Avarice, rather, is desiring more wealth than one’s soul can support properly. Avarice sometimes produces present poverty: the miser, proverbially, is ragged and lean. And I am afraid that when our politicians and planners and sociologists talk of output and distribution and real wages, they are not so much intent upon relieving genuine poverty as upon satisfying the dreams of avarice. They are not thinking so much of a just and contented America as of a shimmering and strident America. They are not really interested in patching the tarpaper shanty in Mecosta County; they would prefer to rip down the shack, pack its inhabitants off to Detroit or Flint, put them into state-subsidized housing, find them a television set to keep them out of mischief and vagrant fancies, and set them to work upon industrial production. Who will miss the second-growth spruces and the little lake in the barrens once he gets his new Ford? This, in essence, is the future which ‘capitalists’ and socialists and ‘communists’ all are arranging for us. It may be an efficient program. It is not a human program. It does not try to plumb intangible longings; it endeavors to satisfy the dreams of avarice. But avarice is insatiable.
The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.
We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an online journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts, and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More, and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude, and prayer.