Concerning socialism and free enterprise, DK tells us that “the extreme position in either case is untenable.” Rays and Initiations, Page 633
So, what is the extreme of free enterprise? DK talks about free enterprise and “intense individualism” in pretty much the same breath making the extreme here easy to see. The extreme on this side is being motivated only for the benefit of self while ignoring the plight of the downtrodden. The person involved in free enterprise accomplishes the most good when he seeks to benefit others as well as himself and seeks spiritual values, as well as the material.
So, how does the extreme manifest in socialism then?
He plainly states the problem:
“Socialism can degenerate into another form of totalitarianism.” Rays and Initiations, Page 747
Rudolf Steiner agreed with this stating:
“If socialism, in the crude materialistic form in which it appears today, attempts to force itself upon mankind, it will bring the greatest unhappiness upon humanity.” Steiner, Ancient Myths their Meaning; Their Meaning & Connection with Evolution, Lecture 5, 11th January 1918.
DK elaborated further:
Principle of Fusion and of group endeavour is right and part of the divine plan; its implementation by grasping, greedy and ambitious men, or by deluded disciples, is terribly wrong and will lead to disaster. This disaster the Hierarchy is seeking to avert, but the Masters are handicapped (as usual) by the relatively few upon whom They can depend, and by the lack of understanding amongst the masses of well-intentioned people. Discipleship in the New Age, Vol 2, Page 353
“It is not the imposition of any particular ideology upon the world, or its removal, which is of importance, but the establishing of those world conditions which will give all the nations adequate food, the necessities of life, and opportunity then to express themselves, and to make their unique contribution to the welfare of the whole family of nations. “ Externalization of the Hierarchy, Page 209
“Justice and fair play, full opportunity and equal sharing of the world’s economic resources will only be possible when certain broad and general principles have been enforced by the weight of public opinion.” Problems of Humanity, Page 90
And just how can it degenerate to totalitarianism? The answer is obvious. When the State violates the Principle of Freedom and imposes social programs on the people contrary to the will of the people who will have to pay for those programs. If course, those who get free stuff for which they do not have to pay are less likely to complain. If it works with “the weight of public opinion” he tells us that “it can be more democratic than the present expressions of Democracy.”
What are the results when social programs are in harmony with the will of the people?
One of the prime things is that those who are putting up the money will feel their money is well spent and not going down a black hole. Social Security in the United States is an example of a social program supported by the will of the people. The only complaint of substance is the State raids the Social Security funds for other social programs not supported by majority will and this places the whole thing in jeopardy.
Most on the spiritual right as well as the political right will support social programs that are supported by the majority who will pay for them. Of course, the vast majority of those who get free stuff with no payment on their part will want to get as many freebies as the State is willing to dole out. They should not have power to dictate to those who are paying for the programs to pay more and more until there is nothing left to give. That lays the foundation for the tyranny spoken of by DK.
Unfortunately, the political left, as well as many DK students, do not agree with DK and are willing to use the force of the Sate to impose their social ideals, even if they run contrary to the will of the people who have to pay to implement those ideals.
The defenders of enforced socialism often cite Jesus as being one of them because he advocated the principle of sharing with those less fortunate.
At that time Caesar represented the power of the state, which did have its own social programs, but there is no mention by Jesus of using Caesar or force to implement that sharing.
There are numerous scriptures admonishing the rich to share, but not one that indicates forced sharing benefits the soul.
It is interesting to note that the authorities were concerned that Jesus was delinquent in taxes or perhaps avoiding them altogether. It is written:
…the collectors of the two drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax’?” “Yes, he does,” he replied. (He apparently lied here to protect his master)
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes— from their own sons or from others?”
“From others,” Peter answered.
“Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” Matt 25:24- 27 NIV
Here we learn that Jesus didn’t pay this tax because he didn’t think it applied to him but when accosted – to keep himself and Peter out of trouble – he went ahead and made the payment.
Word must have gotten out that Jesus was dragging his feet in paying taxes for the Pharisees approached him about his view on them in the hope of getting him in trouble with the authorities.
Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.”
They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Matt 22:17-21 NIV
He avoided saying no, which would have led to an early arrest. Instead he told them it appeared the coin belonged to Caesar since it bore his image. If it belongs to Caesar then let Caesar have it but give to God that which belongs to God.
This confused them enough to leave Jesus alone for a while but word must have gotten out that he wanted the rich to give directly to the poor instead of sharing the wealth through taxes. We find this accusation made at his trial:
“And they began to accuse him, saying, We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar… “ Luke 23:2 NIV
It should be crystal clear to any honest thinker that Jesus would not be in harmony with today’s tax and share the wealth socialists. If something belongs to an individual it was up to him whether he shared with others or not.
The wrong use of force is the extreme of socialism that must be avoided, for if such steps are followed with no one putting them in check then we will reach a state where those who receive will outnumber those who pay, and this new majority of takers will then have power to dictate to a new cycle of slaves what they demand to receive from them.
This tyranny must not be allowed to materialize or the only correction will be found in the complete collapse of the system with the believers of freedom building anew.
DK gives this important statement in regards to socialism:
“It is this growing spirit of humanitarianism which will lie behind all movements towards world socialisation in the various nations. This movement is symptomatic of a change in the orientation of man’s thinking, and therein lies its major value. It is not indicative of a new technique of government in reality, … They may be quite unconscious of any spiritual objective (so-called today) except the recognition that they love their fellowmen; this love will condition all they do and will motivate their every effort. Externalization of the Hierarchy, Page 585
The social idea of sharing will not come about through “a new technique of government” but because people “love their fellowmen; this love will condition all they do and will motivate their every effort.”
If a socialist state forces hard working people to pay much more than they desire to fund questionable social programs then the motivation of helping for love of fellowmen has gone out the window.
There is one social incentive that does work and will bring about the conditions of sharing advocated by DK and that is an increasing motive to assist our brothers and sisters. This will bring abundance for all, but will not happen overnight, but it will happen.
Utopia is nice to dream about but we must be practical as advocated by DK:
“In contradistinction to the totalitarian world order, what should the rest of the world plan? Towards what world objectives should the democracies work? Utopian schemes, idealistic forms of government and cultural living processes have ever been the playthings of the human mind, down through the centuries. But these Utopias have been so far ahead of possibility that their presentation seems useless. They are most of them wholly impractical.” Externalization of the Hierarchy, Page 190
Copyright by J J Dewey