Socialism, Secularism, and Social Leveling

In a recent piece for Religion & Liberty, a publication of the Acton Institute, I took on an analysis inspired by Bill Buckley’s old contention that the struggles between atheism and Christianity and socialism versus capitalism were ultimately the same conflict.  While I don’t go quite that far (though I think the idea has some merit), I group socialism and secularism together as different species of the larger genus we might call social leveling.

Here’s a clip:

I have argued that social leveling achieves a wrong result in the sense that it ignores things like merit and virtue in the form of socialism, and truth in the form of secularism. That alone is good reason to oppose it, but there is a bigger problem than that. The social leveling that is achieved by socialism and secularism can only be engineered by one entity in a society. That entity is the state. Thus, the state will become the effective owner of all property and the state will determine what manifestations of religion (if any) are acceptable to itself.

Read it all here.


3 thoughts on “Socialism, Secularism, and Social Leveling

  1. Great article Dr. Baker! I’ve linked it up on my blog ( I’d like to make one comment about it: Wouldn’t you say that Rousseau saw the need for religion, though a secular or natural religion of some kind, as a necessary component of state coerced egalitarianism? That is, didn’t he recognize that the state needs a ‘god’ of sorts to give it a sense of legitimacy? How does that need fit in with your argument that socialism and secularism go hand in hand?

  2. Pingback: Social Leveling: the offspring of secularism and socialism « thereformedmind

  3. Sorry, I’ve been on vacation and haven’t been on the computer. I certainly agree with the idea that socialism tends to have its own god in the sense that there is something like an apotheosis of the state. Durkheim thought all religion basically boiled down to people worshipping their collective selves. I don’t think he was right about Christianity, but I do think the manmade gods of socialism fit the description. What socialism rejects is a god that can’t be controlled and made to fit its own program. Of course, the same is true of other political systems. But socialism is uniquely empowered by its control of virtually everything in a society to impose its own will with regard to religion.

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