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Lecture on Socialism and Orthodoxy

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Hermit76, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. Hermit76

    Hermit76 You can call me Paisios Supporter

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    This thread is for Orthodox members only. Thanks.

    Some of my local political work has allowed me to cross paths with the local Democratic Socialists of America. As such I have been invited to give a brief talk tomorrow night on "Orthodoxy and Socialism'.
    I plan on defining Orthodoxy through its history while pointing out the areas of theology that demand that we care for all mankind as we progress. David Bentley Hart is a member of the national DSA and makes solid connections. However, the social activism within the LGBTQ community and abortion rights have left me to withdraw membership (they don't know this yet) and to sever any ties with their local activism.
    Since I am a guest I want to be respectful. But how would you go about retaining decorum but pointing out that in this area true Orthodox will always find pause?

    Also, if you want to comment on the economics, do so, but keep your overall comments as brief as you can while retaining your effectiveness.
     
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  2. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    just focus on areas where they get it right: helping the poor, protecting the environment, etc. I would only bring up areas of disagreement when/if they ask.

    and don't bring up DBH. his views are way too heretical. and he thinks more highly of himself than probably anyone else.
     
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  3. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    Also, the fatal error of Christians is assuming that the commands they do get right, loving your neighbor, caring for the poor, etc are primarily the business of government, rather than the individual Christian. The problem of seeking to do good with other people’s money and not your own is not fulfillment of the Gospel mandate. Forcing others to give charity was never Christian, and ain’t charity.
     
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  4. Hermit76

    Hermit76 You can call me Paisios Supporter

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    What about in the context of an Orthodox Monarchy? Does the type of government change our outlook?
     
  5. JohnTh

    JohnTh Newbie

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    Forget it. Not going to happen. The things are way too complicated to be relevant this today.
    I don't say that this is a good thing or not.
     
  6. Hermit76

    Hermit76 You can call me Paisios Supporter

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    Yeah, I know it isn't going to happen. I just wonder if we would more readily accept the distribution of wealth under the context of an Orthodox Monarchy.
     
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  7. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    No. The same principle applies. Whose money are you proposing to spend? Spending other people's money is like sacrificing other people's lives. To the Christian, the care of the poor is not the responsibility of the government but his personal responsibility, which he seeks to shuffle off on the government.
     
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  8. -Sasha-

    -Sasha- Handmaid of God

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    Well maybe in the sense that the money collected from the populous for redistribution would be less likely to be put towards explicitly anti-Christian things. However, most people who support socialism certainly don't seem to be enthusiastic about theocratic monarchy, so there would be very little common ground to be found going down that avenue anyway.
     
  9. -Sasha-

    -Sasha- Handmaid of God

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    In response to your main question though, rather than DBH maybe you'd be interested in something like "On Social Justice" which contains related writings of St Basil.
     
  10. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    I believe it is really difficult to implement a type of Socialism when the people are not Christian and are living degenerate lives plus you will need to be really strict about immigration.
     
  11. nutroll

    nutroll Veteran

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    I think the wrinkle here is that in America's form of government money is already being taken and spent. One can question whether more or less is taken, or more or less is spent, or how much is spent on any particular thing without really touching the underlying principles. There are many areas that we spend money that I disagree with, and some I agree with. None of that has anything to do with personal responsibilities in terms of charity. We should give even if we think our taxes are already taking care of things.

    I think it's interesting that the government gives tax deductions for charitable giving and yet there are needs not being met. I think that many people fail to be charitable (not surprising since it's a virtue that must be cultivated) and yet also disagree with government funds being used to help the needy. I don't think a Robin Hood policy is the answer, but I also think that in a society where fewer and fewer people are genuinely almsgiving people, there might be need to find common ground and say that we the people think that people shouldn't be homeless or starving and find ways to make that a reality. And those solutions might not be government solutions, and they also might not be charity based solutions.
     
  12. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    It's always easier to accept such a thing under a monarchy. The reason for this is that it's easier to change tax rules under a monarchy by uprising and even overthrowing them if need be. We even accomplished just that in the American revolution against the crown yet impossible to do in our society today.
     
  13. JohnTh

    JohnTh Newbie

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    tsk,tsk,tsk...

    The problem isn't with the (political) system. It is with us.
    If I build a system to put 9 broken computes in a Token Ring network, the system won't work because the computers are broken.
    If I change the system and I will use an Ethernet topology (more modern) it still won't work.
    Ok, we will try to patch our existential diseases but the real solution is to fix ourselves.
    That's why Christ, the only true politician didn't gave too much interest to the „conventional” politics and politicians of his time but concentrate on our healing.
     
  14. Hermit76

    Hermit76 You can call me Paisios Supporter

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    Update:. I can summarize the experience by telling you that I stopped on my way home last night and bought a 6 pack of beer and hot wings.

    There was a retired professor of religion there who also happened to be a very radical socialist. He stopped me early on and asked, "Do you think the Eastern Orthodox Church will ever change its policies that oppress women?"

    My answer... No
    But it was a long answer. I had taken an icon of our blessed Mother. I described our honor for her.

    It was crazy. At the end he said that they really hadn't heard how Orthodoxy connected to socialism. I told them that that's why I dreaded the presentation; there really aren't any. Lol

    I kept my cool the whole time and decided that I really have no business being with those folks. I expressed that the Church is my primary authority. If anything conflicts the church always "wins". A Methodist minister said that his socialism and Christianity existed together and guided reach other. I didn't have to proclaim an anathema... he did that himself.
    It ended amicably with most attendees interested in the presentation and my honestly about the larger conflicts. However, we will never have enough common ground to work with them. So, I'm no longer a member.
    Thank God that He allowed this to happen for my own good.
     
  15. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The good ol' "Have you stopped beating your wife?" type of question.
     
  16. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    Meanwhile women in traditional Orthodox countries are 10 times happier than the typical western woman.
     
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  17. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    That happened to with my former Democrat and Feminist groups, it seems they dislike Christianity (or at least Traditional Christianity) so I just needed to get away.
     
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  18. Hermit76

    Hermit76 You can call me Paisios Supporter

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    Yeah... I thought I could mesh with the Democrats and Socialists also.
    They don't want us and we shouldn't yoke with them.
     
  19. Hermit76

    Hermit76 You can call me Paisios Supporter

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    I also feel the same about Republicans and any other political party. I'm to the point that I will advocate for education and that's it.
     
  20. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    I might ally myself with the Republicans but I don't agree with a lot of their stuff especially Neo-Conservatism. At least they can claim a "Christian background".
     
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