Posts Tagged Jay Richards
The books I read in 2011 are listed below (alphabetically by author).
I didn’t read as much as I would’ve liked in 2011, and I also didn’t write about what I read as much as I would’ve liked. I hope to provide more reviews and “nuggets” from these books in the upcoming year, as many were impactful in the development of ideas discussed on this blog.
Here were some of my favorites:
- The Victory of Reason – Rodney Stark
- For God So Loved, He Gave – Kelly Kapic & Justin Borger
- The White Man’s Burden – William Easterly
- Living in God’s Two Kingdoms – David VanDrunen (enjoyment does not equal agreement!)
- Money, Greed, and God – Jay Richards
- The Holy Spirit in Mission – Gary Tyra
What did you read? What were your favorites?
Jay Richards recently wrote a fascinating piece for The American, in which he argues that many of the “preconditions of wealth creation” are immaterial and spiritual, contrary to many of our materialistic assumptions.
Alas, humans have long been ignorant of what is necessary for wealth creation to occur, and modern-day perceptions have unfortunately leaned toward the common materialistic superstitions of the past.
As Richards explains:
For most of human history, discovering the sources of wealth creation would have been devilishly hard, since most economies, such as there were, tended to be static. If a Mesopotamian farmer or Greek shepherd in the second century BC ever asked, “Where does wealth come from?” he would have assumed that wealth came from rain, common labor, good luck, or some combination of these. He probably also would have assumed that to get really wealthy, you need to plunder other people.
Thankfully, we don’t need to plunder other people in order to create wealth, whether on our own or through the government. In fact, plundering people doesn’t achieve much of anything in the long run.
Instead, we should focus on getting the proper immaterial preconditions in place. When that is the case, wealth creation will begin foster in a way that is truly beneficial for all (…even for the would-be plunderers).
Richards provides a list of ten specific items that he believes lead to healthy preconditions for wealth creation. “The more of these a culture has or does,” says Richards, ”the more likely it is to be prosperous.”
Here is the list (and I quote):
- Establish and maintain the rule of law.
- Focus the jurisdiction of government primarily on Read the rest of this entry »
Jay Richards is the author of a book called Money, Greed and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem, in which he argues that capitalism is completely consistent with Jesus’ teachings and the Christian tradition as a whole.
I haven’t read the book yet, but am a frequent reader of Richards’ writings on the Enterprise Blog.
I came across this video over the weekend, and although it’s a bit long, I encourage you to take the time to watch it.
What I found most striking was Richards’ discussion of self-interest vs. selfishness, which is a topic I have often discussed on this blog (particularly in my review of Ron Chernow’s Titan).
Richards notes that self-interest must be properly ordered, and when it is, we will realize that our families, our neighbors, and our communities are all in our self-interest. Selfishness, on the other hand, is “disordered” self-interest. For example, I may choose to commit adultery, and although such an act would be an act of selfishness, I would clearly not be acting in my holistic, long-term self-interest. I would end up feeling Read the rest of this entry »