, makes it anti-Christian. The philosophy
of Socialism is that the individual must accept the authority of an
external authority. Christ taught that every individual was precious
and unique, that the State and all institutions exist to serve the individual.
The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Socialism postulates something called "common ownership". But "common ownership" is meaningless from the individual's point of view unless he has effective control. Australians are allegedly common owners of the Post Office. But what controls have they over an organisation, which charges them astronomical prices for a deteriorating service? And the Christian is left with the problem of how does the individual steal if there is "common ownership"? The commandment that stealing is wrong clearly postulates that individuals should possess some type of private property.
Traditional Christian philosophy has always taught that widespread ownership of private property is essential to avert tyranny; to ensure that men had genuine freedom. The right to own property is indicated in the great Christian Prayer, which stresses the importance of protecting the individual against trespass. Trespass is stressed as a sin, with Christians asking to be forgiven for trespassing against their fellows.
The underlying philosophy of Socialism is collectivism. The Christian Revelation freed the individual from the domination of the group, the mass. Even the "moderate" Socialists insist upon centralising power over the individual. History has demonstrated that they always provide the first impetus towards the creation of the totalitarian State. The fact that some of them have called themselves Christians has made no difference to reality.
The genuine Christian is not concerned with what "ought" to happen in the world, but with the discovery and application of Truth. God's truths are immutable and cannot be changed by shallow social theories, no matter how plausible they sound and how well meaning those putting them forward may be. "By their fruits ye shall know them".
Socialism in varying forms has been tried throughout man's s long history. It has always proved to be the enemy of real freedom. The essence of Christianity is that each individual has freedom of choice and accepts personal responsibility for the choices made. Socialism robs the individual of freedom of choice and for this reason is basically anti-Christian.
RHODESIAN SITUATION CLARIFIED
As we anticipated, the Rhodesian internal agreement
between the Smith Government and three spokesmen for the black Rhodesians
has produced consternation amongst Rhodesia's international enemies.
After some typical doubletalk the British Socialist Government has failed
to endorse the agreement, insisting upon the implementation of the Anglo-American
proposals that call for the participation of the "Patriotic Front" guerillas
in any agreement.
As the statements of both these Communist agents clearly indicate that they have no intention of accepting anything less than immediate power, followed by the establishment of a Marxist type Government and the elimination of the "Fascist" Whites, all talk about "majority rule" in Rhodesia by the British and Americans is sickening hypocrisy.
The African "front line" States are insisting that the internal agreement be rejected. One of the strongest critics of the agreement is Nigeria, a country in which a few years ago the unfortunate Ibos were massacred and starved in a form of mass liquidation - an estimated 2 million died. America's Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Andrew Young, is still insisting that a UN "peacekeeping" force is necessary in Rhodesia.
From South Africa's point of view, it is not only Rhodesia that is of vital concern, but also South West Africa. Although South Africa has reached an agreement with the different groups in South Africa to hand power to a Government representing these groups, including the Whites, Mr. Sam Nujoma, who, like Mugabe and Nkomo, is backed by the Soviet, insists that his South West African Peoples' Organisation (SWAPO) must impose a revolutionary Marxist regime. SWAPO terrorists are continuing their attacks in South West Africa. South West Africa is rich in uranium.
Following the success of Ethiopia against Somalia,
with large numbers of Cuban troops and Soviet "advisers" openly taking
place, there is speculation that the Cuban troops will now be used to
assist the "Patriotic Front" against Rhodesia. In view of the Carter
Government's feeble attitude towards what has happened in Ethiopia,
the situation would be ominous for the Rhodesians if the Cuban troops
used in Ethiopia were switched to the Rhodesian front. South Africa
could not afford to stand by.
Michael Richardson, reporting from Bangkok in The Age, Melbourne of March 15th, states: "Laos and China are expanding opium production giving communists control over at least three quarters of all narcotic drug output in South East and East Asia." But Mr. Richardson then goes on to claim "there is no evidence that either country is involved in the lucrative smuggling of heroin - the most addictive derivative of opium - to Australia and other countries in the West." There is in fact considerable documentation that Red China has been involved in the drug business for many years. It is absurd to suggest that the Communist authorities in China do not have effective control of the destination of all drugs produced inside China.
Over the years since the end of the Second World War there has, off and on, been speculation about what happened to the remaining gold reserves, silver and precious stones of Hitler's Germany. The Reichbank bullion was stolen at the end of the Second World War. But wherever it is, or whoever stole it, its absence did not prevent the Germans from using their own resources and skills to rebuild Germany, demonstrating that a nation's real credit is its productive capacity. Financial credit can be created to reflect that real credit.
The Government's simultaneous release of two unrelated unemployment statistical series cannot obscure the fact that unemployment is at the highest level since the Great Depression. Unemployment in mid February, 1977 was 5.8% of the total number employed. It is now 7.4%. It is conceivable that there could be a fractional decline in the figures, as predicted by Prime Minister Fraser, but the overall prospects are for a deteriorating economic and social situation. Under present financial rules, any credit expansion sufficient to reduce unemployment substantially can only result in an upward movement in an inflation progressively subverting the nation. The financial rules could, of course, be changed. But Federal Treasurer Howard and his Treasury "experts" will have none of this.
Appeals by Australian Deputy Prime Minister Doug Anthony, and harsh criticism by Prime Minister Muldoon of New Zealand, are pathetic non-events concerning the plight of Japan. The insane - i.e. unrealistic - rules governing international trade are producing on a much bigger scale the type of situation, which preceded the Second World War. Instead of tying themselves to a deteriorating Japanese situation, Australians should be taking all necessary steps to insulate themselves from a threatened major international collapse in 1979.
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