Compassion & Liberty

People often ask me how I discovered the ideas of liberty.  Like many others, I was taught about government in school using state approved curriculum; which never mentions the ideas of liberty, self ownership, and personal responsibility.  In addition, I was raised in a extremely liberal area, which gave me a socially acceptable set of morals that included support of government social/welfare programs.  This was not because I disliked the idea of private charity and personal compassion; but rather, I believed it to be the only method of mass charity (the ability to fund care for many people at once).  It was my experience in trying to use these social programs which led me to discover the ineffective, wasteful, and harmful effects they create.  They didn’t help people.  They gave those suffering the bare minimum for survival, but wasted so much time, and came with so many requirements, that those the government “helped” would never be able to move forward.  They would become dependent on the system for survival, which skews this “help” to be thought of as a “right”… because obviously everyone feels they have a right to life.

Moreover, I discovered the system in which these programs are funded (by tax dollars), was a complex form of theft.  How can you do good deeds with stolen money?  And how could a charity be successful if it was continually funded no matter how poor it’s results?  There is no competition, or at least none that can truly offer an alternative (possibly better) service, because the government has already taken any money people have to spare on charity.  It was these factors that resulted in my change in heart on the necessity of government social/welfare programs; and eventually, my views on government all together.

But how can someone claim to be “caring” or “compassionate” if they advocate the end of social programs that people depend on for survival?  Here is why: because I DO care.  I AM compassionate.  There are millions out there who care.  Does anyone honestly believe that if the government funded “charities” were no longer available, we would all accept standing by and watching people suffer?  I wouldn’t.  But in thinking about why people believe this, I realized the amazing loss in simple acts of care and compassion between individuals.  Because the government has taken over the “charity” system, most people have lost the ability to be kind or charitable on their own.  Just as traffic lights have removed people’s responsibility of defensive driving (aka paying attention to others on the road).

We need kindness and compassion to be given back to the people.  While it’s illogical to think we can just end government social programs tomorrow, and take back the task of charity; there is hope.  We need to start by reeducating ourselves to care about others.  To strive towards positivity and community.  When you nurture those elements of human nature, you can begin to see a world without government.  It wouldn’t be a scary world of chaos and violence; but rather, a world where people feel a responsibility to their fellow man.  Not to provide for him/her from cradle to grave, but to see that all people are successful… because then there will be others to help you in your time of need.

To start encouraging others to take part in this shift towards a more compassionate society, I made this simple poster that can be printed and posted anywhere.  There are some simple “random acts of kindess” tabs for people to tear off and perform the task later.  While these things may seem small or simple, no act of kindess is ever a waste.  And over time, these small acts can shift an entire community to a more positive and charitable point of view… without the need of a government threat.

*also posted @ MegMcLain.com

To download, simply right-click on the image and choose “save as”.

Color Version

Black & White Version

Now you can subscribe to Free Keene via email!

Don't miss a single post!


13 Comments

  1. Thank you.

  2. Awesome Article!

    I'm so sick of the whole "You must be selfish and hate poor people if you don't believe in a welfare state" excuse.

    10/10 Meg

  3. I like the poster, but if you believe any of this you're a moron.

  4. Non-governmental solidarity (as in, NOT charity) is actually what prevented Manchester, NH from suffering the same fate as many other Merrimack Valley milltowns after the industry died. Please read this to see:

    http://propagandalalaland.blogspot.com/2012/01/mu

    I've said this before but it's worth saying once again: private charity initially results in keeping the poor in poverty, identical to government handouts. As well, I would assume that private charity would go way, way down in a totally free market, not just because everyone would have LESS money due to cutthroat open competition but also because a profit-based free market would create a very competitive culture. As things are now in our culture, money (be it gold, silver, fiat, etc.) is a symbol of social status. You are judged as being "successful" based on how much money you have, regardless as to where it came from. I grew up in Windham where everyone is always trying to outdo their neighbors in terms of the size of their house/yard, how many cars they own, how big their pools are, etc. I can't imagine how much more extreme this will be in a stateless capitalist society (assuming that one could exist at all).

  5. Also, when people ask you what you think should replace the welfare state and you respond with a very vague statement like, "The free market will solve it", you turn a lot of people off. People want answers, not sayings on bumper stickers. If your food comes from a forest and your water comes from a stream, you will defend that forest and that stream with your life (as many indigenous peoples of this continent did). Likewise, if your food comes from government handouts and your means of getting from here to there comes from state-funded public transportation, you're probably going to defend the welfare state at all costs. And quite honestly, you can try to sell those people all of this US constitution and austrian school shit all you want, but people won't give a flying fuck unless they're fed, clothed, sheltered, and all that. Maybe private charity will feed people for a day or two, but it doesn't *solve* the problem.

  6. I liked your response julia ,it's very focused and to the point. 🙂

  7. Funny thing Julia, most capitalist would agree whole heartedly with your opinion about services.. But here they are labled statists!

  8. thats my humble opinion:i read the second blurb

    Not to give u a swelled head or anything

    lol

  9. "enslave keene" – you're actually correct in saying that capitalists love the welfare state even more than the ultra-poor do. Not just because the state provides capitalists with subsidies and helps them externalize costs, but also because the social democratic welfare state helps keep their power in place. Study US labor history and you'll understand why: people like Emma Goldman, Mother Jones, the IWW, etc. were all fighting to abolish the wage system and implement workers' control of industry. The ruling class saw this as a threat, obviously, so they set up state welfare programs to de-radicalize the labor struggle. That's why workers today are always demanding more state handouts as opposed to an end to the wage system.

    Something I don't understand is why right-libertarians, voluntaryists, etc. always put the state in a vacuum and never look at why the state does what it does or the broader context. The state is just the strong-arm of the rich. There's no doubt about that.

  10. Well Julia, I think most middle wealth capitalist (Those who dont benifit from state handouts) would still favor safety nets for people who need them. I earn a modest but comfortable wage, I dont benifit from any state incentive and I do want to pay taxes to keep people with basics until THEY can do it for themselves.

    That was my point, Im not GM or Chrysler Im not even 6 digits so what you say doesnt apply to my case.

  11. now you said some crap julia(imho) the "ultra poor" dont "love the welfare state"

    thats horsecrap

  12. ek – That's very typical of the "new class", "bleeding-heart liberals", all those.

    With all this evidence, I would like to know what FK are going to do to end the state. It seems like there's way too many people who are stacked against their goals – for the moment at least.

    As a social anarchist, I would suggest they look into dual power strategies, building alternative institutions of solidarity (not charity), and the like. Put Rothbard down for two seconds and pick up Kropotkin or someone similar.

  13. Julia, is your purpose in posting here simply to convince everyone that socialists are uniformed, ignorant of economics (and life in general), and out for nothing but power?

    Because that's all I'm getting. You list all the problems that exist in the current, socialist system, and assign them to capitalism. Socializing the cost of externalities, for example, is /socialist/ behavior. "Cutthroat competition" is the behavior of socialists, as is judging others by material wealth; capitalists value winning fairly, not by lying, cheating, stealing, and such – those are socialist values. Someone who invests a million dollars and makes a hundred thousand in profit does not impress me anywhere near as much as someone who invests a dollar and makes a thousand; the latter is obviously the better businessman, and his relative poverty only goes to demonstrate how much he excels. Capitalist heroes are always those who clawed their way to the top, while socialists deify those (Soros, Obama, etc.) who got what they have by sneaky, backroom dealing.

    There's nothing anti-capitalist about credit unions, cooperatives, mutual insurance, or any such ventures. As a capitalist, I've had accounts with credit unions (none currently, since with all the fascist laws, credit unions are now no different than banks), I'm a member of two coops and will likely be getting together with some folks to found another couple, and have my life insurance through a mutual insurance company. It's entirely capitalistic to /choose/ to work with others in such ways.

    A coop/trust is the most sensible way to run a private residential road, or one in a business district. Those who benefit from the road, own and maintain it, so that they can continue to benefit from the road. Having some separate for-profit entity that owns the road merely costs them money, and offers nothing of benefit in return. A major highway between two cities, on the other hand, exists not to serve residents who live along it, but to serve the drivers, and it cannot be owned cooperatively by "all drivers" so independent ownership and tolls paid by those who actually use it, make the most sense.

    And no, the State is not the "strong arm of the rich" – the State works for power, not money. Monetary wealth is not the coin that Statists desire. Statists desire absolute power over all they see, and socialism offers them the best shot at that, by denying self-ownership and treating all people as nothing but "common" resources, which may be bought, sold, traded, advanced, or destroyed at the will of the priests of the State. Capitalists hold ownership (and most especially self-ownership) to be inviolable. The poorest pauper out there owns himself, and no one may justly take that from him. Given the tremendous value of a human life, monetary wealth (even at an extreme level) does not account for much, in comparison. Bragging about being a billionaire makes about as much sense as one individual who received a thousand-dollar paycheck that is identical to his co-worker, bragging because he picked up a penny off the floor, so he's richer. Yes, he technically is, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to the thousand dollars, just as the billionaire's money is nothing but a drop in the bucket, compared to the lives we each own.

Care to comment?