7 Russell Kirk Quotes on Economics
Editor’s Note: In recognition of the centenary of Russell Kirk’s birth, we present Russell Kirk Week here at FORMA. All of this week’s content will be free.
Solomon the Wise seems to eschew pursuit of wealth in his biblical writings while, at the same time, promising it as a blessing that accompanies righteous conduct. Russell Kirk embodied that proverbial balance in his approach to property and economics. For Kirk, private property was society’s means of dignifying human makers as bearers of the divine image. On the other hand, production and consumption are not the ends for which society existed, nor are they ends that can be pursued without regard for “the permanent things”—the moral virtues, respect for the natural world, and duty to one's neighbors. The following selections express Kirk’s estimation of prosperity as an indicator of a healthy society. He believed that the way a people generates their wealth (and how they treat the poorest among them) reveals their allegiance to the transcendent moral order upon which every enduring society must be founded.
Sean Johnson teaches humanities at Trinitas Christian School in Pensacola, Florida. He is the Reviews Editor for FORMA.