When I wrote WORSHIP OF THE GOD OF STUFF — A reblog, I got an interesting comment that inspired this reblog. It reminded me that some smart people who really should know better cannot figure out the difference between the government dole and honest charity. So it is that generosity with “other people’s money” is destroying our country.
The government dole stems from covetousness, not charity. Covetousness violates the 10th commandment.
Exodus 20:17 New Revised Standard Version
You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND GOVERNMENT — PART 2 represents my meager effort to explain the intersection of the 10th commandment and government. Keith DeHavelle, not a religious person, approaches the subject from a different direction. Nevertheless, it is well worth seeing where he ends up.
Some random thoughts on free enterprise, expanded from a comment to yesterday’s post.
Does free enterprise, usually called “capitalism” because of Karl Marx’s influence, depend upon greed? No, in fact. The expression “it depends heavily on greed” is counterfactual in my opinion. Consider:
If I want to make money in the free market, I must serve my fellow humans in a manner they find valuable. I can natter on about how much I want all day, and it will avail me nothing.
Only if they value the good or service or labor, and feel that it benefits them, will they ignoretheir greed and help me reach my goals.
All transactions in the free market, from paying or working for a wage, to inventing and selling a product, to providing a service from home cleaning or health insurance, is a win-win as long as it is a voluntary transaction by both parties and uncorrupted by government coercion.
The result of these win-win transactions is added wealth, innovation, and most cruciallyknowledge — knowledge shared, either directly or because it is built-in to the product, service or labor we provide each other in opposition to any greed we might feel.
The difference between how we live now and a thousand years ago, or a hundred thousand years ago, is knowledge. We are physically and mentally essentially the same over those time spans, but free enterprise has brought us into a new world to the great benefit of society.
The growth of knowledge happened despite government domination for millennia, and made slow, incremental progress. In China, for example, it was a capital offense for hundreds of years to know how a water-clock worked. As each dynasty was replaced, the ministers who could build and maintain the clocks were often simply executed. And they started over.
Knowledge is not just power, it is wealth and well-being. And it has been been the reason that governments and would-be tyrants like Marx and his disciples worked to concentrate knowledge into the hands of a few “masterminds” at great cost to society. And the proponent of these systems often describe them as “altruistic.” (continued here)