Recently a local television reporter in Florida attempted to “trap” Joe Biden into admitting Barack Obama is a Marxist. I won’t delve into the latest reports showing that her husband is involved with the Republican party. What really caught my eye was the quote she used. There are many great Karl Marx quotes she could have chosen, but the one she settled on is one of the best.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need.”
I have to be honest. Without the refresher, I would not have immediately known that was Marx. In fact, had I been taking a test and was asked who said it, I probably would have given it my best guess and answered, “Jesus Christ.” I know the Bible well enough to know that Jesus never said those words, but they just sound so Jesusy that I would have answered that simply to let the professor know that at least I was thinking.
Just for the record, I am not a communist or socialist . . . or even a capitalist for that matter. I’ve appreciated living in a capitalist system and also appreciated the socialist aspects of that system (i.e., just about anything our taxes have bought for us). But, I do believe that Truth is Truth no matter where you find it. And I also believe that this quote from Karl Marx is more Christian than much of what I hear the religious right saying these days.
The most direct command Jesus gave was to love your neighbor as yourself. (Um? As in, if you are in need, then I will help as I am able? Kind of like . . . EXACTLY what Marx was saying?)
It doesn’t take a thoughtful person to fling around words like “socialist,” “Marxist,” or even (shudder) “Liberal.” It only takes someone who lives in fear and wants all of us to join him there.