Compulsory wealth redistribution brings no benefit to society

MY counsels are not as your counsels, nor are my ways as your ways, saith the Lord.

But as the heaven is distant from the earth, so is my way distant from your ways, and your thoughts from my mind.

Isaiah 55:8-9.

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THE press has deliberately chosen to ignore how Greece got here and why they are having such troubles.

Sure, the press (and the Greeks themselves) have already laid the blame at banks, and politicians and to be sure these institutions and people are certainly a significant part of the problem.  They are also blaming the US, Germany, the dollar, oil prices, and lack of tourism as well.

What is ignored in all of this reporting is what has really caused this mess in the first place.

The underlying and foundational problem is socialism.

“Going for really broke” in the “American Thinker” blog.

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SOCIALISM: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

(Merriam-Webster)

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An icon of St John Chrysostom (c. 349–407)

St John Chrysostom (c. 349–407): “Far from bringing moral benefit to society, it would actually do moral harm”.

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SHOULD we look to kings and princes to put right the inequalities between rich and poor?

Should we require soldiers to come and seize the rich person’s gold and distribute it among his destitute neighbors?

Should we beg the emperor to impose a tax on the rich so great that it reduces them to the level of the poor and then to share the proceeds of that tax among everyone?

Equality imposed by force would achieve nothing, and do much harm. Those who combined both cruel hearts and sharp minds would soon find ways of making themselves rich again.

Worse still, the rich whose gold was taken away would feel bitter and resentful; while the poor who received the gold from the hands of soldiers would feel no gratitude, because no generosity would have prompted the gift.

Far from bringing moral benefit to society, it would actually do moral harm.

Material justice cannot be accomplished by compulsion, a change of heart will not follow. The only way to achieve true justice is to change people’s hearts first — and then they will joyfully share their wealth.

St John Chrysostom, Collected “On Living Simply” by Robert van der Weyer, Sermon XLIII. Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

See “Chrysostom on the Poor” at the Acton Institute Power Blog, where this passage is quoted along with some useful extra remarks. Hat-tip, The Handmaid.

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A prayer for Greece and her people.

HAIL, pure Mother of God, inexhaustible fount of goodness, protection and fervent defence of the Orthodox, and comfort in afflictions.

For in you, All-unblemished, we always take refuge, and by your grace we truly obtain salvation, peace and redemption.

Therefore we praise the wonders of your divine Protecting Veil and we magnify, O Maiden, the acts of compassion of your foreknowledge, through which you ever save from disasters of every kind those who have put their trust in you.

Feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God. Translation from Anastasis.

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