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eyes black and white

Gluttony

The Deadly Sin of Gluttony does not consist in eating a lot. It consists in consuming more than you can afford. In harsher times, that did mean Death indeed — yet an indirect Death that had to be warned about for it wasn't obvious to the naive and the ignorant. In modern times, consuming more than you can afford still means Death, but in a yet more indirect way, that requires oh so bigger warning. There are enough interpersonal safety nets and economic interconnections that Gluttony is not usually deadly at a personal level — but it remains Deadly, and how Deadly, at a societal level. Gluttony is socialism and everything left wing: denial of scarcity, spending as if from an infinite barrel, "unblocking" the manna from above. But the manna isn't from above, it's the blood and sweat from the producers being oppressed, and the more they are oppressed the less they produce, until the very richest country in a continent (Rhodesia, Venezuela) becomes the very poorest, and people starve and die.

The big mistake that modern people make with respect to their ancient predecessors is not disagreeing with them — it's failing to understand them. Our ancestors weren't more stupid, naive or credulous than we are. Their disadvantage compared to us is that they lacked the accumulated product of thousands of years of riches, of wisdom, of experience, of technology, of social skills — in a word, of capital — whether material or human.

Comments

Socialism is not the only glutonny

Madison Avenue has encouraged the mindless and unending consumption - far beyond anyone's rational needs and desires. Encouraged it beyond all reason and even to the point of going massively in debt for years and even decades to consume more and more. This is clearly Gluttony. In the US at federal level over $20 trillion of debt. But private debt is over twice that. Clearly that pattern cannot continue without disaster.

IMHO another gluttony is so many people I know getting caught up in endless video games to the detriment of their health, work, relationships and gaining what they actually value. The games do a great job of rope-a-dope. Other variants include social media and binge TV watching.

Knowing what one really wants and seeking only that as efficiently as possible is a wisdom that is seldom seen. And much of our world at all levels, including the political, fights against achieving it.
eyes black and white

July 2018

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