Robert Hickson on the ‘Vitality of Mammon’

Robert Hickson’s piece, “The Vitality of Mammon in the Decline of a State,” has been archived on the Culture Wars site:

The historic Christian Faith and the historic reality of Christian culture – Christendom – from the outset rebuked with severity, and aptly punished, those who “trafficked in spiritual things.” The hucksters of Simony and Usury were condemned and often shunned, because the things of the spirit were understood to be qualitative matters, and quantitative judgments did not apply.

The essential principle is that “there is an inherent incommensurability between Spirit and Mammon.” There is no common measure – no fungibility – between Spirit and Money, or the Inordinate Rule and Love of Money. This distinction is still somewhat preserved in the Academic differentiation of the Liberal Arts (Artes Liberales) from the Practical or Servile Arts (Artes Serviles); and also in the incommensurate differentiation between an Honorarium (as a gracious recompense for an intrinsically unrepayable debt of gratitude) and a Wage (due in justice).

Mammon itself – not just “the Mammon of Iniquity” – was therefore seen to be a disordered desire (libido) or destructive (and self-destructive) concupiscence. Mammon was, also, often personified as an idol, or a false god, in various admonitory Parables and even in lighter Satires and forms of playful Humor.

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