THE GOOD WILL IS CREATIVE
When the conscience of western civilization outgrew the conception of property which it had inherited from the old pagan order it was natural that the moral pendulum should swing from the old extreme of slavery and paternalism to the ideal of poverty. The new virtue of poverty was a protest against an outgrown conception of property.
But to set apart the will, the heart, the motive, from the material interests of life, to make the inner disposition independent of the world of property, was to leave the world of property outside the sphere of morality. Such a dualism made the will unreal and standardless and deprived it of the content which was necessary for its functioning. To define the moral will as independent of the world of property may have been a strategic move forward at the breaking down of the pagan régime; but to continue this ideal is to cultivate economic and moral chaos. The ethics of the inner life although it seems to have been a step backwards was in reality laying the basis for a great moral advance. The virtue of poverty taught western civilization a profound lesson in the ethics of property--the lesson that only those material interests have moral worth which are organized about a moral will. Only