Dr. Bahnsen’s Economic Argument Against Alienism

Most all modern Reformed theories of state and society are (unbeknownst to the Evangelicals) premised on neo-Marxist presuppositions.  While their emotional motivations are grounded in the civil-rights era, these anti-tribalists premise their intellectual objections to tribalism and ethnic-based social orders on a desire to implement a state-sponsored, fiat order, where men arbitrarily associate with each other, not in terms of Godly family units, but rather, in terms of allegiance to propositions (like laws, constitutions, and ideologies).  In his critique of Marxist theories of man, Dr. Bahnsen gets into an interesting discussion with Dr. Kickasola and in the course of their discussion, criticizes this anti-Christian position.  Starting at 26 min. in to lecture 23 of his “Philosophy of Christianity” series:


Kickasola:  Why is communism, especially Chinese communism, so anti-family?  Why do they divide the children from parents and so forth?  Because there’s nothing inherent in communism that would demand that.  In fact, communism would accentuate the family?  Then I realized: if the biggest sin is private property in the sense of domain (which comes from the Clan), we, daddy, mommy, kids, inherently own something … then if I can get rid of the family, then private property would vanish.

Bahnsen:  You’re exactly right.  Private property and the family go hand in hand in Marx.  The only way to break the hold of the family, and therefore private property, is to have the state do the education and raising of the children.

Kickasola:  But I don’t know if the Marxist considers the family intrensically evil.  It’s private property that seems to be evil.  So they say the family has to go.  In other words, they see the dispensing of the family as an act of mercy …

Bahnsen:  Well, I don’t know how many Marxists you’ve talked to.  It may be true that the ones you’ve run into have not felt that way, but Marxist philosophy says family is inherently evil.  The family essentially breaks up society into units that consider themselves owners of particular property and inheritances as you’ve mentioned it.   The idea that the parents own the children and can control the children apart from the state, is essentially the claim that the state doesn’t have the ultimate power that it must have in terms of Marxist dialectic of history, so that eventually there’ll be no state at all.

We all have to become one large family, to put it another way.  As long as we perpetuate individual families we’ll never have this “communal” society that we’re looking for.

Kickasola:  So precisely, the sin is not ownership, but rather private property?

Bahnsen:  Oh yes.  Oh yeah.  The ultimate sin is private property.

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