To bring our readers the truth about Communism, we continue in this issue, the third in a series of eyewitness reports on the Soviet Union.
Moscow, USSR THERE IS A WAY to peace — a way to end the harassment of the Cold War. A way to end all fear of nuclear holocaust between the West and the Soviet Union or Red China. What a tragedy that the peoples of these nations remain blinded to that way! And it is so simple! As simple as this: There is a cause for every effect!
Treating the Effect — Ignoring the Cause
Every society — whether Communist or non-Communist — is based on treating the effect while ignoring the cause. People do it in treating diseases. They do it in dealing with crime. They do it even when striving for peace! Everyone wants peace — or at least so world leaders profess! President Johnson works for peace. China's Mao struggles for peace. Brezhnev and Kosygin strive for peace. The Pope pleads for peace. Yet there is no peace! Why? Because "the way of peace they know not..." (Isaiah 59:8). World leaders plead for peace, struggle for peace — yet sanction the way that leads to revolution and to war. They follow the way that is the cause of Cold War and of hot war — then attempt to stop war by treating the effect and ignoring the cause. There is a way that will prevent suffering, revolution and war and produce peace — a way to happiness and abundant well-being for everyone. The Eternal Creator offered mankind that way at the beginning — and let man choose. The Eternal set in motion inexorable laws that work. Laws of chemistry, of physics, of nutrition. And also a basic SPIRITUAL LAW which is the way to peace, happiness and abundant well-being. That law is the basic cause of peace. Its violation is the cause of suffering, of rebellion and of war. It is just that simple! Human nature is basically rebellious against God and the inexorable laws He set in motion. In the Western World, God is given lip service. His laws are openly flouted. Here, in the Communist World, atheism has become the new religion. A new Communist moral code has replaced the Ten Commandments. The Creator, almost 6000 years ago, laid before man the knowledge of His law — the knowledge of how to avoid strife and war and how to live at peace. But the first human beings, yielding to human nature — to vanity, greed, self-centeredness and lust — rebelled against God's Law of peace and prosperity. That is the cause of all suffering, privation and war! But humanity, priding itself on its scientific and intellectual achievements, willingly blinds its mind to this simple truth. Each nation has, instead, embarked on its own political, social, economic or religious system of error. And that includes the USSR!
Basic Error of Communism
Most Communists are dedicated individuals. They have a sense of mission. They are out to change the world! They see in the nations around them greed, selfishness, vanity, privation, war — a host of ills. They want to change all that. But, instead of treating the cause, they committed the basic error of treating only the effects. The founders of Communism were faced with the problem of human nature. Why is there, for example, the tendency in human nature to resent authority? To resent someone telling you what to do? Why the greed, the selfishness, the lusts of the flesh? Why envy, status-seeking, vanity of mind and laziness? Why lying, adultery, hatred? The founders of Communism reasoned that these characteristics of human nature are the result of one's environment. Change the environment, they announced, and you will change human nature. Take away private property, they reasoned, and you will banish greed, envy, status-seeking, etc. Teach people the dignity of work, they declared, and laziness will disappear. Replacing the sweat and toil and privation and suffering of the present, there will be — so the Communist Party hopefully announced — a world of happiness and joy, a world filled with all the physical and educational necessities of life. A Golden Age is promised. All labor will be voluntary, a matter of habit, serving the common good. It will be performed without expectation of remuneration or reward. "Under communism men will work to the best of their abilities simply because men will delight in creative endeavor," says the Party in one of its latest books, Man's Dreams Are Coming True. What's wrong with this picture? Simply this: it won't work! Communists are seeking to treat the effects, not the cause of world ills. The Western World is making the same mistake, but using different methods. Poverty, privation, suffering, war and death are not in and by themselves the cause of world ills. They are the result — the effects. The cause of world ills is broken law — the violation of the Ten Commandments — sin. "Sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4). Attempting to change the evils of our environment, without knowing what causes them, will never work.
Overlooking Human Nature
Human nature cannot be changed merely by altering one's environment, as the fathers of Communism reasoned. It takes God to change human nature. And that God the Communists reject. Lenin used to say that the rich exploiters, and the swindlers and shirkers were the two main categories of parasites reared by capitalism. Abolish capitalism and, so he reasoned, you abolish exploiters and swindlers and shirkers. The 1917 revolution did abolish the old exploiting class as in Russia. But it did not result in the change of human nature! The nature of the peoples of the Soviet Union is the same today as ever. The author of Man's Dreams Are Coming True (a book I purchased in a Moscow bookstore) has to confess that "the lay-abouts are still there, and they want to take without giving" (p. 142). No, human nature has not changed under Communism. Laziness, covetousness, lust for power are still there. If anything, laziness has been accentuated under Communist rule. In nearly every republic of the Soviet Union through which we have traveled, idleness, lackadaisical work attitudes, carelessness, disinterest, or boredom are commonplace. There are those who are interested in their work and filled with zeal — they are usually Party members. But the vast majority of Soviet citizens lack zest and enthusiasm for their jobs. Party members are busy trying to create the hoped for Communist Golden Age in which the evils of human nature would vanish and everybody would work for the common good. Propaganda signs everywhere encourage the people to find more joy in their work, to put forth greater effort. In apartment houses, in factories and on collective and state farms members of the Party spend hours educating children and adults to believe all that is needed is a change of attitude and the faults of human nature will vanish! Soviet educator A.S. Makarenko expresses the Party's philosophy this way: "The opinion is widespread that people must have both merits and demerits. And this leads to self-justification in the sense that a person having no faults would be an abstraction and not a reality." And how does Makarenko propose to solve the problem? "A person must have no faults. And if you have 20 merits and 10 demerits we must believe you: why do you have 10 demerits? You must get rid of five. And when five are left — you must get rid of two more... Demands should constantly be made on people and each individual should be exacting toward himself... But," continues Makarenko, "this is not to say that everyone should fall into an arranged orderly pattern; individuality will remain, perfect characters will develop with vivid and original personalities." (Man's Dreams Are Coming True, page 287) Most people in non-Communist lands are totally unaware of this goal of Communism. Yet it is one of the chief reasons for the dedication of Party members. Communists are out to change human nature. People in the Soviet Union are vigorously encouraged to fight against "hard drinking and hooliganism, selfishness and vulgar tastes, indifference to the public interest and profligacy, bullying one's subordinates and cynicism, laziness" — the list of errors is almost endless. Every individual is encouraged not only to pressure himself to do better, but to hunt out social parasites — those who don't do their full part in building Communism with enthusiasm. But it hasn't worked! Soviet citizens have the same faults of character common to all men — no matter what the social or economic environment may be. Communists will never find a solution to their problems until they quit rebelling against the God of Creation and His Laws.
The Overlooked Cause
Dishonesty and covetousness are characteristic of Western Society. Where is the businessman who has honestly risen to prominence without cheating or taking advantage of others? Where is the laborer who is willing to do for his boss not only what is expected, but more? Rare indeed! Communists long ago saw this problem, but overlooked the cause. They assumed the cause was environmental, not in human nature. They made two colossal blunders. One, they supposed the incentive of a reward was in itself the cause of social and economic evils. Two, they thought that man, by himself, could change human nature. Remove the incentive of reward, educate the people to work solely for the common good of society and, they concluded, the Golden Age would arrive. But it didn't work out that way! Man cannot, by himself, change human nature. And being individually rewarded for a job well done is not wrong. Notice the Bible answer to Communist theory: "... he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). God rewards those who diligently seek Him. A reward is not wrong. To deprive one of what is rightfully his through honest work is wrong. The Law of God — the Ten Commandments — itself sanctions private property and rewards. It forbids stealing and covetousness. Stealing and covetousness presupposes that there is private property that belongs to another. See Exodus 20:15 and 17. But how are greed, covetousness, and selfishness to be overcome? By the power of God! But man by nature lacks that power! It takes the added supernatural power of God to overcome human nature. That power God imparts by His Holy Spirit — His very nature. But God gives His Spirit to those who are willing to obey Him (Acts 5:32) — not those who are in an attitude of rebellion. Now turn to Paul's letter to the Romans. Here is the answer to the why of human nature: "For the creature [man] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope; because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption [this mortal flesh] into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (chapter 8, verses 20-21). Human nature is vanity. God placed that vanity in human nature! It is not due to our social or economic environment. Vanity in human nature is the cause of the ills of our environment — not the result or effect of environment. Human nature is going to be abolished — but it will take God to do it. It will not be done by human government or human force. It will take all the power of the Kingdom of God — the government of God — to bring it about. A Golden Age is coming — but it will not be of man's making!