High School Years
Reading smallestminority has got me thinking about my own high school years. In high school, I wanted to join the Peace Corps, conquer capitalism and replace it with a utopian communist society. I read the Communist Manifesto when I was 15 and believed in it with my whole heart. In economics class we had to write a paper about whether we would used progressive or flat taxes. I wrote two papers, one which followed the teacher's assignment and the other which denounced both as evil. People should pool their money and hence dissolve all private property and, eventually, money itself. On my way to visit Evergreen State College I read Ecotopia, a book my parents had read in the 1970's. You can guess it's basic theme.
The obvious question is: what changed me? The answer is very simple- I became a Christian, in particular a Lutheran. That taught me to believe in original sin. Man could never have a utopian society because man was not perfect. Marx is correct- religion is the opiate of the masses. I replaced my view in a perfect earth with a longing for a perfect heaven after I die, not before. I was also given a set of absolute morals and even though I disagreed with many, I had faith God knew what He was talking about. Suddenly, high taxes weren't a glorious thing but rather theft, which is forbidden. They take from one and give it to another who doesn't deserve him. In that instant, Robin Hood became nothing but a wretched thief.
If the world had no sin, I would immediately become a liberal again. If man could truly rise above his nature and make a perfect society, why fear government? Why not ban guns and raise taxes- eventually a perfect society would exist where all could live in harmony. Unfortunately, this is not the way of the world. The true world is much messier and ugly, filled with Pol Pots and petty tyrants.