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.

Books on or by Dr. Kirk may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an e-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, Paul Elmer More, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism (Visit our Bookstore to find books by/about these men) .

We address a wide variety of major issues including: What is the essence of conservatism? What was the role of faith in the American Founding? Is liberal learning still possible in the modern academy? Should conservatives and libertarians be allies? What is the proper role for the American Republic in spreading ordered liberty to other cultures/nations?

image_pdfimage_print
"All comments are subject to moderation. We welcome the comments of those who disagree, but not those who are disagreeable."
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.

Leave a Reply