Four Theonomic Prohibitions of Socialism

In addition to the command to be a “servant” rather than an “archist,” Scripture firmly prohibits the essential functions of “the State.” Four of these prohibitions are as follows:

  1. The Eighth Commandment (“Thou shalt not steal”)
  2. Prohibition of Manstealing (Ex 21:16; Deut 24:7)
  3. The Sixth Commandment (Thou shalt not kill)
  4. The Dominion Mandate (Genesis 1:26-28)

“The State” does not exist without the violation of these commandments. Any organization that does not have or claim to have a monopoly on the power to confiscate (with moral impunity) the wealth or property of others (“taxation”) is not, by definition, “the State.” It is a voluntary association of some kind. Similarly, if the power of death (“capital punishment”) or conscription is not claimed or recognized, it is not likely that the institution in question is “the State.”

These are powers which most people are loath to exercise, but are willing, under prevailing theories of “the State,” to “delegate” to politicians.

Under the heading of “The Dominion Mandate,” we refer to all other social powers which laymen would normally and morally exercise, e.g., agriculture, charity, transportation, etc., but which are taken over by “the State,” often at the request of people who would rather abandon their responsibilities to “the State” and become mere spectators. Socialism violates both the prohibitions against violence (taxation, nationalization, etc.) and the commandment to take personal responsibility (dominion).