Certainly before, but increasingly since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the following quote, the phrase “Freedom from Want” has taken on a religious air, as if it were the Holy Grail, or sacred calling of all socialist minded idealists. Here is that quote:
We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want — everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear — anywhere in the world.
While the world was undergoing many economic and political hardships when this statement was made by this former U.S. president, it contains the signature theme of socialism, the precursor to brutal communism that has spread like cancer amidst our modern society. Like on the that public t.v. show “Sesame Street”, “One of these things is not like the other”. Freedom from want isn’t a freedom that can be given too freely without enslaving its recipient in the bonds of idolatry and the evils of idleness and covetousness. History has proven that those provided for at the unwilling expense of others are all too eager to impose more unwilling provisions for themselves by bleeding others of their earning powers through state taxes on their behalf.
While Socialism may equalize everyone into poverty it fails to acknowledge that one can attain unto far greater wealth, real and intangible, regardless of circumstances when one is freed from the constraints of an economy invaded by Socialism. They demonize the rich and emphasize the wide disparity of wealth between the rich and poor in free societies, but fail to mention that everyone is poor under Socialism (except elite socialist party members). They fail to mention that in redistributing wealth under Socialism, history has repeatedly shown that Socialism forms its own artificial class system. Instead of a wide continuous spectrum of wealth from the poor to the rich in a free society, Socialism imposes a more rigid caste of a majority of poor and a minority of richer (the more priviledged, elite socialist members).
The Socialist loses sight of everything precious when they focus on their idealistic ends and rationalize the means to get them. If in attaining freedom from want we sacrifice more precious freedoms, then such efforts are ultimately done in vain, being counter-productive and leading to more stagnant future prospects. As the English novelist and playwright W. Somerset Maugham stated:
If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.
Surely we should have compassion on our fellow man, but that is a job for the church and not the state. If taxes are to be apportioned for church charities as recent presidential candidate Obama has suggested, then the state has assumed the role of the church and is taxing us in the name of the Lord. “Kirchensteuer” and other tithings assumed by the government to collect aren’t new to Europe, but why burden Lady Liberty with Old World fashions?