“Dear Sinclair, I find your note on my return from Europe. As always, you are right! Save in matters of politics, sociology, religion, literature, economics, and the exact sciences.”
Thus wrote Mencken to socialist Upton Sinclair, author of the Jungle.
Age, experience, intellect, and emotional maturity bring clarity and balance to emotionally charged concepts like capitalism and socialism, as in the case of George Orwell, who started out as a fervent socialist. A look at the catastrophes of present-day socialist Venezuela or North Korea should be sufficient for fervent socialists to reconsider their stand. The evidence of history and Brave New World, Atlas Shrugged, and 1984 are happening all about us, yet the immature, unevolved, and brainwashed persist in supporting socialist political parties like the NDP, Democrats, and Liberals.
Many well-meaning endeavours and causes, motives and movements, start out well before being distorted, either by desperate subjective issues or by someone with an ulterior agenda, usually money or control.
Many socialists started out by caring for people in a difficult position. A lot of legalistic, salvation-by-works pundits misunderstand the scripture in James, “Faith without works is dead,” without the balance of the truth of “for we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law” in Romans. Christian faith is a progression of maturity, a personal evolution – saved by grace, and then the working out of our faith in voluntary expressions of love, not the ever-present, silent specter the of the legalist’s carrots of the sticks – blessings or curses.
Many forms of Buddhism have also been perverted from the Buddha’s teachings. The denial of genetic racial differences will be exposed by reviewing the countries and neighbourhoods run by different races and the understanding of the bell curve measurement.
Finally, I knew a devout Christian who refused to complete his reading of Ayn Rand’s writings because he disagreed with her personal sexual choices. He dismissed the entire spectrum of the author’s valuable teachings on capitalism, personal responsibility, and objectivism because of her sexual choices. Context and focus are important. Separate the issues. And don’t let one stain blemish the entire story; don’t allow one spelling mistake to render the entire book meaningless.
The solution for truth seekers, in my opinion, is fourfold:
- Research the source.
- Research the agenda or motive of those propagating the belief and follow the money.
- Research history; the story of the tulip bulb bubble and many others will reveal the dangers of the easy money scams.
- “By your fruits, you will be known” – research the results of the belief in action.