Incentive is a great thing. It inspires people to do more than they may have done. Those who innovate, work extra hard, study for a long time, or even just persevere in the face of improbability should and usually do get their reward. The private pools, expensive cars, fine dining and travel that accompany money are a necessary part of a society trying to move forward. Truly, capital is an engine that propels us.
But should that engine lead us or control us? To put things in a more ancient vernacular, Capitalism is an ox. If you are a solitary family farmer, even if you have nothing else, you might have an ox to help you break up the ground, to plow that field. Its brute strength is just like what you may get with a tractor— raw force. The ox is strong. The ox is valuable. Your use of that ox gets you more crops than you would have gained solely with the strength of your arms and legs.
However, the ox doesn’t eat at your table. The ox doesn’t decide when you work or when you get up, and doesn’t sleep in your bed. The ox, god bless it, is just a tool.
Capitalism is a tool like that ox (though less adorned with fur and animal innocence, and more endowed with gold-plating). Capitalism will help you plow that field. But to live according to precepts that say Capitalism should be given unlimited free reign and should be the guiding force in people’s lives is to worship that dumb ox.