St Basil of Caesarea: Sufficiency & Wealth

Posted by admin on Sunday, October 7, 2012

St Basil of Caesarea Money Quote saying equality of riches is only possible if we believe that everyone should have their needs answered. St Basil of Caesarea said:
 
If every man took only what was sufficient for his needs, leaving the rest to those in want, there would be no rich and no poor Quote
 

“If every man took only what was sufficient for his needs, leaving the rest to those in want, there would be no rich and no poor” — St Basil of Caesarea

 

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In this quote, St Basil of Caesarea is envisioning a society with more equitable distribution of resources. The best interpretation is:

  • St Basil believed that if every person only took what they needed to live comfortably and meet their basic needs, without excess or overconsumption, then there would be enough for all.
  • And if people left the surplus beyond their needs for those who lack necessities, i.e. practiced greater charity and sharing with the less fortunate, then there would be no extreme divisions between rich and poor.
  • St Basil saw poverty as an artificial construct that could be eliminated if wealth was more evenly circulated from those with abundance to cover everyone’s essential needs, rather than some living far beyond their requirements while others struggle.
  • The overall message is one of social justice – St Basil advocated for a more compassionate and sufficient system where no one goes without life’s basic requirements due to an inability or unwillingness of others to share unneeded surplus wealth.

1% Own Half the World's Wealth by Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune


 

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