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Inequalities Are the Base and Bond of Society

In these days when equality is exalted by the Modern World as a kind of religious principle to which everyone must submit, it seems opportune to present this teaching of one of the great Saints and Doctors of the Church, St. John Chrysostom, which states precisely the opposite. Inequalities are good because they reflect the wisdom and providence of God as well as provide the base for society to live and progress. There is no doubt that these are useful thoughts for traditionalist Catholics and counter-revolutionaries.

St. John Chrysostom

Regarding the inequalities that we see among the rich and poor in this world, the enemies of piety construct an argument against Divine Providence. But if they were to make due use of their reason, they would realize that this same inequality is the base and the bond of human society. Indeed, it is inequality that binds one man to another, causing them to render mutual services to each other.

Inequality is the source of work and industry; because of it from childhood the children of the poor learn a trade; it is by the hands of the needy that the houses and cities are raised, paid for by the wealthy. It is inequality that defies the tempests in the person of the audacious sailors who, cutting the waves with the fragile bows of their ships, carry food and merchandise to the most distant countries, communicating with them and sharing the fruits of the earth among all.

What would happen to society if all men were equally wealthy? No one would work, no one would dedicate himself to manual labor; the fields would be uncultivated; laziness would reign in the cities: commerce, industry and all the arts would perish.

Is there still someone reproving Divine Providence for not having made all men equally wealthy?

Nothing proves Her wisdom and efficacy in the means She uses to govern human society more than this reciprocal dependence She establishes among the children of Adam through inequality of fortunes. To eat, to farm his lands, to dress, to travel, in short, for everything, the rich needs the assistance, abilities and good will of the poor, in such a way that the rich could neither live nor enjoy life unless he is sustained by the poor.

If it is not Divine Providence, then who is it that tightens this firm and indissoluble bond through which the poor lives from the recompenses of the rich, and the rich from the perspiration of the poor? This is a motive to praise Her, exalt Her and admire Her.

Her foolish detractors must be silent and hide their arrogant faces in the dust.

(St. John Chrysostom, apud Juan Manuel Berriozabal,
La Providencia - Pensamientos escojidos de las obras del Santo,
Buenos Aires: Ed. Cultural, 1943, pp. 42-44).

Posted May 24, 2008

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