Marxists often align themselves with countries like Iran because they are opposed to America. It is only natural that they do so because they believe capitalism is the root of all evil. (Anyone who opposes the most successful capitalist nation on earth can’t be too bad.)
In the 20th century Marxists worked hard to infiltrate the church. They knew that if they could influence the moral gatekeepers they could change how we thought about the governments role regarding the poor. (They have been largely successful. Today many people assume that greater government control of the economy leads to less poverty.)
Unfortunately many pastors and priests get their ideas about what government policies are good for the poor from philosophers and theologians; and so naturally lean towards Marxism. (Communism sounds good, but upon closer examination many problems emerge. Government ownership of the means of production has never worked in practice because it does not work in theory. Whenever the government sets the prices for goods or services economic chaos begins to ensue. For an indepth look at this subject read The Government Against the Economy by George Reisman.1)
If everyone studying to be a pastor had to read a book or two by a professor of economics before being ordained we might be able to rid the church of the poison that is Marxism (or at least go close). At the very least, pastors would be more inclined to support policies that help the poor instead of hurt them. It seems that the road to hell really is paved with good intentions.
A great little introduction to how well intentioned policies can lead to poverty (and oppression) is George Reisman’s "Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian." (The article is only 23 pages long.) You may disagree with Reisman’s argument that Nazism was a de facto kind of socialism, but his arguments regarding the problems with government ownership of the means of production and problems with government setting prices are irrefutable (see chapters 6-8 of his book Capitalism).
This article (and Reisman's book Capitalism) convinced me that communism can never work no matter how benevolent or intelligent the leader. (It wouldn’t even work if everyone in a nation willingly chose to live under such rule. Within ten years the people would want to overthrow the government and be rid of communism.)2
Have you ever asked a pastor if they have read an article by a professor of economics? Would they be willing to read such an article if it was only 23 pages long?
Would you be willing to read such an article? See here.
Note: Marx made a distinction between communism and socialism at first, but came to use those words interchangeably. See Marxism: Philosophy and Economics
1. “Every commentator on current affairs who is not a fully trained economist ought to read this book if he wants to talk sense. I know no other place where the crucial issues are explained as clearly and convincingly as in this book.” - F. A. Hayek, Nobel Laureate, in Economics for 1975
Reisman also explains why price controls usually result in shortages in chapters 6 and 7 of his book Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics. (See also "Part 1: Prices and Markets" in Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell.) Price controls are the main reason why communism can never work as an economic system. (Capitalism is available as a pdf for free here.)
Price controls usually result in shortages on the product on which the price has been set, but not always. The exception to price controls resulting in shortages is when the government not only sets the price, but the government is buying from private enterprise. When the government has not set fixed limits on how much they will buy (and they are paying too much, which is almost always) there is usually an oversupply which leads to much waste. (Or something worse, see the quote below.)
“As a result of farm subsidies, until very recently a major portion of agricultural output was worse than wasted—it was used to sustain Communist regimes around the world through being given away to them for nothing under such programs as “Food for Peace,” or in exchange for funds provided to the Communist regimes by private banks under loans whose repayment was guaranteed by the U.S. government. In sustaining these regimes, which would otherwise have fallen many years ago from a lack of food supplies caused by the inherent nature of socialism, the farm subsidy program perpetuated the need for large-scale defense spending, in order to be able to provide security against the permanent policy of aggression of such regimes. It thereby operated to multiply the burden of taxation far beyond its own, direct cost.”— Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics by George Reisman
But was it really necessary for the United States to build up its arms in response to the Communist arms build up? I believe it was. See here.
2. Communist leaders promise utopia, but have no chance of delivering because of the problem of price controls. In every case where communism has been attempted, the situation begins to grow worse for the entire country, and continues to grow worse. Because of this communist leaders have to resort to violence to remain in power.
“Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. ... Any man, who has once proclaimed violence as his method, is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle.” ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn