21 April 2014

Bavinck on Inequality: Jean vs. Jean

Cover Art

From Herman Bavinck's essay "On Inequality" in his collected essays:
Through this confession [of God's providential ordering of all things], which only a strong generation can accept, [Jean] Calvin taught his followers first of all acceptance, submission, and contentment in times of struggle and oppression. However, few people today will thank him for this.
In contrast,
Sowing discontent and systematically goading people to be hostile toward all prevailing conditions and arrangements are held in much higher esteem by many. [Jean-Jacques] Rousseau is their great example, for he is the one who, blaming everything on society and culture, made people proud and rebellious, but he also caused them an endless series of disappointments, for revolution that runs counter to nature is a sword that always turns against the one brandishing it. 
What Bavinck observes about political life could be applied to economic life dominated by the spirit of consumer capitalism. Simply add "marketing" to "revolution" and you have the driving force of late modernity: discontent.

No comments:

Post a Comment