Whole Foods may not be the market of choice for the vast majority of conservative American shoppers, but many of them will appreciate what its CEO and co-founder, John Mackey, said in a recent podcast interview.

The “socialists are taking over,” he warned. “They’re marching through the institutions. They’re taking everything over. They’re taking over education. It looks like they’ve taken over a lot of corporations. It looks like they’ve taken over the military, and it’s just continuing.”

He continued:

“I feel like with the way freedom of speech is today, the movement on gun control, a lot of the liberties that I’ve taken for granted most of my life, I think are under threat,” Mackey said.

Will his customers listen? Do they even care?

Starting with a staff of just 19 people, Mackey and three business colleagues in Austin, Texas, started Whole Foods in 1980. A college dropout, the self-proclaimed free-market libertarian and his partners struggled to make a go of the natural food grocer. In the first year, a devastating flood destroyed all $400,000 worth of food in the market. Uninsured, they leaned on the kindness and grace of creditors and neighbors to rebuild and relaunch the company.

Last year, Whole Foods, which is now owned by Amazon, reported $17 billion in revenue.

Though a “Democrat socialist” in high school, Mackey has been called a “Right-Wing Hippie” today. He clearly defies stereotypes.

During his podcast interview with Reason, the chief executive also lamented the work ethic of the rising generation.

“Younger people aren’t quick to work because they want meaningful work,” he said. “You can’t expect to start with meaningful work. You’re going to have to earn it over time … they don’t seem like they want to work.”

“Meaningful” work can be a matter of perspective, of course. As a Christian, I see God’s hand in all the work I do. It may not have been glamorous, but I ultimately saw value and worth as a custodian at my church in high school. Ditto for delivering newspapers, mowing lawns and working retail.

But Mackey’s dire warning about socialism’s creep should be a wake-up call to those still dozing or deliberately ignoring this dangerous and destructive ideology.

If we should have learned anything since communism went from a theory to the foundation of a tyrannical government following the Russian Revolution in 1917, it is that communism and its cousin socialism did not create utopias. Instead, they brought nightmares to life.

By any objective standard, communism and socialism have destroyed economies, left people impoverished and sometimes starving, and brought about brutal dictatorships that deprived people of the precious freedoms guaranteed to Americans under our Bill of Rights – including freedom of speech, of the press and of religion.

The old saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely has proven true again and again around the world wherever Marxism has been embraced.

“Do not be fooled when you hear promises of a kinder, gentler socialism—even if its earnest proponents mean it when they make their promise,” urged Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary and a former Focus on the Family board member.

“The coming socialist storm lies before us. The battle of ideas never ceases. The Christian defense of liberty calls us—and there is much hard work for us to do.”