The Power of Personal Incentive and Initiative

A number of years ago I had the opportunity to visit post communist Bulgaria after the fall of the Berlin Wall. As we drove along the roads there we saw miles and miles of state housing…all the houses were the same design and all the same color…drab gray! As we met the people we found it was hard for them, even the Christians, to think creatively and start and do new things on their own. Their thinking became limited from the many years of having someone telling them what to do. God is redeeming this nation; especially by raising up younger leaders who did not experience the years of Marxist/communist indoctrination. They have the ability to think individually, freely and creatively.

Marxism is the ideology developed by Karl Marx in the middle to late 1800’s. Under pure Marxism, everything is about the collective. Everything belonged to the state, the collective, including your children, your spouse, even your life. They all could be taken from you at any time. Because of this, no one wanted to stand out. Soon anyone, or any group, that did stand out was quickly destroyed. Therefore, no system has ever so completely destroyed creativity and initiative as Marxism and its cousin Socialism.

Some may protest that in Communist China now there is a great proliferation of private enterprise and private property. This is true and the government of China has made a very intentional and systematic break from the basic tenets of Marxism/Socialism. In their published studies of the West, they began to understand that the powers of personal incentive and initiative were the powers that have driven the advance of civilization and that these were released through Christianity. Indeed Christianity is growing rapidly in China today. Although many Western nations have turned against Christianity, the foundation of their prosperity is built on the basic principles of Christianity and its individual freedom.

True creativity requires liberty, which is why we are told that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (see II Corinthians 3:17).

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