Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

William J. Federer is a nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to researching America’s noble heritage. Learn more about his daily American Minute blog.

The Left tries to tell us socialism will solve all the world’s problems. There will be free healthcare, free welfare, free food, free clothes, and free education – it’ll be great!

But what is the real cost? We just have to look at history to find out. 

It’s important to understand the origins of socialism go all the way back to Plato, a Greek philosopher in ancient Athens. Around 380 BC, Plato wrote about government in Republic. He said the ideal society is structured, ordered, and organized.

Often, socialists try to hide their totalitarian intentions behind ideals of democracy – diversity, equity, and inclusion. Plato said, “Such is democracy – a pleasing, lawless, various sort of government, distributing equality to equals and unequals alike.” He considered democracy to be unstructured.

Democracy comes from the Greek words demos, meaning people, and kratos meaning rule. In a democracy, the people rule. According to Plato, the chief characteristic of a democracy is tolerance – there are lots of people, and they all tolerate each other. In a democracy, every man does what is right in his own eyes (Prov. 21:2).

They tolerate disrespect in the home. The father gets accustomed to descending to the level of his son and fears him, so the son has no fear or shame of his parents.

They tolerate disrespect in the classroom. Teachers fear and flatter their students. The students despise their masters and tutors.

They tolerate disrespect in society. Citizens vote to spread the treasury around through social programs, and now the treasury is empty. Then, they vote to take more money from the rich. Their leaders deprive the rich of their estates and distribute them among the people.

Finally, they tolerate immorality.

Plato wrote, “the young man passes . . . into the freedom and libertinism of useless and unnecessary pleasures . . . and there is no conceivable folly or crime – not excepting incest or any other unnatural union.”

Plato was talking about Athens tolerating immoral behavior and ending up with sexual promiscuity – men parted company with all shame.

A study was done in 1934 by an Oxford anthropologist, J. D. Unwin, called Sex and Culture. He studied 80 civilizations over 5,000 years, including Athens. He found that sexual promiscuity always precedes the destruction of a civilization.

People go through struggle – like Israel did when they came out of slavery – but they work hard and become productive. Then, they become protective and patriotic. Then, the nation becomes prosperous and expansionistic. But when the people start to enjoy their prosperity and get pleasure focused, they become promiscuous, indulgent, and weak – which is what happened to Athens.

These civilizations still think they are strong, but they weaken and are conquered by the next rising civilization. Unwin found this pattern continually through history.

He looked at the family unit and sexuality as an indicator of a civilization’s health. If women as a whole demand commitment from men, the guys will work hard to provide for their wives. When all the men of the country follow that model, the rising water floats all boats – the country becomes more productive.

Children are born and men experience a new sense of protectiveness toward their families. When all the men of the country become protective, then rising water floats all boats – the country becomes creative, expansionistic, and strong.

But if women say there does not need to be a commitment, then water seeks its own level. You will have a bunch of guys who are pleasure focused. When enough of the men do this, they become irresponsible and selfish. There are fewer children to fill the ranks in the military, the country weakens, and they get conquered by the next rising civilization.

John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1818:

Have you ever found in history, one single example of a nation, thoroughly corrupted, that was afterwards restored to virtue? And without virtue there can be no political liberty . . . Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance, vice, folly? . . . I believe no effort in favor of virtue is lost.

Democracy’s insatiable desire brings a nation to disillusion.

In a democracy, everybody tolerates each other, then they tolerate people that are a little bit off, and then they tolerate people that are a lot off. They tolerate immorality and it turns into lawlessness, chaos, and an unstructured mess. And then the people begin to say, “Can’t someone come along and fix this mess?”

That’s when some leader comes along and says, “I can fix it, but I just need some emergency powers. I’m going to take away some of your freedoms, but I’m doing this to protect you.”

Democracy without morals and virtue ends in lawlessness and chaos, out of which a tyrant usurps power. Plato said democracy is doomed to fail because it’s based on the people having virtue and people really don’t have virtue. If you give people a choice of giving up their life or giving up their virtue, they’ll always give up their virtue to save their life.

Plato said if someone was born that truly had virtue, the world would crucify him. He wrote, “If a truly just man lived, let him die as he lived. I might add that the just man will be scourged, racked, bound, and will at last be crucified.” 

Plato wrote that 380 years before the birth of Jesus, who gave us His righteousness for our sin through His life, death, and resurrection. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

The United States was founded on a Christian heritage. Our foundational documents draw from the Word of God and the preaching of godly men. Our society was based on virtues and morals.

If our constitutional republic is to continue, we must return to the biblical principles that made it great.

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