February 23rd, 2007

Nazi

I learned something new yesterday. I learned what “Nazi” stands for.

Nazi is the abbreviation for the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, the political party led by Adolf Hitler in Germany from 1933-1945.

Nazism was guised as socialism, leading (as we know all too well) to totalitarianism. Those who argue for socialism (see various comments here, here, and here) probably don’t recall that Nazism itself was socialism in the beginning.

Would we expect anything other than totalitarianism to be the result of our socialist policies and programs today?

Read quotes about nazism on Quoty

31 Responses to “Nazi”

  1. Doc
    February 23, 2007 at 10:55 am #

    Nazism may have been guised as socialism but their rhetoric was all about nationalism. The “motherland” was more important that her citizens and her greatness was the priority number one. True socialism, whether you think it is fatally flawed or not, is about taking care of your citizen’s collectively. France and the Netherlands are extraordinarily socialist but totalitarianism certainly does not have a hold on them.

  2. Dan
    February 23, 2007 at 11:03 am #

    Nazism was not about socialism, or they would have been partners with the communists within Germany. But if you read your history, the Nazis did what they could to counter the influence of the communists inside Germany. Besides, with whom did the Nazis gain the most favor? Business elites, certainly no communists.

  3. Connor
    February 23, 2007 at 11:32 am #

    Nazism may have been guised as socialism but their rhetoric was all about nationalism.

    So when our politicians constantly talk about “national security” and our “national interests”, it’s different, right? :)

    The “motherland” was more important…

    Motherland, homeland, tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to.

    True socialism, whether you think it is fatally flawed or not, is about taking care of your citizen’s collectively.

    Who has successfully implemented “true socialism”? Socialism will always lead to a rise in power of greedy dictators, as is evidenced by the stated desires of the founder of the ACLU:

    I am for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal. (via Quoty)

    Socialism naturally begets communism, totalitarianism, and all the Satan-inspired -isms.

    Besides, with whom did the Nazis gain the most favor? Business elites…

    Is it any different today? Special interest groups, international bankers, and the rest of the upper class easily take advantage of the system they’ve helped create. Socialism is a lie; it doesn’t benefit everybody, it benefits those who are in charge of administering it.

    Ron Paul said it best:

    Both history and economic theory prove conclusively that centrally-planned economies lower the standard of living for everyone except government elites. Historically, centralized economic planning goes hand in hand with hardship and bloodshed. Modern soft socialism, found in nations like Sweden and France, is beginning to implode of its own weight as governments realize they simply cannot fund cradle-to-grave programs without imposing tax rates that kill any last remnants of productive spark in their citizens.

    By contrast, capitalism – which is to say economic freedom – raises the standard of living for everyone in a society. But we must understand what capitalism really is. Capitalism is not a system, but rather the result of free individuals taking economic actions without interference by government. A true capitalist economy is neither planned by bureaucrats nor steered by regulators. This is why it’s so important that we resist the idea that any president should plan our economy. If we accept that government “runs” the economy, we accept a fundamental tenet of socialism. We must understand that economic liberty is every bit as important as political and civil liberties.

  4. Curtis
    February 23, 2007 at 12:37 pm #

    In the best of worlds, socialism is supposed to lead to the exact opposite of totalitarianism… the utopian world of communism, the governing of a nation without a government! That’s the way Marx originally envisioned it.
    In practice though, there have been many corrupt men who have taken the reigns of socialist governments and lived large.
    Marx didn’t see socialism as the end. It was only a transitional step as a society became more enlightened. He realized that shifting power from the private sector to government was not the ideal situation.

    What we have now in our country though, is a huge socialist economy for the wealthy corporations, which protect corporations to rather extreme extents, and limited socialism for the masses. As Ron Paul explains capitalism, there is no government regulation. It would be a bit extreme to abolish all government regulation. It can be argued very effectively that safeguards provided by government regulation for the little people is very needed in any economy.
    I have to dispute the idea that all socialism leads necessarily to totalitarianism though. There have been many experiments that have been promising, but have not been allowed to flourish. Whenever one springs up in our hemisphere the US crushes it in its infancy and doesn’t give it a chance to thrive.
    Moses ran a sort of socialist society with restrictions on business that went against the free market model. It’ll be interesting to see where Venezuela goes with its socialism. Hopefully we won’t crush it though we have already tried with coup support etc.

  5. Michael L. Mc Kee
    February 23, 2007 at 12:38 pm #

    New World Order vs. United Order

    Under the New World Order we will be required to give our freedoms to the State, and we will likely do so with dramatic reluctance.

    Under the United Order we will gladly choose to relinquish our agency to the Lord Jesus Christ in an effort to bring the less fortunate, and repentant into the all-encompassing fold with Him.

    If you find any semblance of Christ-like virtue in so-called socialism, you do not understand the meaning of charity, an attribute, without which, you will unlikely aspire to the Celestial Kingdom at any level.

    As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are given wise counsel concerning tithing. We know that the Lord does not need our money, but he does need our utmost devotion or we are of no effectual use to Him in promoting His Gospel Plan. Consequently, we are free to choose to obey His will in order to partake of the blessings He promises. Conversely, we may also choose to disregard His desires, and relinquish the attendant blessings.

    As citizens under the New World Order, there are no choices, and there are no resultant blessings offered for obeying the dictate to comply. There will be, however, consequences which, in the end, will likely be undesirable.

    President Kimball once stated; Remember that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is NOT compatible with radicalism, or Communism or any other of the “isms”. There could be those among you who would profess to be your saviors. They could enslave you with their force or their so-called doctrines. If some of their leaders have motives that are selfish or questionable, you should have nothing to do with them. Perhaps some would even excite you to riot. Beware of them. Keep your feet on the ground and your head in the air.

    Whether Nazism, Communism, or Socialism, there is no virtue, or eternal hope to be found in their philosophies.

  6. Dan
    February 23, 2007 at 1:25 pm #

    Connor,

    It would help your accusation that Nazism was socialist if you could give examples of their “socialist” policies. What policies did they pursue that had something to do with socialism? Then how much of their policies had more to do with fascism and nationalism (which are inherently right-wing based ideologies)?

    I’m fearing that this is yet another example where a conservative leaning individual cannot fathom that truly there are totalitarian ideologies on the right-wing side of the political spectrum.

  7. Dan
    February 23, 2007 at 1:28 pm #

    Curtis,

    We have yet to see real Marxism in practice anywhere, and that is because Marxism follows capitalism. The communism we’ve seen in practice is more Leninism than anything else. Leninism is a corrupted mix of Marxist principles and totalitarian ideology that Russians were so used to under the Czars. Fundamentally then, nothing we’ve seen in Russia, China, Cambodia or North Korea matched what Marx wrote.

  8. Connor
    February 23, 2007 at 1:40 pm #

    It would help your accusation that Nazism was socialist if you could give examples of their “socialist” policies. What policies did they pursue that had something to do with socialism? Then how much of their policies had more to do with fascism and nationalism (which are inherently right-wing based ideologies)?

    Indeed, the Nazis’ was a flavor of socialism, specifically Nationalist Socialism. But as Michael cites President Kimball as saying, all such -isms are destructive. To answer your question, I’ll let the Nazi Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, do the talking:

    Why Are We Socialists?

    We are socialists because we see in socialism, that is the union of all citizens, the only chance to maintain our racial inheritance and to regain our political freedom and renew our German state.

    Socialism is the doctrine of liberation for the working class. It promotes the rise of the fourth class and its incorporation in the political organism of our Fatherland, and is inextricably bound to breaking the present slavery and regaining German freedom. Socialism, therefore, is not merely a matter of the oppressed class, but a matter for everyone, for freeing the German people from slavery is the goal of contemporary policy. Socialism gains its true form only through a total fighting brotherhood with the forward-striving energies of a newly awakened nationalism. Without nationalism it is nothing, a phantom, a mere theory, a castle in the sky, a book. With it it is everything, the future, freedom, the fatherland!

    The sin of liberal thinking was to overlook socialism’s nation-building strengths, thereby allowing its energies to go in anti-national directions. The sin of Marxism was to degrade socialism into a question of wages and the stomach, putting it in conflict with the state and its national existence. An understanding of both these facts leads us to a new sense of socialism, which sees its nature as nationalistic, state-building, liberating and constructive.

    Another explanation comes from chapter one of The Ominous Parallels by Leonard Peikoff:

    Just as the individual is to be regarded merely as a fragment of the group, the Nazis said, so his possessions are to be regarded as a fragment of the group’s wealth.

    “Private property” as conceived under the liberalistic economy order was a reversal of the true concept of property [wrote Huber]. This “private property” represented the right of the individual to manage and to speculate with inherited or acquired property as he pleased, without regard for the general interests… German socialism had to overcome this “private”, that is, unrestrained and irresponsible view of property. All property is common property. The owner is bound by the people and the Reich to the responsible management of his goods. His legal position is only justified when he satisfies this responsibility to the community.

    Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation’s economy. The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary; what counts is the issue of CONTROL. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property — so long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.

    If “ownership” means the right to determine the use and disposal of material goods, then Nazism endowed the state with every real prerogative of ownership. What the individual retained was merely a formal deed, a content-less deed, which conferred no rights on its holder. Under communism, there is collective ownership of property DEJURE. Under Nazism, there is the same collective ownership DE FACTO.

    During the Hitler years — in order to finance the party’s programs, including the war expenditures — every social group in Germany was mercilessly exploited and drained. White-collar salaries and the earnings of small businessmen were deliberately held down by government controls, freezes, taxes. Big business was bled by taxes and “special contributions” of every kind, and strangled by the bureaucracy. At the same time the income of the farmers was held down, and there was a desperate flight to the cities — where the middle class, especially the small tradesmen, were soon in desperate straits, and where the workers were forced to labor at low wages for increasingly longer hours (up to 60 or more per week).

    But the Nazis defended their policies, and the country did not rebel; it accepted the Nazi argument. Selfish individuals may be unhappy, the Nazis said, but what we have established in Germany is the ideal system, SOCIALISM. In its Nazi usage this term is not restricted to a theory of economics; it is to be understood in a fundamental sense. “Socialism” for the Nazis denotes the principle of collectivism as such and its corollary, statism — in every field of human action, including but not limited to economics.

    “To be a socialist”, says Goebbels, “is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole.”

    By this definition, the Nazis practiced what they preached. They practiced it at home and then abroad. No one can claim that they did not sacrifice enough individuals.

  9. Doc
    February 23, 2007 at 2:09 pm #

    Nate Oman at T&S jus posted a fantastic article about how our theology is profoundly communal at http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=3731

    As for true marxism never being realised, that it because Marxism has a fatal flaw, as I have explained in previous posts here: http://www.connorboyack.com/blog/communism#comment-5088

  10. Curtis
    February 23, 2007 at 2:37 pm #

    I agree Dan. Communism, usually with a lower case ‘c’, has never been seen by the world. I take some issue with the use of the term used to indicate the corrupt regimes of the Soviet’s etc. (usually denoted by the use of the upper case ‘C’).
    I suspect that in reality, none of these economic systems are evil and of the devil. Evil is something that dwells in the hearts of men… not in an economic system. It is only how men act in relation to an economic policy that counts. Capitalism has been the economic policy in many a nation that has seen horrible dictatorships. As Connor points out, we see the same thing in nations where socialism is the touted economic policy.

    It understood that socialism, communism or capitalism do not equal the united order. I concede that there are many problems with the socialist societies seen in the world up to this point. However, I feel that many in the Church use capitalism to support their idolatry for the almighty dollar. Indeed, this is one of the great stumbling blocks of the Church according to many of our prophet’s utterances.

    The scriptures don’t say a whole lot about socialism vs. capitalism… but they sure do say a whole lot about the sins of covetousness and inequality in wealth distribution. This inequality is seen especially starkly in Utah, where the gap between the rich and the poor led the nation at one point. The sermons of most importance at this time should be devoted more to this teaching from the scriptures, as this truly ranks as one of the great problems of our time.

  11. Michael L. Mc Kee
    February 23, 2007 at 3:30 pm #

    I am, unfortunately, not sufficiently well suited toward infinite wisdom so I’ll be grateful to others for providing me with wise, and timely understanding to offer the following words from a book which I finished yesterday. It was written by Robert E. Hales, and is entitled “Secret Combinations Today.” The subtitle is “A Voice of Warning.”

    On page 138 the conversation is concerned with Fabian Socialism, and how this form of social behavior is detrimental to our basic freedom to own, and secure property.

    The following is from the 1964 Congressional Record, page 6142, under Remarks of the President to a group of senior citizen leaders, on March 24 of that year, the President of the United States is quoted as saying: “We’re going to take all the money we think is unnecessarily being spent and take it from the haves and give it to the have nots.” This then is the real objective and purpose of Socialism; TO TAKE. To take private property, to take the fruits of labor, to take the rights of the forefathers, to take the right to pass the result of labors to children, to take incentive and reward, to take free agency; in effect, to take the right to own and control property.

    Sir William Blackstone wrote, So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community.”

    The basic foundational principles of socialism are not to be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, everything about them smacks of the adversarial plan to negate agency.

  12. Connor
    February 23, 2007 at 3:37 pm #

    Michael,

    Hear, hear!

  13. Doc
    February 23, 2007 at 3:41 pm #

    Michael,
    King Benjamin states that we are all beggars before god, that we ought to give of what we have freely. Do you think he really meant it?

    There is a great article of the fallacy of property as a right in this article in Meridian magazine.
    http://www.meridianmagazine.com/deceivers/070209deceivers.html

    There is a reason that Thomas Jefferson named the replaced property with the pursuit of happiness in his listing of Mankinds inalienable rights. Agency has nothing to do with Property. Indeed at best, we are merely stewards.

  14. Doc
    February 23, 2007 at 3:47 pm #

    Indeed there are those who believe that Property is theft in the idea that the fruits of the laborer are given to the corporation, the distributor, the warehouser, the retailer, etc. The truth is we are a society. We all depend on eachother to some degree.

  15. Doc
    February 23, 2007 at 4:01 pm #

    “By contrast, capitalism – which is to say economic freedom – raises the standard of living for everyone in a society. But we must understand what capitalism really is. Capitalism is not a system, but rather the result of free individuals taking economic actions without interference by government.”

    The problem with this is that it neglects that fact that communism and anarchism were outgrowths of a capitalistic system that lead to monopoly, polarization of the rich and poor and economic stagnation. Robber barons tied up all of society’s wealth and had all the power. So economic freedom could be seen also as leading to tyranny. Look at Russia and how rampant corruption and organized crime had a vice grip on the country, until Putin wrested control with the government and created his own vice grip. Both extremes lead to tyranny.

  16. Connor
    February 23, 2007 at 4:04 pm #

    Doc,

    Stewardships are thusly defined:

    The stewardship was given with a deed of ownership so each member would be fully responsible and accountable for managing it. The stewardship, then, was treated as private property, not common or communal property, even though all property ultimately belongs to God. (emphasis mine)

    Such was the case in the Nephite Zion:

    The scriptural phrase “had all things common” is used to characterize those who lived the law of consecration. Yet such a system was not a type of “Christian Communism.” Every covenant member of this order held some private property and had access to consecrated surpluses according to justified “wants” and “needs”. (emphasis mine)

    One final example:

    The united order operates under the principle of private ownership and individual management. It is neither communal nor communistic. Each man owns his own property with an absolute title. The individual family is preserved. There is no common table.

    Private property is important—if not essential—in God’s economic order, just as it is in its historical precursor, capitalism.

  17. Doc
    February 23, 2007 at 4:27 pm #

    I realize that the fear of all things Red in the 1970s led the Church to say a lot of things that flew in the face of the revealed word of God.

    It does not surprise me that the correlation committee is still straining to keep the American way relevant to the law of Consecration. What it all boils down to, If all things belong to God, then we need to be willing to share it. We also need to be willing to express our needs. I live with what I am given, and I work to make things the best I can with my meager means. I know where I live.

    But I will never, ever accept that the culture of capitalism and materialism we live in is in any way synonymous with the gospel. It requires to much straining. It is a flawed system that seems to work better than anything else mankind has come up with to date. However, unchecked and unregulated, it leads to the Great Depression and economic collapse, privation, and starvation. It also leads to selfishness, hostile takeovers, fraud, greed, envy, covetousness. There has to be a balance.

  18. Connor
    February 23, 2007 at 4:44 pm #

    But I will never, ever accept that the culture of capitalism and materialism we live in is in any way synonymous with the gospel.

    I’m not advocating that it’s synonymous, but I do believe it is a precursor. Call it a “lesser law”, if you will.

    However, unchecked and unregulated, it leads to the Great Depression and economic collapse, privation, and starvation.

    Capitalism didn’t cause the depression—wicked men did.

    I think we’ve all agreed here that the system isn’t that bad—it’s the corrupt men in charge who cause oppression, privation, destruction, and all the negative aspects found in the “-isms”.

  19. Dan
    February 23, 2007 at 6:39 pm #

    Connor,

    I think we’ve all agreed here that the system isn’t that bad

    Actually it is bad, but as of right now, it is the best of all the bad options we have out there.

  20. Michael L. Mc Kee
    February 23, 2007 at 7:56 pm #

    King Benjamin probably said very little, if anything that was not absolutely truthful when he was under the influence of the Holy Ghost. Do I believe he meant what he said, yes, I certainly do. I am also equally certain he did not go forth himself or send anyone else forth to confiscate the property possessed by those who were listening to him or who were under his beneficent rule. I know this because he would never have considered doing so under any circumstances. I do believe he would have utilized gentle persuasion to move his adherents to give freely, but he would not go anywhere near considering anything resembling forced or coerced charity.

    I read the Richard Eyer article earlier today as I have been receiving daily emails from Meridian Magazine for several years. I fail to see the relevant correlation to this topic as he seemed to be telling me as an individual about the dangers he considered. As an individual, I am fully aware that I cannot control that which I do not own. I do not actually own anything as everything belongs to Him who created it. The Creator has given me a situation wherein I may temporarily possess a part of His property. He has also given me guidance as to how I should handle His property in order to receive an increase from Him. Part of his counseling deals with tithes, and offerings while other advice has to do with charity or The Pure Love of Christ. I also learned from His advice that I am permitted to be independent to the extent I am willing to jeopardize my eternal life with Him. I am not willing to be that independent.

    I believe Thomas Jefferson would be the first to tell us that government has no property, and therefore has no power to obtain property. While they do have the power to levy taxes to the extent necessary to provide protection for our individual property, they do not have any money to buy property which is considered as Government Property.

    Agency has everything to do with property in that my body is my property, and it belongs to me, and me alone. While I may gladly give my blood, and lay down my life for a friend, I will not allow the government to require it of me.

    As a society we may depend upon each other, but there is still no power given to the government through the Constitution to take from one in order to give to another under any circumstances whatsoever. You may attempt to find some rationalized reasoning to justify a belief that there is some inherent good in a societal plan devised by wicked men which utilizes any form of confiscatory increase to bring about a Utopian form of equality, but I can tell you it will ultimately fail. There is but one plan which will bring about happiness for all, and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    The balance you seek is ultimately found in Free Agency, and it will yet be the system of government upon this earth when the Land Lord returns. It will be so because Lucifer, and all things Luciferian will be irrelevant to the prevailing plan of a United Order.

    As for the comments about “all things Red in the 70’s, I would need further enlightenment as to exactly what you meant by that statement.

    As for all things belonging to God, and our need to be willing to share that which we have in excess, I will gladly add my AMEN to that, but I will resist all forms of anti-agency demonstrated by others to coerce me into sharing according to their dictates.

  21. Michael L. Mc Kee
    February 23, 2007 at 8:14 pm #

    The condition of the system here in the United States is what it is rather than what it once was, and what it was intended to be because the people have been neglecting their inherent duties to serve the Lord of the land who is Jesus Christ, and because secret combinations have been stealthily usurping the power of the people given that we have held the door wide open for them to do so.

    When we start to once again convince our neighbors that the freedoms we have come with a price of eternal vigilance, and show them that we do not have to accept the plans of Satan, we may be able to save the remaining God blessed, and inspired Constitution which was intended to implement the beginnings of the United Order.

  22. Tinny Ray
    February 23, 2007 at 8:34 pm #

    Many people do not know that the term “Nazi” means “National Socialist German Workers’ Party” and that members of the horrid group did not call themselves Nazis, but called themselves socialists. They also did not use the F-word as a self-description.

    The “Nazi salute” is more accurately called the “American salute” as it was created and popularized by national socialists in the USA where its use was mandated by law in government schools for three decades before, and through, the creation of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. It was the early gesture of the Pledge of Allegiance.
    http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-pledge.html

    The original pledge was anti libertarian and began with a military salute that then stretched out toward the flag. In actual use, the second part of the gesture was performed with a straight arm and palm down by children casually performing the forced ritual chanting. Due to the way that both gestures were used sequentially in the pledge, the military salute led to the Nazi salute. The Nazi salute is an extended military salute via the USA’s pledge.

    The Pledge’s early salute caused quite a Fuhrer/furor. The dogma behind the Pledge was the same dogma that led to the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part): 62 million slaughtered under the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; 49 million under the Peoples’ Republic of China; 21 million under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. It was the worst slaughter of humanity ever.

    The USA originated Nazism, Nazi salutes, flag fetishism, robotic group-chanting to flags, and the modern swastika symbol as S symbolism for “socialism,” all shown in the research of the noted historian Dr. Rex Curry. The bizarre acts in the USA began as early as 1875 and continued through the creation of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (German Nazis or NSGWP). American soldiers used the swastika symbol in WWI (against Germany) and perhaps as late as 1941. The NSGWP had clear roots in National Socialism promoted by socialists in the USA. Amazing graphic images that prove the point are at
    http://rexcurry.net/theosophy-madame-blavatsky-theosophical-society.html

    The USA is still the worst example in the world of bizarre laws that require collective robotic chanting to a national flag in government schools (socialist schools) every day for 12 years. It has changed generations of Americans from libertarians to authoritarians. The government bamboozled individuals into believing that collective robotic chanting in government schools is a beautiful expression of freedom. Frightening photographs are at
    http://rexcurry.net/pledge2.html

  23. Kelly Winterton
    February 23, 2007 at 10:03 pm #

    Wow, many good posts to this subject. I am not qualified to speak to them all. But, I feel that the US form of “capitalism” has actually gone beyond capitalism, and we are now enjoying an American flavor of fascism – – which I define as elite multinational corporations controlling our government. I do not think this is within God’s plan either.

  24. Curtis
    February 24, 2007 at 1:03 am #

    Mike,
    You said:
    “…there is still no power given to the government through the Constitution to take from one in order to give to another under any circumstances whatsoever.”

    Article one of the US Constitution says:

    Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    The ambiguity of the term, “general welfare” opens up a wide variety of interpretations for what sorts of things the Government is able to levy taxes for.

  25. Curtis
    February 24, 2007 at 1:10 am #

    Also, as far as we speak of the principle of taking from one person to give to another as the basic principle of socialism and the reason it is bad… we should not forget that the basic principle of capitalism tells us we can take up as much of the earth’s wealth as we can grab… which is not allowed by God. The earth is given to man and the dominion thereof is man’s. For one man to take more than his share is a sin in God’s sight and is a form of theft from God and from mankind. This doctrine can be found in D&C 49:20 which says:
    “But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.”

  26. Sam Hennis
    February 24, 2007 at 10:28 am #

    Curtis,

    I think we all will agree with you that it’s not RIGHT to have more of the riches of the earth than we NEED for ourselves. It’s not necessarily a sin to seek for riches. The sin is in what many, if not most people, do with the riches they have.

    In Jacob 2:18-19 we read:
    “But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
    And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good — to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.”

    The Lord allows us to gain riches so that we may excersise our agency in helping others who are less fortunate. If we do not help others, and instead, use the riches for our own self indulgence, it will be counted against us at the last day, nevertheless, we still have our agency to decide what we will DO with our riches. I have no right to force brother so-and-so to give up some of his riches because I think he has too much. D&C 49:20 is a good scripture. I hope you are not saying that it implies that we are justified in taking from one person to give to another for his welfare. That is not justified by God, whether or not a person has more of the riches of the earth than he needs. If a person has been selfish with his abundance, it will be counted against him at the judgement day. That will be up to our Savior to decide. That judgement is not reserved for others.

  27. Michael L. Mc Kee
    February 24, 2007 at 1:26 pm #

    As was mentioned earlier, the Government of the People does possess the power to collect that which is NECESSARY to protect the sovereign of the people. When they do utilize the power granted them by the people, it means that they are to utilize the funds for the protection, and betterment of all of the people. It gives them no power to selectively determine that one class has a greater need than another.

    Ambiguity in the term “General Welfare” only comes about when other areas of the Constitution which are not ambiguous are not considered. While this term is bandied about as justification for our prevailing “Welfare State” mentality, it is a dishonest attempt to bring about so-called equality. Where has the Lord stated that we are all entitled to the same number of carrots to feed ourselves? Where does He proclaim that we all have the same amount of land to grow our carrots? I cannot answer those questions, but I do know that we should, through our free agency, choose to give our abundance to those we consider less fortunate.

    I do not recall mentioning capitalISM in any of my previous words. I have read D&C 49:20, and I also read much of what preceded that verse, as well as much of what comes after it. I have concluded that most of what you said before you inserted the appropriate verse was your interpretation of the verse. I would be curious to know where you found the doctrine concerning the amount of each share we have, and who determined how much each share should entail. The last word in verse 19 is abundance. Who determines exactly what is abundant, and what may be too little. Verses 17-21 are speaking about “eating of meat is approved.” I personally find verse 19 to be far too lacking in specificity to conclude that your interpretation is plausible. I cannot glean anything concrete after several attempts at pondering the words contained therein. If you are attempting to assert that the Lord does not condone one man possessing, in our particular form of societal behavior currently, more than another, and that we should all have equally valued homes, etc., I am afraid your words are wasted on me.

  28. Curtis
    February 25, 2007 at 1:48 am #

    Sam,
    On the subject of riches, the scriptures speak fairly clear. The Lord tells us in the 38th Section of the D&C thusly:

    39 And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity; and it must needs be that the riches of the earth are mine to give; but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.

    As you can see, the Father values the riches of Eternal Life a lot more than worldly riches in the first place. In the second place, the false riches of the world are also his to give, but we are to beware of pride. Most Mormon’s think they are ok, that all is well in Zion, and that they can get wealthy and still pay tithing and give a bit here and there and all will be well. This is where Satan lulls us into carnal security (trust in the almighty dollar) as Nephi told us in 2nd Nephi:28

    21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

    So, is it a sin to chase after wealth? The scripture you quote says that we can seek after riches after we have found the kingdom of God. So my first question is when do we ever finish searching for the kingdom of God? I think this question is best pondered in light of two identical scriptures given in the D&C in sections 6 and 11, the Lord says:

    7:Seek not for riches but for wisdom; and, behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.

    The Lord is prohibiting us to seek for riches here and tells us to seek after wisdom instead. Then we will receive great knowledge and be made rich in an Eternal sense. We are not to seek after riches though.

    Why can’t we seek after riches? Because… the pursuit of riches and the pursuit of Eternal life are mutually excusive. If we are seeking after mammon (from the greek word for “financial transactions”), we cannot serve God. You can’t have one foot in Zion and one foot in Babylon. You can’t serve two masters. Brigham Young made a good point when he said that the mind of a man who is constantly seeking to increase his wealth, is not fit to be written on by the pen of revelation. This is bad news since it is by revelation that we grow up into the stature of Christ. It is by revelation that we come to know Christ in order to become like him so that we see him as he is when he comes.

    So the Lord has the riches of the world to give us, but there is a strict condition provided. We can’t become like the Nephites of old and give way to pride. It is not given that one man should possess that which is more than another possesses.

    We need then to follow Jacob’s teachings in chapter 2. Oops. It looks like you forgot a verse when you were expounding on Jacob’s teachings above. The verse that is usually forgotten when one seeks to excuse his pursuit of wealth is the verse immediately preceeding… verse 17 which says:

    17 Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.

    If we all lived like Jacob taught, there would be noone richer than another since a discovery of wealth would be cause to distribute it among your brothers so that all would be rich like you. You would then be one… united in Christ as Christ himself taught us in D&C 78 and D&C 38 saying that we cannot be his, unless we are one, in earthly things as well as in heavenly things:

    5 That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.
    6 For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;

    27…I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.

    Beware though. Remember, we are seeking after a greater abundance of the Spirit so that we can gain the revelation necessary to become like God. So, even if we give our wealth, but not with the right heart… we’ll miss out on some of the true riches as the Lord tells us in D&C 70:

    14 Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.

    Interestingly in all of this the Lord doesn’t say to pay tithing and keep the rest, live large and give to the poor when you have a chance while maintaining the discrepancy between the rich and the poor. He says instead to become equal in earthly things and to make our brothers rich like unto us etc.

    There really is no room for seeking after riches in this life. Why should we waste our time on such a silly thing when it is only a cheap imitation of the true riches of Eternal Life?

    So is it robbing God to accumulate wealth? Is it robbing your fellow man? We know that we rob God by not paying tithing, this in spite of the fact that we went out and worked our capitalistic little butts off and earned it fair and square right? Nephi tells us about the wealthy… how their extravagance is actually classified as taking that which doesn’t belong to them… in spite of their capitalistic indignation at being called thieves when they worked hard for their money (though of course, many don’t work hard for their money at all… they are the wealthy that are idle and have eyes full of greediness, not stooping to the level of wearing the garment or eating the bread of the laborer). Nephi says in 2nd Nephi 28:

    13 They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing…

    I am not saying this is justification for taking capitalists money away. I am merely pointing out the fact that in socialism, government takes away money from the individual(which you would say is robbing the individual of his property) (which money is not really theirs in the first place since it is robbing the poor and God to have it), while in capitalism, of course, the individual gets to hold onto his money which some would say is equal to robbing the poor and God. You can decide yourself who is justified.

  29. Sam Hennis
    February 25, 2007 at 6:39 pm #

    Those are good points Curtis. I totally agree that we should not be seeking after worldly riches. I have not sought after them. That’s definitely not our purpose here in life. I do believe that the Lord has blessed me in my life with much abundance though, and because of that I was able to help a man who I’ve become friends with over the past several months. I was visiting him at his home a couple weeks ago, and to my surprise, I found out that his refrigerator was totally empty! He did not ask me for help, but I knew exactly what I needed to do. I went home and told my wife about his situation, and we immediately started pulling some food out of our pantry and from our food storage, enough food to fill up his refrigerator. I share this not for praise, or to boast, but as an example of what we can do when we are blessed with an abundance.

    I would have to say that many of us do spend much of our time in the pursuit of riches which is not the purpose of our being here. I like what President Kimball stated in a talk given in April Conference of 1976. He said, “If we insist on spending all of our time and resources on building up for ourselves a worldly kingdom, that is exactly what we will inherit.”

    I see your point in your last paragraph. I would say in both cases neither is justified. :)

  30. Curtis
    February 26, 2007 at 12:40 am #

    Thanks for sharing that Sam. I appreciate your comments. This entire life is a probationary state and thus we are tested with everything we have, wealth or poverty etc. Some say it is a blessing to be wealthy, but I think that the only true blessing is to do what the Lord would have you do with whatever you have.
    Take care.

  31. fontor
    February 27, 2007 at 8:14 am #

    If you try and combine a Nazi and a Socialist, would they explode, or just evaporate?

    I’d try it, but I can’t get ethics clearance. I should check the literature.

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