It is ironic the same people who would have our country defined as a Christian nation are also against government programs to help the poor and sick. Take self-proclaimed Christian columnist Susan Brown, who in a recent HDN op-ed quoted an intellectual agnostic who condemns “social justice” as a threat to the status quo social order. Let me remind Ms. Brown that social justice was what Jesus was all about, the exact kind of social justice her and her agnostic colleague define. Merely reading the gospels, we see that the main things Jesus “did” were healing the sick, making sure the poor get their basic needs met and providing assistance to the disadvantaged, of which contemporary efforts by the government Ms. Brown and Mr. Hayek malign as “redistribution of wealth.” Characterized this way, it naturally brought to Ms. Brown’s mind the story of Robin Hood, whom she accepts as a heroic character, but not for his efforts to take from the greedy aristocrats and give to the needy poor, only his chivalry and green tights.
Ms. Brown is right about Marx hating religion. But it wasn’t God that Marx hated, it was elites’ use of religious dogma to justify and perpetuate an immoral economic system that creates massive poverty for the masses, while channeling more and more wealth to the “righteous” few at the top. Marx would cite Ms. Brown’s arguments as perfect modern-day examples of the “false consciousness” elites try to create, the assumption that they deserve to have thousands of times more than the rest of us and any societal effort to redistribute their precious accumulation of wealth back down to the poor and struggling is morally wrong. It is the social injustice of this unfair system of rewards that makes redistribution of wealth necessary to have a just society, if not to enable the very poorest to merely survive.
Marx knew the greed that fuels runaway economic stratification fosters societal dysfunction and hypothesized it would eventually incite revolution. We are seeing an excellent example of this dysfunction in the pharmaceutical CEO’s working to inundate society with their profitable, and highly addictive, opioids, which have created an unprecedented epidemic that will require billions of dollars of public funds to adequately address. Tobacco CEOs did the same thing in the 1950s and have managed to keep legal and profitable the most addictive and deadly drug of them all. But don’t tax the very corporations making billions pushing these addictive and deadly drugs on the public in order to help the victims of their gluttonous profiteering, right Ms. Brown? That would be immoral and bad for the economy.