Saturday, July 11, 2009

the greatest privilege of the rich

Teresa at Making Light: Numinous collisions quoted this from The Poverty of Michael Novak:
Novak assures us … that capitalism is not all about greed but is romantic, it involves noble sentiments of the human heart like the yearning for innovation and human creativity. “In actual capitalist practice, the love of creativity, invention, and groundbreaking enterprise are far more powerful than motives of greed,” he writes.
That bit about romantic capitalism nagged at me. This was my first reaction at Making Light:
Someone's cribbing from a note about feudalism. There's always romance at the top of a system.
A few hours later, I added this:
Just found what that reminded me of. I've been reading Tristram Hunt's Building Jerusalem. He says of Sir Walter Scott's feudal fantasies, "It was the close-knit society conjured up in Ivanhoe and the Waverly novels in which the romantic development of individual character stood paramount." Perhaps the greatest privilege of the rich is they can imagine any damn thing they please about how the world is.
The Poverty of Michael Novak is short and well worth a read. I'm very fond of Catholics who understand that Jesus didn't preach obedience to kings, priests, and corporations.