Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why Socialism and Communism are Kinda Evil

I’ve been talking about all sorts of nice things on this blog lately, and I figured it was time to wake all you lovely readers up from gazing at my new fish tank with a controversial post on how certain political philosophies are helpful to the Evil One. Yes, I’m talking about The Devil. I believe the Devil is a real spirit, that his power is real, and that he and his miserable minions have all sorts of sneaky ways of helping us to become confused and enticed with gray fluffy philosophies with holographic halos until we are locked in a dark closet under dark stairs with only a few steps to walk before we start to fall down a steep slide which goes only one direction – endlessly down.  

I am NOT asserting that everyone or even most of the people who accept the philosophies of socialism or communism are evil, so, please keep that in mind in the comments section on this post. I’m just suggesting that even though some may have good – even the BEST of - intentions when they support the programs which are extensions of these philosophies, that they are supporting ideas which are disasterous in their long-term application. 

Communism sounds so nice on paper and in the world of thought. I had plenty of incredibly awesome professors even at Brigham Young University (a private LDS university) who proudly wore their communist badges with honor. They truly believe it is better for us to have a more centralized, powerful government. That’s great for them. I still love them and think they are awesome. Aaaaannnnndddd. . . . I also think they are completely wrong about the place where that will take us as a country and as a world. And here’s why:

Matthew 7:20 “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

What are the fruits of communism my friends? DEATH. Not only the death of religion, self-reliance, freedom, family, and the inner drive to create, but literal death. This article R.J. Rummel gives some frightening information about that subject. Here is just one quote from it, and a bit of an explanation on why big centralized government brings this nasty, bitter fruit:

“Communism has been the greatest social engineering experiment we have ever seen. It failed utterly and in doing so it killed over 100,000,000 men, women, and children, not to mention the near 30,000,000 of its subjects that died in its often aggressive wars and the rebellions it provoked. But there is a larger lesson to be learned from this horrendous sacrifice to one ideology. That is that no one can be trusted with power. The more power the center has to impose the beliefs of an ideological or religious elite or impose the whims of a dictator, the more likely human lives are to be sacrificed.”

Friends – absolute power corrupts absolutely. When people believe they have absolute truth – and they have the power to forcibly dictate, even by murder, to others how to live by that truth – ummm, that’s really, really bad. A lot of people die because of it. Because those few people who might have started out well-intentioned, well they get used to that excessive power and they like it, and then they do whatever they can to keep it. Power over nations shouldn’t indefinitely belong to a centralized head of a few – it should belong to us. Fewer people die that way. We keep more freedom that way. Life is simply better, and actually lived that way. 

But, anarchy – well, that’s not exactly the best idea either, is it? So, you need to have a government in place to fix what a mess that might be. You need a government that divides power up so that it isn’t localized in one top-heavy head; three branches. You need a government where the minority aren’t slaughtered to the whim of the majority; a democratic republic. You need to have a few things in place so that there is a cohesive whole, but most power must belong to smaller groups: states, cities, towns vs. the national government. You HAVE to have a solid concept of private property. We all need the freedom to protect our lives, to live freely and to own property – so long as we aren’t infringing upon the rights of others to those things, too, in the process. We need common-sense laws and law-enforcement to keep that balance going. With just the right delicate balance of divided power, the right laws, and a good moral people to keep those laws – you’ve got it made. You have the most free, safe, and beautiful government ever created. You have in fact – The United States of America, and the greatest political document ever composed: The United States Constitution. 

If you really understand the Constitution and our country’s history, it becomes immensely clear that: 

#1) The constitution was created as a means of creating a government that was limited in size and scope – and this fact is inseparably connected to our having the greatest amount of freedom. 

#2) The constitution and the unique system of government of our nation, along with our freedoms (to life, liberty and property) could only survive with a moral, self-reliant, God-fearing people.

Fast-forward to all the legislative garbage being implemented today: Obamacare, Common Core, Monsanto Protection Act, Information gathering on all citizens, attempts to take away and limit our freedom to protect ourselves (with guns, food storage, etc.) and to free speech, and to religion, and soooo much more. We are so far gone – it makes me cry. Freedom and life is so delicate. And with an excessively strong central government – it doesn’t take long for those in power to take whatever they want from whomever gets in the way

“Well?!” some have asked me in a challenging tone, and some with serious inquiry. “If this legislation you don’t like isn’t the answer, then what should be done instead? XYZ is a problem. And it needs to be addressed. And, this status quo isn’t fixing it!”

My answer is two-fold.

#1) If the status quo protects a major centralized group or person (POTUS) from grabbing more power to dictate how we all can and can’t live our lives, then that is a better option than the legislation presented – and a very very worthy cause.

#2) What are YOU doing to become more self-reliant, to live a moral and honest life, and to fix the problems you have an issue with? That’s right – YOU. Not the government. YOU. Whether that means writing a blog to help disseminate important information, or starting a non-profit organization, getting people to sign petitions about legislation that is important to you, teaching your children to be good citizens and to understand and uphold the constitution, giving tithes and offerings to your church, starting a hospital that only takes cash and offers procedures and care at a competitive rate, or refusing to accept food stamps/WIC/medicaid if you could feasibly go without, living on less so you are able to share more with those who are needy – the possibilities are endless. And though stuff done small – stuff done by you, seems small - THAT is what will really make the difference. Taking personal responsibility for the problems life throws at us, or that we notice, is how we keep power from being grabbed by big-whigs. 

If we want to take back our freedoms, we have to be willing to abandon the carrots floating around in those fuzzy gray clouds which are leading us to that dark closet and that steep slide socialism which leads to communism. We have to reject the carrots as individuals, as families, as communities, as states and as a nation – if we want to keep the meat we enjoy right now. (Vegetarian/Vegan-types, please substitute Portobello mushrooms in your mind’s eye if the meat analogy is bothering you.)

Socialism might work for a while. And Communism might work for an even shorter while – and I’m sure I’m going to hear all about all the examples of the systems that do work well in the comments section.

I would submit that no socialist/communist nation will function if it is too big, and it will never function indefinitely. It is my solid belief that we are about at the point of no return. We are carelessly, and some even desperately or pridefully munching on those carrots in the dark closet and walking quickly toward that drop-off of Progressivism/Statism/Socialism/Communism – it is all the same, because it all leads to the same end. But how great is the cost of those carrots!! 

When more of our nation’s citizens accept that our rights and liberties come from God (or “nature’s God” for any atheists/agnostics who may be reading along) instead of a centralized government, and take responsibility upon themselves to reap what they sow for themselves and their own families and to voluntarily serve others with love – that is when the world’s ills will really begin to be solved.

The question of why that is lies with God and another post for another day. But Socialism? Communism? Excessive power to a centralized small group of people? Those are certainly not the answers as is plain to see from the bitter fruit of death they produce. A moral, God-fearing, You and Me with a solid Constitution in place? That IS the answer.

In closing, here is one final quote for you to ponder on:

"The government will take from the 'haves' and give to the 'have nots.' Both have lost their freedom. Those who 'have,' lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who 'have not,' lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got 'something for nothing,' and they will neither appreciate the gift not the giver of the gift." -Howard W. Hunter, "The Law of the Harvest", Devotional Address, Brigham Young University, 8 March 1966.

20 comments:

  1. I love you Jami. It is daunting to think about the world we really are living in sometimes eh?

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  2. "What are the fruits... DEATH. "

    Interesting that you would use this phrasing, because of the top 30 countries in terms of life expectancy, 20 have socialized health care. So, you could actually counter that in a sense, the fruit of socialism is life!

    "Power over nations shouldn’t indefinitely belong to a centralized head of a few – it should belong to us."

    Good thing modern socialist nations rely on the will of the people to elect their representatives.

    "You need...you need...we all need."

    This paragraph is filled with concepts that are also compatible with a socialized government.

    "The constitution was created as a means of creating a government that was limited in size and scope"

    Again, socialized government is limited by the desires of the voting body.

    "The constitution and the unique system of government of our nation, along with our freedoms (to life, liberty and property) could only survive with a moral, self-reliant, God-fearing people."

    Modern socialist societies lack none of these qualities.

    "Common Core, Monsanto Protection Act, Information gathering on all citizens, attempts to take away and limit our freedom to protect ourselves (with guns, food storage, etc.) and to free speech, and to religion, and soooo much more."

    These laws are not inherently socialist. Rather, they are the result of any democratic system becoming corrupt from lobbyists, politicians' greed, the degradation of a moral society, etc. They could be the result of a fascist democracy, a constitutional democracy, or a socialist democracy, etc. This happens when there is a discrepancy between the will of the people and the choices of its representatives, no matter what the political milieu. So, it's not exclusive to socialism for undesirable laws to be passed.

    "I’m sure I’m going to hear all about all the examples of the systems that do work well in the comments section."

    There are examples of all types of government both succeeding and failing. There are many nations who modeled their new government after our own constitution, yet they haven't succeeded like ours. Success of a government seems to have less to do with the particular flavor of government implemented, but rather how well that government's representatives respond to the will of the people. If they are attentive to the people's needs and try their best to create a prosperous society for all, then the government does well. If they are influenced by lobbyists, money, power, sex, etc., and they "take their eye off the ball," so to speak, the government declines. It is this political corruption that is currently hampering the positive progress of our government.


    In conclusion, please read up about the difference between socialism and communism. They are as different as Canada and Cuba. Don't be confused that some communist countries proclaim themselves to be "democratic" or "socialist" to hide their lack of citizen input. Actual socialist societies have just as much democracy as we exercise in our own country. Their government has no more controlling power than our own (though the focus of socialism is much more on economics than moral issues, with more market-related laws and less culture-related laws than our current system).

    Your concerns have little to do with socialism and much more to do with the corruption of our government. Ideally our political representatives are creating laws and policies that directly correspond to our wishes (whether they be socialist, fascist, constitutionalist, etc.). But when they don't do this, it's not the fault of socialism, instead it's the fault of corrupt politicians. What to do about this? I'd start with getting rid of lobbyists. But I can't say I even know how to start doing that.

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    1. I have to say - What a great response. :) And no name-calling. Rock it.

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    2. The whole socialized healthcare is the best argument is easily countered with the fact that abortion and euthanasia are much more popular methods of eliminating individuals who would be a drag on the system. With fewer unhealthy individuals to treat, the group seems more healthy! This article touches on a few of those issues: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100222557/belgium-and-the-netherlands-consider-permitting-euthanasia-for-children-including-to-relieve-suffering-for-the-parents/ You can also see how that plays out in the UK with individuals with Downs Syndrome being aborted 95% of the time - the government requires tests for Downs of its pregnant women: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abortions-of-babies-with-down-syndrome-in-uk-underreported-by-half/ Many socialist countries refuse to offer benefits of the system to families should they choose to not abort a child with severe disabilities. In my own experience on my study abroad in Austria, I found this attitude to be very true in discussions about my little sister with Down Syndrome with many people in that country - it was very uncomfortable for them to talk about or understand why we would "keep" a retarded child, and they expressed that in the kindest way they could. With all that awesome public transit, and seeing thousands and thousands of people, it became very bothersome to me to notice that I wasn't seeing individuals who were mentally or physically handicapped out and about with their loving families attending them, or working in local grocery stores, or anywhere. Where do they go? That, I believe, is the dirty secret of nations who have put their trust in government rather than the individual to provide for his/her own and family's means.
      "Actual socialist societies have just as much democracy as we exercise in our own country. Their government has no more controlling power than our own (though the focus of socialism is much more on economics than moral issues with more market-related laws and less culture-related laws than our current system.)"
      Just because members of socialist governments can vote for the representatives of their choosing does not make them as free as Americans are.

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    3. It is common sense that when economic purchasing power of individuals is taken from them and spread out for the whole group, more of the freedoms and opportunities of individuals will be limited, often quite severely. I love this article on this topic: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/10/socialism_and_reality.html
      One quote from it: "A massive tension exists between those who adhere to central government control and swear fealty to socialist philosophy and those who produce the wealth of a nation. As the state inherently has more power than the individual, once socialist doctrine dominates the ruling class, government begins a relentless process of injecting itself into the affairs of the individual and producer class.

      Those who believe they have a manifest destiny to rule and are faithful to socialist tenets have an overwhelming egocentric psyche and a predisposition to control the populace and economic activity through laws, regulations, taxes, intimidation, and in extreme cases, outright force. The result is the inexorable march toward state control of the economy. Despite the history of failure, every new generation of adherents to socialist ideology believe that they can make this arrangement work and maintain their unwritten agreement with the citizenry.
      But the reality is that they cannot, as the economic engine of capitalism will not continue to produce wealth if it is increasingly put under the thumb of bureaucrats and central planners inevitably attempting not only to institute governmental management of the economy, but also to regulate the day-to-day activities of all citizens. The motivation of the producer class will be stifled, and they will either drop out, join the dependent class, or simply move on to other, more hospitable countries -- a reality more in play than ever in today's global economy."
      I saw these tensions play out in Austria which to many has been described to have a delightful "soft Socialism." Even there it became obvious to me as an American where the system of government limited the freedoms of individuals to such an extent that they had very little control over their own educational or career opportunities at the start or end of their lives. Sure, everybody was paid for anyways. Which is why my host dad stayed home to watch soap operas all day - he was no longer needed. It is why my friend Michael was stuck as a landscaper with little to no chance of him attaining an education to do anything different - that was what was deemed his potential at a young age. In any case, the "benefits" of a cushy life are very expensive. Too expensive it seems - as we are now seeing play out across Europe now. Socialism is not sustainable.

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    4. The ownership of property in Socialist countries is a mirage that evaporates when the tyrannical majority and its elected leaders decide that that individuals ownership is no longer in the best interest of the group.
      Spiritually, socialism is often clearly and in more subtle ways in conflict with many of the principles God has laid out for us clearly in the 10 Commandments. "Thou shalt not covet, Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt have no other gods before me, Honor thy father and they mother. . ." I'd have to write a whole blog post on that subject. Don't have time to expound. But, other principles it goes against are principles of self-reliance, agency, charity of the individual, the most value, trust being put in the family unit, the concept of individual salvation, and the law of the harvest just to name a few.
      As my friend Brian posted on facebook this morning, "When men get in the habit to helping themselves to the property of others, they cannot be easily cured of it." - A 1909 NY Times Editorial opposing the first income tax.
      So, while socialism may sound nice to you - in reality there are dear prices to be paid including the elimination of unfit individuals, control of educational and work opportunities, regulation of EVERY COTTON PICKING THING OF YOUR LIFE!!, stealing of private savings in the events of a national crisis (Spain and Greece) and so many other problems.
      Progressivism is a philosophical disease which infects hosts to believe they are entitled to what others have. It is not sustainable. It is not the most free system.
      There are problems in our system which are not directly related to our socialist direction, and I could talk about those in another post. But, as I said before - the BIGGEST problems have come - I believe - because individual responsibility has been shifted to a collective responsibility, which has been a very helpful aid in our nation's general turn away from God.

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  3. I like Putin better than Obama.

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  4. AnonymousJuly 17, 2013

    I think this is a great article that talks about communism. http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1979/10/a-witness-and-a-warning?lang=eng#d
    You can click edit and find on page to more quickly read where it talks about communism. It think it gives a great view from a religious leaders perspective, and know I can trust and rely on and I know that what they say is true. Interesting approach to the subject, although I support you in that it is evil.

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    1. I love that talk and hearing Benson's testimony of America and the Constitution, and reminding us of the warnings from the Book of Mormon that we will be blessed as we serve Jesus Christ as a nation, but if we don't. . .we have been warned! Warnings about the dangers of communism - and socialism - have not been isolated in their occurrence in the LDS church. And for good reason!! Thanks for sharing. Totally fits in with this discussion.

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  5. I like cotton. It breathes. (A little levity on the cotton picking?)

    I use the following hysterical-historical personages to define the "isms" of politics:

    FASCISM - Adolph Hitler was a fascist. He killed a lot of people-- mostly Jews, brunettes, people who looked at him funny, Poles, and maybe a Sasquatch or two. He was a mass mobilizer/community organizer who bit-by-bit indoctrinated the people, slowly removing personal liberties and rights in an effort to implement a "master race" and create a centralized government with a dictatorial leader. In post WWII era, the term "Fascist" was used so over-used as an insult it was later replaced in the early 21st Century by the most incorrectly over-used word in the English language-- racist.

    COMMUNISM - Joe Stalin is the person of note here. Communism is a combination of Marxist-Lenninist beliefs. They practiced Socialism. Some key things to note here are the hundreds of thousands of his own people that Stalin murdered. Also, think bread lines because in the communist system all people are equal, but some are more equal than others (to throw an Orwellian catch-phrase from "Animal Farm" in there). Everyone has the same things, but everyone has nothing so we're all equal.

    Communism takes away the incentive to work because in the communist system, the government gives (and takes) everything. It doesn't matter how hard you work, you get the same as everyone else. The only problem is it plays upon greed and sloth-- two of the seven deadly sins-- and then why would anyone want to work if they can get the same things without working. That's the flaw behind this system. There's a reason it didn't work in Russia, which is funny because Russians got used to that style of living and westerners thought it was silly the Russians spent every waking hour of the day waiting in a line for bread so your family could eat. They were so used to the system that they LOVED it was difficult to switch mentalities when the Cold War ended and Russia became more capitalistic -- almost like some crazy form of Stockholm syndrome... because people need their government to tell them when to eat, when to sleep, what job you'll work as an adult, etc. etc.

    Fish - The answer to a surrealism joke I heard in college art class. Obviously this doesn't belong in a political post at all, but I thought it would lighten the mood. If you don't understand the joke, please don't try to lick your elbow. Really. Don't.

    Unfortunately, people get "fascism" mixed up with "communism"... I'm not even going to get into Marxism, which kinda is the skeezy grandfather of the two isms, here. In any case-- Communist is a big block party, like "the communist party- Feat. Joe Stalin and the bad mama jammas" or independents, Whigs, what-have-you. Communists practice socialism. (It even says in the m-w.com definition of "Communist" that it is "a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian SOCIALISM and Marxism-Leninism"-- I double checked because I was starting to second-guess myself.) Just so long as we're getting nit-picky about definitions out there. I thought I'd clarify the unique symbiosis between communism and socialism, which is, typically, how they get discussed as one.

    I believe Jami had her definitions correct.

    I'm not going to argue for or against the basis of her thesis. I did, however, include some "edgy" writing to show bias in the way people read into things in a text-based environment. Subversive insinuations that you drew while you read were your own. And if you didn't draw conclusions, you're reading this posting as a true neutral without any pre-conceived notions or political bias. You are also someone I'm more likely to get into a political discussion with, though not here in this 2-dimensional environment.

    Interesting comments on both sides. Good luck with your discussion, Jami.

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    1. Katie - You make me smile and laugh. Thank you for clarifying the unique symbiosis for all of us here.

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  6. I like free stuff. My vote goes to the highest bidder.

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  7. By this reasoning, isn't the Mormon church evil? We believe that we hold the absolute truth and have the power to force it on others. We bless and baptize children, as well as baptize the dead. In all of these scenarios, we push the truth on people who we have deemed incapable of being able to make decisions for themselves. We don't let children vote or even control their own bedtimes -- they obviously can't make an informed decision about something as complex as God and the absolute truth of the universe. In our church's past, we have killed people in the name of our faith. So it seems that our church matches the problem that you outlined when you said, "Friends – absolute power corrupts absolutely. When people believe they have absolute truth – and they have the power to forcibly dictate, even by murder, to others how to live by that truth – ummm, that’s really, really bad."

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    1. Mary - We believe we have absolute truth, yes - we do! But #1: Those who lead our church are called of God. They do not campaign nor are they self-appointed. Nor are they paid. Revelation on how to direct the church comes from God, not man and his reasoning. Since the revelation comes into imperfect vessels, there have been mistakes made, but the idea here is that individuals all commune with God to confirm that truth. So that power is ultimately in the hands of the individual - even though there is a definite structure by which those revelations are received and distributed. #2: I know of no example where a member(s) of good standing in our church killed mass quantities (or any quantity) of people in order to force them conform to gospel standards, or celestial law. That would be against the LDS tenant of agency which was important for all of us to fight for in the war in heaven. #3: We don't have or use any power to kill people if they won't be baptized. We do perform baptisms for those who have passed on, it's true. But you know as well as I do that they have the choice to accept or reject the baptism. That it is done does not mean it is accepted - only that there is an opportunity for it to be accepted. Agency - still there. #4: Members of our church have the agency to stay with or leave the church. No one is forced by the threat of death to stay. #5: Your example with the children being forced? Seriously? Do I really have to talk about why its ok for parents to teach their children what they believe to be true? Do I have to remind you that childhood doesn't last forever? Kids grow into adults who can then make their own decisions about when they want to go to bed, and whether or not they believe in God as He was presented to them. #6: You said, "our church" so I'm assuming you are a Mormon. Are you sure you want to play with thought experiments like that just for the sake of making a point to support a philosophy that has repeatedly been denounced by the leaders of our church? "Who's on the Lord's Side Who?" It's a question we should all take the time to ask ourselves, and everyday. #7: At its heart, the fundamental unit of ultimate power in God's plan is the family. That is how we progress here and in the eternities. So, it makes sense to me that that would be the most appropriate unit to manage most concerns and to have the most concentrated power - like when kids go to bed, or saying prayers before bedtime, or what is taught in the home. I was reading in Jacob 4 the other night. It talks about how the Jews were a "stiffnecked people" who "despised plainness." There are glorious mysteries to God's plan that He has available to us if we study and listen to His word and that is awesome. When we complicate things and reject the simple principles and truths which have already been expounded for us in our pursuit of those greater things - we only get lost, confused, and further away from God. Please, be careful, Mary. I say that with real loving concern - though I'm not sure which Mary you are.

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    2. I think that it's important to think critically about the church, not just accept whatever church leadership says as fact. They have been wrong in the past and will be wrong again, just as they were with permitting black members of the church to hold the priesthood and as they probably will be with excluding same sex couples from marriage altogether. Our church has had a history of mass violence, including the murder of plenty of people on the way to Utah. I in now way condone violence, but it seems that a lot of wonderful institutions have required violence to maintain themselves. How many people has the United States killed in the name of capitalism and freedom?

      Ultimately, I believe that everyone should have the right to believe and act as they wish unless it interferes with someone else's livelihood, including their beliefs and actions. It seems to me that harshly condemning anything should also require deep introspection on the things that matter to us because there will probably be similarities between the things we love and the things we condemn. It's hypocritical to call out one paradigm when we have the same issues in ours.

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    3. Mary - I don't think you have effectively shown that we have the same issues in our church as there are with the political systems/philosophies of socialism or communism. I demonstrated above that I can very well think critically about our church and doctrine by explaining every sloppy point you made against it. Neither have you given any evidence to demonstrate how socialism is a good, righteous philosophy, you have only attacked our faith and its leaders. There are too many problems with your comment above that I can't address them all, and I don't feel it would be a productive discussion anyways. "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house - we will serve the Lord." Never forget that the defining characteristic of love is loyalty. To me, no speck of loyalty I feel to any party or political philosophy will EVER be more important than my membership in God's true church or following and sustaining His holy servants.

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  8. I am not a politically savvy person in any way, but I have to say that I do not think socialism is the devil. I am from Finland and have most of my family living there and they have great lives in Finland, where things are socialized. They dont feel oppressed or wronged in any way, and it is not because they dont know any better. They lived in the U.S for several years. I am not saying that socialism is the way to go, but I think it is a mistake the generalize things too much. And yes Finland is a small country but I am not saying that U.S should be socialized but I do think it is little extreme to when people make comments such as "socialism is of the devil" etc. ANd I am not saying that you are saying that...this just seems to be a subject that has popped up on facebook in the past week and that has made me surprised how strongly people feel about it.

    I do enjoy your blog very much:)

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    1. Eevi - I appreciate the non-confrontational, neutral way you worded your comment here. And I'm glad you enjoy reading my blog. I appreciate you sharing your comment here.

      If there is one thing Americans like to get hyped up about, it is politics. I totally understand that many feel happy living in socialist countries. Especially in countries that are very small, it is more possible for it to work. There are things I loved about socialist Austria the Summer I lived there, namely the awesome public transport. Sooo nice to be able to just read or people watch on my way to school every day.

      I still support my position though, that it is a tool of the devil. (No, not THE Devil - just a tool of his.) I think it is good form for everyone to take time to assess their political philosophies and parties and to be able to point out where the philosophies may not be in harmony with or limiting to the practice of their religious beliefs.

      Many LDS people think that Socialism is like the Law of Consecration in practice, but many of our prophets and leaders have expressed that it is in fact a counterfeit. Here is a snip from the Doctrine and covenants manual that explains why it is different:

      https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/enrichments/enrichment-l-the-law-of-consecration-and-stewardship?lang=eng

      (L-6) The Lord’s Way Versus the World’s Way

      Some have suggested that the practice of the law of consecration and the system of the united order are only a religious kind of socialism or communism. Others assert that it was a development either from the economic philosophies of Joseph Smith’s day or from communal experiments within the new religion. Such assumptions are false. The Prophet Joseph Smith attended a presentation on socialism in September 1843 at Nauvoo. His response was to declare that he “did not believe the doctrine” (History of the Church, 6:33). In more recent times Elder Marion G. Romney outlined the differences between the revealed system of the united order and the socialistic programs:

      “(1) The cornerstone of the United Order is belief in God and acceptance of him as Lord of the earth and the author of the United Order.

      “Socialism, wholly materialistic, is founded in the wisdom of men and not of God. Although all socialists may not be atheists, none of them in theory or practice seek the Lord to establish his righteousness.

      “(2) The United Order is implemented by the voluntary free-will actions of men, evidenced by a consecration of all their property to the Church of God.

      “… Socialism is implemented by external force, the power of the state.

      “(3) … The United Order is operated upon the principle of private ownership and individual management.

      “Thus in both implementation and ownership and management of property, the United Order preserves to men their God-given agency, while socialism deprives them of it.

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    2. “(4) The United Order is non-political.

      “Socialism is political, both in theory and practice. It is thus exposed to, and riddled by, the corruption that plagues and finally destroys all political governments that undertake to abridge man’s agency.

      “(5) A righteous people is a prerequisite to the United Order.

      “Socialism argues that it as a system will eliminate the evils of the profit motive.

      “The United Order exalts the poor and humbles the rich. In the process both are sanctified. The poor, released from the bondage and humiliating limitations of poverty, are enabled as free men to rise to their full potential, both temporally and spiritually. The rich, by consecration and by imparting of their surplus for the benefit of the poor, not by constraint but willingly as an act of free will, evidence that charity for their fellowmen characterized by Mormon as ‘the pure love of Christ.’ [Moroni 7:47.]” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1966, p. 97.)

      President J. Reuben Clark Jr. said: “The United Order has not been generally understood. … [It] was not a communal system. … The United Order and communism are not synonymous. Communism is Satan’s counterfeit for the United Order. There is no mistake about this and those who go about telling us otherwise either do not know or have failed to understand or are wilfully misrepresenting.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1943, p. 11.)

      President Marion G. Romney warned about the continuing imitations of the adversary: “In this modern world plagued with counterfeits for the Lord’s plan, we must not be misled into supposing that we can discharge our obligations to the poor and the needy by shifting the responsibility to some governmental or other public agency. Only by voluntarily giving out of an abundant love for our neighbors can we develop that charity characterized by Mormon as ‘the pure love of Christ.’ [Moroni 7:47.]” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1972, p. 115; or Ensign, Jan. 1973, p. 98.)

      President Romney noted:

      “I suggest we consider what has happened to our agency with respect to … government welfare services. …

      “The difference between having the means with which to administer welfare assistance taken from us and voluntarily contributing it out of our love of God and fellowman is the difference between freedom and slavery. …

      “When we love the Lord our God with all our hearts, might, mind, and strength, we will love our brothers as ourselves, and we will voluntarily, in the exercise of our free agency, impart of our substance for their support. …

      “President [J. Reuben] Clark, … referring to government gratuities, said:

      “‘The dispensing of these great quantities of gratuities has produced in the minds of hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of people … a love for idleness, a feeling that the world owes them a living. It has made a breeding ground for some of the most destructive political doctrines that have ever found any hold, … and I think it may lead us into serious political trouble. …

      “‘… Society owes to no man a life of idleness, no matter what his age. I have never seen one line in Holy Writ that calls for, or even sanctions this. In the past no free society has been able to support great groups in idleness and live free.’ (CR, Apr. 1938, pp. 106–7.) …

      “… Both history and prophecy—and I may add, common sense—bear witness to the fact that no civilization can long endure which follows the course charted by bemused manipulators and now being implemented as government welfare programs all around the world.

      “Babylon shall be destroyed, and great shall be the fall thereof. (See D&C 1:16.)

      “But do not be discouraged. Zion will not go down with her, because Zion shall be built on the principles of love of God and fellowman, work, and earnest labor, as God has directed.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1976, pp. 164–66, 169; or Ensign, May 1976, pp. 120–21, 123.)

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    3. I KNOW that this post sounds extreme. However, I share my politically and religiously charged opinion and stand by it because I believe it is essential for our country to stay as free and self-reliant as possible so that we can continue to share an example of what freedom looks like so we might be able to share the gospel with the world. In 100% completely sincere honesty, I am so urgent and black and white in my tone about this subject, because I believe the Second coming of Christ is getting very close, and that understanding and appreciating the inspired constitution of the United States is going to be of great importance in the coming years. I believe America will be the place of refuge in the world amidst the calamities that are coming our way. (I highly recommend you read Cleon Skousen's "The Cleansing of America" for more on these topics if it sounds like something you might be interested in.) Call me crazy if you like - that's my story and I'm sticking to it! Thanks for commenting!

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