Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Offsite Post: ‘Is Economic Development the Most Important Thing in Society?’


During Moon Griffon’s Monday radio program (11 Dec. 2023), he recounted what he’s seen on recent trips to Texas and Tennessee.  He sounded downright captivated by the large numbers of ‘young professionals’ and ‘construction cranes’ he saw; he proclaimed over and over again that economic development is the ‘engine’ of a State’s ‘train’.  Someone listening would come away with the idea that nothing is more important to a community of people than her economy.

Is that the case?  Some simple thought experiments will tell us.

Suppose Louisiana’s GDP were growing at 5% per year, but that this led to a massive influx of rude, know-it-all, Left-leaning Yankees from Boston, Mass., and Portland, Oregon, etc.  Would we be content with such a situation?

Suppose Louisiana’s GDP were growing at 10% per year, but that this led to a massive influx of people even more culturally different than Yankees, such as Indonesians, Turks, and Somalis.  Would we be content with such a situation?

Suppose Louisiana’s GDP were growing at an astounding 20% per year, but that all this material abundance caused most of the population to reject the Christian Faith.  Would we be content with such a situation?

Obviously, some things are more valuable than the economy.  Louisiana could learn some indispensable lessons from Europe in this regard.  Because of extremely low birth rates, European countries have opened their borders wide to attract cheap Asian and African labor to prop up their economies (and there are more sinister motives, too); the results have been devastating:

Mass migration over the past two decades has changed the character of Western European societies. Last year net immigration to the UK reached a record 745,000. In the once-isolated and homogenous Republic of Ireland, one in five of today’s residents was born abroad. These sorts of seismic demographic changes inevitably raise concerns about how our countries and communities are being changed, and why. They threaten to alter the meaning of citizenship, of our stake in society. . . . To live in a multi-cultural society, however, under divisive rules and self-loathing laws imposed from the top down, feels more like a denial of the national culture and established values that held people together. The woke EU elites are not merely oblivious to these popular concerns. They have actively sought to weaponise mass migration as a political and cultural ‘wedge,’ to weaken Europe’s traditional national and community loyalties.

A talented writer/analyst Perrin Lovett reminds us, ‘The three pillars of Western Civilization are Christianity, the Greco-Roman legacy, and the heritage(s) of the European nations.  Let us beware.

Holy men down through the centuries have also warned about the negative effects of desiring money, comfort, etc.  A recent saint, St. Theophan the Recluse (+1894), warns us,

Woe to those who are rich, who are full, who laugh, and who are praised. But good shall come to those who endure every wrongful accusation, beating, robbery, or compulsory difficulty. This is com­pletely opposite to what people usu­ally think and feel! The thoughts of God are as far from human thoughts as heaven is from the earth. How else could it be? We are in exile; and it is not remarkable for those in exile to be offended and in­sulted. We are under a penance; the penance consists of deprivations and labors. We are sick; and most useful for the sick are bitter medi­cines. The Savior Himself all of His life did not have a place to lay His head, and He finished his life on the cross — why should his followers have a better lot? The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of preparedness to suffer and bear good-naturedly all that is sorrowful. Comfort, arro­gance, splendor, and ease are all foreign to its searching and tastes. Its path lies in the fruitless, dreary desert. The model is the forty-year wandering of the Israelites in the desert. Who follows this path? Ev­eryone who sees Canaan beyond the desert, boiling over with milk and honey. During his wandering he too receives manna, however not from the earth, but from heav­en; not bodily, but spiritually. All the glory is within.

A much older saint, St. John Chrysostom (+407), who remains nevertheless one of the greatest preachers of the Church, adds to that his own warnings about aspirations for wealth in his commentary on St. Paul’s First Letter to Timothy:

 . . .

The rest is at https://thehayride.com/2023/12/garlington-is-economic-development-the-most-important-thing-in-society/.


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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