The Original Perversity in the Judeo-Christian Heart: Why Socialism and the Judeo-Christian Ethic Are Incongruent

HomeArticlesThe Original Perversity in the Judeo-Christian Heart: Why Socialism and the Judeo-Christian Ethic Are Incongruent

As socialism ascends in popularity across the western world, many are infatuated with the promises it offers. According to a recent Gallup poll, among the Democratic Party, socialism is now more favorable than capitalism (Newport, 2018).

Socialism’s tentacles are have begun the Catholic Church. Reverend Ben Johnson articulated issues pertaining to Catholicism and socialism on the Acton Institute’s website. He explained that many clergy in the Catholic Church believe socialism is simply a form of Christian charity infused with contemporary economic efficiency. Johnson said that socialism is, “Convincing clergy that the tiresome work of caring for the poor could be outsourced to the allegedly more efficient hand of government” (para. 15). To Johnson, this is the Church abandoning, “its divine commissions” (Johnson, 2018, para. 15).

Is Johnson correct? Is the Catholic Church’s embrace of socialism a step in the wrong direction? Or, could socialism in fact be an innovative way to more efficiently allocate Church resources? If socialism is in fact an innovative way to efficiently allocate resources, should those adhering to the Judeo-Christian tradition adopt a policy of socialism?

Fundamentally, the question underlying the discussion is: Is socialism congruent with Judeo-Christian values? With this question, we are not asking whether socialism can be adopted, but rather, whether the values implicit in socialism are congruent with the Judeo-Christian ethic?

To answer this question, it is necessary to delineate the philosophical tenets of socialism’s origins and compare and contrast them with Judeo-Christian values to see if they align congruently. Spoiler alert: socialism is fundamentally incongruent with Judeo-Christian values. To understand how this conclusion is reached, three specific areas are addressed.

The first explores the philosophical origins and tenets of socialism, particularly the thought of Jean Rousseau, the Abbe Sieyes, Condorcet, and Godwin. These notables set the stage for the contemporary version of socialism that seems ubiquitous among liberals, especially on our college campuses. Following these Enlightenment-era thinkers, a look at the views of a man who served as a foil to many of these ideologues, Edmund Burke, is offered. Burke, and some of his contemporaries and disciples, disputed many of the claims made by the likes of Rousseau and company. Finally, both the Old and New-Testaments are examined to determine which philosophical position aligns with the original socialist rationale.

Rousseau and Enlightenment Thought

The seminal construct in Rousseau’s work was that, “man is naturally good, and that is solely by these institutions that men become wicked” (Rousseau, 1762, p. 2). Human beings are born naturally moral, but that natural goodness is corrupted by society. Rousseau himself acknowledged that this was the galvanizing thought in his work. He offered:

The fundamental principle of all morality, upon which I have reasoned in all my  writings and which I developed with all the clarity of which I am capable is that man is a being who is naturally good, loving justice and order; that there is no original perversity in the human heart, and the first movements of nature are always good. (Rousseau, 1762B)

The most important component to this quote is, “that there is no original perversity in the human heart.” To those with conversant with the Judeo-Christian tradition, the word “original” in the quote above should resonate.

The word “original” is associated with the Augustinian doctrine of “Original-Sin.” Original-Sin is the concept from the Old-Testament where Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, violating God’s orders, sinning. The punishment for their sin, which was the first and original sin of Man, was expulsion from Eden, a utopia on Earth where everything was provided for them without the concepts of scarcity or labor. With their expulsion, God introduced scarcity, changed the nature of the human condition from utopian to tragic, and punished Adam and Eve with labor. Adam must labor by the sweat of his brow, and Eve must labor via childbirth.

Rousseau explained the origin of society, and the cause of our ensuant corruption, in The discourse on the origins of inequality (1753):

“The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, ‘Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody’” (1753, p. 23).

For Rousseau, private property was the origin of society, and therefore the origin of our corruption. Once the first person acquiesced private property, society ensued, and then the ills that accompanied society followed. He theorized that:

“the moment one man began to stand in need of the help of another; from the moment it appeared advantageous to any one man to have enough provisions for two, equality disappeared, property was introduced, work became indispensable, and vast forests became smiling fields, which man had to water with the sweat of his brow, and where slavery and misery were soon seen to germinate and grow up with the crops” (1753, p. 27).

Note Rousseau’s insistence that once, “property was introduced, work became indispensable.” In other words, labor was not necessary prior to the first person’s acquisition of private property. This further substantiates Rousseau’s negation of Original-Sin, and the belief that labor is not necessary for Man.

Rousseau’s belief in the natural goodness of man corrupted by society means that, “evil derives from society rather than from their sinful natures and that it may be cured or ameliorated through human . . . action” (Melzer, 1990, p. 19). Because evil comes from without and not from within, “then perhaps it could be overcome by reordering society. In principle, Rousseau opens up radical new hopes for politics, utopian, messianic . . . hopes that it can transform the human condition, bring secular salvation, make all men healthy and happy” (Melzer, 1990, p. 23). Reordering society, tinkering with our laws, customs, and traditions, is Rousseau’s way of bringing about utopia. Rousseau’s desire is to, “transform the human condition” (Melzer, 1990, p. 23), a belief formerly impossible now made possible after his rejection of Original-Sin. By rejecting Original-Sin, Rousseau was further rejecting god and the Church (Kirk, 1989). Rousseau, emancipated from the traditional restraints of the Church, now understood that, “Man must become his own savior” (Cassirer, 1989, p. 76). This is the, “utopian, messianic . . . hopes” that Melzer addressed.

The absence of Original-Sin, plus the belief that evil can be eradicated because it is introduced from without via society, made Rousseau and his disciples confident in their ability to change the nature of the human condition. As Ernst Cassirer, a scholar of Rousseau, explained that Rousseau believed that Man

“does not tarry in his original condition, but strives beyond it; he is not content with the range and kind of existence which are the original fights of nature nor does he stop until he has devised for himself a new form of existence that is his own” (Cassirer, 1989, p. 105).

Man can create a new form of existence better than the one given to him via nature. Rousseau theorized that, “One who dares to undertake the founding of a people should feel that he is capable of changing human nature . . . of transforming each individual” (Rousseau, 1762). As Kautz, another scholar of Rousseau, said of Rousseau’s belief:

“that the human being is almost infinitely malleable . . . that the history of the human species . . . so distances us from our original nature that it is hard to see any longer what guidance our speculations about nature or human nature can provide for our various pursuits” (as quoted by Marks, 2005, p. 11).

What Kautz alluded to when he said, “so distances us from our original nature,” is Rousseau’s belief in a “state-of-nature” (Melzer, 1990). The state-of-nature was a utopian fantasy Rousseau predicated much of his work on. This state-of-nature existed before there ever was a formal version of society, an ideal Rousseau longed to return to (Melzer, 1990). However, because it was an ancient historical artifact, it and its lessons are too remote for us today in the present to matter. This is the origin of Rousseau’s belief- and those inspired by his beliefs- of progress in human nature. This progressive nature of the human condition means the present age is superior to previous ages. This progress is what made Rousseau feel he is, “capable of changing human nature . . . of transforming each individual” (Rousseau, 1762).

The progressive distance from the state-of-nature is why Rousseau said, “the human race of one age [is not] the human race of another” (Rousseau, 1753). The human race of today is not the same one of yesterday because, “human nature does not retrograde” (Rousseau, 1753). We do not move backwards, only forwards. This is the superiority of the present over past ages.

In the state of nature, we lived as naturally equal and naturally benevolent beings (Rousseau, 1753). Rousseau’s desire to restore both our natural equity and our natural goodness of the state of nature lead him to his most famous contribution to political philosophy, “the general will” (Rousseau, 1762). As Rousseau said, “The social compact established an equality between the citizens . . . such that they all engage themselves under the same conditions and should all benefit from the same rights” (1762, p. 34). Melzer referred to Rousseau as a, “passionate egalitarian,” (1990, p. 155); he created the general will, a, “rigidly egalitarian doctrine and realistically clung to it” (Melzer, 1990, p. 155).

The general will was Rousseau’s means of achieving an equitable society devoid of corruption. He believed that, “the appropriate manipulation of environmental factors could lead to human perfectibility” (Wintston, 2005, p. 31), and that, “if the individual- the basic building block of society- could be perfected, so too could the entire social order” (Winston, 2005, p. 21). Again, all attainable through the general will.

Rousseau influenced William Godwin, Condorcet, the Abbe Sieyes, and James Mackintosh, his fellow social theorists. Among the foundations Rousseau established, they built upon to further their utopian societal visions. As the Abbe Sieyes offered, “religion. . . was the first enemy of man” (as quoted by Sewell, Jr., 1994, p. 12). He opined that, “the perfectibility of man is arrested, his efforts diverted; rather than increasing his knowledge and his pleasures on earth, these are transported and led astray in the heavens” (Sieyes, as quoted by Sewell, Jr., 1994, p. 12).

Just as Rousseau rejected the doctrine of Original-Sin, so too did Sieyes. By freeing himself from the grip of the church, religion, and God, he was no longer concerned with heaven and the afterlife. Sieyes then reasoned that he, as well as those who believe as he does, should forego waiting for rewards in the afterlife and should instead attempt to bring heaven here on earth, i.e. utopia. Social engineering would be the way to achieve it. This is the meaning behind Russell Kirk’s explanation of socialism as, “the belief that this world of ours may be converted into the Terrestrial Paradise through the operation of positive law and positive planning” (Kirk, 1989, p. 54). Heaven, a utopia formerly reserved for the afterlife, is now a legitimate option for us here on Earth, so long as we properly socially engineer its creed.

William Godwin, a man Thomas Sowell (1987) referred to as the first social-justice warrior, believed that we are, “capable of unlimited improvement” (Godwin, 1793, p. 501). He was adamant that, “principles of justice proceed on the equality of mankind” (1791, p. 181). Godwin felt that, “excellencies and defects of the human character not derived from causes beyond the reach and the ingenuity to modify and correct” (1793, p. 110). Tinkering with society to fix the world is supported by his belief that, “Politics is a science” (1793, p. 273), and because of the natural equality of man, we can apply, “rules, uniform in their nature, are equally applicable to the whole of the whole human race” (1793, p. 407). Nothing is out of reach, nor beyond man’s ability to fix or cure.

Condorcet, a contemporary of Rousseau and Godwin, believed in a, “Gradual advance towards absolute perfection” (1794, p. 31); the, “natural equality of man” (1794, p. 132); the, “moral goodness of man susceptible to indefinite improvement” (1794, p. 233); and the, “science of calculations to the individual” (1794, p. 225). James Macintosh, another believer in Rousseau’s ideology, once ventured that, “the miseries of the human race are about to be alleviated” (as quoted by Stanlis, 1991, p. 122).

Godwin and Condorcet shared the opinion of a dislike of the older remnants of society. This is predicated on the progressive nature of the human condition. The progressive nature of the human condition means Man must destroy old things merely because of their age and create new things -laws, norms, and culture- for new Man. Godwin strongly felt that, “every generation is further removed from in its physical structure from the savage” (1793, p. 467), and that because of the distance from the state-of-nature, “Nothing must be sustained, because it is ancient, because we have been accustomed to regard it as sacred, or because it has been unusual to bring its validity into question” (as quoted by Sowell, 1987, p 40). Condorcet, in a similar vein, said, “everything that bears the imprint of time must inspire distrust more than respect” (as quoted by Sowell, 1987, p. 40). Godwin and Condorcet, believing in the progressive nature of Man, believed that older things are by their very nature suspicious. Destroying that which is old is necessary to better suit the contemporary state of the human condition, a  new superior state caused by the progressive nature of Man.

Essentially, the salient attributes to take from Rousseau and his disciples are that man is capable of perfecting society, completely eradicating evil, and that evil is introduced to the world from without, via society. Evil does not come from within, via the sinful nature of man. By reordering society, these men possess the ability to perfect it, restore our natural equity, and fundamentally change the nature of Man and the human condition. The distance from the state-of-nature is the rationale behind the belief in progress in human nature. Progress in human nature means Man must destroy old norms and restraints and create new norms for a new modern-Man. Human beings will respond to scientific formulas as a way to eradicate evil. These tenets comprise the thrust of socialism: the ability to bring about utopia here on Earth, the eradication of scarcity, tragedy, and labor, all through governmental centralized planning.

The Burkean Refutation

The first place to begin detailing what the counter-argument to the doctrine of Rousseau and his disciples is the natural goodness of man and the invalidation of Original-Sin. For Edmund Burke, the notion of the natural goodness of man was ridiculous. He believed that:

“We must soften into a credulity below the milkiness of infancy to think all men virtuous. We must be tainted with a malignity truly diabolical, to believe all the world to be equally wicked and corrupt. Men are in public life as in private, some good, some evil. The elevation of the one, the depression of the other, are the first objects of all true policy” (Burke, 1770).

Burke knew that relying on the natural goodness of man was a mistake. He felt elevating man to a place of natural goodness was dangerous. As Burke stated, “There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief” (1791, para. 8).

Burke further believed in the natural imperfections of man. He believed that the imperfections and tragic nature of the human condition are sewn into the fabric of human nature; perfectibility is simply unattainable. This is what Burke meant when he pontificated that, “man thinks much too highly, and therefore he thinks weakly and delusively, of any contrivance of human wisdom, who believes that it can make any sort of perfection” (Burke, 1780). Burke knew that, “There is by the essential fundamental constitution of things, a radical infirmity in human contrivance” (Burke, as quoted by Stanlis, 1986, p. 178).

For Burke, the imperfection of man came from one specific source: the Judeo-Christian tradition of Original-Sin. The quote below illustrates Burke’s recognition of Original-Sin:

“It is the common doom of man that he must eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, that is, by the sweat of his body, or the sweat of his mind. . . . Every attempt to fly from it, and to refuse the very terms of our existence, becomes much more truly a curse” (Burke, 1797, pp. 267-268).

Burke made a similar statement, albeit at an earlier date. He told his readers that:

“I have sometimes been in a good deal more than Doubt, whether the Creator did ever really intend Man for a State of Happiness. He has mixed in his Cup a Number of natural Evils . . . and every Endeavor which the Art and Policy of Mankind has used from the Beginning of the World to this Day, in order to alleviate, or cure them, has only served to introduce new Mischiefs, or to aggravate and inflame the old” (Burke, 1756, para. 3).

We cannot escape Original-Sin. Every attempt to circumnavigate or ignore it entirely will only makes things worse. We must accept that the human condition is tragic.

Adam Smith, a contemporary of Burke’s, agreed with his notion of the imperfectible nature of man, and the difficulty in arranging society and people into perfection. Smith questioned the men who, “imagine . . . can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chessboard” (Smith, 1759, p. 140). Human beings are emotional, and not rational, something contemporary neuroscience has corroborated (Haidt, 2013). This is why, “the great chessboard of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it” (Smith, 1759, p. 140). This is a refutation of the claims of men like Godwin and Condorcet, who believed that human beings are capable of receiving and responding to mathematical formulas to dictate their behaviors and outcomes.

To understand how all of the ideas of Burke, his colleagues, and his disciples coalesce, one must examine the thought of a more contemporary disciple of Burke’s, Russell Kirk. Kirk employed a phrase from T.S. Eliot, “the permanent things” (1939), and popularized it. To Kirk, the permanent things are the norms, which “means an enduring standard. It is a law of nature, which we ignore at our peril” (Kirk, 1989, p. 17).

The norms of the permanent things are predicated on two tenets. The first is that, “by definition, human nature is constant. Because of that constancy, men of vision were able to describe the norms, the rules for mankind” (Kirk, 1989, p. 39). We in the present are no better, worse, or any different than our eldest ancestors. The constancy of human nature enabled men of vision to establish enduring standards.

The second aspect of the permanent things is the tragic nature of the human condition. To conservatives like Kirk, Burke, and Eliot, they clearly understood that the imperfect and flawed nature of man not only prevents perfection of either society or man, but that our imperfections promote vice and folly. This is what Eliot meant when he wrote, “Do not let me hear Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly, The only wisdom we can hope to acquire Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless” (1941). Eliot understood the flawed and constant nature of the human condition. We, as human beings, will never perfect society -our flawed nature prevents that- so it is more important to learn from the failures of our ancestors than their successes. Essentially, the permanent things prevent utopia; they acknowledge that the human condition is constant, imperfectible, and tragic.

To conclude, the beliefs held in opposition to Rousseau and his adherents include a belief in Original-Sin, that the human condition is tragic and imperfectible, and utopia on Earth is an impossibility. Human beings cannot eradicate evil because it is sewn into the very fabric of the human condition; a disbelief in the natural goodness of man. Human nature is constant, not progressive, so we do not need to create new norms in a utopian effort. This philosophy believes in the just and natural inequities of the world, and that attempting to make the world equitable will cause more problems than the ones we are already saddled with.

Finally, a look at the Old and New Testaments. By delineating the ideas in this section and the prior one, the tenets and beliefs that make up socialism will appear fundamentally incongruent with the Judeo-Christian ethic.

The Judeo-Christian Ethic

It is axiomatic to begin the discussion with the rejection of Original-Sin. Original-Sin is a pillar of the Christian doctrine, and something Rousseau explicitly rejected. Obviously, this should illustrate how a fundamental belief of socialism is incongruent with the Judeo-Christian tradition.

The Judeo portion of the phrase “Judeo-Christian” does not believe in the doctrine of Original-Sin on a semantic level, but does share the sentiment. In Ethics of our fathers, a Jewish compilation of ethical teachings, Ben Zoma asked, “Who is strong? He who conquers his evil inclination” (4:1). Both the Jewish and Christian traditions believe that the struggle for good and evil is in the breast of the individual, not with society (Babbitt, 1924). The Jews believe in an ethical dualism with the figurative angel on one shoulder, known as the, “Yetzer-Tov,” and the figurative devil on the other, known as the, “Yetzer-Hara.” It is through choices and temperance to our evil inclination that our behavior is adjudicated, not our relationship to society.

In Jeremiah 17:9, the scripture tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (, 2018). James 4:1 asks a question with a similar premise: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (, 2018). The struggle for good and evil is clearly in the breast of the individual, and not an external one with society.

Rousseau and his disciples believed that they can personally redeem mankind through their messianic adherence to socialistic centralized planning. Both the Judaic and Christian beliefs are adamant about “false prophets.” In the Jewish tradition, this type of man is called an, “Apikores” (pronounced ahh-pee-koh-ress). The Apikores is, “one who negates the rabbinic tradition . . . . forfeit their ‘share in the world to come’” (Jewish Virtual Library, 2018). The Apikores is a false messiah, and someone who promises the ability to bring about devine redemption himself. In Peter 2:1, the scripture warned that, “there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves” (, 2018). Matthew 24:24 gives us an additional warning: “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (, 2018).

The Apikores and the false prophet sound eerily similar to Rousseau and the Abbe Sieyes. All of these people abandoned their submission to God and attempted to bring heaven here on Earth themselves.

When it comes to perfectibility, the book of Ecclesiastes (7:20) informs us that, “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins” (, 2018). The reason all of us on Earth sin is Original-Sin and the imperfect nature of man. Much of the Judeo-Christian religion is predicated on this idea, as both components (Jewish and Christian) place paramount emphasis on repentance and forgiveness from God for our inevitable wrongdoing.

The book of Ecclesiastes is in agreement with Russell Kirk’s conception of human nature. Human nature is fixed, constant, and we are the same as our ancestors. The scripture says, “Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. . . . What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (, 2018). Because human nature is constant, the laws, customs, traditions, prohibitions, and commandments are just as applicable and important today, as they were when originally bequeathed to us. They are not outdated or arbitrary. Those who wish to emancipate themselves from ancient ties (Nisbet, 1966), or believe we must destroy things that are old simply because they are old (Sowell, 1987), or that progress in human nature necessitates new norms and mores for “new Man,” are pushing values that are incongruent with the Judeo-Christian sentiment of the constancy of human nature.

For example, in Deuteronomy 22:5, the Old-Testament warns us that, “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this” (, 2018). The current belief that transgenderism is a new concept, necessitating new norms for new modern Man, is false. Transgenderism has existed long before the current milieu. The reason the book of Deuteronomy contains this prohibition is because, “there is nothing new under the sun.”

Is the Judeo-Christian religion an equitable one preaching the egalitarianism Rousseau lauded through his general will? The pith of the Decalogue are authoritative commandments from God to the Israelites. Not only are we to obey the word of God, but in the fifth commandment, we must honor our parents. The importance of our surrender to the authority of our parents is an important reminder of the just and natural hierarchies of the world; they necessitate our acceptance.

Ben Zoma, previously mentioned as believing a strong man is one who resists his evil inclination, asked another question: “Who is Rich? He who is happy with his portion” (4:1). The reason for this answer is that there will always be someone with more than you. More money, a bigger house, better luck, a more attractive spouse, or a nicer car. It is our job to temper our evil inclination, accept that life is not fair, and accept that we, as human beings, are not equals. We must learn to accept that life will not be fair, as Matthew 5:45 taught us, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Biblegateway, 2018). This lesson is one we can glean from the book of Job as well.

The implicit problem with equity as a moral foundation, something liberals base much of their ideological presumptions on (Nisbet, 1966; Haidt, 2013), is that equity causes envy. As Tocqueville astutely observed:

“One must not conceal from oneself that democratic institutions develop the sentiment of envy in the human heart to a very high degree. It is not so much because they offer to each the means of becoming equal to others, but because these means constantly fail those who employ them. Democratic institutions awaken and flatter the passion for equality without ever being able to satisfy it entirely. Every day this complete equality eludes the hands of the people at the moment when they believe they have seized it, and it flees. . . . the people become heated in the search for this good, all the more precious as it is near enough to be known, far enough not to be tasted” (1836, p. 189).

Equity breeds envy. The more democratic the institution, like the United States, or Rousseau’s general will, the greater the arousal of envy.

The hallmark of the emotion of envy is that when it is not about someone rising to the level of another person, but about the lower person yanking the higher person down; when it is not about someone having what another person has, but about the other person not having it altogether; and when it is not about someone winning, but about another losing, we have envy on our hands (Shoeck, 1966; de la Mora, 1987).

Envy and its consequences are a major theme in the Judeo-Christian religion. Whether it’s Cain and Abel, Leah and Rachel, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, Saul and David, or the jealousy at the Church of Corinth, the Old and New-Testaments are ripe with examples of the evil associated with envy. Envy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and major component of the 10th commandment in the Decalogue.

As an ideology, socialism promotes equity and egalitarianism, which causes envy. The reason equity fosters envy is largely that human beings are not equals to begin with. When we look around and see our peers, who are supposed to be our equals, are ahead of us, it is our natural inclination to want to bring them back down to our level. We are supposed to be socialized to accept the natural and just hierarchies and inequalities of the world from birth, as we are born first and foremost into our hierarchical family units. Making equity a moral foundation subverts the natural moral order in our lives instilled by our families.

As Burke understood, “those who attempt to level, never equalise. . . .The levellers therefore only change and pervert the natural order of things” (1790, para. 79). Socialism will only pervert the natural order of things. It will only cause envy, and erode any kind of moral order.


Socialism is predicated on the rejection of Original-Sin, a belief in the natural goodness of man, the perfectibility of both man and society, the belief that man must not labor, progress in human nature, and the natural equality of man. All of these elements are either explicitly or implicitly incongruent with the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Because of this incongruence, it necessitates a formal expungement from any discourse relating to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Socialism is not only predicated on faulty premises, it is dangerous, deadly, and an affront to God and our ancestors. Only if there are committed individuals with the fortitude and determination to stand up to the socialists can our communities prosper, live freely, and devote ourselves to a higher spiritual power.



Babbitt, I. (1924). Democracy and leadership. Indianapolis, IN: The Liberty Fund. (2018). Retrieved from:

Blum, C. (1986). Rousseau and the republic of Virtue: The language of politics in the French Revolution. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.

Burke, E. (1756). The vindication of natural society. Retrieved from:

            . (1963). The best of Burke: Selected writings and speeches of Edmund Burke. In Ed. P. Stanlis: The best of Burke: Selected writings and speeches of Edmund Burke. New York, NY: Regneris Publishing.

            . (1770). Thoughts on the cause of the present discontent. Retrieved from–5

            . (1790). Reflections on the revolution in France. Retrieved from:

            . (1780). A bill for shortening the duration of Parliaments. Retreived from

            . (1769). Observations on the late stat of a Nation. Retrieved from

            . (1757). An essays towards an abridgement of the English History. Retireved from:

            . (1791). A letter to a member of the National Assembly. Project Gutenberg. Retreived from

Burke, E. (1796). Letters on a regicide peace. Indianapolis, IN: The Liberty Fund.

            . (1782). Speech on the reform of the representation of the commons in parliament. Retrieved from:

Cassirer, E. (1989). The question of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. New Haven, CT: Yale University

de Condorcet, J.A.N. (1794).  Outlines of an historical view of the progress of the human mind.  London, EN: Forgotten Books.

Eliot, T.S. (1939). The idea of a Christian society. New York, NY: Harcourt.

Ethics of our fathers. (N.D.). Ethics of our fathers. Retrieved from:

Godwin, W. (1793). An inquiry concerning political justice. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

Haidt, J. (2013). The righteous mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion. New York, NY: Penguin Random House. (2018). Apikoros. Retrieved from:

Johnson, B. (2018, July 10). Video: Rush Limbaugh on clergy who accept socialism. Acton Institute. Retrieved from:

Kirk, R. (1989). The enemies of the permanent things. Peru, IL: Sherwood, Sugden & Company.

Marks, J. (2005). Perfection and disharmony in the thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Melzer, A. (1990). The natural goodness of men: On the system of Rousseau’s thought. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.

Mora, G. F. de la (1987). Egalitarian envy: The political foundations of social justice. New York, NY: toExcel

Nisbet, R. (1966). The sociological tradition. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Newport, F. (2018, August 13). Democrats more positive about socialism than capitalism. Gallup. Retrieved from:

Rousseau, J. (1753).  Discourse on the origins of inequality. Retrieved from:

            . (1762A). Four letters to Monsieur de Malesherbes. Retrieved from:

            . (1762B). Emile, or education. Retrieved from

            . (1762C). The social contract. Retrieved from

            . (1782). Confessions. Retrieved from

Schoeck, H. (1966). Envy: A theory of social behavior. Indianapolis, IN: The Liberty Fund.

Sewell, Jr., W. (1994). A rhetoric of bourgeois revolution: The Abbe Sieyes and what is the third estate. Durham, NC: Duke University.

Smith, A. (1759). The essential Adam Smith. In Ed. Robert Heilbroner. New York, NY: Norton and company.

Sowell, T. (1987). A conflict of visions: Ideological origins of political struggles. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Stanlis, P. (1986). Edmund Burke and the natural law. Shreveport, LI.

Tocqueville, A. (1836). Democracy in America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.

Winston, M. (2005). From perfectibility to perversion: Meliorism in eighteenth-century France. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.

Steven Kessler

Written by

Steven Kessler received his Ed.D. from the University of Rochester in Higher Education Administration. He is the Edmund Burke Society Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal. He has published in places like "The Conservative," "The European Conservative," "The Imaginative Conservative," and "The Journal of Liberal Arts and Sciences."