The radical declares,
“Everyone belongs to all, and all belongs to everyone. All are slaves and equal in their slavery… Slaves are bound to be equal. Without despotism there has never been either freedom or equality, but in the herd there is bound to be equality…. The moment you have family ties or love you get the desire for property. We will destroy that desire; we’ll make use of drunkenness, slander, spying; we’ll make use of incredible corruption; we’ll stifle every genius in its infancy. We’ll reduce all to a common denominator! Complete equality!”
Dostoevsky was a 19th century Russian writer who explored the human psyche, particularly as that psyche was conditioned by ideology and religion. In the quote above we find that Dostoevsky understood the nascent proto-Marxist type ideology which he believed were Demon like ideas from Western Europe that was possessing Russia.
It is interesting that even in 1873 Russia, Dostoevsky could identify the heart of collectivism that remains with us yet today. Dostoevsky understood that the end of equality, absolutized, is slavery.
The thing I really want to tease out from this quote is Dostoevsky’s connection between collectivism and the destruction of family ties. The collectivist attack on property requires an attack on family love. If various forms of Marxist collectivism is to be successful in its desire to extinguish private property it must, at the same time, extinguish Biblical notions of family. The simple idea that a man and a woman come together and form a new, yet extended social unit that is itself strengthened with the blessed arrival of covenant seed is an idea that arises not from Natural law but from Scripture. So, when the collectivist wars against property, he must do so, if he wishes to be consistent by attacking the family structure, which is itself an attack on Scripture. This reality puts those “Christians” who insist that the Bible has nothing to say about social order issues on the horns of a dilemma. Either they concede that the Scripture does speak a word about the nature of the family or they are left with pulpits that are silent on these issues preaching to atomized individuals that Jesus died to redeem as isolated from any previous, current, or future familial identities. A very odd way of preaching for those who subscribe to covenant theology where “the promise is to you and your household” is a key cornerstone of Reformed Federal theology.
I submit Christians must enter into this great war that has been being waged since the garden. It was in the garden where the first successful salvo against Biblical Christianity was fired against the family as the Serpent attacked family ties, bypassing Adam’s authority to beguile Eve, in a successful attempt to sell the poison of man’s equality with God, which resulted in a collectivism against God. In point of fact the greatest need in the Church today is to realize the threat that egalitarianism is to Biblical Christianity. The drive to fuzz and deny all distinctions, to erase all notions of biblical hierarchies (Husbands w/ headship over wives, Parents w/ headship over children, women the weaker vessel compared to men, Employers w/ headship over employees,) and to flatten out all God ordained differences is the worldview that currently is the greatest threat to Biblical Christianity in the West.
Without Biblical distinctions regarding gender, roles, ethnic groups, and authority structure, we will be amalgamated into the herd reality that Dostoevsky warns about. It will be a herd reality where a few elite are, in essence, the Farmers over the undistinguished and undifferentiated mass herd. Those who advocate complete equality in terms of “equality of identity” are the enemy and they are the enemy because Scripture identifies them as such. They are the enemy who overthrow the 5th commandment where a distinction and hierarchy of parents is required before they can be honored. They are the enemy who overthrow the great commission where a distinction of nations is required before those nations can be baptized, discipled and taught to observe all things taught by Christ. They are the enemy who overthrow Galatians 3:28 where a existing distinction between Jews and Gentiles, Slave and Free, Men and Women, must exist before there can be comfort that all can be justified in Christ. They are the enemy who overthrow the 8th commandment where a distinction must exist between what is my property and what is not my property before any forbidding of theft can make sense. Egalitarianism is the enemy and egalitarians are the enemy precisely because their egalitarianism strikes at the heart of God’s revelation. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of the Father of egalitarianism is to erase the distinction and hierarchy between the Creator and the creature. They desire to make God and man a common denominator. That is the ultimate distinction that is under attack in all of these penultimate battles.