Peter Maurin: It’s John Calvin’s Fault

From our friends at Radical Discipleship, another one of Peter Maurin’s “easy essays.”

Peter Maurin, co-founder of Catholic Worker Movement

1. When John Calvin
legalized money-lending at interest,
he made the bank account
the standard of values.

2. When the bank account
became the standard of values,
people ceased to produce for use
and began to produce for profits.

3. When people began to produce for profits
they became
wealth-producing maniacs.

4. When people became wealth-producing maniacs
they produced too much wealth.

5. When people found out
that they had produced too much wealth
they went on an orgy
of wealth-destruction
and destroyed
ten million lives besides.

–Peter Maurin, Easy Essays

2 responses to “Peter Maurin: It’s John Calvin’s Fault”

  1. It’s an interesting question, Joe. I have not seen an annotated work of Maurin’s Easy Essays. He was such an expansive European intellectual! My guess is that Maurin’s referring to those who died during the Protestant Reformation in Europe. But your question reminds me of the section on John Calvin in Micheal O’Siadhail’s book The Five Quintets.

  2. What is the history behind the 5th line’s reference to wealth destruction & “destroyed” 10 million lives? The Irish Famine?

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