Skip to content

Communalism vs. communism

Jared A. Brock wrote an interesting piece on ‘Capitalism vs. Communalism‘ based on his experience of a Bruderhof (brotherhood) community.

I like the fact that he used the word ‘Communalism’ instead of ‘Communism’.

The difference? God, faith, and love.

Faith is the linchpin to put together a society like the Bruderhof (brotherhood) community, and the lack thereof is the reason why communism is always a disaster.

Historically, this is not even accidental, because everyone who promoted Marxism and communism didn’t just lack faith, they were consciously and actively against faith in God.

Yet they want a commune. But because every reality requires a supporting structure and energy, the communists always have to find something to replace the strength and power of God and faith to sustain the commune. So guess what, they always end up in authoritarianism, because there’s nothing else immediately available to create order.

And communism has to be the worst kind of authoritarianism because communism has no choice but to become dishonest authoritarianism. Yes, authoritarianism itself is bad but can be at the same time overt and thus doesn’t have to pretend to be something else. But communism must lie, must pretend, because remember, it starts with the idea that everyone must be equal. It is the very promise that appeals to its followers, and they must always pretend to deliver.

When they actually don’t deliver, which of course they never do, they must find ways to control people’s mind so that people believe that communism has delivered, or at least will deliver someday. Anything that might risk revealing the truth to pop the illusion must be suppressed for the sake of social order.

In contrast, communalism can be based on an entirely different principle, may rely on an entirely different power, and achieve an entirely different result.

However, Communalism is not a general answer to communism. It is not going to work for a secular society in which faith in God is not a commonality and cannot be required to be such.

That’s why there’s Capitalism.

Capitalism is an ideological answer and a counter to Communism, and also a secular and realistic answer to Communalism.

Capitalism is not an ideal of humanity. It is a realistic system with a humble realization that sin is an inborn nature of the fallen man, and it is better to have a decentralized free-will society operating on free-market economic principles than to have a centralized authoritarian society operating on oppressive political ideologies.

But it is becoming increasingly clear that even capitalism cannot sustain itself without some degree of faith and love in God. It seems that at this junction of time, people who have lived under capitalism must choose to either go in the direction of communism (which would satisfy people’s immediate sense of fairness but will inevitably deteriorate into some thing worse than capitalism, see above), or to find the root again in faith and love of God.

Capitalism doesn’t require the kind of godliness (deep and common faith in God and genuine imitation of divine nature) that Bruderhof community manifests, but does seem to require some degree of it in some parts of the social structure to maintain order. The Western societies seem to have come close to a critical point where further increase of ungodliness (both on the right and left because both can be self-centered) would make the society incompatible with capitalism.

May God bless Bruderhof (brotherhood) community. But it does not mean every Christian should live in the same way. God leads different people in different ways. The earliest Christian church did start that way, and it was the work of the Holy Spirit. But afterward, they were scattered for the sake of the gospel to the world, and it was also the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the prerogative of Spirit of God. One just has to learn to follow faithfully in order to fulfill one’s purpose of life according to the will of God.