The sins of socialism, part three: Robin Hood or just robbin’?

A. Montes


A. MontesI grew up watching Disney’s anthropomorphic, animated Robin Hood movie, a pure, timeless classicI used to imagine myself as one of Robin’s Merry Men, living in a beautiful forest, wearing a stylish leather jerkin and green tights and sneaking into Prince John’s palace to steal back money for the desperate poorOh, and practicing archery. What a life.  

But as I grew older, I realized that forests are full of bugs (I find ants repulsive), tights aren’t pants (sorry, ladies), and stealing is a sin (check Exodus 20:15). Robin Hood didn’t seem like such a good model for virtue after all, even though he’s a compelling character. Modern versions of the classic don’t help either  looking at you, Catholic-hating, socialism-promoting, 2018 film. 

Point is, socialism proposes that we “take from the rich to give to the poor,” which, thanks to pop culture, seems nobleThe Merry Men did it, and they all had hearts of gold, right? But that’s nothing more than a fantasy story, for socialism breaks the Seventh Commandment, which demands that individuals honor and respect the property of others and strictly forbids theft.  

Hot take number three: Socialism empowers the government to steal what people rightfully earned and own.  

The last wicked principle I’ll mention in this three-part series is the seizing of wages and relinquishment of property, both of which lead to a loss of individual freedom. In this day and age, discussion is all about the freedom to choose whatever lifestyle one wants. No one wants to report to any higher authority. Why, then, do socialists advocate for giving personal property over to the government?  

I don’t think many people truly trust the government, especially with all the corruption prominent in local politics. Why, then, would anyone want to hand over portions of their hard-earned salary? Why would anyone want to entrust their property to the government? Do they think the officials will act efficiently when they can’t even be bothered to repave potholes? Once in control of necessary resources, the government essentially owns the freedoms of the people.  

Moreover, I would venture a guess that most of us will become part of the working middle class (upper or lower) when we leave college. This makes this sin of socialism particularly relevant to us. Once we enter the economy, are we going to accept that we have very few personal liberties with our salaries and property, if socialism becomes the norm in America? 

No, we had better prepare to share in squalor. If the government domineers the resources humans need in order to survive — their salaries (to pay for food, homes, education, gas, heating, healthcare) and property (their homes, vehicles, security) — the middle class suffers. With tax cuts, perhaps the rich lose some wealth and property, perhaps the poor gain “free” wealth and property, but the middle-class, which has neither excess nor deficiency, loses everything.  

The system punishes middleclass workers for their attempts at success, their enterprising entrepreneurship and their desire to make stable incomes to support themselves and their families.  

Let’s review: Socialism promotes the sins of envy and greed, practices false charity, vilifies work, diminishes people’s various God-given abilities and now steals the resources needed to thrive in this great country. How is this a success story in the making? Is this really Robin Hood, or is it robbing the American people of their wages and property 

The question current Attorney General William Barr poses to modern citizens who seek to understand where government begins and freedom ends was “whether the citizens in such a free society could maintain the moral discipline and virtue necessary for the survival of free institutions.” 

Thus, I urge my fellow students to firmly examine their political beliefs in light of the morality taught by Christ and his church. Do you support a system that makes a prosperous economy, that supports the middle class and that upholds individual rights? Or do you support a system that destroys the economy, that chokes the middle class and that razes individual rights to the ground?  

If nothing else, remember that Pope Pius XIII and many other popes before him condemned socialism. As a Catholic speaking to fellow Catholics, I implore you to reject the wolf in sheep’s clothing that is socialism.