Ezra Taft Benson on Socialism and Communism

Every Sunday, I read a few pages from the book Prophets, Principles, and National Survival.  It is a compilation of quotes from leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, on the condition that the person was speaking in their official capacity as either an apostle or member of the First Presidency.

So it is more than a simple book of opinions or patriotic statements – these are prophetic warnings or commandments from the leaders of the LDS church… which is why I enjoy it as pleasant Sunday reading.

Today, I came across this, quoted from the September 2, 1961 issue of Church News. Ezra Taft Benson wrote:

While we might effectively bridle or destroy every so-called Communist within our borders, we shall not vanquish this political virus, and its common forerunner, state socialism, so long as people are determined to achieve security through state-imposed materialistic schemes rather than through righteous living and wholesome activity as free men.

The road we’re traveling in much of the free world today is, “the road to Socialism, insolvency and surrender” ….

Never in recorded history has any movement spread its power so far and so fast as has socialism-communism in the last two decades. The facts are not pleasant to review. Communist leaders are jubilant with their success. They are driving freedom back on almost every front.

Yet in spite of this shocking achievement of God-less communism our citizens here in the U.S. seem lulled away into a false security….

Let us not be lulled away into false security. Let us not become misguided dupes of whic there are many throughout the free world. It is estimated that in the U.S. for every actual Communist who is maneuvering and pulling the strings behind the scenes, there are 100 to 1,000 completely misguided Americans who are not Communists, but who are being used to help the Communist cause. Some will support co-existence with Communism as something we will have to learn to live with…. Others will say there is no danger in socialism — in policies that would weaken and destroy our private enterprise system. Socialism, they say, has no relationship to Communism.

It is my conviction that the paramount issue today is liberty against creeping socialism. Collectivized socialism is part of the Communist strategy. Communist dupes and left-wingers use every strtegism to make socialism sound appealing and seem inevitable. Their aims for the U.S. include greatly expanded wasteful spending, higher and higher taxes, increasingly unbalanced budgets, wild inflation followed by government controls over our economy and lives, greater centralization of power in Washington and so on ad infinitum.

We will never win our fight against Communism by making concessions to socialism.

I bolded in the second-to-last paragraph for emphasis, because we can plainly see those goals have been accomplished over the last 50 years.  They have had setbacks – such as when Regan reduced the top tax rate from 70% to 50%, and cut it again a few years later — but on the other hand, we now have Obamacare, and the new doctrine that the federal government can regulate economic “inactivity” — your non-participation in interstate commerce — and force you to purchase products you do not want, or fine you for not engaging in commerce, and the fastest-growing sector of the economy is government.

Hopefully, this trend will reverse before the nation completely collapses and the ignorant, greedy masses demand a government that promises equality and fairness but delivers corruption and oppression.

Those who advocate socialism as a misguided method of caring for the poor see often only two options: plunder people against their will, take their livelihood, and let bureaucrats dole it out, or let poor people die.  For whatever reason, they believe that if a person does not want his hard-earned wages stolen — whether by plain theft or by legal plunder —  he does not care about others and wants them to die.

But there are many other options, and again, the leaders of the LDS church reminded us of the best option just a few months ago. In a talk called Providing in the Lord’s Way, Dieter F. Uchtdorf discussed providing for the poor and needy, and how it differs from the world’s way.  This is the method I personally support – voluntary donations, given of my own free will and used honestly to help the needy.

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