The Socialist Ten Commandments
It is not cool to use the term socialism or communism in the United States.
Socialism gets a bad rap.
Perhaps socialism is not cool because it’s a system that organizes society around humanity, and this, sadly, conflicts with capitalism. At its logical end, capitalism cares about one thing: money. Caring about humanity gets in the way of earning money, as do regulations, the environment, worker safety, employee benefits, and taxes. It’s that simple.
But there’s so much good in Socialism that good people miss because of the rhetoric.
In 1910 the editor of The Young Socialist, a monthly periodical published by the National Council of British Socialist Sunday Schools Union in Glasgow, Scotland, wrote the following:
The true socialist, whatever, if any, denomination he belongs to, wants fellowship, a kingdom of love and happiness, and not hell.
Further, the three guidelines that guided Socialist Sunday Schools were:
- That morality is the fulfillment of one’s duty to one’s neighbor;
- That the present social system is devoid of the elements of love or justice, since, as an organization, it ignores the claims of the weak and distressed, and that is, therefore, immoral;
- That society can be reorganized on a basis of love and justice, and that it is every man’s duty to use all available social forces in bringing about that reorganization.
Notice the Socialist Sunday School’s concern for humanity, and not dollars.
(Also, interesting to note that Evangelical Christians, Trump’s base, support Republican congressmen, who pass legislation, advanced by mega capitalists, which ultimately harms the weak and distressed, and this is not congruent with a true Gospel faith.)
The Socialist Ten Commandments (anonymous author/s) that hung on Socialist Sunday School (SSS) walls and which were committed to memory by children are:
Love your schoolfellows, who will be your fellow workmen in life.
Love learning, which is the food of the mind; be as grateful to your teacher as to your parents.
Make every day holy by good and useful deeds and kindly actions.
Honor good men, be courteous to all men, bow down to none.
Do not hate or speak evil of anyone. Do not be revengeful but stand up for your right and resist oppression.
Do not be cowardly. Be a friend to the weak and love justice.
Remember that all good things of the earth are produced by labor. Whoever enjoys them without working for them is stealing the bread of the workers.
Observe and think in order to discover the truth. Do not believe what is contrary to reason and never deceive yourself or others.
Do not think that he who loves his own country must hate and despise other nations, or wish for war, which is a remnant of barbarism.
Look forward to the day when all men and women will be free citizens of one fatherland and live together as brothers and sisters in peace and righteousness.
Socialism gets a bad name because it’s an alternative and competing worldview with that of capitalism.
Yes, there have been evil tyrants in history that have worked under the banner of “socialism,” but they were not socialists. In the same way that so many evangelical Christians today are not “Christians.”
Socialism is a threat to power, money, and greed because it has different aims- caring for one another.
I believe the logical end of socialism offers a compelling and grounded vision for humanity.
Here’s how I see the end of capitalism and what it offers: one man sitting on pile of smoking rubble holding all of the world’s wealth, the rest of life on planet earth dead, claiming, “I won.”