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September 10th, 2010 9:05 pm
The Capitalist Parable

Here’s another proof that the most insightful thinking on the Right usually comes from those outside the political establishment.  Fr. James Schall, a political science professor at Georgetown University, draws out an important lesson from a familiar story in the Gospel of Matthew.  Known as “The Workers in the Vineyard,” this narrative of Jesus’s shows the owner of the vineyard paying the same daily wage to laborers who worked different amounts of hours.  When the workers who had labored the longest complained to the owner – a symbol of God – he asks the grumblers why they think he shouldn’t be generous.  Per Schall:

Modern theories of society hesitate to allow room for generosity. The owner’s property does not belong to him; it belongs to the community. Here, everyone gets only what is just. No room for generosity is allowed. All ownership that would allow for generosity is unjust. The early workers were deprived of what was rightfully theirs, even if they agreed on a set wage for the day.

In a state built on “rights” and “justice,” we find little room for generosity and abundance. Everything is controlled by the state. No one receives more than others. Envy rules. The capitalist parable, as I call it, when spelled out, deals with God’s ways with us. We can save our souls to the very end, even the worst of us. What is it to me, who have borne the heat of the day? In the divine owner’s contract with us, we must accept one condition, namely, His generosity. Many a just man refuses it. He will work forever only on his own terms.

Conservatives often intone the superior virtue of the private sector in healing the ills of society.  How refreshing to read an interpretation of Scripture that evidences the claim’s truth.

H/T: Jared Watson

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