Basil of Caesarea: Rich Right of Preemption

Posted by admin on Sunday, July 17, 2016

Basil of Caesarea Money Quote saying the rich take what they wish a claim they own it simply because they have possession. Basil of Caesarea said:
 
rich do. They seize common goods before others have the opportunity, then claim them as their own by right of preemption Quote
 

“This is what the rich do. They seize common goods before others have the opportunity, then claim them as their own by right of preemption” — Basil of Caesarea

 

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In this quote, St. Basil of Caesarea is criticizing how the wealthy acquire and accumulate resources. The best interpretation is:

  • St. Basil observed that rich individuals would quickly lay claim to valuable common assets, goods or opportunities before others had a fair chance.
  • By being first and fastest to seize such things meant for public/community use and benefit, the rich would then assert that these things rightfully belonged to them through “preemption” or prior appropriation.
  • St. Basil saw this as an unjust means for the advantaged to monopolize prospects and increase their wealth at the expense of others having a fair opportunity.
  • The overall message is one of social justice – St. Basil believed the wealthy unfairly exploited their advantage and speed to corner benefits that should be available to all, not just those able to outcompete others through preemptive actions alone.

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