Monday, March 15, 2010

Is 'Social Justice' a Code Word for (Marxist-Leninist) 'Communism'?

Glenn Beck recently said that 'social justice' is a code word for Marxist-Leninist communism.

"I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words." (Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 3 February, 2010, as quoted in Beck attacks social justice, .)

Speaking as one who has read about 20 books about Marxist-Leninst Communism I feel compelled to say the following:

Social justice is not a euphemism for Marxist-Leninist Communism.

Marxist-Leninist Communism was an ideology that called for a change of classes' power in order to create a society in which the industrial proletariat gains power from capitalists.

But Lenin argued that the working class could not change society by themselves, therefore it was necessary to create a 'vanguard' which would tell the workers what to do, and that 'vanguard' became the Communist Party. It cynically used legitimate issues in order to gain power and proceeded to exercise its power in a truly monstrous, bloodthirsty and unfathomably evil manner.

The problem with Marxist-Leninist Communism was that it valued individuals only if that individual could help the creation of a post-capitalist society.

If the Party judged that an individual did not help the creation of a post-capitalist society then the Party had no use for them and proceeded to treat them inhumanely.

As far as I can tell that was the problem with Marxist-Leninist Communism and why it became so bloodthirsty.

Social justice is simply a term to describe a more just society which takes better care of the disempowered. It is a term used by people to try and alleviate and improve how society treat the disempowered.

Marxist-Leninist Communism assumes that the creation of a non-capitalist society is a more just society. Hence Marxist-Leninist Communists sometimes use terminology similar to many on the left. This also reflects the fact that Marxist-Leninist Communism is an aberrant and non-democratic part of the left. The same way that 'Christian Identity' is aberrant from the generally non-anti-Semitic (though factually wrong) British-Israelism.

These similarities can cause confusion that makes people assume that 'social justice' and (Marxist-Leninst) Communism are the same. They are not.

But social justice, when applied in a democratic manner, has nothing to do with Marxist-Leninist Communism. It is simply a noble goal to improve society so that we may all gain. Ultimately we all win in a society that knows how to treat the disempowered well.

Marxist-Leninist Communists exploited that desire for a better world. There was nothing wrong with the idealism itself.

I hope no one leaves their church because they believe that social justice is a euphemism for Marxist-Leninist Communism.

There are some good reasons to leave a church. An incorrect assumption that 'social justice' is just a code word for (Marxist-Leninist) Communism is not a good reason to leave a church. And I hope no one will make such a drastic step for that reason.


  1. It's interesting that a lot of politics, both from Europe, but especially from outside tends to think in terms of a polarization: capitalist-communist but not of a third way: social democracy.
    Scandinavia runs on this principle and has long had some of the highest living standards in the world.
    Downside is a middle-class monoculture (if you see that as a down) and exhorbitantly high taxes on the rich.

    I'm not a social democrat by the way, but just wanted to make this point. Have a nice day!!

    1. The Scandinavian middle class is also the highest taxed middle class on the globe. It's not just the rich who socked there.

  2. Agreed. It might be more helpful if we did not approach this issue in such a narrow dualistic manner and try to better appreciate the grays of this issue.

  3. I always appreciate your perspective. It's a good point that people with skewed agendas use legitimate issues and sentiments to further their causes.
    It's a natural reaction to demonize every thing we associate with persons or ideologies that have been responsible for wars and genocide. Guilt by association can produce a prejudice against ideas that might even be noble.
    For example;leaving the mentally ill to wonder the streets in despair or do something that might seem like socialism; what to do. Well I guess we'll just pretend they don't exist because, God forbid, we can't do something that might be anti capitalist.