Behind the Headlines

  • Envy

    February 3, 2012
    written by

    In response to:

    "What the Bible Teaches about Capitalism"
    Wall Street JournalJanuary 30, 2012

    “Within [the Judeo-Christian ethos] resides a ringing endorsement of
    capitalism as a moral endeavor.“

    Not something you hear every day. And that is too bad, because Americans need to be reminded of the perspective Rabbi Aryeh Spero offers in this Wall Street Journal op-ed. Rabbi Spero reminds us of the fundamental importance of personal responsibility—which is, not coincidentally, one of ISI’s six principles of a free society—and the corrosiveness of envy. He also points out that the Judeo-Christian tradition is not hostile to the free market or the profit motive: “The Bible speaks positively of payment and profit: ‘For why else should a man so labor but to receive reward?’ ” (The claim that the Judeo-Christian tradition demands support for the welfare state or socialism is one of the many myths debunked in the Tom Woods book Back on the Road to Serfdom.)

    Rabbi Spero concludes on this stark (and important) note:

    “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.”

    The views and opinions expressed in Behind the Headlines content do not necessarily represent those of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

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