Against God and Socialism 22

It is human nature to be selfish. If we weren’t selfish we wouldn’t survive. If we didn’t eat when we were hungry, warm ourselves when we were cold, seek cures for our illnesses, defend ourselves (and our children and our life-sustaining property), we’d die out pretty damn quick. Or rather, we would never have come into existence as a species at all.

We are most of us capable of sympathy with others, and we often willingly give away a thing we own to another person. Some are altruistic. A few will even give up their lives to save the lives of others. Nevertheless, we are all naturally and necessarily selfish.

Christianity and Communism require human nature to change. As it can’t, Christianity’s commandments to love our enemies and forgive those who do us harm turn many a person of good will and high aspiration into a hypocrite if not a corpse. Communist theorists have never settled the question of whether human nature must change so that the Revolution can take place, or whether the Revolution must take place in order for human nature to change. Of course it will never change, but there’s no stopping the collectivist dolts arguing about it.

Capitalism works well because it is in tune with our nature. Adam Smith called it “the natural order of liberty”. Everyone selfishly desires to provide for his needs. To pay for what he wants from others – services and goods – he has to provide something that others will pay him for. Millions do it, and the result is prosperity. Capitalism is an abstract machine most beautiful to behold in the wonder of its workings. When individuals have the incentive to achieve, acquire, and enjoy something for themselves, they’ll go to great lengths to afford it. They’ll compete with each other to provide what others want, toil to make it the better product, and set the price of it lower. The best is made available at the least cost. Everyone is both a taker and a giver, and everyone benefits. True, not everyone’s effort always succeeds, but nothing stops anyone from trying again.

Of course capitalism isn’t a remedy for every ill and discontent. But a capitalist society offers the best chance to an individual to make the best of his condition – being alive – which presents him with a tough challenge – to stay alive for a few score years, and make those years as good as his energy, cunning, and adaptability to conditions outside of his control (plus his statistically likely share of luck), can help them to be.

In a capitalist society no one has a fixed place, whether below, in the middle, or on top. A person can rise, sink, or stay. A truly capitalist society is necessarily a free society in which no one is prevented, by some ruler or ruling clique, from bettering his lot, striving, succeeding, or failing.

Capitalism is the enemy of that God of whom all the children in the British Empire used to sing at morning prayers in school assemblies before the Second World War:

All things bright and beautiful,

All creatures great and small;

All things wise and wonderful,

The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,

Each little bird that sings,

He made their glowing colors,

He made their tiny wings.

The rich man in his castle,

The poor man at his gate,

He made them high and lowly,

He ordered their estate.

The children were being taught to be content with everything as it was, trusting that God the ruler up there, all wise, permanent and unchallengeable had ordained how everyone had his fixed place and should stay in it, and because He had ordained it, it must be perfect. The recognition that such a God was an indefensible authoritarian, a whim-driven cosmic dictator, an unjust and arrogant tyrant, came – perhaps unconsciously – to the choosers of Anglican hymns only after a few of the earth’s dictators had been trounced in a prolonged and terrible blood-letting.

But then Socialists took over from God. They decided what was best for humanity. They established the Welfare State. No rich men in castles, no poor men at gates. The State would provide every citizen with depressing accommodation, dull food, health care if he were judged worthy of being kept alive, indoctrination in schools. Though the Socialist State is a slave society, the citizens are not called slaves but Social Security Recipients, National Health Patients, Students, Workers. The belief of their rulers is that they’ll be content because the State provides them with “everything”; they’ll be grateful for the food however poor, the unit in the tower block however depressing, the bed in the hospital however filthy, the indoctrination however boring. The great thing about it, to the collectivist mind, is they won’t have to strive to keep alive. And no one will have cause to pity or envy anyone else, since no one will have less or worse, or more or better – except of course the rulers up there, all wise, permanent and unchallengeable who ordain that everyone else has his fixed place. They reserve plenty, choice, comfort, luxury, information, and power to themselves.

The recognition that such a State is counter to the human instinct for freedom – call it “selfishness “ if you will – should have come to every sane adult the world over when the Soviet Empire crashed. The idea of Socialism should have died then. But if it did, it was only for a short time. Like the Christian God, it rose again, and lives now in the White House, an administration indefensibly authoritarian, whim-driven, unjust, and arrogant.

Selfish human nature with its instinct for liberty, its impelling desire to possess what is good for it materially and mentally, is the force that can and must defeat it.

 

Jillian Becker   April 29, 2011

  • Jillian

    While still awaiting answers to my questions, Grig035, I will comment on your latest  comment – 

    “I utterly fail to see how dependency on the churches is somehow better than dependency on government!”

    You fail to see the difference between the voluntary and the enforced?

    Try. 

     

  • Jillian Becker

    Grig035 –

    In addition to my last reply to you, I want to say this – 

    You seem to be implying certain ideas along these lines: 

    People should be altruistic.

    People cannot be altruistic (or even generous and kind) if they are not religious and don’t believe in God.  

    The state should be altruistic.

    If I’m wrong, please correct me.  If I’m right, please explain why you hold such views, and in the case of the state, what system would make this possible.  

       

    • Grig035

       “People should be altruistic.”

      Social cultures tend to work better when a significant portion of
      individuals act altruistically from time to time, yes.  As one who views
      evolution as a proven fact, I find it significant that a number of
      peer-reviewed evolutionary biologists, like SJGould, DSWilson, EWilson
      et al, now show us that for all sentient species, those herds – or
      flocks, or prides or whatever — with a significant portion of
      altruistic behavior among their members tend to last longer.

      “People cannot be altruistic (or even generous and kind) if they are not religious and don’t believe in God. ”

      Good question that deserves a detailed answer.  No, anyone can act
      altruistic enough if they harken to their finer instincts.  An atheist
      can be just as altruistic as, less altruistic than, or more altruistic
      than a theist.  The distinction lies elsewhere: All the counter-cultural
      atheist pioneers who have actually introduced/pioneered atheism in
      uniformly theistic cultures, and who have coupled some counter-cultural
      social ethic with their pioneering non-belief, seem to fall into a
      similar pattern.  To wit, whether it’s Brihaspati in ancient India,
      Critias or Diagoras in ancient Greece, or Meslier in pre-revolutionary
      France, their pioneering social ethic seems always aimed at getting back
      at someone rather than elevating all to an equal level.  By contrast,
      all pioneering counter-cultural takes on deity seem aimed at an equally
      counter-cultural (for their time) degree of social consideration for
      those too uniformly left to languish neglected.

      This doesn’t mean that all atheists are thoughtless and all theists
      selfless.  After all, there have been cruel theists like Gregory IX and
      Torquemada and humanitarian atheists like Bertrand Russell.  So theists
      and atheists are both equally thoughtless/selfless as a group.  Instead,
      the pattern in the previous paragraph suggests that the initial
      self-started inception of a thoughtless resentful social ethic seems
      somehow tied symbiotically to an initial skepticism towards the notion
      of the divine, while the initial self-started inception of a selfless
      egalitarian social ethic seems somehow tied symbiotically to an initial
      sense of the divine.  It is ironic that it’s frequently the case that
      these connections can get reversed among followers, with lockstep
      followers of the prevailing theistic creed sometimes becoming among the
      most thoughtless and resentful of all, and those who see a logic in the
      pioneers for atheism sometimes developing an egalitarian outlook towards
      all in society, an outlook consistently at odds with those less
      thoughtful social types who are always, not just sometimes, the
      introducers of atheism in their cultures.

      Having been both an atheist and a liberal activist for equal rights for
      most of my adult life, my reading of the original texts relating to the
      earliest atheist pioneers and their uniformly resentful social outlook
      gave me a nasty shock.  I felt it was hypocritical of me to be an
      equal-rights activist but to dispense with the chief historical and
      philosophical foundation of the liberal point of view once I had taken
      the trouble to read up on what that historical/philosophical foundation
      was: That philosophical foundation views each of us as having a spark of
      God in us, and therefore in viewing all as our brethren, we are
      naturally responding to the sanctity of each human being as still a
      carrier of the same divinity that makes us all equal.

      Now plenty of us can still be quite altruistic and be wholly atheists
      and be sincere in both.  I just personally prefer to know where,
      historically/philosophically, my own ideas that we all are each other’s
      brethren ultimately derive.  Having made that discovery through pretty
      intense and thorough reading, frankly, I realized I had to choose
      between my atheism and my equal-rights activism.  I chose the latter,
      largely because of SJGould, DSWilson, EWilson, etc., whose rigorous
      scientific conclusions seemed to point to some degree of altruism being
      intrinsic to the social health of any sentient species.

      If altruism is as socially healthy and essential as these modern
      researchers seem to show, it seemed unwise on my part to abandon it. 
      That meant, then, that in staying true to the view of altruism as a
      fixed social imperative for all sentient species’ survival, I had to
      take the notion of the divine seriously too, once I saw the symbiotic
      relationship between that notion and the notion that altruism is central
      to being a complete human being.

      I still don’t take any one religion all that seriously, because
      religions are institutional and not based on personal
      experience/enlightenment.  But the outlook of individual pioneers like
      Buddha, Socrates and Christ are based on personal
      experience/enlightenment and therefore worth more of my respect than the
      self-serving mumbo-jumbo of many a monk and priest.  I’m comfortable
      with my choice as being an entirely logical one for me.  That doesn’t
      make others who are still both atheists and equal-rights activists at
      all hypocritical.  Their equal-rights activism is still just as sincere
      as ever.  By analogy, one can use one’s eyes just as well to see things
      clearly, regardless of whether or not one knows the full intricacies of
      various aspects of the retina, the cornea, or the iris, and the full
      mechanisms by which these components allow us to see.  I simply choose
      to learn all that instead and to make logical choices once learned. 
      Others needn’t do that.  And they don’t lose their integrity by not
      doing that — nor do they see any more poorly by not knowing the
      mechanics of seeing.

      You, like me, have made a very straightforward choice, one borne out by
      thousands of years of human thought.  You conclude there is nothing
      divine at all, and so each human being can fend for her/himself, with no
      moral or philosophical claim on humanity as a whole for her/his
      assistance.  Logically, I cannot fault that, even though it does not
      reflect the interdependent ethic that largely skeptic scientists like
      SJGould, DSWilson, EWilson, etc., seem to show works better for the
      stability and longevity of any sentient community.

      “The state should be altruistic.”

      Rather let’s say that the culture should be altruistic, given the
      sobering findings of the scientific researchers that I cite above; and
      that means that if the government is to reflect that culture — and I
      feel that any truly representative government should reflect its culture
      — then the government should be prepared to act altruistically as a
      last resort given some special emergency (like a tsunami, etc.).  That
      also means that in an altruistic culture, more lives will be saved if
      the culture as a whole has already encouraged a degree of citizen giving
      beforehand so the government can then act more effectively once/if some
      catastrophe hits.  It makes sense for the government to have an
      emergency fund available if, and when, and maybe.

      Stone

      • Jillian Becker

        Thank you for your thoughtful reply. 

        I’ve read it with interest, and hope our readers may find it interesting too. 

      • Keith

        I believe true altruism is giving of one’s self or property voluntarily.

        Churches are altruistic with money that is given by their members either freely or possibly induced to do so by guilt.

        The state is altruistic with money , by threat of force, taken from its citizens. Our constitution  forbade re-distribution even as an act of altruism.

         I disagree that a government should reflect culture. The government should be the unchanging beacon we can use to reset our course when we drift off. 

        • Grig035

          “Our constitution  forbade re-distribution even as an act of altruism. ”

          Show me where exactly our Constitution says that.

          Stone

        • Keith

          In response to Grgo35 I offers these:

          “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” -Benjamin Franklin“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816“A wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” -Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” -Thomas Jefferson“When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” -Thomas Jefferson to Charles Hammond, 1821. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, ME 15:332“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” -Thomas Jefferson, letter to E. Carrington, May 27, 1788“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.” -John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, elaborated upon this limitation in a letter to James Robertson: “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison stood on the floor of the House to object saying, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” -James Madison, 4 Annals of congress 179 (1794)“…[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” -James Madison“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.” James Madison, “Letter to Edmund Pendleton,” -James Madison, January 21, 1792, in The Papers of James Madison, vol. 14, Robert A Rutland et. al., ed (Charlottesvile: University Press of Virginia,1984).“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.” -James Madison, Federalist No. 58, February 20, 1788“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” -James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788

          The constitution forbids federal altruism by not enumerating it as one of its powers. The constitution is very specific about the powers of the federal government and re-distribution of wealth for whatever reason is not one of its powers. States, on the other hand can do what they want individually. If a person does not agree with his state he is free to leave that state. If he does not agree with the federal government he has no such option which is why the federal governments powers were limited. 

          I am all for altruism on an individual basis and if the states set up their own emergency fund that is perfectly legal. But when the federal government set out to be altruistic where does it stop? Obama recently said that he wasn’t sure if the government was going to be able to send out the 71,000,000 checks it sends out each month because the government may default. In a country of 350,000,000 that is a lot of federally sponsored altruism. Keep in mind we borrow money to keep sending these checks out which is why they want to increase the debt ceiling so we are now being altruistic with borrowed money. Where does it stop?

        • Keith

          Sorry about the formatting in the following response. It looked good when I wrote it but posting eliminated the spacings between the quotes. The content is there but it makes it hard to read. 

  • Jillian

    Grig035 –

    To take your second question first: 
    “Welfare” did not have the  meaning in the 18th century that it acquired in the 20th century. “Promote the general Welfare” –  the phrase in the preamble of the Constitution  – meant “promote the general well being,” “do what is good for the citizenry as a whole”. The rest of the Constitution sets out (brilliantly) how that aim, along with the aims of providing for the “common defence” and securing “the blessings of Liberty”, can and must be done. Only a hundred years or so later  did “welfare”, in a political context, come to mean money and services provided by the state out of the public purse. (I don’t see what this has to do with where I am from. Everyone should know the US Constitution. But I have no objection to revealing that I am British by nationality and have lived in the US for nearly five years as a “resident alien”, a legal immigrant.)  

    Now to come to your first question: 
    I’m not sure what it is. Are you asking whether if someone is on his last legs through age or incapacity and needs some material help should the state give it? Or do you mean should charitable individuals give it?  
    If it’s the state you’re meaning: I don’t think it is the proper business of government to support the citizens. No doubt there is a small percentage of people in every nation who are totally unable to support themselves and have no one related to them who can or will support them. But to shape an entire economy to provide for this small minority is absurd. 
    If you mean does every individual have a moral duty to support people other than himself and his natural dependents, that is a matter of opinion.
    Do I think people should not do so? Not at all. In a free society each person may do with his own money whatever he likes. 
    There are so many millions who maintain that “the haves” should share their material wealth with the “have nots”, that the “have nots” would surely be showered with largesse. 
    The Christian churches might take on the role of supporting the helpless. They hold charity to be a high – according to St. Paul the highest – value. They’re dedicated to the business of philanthropy. Why should they not become the established agency of redistribution from the voluntarily generous to the needy?       
     

    • Grig035

      If some church group came around with some charity at a time when some disaster has destroyed your home and killed your entire family, would you take their assistance?

      There are some who feel that religious institutions should be allowed to disappear entirely, either through attrition or through other processes.  Your telling me that there are some things that religious groups can do
      tells me that you think religious groups are still of some practical
      value(?).  If there were no religious groups, what is the equation for my next question:

      If an entire city is virtually crippled by some natural disaster, and the populace is teeming with entire families who are desperate for assistance (like the Japanese tsunami), should the government not step in?

      If you still had a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and your family with you — all in a seriously stricken community, say Joplin Missouri — would you go help your neighbors, and if so, why?

      Stone

      • WLIL

        I think if we as nonbelievers were  to live  an insecure or an unstable life with almost no opportunity to improve  and get no  help from the dysfunctional state in an unhelpful rich nonwhite country with a backward goverment that seems to mix their unstable islamic religion with politics,  we as individual disadvantaged nonbelievers would be less likely to want to help anyone because we cannot afford to help and cannot afford to reach out to foreigners or neighbours. I think many people from religious or nonreligious organisation helped with a motive, good or bad, because it benefit them or expect something in return or to show that they have the upper hand or because they want to show off their individual or religious socalled kindness or because they are part of an organisation or because the religious organisation imposed on them and not because of some genuine altruistic reason. I think religions need to be reformed to be less oppressive and less deceiving to us nonbelievers. There should be more options and more social organisations for us nonbelievers.  

      • Keith

        I am not sure where this is heading but I’ll answer your question with my experiences after Katrina.
        After I was allowed back home to gather belongings I found my home wasn’t as badly damaged as most. Power had been restored so I decided I was going to stay and get started on rebuilding. I spent a week clearing debris from my yard and repairing my roof damage. Slowly my neighbors started to return and I helped them with their debris removal and repairing their damage. As more neighbors returned we all helped each other. We shared food, tools and labor. The only assistance we got from government was the constant patrols by law enforcement to protect us from looters and we were appreciative for that.
        Why did we help each other? I don’t know if I even thought about it at the time but we all shared in the misery of the storm and helping each other out felt as natural as breathing. 
        Did you know that there are still areas of New Orleans that are just as they were after the storm? FEMA made promises to demolition of structures not capable of being rebuilt. When people realized that they could have FEMA do their work for them they stopped any efforts to help themselves and got on the list. They are still waiting.

      • Jillian

        To take your paragraphs in order: 

        Help offered when one urgently needs it? Likelihood is, anybody would accept it from any quarter. What of it?As long as the churches are there, and claim to be charitable, they may as well make themselves useful. Should the government step in to do what? Rebuild people’s homes? Certainly not. Or are you talking about emergency aid – shelter, food, medicine? Unless the whole country has been wrecked (in which case the government is crippled too), there’s no reason why private enterprise should not supply what’s needed – and do well out of it. Private money is not destroyed by earthquakes or tsunamis. Access to it may be. That means credit must be allowed as always. What I personally do, or would do, for my neighbors under any circumstances has nothing to do with political principles. I find boasting about being “more caring than thou” repulsive.        

        • Grig035

          “As long as the churches are there, and claim to be charitable, they may
          as well make themselves useful. Should the government step in to do
          what? Rebuild people’s homes? Certainly not.”

          I utterly fail to see how dependency on the churches is somehow better than dependency on government!

          Stone

    • Grig035

      If some church group came around with some charity at a time when some disaster has destroyed your home and killed your entire family, would you take their assistance?

      There are some who feel that religious institutions should be allowed to disappear entirely, either through attrition or through other processes.  Your telling me that there are some things that religious groups can do
      tells me that you think religious groups are still of some practical
      value(?).  If there were no religious groups, what is the equation for my next question:

      If an entire city is virtually crippled by some natural disaster, and the populace is teeming with entire families who are desperate for assistance (like the Japanese tsunami), should the government not step in?

      If you still had a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and your family with you — all in a seriously stricken community, say Joplin Missouri — would you go help your neighbors, and if so, why?

      Stone

  • Ah yes, Jillian! Splendid!  Thank you for telling me about this article. I have not been reading Atheist Conservative regularly lately and have missed some gems such as this! 

  • Ralph

    Left wing(progressive) atheists accept the altruism of christianity, but reject christianity and god. The sincerest form of hypocrisy is in the mind of a liberal atheist.

    • George

      Yep , you’re right Ralph. It amazes me when I hear liberal atheists say that we cannot be both conservative and atheist claiming that the two don’t go together. Not only are they hypocrites but they are intentional liars and deceivers to promote their dubious PC agendas.

      • Grig035

        As an unabashed liberal theist myself, I hardly consider myself an intentional liar or deceiver, nor do I view liberal atheists as such either (one of whom happens to by my own brother, BTW).  But in one respect, you are quite correct.  That is, Jillian Becker’s column happens to be in the oldest atheist tradition of all, and those who can’t see how that’s possible are merely ignorant of history.  The earliest extant articulator of the atheist perspective — and one whose articulation of that perspective helped initiate a whole philosophical school, named Lokayata — was Brihaspati, an ancient Indian sage from ca. 600 b.c.e.  His social ethic was also quite blunt and is found in the oldest extant direct quote from his reflections. —

        “Gifts of gold and land, the pleasure of invitations to dinner, are devised by indigent people with stomachs lean with hunger.
        “‘The building of temples, houses for water-supply, tanks, wells,
        resting places, and the like, please only travelers, not others.”

        A word here as to historic context: Just as the Pentateuch preserves the description of the Jewish custom of “gleaning” — mandating that the corners of people’s fields be left untouched, in order to leave “gleanings” of one’s produce for those who are homeless and indigent — ancient Indian customs included occasional general feast invitations by those who were wealthy, extended in general to all in the neighborhood.  Likewise, water and shelter were set aside for the homeless at temples and at other spots where wanderers might be around.  Brihaspati considered all this a pointless waste of effort.  Looking at the context where his remark is quoted (in the Sarvasiddhantasamgraha), one can extrapolate that he viewed such provisions for the down-and-out as part and parcel of other irksome customs derived primarily from religious mores (like certain ascetic practices [“Agnihotra ritual, the three Vedas, the triple staff, the ash-smearing”], etc.)

        Stone

        • Jillian Becker

          Grig035, please see my reply to your comment on “Godless: the Church of Liberalism”. 

          Here I want to say that we at TAC like to issue and receive invitations to dinner, and welcome all gifts of gold and land although we are not lean with hunger. We also appreciate abundant water supply and resting places at all times, not only when we are traveling. 

          But seriously –  I think the point of your quotation is that charity is wasteful? We prefer the idea of charity to the idea of state-enforced redistribution. But the giving of alms does not solve the problem of poverty. It rewards it and sustains it. It  is not a solution, and it postpones the finding and implementing of a solution by the recipient. 

          So if the Indian sage you write so tantalizingly about was both an atheist and against supporting poverty, you have introduced us to a like-thinker, and we thank you.    
            

        • Grig035

          I appreciate Ms. Becker’s succinct reply.  If I may —

          “But seriously –
           I think the point of your quotation is that charity is wasteful? We
          prefer the idea of charity to the idea of state-enforced redistribution.
          But the giving of alms does not solve the problem of poverty. It
          rewards it and sustains it. It  is not a solution, and it postpones the
          finding and implementing of a solution by the recipient. 

          So if
          the Indian sage you write so tantalizingly about was both an atheist and
          against supporting poverty, you have introduced us to a like-thinker,
          and we thank you.    ”

          As a matter of fact, I have concluded that he is a like-thinker, yes.  And yes, Brihaspati is apparently saying that charity is indeed wasteful.  This raises an inevitable question — and I think we can assume I will not be the only one to raise it.  Ms. Becker states of charity that —

          “It  is not a solution, and it postpones the
          finding and implementing of a solution by the recipient.”

          So then, in the event that the finding and implementing of a solution by the recipient is not yet achieved at a point where the life of a potential recipient is ultimately endangered, does your equation change?

          Also, the thought occurs to me that if you are from the U.S.(?), you are likely to be fairly conversant with the U.S. Constitution.  Instead of reiterating what you believe to be various misinterpretations from the recent and distant past, how do you personally choose to read the direct “welfare” references that are there in the Constitution?  Or do you feel the Constitution is misguided in referencing that matter at all?  Thank you.

          Sincerely,

          Stone

  • George

    The following are quotes from Winston Churchill regarding socialism :

    ” If I were asked the difference between Socialism and Communism , I could only replythat the Socialist tries to lead us to disaster by foolish words and the Communist could try to drive us there by violent deeds. Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the State. Government of the duds , by the duds , and for the duds. No socialist system can be established without a political police.
    Socialism is the philosophy of failure , the creed of ignorance , and the gospel of envy. It is not alone that property , in all its forms is challenged by the fundamental conceptions of socialism.
    ” All men are created equal ” says The American Declaration of Independence.
    ” All men shall be kept equal” say the socialists.
    Some see private enterprise as a predatory animal to be shot, others look on it as a cow to be milked but a few see it as a sturdy horse pulling a wagon If you destroy a free market, you create a black market. The vice of capitalism is that it stands for the unequal sharing of blessings, whereas the virtue of socialism is that it stands for the equal sharing of misery. Socialism assails the pre-eminence of theindividual. It is better to have equality at the price of poverty or well- being at the price of inequality ? ”

    The following are quotes from Winston Churchill regarding Leftists.

    ” They are the most disagreeable of people—their incincerity . Can you not feel a sense of disgust at the arrogant presumption of superiority of these people ? Superiority of intellect ! Then , when it comes to practice , down they fall with a wallop not only to the level of ordinary human beings but to a level which is even far below the average. These very high intellectual persons who wake up every morning… see what they can find to demolish , to undermine , or cast away. Let them quit these gospels of envy, hate, and malice. let them abandon the utter falalcy , the grotesque, erroneous fatal blunder of believing that by limiting the enterprise of man, by rivetin the shackles of a false equality… they will increase the well-being of the world ”

    **************************************************************** In addition to the above quotes by Churchill , I did a research on socialism/communism. Both socialism and communism are definined by several dictionaries as being RELIGIONS in themselves , hence therefore the often used term ” atheistic communism” or “atheistic socialism ” are both misnomers . That mindset came form the former Soviet Union when America was involved in a Cold War with the USSR. At the time many people in America did not know that there existed in practice many religions including Christianity and Islam in the USSR and it was actually the Russian Orthodox Church that wielded the true power and control in that commnist state that was often described by American theologians as being a haven for atheists who were regarded as heathens, heretics and infidels .