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Blupete's Weekly Commentary


November 24, 1997.

"Charity."

"The mind is always the dupe of the heart."
(Rochefoucauld, Maxim 102.)
What should be done about the truly needy? The last thing that should be done is to sick the government on them. All that ever happens - in the effort to defeat the fraudulent claims that invariably flood in with the establishment of such giveaway programmes - is the development of tax sucking and freedom stifling bureaucracy: the truly needy who are not able to cut through it, just as invariably, continue to suffer; and, more so, as the average citizen is fooled into thinking that government's "charitable" efforts are sufficient and he or she need not make the individual effort to help; and that his or her tax money is, in part, but a charitable donation made.

I believe that charitable impulses are quite natural to the nature of man. For an example, one need not look any further than the "Friendly Societies" of the past. These groups automatically sprung up and attracted the right people on a voluntary basis, people who were internally inspired to help others; and, who, on a proper assessment of the applicants at the very level on which the need was required, extended the charitable help sought. These "Friendly Societies" were there to help those who deserved help in such matters as unemployment, sickness and death. Sad to say these societies, by and large, have been wiped out by the policies of the welfare state, and, from what I can see, have never been effectively replaced.

The most effective move that we who care for the needy can make is to get rid of government policies which impoverish people: repeal these laws, and, in short order, self-reliance and charitable impulses will return to the general population: all that these welfare laws do is to simply throttle the prosperity of a country, as the reading of any history book will disclose. As for charity: the welfare state drums it out of us. Social welfare programmes (aside from the fact that they don't work) naturally lead the people to believe that charity is a function of government. Effective charitable works have never, or can it ever, be properly devised and administered by government; nor can charitable works be controlled by government; nor can governmental charity be administered with compassion and kindness. It is bad enough when government casts itself as an industrialist - government supported industry (as our experience will plainly show) pollutes our environment and wastes our resources on products not wanted - but as a charitable agency government is worse yet, in that its "charitable" activities lead to results (more poverty and misery), results which are directly opposite to those intended.

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Peter Landry

November, 1997 (2011)