The exact wording as per the King James version is"Thou shalt not
covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife,
nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, ... nor any thing that is
thy neighbor's." This is instruction for a group of people on mostly
the same level as to wealth and power. As such it is good advice. The writer tries to bring this principle into the modern world, and I
don't think it really works. I think what he's saying is: "when
material desire gets extreme then that is covetousness." It doesn't
work for me. In the modern capitalist system the drive to maximize profit is
visceral. It's like "maximize profits or die." So we have the
wholesale offshoring of jobs to take advantage of super low wages and poor
working conditions. This is devastating to both the foreign labor exploited and
domestic labor which is out of work, often permanently as far as desirable work.
This doesn't fit into the tenth commandment.
To try to get real here, I wonder if the writer would consider a CEO pay package
in excess of $20 million per year to be evidence of covetousness. You see the
10th commandment just doesn't translate into contemporary capitalism.
Marxist. I think you overlook that class warfare, a powerful tactic of the left,
is an excellent example of covetousness.
Boy, this is a lot of works to say that you should work hard, be ethical, and
try to find a balance between work, and your personal life.
Not necessarily true.Businesses are not simply satisfied with
current business.They see the entire market, they see the potential
of growth, and then plan and seek to monopolize a;; of it.i.e., Covet the sales and business of competing businesses.it's not diven by "sharing", it's driven by greed and
envy.I'm not only not going to give MY busiesses to others, quite the contrary, I'm going to do everything in my power to take
and steal your business away from you.Hence --breaking the
I think we all know people who spend 5 or 6 days "coveting" things in
their career or business then go to church on Sunday to ask for forgiveness.
The most honorable, decent people I have known in my life spend 7 days a week
coveting nothing and done it without the need for organized religon.
It's thought crime. You can be convicted by this commandment of thought
airnaut. Obviously you have never run a business. Competition drives creativity
which increases invention, production and generates prosperity! If that were not
true, 3rd world nations would all be rich, but they are not.
RE: "But what does it mean to win"? The beauty of
"business" is... it's not a zero-sum game.Meaning
somebody else doesn't have to fail for you to win (so no coveting
needed)You don't have to take away somebody else's
customers to be successful. You can create new customers.When
Apple came out with the iPod some thought it would destroy the music industry...
but it didn't, it actually grew it.When they invented the
iPhone... some thought it would destroy other cell phone companies. But it
didn't. All cell phone companies have grown since then (not just
Apple).When they invented the iPad some thought the PC industry was
over (instead they BOTH grew).Starting UPS/Fedex/etc didn't
steal somebody's slice of the pie... the whole pie grew.You
don't have to destroy the competition to win.... you have to invent.Inventing creates NEW customers (It doesn't steal somebody
else's customers). Innovators focus on growing the whole pie... not just
taking somebody elses slice of the old pie...Covetous
people/companies are like the dog with the bone that sees his reflection in the
As seen through the eyes of the non-believer, the only commandment given to life
is the commandment to survive. That's because it is the only main
overriding drive visible to us in the real world. To covet is to seek the
better way and is thus the built in desire to survive by seeking the best.
In the natural world our bodies tell us of the things we need to do to prolong
and make pleasant our life. When we need more oxygen, we breath harder. When
we thirst, we want water. When hungry we eat. All of the things our body tells
us is for our betterment. Given that God created us so, why would he burden us
with desires and wants that do us harm? The Ten Commandments,
purportedly given by God, are mostly negative to the natural body needs and
wants and involve things not to do to make us better.
2 bits. When you say "You can create new customers", where
do they come from? Do you import them. Do the current customers get a raise in
pay that makes them buy something else with there money, in addition to the
things they already are buying? Do people still buy buggy whips?Perhaps they just borrow more money on their Credit Card. And wind up not
being able to buy the things they should.
The 10th Commandment has a fair degree of correlation with Envy (of the 7 deadly
sins). In 21st Century America, it could equate to its a sin to
"Keep up with the Jones'"
Coveting is not the same as greed. Greed says, "I want A Ferrari" while
coveting says, "I want YOUR Ferrari." Greed only cares about
himself and can't even imagine any other motivation even though there are
millions of people working for combinations of motivators. Wall
Street only understands greed and right now they are just trying to get as much
as they can before the next collapse they cause. They take greed even farther by
making sure others won't be able to achieve anything behind them.
Ultra Bob,Possibly a new concept for you anti-business guys. Creating new
customers doesn't mean creating new people. It means attracting people to
your product or service that may have not been interested before.Like the iPhone. People who didn't want a cell phone before entered the
market, more people wanted them. Other phone makers picked up their game too.
And their business didn't suffer, it increased along with Apple's
(Samsung, android technology, etc).Companies like Send Out Cards (in
Utah).. didn't take customers from Hallmark Cards, etc, as these companies
worried they may do at first, they made the pie bigger (people who didn't
send cards before started sending them, and people who only sent a few each year
started sending a lot). Things like that. It doesn't have to
be a zero-sum game.... You have to try to grow the pie (the customer base) by
attracting people to your product or service that weren't in the market for
it before.Whether they use a credit card or not is up to them (not
I love this writer. He turns the absolute prohibition on covetousness into
"don't take it too far." With this philosophy, we could all steal,
skill and commit adultery as long as we do so in a "balanced" way.
Re: ". . . I wonder if the writer would consider a CEO pay package in excess
of $20 million per year to be evidence of covetousness."To quote
the fount of all wisdom and knowledge -- The Princess Bride -- "You keep
using that word [covetousness]. I do not think it means what you think it
means."Whatever the size of a CEO's package [certainly no
double entendre there], covetousness arises from those who see it and want it,
or, in the proud marxian tradition, to make sure no one else can have it.Not from anything inherent in the package, itself.
2 bits.The vast majority of people spend, use all their money and do
not have any money laying around waiting for new and better products. When a
new and better product comes into their lives they will switch their buying from
the old to the new. The won't buy both. Cell phones are so important to my
family that every other thing suffers by having less money, even food.
Herewith some Marxist theory to see if it can explain covetousness:For working class people the economic flow is C-M-C. Such sell their labor,
first C to get money M to buy commodities with which to survive, the second C.
This is essentially steady state, there is no accumulation.For
capitalists the flow is M-C-M'. Where the first M is an accumulation of
Money. This is invested to buy machinery or increase inventories, C. The goal
is to create M', which is equal to the original M plus an increment. This
increment is profit. Here we have accumulation.Is the desire for
accumulation and profit covetousness? The writers of the ten commandments never
anticipated the world in which we live.
@Ultra Bob,RE: "The vast majority of people spend, use all their money
and do not have any money laying around waiting for new and better
products""...So where did all those millions of people who
already had cell phones come up with the money to buy iPhones?And
where do they get the money to buy each new one as it comes out?Even
most "poor" people, even most kids without jobs... have an iPhone now
days.====If nobody has any unused money... were did
millions of people get money to buy iPods and iPads when they came out
(obviously they found the money).===I'm just
saying... you don't have to import new people to create new customers or
consumers of your new product or services... it's better to grow the pie...
not just shift it.It doesn't have to be a zero-sum thing. When
you innovate... people who didn't have or want what you invented now want
it (whalla... new customers from the same people)...
Re: "Is the desire for accumulation and profit covetousness? The writers of
the ten commandments never anticipated the world in which we live."Actually, the Writer of the Ten Commandments perfectly anticipated the world
in which we live."Covetous" is a well-defined English word
with a near-universally accepted meaning -- "having or showing a great
desire to possess something, typically belonging to someone else." So,
suggesting that "accumulation" now somehow now shares its meaning with
"covetous" is simply corruption of language for political purpose. Like
calling a marxist nation "Democratic Republic of . . . ."In
other words, newspeak.By the way, Orwell's anti-stalinist
Animal Farm foreshadows the inevitable outcome of this line of reasoning --
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
Our system works as long as there is honesty and integrity. When we reach a
point where we all can see how unbalanced everything is, it is time to think
about what is right. Just because we can legally do something, doesn't mean
we should! It is reaching a point where many people are not being treated like
they should. Just because someone doesn't have money, doesn't mean
that they are lazy. People are not bad just because they are rich. People on
both sides take advantage! I do have a cousin that I grew up with that has never
wanted to work her entire life! When we had to work in the orchards as kids, she
would sit down and wine after an hour. She wouldn't work the rest of the
day and expected to get the same money as the rest of us! As an adult, she is
worse! Even family members run from her because all she wants is to sponge
money! I think, that when we truly care about others, much of the coveting
disappears. We find ways to make things fair and we help those who truly need