Socialism has been around in various forms for nearly 250 years, originating in the French Revolution of the late 1700s. It’s based on the core theory that governments should use central planning to control their economies and distribute wealth and assets to the population. In other words, wealth belongs to everyone; not just the business or individual who created the wealth.
Socialism has gained traction at various points in American history but has never been fully implemented in the United States. While there are some programs, like welfare and Social Security that may be similar to socialist ideas, capitalism still holds strong in the U.S.
However, there is another form of socialism that is on the rise. In recent years, the United States and other Western capitalist countries have experienced a rise in corporate socialism.
Democratic socialism takes profits from corporations for the benefit of the people. Corporate socialism is the exact opposite. It helps corporations maximize their profits while transferring risks and losses to the general population.
Table of Contents
- What is Corporate Socialism?
- Short Answer: Definition & Meaning
- Long Answer: Definition & Meaning
- What are Examples of Corporate Socialism?
- History of Socialism
- Countries Where Socialism Has Been Successful
- Countries Where Socialism Has Failed
- What are the Differences Between Democratic Socialism and Corporate Socialism?
- Examples of Corporate Socialism in U.S. Society
- Corporate Bailouts
- Government Contracts and Subsidies for Business
- Corporate Tax Breaks and Incentives
- Government-Owned Enterprises
- Benefits of Corporate Socialism
- Economic Stabilization
- Promotion of Certain Industries
- Job Creation and Economic Growth
- Negatives of Corporate Socialism
- Disruption of the Free Market
- Crony Capitalism and Corruption
- GOE Inefficiency
- Transfer of Wealth from Taxpayers to Corporations
- What Does the Bible Say About Socialism?
- Private Property is a Tool We Can Use to Benefit Others
- There is Dignity in Work
- Trust God and the Local Church to Give
- We Have the Right to Protect Our Private Property and Seek Restitution When Stolen
- Socialism Replaces God With Government
- Jesus, the Fig Tree, and Faith in God
- Thou Shall Not Steal
- What Does the Bible Say About Corporate Socialism?
What is Corporate Socialism?
Corporate socialism is an economic system in which the government gives corporations special advantages that allows them to keep their profits while sharing losses with workers and the general population.
The result is that assets are transferred from workers to corporations. This is the exact opposite of democratic socialism, in which wealth is taken from private businesses and distributed to workers.
Short Answer: Definition & Meaning
Corporate socialism is an economic system where a special relationship between the government and business creates profits and benefits for corporations while transferring risk and loss to the general public. In short, it’s a system where big corporations keep their profits, but the entire country suffers losses.
Long Answer: Definition & Meaning
Corporate socialism is a relatively new idea. It’s become more relevant since the 2008 financial crisis and the accompanying government bailouts. As corporations have grown in value and influence, some have wondered if they receive too much support and aid.
Supporters of corporate socialism say it’s a necessary part of a capitalist economy. They argue that the failure of businesses would have severe adverse effects on the general population, including unemployment and supply chain issues. These arguments often lead to the saying that a business is too big to fail and thus must be saved.
Critics say it prioritizes profits over people and creates a two-class society of “haves” and “have-nots.” All of the profits and economic benefits of business success go to the corporation.
However, the risks and costs are transferred to the taxpayers. This is the exact opposite of democratic socialism, where profits are taken from businesses and given to the people.
See Related: Different Types of Social Responsibility to Know
What are Examples of Corporate Socialism?
There are many different types of corporate socialism. Corporate bailouts are the most obvious form. A corporation fails, either because of economic conditions or the corporation’s poor decision-making, and the government bails the company out, often under the mantra that the business is “too big to fail.”
Government contracts and subsidies are sneaky forms of corporate socialism because they often don’t get the same headlines as bailouts. However, they are very much a transfer of wealth from citizens to corporations. Tax breaks and industry incentives are also forms of corporate socialism, as are government-owned enterprises.
History of Socialism
Socialism traces back to the French Revolution in the late-1700s as economic inequality raged throughout France. While socialism didn’t last in France, the revolution inspired future socialists, primarily Karl Marx.
Karl Marx believed in a classless society. In his two most famous writings, The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, Marx proposed that capitalism would inevitably lead to class conflict because it would create a two-class system of haves and have-nots.
The alternative system that Marx proposed is what we now know as socialism. The economy is planned by a central government. Natural resources and other materials are distributed through central planning, not through supply and demand.
Prices and labor needs are planned by the government. Perhaps most importantly, assets are distributed to the population to create a classless society. There is no rich or poor. Every worker is the same from an economic standpoint.
Marx’s ideas have been implemented in many countries throughout history, most prominently in the Soviet Union and modern-day Russia. Socialist ideals are usually implemented in a mix with other governmental and economic systems.
They also produce a mixture of results. In some countries, socialism has led to strong economic systems. In others, it has led to extreme poverty.
Countries Where Socialism Has Been Successful
Scandinavian countries like Finland, Sweden, and Norway are the best examples of countries where socialism has been successful. However, even in those countries, socialist ideals exist in a primarily capitalist economy.
Scandinavian economies embrace some of the hallmarks of American capitalism, like personal responsibility, private property, and the private ownership of businesses and housing. Materials and natural resources are allocated through the free market of supply and demand.
However, Scandinavian countries also embrace socialist ideals that could be viewed as efforts to redistribute wealth. For example, Norway has a top tax rate of 38.2%.
Sweden’s top rate is 57.2% and Denmark’s is 55.9%. Unlike the tax system in the United States, these top rates aren’t just applied to the wealthy. Most middle-class citizens pay the top marginal rate.
In exchange for those high taxes, though, Scandinavian citizens receive robust economic support and social welfare programs. Health care is fully paid.
There’s a social security net to support the poor. Retirement is fully covered. In other words, Scandinavian countries, recover wealth through high taxation and then redistribute wealth through robust social welfare programs.
While socialist ideals may exist in Scandanavian countries, it’s important to note that these countries are not socialist. They are capitalist at their core. They have multiple classes and assets and resources are distributed through the free market, which conflicts greatly with the vision of Karl Marx.
Countries Where Socialism Has Failed
The most obvious example of socialist failure is the Soviet Union. When Mikhail Gorbachev took over as leader of the U.S.S.R. in the 1980s, the country suffered from extreme poverty and an economic crisis.
The Soviet Union had embraced Marx’s vision for decades but the result was inefficiency and administrative bloat. The nation could barely produce enough resources to feed its citizens, let alone compete on the global economic stage.
But the Soviet Union isn’t the only country to embrace Marx’s vision. After World War II, India, Israel, and even the United Kingdom implemented various forms of socialist ideals. All three countries failed in their socialist experiments and ultimately ditched the system to go back to American capitalism.
Both Israel and India experienced significant economic growth in the two decades after World War II. Early returns seemed to indicate that socialism and central planning were successful in those countries.
The problem came when central planners could not acquire and distribute resources quickly enough to keep up with growth. The results were extreme poverty, hunger, and a highly-unemployed working class. Both Israel and India ditched socialism in the 1960s and 1970s to return to capitalist economies.
The United Kingdom clung to a socialist economy from the end of World War II through the 1970s. It was often referred to as the “sick man of Europe” because of its mediocre economic growth.
The top rate for income taxes was above 80% for decades. The top tax rate for capital was as high as 98%. Nearly all wages and wealth were heavily taxed. The government planned all distribution of wealth and assets. There were no houses sold as the government owned nearly all housing.
This all changed when Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister. She abandoned Marxist socialist ideas and steered the nation back toward American capitalism. The result was a vibrant, growing economy.
What are the Differences Between Democratic Socialism and Corporate Socialism?
When people refer to “socialism,” they are usually referring to democratic socialism. Democratic socialism represents the ideals of Karl Marx. It’s a classless system where all people and workers are equal from an economic standpoint.
Wealth is collected and redistributed to the masses. Wages are carefully controlled and planned by the government.
The goal of democratic socialism is to eliminate extreme poverty and economic inequality. It’s a noble goal, but socialism has never truly been effective as a reality.
Corporate socialism is the ideological opposite of democratic socialism. Democratic socialism transfers wealth from businesses and the wealthy to the working class.
Corporate socialism transfers wealth from the working class to corporations. Democratic socialism aims to eliminate economic inequality. Corporate socialism encourages the wealthy to accumulate as much wealth as possible and widens economic inequalities.
While democratic socialism has failed to gain traction in the United States, corporate socialism is alive and well here. In fact, over the past 20 years, corporate socialism has thrived.
See Related: Capitalism and Homelessness: Is There a Correlation?
Examples of Corporate Socialism in U.S. Society
If you are a regular reader of economic and business news, you likely see examples of corporate socialism every day without knowing that’s what it is. Below are a few of the most common types of corporate socialism.
The most glaring example of corporate socialism in the United States is the practice of bailing out large corporations when they face financial difficulty.
The largest bailout in history is still the total package of federal aid, bailouts, and loan guarantees that the U.S. government provided to financial companies, car manufacturers, mortgage companies, and more during the 2008 Financial Crisis.
The government took control of American Insurance Group (AIG), at the time the fifth-largest insurer in the world. It also provided bailouts to General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and other financial companies and manufacturers. The government also created the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to take delinquent mortgages and other troubled assets off the balance sheets of lenders.
The total cost of the bailout? That’s up for debate. According to President Obama, the government made back every penny from the bailouts. However, a study from MIT found that the program cost taxpayers nearly $500 billion, which equaled 3.5% of the total U.S. economy in 2009.
The 2008 Financial Crisis may be the most recent and blatant example of a corporate bailout, but it’s not the only one. The original corporate bailout and the model for the 2008 bailouts was the 1979 bailout and loan guarantee for the Chrysler Corporation.
In 1979, Chrysler was on the verge of bankruptcy because of a variety of factors. Some were beyond the company’s control, like inflation and rising gas prices. However, some of the causes were directly related to poor strategic decisions by Chrysler executives.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Chrysler focused on the sale of large sedans and SUVs. While Chrysler executives believed this was the correct course, it turned out to be catastrophic. Rapid inflation and rising gas prices in the 1970s drove consumers to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, especially those produced in Germany and Japan.
Under financial pressure, Chrysler began to take on debt. Eventually, their credit rating was downgraded, meaning they had to take on debt at higher interest rates to continue operations. The situation spiraled out of control until the company was on the verge of bankruptcy.
The situation was resolved through a $1.5 billion loan from the federal government. The reasoning for the loan was two-fold.
First, Chrysler estimated that 360,000 jobs would be lost if the company was allowed to go under. Many of these jobs were blue-collar manufacturing jobs.
Another factor in the decision was Chrysler’s role in manufacturing the M-1 Abrams tank. The United States and its allies worried that if Chrysler went under, production of the tank would be disrupted. This was a risk they weren’t willing to take during the Cold War.
Chrysler survived the crisis and found success with the minivan in the 1980s and 1990s before receiving another bailout during the financial crisis in 2009. In 2014, Chrysler was acquired by Fiat.
Yet another example of corporate socialism via bailout is the Savings & Loan crisis of the 1980s. The Savings & Loan industry had suffered financial challenges through nearly a decade of interest rate hikes.
As their interest payouts on savings accounts rose, revenue from mortgages tanked. The result was thousands of community Savings & Loan institutions facing bankruptcy. Account holders would lose millions in assets.
The federal government created a bailout package that ultimately cost taxpayers more than $120 billion. The Savings and Loan institutions were taken under FDIC protection so that account holders wouldn’t face the same risk again in the future. Savings and Loan executives and shareholders were protected from losses related to the crisis.
Government Contracts and Subsidies for Business
Government contracts and subsidies are another big forms of corporate socialism. One way is through the allocation of taxpayer money to certain companies or industries, which can provide a financial advantage over competitors who do not receive such support.
The Department of Defense (DOD) is a notorious provider of government contracts to the private sector, for both military equipment and other goods and services. These contracts can be extremely lucrative for the companies that receive them, as the DOD is one of the largest purchasers of goods and services in the world.
Lockheed Martin received $40.2 billion in revenue from the DOD in 2021. That’s nearly two-thirds of the company’s entire revenue for the year. Boeing received $22.1 billion from the DOD and Raytheon Technologies received $20.7 billion. These contracts are veritable goldmines for the companies that receive them.
Another factor is that the DOD also has a legal obligation to purchase certain goods and services from certain companies, regardless of price. The price is locked in via contract, regardless of whether or not the service or quality is commensurate with the price.
This practice has led to price-gouging over the past several decades. In 2019, a DOD supplier named TransDigm was found to have overcharged the DOD by more than $36 million between 2015 and 2019. The company eventually refunded $16 million but kept the remaining $20 million.
The DOD often doesn’t know if it’s being overcharged. The minimum amount of revenue that the DOD must pay a contractor before requesting cost information is $2 million. That means the contractor can charge nearly anything without providing any cost information before it hits the $2 million threshold.
Another way in which government contracts and subsidies support corporate profits is through the provision of indirect subsidies, such as tax breaks or other financial incentives.
For example, many states offer tax breaks to companies that relocate to their state or that agree to create a certain number of jobs in the area. These tax breaks can significantly reduce the cost of doing business for the companies that receive them, allowing them to be more competitive in the marketplace.
Government contracts and subsidies can play a significant role in supporting the profits of certain companies and industries. While these interventions may be justified in some cases, they can also create an uneven playing field and lead to the perception of corporate socialism, where certain companies are seen as being favored by the government.
See Related: What is Shared Governance? What You Need to Know
Corporate Tax Breaks and Incentives
The government uses corporate tax breaks and industry financial incentives as a way to support corporations and promote economic growth. These policies are often justified as a way to encourage companies to invest in the domestic economy and create jobs, but they can also be seen as contributing to corporate socialism, where certain companies are favored by the government and receive special treatment.
One way in which the government supports corporations through tax breaks is by offering deductions, credits, and exemptions that reduce the amount of tax that a company has to pay.
For example, the US tax code allows companies to deduct the cost of certain business expenses, such as research and development, from their taxable income. This can significantly reduce the tax burden for companies that engage in these activities and make them more competitive in the marketplace.
Another way in which the government supports corporations is through industry-specific financial incentives, such as grants, loans, and tax breaks. These incentives are often targeted at specific sectors, such as manufacturing or renewable energy, and are intended to encourage companies to invest in these areas and create jobs. However, these incentives can also create an uneven playing field and benefit some companies at the expense of others, particularly if they are not widely available.
One example of an industry-specific financial incentive is the production tax credit (PTC) for renewable energy. The PTC provides credit to companies that produce electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar.
This credit can significantly reduce the cost of producing renewable energy and make it more competitive with traditional fossil fuels. However, the PTC has been criticized for benefiting some companies more than others and for distorting the energy market.
Government-owned enterprises can be another form of corporate socialism. Also known as state-owned enterprises (SOEs), they are companies that are owned and controlled by the government. These enterprises can operate in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, energy, transportation, and telecommunications. The government creates SOEs for several reasons, including promoting economic development, providing essential goods and services to the public, and achieving policy objectives.
One reason why the government creates SOEs is to promote economic development in certain sectors or regions. For example, the government may create an SOE to build infrastructure, such as roads or bridges, in an underserved area.
This can help to stimulate economic activity and create jobs in the region. The government may also create an SOE to develop a new industry or technology, such as renewable energy, to diversify the economy and promote innovation.
Governments also create SOEs to provide essential goods and services to the public, such as electricity or water. In some cases, the government may create an SOE to manage a natural monopoly, such as a utility, to ensure that the service is provided at a reasonable cost and to prevent abuses by private companies. The government may also create an SOE to provide a service that is considered too important or too risky for the private sector to handle, such as emergency response or disaster relief.
SOEs also help governments achieve policy objectives, such as environmental protection or social inclusion. For example, the government may create an SOE to promote the use of renewable energy or to provide affordable housing. These enterprises can help to advance the government’s policy goals and contribute to the public good.
However, SOEs can also be seen as contributing to corporate socialism, where the government is seen as providing special treatment to certain companies or industries. SOEs can transfer wealth from taxpayers to corporations through the provision of subsidies, such as tax breaks or cheap loans, or through the award of contracts for goods and services. These subsidies can give SOEs an unfair advantage over private companies and distort the market.
In addition, SOEs can be subject to less transparency and accountability than private companies. They may be less subject to market forces and may not have the same level of oversight from shareholders or regulatory agencies. This can lead to inefficiencies and abuses, such as mismanagement or corruption.
Benefits of Corporate Socialism
While anything including the word socialism is often perceived as a negative, there are some benefits to corporate socialism. That doesn’t mean corporate socialism is necessarily the best economic structure. Simply stated, though, it does have benefits in society.
Defenders of corporate socialism will often use arguments focused on economic stabilization. During periods of economic turbulence, there’s an idea that some businesses or industries are “too big to fail.”
The 2008 financial crisis is an obvious example as multiple banks and automotive companies received financial bailouts. The entire home-lending industry was bailed out as the government acquired subprime mortgages.
The government also pursued economic stabilization policies during the COVID pandemic. State governments and the federal government provided billions of dollars in aid to a wide range of businesses, with taxpayers footing the bill.
Promotion of Certain Industries
One aspect of corporate socialism is government support or assistance to businesses, particularly in the form of subsidies, grants, and tax breaks. This type of government intervention can be used to develop and grow specific industries and has been particularly successful in the renewable energy sector.
One of the main ways that the government has supported the growth of the renewable energy industry is through tax breaks and incentives. For example, the government may offer tax credits to businesses that invest in renewable energy technologies, such as solar panels or wind turbines. These tax credits can make it more financially attractive for businesses to invest in renewable energy, which can help to drive the growth of the industry.
Without this type of corporate socialist support, it is likely that many of these industries would not exist or would not be able to flourish. For example, the renewable energy industry has faced significant challenges, including high upfront costs and the need to compete with heavily subsidized fossil fuel industries. Without government support, this industry may have been difficult to get off the ground and become competitive.
Job Creation and Economic Growth
One of the main ways that corporate socialism can boost job creation is by keeping struggling companies in the business. For example, if a company is facing financial difficulties and is at risk of bankruptcy, the government may provide a bailout to help the company stay afloat. This can help to prevent layoffs and minimize unemployment, as the company can continue operating and providing jobs for its employees.
Corporate socialism can also have broader societal benefits, as the creation of new jobs and economic growth can lead to increased prosperity for the broader population. For example, if the government provides subsidies to businesses in the renewable energy industry, this can create new jobs and stimulate economic growth in this sector. This, in turn, can lead to increased prosperity for the broader population, as more people have access to good-paying jobs and the economy grows.
Negatives of Corporate Socialism
While corporate socialism may have benefits, it is also ripe for abuse and corruption. Below are some of the biggest negatives to a corporate socialist structure.
Disruption of the Free Market
One of the biggest criticisms of corporate socialism is that it disrupts the free market by favoring some businesses over others. For example, in the case of a government bailout, the government may choose to provide financial assistance to certain companies while allowing others to fail. This can create a sense of unfairness and may lead to resentment among businesses that do not receive support.
Similarly, corporate socialism can create an uneven playing field by providing incentives and tax breaks to certain industries while leaving others to fend for themselves. For example, the government may offer subsidies or tax breaks to businesses in the renewable energy industry, to help this sector grow. While this may be beneficial for businesses in the renewable energy industry, it can create a disadvantage for businesses in other industries that do not receive similar support.
There is also the potential for abuse when it comes to corporate socialism, as businesses may seek government support for their gain rather than for the benefit of the economy as a whole. This can lead to resources being misallocated and businesses becoming dependent on government assistance, rather than competing in the free market.
Crony Capitalism and Corruption
Corporate socialism is a system that is rife with opportunities for corruption. For example, a company may seek government subsidies or grants to fund a new project or expand its operations. To secure these subsidies, the company may engage in lobbying efforts, which can involve making campaign contributions or providing other forms of support to politicians.
Similarly, specific industries may lobby for bailouts or other forms of government support. Again, consider the bailouts in 2008. These bailouts were controversial, as some people argued that they were a form of corporate welfare that allowed companies to avoid the consequences of their own mistakes.
Government-owned enterprises (GOEs) are often established to achieve specific policy objectives, such as providing essential goods or services to the public, promoting economic development, or regulating certain industries.
However, GOEs are often criticized for their inefficiency and lack of profitability. One major reason for this is that GOEs are not subject to the same market forces as privately-owned businesses.
They do not have to compete with other firms for customers or investors, and they are often shielded from the consequences of poor financial performance. As a result, GOEs may become complacent and not feel the need to innovate or improve their operations to stay competitive.
One well-known example of a GOE that has struggled with these issues is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that were created to support the U.S. housing market. These GSEs were responsible for buying and selling mortgage-backed securities, which helped to make homeownership more affordable for many Americans.
However, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were plagued by mismanagement and political interference, and they were heavily involved in the subprime mortgage market leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. When the housing bubble burst and the mortgage market collapsed, these GSEs were unable to meet their financial obligations and had to be taken over by the federal government.
The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was one of the largest and most controversial aspects of the government’s response to the financial crisis, and it highlighted the risks and problems associated with GOEs.
See Related: How to Become a Minority-Owned Business
Transfer of Wealth from Taxpayers to Corporations
One of the primary issues with corporate socialism is that it transfers wealth from taxpayers to corporations. In other words, taxpayers bear the risks and costs of supporting these companies, while the corporations get to keep the profits. This can create a situation where businesses can take advantage of the resources and stability provided by the government, while not having to bear the full risks and responsibilities of operating in a competitive market.
There are several ways in which corporate socialism can transfer wealth from taxpayers to corporations. One way is through corporate bailouts, which are government financial assistance packages provided to companies that are facing financial distress. These bailouts are often justified as a means of protecting jobs and preserving the stability of the economy, but they can also benefit the shareholders and executives of the bailed-out companies.
For example, during the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. government provided trillions of dollars in bailouts to banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions. While these bailouts may have prevented a worse economic downturn, they also resulted in the transfer of wealth from taxpayers to the companies that received the assistance. Many critics argue that the bailouts were unfair and rewarded the companies that had contributed to the crisis, while ordinary taxpayers were left to bear the costs.
What Does the Bible Say About Socialism?
Supporters of socialism like to point to one specific bible quote to demonstrate that Jesus Christ was a supporter of socialism. Acts 2:44-45 says “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.”
At first glance, this quote could certainly be interpreted as supportive of socialism. However, viewing the quote that way would be a mistake.
People often look back at bible passages through a modern lens. They interpret the quote to fit a worldview they already hold.
There was no such thing as socialism in biblical times. Acts of charity and selflessness are common Christian values. While this one quote may appear to support socialism, many other passages highlight charity, supporting the poor, sharing with neighbors, and other acts of selflessness.
Private Property is a Tool We Can Use to Benefit Others
Another passage in the Book of Acts tells us that private property can be used as a tool to help those who are less fortunate. Acts 4:34-37 tells us that “Nor was there any among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of land and houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated as Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the Country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”
The Bible is telling us that private property can be used to generate wealth to help others. However, an important note here is that the people in this passage are choosing to do this on their own.
They are not being forced to sell assets by the government. Choosing to give is an important biblical principle. Being forced to give goes against everything Jesus Christ stood for.
There is Dignity in Work
Ephesians 4:28 tells us “Let him that stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”
Here the bible is telling us that work is good. A man should earn his income rather than rely on the wealth of others. Again, this goes directly against socialism, which is based on relying on other people’s wealth and earnings to provide for everyone.
Trust God and the Local Church to Give
Luke 10:7 says, “And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Again, the laborer is worthy of his wages. This means that the laborer is entitled to his earnings.
When the bible says don’t go house to house, it means don’t go to take others’ earnings and assets. Don’t go to your neighbor’s house to seek wealth. Instead, rely on the power of God and the church to resolve your financial challenges.
We Have the Right to Protect Our Private Property and Seek Restitution When Stolen
Exodus 22:7 says, “If a man delivers to his neighbor money or articles to keep, and it is stolen out of the man’s house, if the thief is found, he shall pay double.”
Theft is a serious violation of biblical principles. However, one could also view this quote as a message about socialism.
The sharing of one’s wealth with others who did not earn that wealth is a form of theft. The Bible says repeatedly that laborers are entitled to keep their wealth. So collecting wealth to redistribute it would be theft according to biblical principles.
Socialism Replaces God With Government
Perhaps the biggest issue with socialism according to biblical principles is that it makes government the center of one’s world. When you live in a socialist country, you are reliant on the government for work, wages, housing, and much more.
God and the church become secondary to the government because you are dependent on the government for everything. This is obviously in conflict with the biblical idea of putting God and faith before all.
The Bible is clear about worshiping false idols, but that is exactly what happens in a socialist country. The government and central planners are the false idols that replace Jesus Christ.
Jesus, the Fig Tree, and Faith in God
Another parable in the Bible about wealth occurs in the Book of Mark. Jesus and Peter go to eat from a fig tree, but find that the tree is withered. Jesus tells Peter to, “Have faith in God.”
Again, this is an instruction to have faith in God for wealth accumulation. One doesn’t need to place faith in the government or corporations for financial means, food, or other resources. Faith in God is all that is necessary.
Thou Shall Not Steal
Finally, the book of Exodus is very clear about theft. There is of course the simple command that “Thou shall not steal.” Exodus also says that thieves should repay double what was stolen as restitution.
If one considers taxation to be theft, which many do, then it is clear that socialism is a violation of Christian values. In democratic socialism, taxation is used to collect wealth and redistribute it to workers.
In corporate socialism, it’s used to collect wealth and distribute it to corporations. Either way, it goes against the word of God.
What Does the Bible Say About Corporate Socialism?
Corporate socialism is a relatively new development. There were no corporations in biblical times so there aren’t references in the bible to corporate socialism.
However, it’s easy to see that corporate socialism, just like democratic socialism, conflicts with biblical principles. Corporate socialism involves taking wealth from those who earned it and giving it to corporations.
It also places corporations at the center of society. Under corporate socialism, corporations are “too big to fail.” The implication here is that it is corporations, not God, who provide wealth, resources, and good fortune. This is the same issue that exists in democratic socialism.
In democratic socialism, it is the government that replaces God as a priority. In corporate socialism, it is corporations become false idols in society. Corporate socialism goes against biblical teachings.