Corn, Capitalism & Compassion

2012 January 31

After the Pilgrims experienced cold and starvation, in 1623, William Bradford wrote in his history Of Plimouth Plantation:

So they begane to thinke how they might raise as much corne as they could, and obtain a beter crope than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in miserie….

And so ended their experiment with communal living. Upon assignment of land to each family, the Plymouth Colony began years of prosperity. Bradford commented:

The experience that was had in this comone course and condition, tried sundrie years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanitie of that conceits of Platos & other ancients, applauded by some of later times;—that ye taking away of propertie, and bringing in comunitie into a comone wealth, would make them happy and florishing; as if they were wiser than God.

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal Rabbi Aryeh Spero has some insightful statements of the impact of our Judeo-Christian heritage on America’s prosperity. I don’t agree with all he writes, and some of the article is simply an endorsement of Romney, but he has some things to say that are important to highlight and remember this campaign year in the continuing drumbeat of distortion that comes from the Left about the inherent principles of who we are as a nation. He first discusses the Bible’s valuation of work and  goes on to say:

The Bible is not a business-school manual. While it is comfortable with wealth creation and the need for speculation in economic markets, it has nothing to say about financial instruments and models such as private equity, hedge funds or other forms of monetary capitalization. What it does demand is honesty, fair weights and measures, respect for a borrower’s collateral, timely payments of wages, resisting usury, and empathy for those injured by life’s misfortunes and charity.

These concerns of the Bible are in regard to how you work and how you treat your fellow man in need; these are qualities of character. Its commands regarding hard work, sound ethics, and compassion rather than contempt or selfishness, are not an endorsement for socialism. Spero nails the “religious” left, who, in my opinion, isn’t very religious, but instead cherry-picks and distorts various Bible passages. He comments:

Many on the religious left criticize capitalism because all do not end up monetarily equal—or, as Churchill quipped, “all equally miserable.” But the Bible’s prescription of equality means equality under the law, as in Deuteronomy’s saying that “Judges and officers . . . shall judge the people with a just judgment: Do not . . . favor one over the other.” Nowhere does the Bible refer to a utopian equality that is contrary to human nature and has never been achieved.

I’ll add that the “religious” left likes to justify socialism by dragging out verses from the fourth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts on early Christians having all things in common and giving their land sale proceeds to the apostles for the care of the needy. Their actions, however, proceeded from their hearts, and in Acts 5 it’s clear these acts were done voluntarily and without compulsion. Peter’s condemnation of a couple in Acts 5 was for lying and not for refusing to sell and give what was theirs. In Acts 5:4, Peter said:

“While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

Spero finishes his column by writing:

The motive of capitalism’s detractors is a quest for their own power and an envy of those who have more money. But envy is a cardinal sin and something that ought not to be.

God begins the Ten Commandments with “I am the Lord your God” and concludes with “Thou shalt not envy your neighbor, not for his wife, nor his house, nor for any of his holdings.” Envy is corrosive to the individual and to those societies that embrace it. Nations that throw over capitalism for socialism have made an immoral choice.

And I’ll finish with these words of the prophet Micah, found in Micah 6:7:

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Our inability to do this is a discussion for another time, but this is God’s standard, and it’s not a socialist utopia.


Via Jim Hoft: Aryeh Spero, “What the Bible Teaches About Capitalism,” The Wall Street Journal.

49 Responses leave one →
  1. 2012 January 31 1:28 pm
    justrand permalink

    Excellent piece, INC.

    The “allegedly religious” Left is simply trying to leverage Judeo-Christian philosophy to justify their Marxist ambitions.

    And on the subject of “corn”, I recall we had a thread a year or more ago on “Seed Corn”…maybe time to resurrect that, since “eating our seed corn” is EXACTLY what the Left’s pets, OWS, are demanding!

  2. 2012 January 31 1:42 pm

    Thanks, JR.

    The Left opportunistically seizes upon the failure of individuals to love kindness and show compassion, and insists the only solution is socialism based upon their unconstrained vision of man. They deny any inner flaws as the cause of either envy or lack of compassion.

    Things I mentioned above have been frequently discussed, but I liked the WSJ piece, and after a comment of Wiley’s brought Thomas Sowell to mind, I wanted to bring again to the front the Left’s distortion of our Judeo-Christian heritage.

  3. 2012 January 31 1:43 pm

    The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more. ~~~Henning Webb Prentis, Jr., President of the Armstrong Cork Company.
    March 18, 1943

  4. 2012 January 31 1:46 pm

    I’m also kind of sick of the primaries, and wanted to give my brain and blood pressure a break before I plunge into writing about or discussing them today!

  5. 2012 January 31 1:47 pm

    ip, if I had a like button I click it +1000000.

    Thanks for citing the man who said that. I’ve seen the quote before, but I didn’t know its origin.

  6. 2012 January 31 2:01 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    James 3:13 —

    Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

    Seems it would exclude the riotous OWS crowd.

  7. 2012 January 31 2:07 pm

    Well, at least the first part is applicable to the OWS!

    Seriously, I’ve loved that passage for many years, and it’s stopped me short a number of times.

  8. 2012 January 31 2:15 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Been my watchword for years INC. It hurts for many is the time I bite my tongue a little too hard. But I don’t regret it later.

  9. 2012 January 31 2:30 pm
    JustMary permalink

    I loved this, INC!

  10. 2012 January 31 2:49 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Unfortunately, as a nation, we have let ” government compassion” destroy us. In the mid 1960s we instituted the “Great Society,” which had several goals: 1) taking care of Democratic voting blocks, 2) strengthening federal control and 3) actually trying to help people to live a better life and succeed.

    The exact opposite occurred, particularly in the black community. “Government compassion” resulted in the death of the black family unit. In 1960 22% of black children were born out of wedlock; today the number is over 70%.

    The end result is similar to that of the Plimouth Plantation. Some people worked hard and made a major contribution, while others did little and lived off the efforts of the hard workers. One major difference is that the colonists quickly discovered the system wasn’t working and put an end to it. We are on the fourth generation of people who can survive fairly well not working, but living off the sweat of others.

    In fact, we have expanded the pool of non-workers to include non-citizens and are now to the point where 53% of the people who pay federal income taxes are supporting the 47% who do not pay taxes.

    And “government compassion” isn’t simply limited to liberal Democrats. Exhibit A: George W. Bush.

    The problem is that no one, including the GOP Presidential candidates, have the courage to cut to the heart of the matter and reverse course. Any of the three sane candidates will simply slow the demise … and not attempt to dramatically change course.

  11. 2012 January 31 2:57 pm

    Between Scylla and Charybdis

  12. 2012 January 31 3:01 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    No knock raids need to be outlawed —

  13. 2012 January 31 3:01 pm


  14. 2012 January 31 3:02 pm

    Thanks, Mary.

    BC, the Great Society, et al., was compassion by coercion which IMO isn’t compassion.

    The Dems, assisted by a complicit media, are masters at the PR of whitewashing.

    They always make me think of the old Three Dog Night song, Easy To Be Hard, about those who care only about a faceless crowd, but ignore the friend they know face to face.

    Of course, I don’t think the Dems even care about the faceless crowd.

  15. 2012 January 31 3:06 pm

    And I agree that GWB completely missed it on this. His “compassionate conservatism” is now used to slam social conservatives. It was also compassion by coercion.

  16. 2012 January 31 3:07 pm
    drdog09 permalink

  17. 2012 January 31 3:07 pm



  18. 2012 January 31 3:08 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Speaking of the “beloved” MSM, I doubt you’ll be reading about this other than the Washington Examiner and conservative blogs.

    Obama refers to Georgia as Russia:

    President Obama mistakenly referred to the nation of Georgia as “Russia” after a bilateral meeting with the Georgian president — an unfortunate slip-up, given that the president was celebrating 20 years of Georgian independence from Soviet rule.

    “[O]ne of the first things that I did was express my appreciation for the institution-building that’s been taking place in Russia — in Georgia,” Obama told reporters following a meeting with Georgia’s President Saakashvili. Moments earlier, Obama had noted that it was “a wonderful occasion to have him here as we’ll be celebrating this year 20 years of independence for Georgia and the eighth anniversary of the Rose Revolution.”

    Georgia was conquered in 1921 when the Soviet Red Army invaded the country. Three years ago, Russia invaded Georgia as part of a territorial dispute that has simmered since Georgia regained independence after the Communist empire collapsed in 1991

    Imagine the fun the media would have had if any Republican had said that.

    At least he didn’t refer to it as South Carolina or Alabama.

    Hat tip: Washington Examiner

  19. 2012 January 31 3:08 pm

    Post 16 is good news.

  20. 2012 January 31 3:09 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #12 Ohmygosh. I cannot even imagine. Furthermore, I don’t think my pit mix would appreciate those circumstances very much, and would probably have been killed in a similar circumstance. No way he would have just peed himself and cowered. Jerks. I am not normally one who advocates suing agencies like that, but I would sue the snot outta them.

  21. 2012 January 31 3:10 pm

    One wonders who the wizard behind the obammer curtain really is.
    This empty suit is wandering around in alice’s wonderland.

  22. 2012 January 31 3:14 pm

    Perhaps forcing the authorities to post a million dollar bond before raiding a residence, to be forfeited(tax free) to the homeowner,if they get the wrong address. Said bond funds to come out of pay increases for overzelous brown shirts.

  23. 2012 January 31 3:33 pm
    brucefdb permalink

    Rush tipped his hand as to who he voted for today in Florida at the end of his show, something he has never done.

    Here are his last remarks:

    “I’ll tell you one thing that’s gonna happen in Florida tonight if the polls are right. And I say ‘if the polls are right.’ If the polls are right, the combined number of votes Santorum and Gingrich will be larger than the number of votes Romney gets, and that’s gonna tick people off. ‘Cause what it’s gonna say is the conservative vote is stronger.”

    “If the conservative vote were unified behind one candidate and stayed that way, then Romney would be beat. But the conventional wisdom that Santorum’s voters would go Gingrich? I’m not so sure.”

    “You know, I sometimes ask myself, why do people not see Obama for what he really is? And I have to realize, 40% of the country want what he’s offering.”

    “Everybody is guilty of some transgression against conservatism, except Santorum.”

    Read the whole segment if you like:

  24. 2012 January 31 3:39 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #23 WOW!!!!!! Michelle endorsed Santorum either yesterday or the day before.

  25. 2012 January 31 3:40 pm
    justrand permalink

    IP, your comment #17 is true…but really, it’s becoming:

    We The People===Eloi

    The only “silver lining” is that folks like the OWS’ers will get eaten first.

  26. 2012 January 31 3:47 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Well looks the Mack’s game plan for Florida vis a vis Col. West has backfired. On the reelect West will run for the open 18th district seat, not his current one. Take that GOP Establishment!

  27. 2012 January 31 3:49 pm

    Santorum had some votes I didn’t like, and I do consider his endorsement of Arlen Specter to be a transgression against conservatism.

    They do pale in light of things the other candidates have done.

  28. 2012 January 31 3:49 pm
    justrand permalink

    just read the “no knock” story. WTF?????????????

    This paragraph stuck out at me:
    She believes it took about three minutes for them to saw a big rectangle through the door, then kick in the center. “

    Folks, about 10 seconds into that “three minutes” I would fire ONE warning shot, and unless a flurry of believableFBI…DEA…Police“, etc came back I would start firing through the door. Yes, I do know the likely outcomes all around would be awful for all concerned.

  29. 2012 January 31 3:49 pm

    Dr. D., good news!

  30. 2012 January 31 3:50 pm

    JR, I’m surprised she didn’t at least get to the phone.

  31. 2012 January 31 3:54 pm
    justrand permalink

    I’ve liked Santorum all along…but his debate performances were awful up until the last couple.

    Sadly, I don’t see Newt dropping out to combine forces.

    AND…the media is ready and EAGER to paint Santorum as a cross between Cotton Mather and Carrie Nation.

    We’ll see…

  32. 2012 January 31 3:57 pm
    justrand permalink

    indeed, INC…I really shudder to think of a “no knock” raid on my house.

    It would be in error, of course, unless the authorities are still pissed about that parking ticket I got at the KC Airport in 1978…

  33. 2012 January 31 4:03 pm
    justrand permalink

  34. 2012 January 31 4:06 pm

    That tingle running down his leg was grey matter.

  35. 2012 January 31 4:06 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Warning shot? I was taught by my dad if you have to draw the bead on a human there are no social graces about it. If the situation is dire enough you have to consider such an action there is no quarter.

    Here’s what I don’t understand. Is this FBI SOP? If it is they are nuts! For a right handed person to wield a chain saw he essentially is placing his body center mass right in front of the door. Assuming a 6′ individual a three group in the top center of the door has them nailed.

  36. 2012 January 31 4:06 pm
    bc3b permalink

    drdog09 –

    Only 47 signs that China’s economy is beating ours? I can think of at least 100 myself.

  37. 2012 January 31 4:07 pm
    bc3b permalink

    The Florida polls have just closed. Do you want a separate thread or just continue this one?

  38. 2012 January 31 4:10 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    BC, not closed yet. The panhandle is on Central time. They have another hour to go….

  39. 2012 January 31 4:11 pm
    judyt2012 permalink

    excellent Inc

  40. 2012 January 31 4:11 pm

    essentially is placing his body center mass right in front of the door. Assuming a 6′ individual a three group in the top center of the door has them

    They probably stand to the side, same as they do when using the battering ram.

  41. 2012 January 31 4:17 pm
    bc3b permalink

    I never knew any part of Florida was on Central Time. You learn something every day.

    I just looked at a map and the westernmost part of Florida is as far west or farther west than the westernmost part of Michigan, which is the westernmost state in the Eastern Time Zone.

    Sorry for overusing westernmost.

  42. 2012 January 31 4:19 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Yep. Once you get about an hour west of Tallahassee the rest of the state is CT.

  43. 2012 January 31 4:23 pm

    Thanks, Judy.

  44. 2012 January 31 4:23 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    They probably stand to the side, same as they do when using the battering ram.

    They could do that on the first cut, left side of door. But the article said they cut a square. I would love to see a right hander handle a chain saw on the reverse cut. The grip on the control bar will be across their body with no control and the top bar will be in their weak hand. Wrong move and the saw will be in their face.

  45. 2012 January 31 4:23 pm
    judyt2012 permalink

    I lived in Pensacola/on Perdido Key for about 3 months in 2003 and another 2 months in 2005.

  46. 2012 January 31 4:58 pm
    justrand permalink

    drdog…I put the “warning shot” thing in so Mrs. Justrand wouldn’t freak out! 👿

  47. 2012 January 31 4:59 pm
    justrand permalink

    the Florida Panhandle played a role in Bush v. Gore 2000. The networks called Florida for Gore…one hour before the Panhandle closed.

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