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Russell KirkAvarice, 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.

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1 reply to this post
  1. Greed is the desire for the unearned. Avarice, as Mr. Kirk so excellently defined it, is another sort of sin that however closely related to greed may or may not be simultaneously present with its sister sin.

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