Communism offers those who follow it a beautiful ideal: a place where everyone’s needs are met, no one suffers, and no one must fight for their daily bread because it’s always provided. Everyone owns everything in common and everyone is the equal of everyone else.
The Promise Versus the Reality
The reality of Communism differs in radical ways from its promises. The elite 1% own everything in the name of a faceless people, while the people get no say in anything lest the elite take from them the little they receive from their hands.
The elite alone live in luxury and splendor while the poor must hope for scraps to fall from the hands of their elite masters. Starvation and depravation are the lot of the 99%, while the elite feast. Laws established ensure that even if the poor do try to improve their lot through establishing an enterprise, the elite can snatch whatever profits they make from their hands before it benefits them.
Communism always begins with the promise of an Earthly paradise for all mankind where all are fed and all are valued. It always ends with the majority ground under the heels of tyranny by the people in power.
The Power of the State Versus the Power of Christ
Communism attempts to deliver the fulfillment of the promises of Christianity by leveraging the power of the State rather than the power of Christ. Obligation, not love, rules the day in communism.
Love cannot be mandated or forced, and neither can true charity. True charity involves choosing to sacrifice something precious so that another can experience the gift of feeling valued, seen, and cherished. Obligation, either by rule of law or force of mandate, can require sacrifices but cannot generate love. Such obligations, more often than not, generate resentment by the one giving toward those who receive the sacrifice and an attitude of entitlement on the part of those who receive the sacrifice which further alienates the giver.
Resentment at being required to give what others did not work to earn turns into a simmering anger that brews up bitterness toward one’s fellow human beings. This destroys peace and buries goodwill. It leads to people who do no more than they must to meet the rule but who lack the incentive to make courageous sacrifices or the willingness to go above and beyond what the law requires.
Entitlement, that sense of being "owed" something, does nothing to empower people to seek solutions or find creative ways to adapt. It keeps people trapped, helpless, and dependent on others for answers. It's no kindness. Rather than building people up and showing them how they can take what they've got and make something beautiful for themselves and others, it dismisses them as being unable to offer anything useful to others and thus in need of handouts to get by in life.
Communism fails because it fails to take into account the human heart. It demands nothing of some and everything of others. The inherent injustices arise like poisoned fruit to kill the love people feel for one another, extinguishing hope and joy along with it.
The Catholic Church and Communism
Those who propose and support Communism long for the fruit from the tree of life that springs from the roots of Christianity, but without accepting the price the Christian pays to partake of that fruit: complete submission to the will of Christ and the cross that comes with it.
The Catholic Church rejects Communism and its false promises. It sees in Communism a false religion that promises to deliver Heaven on Earth but instead traps people in a living hell from which most see no hope of escaping. Even those who gain favor with the state, and the power and privilege that comes with it, end up living lives of empty luxury which do not satisfy the longings of the heart.
The Heaven that Christianity promises, where all eat their fill and everyone’s needs are met, can become a reality on Earth but not without Christ. For it to become a reality, everyone must choose of their own free will to love their neighbor as themselves. This requires accepting His crosses and being willing to sacrifice all that we possess in service of others.
Rejecting Christ as Its Foundation
It’s no easy thing for any human being to do, but Christ asks nothing of us He did not do Himself. He possessed all the wealth of the universe but placed it all, including His own life, in service of those in greatest need. He did this out of love and of His own free will, choosing to give even His own life when we demanded that of Him.
He held back nothing. His sacrifice sets the example we must follow if we want what He offers – a life of unending joy, undying hope, and a love that never fails. He provides, through the Catholic Church, all the supernatural support required for ordinary human beings to live this way – but we must accept that help and acknowledge our need for it first.
Communism always fails because it rests on human power alone, rejecting Christ as its foundation. The Catholic Church stands against it for valid reasons. Those who are wise would do well to listen.