Posted by Vladimir Minkov
I am re-posting my recent post on Ten Commandments vs. Social Justice with a story on how the reinforcement of the Social Justice by the government of Greece failed the people of Greece and committed the injustice to Europe.
From the news media: a devastating result of replacing Judeo-Christian, Ten-Commandments-based work ethics by Social-Justice work ethics.
Greek PM Tsipras demands ‘socially just’ agreement at European Parliament. Tsipras is a socialist and the “socially just” agreement in his terminology means something foreign to the Judeo-Christian morals. It means that the “rich” European countries, who have made their wealth by hard creative work with relatively late retirement, short vacations and minimal freebies from the government, have to share their wealth with the “poor” countries like Greece, whose work ethics is characterized by much earlier retirement, more lengthy vacations, and much greater freebies from the government.
To understand the fundamentals of the Greece failure, we have to compare Ten Commandments and Social Justice as the two systems for redistribution of individually created wealth aimed at making a better world for everybody.
In the Judeo-Christian universe, the Ten Commandments and the entire Bible define justice and injustice. Those definitions are coming from the Higher Authority above us called God. We may disagree on the image of this Authority (God, Adonai, Supreme Power, Nature, Big Band, etc.) but not with the need for and the importance of such authority. This Authority unites all of us since, as the Bible declares, this Authority creates all of us as equals – in His image and likeness. If we are created as equals, the definition of justice and injustice, which is coming from this Authority, have to be considered just for everybody.
The guidance of this Authority for creating a better world, which is just for everybody, is clear and simple.
—A better world, which is just for everybody, is the world where every individual has the opportunity to be an individual spiritual and material wealth creator in all areas of his/her life – family, community, religious institutions, employment, politics, social development, charity/mitzvah, etc. Moreover, to be personally responsible for the results of individual creative work.
—The purpose of government is to secure the individual opportunities, not to impose on the individuals the government’s own ideas on social justice. The government has to legislate along the lines of the Bible – to strengthen individual families, to provide safety for families and communities, to keep forceful confiscation of wealth to a minimal level just needed to support a minimal government.
—About 10% of the individually created wealth should be used for helping the less fortunate to enhance their individual opportunities through individual charity/mitzvah wealth transfer – not to enslave them in the welfare system forever.
In the secular universe, an elected or non-elected government plays a role of the Higher Authority and defines what is just and what is unjust. Any human government, although necessary at some minimal level, disunites people. Why? Because any human government operates with one important goal in mind – to preserve its power at a next election cycle and it is using an established practice of how to preserve the power.
—A government convinces the society that not all people are created equal, and therefore the role of a government is to be a sort of equalizer. To perform this role, a government finds a small group of wealthy individuals with a lot of individually made wealth but with a negligible voting power, and forcefully confiscates a significant part of their wealth.
—Then, a government redistributes the confiscated wealth to a large group of less wealthy (most of them are not poor in a classical definition of this word) but with a decisive voting power. If the redistribution is correct, the government preserves its power.
—However, such redistribution is unjust for the entire society. The wealthy individuals are unhappy – they think the injustice was committed against them. They believe so not because the money was taken from them – but rather because the money was taken forcefully without their consent on how much to take and how to redistribute. The injustice is committed as well against those who are receiving the redistributed money. It is so since the government decides what is good and what is bad for them – they are deprived the opportunity to make their own choices.
The Greece social failure is the best proof of the greatness of the Ten Commandments and the entire Bible as the guidance for creating a social justice for everybody. And other countries, which continue believing in the “social justice’ as the best design for a better world for everybody, should study this failure and return to the Ten Commandments design.