He argued on social questions with his uncle, who was a prominent
local Conservative. His uncle's controversial methods were coarse in
the extreme. Socialists, he said, were thieves. The object of
Socialism was to take away what a man earned and give it to "a lot of
lazy scoundrels." Also rich people were necessary. "If there weren't
well-off people, how d'ye think I'd get a livin'? Hey? And where'd
_you_ be then?" Socialism, his uncle assured him, was "got up" by
agitators. "They get money out of young Gabies like you, and they
spend it in champagne." And thereafter he met Mr. Lewisham's arguments
with the word "Champagne" uttered in an irritating voice, followed by
a luscious pantomime of drinking.
And a ruler asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.'" And he said, "All these I have observed from my youth." And when Jesus heard it, he said to him, "One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." But when he heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. Jesus looking at him said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Luke 18:18-25
When was the last time you saw an union leader on the news?
I think there is a problem with champagne socialism, though, and it's one the article has entirely failed to address. Right or left, why are only the rich being placed in positions of political power?
26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
If any one holds that religion is essentially ritual and sacramental; or that it is purely personal; or that God is on the side of the rich; or that social interest is likely to lead preachers astray; he must prove his case with his eye on the Hebrew prophets, and the burden of proof is with him.--Christianity And The Social Crisis / Walter Rauschenbusch
This becomes an issue when folks start to view equality more strictly as an end rather than a means. I guess for some, it's a distinction too complicated or tantalizing to make.
[S]o now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movements as a whole. These individuals, who ordinarily would not identify themselves with the proletariat, gladly throw themselves into the struggle, and together with the proletariat exert themselves to effect the desired change. This was in substance the answer that Jesus gave to his disciples when they asked him "Who then can be saved?" With man individually it is almost impossible that he should forsake his material possessions and betake himself to the propertyless and together with them work, not only for the future, but also against the present, with which he is so firmly bound up. According to the ordinary run of things, Moses should have remained in the house of Pharaoh, enjoying princely honors and pleasures; or Marx should have remained with the bourgeoisie, achieving material success. But, such is the order of things that, when the material conditions of existence are ripe for a change, and the proletariat manifests a spirit of discontent and a readiness to rise against the upholders of the existing order, such men are summoned to the front — men, who, by virtue of their great gifts and rare opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge and experience, have attained to great light and deep truth, and who, therefore, are most able to lead the struggling masses out of darkness into light, and out of bondage into freedom.--The Philosophy of Marx / Harry Waton
Marx made this perfectly clear. Socialism means nothing less than the abolition of the wages system, the abolition of exploitation, and the abolition of the proletariat.--A Program for Jews and Humanity / Harry Waton.
Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.
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