Tawney sketch

If men are not intrinsically of equal worth, as Christianity teaches, why should rewards not go to the brightest and best citizens, without regard for the resulting gap in living standards between them? And why think it bad, as Tawney did in stressing dispersion of power, that certain people should have the power of live and death over others?

If it is not in men’s nature to need and cooperate with his fellows, why put special value on solidarity, and consider it regrettable that people are not within reach of each other? If there is no reason, based on the doctrine of God the Creator, for man to respect nature as sacred, why should he not endlessly exploit nature for material progress, at least until he has so fouled his cosmic nest that prudence dictates curtailment?

Ross Terill on the foundations of R.H. Tawney’s Christian Socialism in R.H. Tawney and His Times: Socialism as Fellowship.