February 23,1904, an elderly religious woman wrote:
The trade unions will be the cause of the most terrible violence that has ever been seen among human beings.
The same author, Ellen G. White, wrote the year before, “Trades unions will be formed, and those who refuse to join these unions will be marked men,” and “the trade unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been since the world began.”
It was a different time in American history, true, but, the Communist Manifesto was written in 1848, and the issue between labor and management (workers and corporations) was already clearly defined on a most primitive, materialistic basis. There were only two classes: the bourgeois and the proletariat, or the haves, and the have nots. It was Communism’s mission to distribute wealth equally. So goes the delusion. Communism makes poor people poorer, and makes more of them. Only the leaders become indescribably wealthy, and there are fewer of them in Communism.
Traditional wrought-iron guild sign of a glazier in Germany. In the local, home-spun days, when the guild member had control over his own shop, there was little danger of coercion. The Ironworkers union of today is a far cry from a Medieval guild. Unions have become national and international powers.
Plato would certainly have scorned such a materialistic delusion as having anything to do with equality. Equality based on material things was anathema in his concept of a state. Equality had to do with justice, not materialism. Indeed, leaders were not to base judgment on material conditions. Justice was not measured by material equality. “The Notion of Equality,” Book Six, The Laws (360 B.C.) (This passage is on pp.229, 230, in the Saunders translation for Penguin, 1970.)
Actually, Plato’s notion reflects the early Mosaic teaching of the Torah, on two points:
1. Exodus 30:13. One offering for the temple, half a shekel, from each male of the age of 20 (at a census). “The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less.”
2. Leviticus 24:22. One law for the foreigner and native alike. No exceptions to accommodate alien ways, values, or customs. Nothing to do with social status or material conditions.
But Communists like the current president of the United States, preach that the poor should have more material things, indeed, that there should be less poor people. Thus, Communism appeals directly to covetousness.
But, again, according to the Law of Moses, the poor are not exempt from covetousness. “Thou shalt not covet,” as the Lord wrote with His own finger, in stone, pertains both to rich and poor. Nor are the rich incapable of generosity. Deuteronomy 15:11 says,
For the poor shall never perish out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother.
Charity is never to be offered with the thought that it will remove poverty. President Lydon B. Johnson’s “war on poverty” was blasphemy, and the Communist (Democrat) appeal to greed is forever alien to the Divine mandates.
But Obama went to Michigan to dramatize greed. “You’ve been wronged!” he shouted, essentially. Thus he, as all Communists and Democrats, justify greed with an imagined moral imperative. You’ve been wronged, if you’re poor. You’ve been wronged by people who are rich. It is your “right” to have more. It is right that you should have more.
No such concept exists in biblical theology or even sociology.
On the other hand, The gospel narratives and the apostolic letters seem clearly to condemn the mistreatment of labor by the rich (e.g., James 5:1-6). Of course, the Bible nowhere condemns slavery–which is nothing but permanent employment, if considered in terms of labor and management.
So, we see the modern world, with its marvelous advances in political science and social structure, particularly in America, still does not escape the basic circumstances of life: labor and management. Karl Marx, of Jewish heritage, was certainly right about that division. What he was dead wrong and blasphemous about is the matter of material possessions. Certainly, management is going to own more than labor, always. But it is not an intrinsic sin to thus own more. Nor has labor been necessarily wronged in that it owns less. The division of labor itself is inevitable and necessary in any society. Hierarchy is simply the way mankind exists. Efforts against the wind are the luxury of academic idealists, or often the unleashed passion of greedy delusionists.
Labor and violence, now, that’s a different story. That’s what we saw in Michigan.
Modern labor unions are not necessarily the heirs of the Medieval European guilds. They are the bastards of cruel capitalist management. The guilds were more akin to secret societies, private brotherhoods, and they did seek control over the trade in their townships, but this is pithy, and local. There is no concept approaching the magnitude of a modern labor union. Unions have become national powers. And unions are about coercion. Thus, they include all manner of disruptives, malcontents, juveniles, Communists, and anarchists. The sincere, urgent need of 19th century factory labor to protect itself and its children from ineffable abuse gave rise to the social lusus naturae of modern coercionists.
(In a way, Communism can be interpreted as simply reactionary–a 19th century outrage against the ravages of the Industrial Revolution. The Communism of Karl Marx and today’s Democrats is based on fear, more than anything else. This is why Democrats appeal so directly to emotion, and never to intellectual awareness, and perception.)
Rush Limbaugh said today that unions are not about jobs, wages, or benefits. Unions are a money laundry for the Democrat Party. Dues go directly to campaigns, ads, and political pockets. In concept, perhaps they are free to operate in such a way. However, they are not free to force others–and that’s exactly what they do. In this, they are like gangsters, mafia, and street ruffians. They are the true Nazi “brown shirts” of today.
Interesting take on the subject.
One thing we can say for sure. The book of Revelation (13:16,17) says the whole world will end in a gargantuan global effort to coerce all people through an economic union:
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Not a pleasant thought, but, at least the unpleasantness ahead will not include the element of surprise for the believers.