Yes, it Is a Virtue to Reject Charity

Posted by freedomforall 1 year ago to Philosophy
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Even when the redistributionist state came along, the American spirit of individualism rebelled.

Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of the author of those books, writing at the height of the New Deal, put it like this:

The spirit of individualism is still here. The number of us who have been out of work and facing actual hunger is not known; the largest estimate has been twelve million. Of this number, barely a third appeared on the reported relief rolls. Somewhere those millions in need of help, who were not helped, are still fighting through this depression on their own. Millions of farmers are still lords on their own land; they are not receiving checks from the public funds to which they contribute their increasing taxes.

Millions of men and women have quietly been paying debts from which they asked no release; millions have cut expenses to the barest necessities, spending every dime in fear that soon they will have nothing, and somehow being cheerful in the daytime and finding God knows what strength or weakness in themselves during the black nights.

Americans are still paying the price of individual liberty, which is individual responsibility and insecurity.

This view is of course routinely lampooned in the progressive press, overtly by socialists like Elizabeth Warren but implicitly in venues like the New York Times and National Public Radio. Their voices drip with disdain for what they say is the myth of “rugged individualism,” a phrase popularized at the end of the 19th century. It is the supposedly cruel and unrealistic idea that people should get by on their own wherewithal.

Don’t craft your life around the idea that everyone or anyone is morally obligated to help you when you encounter misfortune.

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  • Posted by CaptainKirk 1 year ago
    The world at large no longer recognizes the truth about life. What gives it the most value is that it is fleeting.

    For example, if a mother cannot feed all 3 of her children, and she is forced to make a decisions to feed 2 and let the other starve... There is a HIGH probability she will NOT have another one until resources are available. Who would?

    But, when you provide for someone who makes bad decisions, you literally encourage more bad decisions...

    Finally, I am reminded of the ads from the 1980s asking for donations to feed people in Africa. People gave to this cause... Now, they have even more people starving. They were assisted in outgrowing their available food by keeping more people alive, who would eventually reproduce.

    I am not against reproduction, but it tends to be self regulating... Until government gets involved, and then the Most Intelligent are Discouraged from having children, and the Least Intelligent are encouraged.

    Meanwhile, the SJWs of today believe that "Healthcare should be free". If you believe that, become a doctor, and perform your services for free. But DO NOT use the government to force others to live that way!
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 1 year ago
      My great-great-great grandmother was in that situation and as a result she got sent to live with another family and act as housekeeper/nanny. There was no welfare state to subsidize their situation. Many other families would apprentice out their boys to get them started in an employable field and because that apprenticeship would sometimes include room/board (but nothing else). Apprentices also were worked hard and gained skills quickly.

      People are a huge natural resource and governments which encourage the welfare state literally waste the single best resource they have: their people. We need to get back to encouraging people to work - not rely on others for their living.
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      • Posted by CaptainKirk 1 year ago
        My grandfather came her from Poland, and worked for Room+Board on a farm for 1/2 the day, and walked to neighboring farms to work for pay. Was good mechanically, they said he could take anything apart and put it back together better. It was his gift. He saved enough to bring is brother over. They moved to a bigger town and got to work...
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    • Posted by term2 1 year ago
      its called "unintended consequences" of letting people off the hook for their bad decisions. The next day they are even more irresponsible and there are more of them.
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  • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 1 year ago
    This article excerpt, I think, is deliberately mixing its terms. I didn't see any trace of charity. What I read was social welfare and peoples willingness to accept it and other peoples refusal to accept it.

    Charity isn't charity unless its freely given from one to another. Government can only provide welfare, there's nothing charitable about it.
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  • Posted by  $  Snezzy 1 year ago
    Quoting Lane again, "It is only in America that a passing car will stop to lend a stranded stranger a tire-tool."

    Long ago my wife stopped to help two ladies who had a flat tire. They were stranded without any men available to do the work. She declined payment and said that instead they were to learn how to change a tire and teach others, other women especially.

    In a far earlier time in the US there was little public charity except for the "Poor Farm" where the indigent and the mentally incapacitated could get a meal, a bed, and plenty of farm labor that needed to be done. In some places a town committee called the Overseers of the Poor ran the poor farm.

    At that same long-ago time a gentleman named Asa Sheldon wrote an excellent book in which he told of growing up with little formal education, instead being sent out to live with and work for local farmers, some of whom were decent but others of a sort who help one "build character." Implicit in his writing is the attitude that one does not take charity.

    Here is the best on-line version of the book, which I have edited from an error-filled scan of the original. Some day I intend to produce an annotated version in which I explain the antique vocabulary, the local history and geography, and the ideas no longer current that Mr. Sheldon assumes the reader to have.
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  • Posted by  $  edweaver 1 year ago
    I grew up without taking charity. Personally, I'd rather die than take a handout. To me, taking charity ranks right up there with getting a reward or recognition for something that was not earned. Good post Freedom!
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  • Posted by freetrader 9 months ago
    oddly, there are a lot of people on here that then think people are morally obligated to help government and defend others, which is also altruism.

    Although it may be good to help defend others, you are not morally obligate to defend others who are not defending you. It is exactly this distinction that makes most political discussion impossible. People are mixing altruism into it, of the kind that really is self sacrifice - protecting those who refuse to protect you.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 1 year ago
    Thank you "Anne With an E."
    I happen to know just a whole bunch of people who'd prefer to die and go to hell rather than take charity or ask for help. These are folks over 50, who might have needed and asked for help 30 or so years ago, but never today. Today, at their age, they get up, dust off, shine shoes or put on work boots and get going. Whatever it takes. If the bank won't give them a 2nd mortgage they'll find another way. In the 30's they would make fun of the guy selling apples, but he got by. My Dad bought apples 2 for a nickel and sold them for five cents each.
    Door to door.He wouldn't come home until he had a dollar. In those days fifty cents could pay for a home cooked meal of hambuger, mashed potato, fruit and one glass of milk for three.(water was free). Really. The other fifty cents was put aside for (rent. When he got a job it was a step up at $19 dollars a week. When he got a raise it was all the way up to $21.00 per week. Those seem like impossible figures. But, you could get by on them. Christmas meant one toy and warm underwear. In a way, they were better times, in that everything was appreciated more and treasured greatly. In Michigan, in February if you asked a kid which would he give up, his new toy or his warm underwear, you might not believe it, but he'd rather be warm on his 8 block walk to school
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  • Posted by rbroberg 1 year ago
    I am not sure if the article is meant to reject the receipt of charity or the giving of it.
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    • Posted by  $  allosaur 1 year ago
      Me too. Sometimes I give. Guess that's how my name and address got passed around.
      When a charity sends me manipulative "feel guilty" money in the mail, sometimes as high as two dollars, or a calculator or an American Indian dream catcher and other trinkets I have decorating a wall in my house, I keep the "guilt bribe" but trash everything else.
      Oh, I have a porcelain container for all the 50-cent Kennedy coins I have been "gifted."
      Bwahahaha! Nobody manipulates the dino!
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